Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor, who heads the new Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government, only said he would be looking into the issue.
He declined further comment when pressed by reporters, saying that there would be an announcement in due course.
According to political observers, Hajiji had little choice as none of the GRS components managed to win a Chinese-majority seat in last Saturday’s election.
Among the casualties was Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) honorary life president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat who lost his deposit in Inanam.
“It will be the first time in Sabah’s history that there will be no Chinese representative as a deputy chief minister in the state Cabinet,” said a political analyst, who declined to be named.
He said all the 38 seats won by GRS plus three independent seats were from the Muslim-bumiputra and non-Muslim bumiputra communities.
It was Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), the ruling state government from 1985 to 1994, which introduced three deputy chief minister positions to reflect the three major races in the government.
The system was adopted by successive state governments since and at times, the ruling parties used the nominated assembly posts to appoint a leader from any community that failed to garner support.
The analyst explained that there was no hard and fast rule to say that any of the three deputy chief ministers must come from a particular community.
He said what Hajiji did in choosing his three deputies was to reflect a composition of the parties based on their strengths.
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