Thursday, 16 May 2013

Masing in a huff over cabinet line-up

KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing is disappointed that PRS has been allocated just one full minister and a deputy minister post in the new cabinet.

“PRS is unhappy with the ministerial appointments. It appears that winners are not given due recognition,” Masing told The Borneo Post last night.

He was referring to the appointment of SUPP deputy president Datuk Richard Riot who has been elevated to a full minister even though the party lost its six other seats. Riot has been appointed minister of human resource.

On the other hand, Masing said the promotion of PRS deputy president Datuk Joseph Entulu as a full minister was expected and he thanked the prime minister for it.

“But what I can’t understand is the promotion of Riot as his party SUPP did badly in GE13. They only won one out of seven seats contested. Politics normally is not kind to losers but reward those who win. I am not surprised if PRS MPs are not happy with what happened.

“In terms of ministerial/deputy minister appointments among the MPs of the state’s BN component parties; PBB got 57 per cent; PRS 33 per cent; SUPP 100 per cent and SPDP zero per cent. Where’s the fairness?” he asked.

Besides Entulu, Datuk Joseph Salang has been appointed deputy minister of tourism.

Masing had hoped PRS would be allocated one full minister and two deputy ministers since the party had won all six seats it contested in the last general election.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Minister of Plantations Industries and Commodities Dato Sri Douglas Uggah Embas said his immediate task would be to focus on increasing the income of farmers.

“I can see that my immediate task will be looking at how to ensure our farmers have higher income. What it means is to focus on commodities which have good prices such as rubber, pepper and palm oil.

“And in the long run, we have to promote smallholdings among our farmers to achieve high income economy in the near future,” said Uggah.

He added that he would strive to maintain Malaysia’s position as a major exporter of palm oil in the global market.

“It will be a very heavy responsibility especially when oil palm is facing stiff competition from other oils,” he said.

“As for Sarawak, we will look at how we can further develop our NCR land into small holdings so it would benefit the owners,” said the MP for Betong.

Douglas, 58, who succeeds Tan Sri Bernard Dompok who lost in the just-concluded general election, was the natural resources and environment minister in the previous cabinet. Meanwhile, Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party president Tan Sri William Mawan said the federal cabinet list is not exhaustive.

“There may be some room for SPDP,” he said, adding that he would be talking to the prime minister on the matter soon.-theborneopost

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