Bung Moktar dropped from Hajiji's Cabinet

11 Jan 2023 10:58am
Bung Moktar Radin
Bung Moktar Radin

KOTA KINABALU - Umno veteran Bung Moktar Radin has been dropped from the Sabah state government.

Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor remains as Sabah Chief Minister after today Cabinet reshuffle.

Later, Bernama reported that Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has been appointed as Deputy Chief Minister I and state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister.

Kitingan, who was earlier Deputy Chief Minister II, replaced Bung Moktar, the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman while Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam, who was before this Deputy Chief Minister III, was appointed Deputy Chief Minister II.

Joachim was also appointed as Local Government and Housing Minister while Putatan assemblyman Datuk Shahelmy Yahya of BN was appointed Deputy Chief Minister III cum Works Minister which was earlier held by Bung Moktar.

"The reshuffle was necessary and is aimed at strengthening the current state government as we need a strong team. Realising the need to form an inclusive administration, I have included assemblymen from Pakatan Harapan in the (Sabah) cabinet.

"The state government is determined to have leaders who are committed to the same direction and appreciates the need to ensure efforts to develop the state run smoothly and without any interference as hoped by the people. Political stability is important to achieve this goal," he said in a statement today.

Hajiji who also announced the porfolios of three assemblymen who took their oath of office before the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin this morning by naming Sabah PH chairman Datuk Christina Liew (PKR-Api-Api) as state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister.
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Luyang assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe of DAP was appointed as Industrial Development Minister while Datuk James Ratib (BN-Sugut) who was earlier state Deputy Agriculture and Fisheries Minister was appointed Community Development and People's Well-being Minister.

Two assemblymen who switched portfolios were Keranaan assemblyman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) who was earlier Local Government and Housing Minister was appointed Finance Minister while Datuk Dr Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif (GRS-Membakut) who was before this state Minister of Special Functions was appointed Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Meanwhile two more assemblymen who retained their respective portfolios are state Rural Development Minister Datuk Jahid Jahim (GRS-Tamparuli), and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ellron Angin (GRS-Sook).

The cabinet reshuffle also saw Hajiji not holding portfolio after relinquishing the Finance Minister post to Masidi.

From 11 Sabah state Cabinet members, seven are from GRS, two from BN and two more from PH.

On Jan 8, Hajiji claimed he had obtained the support of 44 Sabah assemblymen comprising 29 from GRS, PH (7), BN (5), PAS (1), Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (1) and Independent (1).