KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s ‘Sarawak First’ policy has changed the political landscape of Sarawak.
Former Gedong assemblyman Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais said this was a key factor for Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) landslide victory in the 12th state election (PRN-12), not only in the rural regions but in the urban areas as well.
“This is a winning factor that influenced the thinking of the people, especially the urban community including supporters of Democratic Action Party (DAP) and other opposition parties, in favour of GPS,” he said at the Gedong appreciation dinner which was officiated by Abang Johari at a hotel here on Tuesday night (Jan 25).
He said other factors included GPS’ success in defending the rights of the people, safeguarding Sarawak’s rights in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), using the state’s own allocation to fund several mega projects which were previously withdrawn by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, handling the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing the Sarawakku Sayang Special Assistance (BKSS) packages.
“The strong support from the people of Sarawak and especially in the areas of Gedong and Samarahan can also be seen as a high expectation. They will see if GPS will be able to survive until the next PRN and beyond. Personally, I believe GPS can,” he said.
Naroden said the state government under Abang Johari had stood firm and survived through the era of the PH federal government and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many countries and governments have fallen, but Sarawak has survived from a difficult situation. This is because we have wise and extraordinary leaders who have managed to succeed in an atmosphere which is also extraordinary.
“We in Gedong will always stand firmly behind Abang Johari and GPS to ensure political stability throughout Sarawak and that all development will run smoothly,” he said.
On Abang Johari’s move from his former Satok constituency to Gedong in PRN-12, he said this shift could be seen as a very bold step in line with his vision and mission to develop the rural areas and distribute the state’s prosperity to everyone.
“He is a man who walks the talk and so is his team. This shows that he is sincere and very serious,” he said.
He said this was reflected in the chief minister’s recent move to upgrade several rural areas to full district status, namely Siburan, Pantu, Lingga, Sebuyau, and Gedong.
In addition, Abang Johari had also officially announced development plans for Gedong district, which would have a spillover effect on surrounding areas.
“We have a master plan for Gedong district and we held the Gedong development lab last week. God willing, what we plan will be able to fulfil the aspirations of the people and the vision of the chief minister,” said Naroden.
Also present were the chief minister’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, and Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.