KUCHING – The appointment of Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg as the new chief minister got the thumbs-up from Sarawak political and community leaders.
They felt that Abang Johari was the most appropriate person to continue the work of Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who died on Wednesday due to complications of heart desease.
PBB secretary-general Datuk Stephen Rundi Utom said Abang Johari was the most senior in the party hierarchy and deserved the position.
“We in the party are confident that his experience and deep understanding of state and federal politics will help in the transformation of Sarawak for a better future,” said Rundi, who is Sarawak Barisan Nasional secretary and the State Minister for Public Utilities.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nancy Shukri believed that Abang Johari would be a fair and a just leader in the multi-racial and multi-religious state.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim was confident that Abang Johari “with his experience, credibility and commitment can continue Adenan’s legacy in developing the state”.
Chairman of the Sarawak BN Backbenchers’ Club Abdullah Saidol said he had “no doubts about Abang Johari’s leadership quality and political wisdom, given the many challenges he had overcome”.
Sarawak Minister of Welfare, Women and Community Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said: “Abang Johari has travelled the whole length and breadth of Sarawak and knows the needs and aspirations of Sarawakians.”
The Federation of Orang Ulu Sarawak Malaysia president Anntonio Kahti Galis wants Abang Johari to focus on improving the standard of living in the rural areas.
The federation comprises nine associations representing the Lun Bawang, Kenyah, Kelabit, Lakiput, Saban, Berawan, Kayan, Bisaya and Penan communities mostly residing in northern Sarawak (Miri and Limbang).
Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sarawak president Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said the new Chief Minister should continue the work of his predecesor, adding that there were many business opportunities for Dayak businessmen yet to be explored.
PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut said the appointment of Abang Johari was “very wise” and that he was “the best choice” to replace Adenan.
“He can understand and feel the push and pull of the various ethnic groups, the many religious groups,” said Masing, who is deputy chief minister.
Masing added that Abang Johari could count on PRS to give him its full and undivided support to lead.
SUPP president Professor Datuk Dr Sim Khui Hian was confident that Abang Johari would be a chief minister for all races.
Deputy chief minister and PBB senior vice-president Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Abang Johari was very patient, hardworking and dedicated in helping people of all racial and religious groups.
“I am very confident he will steer Sarawak to greater heights with his vast exprience and knowledge,” he said.
State Youth, Sports and Solidarity Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said the Bidayuh community would give the new chief minister their full and undivided support.
“He has had enough grooming … it is just a matter of giving him the authority to execute his ideas, I believe he will be accepted by all BN component parties and the people of Sarawak and Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
PBB deputy publicity chief Datuk Peter Minos said: “He fully deserves the honour. He is a very hard working minister. He gets things done.”