In fact, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan stressed that although the issue has been overly debated in the past, it was the prerogative of the chief minister to decide on what is best for the state.
“This is certainly a political question, and whatever the (state cabinet) formula has been a debatable issue, I do not think we have to be so stuck up and stiff over this kind of things.
“Of course we would like to have a stable quota but at the same time, we must understand that this is the prerogative of the chief minister to make the necessary adjustments and appointments, he or anybody who is the Chief Minister will always have to take into account the aspirations or expectations or wishes of all component political parties,” said Pairin during a press conference after officially handing over the Rural Development Minister portfolio to his successor, Datuk Ewon Ebin, at the ministry’s office here yesterday.
Pairin, who was appointed as the new Infrastructure Development Minister, taking over from outgoing Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, also stressed that sometimes certain changes would however influence in the decision-making.
“Whatever decision made by the chief minister is to ensure that the government’s development programmes would run smoothly and carried out as effectively as it should be,” said Pairin, who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah president.
The issue was raised by Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah Youth movement recently on the need to correct the lopsided distribution of ministerial posts in the state cabinet.
In the past, the distribution of posts was 5:3:2 for Bumiputera Muslim (Umno); KadazanDusun-Muruts (KDMs) and Chinese, respectively.
However, after the recent minor reshuffle announced by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman saw only two KDMs were made full ministers namely Pairin and Ewon, while another three posts have been given to the Chinese community, namely Datuk Peter Pang (Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Youth and Sports Minister); Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (Resource Development and Information Technology Minister) and Tan.
On another development, on the setting up of the Puteri BN movement, Pairin said it would be up to the BN component parties to decide on pursuing the matter further.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had recently welcome the idea of setting up the movement.