PEKAN: Ten Pahang assemblymen, including five new faces, were sworn in as state executive council (exco) members before the Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah at Istana Abu Bakar here yesterday.
The new faces are Datuk Abu Bakar Harun (Chini), Datuk Johari Hussain (Tioman), Norolazali Sulaiman (Guai), Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin (Kuala Sentul) and Syed Ibrahim Syed Ahmad (Kerdau).
Those retained were Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin (Lanchang), Datuk Mohd Soffi Abd Razak (Benta), Datuk Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (Jelai) and Datuk Shafik Fauzan Sharif (Inderapura). Sharkar is the most senior exco member as he was first appointed in 1999.
There was also a surprise when Datuk Shahiruddin Ab Moin (Dong), who was dropped in the 2008 line-up after serving two terms, was re-appointed.
All exco members took their oath of office in a ceremony steeped in Pahang tradition which was attended by Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah, his consort Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and other assemblymen.
However, there were no representatives from other Barisan Nasional component parties in the line-up as MCA declined any post while MIC and Gerakan candidates lost their seats in the general election.
Adnan, who was sworn in as menteri besar on May 9, said the exco members would find out their respective portfolios during a special meeting at Yayasan Pahang complex in Kuantan on Monday.
He said 33 committees would be formed, including a special committee to help strengthen racial unity in the state.
"The special committee, which will most likely be chaired by me, will also look into the needs and welfare of the Chinese community," he said after the swearing-in ceremony.
On MCA representatives, he said the state government would wait for the party to make its decision on the matter.
Shahaniza, the sole woman in the line-up, said her appointment was an honour for Pahang women.
"I'm prepared to face the challenges that come with the responsibility," said the two-term assemblywoman, who may head the Family and Women Affairs Committee.
Norolazali said he never expected to be appointed as he only joined politics in 1996.
However, he was prepared to learn and serve the people, regardless of their backgrounds.
Two-term assemblyman Shafik Fauzan said the good combination of old and new faces would ensure that the state leadership fulfilled the people's needs and expectations.