KOTA KINABALU, Sept 29 — Barely hours after newly installed Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor was sworn in at Istana Negeri, the Sabah Perikatan Nasional chief made a minor reshuffle to his Cabinet.
The reshuffle involved Sabah Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and Bersatu deputy chairman Masidi Manjun.
He said Bung, who was announced as Housing and Local Government minister, will be swapping his portfolio with Masidi’s Works Ministry.
“I want to explain that the works minister is Datuk Bung. Masidi is finance minister II as well as housing and local government minister,” he said during a press conference today.
He said he needs Masidi’s experience to help him with boosting the state’s economy.
When asked why a switch was made so soon after the announcement, Hajiji denied it was due to any disagreement but ostensibly to give an additional portfolio to Masidi.
He then said all GRS parties agreed to the reshuffle.
Hajiji also said five more state ministers along with the assistant ministers will be sworn in soon.
On whether there would be a Chinese leader in the Cabinet to represent the minority community, Hajiji said he would look into this as well as the option of appointing nominated assemblymen to fill up the post.
“We will discuss it among all our friends in PN, BN and PBS.
Hajiji said his first priority would be to revive the state economy, which has been in a slump following the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said he would have an inclusive government that would look after the interests of all Sabahans regardless of race or political affiliations.
Earlier, Hajiji announced three deputy chief ministers — Bung, STAR president Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan, who will also be agriculture and fisheries minister; and Datuk Joachim Gunsalam who will also be trade and industry minister.
PBS secretary-general Datuk Jahid Jahim will hold the rural development portfolio.
Hajiji is expected to take up the powerful finance portfolio.