GRS appoints the first PAS assemblyman in Sabah

by AZREEN HANI / graphic by MZUKRI

THE Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led government has appointed a PAS state secretary and former chief minister (CM) to the Sabah assembly.

The full state Cabinet line-up yesterday revealed that Sabah PAS secretary Dr Aliaakbar Gulasan (picture) was among the six appointed assemblymen, together with Sabah Progressive Party president and ex-state CM Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.

Other appointed representatives were deputy state Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Srikandi chief Datuk Amisah Yassin, Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Raime Unggi, Sabah Umno treasurer Suhaimi Nasir and former Parti Keadilan Rakyat Libaran division chief Jaffari William.

Speaker Datuk Kadzim M Yahya, five ministers and 18 assistant ministers were also sworn in by Sabah Yang Dipertua Tun Juhar Mahiruddin yesterday.

Sabah CM Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor was absent during the ceremony as he was reportedly undergoing self-quarantine for two weeks after having been exposed to a Covid-19 positive individual.

Umno holds four full minister posts and Bersatu three, while Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat Sabah (Sabah STAR) each holds two.

As for the assistant ministers, Umno holds six, Bersatu five, PBS and Sabah STAR each holds three, with one being held by an independent, Datuk Ruddy Awah.

The state constitution states that the government may appoint up to six nominated members to the state assembly.

Meanwhile, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang thanked Hajiji for Aliaakbar’s appointment.

“Many thanks to Sabah CM Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for their trust in appointing Aliaakbar as a nominated Sabah assemblyman,” Abdul Hadi said on his Twitter.

“It opens a new chapter for Sabah PAS to forge a closer relation with the community of various races and ethnicities in Sabah,” he added.

PAS did not contest in a single seat in the 16th state poll held on Sept 26.

Prior to this, GRS leaders including Sabah STAR president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffery Kitingan dismissed speculations on the appointment of PAS leaders to the state government, describing it as “fake news”.

PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili had also objected having a PAS leader as a part of the state government, on the basis that the Islamist party did not even contest in the election.

“But in the case of PAS, the fact is that they did not contest or win any seat (in the Sabah election). It is our considered view that any appointment under the provision of the nominated assemblymen slot or any government post-appointment for PAS does not merit consideration by GRS,” Ongkili said in a statement last week.