Kota Kinabalu: A five-man panel has been appointed as non-executive advisors to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment for the next two years, effective Thursday.
They are Dato' Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood who has been appointed as advisor to Sabah Parks, Datuk Tan Kok Liang (Tourism), Tan Sri Wences Angang (Culture), Dr Rahimatsah Amat (Environment) and Datuk Dr Junaidi @ John Payne (Wildlife).
Their appointment as advisors is also the first of its kind ever done by a Ministry.
Describing them as think-tanks, Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew said their sole role is to assist the government.
"This is a very important appointment that the government want to consolidate all our energy and focus on moving forward," she said after handing over of the letter of appointment at her office.
"We are very honoured to have them officially accept the appointment and I believe we will be able to achieve more with these group of think-tanks who have vast experience in their category of services," she said.
She said the proposal to appoint advisors for the Ministry was initially recommended by the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Datuk Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai and the Ministry's Assistant Minister Assafal P Alian.
"They recommended that we should let there be continuity of their talents and what they can do for the Ministry and the State Government," she said, adding that they presented this to the State Government who in turn approved it.
"With their vast experience, we have somebody to rely on for advice, if there is anything wrong or if they know of something that we can improve, they will bring it up to our attention," she said.
"Being an advisor is a very important job, it is not an easy job to do because you have to be very careful of whatever you pick up from the public or from the ground, then advise us," she added.
Meanwhile, there to receive their appointment letter were Tengku Zainal Adlin, Tan and Angang. While Rahimatsah and Dr Junaidi are not present because they are currently abroad.