They are GRS’ Ruslan Muharam and Pakatan Harapan’s Peto Galim and Tan Lee Fatt.
PETALING JAYA: Three new assistant ministers took their oath of office before Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana Seri Kinabalu in Kota Kinabalu today.
Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s Ruslan Muharam has been appointed assistant minister to the chief minister while Pakatan Harapan’s Peto Galim and Tan Lee Fatt have been appointed assistant agriculture and fisheries minister and assistant finance minister, respectively.
Their appointments were to fill two positions left vacant by former deputy agriculture and fisheries minister James Ratib, who is now the community development and people’s wellbeing minister, and Jasnih Daya, who chose to relinquish his assistant finance minister’s post to make way for the appointment of others.
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Four assistant ministers involved in an exchange of portfolios are Ruddy Awah (rural development), Harun Durabi (science, technology and innovation), Fairuz Renddan (youth and sports) and Andi Suryady Bandy (industrial development).
Ruddy and Fairuz are from GRS, and Harun and Andi Suryady are from Barisan Nasional.
“Today’s appointments and reshuffle of assistant ministers are a continuing effort to consolidate and strengthen the government administration,” said chief minister Hajiji Noor in a statement.
“I have stressed the importance for the state government under my leadership to function as a cohesive team which shares the same aspirations built on mutual trust and respect.
“We need a strong team to push our development momentum and to fulfil our election pledges for the people and state.”
The reshuffling comes after Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin had tried and failed to oust Hajiji, the GRS chairman, by announcing that Sabah Umno was withdrawing its support for Hajiji as chief minister on Jan 6.
However, Hajiji said he had secured majority support from the assemblymen, including five from Umno and seven from PH.
Hajiji has since dropped Bung from his state Cabinet in a reshuffle. Following the Sabah state elections in September 2020, Bung was named one of three deputy chief ministers and also the state works minister.
In the new Cabinet, Shahelmey Yahya, the BN assemblyman for Tanjung Keramat, took over the deputy chief minister’s post and was also named state works minister.