Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor today announced a reshuffle of the state Cabinet with Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan appointed as deputy chief minister I cum state agriculture and fisheries minister.
Kitingan, who was previously deputy chief minister II, replaced Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Bung Moktar Radin, while Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Joachim Gunsalam, who was previously deputy chief minister III, was appointed as deputy chief minister II.
Joachim was also appointed as local government and housing minister while Putatan assemblyman Shahelmy Yahya of BN was appointed as deputy chief minister III cum works minister, a position 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 appreciate the need to ensure that efforts to develop the state run smoothly and without any interference, as hoped for by the people.
"Political stability is important to achieve this goal," Hajiji said in a statement today.
Hajiji also named Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Christina Liew (PKR-Api-Api) as state tourism, culture and environment minister.
Luyang assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe of DAP was appointed as industrial development minister while James Ratib (BN-Sugut) who was earlier state deputy agriculture and fisheries minister was appointed as community development and people’s well-being minister.
Two assemblymen switched portfolios, with Keranaan assemblyman Masidi Manjun of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), who was earlier local government and housing minister, appointed as finance minister, and Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif (GRS-Membakut) who was previously state minister of special functions, appointed as minister of science, technology and innovation.
Two other assemblymen retained their portfolios: state rural development minister Jahid Jahim (GRS-Tamparuli), and youth and sports minister Ellron Angin (GRS-Sook).
With the Cabinet reshuffle, Hajiji no longer holds any portfolio, having given the post of finance minister to Masidi.
Of the 11 Sabah state Cabinet members, seven are from GRS, two from BN and two from PH.
On Jan 8, Hajiji claimed he had obtained the support of 44 Sabah assemblymen comprising 29 from GRS, seven from PH, five from BN, one from PAS, one from Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah and one independent.