Minister in charge of Sabah and Sarawak affairs Maximus Ongkili believed that his three previous stints in cabinet probably played a role in landing him another appointment.
According to The Star, Ongkili (above) said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin never spoke to him about the appointment prior to the announcement yesterday.
"I am the only Sabahan that have served four terms as a federal minister," said Ongkili, who is the Kota Marudu MP and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president.
"I believe my performance previously may have counted very much in Muhyiddin's book."
Describing the appointment as a "pleasant surprise", he said Muhyiddin's office had reached out to him last week to ask for his CV and copies of his MyKad, but did not state what for.
Ongkili was previously a minister in the Prime Minister's Department (2004), science, technology and innovation minister (2008) and energy, green technology and water minister (2013).
Meanwhile, Ongkili's uncle Jeffrey Kitingan, who was appointed deputy tourism minister yesterday, said he chose to support Muhyiddin as prime minister to put an end to the power struggle between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim.
"It was best to go with a new person so that the country could move on," he told The Star.