KUCHING: Sarawak State Cabinet saw a minor reshuffle today following the recent resignation of Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce and Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced that Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas would take over as the new Second Finance Minister with immediate effect.
He added that the changes would reflect the state’s focus on trading, oil and gas, agriculture, urban renewal and transportation and tourism development.
The new line-up recorded a new face with Datuk Sebastian Ting as the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The former Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin is now the Minister of Transport, which is a new portfolio in the Cabinet.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing’s portfolio is slightly amended to be Ministry of Infrastructure and Ports Development.
The Ministry of International Trade and E-Commerce is now merged with Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan’s ministry to be known as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development.
It is also noted that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports is now divided into two ministries, namely the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and Youth and Sports Ministry.
The two portfolios are still held by Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
Apart from these, Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol is now also looking after the Public Communications Unit of Sarawak (Ukas).
During the announcement, Abang Johari said the new Ministry of Transport is to look into the development of transportation, particularly in urban areas.
He said this would include the previously announced Light Rail Transit (LRT) project so as to ensure that the transport system in Sarawak will be well managed.
The chief minister said the state is also to focus on enhancing port facilities to facilitate import and export activities in Sarawak.
He was quick to point out that ports and harbours fell under the purview of the state.
On oil and gas, he said the establishment of Petroleum Berhad Sarawak (Petros) will be strengthened in the next 10 years.
“The development of modern agriculture will be a driver to transform our rural economy. We have also developed our agriculture parks,” he said.
The other portfolios of the State Cabinet remain unchanged.