Sabah BN sidelined in unity government cabinet, Bung Mokhtar says

03 Dec 2022 11:10am
Bung Moktar.
Bung Moktar.

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) feels sidelined when none of its seven MPs were appointed as full ministers in the formation of the unity government cabinet announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Friday.

Sabah BN chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin also described the appointment of the two ministers representing Sabah, each from the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko) as a component of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) as too small.

He said the number was disproportionate compared to Sarawak which secured five portfolios including the position of second Deputy Prime Minister (DPM).

"The formation of the new cabinet of the unity government seems to see Sabah marginalised in the appointment of portfolios, especially representatives from Sabah BN who gave an early commitment to the BN's main leadership to support PH into government and Anwar as the Prime Minister's candidate.

"There is no representative from Sabah BN in this new cabinet. Instead, they have five ministers from Sarawak," he said in a statement commenting on the formation of the government cabinet on Saturday.

Prior to that, the Sabah BN won the most parliamentary seats in the state during the 15th General Election (GE15) with seven seats, followed by GRS (six), PH (five), Parti Warisan (three), Independent (two) and one each for Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (KDM).

In fact, Sabah BN also contributed the second-highest number of seats after Johor BN out of the 30 seats won by BN nationwide in GE15.

In this regard, Bung Moktar, who is also the Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, hoped that the marginalisation of Sabah BN in the new cabinet was not a sign that the state would continue to be marginalised from the attention of the unity government, especially in terms of development.

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"We do not want Sabah to once again be marginalised in terms of development, especially in the implementation of infrastructure projects that are important for the convenience of the people of the state.

"The Pan Borneo Sabah highway project must continue and be accelerated. We don't want to see this project go down again as it did when PH became government in 2018," he said.

In fact, he said, Sabah also needs the attention of the federal government in resolving the issue of clean water supply affecting the people throughout the state, as well as the issue of electricity supply and rural roads that are not yet comprehensive.

Anwar on Friday announced his cabinet line-up comprising 28 ministers including two DPMs, each held by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi representing BN and Petra Jaya MP who is also the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) vice president, Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof representing GPS.