MIRI: The Federation of Sarawak Chinese Associations is upset by the state cabinet reshuffle announced by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg on Saturday.
Its president Hii Teck Yun said the Chinese had wanted the deputy chief minister (DCM) post to be given back to a member of their community since the state was under the leadership of Abang Johari’s predecessor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Former Piasau assemblyman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam was the last DCM to represent the Chinese community.
Dr Chan held the post between Sept 9, 1996 and April 16, 2011 – the year when he lost the seat to Democratic Action Party (DAP) first-timer Alan Ling Sie Kiong in the state election.
“To us, the DCM post should be represented by three major communities in the state. Being the second largest community in Sarawak, it is rational to reserve the post for the Chinese as we want our voices to be loudly heard,” he told reporters at a hotel here on Sunday.
Regarding the unsolved political issues between Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and United People’s Party (UPP), Hii said the federation had no interest in that.
“We have no problem who is chosen to be the Chinese DCM, as long as the person has the leadership and charisma to fight for the interest and welfare matters of the Chinese in the state.”
In this regard, he pointed out that the federation really hoped that the Chief Minister would consider listening to the voice of the Chinese community at grassroots level.
Moreover, he said the federation was also hoping to see an increase in the number of Chinese leaders in the state cabinet, particular in the line-up of assistant ministers.
He said of the total 18 assistant ministers, the Chinese only secured one post – Senadin assemblyman Datuk Lee Kim Shin who is the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“If we look at that new cabinet line-up, the Chinese only have three representatives – two full ministers and one assistant minister,” he pointed out.
Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh holds two portfolios – Second Finance Minister and International Trade and E-Commerce Minister, while Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian is the Local Government and Housing Minister.
The press conference yesterday was also attended by federation’s vice-president Datuk David Goh and its secretary Eii Chin Ho.
Source: The Borneo Post
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