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20 ministers, deputy ministers from East Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 (Bernama) -- The appointment of a substantial number of ministers and deputy ministers from Sabah and Sarawak is very appropriate in paving the way for them to play a major role in the federal government, said an academician from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Prof Dr Teo Kok Seong from the Institute of Malay World and Civilization Malay also regarded their appointments as a reward by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for their loyalty and support to the party.

"I think both states are well rewarded this time, for their support all these while to the BN. It is really a very positive and well thought move by the Prime Minister.

"It reflects the recognition accorded by the Prime Minister for voters in both states," he told Bernama, here.

Sabah and Sarawak had always been regarded as fix deposits of Barisan Nasional, by contributing a large number parliamentary seats, to the coalition.

Of the 133 seats won by Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election, 22 were from Sabah, while Sarawak contributed 25 seats.

Teo also added that their appointment was long overdue, and should have happened two or three general elections ago.

"BN really owe to them (voters in Sabah and Sarawak) to maintain their power in the federal level," he said.

He added that appointments of more ministers and deputy ministers from Sabah and Sarawak can help boost the national integration, and strengthen unity among people in the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

A total of 20 elected representatives from Sabah and Sarawak, 10 from each state, were appointed as Ministers and deputy ministers, the first time in the country's history that a large number of representatives were appointed to the Cabinet.

Sabah was represented by Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (Minister in the Prime Minister's Department), Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (Foreign Minister), Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (Rural and Regional Development Minister), Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahalan (Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister), Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili (Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister) and Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin (Science, Technology and Innovation Minister).

Those who were appointed deputy ministers are Mary Yap (Education Ministry) Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun (Women, Family and Community Development Ministry), Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin (Works Ministry) and Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri (Defence Ministry).

Those from Sarawak appointed as ministers were Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun and Nancy Shukry (all in the Prime Minister's Department), Datuk Fadillah Yusof (Works Minister), Datuk Richard Riot (Human Resources Minister), Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim (Women, Family and Community Development Minister).

Elected representatives from Sarawak appointed as deputy ministers were Datuk James Dawos Mamit (Natural Resources and Environment), Datuk Joseph Salang (Tourism and Culture), Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (Rural and Regional Development) and Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar (Home Ministry).

In the last Cabinet, there were 11 ministers and deputy ministers from Sabah and Sarawak.


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