KOTA KINABALU, Sept 29 — Newly installed Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has played down the sudden switch of portfolios among state ministers moments after they were sworn into the positions.
He denied this was due to yet another internal tussle among Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition partners, following rumours that Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) were squabbling over the choice of portfolios.
Bersatu and Umno had clashed over which party should get to supply the CM, which was only resolved after Bung conceded the position to Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor yesterday.
“There was no issue, it was just a mere miscommunication; we are happy that we are part of the government.
“These changes (of portfolios) can happen according to our needs, so there is no issue,” he said.
Earlier, Hajiji announced unexpectedly that Bung would be the state works minister despite taking his oath of office to be Sabah’s local government and housing minister earlier.
Hajiji’s given reason for the reshuffling was to load Bersatu deputy chairman Masidi Manjun with more responsibilities.
Bung also expressed confidence in the solidity of GRS as a coalition, saying he was sure the current administration has formed a pact that can last.
“I am very confident this government can last long.
Bung dismissed fears of the elected representatives defecting, similar to what had happened after Election 2018 when Parti Warisan Sabah formed the government, 48 hours after Tan Sri Musa Aman and the Sabah Barisan Nasional took their oath of office.
He also denied there being any attempts to entice GRS assemblymen, saying they “are all well trained”.
“They do not want any negotiations, we do not want anyone to jump anymore,” he said.
GRS, a loose coalition coined for the recent Sabah state elections, managed to secure 38 seats in the polls with three independents later declaring support for the pact.
The coalition consists of component parties under BN, Perikatan Nasional, and local outfit Parti Bersatu Sabah now has 41 out of the 73 seats in the State Legislative Assembly.