By : ELAINE MAH AND FIZAH YUSOF
CHIEF MINISTER Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman presented his new cabinet line-up recently at his official residence following the ministers’ oath of office before Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
The new cabinet comprises both new and old faces, and nine new assistant ministers.
Datuk Radin Malleh will take the post of Minister of Rural Development, a portfolio previously held by Datuk Ewon Ebin. Former Assistant Minister to the Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology Datuk Jainab Ayid will take over the Ministry of Community Development and Consumer Affairs from her predecessor Datuk Azizah Dun. Datuk Siringan Gubat and Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan will respectively head the Ministry of Resource Development and Information Technology and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Musa also introduced a new ministry – the Ministry of Special Tasks – that will be held by Datuk Teo Chee Kang who is also a fresh face in the line-up.
Datuk Hajiji Noor and Datuk Masidi Manjun both retained their respective portfolios as Minister of Local Housing and Government and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, President of Parti Bersatu Sabah and Datuk Yahya Hussin, Sabah UMNO secretary were both retained as Deputy Chief Ministers, each keeping their respective portfolios as Minister of Infrastructure Development and Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry.
Replacing Datuk Dr. Yee Moh Chai as Deputy Chief Minister representing the Chinese community is Gerakan Vice President Datuk Raymond Tan. Tan is not new to the position, as he previously served as Deputy Chief Minister between 2004 and 2008. He will also retain his position as the Minister of Industrial Development.
There are nine new assistant ministers, comprising Datuk Arifin Mohd Arif, Datuk Ramlee Marahaban, Datuk Joachim Gunsalam, Datuk Hamisa Samad, Datuk Nilwan Kabang, Datuk Zakaria Idris, Datuk Kamarlin Ombi, Anita Baranting and Masiung Banah.
The assistant ministers retained are Datuk Musbah Jamli, Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, Datuk Ellron Angin, Datuk Michael Asang, Datuk Bobbey Ahfang Suan, Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar and Datuk Sairin Karno.
Former Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran is appointed the new Chairman of Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) with ministerial status.
Musa is confident that the new Cabinet line-up is a strong, dynamic and cohesive team that will be able to work together in carrying out the State’s development agenda.
The appointment of those who previously held cabinet positions will ensure continuity through their previous ministerial experiences, while the new members will inject fresh ideas and expertise, Musa said.
Newly appointed full Minister Jainab thanked Musa for believing in her and said that she will do her very best with the new portfolio.
“I will ensure that the people of Sabah especially in the rural areas will be given full attention especially by the welfare department,” she said.
She also said that she would work in close rapport with other leaders, village heads, NGOs and other parties involved to better manage the welfare of the people.
Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang told reporters that he only learned about his appointment to the Cabinet in the morning of the oath taking ceremony. He thanked the Chief Minister for the appointment.
Teo said he was mindful of the challenges that await him and pledged to serve the people to the best of his ability. (Insight Sabah)