Bung says Sabah sidelined in Cabinet line-up


KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (pic) says he feels that Sabah is under-represented in the Federal Cabinet under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Sabah Deputy Chief Minister said the two minister positions the state received through Pakatan Harapan's component party Upko and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) were not reflective of the support given to the unity government by Sabah MPs.

"It seems that Sabah has been sidelined in the formation of the Cabinet in the new unity government.

"There is not even one representative from Sabah Barisan in the Cabinet compared to Sarawak which has five," he said in a statement here on Saturday (Dec 3), adding this was not fair to Sabah.

The Sabah Barisan Nasional chief said he respected the decision of the Prime Minister but that said it was necessary for Sabah to be reflected equally in the Cabinet to show that the Federal Government was serious in ensuring Sabah rights and development are on the new Federal Government's agenda.

"I am worried. Does this mean that Sabah will also be left out of the development?" questioned Bung Moktar, who led Sabah Barisan to victory in seven seats in the just concluded GE15, the most among the parties that contested in the state.

Anwar had announced on Friday (Dec 2) night incoming Upko president Datuk Ewon Benedick and GRS' Papar MP Datuk Armizan Ali were appointed into his Cabinet as the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister as well as the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) respectively.

Of the seats in Sabah, GRS won six, Pakatan (five), Warisan (three), Independents (two) and one seat each by Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat and Perikatan Nasional.

Bung Moktar congratulated the two new Sabahan ministers but stressed that it was important for Sabah to be given portfolios that would benefit the state.

"People picked for the job must be well-versed in the issues of Sabah rights and the state's needs.

"Sabah needs a strong voice in the Cabinet to make sure development funds for our schools, roads and electricity among others, need to be addressed quickly without any further delays," he said.

Bung Moktar said he hoped all new ministers will prioritise Sabah issues so that the state will not remain on the back burner.

"We don't want Sabah to be left out again in terms of development, especially infrastructure which is vital for the people.

"For instance, the Pan Borneo Highway project must be continued and expedited. We do not wish to see the project disrupted again as what took place when Pakatan became the government in 2018," he said.

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