KUCHING: Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has been appointed Minister of Natural Resources and Environment at yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle.
The pleasantly surprised Wan Junaidi said he had just returned from Kelantan performing his duty as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs.
Compared to his previous appointment Wan Junaidi said the new appointment was ‘no less challenging’.
He said he was honoured by the new ministerial post as it has always been occupied by very senior and influential politicians including Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and the top brass of BN component parties.
“However, I am very sure I can perform, just like when I was at the Home Ministry,” Wan Junaidi told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He said his immediate ask would be to familiarise himself with the ministry and its functions within the government.
Initially, when rumours spread about a reshuffle especially the possible promotion of Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as deputy prime minister, Wan Junaidi thought he might be promoted as second minister in the same ministry after the promotion of his superior.
Instead, he was tasked to look after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as a full minister.
“When I come to think about, I realise that I can be of direct service to the people on the ground in this ministry. I can continue to do a lot for the country, especially for Sarawak, because of the nature of the ministry which deals with nature, environment, river, sea and land issues.”
Wan Junaidi thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the latter’s trust.
“I would also like to thank Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem as well as the staff of Home Affairs Ministry for their support.”
Prior to his appointment as deputy minister of home affairs in 2013, Wan Junaidi was one of the deputy speakers of parliament.
The experienced PBB politician first entered politics after being elected Batang Lupar MP in 1990. He represented the constituency for three terms before he changed his turf to Santubong in 2004 which he has since been defending.