Sabah BN partners play ‘musical chairs’

By Dominic Legeh, Free Malaysia Today

PENAMPANG: Sabah Barisan Nasional component parties are eyeing each other warily following the appointment of a second deputy chief minister from one party and the rapid rise of Gerakan in state politics.

After the dismay of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and quiet alarm of PBRS over Chief Minister Musa Aman’s appointment of PBS deputy president Dr Yee Moh Chai as DCM, Upko president Bernard Dompok played down the matter.

The Plantation, Industries and Commodities Minister refused to be drawn into the debate over what his coalition partners term as unfair preferring to focus on what the government needs to accomplish.

Yee’s appointment as the new DCM after incumbent Peter Pang was dropped from the post after joining Gerakan, has handed an unprecedented two similar top cabinet posts to PBS.

PBS leader Joseph Pairin Kitingan already occupies the other Deputy Chief Minister post representing the Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) community.

Dompok yesterday congratulated Yee and said PBS was at the right place at the right time (to get the posts), but added cautiously that the appointment was a huge responsibility in the run-up to the next general election.

“It is important for all those involved in the state and federal governments to be able to deliver and show to the people their
abilities and capacities to see that they are well represented and the government is able to look for a solution to their problems.

“I wish Yee success in whatever he is going to do to represent the BN in the context of his portfolio as the Deputy Chief Minister from the Chinese side,” he said.

The Upko leader’s response alludes to the fact that Yee and PBS have struggled to woo the Chinese community back to the party.

Creating opportunities

Dompok was speaking to reporters after officiating the Persatuan Pengusaha Koko Penampang (PPKP) general meeting held at Kg Putaton Inobong here Saturday.

On peninsula-based Gerakan gaining state cabinet posts despite not contesting in a state election, Dompok said he did not want to comment on it but would like to see them do their respective jobs.

Gerakan gained places in the state cabinet when Pang, who still holds his state Youth and Sport Minister post, became the second minister to join the party after Raymond Tan Shu Kiah who is the Infrastructure Development Minister.

Pang was formerly with BN component LDP, while Tan was formerly with ex-BN component SAPP which pulled out from the coalition.