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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Baru Bian to be works minister, says report

The Sarawak PKR chief is expected to be sworn in as the first member of the Lun Bawang community to serve in the federal Cabinet.
As works minister Baru Bian will have to deal with controversial projects like the ECRL and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore HSR. (File pic)
PETALING JAYA: Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian has been selected to serve as works minister in the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, a report said today.
The Borneo Post said the Selangau MP was instructed by the Prime Minister’s Department on Thursday to make himself available for a ceremony at Istana Negara on Monday, where other new ministers are also expected to be sworn in.
It said the two-term Ba’kelalan assemblyman had informed his close associates about being offered to head the works portfolio in the Cabinet in a Lun Bawang-language WhatsApp message after the official invitation was made to attend the swearing-in.
The report quoted former Bukit Mas MP Mutang Tagal, who is now Malaysia’s honorary consul to Romania, as saying that it was a big honour for the Lun Bawang community to have its first federal minister and a boon to Sarawak.
He said Baru would have tough decisions to make on the controversial East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR) projects which the PH government wanted to review or do away with, as well as other high-profile projects in Peninsular Malaysia.
“I am sure he will learn fast and he knows how vital infrastructures are from his personal experience as a boy who walked through mountains, crossing rivers come rain or shine through the jungles to go to school taking a week,” Tagal said.
He added that the Lun Bawang community was looking forward to a tar-sealed road from Lawas to Ba’kelalan, while the people of Sarawak and Sabah were waiting for the Pan Borneo Highway under the works ministry to be completed.
Thus far, a total of 13 ministers have been sworn in to serve in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Of the 13, three are from PKR. -FMT

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