Sabah deserves more than two ministers in Anwar's unity govt, say analysts

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah should have been given more than two minister positions in the Cabinet to reflect the support given by Sabahan MPs for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic) to form his unity government, say analysts.

Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said he was "quite shocked" to see only two Sabah MPs picked as ministers.

He pointed out that 24 out of the 25 MPs from Sabah threw their support behind Anwar to form his unity government compared to 23 from Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

Only two Sabahans were named as ministers while Sarawak obtained the deputy prime minister position and five full portfolios as well.

"Sabah should have at least four minister positions," he said when contacted on Saturday (Dec 3).

Oh said although not all the 24 Sabah MPs were from the same party, the number of elected representatives backing Anwar was substantial and one more than GPS' 23.

"So, there should be a comparable number of ministers," he said.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah senior lecturer Dr Romzi Ationg also agreed that Sabah deserved more prominent positions in the government.

"Since Sabah is the state where most poor districts are located, we need more ministers from here. But we may have more deputy ministers (later)," he said.

He also said he remained hopeful that Sabah would still see a positive impact in the state.

In the 15th General Election (GE15), Sabah Barisan Nasional secured the most seats in the state with seven followed by GRS (six), Pakatan Harapan (five), Parti Warisan (three), Independents (two) and one each by Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (KDM) and Perikatan Nasional.

All Sabah MPs, with the exception of Perikatan's Datuk Ronald Kiandee who retained the Beluran seat, have backed Anwar's unity government.

Romzi also said other parties from Sabah who supported Anwar's government such as Warisan may feel slighted after not making the cut.

Oh, however, contended that Sabah leaders in general would not be overly bothered with any lack in Federal representation as they would be more focused on retaining the state government as it is.

Out of the 28-member Cabinet list, Anwar on Friday night (Dec 3) announced incoming Upko president Datuk Ewon Benedick as the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister while GRS' Papar MP Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali as the Minister in Prime Minister's Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs).

Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof from GPS was named as one of the two deputy prime ministers. Fadillah will also be the Plantations and Commodities Minister.

Besides that, his GPS colleagues Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (Works), Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (Unity), Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (Women, Family and Community Development) and Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (Tourism) were also named in Anwar's Cabinet.

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Cabinet , Sabah , Analysts , Ministers , Unity Government


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