Friday, March 14, 2008


FEDERAL POST? Pairin says only PM has a clear idea of new line-up


PBS President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday denied rumours that he had been offered a Federal ministerial post. He said the rumours were part of a mass of speculations on the new Federal Cabinet under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is expected to unveil the line-up after meeting with leaders of all Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties. Pairin, one of three candidates to win parliamentary seats under the BN-PBS banner in the just concluded general election, noted that there is not one person aside from the Prime Minister himself with a clear idea of the new Cabinet line-up. “I cannot comment on this issue, otherwise I would be pre-empting something I do not know.., it is now a waiting game and we will all have to wait until tomorrow (today),” he said at a press conference at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) on his return from Kuala Lumpur. Pairin was in Kuala Lumpur yesterday for a meeting of BN component parties with Abdullah and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, where he presented the PBS’ list of Members of Parliament. When asked if the Prime Minister gave any indication of PBS’ inclusion on the Federal Cabinet, Pairin avoided a direct answer, only saying that Abdullah was in a “very good mood, a jovial mood”. On a separate issue, Pairin said the statement by newly-appointed Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng to “do away” with the New Economic Policy (NEP) was unwise. “It (the effectiveness of the NEP) all depends, you must not forget that the NEP has had some changes and to just simply say do away with the NEP may not be a wise statement. “We have PAS President (Datuk Seri Abdul) Hadi (Awang) talking of doing away with corruption, cronyism and everything that is not good. Whatever the present Government has reached at whatever level, if it is for the good of the community, I think that program should be continued,” he said, adding that whatever the economic program should lead to equitable distribution, fair results and prosperity for all. When asked to comment on the new Penang Government’s move to waive old parking fees and summonses in the Island State, Pairin said it is not fair to compare states and their administrations. “Every state has its own approach, and the respective Governments will look at the scenario and deal with it as it should…you can’t compare here and Penang,” he said.