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Sarawak Cabinet still lacks stronger Iban representation, says PRS

The party welcomes the appointment of four members to the state Cabinet but says portfolios should reflect the composition of GPS.

Nur Shazreena Ali
2 minute read
Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg (centre) with Gabungan Parti Sarawak leaders at an event in Kuching last night. Photo: Bernama
Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg (centre) with Gabungan Parti Sarawak leaders at an event in Kuching last night. Photo: Bernama

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy president Joseph Salang has welcomed the appointment of four party members to the new state Cabinet but says the ministerial portfolios should reflect the composition of parties under the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Speaking last night, he said the state Cabinet had yet to reflect a stronger Iban representation.

“As orphans, we hope the chief minister will consider distributing portfolios according to the contributions of the party,” he said.

He also voiced hope that Abang Johari Openg would allocate adequate portfolios for PRS and take into consideration the views of each component in the coalition.

“It was very much in line with what we had suggested,” he said on the Cabinet line-up, “but had we been able to put our views across, maybe it needs slight improvements in terms of representation.”

Adding however that this was only the beginning of the term, he expressed confidence that Abang Johari would fine-tune his Cabinet.

“When realignments occur, hopefully PRS will be given better representation,” Salang said.

The new Cabinet line-up comprises 10 ministers and 26 assistant ministers.

Abang Johari himself oversees several portfolios as the finance and new economy minister, natural resources and urban development minister as well as the energy and environmental sustainability minister.

PBB holds most of the ministerial portfolios with eight, while SUPP and PRS hold two and one portfolio respectively.

Of the 26 assistant ministers, 17 are PBB members and four are from PRS.

Samalaju assemblyman Majang Anak Renggi, the only new face, was appointed as assistant minister for infrastructure and port development; Batang Ai assemblyman Malcolm Mussen anak Lamoh is assistant minister for international trade and investment; Ngemah assemblyman Liwan Lagang is assistant minister for utility and telecommunication; and Balai Ringin assemblyman Snowdan anak Lawan is assistant minister for creative industry and performing arts.

Kakus assemblyman John Sikie Tayai meanwhile is the state’s minister in the Chief Minister’s Department.

Salang also spoke of his disappointment in failing to reach the chief minister soon after the election.

“With all the congratulatory messages, it was so difficult to respond, and we were of course very hopeful that we would also be sharing the trophies once the Cabinet was formed.

“But unfortunately, the next few days after the election, we were not able to successfully communicate with you and therefore our request and message could not have reached you,” he said.