GEORGE TOWN (May 9): In a surprise move, newcomer Mohd Rashid Hasnon of PKR has been appointed the new Deputy Chief Minister (I) of Penang, while Prof P Ramasamy of DAP has been retained as Deputy Chief Minister (II).
The appointments were announced after the Pakatan Rakyat state government's executive council were sworn in at the Dewan Seri Pinang this morning at the close of the 13th general election. Rashid, who won the Pantai Jerejak seat, is a first-time assemblyman, while Ramasamy successfully defended his Prai seat. The other members of the executive council sworn in today were Chow Kon Yeow (DAP-Padang Kota), Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim (PKR-Batu Maung), Chong Eng (DAP-Padang Lalang), Lim Hock Seng (DAP-Bagan Jermal), Danny Law Heng Kiang (DAP-Batu Lancang), Phee Boon Poh (DAP-Sungai Puyu), Jagdeep Singh (DAP-Datuk Keramat) and Dr Afiff Bahardin (PKR-Seberang Jaya). The ceremony was presided by Penang Yang diPertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas. Also present was second-term chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who had defended his Air Putih state seat. Meanwhile, Penang PKR chief Datuk Mansor Othman confirmed to reporters that the State Assembly Speaker’s seat (assigned to a PKR member under the Pakatan Rakyat arrangement in the state) would be given to Law Choo Kiang, who won the Bukit Tambun seat. Law was a state exco in the previous term. The Deputy Speaker’s seat will be given to Dr Norlela Ariffin, the PKR assemblywoman for Penanti. In a statement, returned Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng referred to the new team as 'Penang state exco line-up 2.0,' as this is the second consecutive term of the Pakatan coalition government in the state, following victories in the elections of March 8, 2008 and May 5, 2013. Lim pledged that the line-up would empower and enrich the people by recognising their rights and responsibilities, and helping them become more aware and learned, without regard for differences in race, religion and political background. "I believe that this new team will mirror Pakatan Rakyat’s aspiration to be the voice for all, to act justly towards all, and to help everyone," he said. He also expressed thanks to newly appointed Speaker Law as well as DAP’s Wong Hon Wai and Lydia Ong Kok Fui who were not retained in the executive council despite successfully defending their Air Itam and Berapit seats respectively, for having served and contributed in the council in the previous term. “They will continue to be given important roles by the state to together make Penang clean, green, healthy and safe,” Lim said. The portfolios of the new Penang state executive council are as follows: Lim Guan Eng (Chief Minister) Chairman of Committee on:- • Land Matters & Land Development • Information • Heritage & Non-Islamic Religious Affairs Mohd Rashid Hasnon (Deputy Chief Minister I) Chairman of Committee on: • Industrial Development & International Trade • Copperatives & Community Relations • Entrepreneur Development Prof. P. Ramasamy (Deputy Chief Minister II) Chairman of Committee on: • State Economic Planning • Education & Human Resources • Science, Technology & Innovation Chow Kon Yeow Chairman of Committee on: • Local Government • Traffic Management • Flood Mitigation Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim Chairman of Committee on: • Religious Affairs • Domestic Trade • Consumer Affairs Chong Eng Chairman of Committee on: • Youth & Sports • Women, Family & Community Development • Arts Lim Hock Seng Chairman of Committee on: • Works • Utilities (Energy, Water & Telecommunication) • Transport (Air, Sea & Train) Law Heng Kiang Chairman of Committee on: • Tourism Development • Culture Phee Boon Poh Chairman of Committee on: • Welfare • Caring Society • Environment Jagdeep Singh Deo Chairman of Committee on: • Town & Country Planning • Housing Dr. Afif Bahardin Chairman of Committee on: • Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry • Rural Development • Health