It has taken almost two months for the new government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad to finally name a minister of culture and tourism. The new minister was appointed with another twelve other ministers and were sworn in before the Malaysian King on Monday.
The new Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture started to work this week but little noise had been so far done around his nomination. Welcome then to Datuk Mohammad Din Ketapi, the newly appointed Minister of Tourism and Culture who was born in Kampung Segama, Lahad Datu, Sabah.
The 61-year old Din is the first Sabah originated Minister to hold the tourism portfolio. talking to local media, Modammad Din declared that as the first Sabah representative to be appointed as Tourism and Culture Minister, he hoped to take this opportunity to elevate and empower the tourism industry in Sabah.
Mohammad Din, 61 holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of Buckingham, England.
In 1985 Mohammad Din was appointed Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Youth deputy chief and deputy secretary-general of the Central Committee before contesting and winning the Lahad Datu state seat in 1986 and appointed as assistant minister to the then Sabah deputy chief minister.
He never joined any party other than PBS until the formation of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) two years ago where he was made Warisan supreme council member and Silam parliamentary division leader.
Speaking to reporters recently, Mohammad Din declared that “Tourism is one of the industries that contributes to the country’s economy and I intend to implement a policy to encourage small medium entrepreneurs to be more active in the industry,” he said.
He added that with Sabah’s natural resources and rich cultural heritage he would further promote the state’s cultural and ethnic heritage to attract more foreign tourists to visit Sabah and Malaysia.
The appointments of the 13 Cabinet ministers added to the 14 who took up their posts in May, including Mahathir himself. With the cabinet having now 27 ministers, the total is still under the previous government, which had 35 ministers in his porfolio.