GEORGE TOWN, August 16 — Datuk Keramat councilor Jagdeep Singh Deo, formerly the local government and housing state exco, today celebrates Penang II. He was sworn in as deputy prime minister.
He was sworn in after the new Batu Maung councilor Prof Datuk Mohamad Abdul Hamid was sworn in as Penang deputy prime minister I.
The province’s new exco roster of seven new faces is sworn in today at Dewan Sri Pinang.
Among the new faces are Barisan Nasional councilor Sungai Acheh Rashidi Zinol, Sungai Pinang councilor Lim Siew Khim, Jawi councilor H’ng Mooi Lye, Padang Lalang councilor Gooi Zi Sen, Perai councilor Datuk Seri S.Sundarajoo and Pantai Jerejak Councilor Fahmi Zainol.
The new state exco roster, which did not include Prime Minister Chow Kon Yeow, consisted of one BN councilor, seven from the DAP and two from the PKR.
BN’s Bertam councilor Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican was not on the list.
Instead, Rashidi will hold the sole BN exco and the business and entrepreneurial development and rural development portfolio.
Besides the deputy prime minister I have appointed, Prof Mohamad (from PKR) also chairs the Islamic development, education and national unity committee, while Jagdeep holds the human capital development, science and technology portfolio.
Zairil Khir Johari, a member of the Tanjung Bungah council from DAP, continued his duties as the state exco responsible for infrastructure, transportation and digital development.
Paya Terubong councilor Wong Hon Wai (DAP), who was previously the provincial exco from 2008 to 2013, will hold the tourism and creative economy portfolio.
Third-term Sungai Pinang councilor Lim Siew Khim (DAP) will chair the committee on social development, welfare and non-Islamic religious affairs.
Second-term Jawi councilor H’ng (DAP) will chair the local government and city and country planning committee.
Gooi, another second-term councilor from the DAP, will take charge of the youth, sports and health portfolio, while first-term councilor Sundarajoo will lead the housing and environment committee.
Fahmi Zainol, the second PKR councilor at Exco, will become chairman of the agricultural technology and food security and cooperative development committee.
Later, at a press conference, Chow said that most state foreigners from the DAP, with the exception of Sunderajoo, are second- or third-term state legislators.
“Sunderajoo has experience in the housing industry,” he said.
When asked about the composition of the state exco and the reduction of three PKR excos to two, he replied that the composition was based on the number of seats won.
He added that the PKR has only two Malay councilors this time.
“We want to be represented from all races at Exco,” he said.
He also said it’s a matter of give and take between the union government that the exco seat allocation takes into account not only those in Penang but also those in other PH-BN states.
As for Amanah, she said Azrul Mahathir Aziz, the sole councilor, would be proposed as Vice-President for the state legislature.
When asked about the possible conflict of interest regarding his appointment as a housing and environment exco, as Sunderajoo is a former housing developer manager, Chow said there was no conflict of interest.
“As far as I know, he has no interest in the company, he was a manager before that, he resigned from his position and is not the owner of the company,” he said.
He said Sunderajoo has decades of experience in residential development, so he can hold the portfolio in terms of understanding the technical details of the development.
“By law, not just him but any state exco is allowed to own any business, and I believe all state excos meet this requirement,” he said.
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