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|Friday, March 16, 2001, updated at 18:30(GMT+8)|
Malaysian PM Announces New Chief Minister of Sabah StateMalaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced Friday the name of the new chief minister of the Sabah State under the chief ministership rotation system for the state.
Sabah Tourism Development, Environment, Science and Technology Minister Chong Kah Kiat will take over as the new Sabah Chief Minister to replace Osu Sukam whose two-year term as chief minister expired Thursday, Mahathir announced here after chairing the Supreme Council meeting of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) (National Front).
Mahathir, the BN chairman, however did not say when Chong, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president, will assume the post.
The rotation system, mooted by Mahathir and introduced in 1994, was to provide opportunity for leaders of the three main ethnic groups in Sabah -- Muslim Bumiputeras (aboriginals), non-Muslim Bumiputeras and the Chinese -- to serve as chief minister for a term of two years each.
Chong is from the Chinese community and Osu is from United Malays National Organization (UMNO) representing Muslim Bumiputeras.
According to Mahathir, some minor changes would be made to the rotation system whereby the UMNO would get to hold the chief ministership for two terms.
This would take place once the full cycle of the rotation was completed, Mahathir, also UMNO president, said, adding the reason to give the UMNO two terms was because the party was the biggest coalition partner in the state BN.
Under the rotation system, Chong, 53, will head the state government for a two-year term ending in March 2003.
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