Status quo for Sarawak

Abang Johari fielding questions from reporters. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: Sarawak retained its number of MPs in the new federal administration helmed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The state was allocated 10 positions in the government — four Cabinet ministers along with six deputy ministerial posts following the unveiling today.

The four Cabinet minister posts and three deputy minister posts were given to Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB). Two deputy ministerial posts were given to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Sarawak while Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) was allocated one deputy ministerial post.

Heading the list was Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) parliamentary chief whip and Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (PBB) who was reappointed as Senior Minister of Works.

Besides him, Kapit MP Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (PBB) was reappointed as Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister along with Batang Sadong MP Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri (PBB) as Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister.

One change was appointing former Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister and Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (PBB) as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament & Law) replacing Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).

Meanwhile, Mukah MP Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib (PBB) was retained as Sabah and Sarawak Affairs Deputy Minister along with Kanowit MP Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (PRS) as Deputy Health Minister.

Limbang MP Datuk Hasbi Habibollah (PBB) exchanged portfolios with Lawas MP Datuk Henry Sum Agong (PBB) with the former assuming the Deputy Rural Development Minister portfolio and the latter given the Deputy Transport Minister portfolio.

Representing Bersatu, Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin and Saratok MP Datuk Ali Biju retained their posts as Plantation and Commodities Deputy Minister and Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Minister respectively.

Last year, in former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Cabinet, Sarawak was also allocated 10 positions in the federal administration — four full ministers and six deputy ministers.

A seventh deputy minister position was initially offered to Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing but was turned down.

Both Tiong and Serian MP cum Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) deputy president Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem were later appointed as Malaysia’s special envoys to China and East Asia respectively with the status of full ministers.