KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has shot down rumours of any impending reshuffle of the state cabinet.
“No. Not at the moment, I’m not thinking of reshuffling,” he told reporters during Berjarah Gawai-Raya Sacofa at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.
However, Abang Johari conceded that while it is normal for the government to reshuffle the cabinet, he reiterated that there are no plans to do it at the moment.
He was reacting to rumour that there are plans for a Cabinet reshuffle due to the presence of Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) leaders in the Cabinet.
Although PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh is currently in the state cabinet as Second Minister of Finance followed by Transportation Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil who is Wong’s deputy at PSB, the party is not part of the state coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
This has prompted calls from party leaders and political analysts for a cabinet reshuffle. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president, has previously called for a reshuffle last month to drop both Wong and Dr Jerip from the state cabinet.
The fact that tensions are unlikely dying down between Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and PSB which is the former’s splinter party, has only reinforced the idea.
Talks of a reshuffle of the state Cabinet by the end of the month was reported earlier by local newspaper Sin Chew Daily. It was understood from the report that Abang Johari had been planning the move with the advice of several GPS leaders.