Loh takes oath as Nominated YB
Published on: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP treasurer Loh Ee Eng took his oath as a Nominated Assemblyman before State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali, Monday.

The 55-year old, when met after the ceremony, expressed his gratitude to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and the DAP leadership for nominating him to the post.

He said he is looking forward to carrying his duties. “But first, I need to meet the Chief Minister to know more in detail about my duties and responsibilities.”

“In the meantime, I’ll just continue to perform my tasks as the Community Development Leader of Likas,” he said. His appointment as the first non-Sabah-born Nominated  Assemblyman was the subject of hot political debate.

 Born in Penang, Loh has lived in Sabah since 1999. He is married to a Sabahan, Soh Kee Suat and was a DAP member for seven years. He is currently the party’s state treasurer, a post he has been holding since 2015.

 Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said by appointing a non-Sabahan, the State Government had showed no respect to the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

 He said it amounted to setting a dangerous precedent of opening the floodgates to non-Sabahans and leaders from Peninsular Malaysia-based parties to occupy political positions in the Sabah administration that were meant for Sabah-borns.

Shafie, however, told critics to stop harping on the appointment and that it did not go against the Sabah constitution.

 Sabah DAP also defended their choice of selecting Loh and accused critics of being sour grapes.

Loh was nominated to the post under the DAP quota following the sudden death of Sandakan Member of Parliament Datuk Stephen Wong, who was also the State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister by virtue of his appointment as Nominated Assemblyman.

 Another MP who is also a Nominated Assemblyman is Upko President Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, who is Sabah Deputy Chief Minister as well the State Minister of Trade and Industry.

 The other Nominated Assemblymen are Terence Siambun, Loretto Padua from Warisan and Jaffari Walliam from PKR.

The Sabah Head of State may, at the advice of the Chief Minister, appoint not more than six nominated members of the Assembly.

 The provision for Nominated Assemblymen was only accorded to Sabah at the time of independence as the departing colonial administration feared that minorities would lose out in representation in the State Assembly under a democratic system.

 However, critics have argued that every successive State Government since the first State elections have rewarded cronies and supporters with Nominated Assemblyman posts.

 The practice was discontinued when Sabah Umno took over in 2003 when it ended the rotation of the CM posts. The grounds for discontinuation were that the enlarged assembly of 60 members was adequately represented without the need for Nominated Member posts that were a drain on tax payer’s money. 


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