KUCHING: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) will be holding its mini convention in Sibu tomorrow, the third one after the first and second in Miri and Betong on Sept 5 and 26 respectively.
It will commence at 8.30am and end at 5pm. PBB president Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who is also the chief minister, will officiate the one-day event at Kingwood Hotel at 2.30pm.
It it touted to be among the biggest of the four conventions in terms of the number of delegates and branches involved.
PBB secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, who is Federal Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, and the organising chairman, shared details of the Sibu convention with New Sarawak and its sister paper Suara Sarawak.
Sarawak Tribune: What is the objective of this mini convention?
Nanta: Initially, it was to be held in Kuching and we expect over 5,000 delegates. However, due to Covid-19, we felt that it was appropriate to break the convention into several series to control the number of participants. The move is in line with the standard operating procedure (SOP) and new norm set. We decided that Miri, Betong, Sibu and Kuching would play host.
Who will be attending?
A total of 25 branches from the Sibu Zone. Of the branches, 12 will be led by PBB elected representatives while 13, by their respective chairpersons.
In total, we expect 1,200 participants in which a total of 951 are official representatives from all Sibu PBB branches. The rest are additional delegates.
The participants will be joined by members of PBB central working committee as well as exco members of PBB Youth and Women’s wings.
What is the theme?
The theme will be the same as the Miri and Betong conventions – ‘Hak Sarawak Diutamakan, Pembangunan Diperkasakan’ (Prioritising Sarawak rights, empowering development). This theme is in line with our situation in Sarawak now.
What is the itinerary like?
The programme will start as early as 7.30am with the registration of delegates.
This will be followed by election briefings to provide input and information to the staff on duty at the election operations room so that they are aware of the latest rules and their specific duties in conducting the election process.
There will also be presentation of several working papers related to Native Customary Land issues, Infrastructure Development and Basic Amenities such as supply of water and electricity.
The paper related to infrastructure development will be presented by Assistant Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi. Utilities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom will present the paper on basic amenities.
There will also be a paper from the CEO of Regional Corridor Development Authority.
In addition, I will also be delivering a welcoming speech and tabling a motion on behalf of PBB Sibu Zone. The finale would be a keynote address by the PBB president.
What will be the focus of this convention?
One of the main focuses will be the presentation of working papers that will provide input to participants on key issues in Sarawak.
This convention also emphasises on the effort to provide exposure and knowledge to the delegates on the preparations that are needed to be done in facing the coming state election.
What is the importance of this convention in view of the impending state election?
This convention provides a platform for all delegates to prepare themselves for the approaching state election.
We want them to be equipped with knowledge of PBB and GPS’ struggles and policies. We also want them to know how crucial it is for GPS to be accorded a fresh mandate to ensure continuity in development for the benefit of the state and its people. This is in line with the convention theme.
What is your comment on Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg leading PBB and his style of leadership?
Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari is indeed a far-sighted leader and this is one of the elements that we want to convey to all delegates. This convention will certainly give space and opportunity to all delegates and participants to get to know Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari more closely.
He is a person who is persistent, enthusiastic and has a firm stand, especially in issues involving the welfare of the people and Sarawak.
His achievements so far are very meaningful, for example, he has managed to get a large additional financial source for Sarawak when the State Sales Tax (SST) began to be imposed on oil companies operating in Sarawak for petroleum products taken from the state. These financial resources can be used to further intensify infrastructure and socioeconomic development in Sarawak, especially in rural areas.
Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari is also a very disciplined and systematic leader in carrying out his duties apart from being clear with the vision and mission he wants to bring to Sarawak. This is evidenced by the existence of development corridors through the establishment of agencies such as Upper Rajang Development Agency, Northern Region Development Agency and Highland Development Agency, to implement specific development.
He is also an inclusive and amiable leader in maintaining harmony among the multi-racial and multi-religious people of Sarawak. Indeed, he is the most qualified figure to hold the position of chief minister, taking into account the diversity of the state itself.
He is also a person who is always able to find solutions even in difficult situations and often emphasises the importance of hard work and to help other component parties under GPS namely Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Sarawak United People’s Party and Progressive Democratic Party.
Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari is well received by the people, and I believe this is due to his fair and wise nature in navigating the state.
How is PBB’s performance in areas under its charge, including the Rejang Basin and Kapit, to name a few?
We have long been established as a nation but I must say that meaningful development can only be seen for the past six years with the proliferation of various infrastructure and socioeconomic facilities that greatly benefit the people of Sarawak.
I do not mean to say that no development has been made in the past, but we can see that such aggressive development only started in recent years.
Developments made in the past are important because they provide a foundation for more development. Under the administration of Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari, infrastructure and development facilities are more clearly seen.
More aggressive and targeted efforts will also be undertaken after this.
What are your expectations for the convention delegates and participants?
My hope is that by the end of this convention, all will be able to get information and knowledge on related issues more clearly to face the state election.
I also hope that everyone involved in this convention will be more sensitive to election-related rules. It is also hoped that this convention will inspire a strong team spirit for us to ensure victory in every constituency. I also hope that all delegates and participants will be more confident in facing the election and the opposition, who will certainly play on issues that they are very fond of,
such as customary land issues and development.