Baru made a minister, Chong a deputy minister

Chong (left) and Baru take a wefie after being sworn-in at the Istana Negara today. — Photo courtesy of PKR Sarawak

KUCHING, July 2: State Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Baru Bian was today sworn in as Works Minister, while state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen was made Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs.

They were among the ministers and deputy ministers sworn in before Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara.

Baru, a Lun Bawang, is also Ba’Kelalan assemblyman and Selangau MP.

The 59-year-old son of a pastor and a devoted Christian, Baru was once a supreme council member of Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), before he joined PKR.

A prominent lawyer championing land cases for many natives in Sarawak, he has gained wide respect for his efforts.

In a statement today, Baru said he was honoured to be appointed Works Minister in the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government.

“I am conscious of the fact that the responsibility attached to this portfolio is a heavy and onerous one.

“I will endeavour to do my best to ensure that the Works Ministry is efficient, transparent and accountable in all its dealings,” said Baru.

Meanwhile, Chong, 47, was Bandar Kuching MP from 2004 to 2018. In the May 9 general election this year, he contested in the Stampin constituency and won.

Chong holds a double degree — Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Economics) and Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University, Canberra.

A practising lawyer, Chong entered politics in 1998, believed to be due to the influence of his father, Chong Siew Chiang, who is also a lawyer and the one who brought the DAP to Sarawak.

Chong is also state Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman and Kota Sentosa assemblyman.

Today’s swearing-in is in addition to the 14 cabinet ministers sworn in in May. — DayakDaily