Miri quintet likely to be retained: CM

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg cuts a cake at the function. From left: Women, Family and Childhood Development assistant minister Datuk Rosey Yunus; Local Government assistant minister Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil; Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Temenggung Datuk Abdul Rahman Abang Fadzail and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin. Photo: Ukas

MIRI: The incumbents of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) seats in Miri are likely to be retained for the Dec 18 state election.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the performance of the Senadin, Piasau, Marudi, Bekenu and Lambir incumbent assemblymen would be taken into account for them to be re-fielded.

Alluding to Miri’s transformation, he said it was possible due to the unity of the community, the workers, community leaders and the support of the government.

“It’s not by myself alone, but I have a team (in Miri) – a good team. Be it our team in Senadin, Piasau, Marudi, Lambir and Bekenu. It is only in Pujut that we don’t have a team (GPS assemblyman).

“But if you want a team in Pujut, it can be done. And these five (Senadin, Piasau, Marudi, Lambir and Bekenu), because they have worked hard, we will retain them.

“So they can help me in the larger GPS team as it is in the interest of all,” he said at a leader-with-people session here on Wednesday night (Nov 24).

Abang Johari praised the performance of the incumbents in Miri.

He added, that for Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), of which he is president , it is their culture for the old to make way for fresh faces.

“If they don’t think that they continue (serving the people), they will make way for others without being pressured. Tebedu incumbent and PBB senior vice-president Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong has said that he is not seeking re-election,” he said.

At the same time, the chief minister said he was puzzled as to why the opposition did not want an election to be held as the mandate has to be returned to the people.

“The weird thing is that they wanted me to continue to be chief minister. If this were any other state, the opposition would be the one that wants the election as they would want to oust the government the moment they are no longer in power.

“But in Sarawak, its different. They said, ‘Abang Jo, you stay (as chief minister)’. But regardless, the election must be held.

“And in this regard it is the power of the people to decide – look at the background and the situation. We are thankful that the people are united and understand one another,” he said.