KUCHING: The appointment of four Sarawakians to the new Cabinet, along with seven deputy ministers, will ensure that the state’s voice is heard in the Federal administration.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing said the Sarawakian representatives would be able to speak up for state rights and interests.
“Sarawak’s interests rest on their willingness to fight for the state without fear or favour, ” he said.
The Cabinet line-up was announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Masing also said the big picture of what the nation needed should come first, rather than numbers and portfolios in the Cabinet.
“What the parties want are secondary to the Prime Minister’s right in forming a government for a democratic system.
“Cabinet appointments are the prerogative of the Prime Minister. Being the captain, he decides on his crew by taking into account the number of MPs from each party, ” Masing said.
The four ministers from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the Cabinet line-up are Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who is also one of four senior ministers, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
GPS MPs appointed as deputy ministers are Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (National Unity), Hasbi Habibollah (Transport), Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (Health) and Datuk Henry Sum Agong (Rural Development).
Two other Sarawakian MPs, Ali Biju and Willie Mongin, who quit PKR during the recent political upheaval, were appointed deputy ministers of Energy and Natural Resources and Primary Industries and Commodities respectively.