One particular date the 30th of May 2008 is being penned as an Important date when the 24 State Legislative Council Members will know whether they have kept their respective portfolios as Ministers and Assistant Ministers. When the CM was asked on the 8th of April when he would reshuffle the Cabinet, he said it would be after the state legislative assembly sitting which just ended yesterday the 14th of May. Will the Chief Minister who has the prerogrative on the final list add on to the present 24 member cabinet or make just minor adjustments to bring in new blood?
The 30th of May 2008 will just be perfect says a BN Party Member who himself is a Dayak. It will be a timely present for the Dayak community as they will be celebrating the Gawai “Harvest Festival”.It’s a festival celebrated in Sarawak on 1 June every year and is both a religious and social occasion.It is also a thanksgiving day marking good harvest and a time to plan for the new farming season or activities ahead.
The New Blood as a former group editor puts it will benefit the Bidayuh community mosts as they were not included in the Federal Cabinet set-up. Amongst them are two Assemblymen from 2 different BN Component parties. The frontrunner will be Tasik Biru Assemblymen Peter Nansian who is a Senior Vice-President of SPDP while the other hopeful would be Bengoh Assemblymen Dr Belek Jerip ak.Susil a SUPP Supreme Council Member. YB Frederick Bayoi (Kedup) was quick to point out that the stories that has been circulating that they staged a “silent protests” IN the DUN session was unfounded and uncalled for.
It looks almost certain that the following from PBB as one PBB party stalwart puts it to 4 names in the CM’s preferred lists as Assistant Ministers and is also a very good mix of Malay,Iban and Melanau YBs . Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (Asajaya) Dr Stephen Rundi (Kemena) Aidan Wing (Lambir) and YB Puan Sharifah Hasidah(Semariang). The Asajaya YB who is presently the ADUN Backbenchers Chairman is also the Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister. Dr.Stephen Rundi the Sarawak Riverboards Chairman is also a strong candidate as he is the Secretary-General of PBB. Hornbill Skyways Chairman Aidan Wing will replace the void for the Head of the Christian Melanau community. There has been strong requests for women representation and YB Puan Sharifah Hasidah stands a very good chance to carry on the footsteps left by her mother YB.Datuk Hajah Sharifah Mordiah Bt.Tuanku Haji Fauzi who served as the Assistant Minister of Social Welfare and Women Affairs.
Another name widely speculated to be given a Ministerial position is Datuk Seri Adenan Satem (Former Federal Environment and Natural Resources Minister) He has been very quiet of late and do not rule him out as the Chief Minister does have a soft spot for him. He was after all the Chief Minister’s trusted General before and Pehin Sri would find the best way and the right time to bring Adenan back into the cabinet. Would you dare rule this scenario out?
SUPP will fight for at least 1 Chinese representation to replace the two Assistant Ministers who lost in the Kuching area. YBhg Datuk Sim Kheng Hui (Secretary General) losts in Pending and YBhg Datuk Alfred Yap Chin Loi(Publicity and Information Secretary) in Kota Sentosa. The possible candidate in the party’s mind would be the present Padawan Council Chairman Tan Joo Phoi who is also the Assemblymen for Batu Kawah. It will represent a right balance for SUPP Assistant Ministers in all the regions
There are strong indications that the Chief Minister would maintain the two PRS Assistant Ministers in Datuk Dublin Unting (Lubok Antu) and Larry Sng (Pelagus). This way the chess game would be complete for the Chief Minister as he will be able to checkmate the forces that are unhappy with his earlier decisions of replacing Jimmy Donald and Jawah Gerang as candidates in the last Parliamentary Elections.
PRS President Datuk Seri James Masing would however welcome the exclusion of YB Larry Sng as (Assistant Minister.) Larry (ADUN Pelagus) has after all he led a group of loyalists to dethrone Datuk Seri James Masing as the President. He would push for the inclusion of Mong Dagang( ADUN Bukit Bangunan) who also holds an important posts in the party as PRS Youth Chief.
Some PRS insiders and members has said that ,’The President would sought a “little help” from his friends in PBB most notably YB DATUK PATINGGI TAN SRI (DR) ALFRED JABU ANAK NUMPANG or YB DATO SRI HAJI AWANG TENGAH ALI HASAN” in this pursuit. This is one way of thanking YB Mong for his loyalty towards him.
Who else will be dropped is the next question in asking? In the PBB circles the strong indications are that 1.YB Dr.Abang Hj.Abdul Rauf B.Abang Hj.Zen (Assistant Minister of Environment) 2.YB.Datuk Ambrose Blikau Ak.Enturan (Assistant Minister of infrastucture Development) and 3.YB.Tuan Haji Bolhassan B.Haji Di ( Assistant Minister of Technology) are the names most likely to be dropped to make way for the new blood.
The Sarawak cabinet re-shuffle is indeed in the pipeline and the speculative date has been set.The Chief Minister holds the names of the Ministers and Assistant Ministers close to his chest and it will be a matter of time before he announces it. It could even be a few day’s time or one or two month’s time. However the speculative date did start from the 8th of April 2008.
A former personal aide of the CM mentioned to me once that the CM will go through the lists at least 7 times and will only disclose the names on the day of announcement. It is pointless to speculate on “CM’s Team” in the cabinet re-shuffle.
After all it’s the Chief Minister’s exclusive privilege on the Cabinet lineup.