Reshuffle of Sabah Cabinet apt to be in line with current politics – Analyst

By Rohana Nasrah
KOTA KINABALU, Dec 16 (Bernama) — A reshuffle of the Sabah Cabinet is necessary so that the composition of the state government’s administration is aligned with the support of political parties that won seats in the 16th State Election two years ago for the unity government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Political analyst Dr Syahruddin Awang Ahmad said the Cabinet reshuffle was also important to realign the structure of the state’s leadership structure by also taking into account the participation of Sabah State Assembly members from Pakatan Harapan (PH), a coalition led by Anwar, so that it is seen as having credibility, as well as clear direction, for the good of Sabah.
“However, the participation of PH component parties (in the state Cabinet) depends on negotiations between the prime minister and Sabah chief minister.
“There should be a win-win situation and understanding so that communications and interactions between the federal and state governments can be optimised,” said the researcher at GeoPolitics and Electoral Studies (GeOpeS), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to Bernama.
Syahruddin however said that if there is no reshuffle of the state Cabinet, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor should be retained as chief minister even though he has left Bersatu, while GRS to remain with its status quo as the state government until the end of the term.
Last Dec 10, Hajiji announced that all Bersatu leaders in Sabah unanimously left the party, but they remained under GRS.
GRS previously consisted of Bersatu, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and the United Sabah National Organisation  (USNO) which joined the Barisan Nasional (BN) to administer the Sabah government.
Meanwhile, commenting on the move by the Bersatu leadership in Sabah in leaving the party, another political analyst, Dr Romzi Ationg, who is a senior lecturer at UMS, suggested that state assembly members from the party join any local party or establish a new party before the anti-party hoping law is implemented in the state.
“As for the (Sabah Bersatu) parliamentary members, they should remain as GRS members and not join other parties,” he added.
Romzi also opined that a reshuffle of the Sabah Cabinet is necessary to meet the demands of the current political alignment at the federal level following the results of the 15th General Election which led to a hung Parliament.
On the current political situation in Sabah, Romzi said that the state’s politics is never free of controversy due to the attitude of politicians who are not united, like to blame or bring down others through various methods.
A senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sabah, Tony Paridi Bagang, said the GRS’ support for the unity government is clear,  while the move by the party leaders in leaving Bersatu reflects the effort by GRS to form a genuine local political coalition similar to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
The move is also a strong signal from the Sabah government that it can no longer be dictated by external political parties in matters concerning state affairs, he added.


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