One new deputy Chief Minister, two new ministers and two new ministries in new cabinet line-up
KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday announced a new state cabinet line-up in tandem with development plans he announced since he took office on Jan 13.
The most significant appointment in the reshuffle yesterday is the appointment of Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan as the third Deputy Chief Minister while retaining his portfolio of Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development and Second Minister of Natural Resources.
Abang Johari also created two new ministries – International Trade and E-Commerce headed by Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research led by Dato Sri Michael Manyin who was the Minister of Youth and Sports and Solidarity.
Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais who was Assistant Minister for Resource Planning and Entrepreneur Development was transferred to Entrepreneur and Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) Development and he will also assist Wong in E-Commerce development.
Dr Annuar Rapa’ee was transferred from Assistant Minister for Science Research and Biotechnology to Assistant Minister for Education and Technological Research and also Public Health.
The chief minister also added two new faces to the cabinet by appointing his Chief Political Secretary Abdullah Saidol as Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs and roping in Party Rakyat Sarawak Youth chief Snowdan Lawan to be Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports.
Snowdan will be assisting Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who has been promoted from Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports to full minister in the same porfolios.
Abdul Karim will also be assisted by Datuk Lee Kim Shin who remains Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Datuk Talib Zulpilip who was Assistant Minister of Urbanisation and Infrastructure Development was elevated to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office in-charge of Integrity and Ombudsman.
Malcolm Mussen Lamoh who was Assistant Minister of Agriculture was given the new task of assisting in Industries and Investment portfolio.
The two Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing are also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation, respectively.
Assistant ministers for Uggah are Datuk Roland Sagah (Native Land Development) and Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail (Agriculture) while assistant ministers for Masing are Datuk Julaihi Narawi (Coastal Road) and Datuk Dr Jerip Susil (Transportation).
The reshuffle was announced during a press conference after the conclusion of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) ‘Jasamu Dikenang’ special convention held at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here.
Abang Johari remains as minister in-charge of Finance but the name has been changed to Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
He is also holding the Financial Modelling (Agency: Development Bank of Sarawak or DBOS) portfolio while Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh remains as Second Finance Minister.
Abang Johari also holds four more portfolios in the Chief Minister’s Department. They are Energy Department (Agency: Sarawak Energy Bhd), Oil and Gas (Agencies: Oil and gas agencies), Digital Economy and Telecommunication (Agencies: ICT agencies), and Kuching Urban Public Transport (including LRT).
The three assistant ministers in the Chief Minister’s Department are Datuk John Sikie Tayai – Native Laws and Customs, Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed – Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring) and Abdullah Saidol (Corporate Affairs).
Abang Johari is also Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources while Datu Len Talif Salleh is the Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment.
Datuk Fatimah Abdullah is heading Ministry of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development with Datuk Francis Harden Hollis as Assistant Minister of Community Well Being and Rosey Yunus as Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development.
Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian is Minister of Local Government and Housing while Datu Dr Penguang Manggil is the assistant minister.
Dato Sri Stephen Rundi is Minister of Rural Electricity and Water Supply.
His assistant ministers are Liwan Lagang (Water Supply) and Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi (Rural Electricity).
On his new cabinet line-up, Abang Johari said, “This is a team that will implement all the plans that were announced earlier.”
To a question, Abang Johari said he would need a leader to take care of inter-state affairs including the devolution of power which was still in progress.
He said Hasidah had been trained as a lawyer and would suit the need, adding: “That’s why she’s looking after the State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring.”