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Wednesday March 4, 2009

Kedah’s new exco lineup

KEDAH has reshuffled the portfolios of five of the nine state executive councillors in their second one-year term of office in a move to usher the state to greater progress.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said the changes, effective from March 12, were based on the state exco members’ performance and experience.

“I have evaluated their performance and find some of them are more suited to hold certain portfolios,” he told newsmen after the swearing-in ceremony of the state exco members at Istana Anak Bukit in Alor Setar yesterday.

The ceremony was held in front of the Sultan of Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah. Also present were Sultanah of Kedah Tuanku Haminah Hamidun and Raja Muda of Kedah.

The swearing-in of state exco members in Kedah is held annually.

Azizan said the reshuffle involved Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi, Datuk Mohamed Taulan Mat Rasul, Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, Dr Ismail Salleh and Abdullah Jusoh.

He said Phahrolrazi will take over the Housing and Local Government portfolios from Mohamed Taulan. Phahrolrazi will continue to take charge of his old portfolios of Rural Development, Hardcore Poor Eradication, Works, Water Supply and Resources and Energy.

Mohamed Taulan will chair the Islamic Religious, Education and Cooperative Committee that was previously chaired by Abdullah.

Abdullah will now chair the Science, Innovation, Information Technology, Communication and Entrepreneur Development Committee.

Amiruddin will chair the Industry, Investment, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Biotechnology and Information Committee.

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry portfolio was previously under Phahrolrazi while Information was under Dr Ismail.

Dr Ismail will chair the Health, Non-Governmental Organisation and Human Development Committee.

The four state executive council members who are retaining their portfolios are Siti Ashah Ghazali (Women, Family Development and Community Welfare Commit-tee), Dr Hamdan Mohamed Khalib (Youth and Sports, Art, Heritage and Culture Committee), Tan Wei Shu (Environment, Chinese Community Affairs and Transport Committee) and Mohammad Radzhi Salleh (Tourism, Community Development and Human Resources Committee).

Azizan said that the state will wait for the outcome of the Bukit Selambau by-election to pick the last state exco member.

“We are hoping that PKR will field an Indian candidate. The person will be appointed to the state exco if he or she wins the seat.

“However, if the person is unsuitable or if we lose the seat, we will appoint another Pakatan Rakyat assemblyman to the state exco,” he said.

Azizan said the person will chair the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Siamese Community, Unity, Estate Workers and Indian Community Affairs Committee that was previously headed by V. Arumugam.

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