by Peter Sibon & Wilfred Pilo. Posted on June 7, 2011, Tuesday
Tanjong Datu assemblyman appointed Minister with Special Functions in the Chief Minister’s Office
KUCHING: Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem, 67, was yesterday sworn in as Minister with Special Functions in the Chief Minister’s Office.
Adenan explained that he has no portfolio in the State Cabinet but he would be a minister with special functions to attend to matters which the Chief Minister would entrust to him.
He added that he would operate within the purview of the Chief Minister’s Office.
“Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has spoken to me about this (new appointment) and, among other things, he has asked me to deal with land matters,” Adenan told the media at his office at the Sarawak Foundation Headquarters in Semariang here yesterday.
Taib himself was also Minister of Special Functions at the federal level from 1975-78.
Adenan thanked Taib for continuing to have confidence in him to be a member of the Cabinet.
“With this appointment, my previous position as Special Advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office automatically lapsed,” he explained.
When pressed further about his new portfolio, Adenan, who is Tanjong Datu assemblyman, refused to make any comments as it was “too premature” for him to do so.
Adenan’s latest appointment would further fuel speculations on the Chief Minister’s succession plan.
The other three potential candidates are Deputy Chief Minister and PBB deputy president I Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Minister of Housing and PBB deputy president II Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and PBB senior vice president Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
Political observers said that Taib is well-known for his prowess to handle the state’s political intrigues without hurting anyone of his potential successors.
The observers also noted that Taib would want to strengthen his Cabinet to face a stronger opposition in the June 20-29 sitting of the State Legislative Assembly.
The new YBs from the opposition front include lawyers Baru Bian and See Chee How who are well-known for their expertise in NCR land matters.
Before the state election, Baru had thrown a challenge to Taib for a debate on NCR land issues.
But during the BN Convention on March 5 this year, Taib, who is also the Minister of Planning and Resource Management, had tasked Adenan, who has been in politics since 1978, to take up the challenge instead.