Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today announced his cabinet reshuffle, the first after he assumed office last January.
He named Bukit Sari Assemblyman Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as his new deputy, to bring the number to three Deputy Chief Ministers.
The other two Deputy Chief Ministers are James Jemut Masing and Douglas Uggah Embas.
Abang Johari was speaking to the media after officiating the Parti Pesaka Bumputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) 2017 Convention at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) in Kuching.
He also announced the appointment of two new ministers – Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who has been promoted as the Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister and Talip Zulpilip who has been promoted to Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office.
New faces in his line-up up include the former chief political secretary to the Chief Minister, Abdullah Saidol, who is now the Assistant Minister in charge of Corporate Affairs, and Balai RIngin state assemblyman and Parti Rakyat Sarawak’s Youth chief Snowdan Lawan, who is now the Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports.
He also renamed the Ministry of Finance as the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; and the Ministry of Urban Development as the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources, which he both led.
Abang Johari also renamed the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture as the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development which is under Uggah.
Meanwhile Abang Johari appointed former second finance minister Wong Soon Koh to head the International Trade and E-commerce Ministry, while former Youth, Sports and Solidarity Minister Michael Manyin is now the Education, Science and Technological Research Minister.
Masing and three other ministers, Stephen Rundi, Sim Kui Hian, and Fatimah Abdullah remained in their respective ministries.
Commenting on his appointment, Awang Tengah said he did not expect and neither was he aware of it.
“It is a new responsibility, and I will do my best,” he said when met after the announcement.
Meanwhile Abdullah Saidol said his portfolio was not a new thing to him as he came from a corporate world before joining politics in 2011 and hoped to do his best.
Both thanked Abang Johari for his trust in them.
Awang Tengah, who is also in charge of the Industrial and Entrepreneur Development Ministry, and the two new ministers are expected to be sworn in at the Astana tomorrow. –Bernama