KOTA KINABALU, May 17 — The two new DAP leaders to join the Sabah Cabinet today pledged their full commitment to improve the lives and livelihood of residents in the rugged northeast Borneo state.
Newly appointed Youth and Sports Minister Ginger Phoong Jin Zhe, 30, said that he was humbled and flattered to be chosen for the position despite his young age and would endeavor to be the voice of the youth in Sabah.
“As the new government now enters into its first year of governance, I know deep down that with this appointment, there is no time for me to slack. I pledge to be the voice of the youth in the Cabinet, fighting for a better future for the youths during my term as their minister,” he said in a statement.
Phoong said that his childhood passion was playing basketball barefoot on the street and he would use this as motivation to remind himself that sports facilities are needed to cultivate excellent talents, and these facilities do not only include professional venues, but also parks and stadiums around residential areas.
“Improving the sports facilities in residential parks and making sports accessible to all people, is one of the keys to building a livable city and would be one of my focuses
“I welcome everyone to give me their ideas and suggestions. To all my voters, you don't have to advertise on the newspaper to congratulate me. I only ask that you write to me your ideas so I can be a minister you can be proud of,” said the Luyang assemblyman.
Meanwhile, Health and Public Well Being Minister Datuk Frankie Poon, who was the former youth and sports minister said that the move was a welcome one and thanked Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for his trust and confidence.
The post was vacant following the death of Poon’s predecessor Datuk Stephen Wong Tien Fatt last March 28. The subsequent Sandakan by-election from April 27 to May 11 was won by Wong’s 30-year-old daughter Vivian on a DAP ticket in a stunning landslide.
“The past one year working within the state Cabinet under the leadership of Shafie has been cordial and meaningful and I pledge to work even harder with the objective to serve the people, particularly the poor, sick and needy.
“As the acting chairman of Sabah state DAP, I will continue to work closely with our DAP headquarters and our party members in Sabah so that we can serve the people more effectively,” he said.
The two will take their oath as new ministers along with Sabah DAP treasurer Loh Ee Eng as a nominated assemblyman next Tuesday.