[News] Sabah CM denies Shafie Apdal’s claim that Chinese marginalised under GRS govt

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that even though there were no elected or appointed ministers in the state Cabinet, two former chief ministers of Sino descent hold important government posts. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

By Julia Chan

Thursday, 17 Nov 2022 4:08 PM MYT

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 17 — Sabah’s ethnic Chinese community has not been forgotten even without a state minister or assistant minister to represent them in his administration, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said today.

The chairman of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition was responding to state Opposition leader Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal calling out Hajiji for the glaring dearth of a single Sino leader in the latter’s Cabinet.

“I intended on appointing Chinese ministers into the Cabinet but we all know that none of our Chinese candidates for Gabungan Rakyat Sabah won in the last state election.

“So in the next state polls, support our Chinese GRS candidates so I can put them in the Cabinet,” Hajiji said during a rally at the Hakka hall in Sandakan, Sabah’s second largest city after Kota Kinabalu.

Hajiji added that even though there were no elected or appointed ministers in the state Cabinet, two former chief ministers of Sino descent hold important government posts.

He named Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and former Liberal Democratic Party president Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat.

Yong is a nominated state assemblyman while Chong is Hajiji’s tourism adviser.

He also said that the chairman and deputy of the Sabah Economic Advisory Council are from the local Chinese business community.

Hajiji said Shafie was aware that none of GRS-Barisan Nasional candidates succeeded in the 2020 state polls.

He accused Shafie of using it to fish for votes for his Warisan party in the ongoing 15th general election.

“He also knows that in the last state election we did not win in the Chinese area, he deliberately brought up Chinese sentiments, but I am sure that the Chinese people are smart and good at judging,” he said.

Hajiji said that such sentiments should not be played out in politics, simply to attract the support of the Chinese people.

He said focus now should be on restoring Sabah’s post-Covid economy and development.

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