KUCHING, July 17 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Youth today urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg to appoint one of its state lawmakers as a second full minister in the event of a state Cabinet reshuffle.
SUPP chief Michael Tiang said there would be a vacuum in the state Cabinet once Parti Bersatu Sarawak (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh resigns as the state’s minister of international trade and e-commerce and second minister of finance.
“It is inevitable that there will be a reshuffle and the chief minister has to restructure his Cabinet. Therefore, I would like to propose a second full ministerial post for our party,” he said.
“Although the ministerial portfolio is up to the prerogative of the chief minister to decide, I believe that the additional Chinese in the cabinet will reflect the diversity of Sarawak.
“Sarawak can show the way to the rest of Malaysia that we are indeed a close-knit, big family in terms of living and working together,” Tiang said, adding that SUPP could serve the people better if is allocated with the second full minister.
SUPP currently has Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian as a full minister with Datuk Lee Kim Sin and Datuk Francis Harden as assistant ministers.
Tiang said it would also good if the party is given more positions as assistant ministers as the party has stood by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) through thick and thin and never wavered in its loyalty to the state government or its coalition parties.
Wong, who has been state minister of finance for the last 15 years, will resign within the next few days after meeting the chief minister.
He was made a minister when he was with SUPP and continued to hold the post after he and his factions formed PSB.
Wong had claimed that he could no longer be in the state Cabinet as his party was now hostile towards the GPS component parties.
His decision to step down from the state Cabinet was endorsed at the just-concluded party’s annual delegates conference.