KUCHING: The state cabinet reshuffle that will take effect on Friday will see a new ministry being created, five ministries renamed and seven new faces including a woman to be appointed as assistant ministers.
Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said the new ministry would be named the Welfare, Women and Family Development Ministry, to be headed by Fatimah Abdullah and assisted by two new assistant ministers who are also new faces, Rosey Yunus and Robert Lawson Chuat Vincent.
“The other new faces as assistant ministers are Julaihi Narawi, Abdul Karim Hamzah, Len Talif Salleh, Dr Jerip Susil and Liwan Lagang,” he said, adding that the seven would be sworn in on Friday.
Julaihi will be appointed as Industrial Development Assistant Minister (Investment and Promotion) and Rural Development Assistant Minister, and Abdul Karim as Housing Assistant Minister and Social Development Assistant Minister (Youth Development).
Len Talif will be appointed as Resource Planning and Environment Assistant Minister (Environment) and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Technical Education Promotion), Dr Jerip as Local Government and Community Development Assistant Minister (Public Health), and Liwan as Social Development Assistant Minister (Culture and Heritage).
“All the full ministers will be retained and some of their ministries renamed,” Taib said.
The five ministries renamed include the Social Development and Urbanisation Ministry, which is now known as Social Development Ministry and headed by Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president William Mawan Ikom and Environment and Public Health Ministry, now known as Local Government and Community Development Ministry, headed by Sarawak United People’s Party deputy secretary-general Wong Soon Koh.
‘Not a big issue’
The Planning and Resource Management Ministry will be known as Resource Planning and Environment Ministry, Housing and Urban Development Ministry as Housing Ministry, and Tourism and Heritage Ministry as Tourism Ministry, with both the ministries under the purview of Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president.
Taib, who retains his portfolios in the Finance Ministry and Resource Planning and Environment Ministry, said there was no urgent need for the appointment of a second Deputy Chief Minister.
He said the one Deputy Chief Minister post now held by another PBB deputy president, Alfred Jabu Numpang, who is also Rural Development Minister, should not be a big issue.
He said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dr James Jemut Masing, who had been retained as Land Development Minister, would also be holding senior minister porfolios together with Soon Koh and Mawan.
He said their role as senior ministers would be to coordinate specific development projects and programmes needed to be undertaken together.
He said PBB senior vice-president Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan would be the new Industrial Development Minister, as well as the second Resource Planning and Environment Minister and Public Utilities Minister, while Michael Manyin retained his portfolio as Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister.
He said the Public Works Department (PWD), Agriculture Department and local councils were also being revamped.
“The PWD revamp is almost completed while it may take about five years for the others,” he added.