Abang Johari plucks the Sape to officiate the Belaga Bank Opening Ceremony. Whiteness by (from left) Tan Sri James Jemut Masing, Datuk Liwan Lagang, Datuk Wilson Ugak. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

BELAGA: The people must be allowed and enabled to elect the government of their choice, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chief said while he acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic is still going on, the fact is that the current term of the State Legislative Assembly is nearing its end.

“There are a lot of public debates on whether a (state) election could or could not be held. Some said we can (hold an election) and others said we cannot due to Covid-19.

“Regardless, in a democratic society, we must leave (the choice of electing a government) to the people. Let them pick the government of their choice,” he said when launching Belaga Waterfront here today.

Abang Johari said while requests had been coming from people in Belaga, not all of the requests could be approved as the power to do so would expire soon.

“However, if the people give me a new mandate, all (the requests) would be settled. I hope you understand this.

“(Belaga assemblyman) Datuk Liwan Lagang must be there (re-elected), (Deputy Chief Minister) Tan Sri James Jemut Masing must be there as well as all the other Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) candidates – they must be there.

“When that happens, if you choose this (GPS), everything will be settled,” he promised.

Abang Johari urged the people of Belaga to evaluate his performance over the last three years following the demise of Pehin Sri Adenan Satem.

“Moving forward, we will have to change our approach and we need to focus on education as it is important that we plan for our children’s future.

“Regardless, I am thankful that Sarawak is stable, and we are no longer dependent on others to develop our state,” he said.