KUCHING – Newly minted Sarawak chief minister, Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg ha stated that Umno would not enter Sarawak on his watch.
“As long as I am Chief Minister, we will not allow Umno to come in. We will work together in the spirit of Barisan Nasional, but Umno will not be in Sarawak,” he was quoted as saying Thursday.
“All of us here pledge to protect the rights of Sarawak,” he said at the swearing in of his Cabinet at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex here before Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Abang Johari also said the state government will fulfil the promises made by Adenan and pursue devolution of powers with the Federal Government.
Despite speculation, there no changes to the Abang Jo cabinet, apart from new Chief Minister taking up the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s portfolios.
Abang Johari is now Finance and Economic Planning and Resource Planning and Environment Minister, while retaining his previous portfolios of Housing and Urbanisation, and Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The other ministers and assistant ministers from Adenan’s Cabinet were retained with the same positions.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing is overseas and will be sworn in later. Another Deputy Chief Minister in the state Cabinet is Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
Asked why he did not appoint a third deputy chief minister, Abang Johari said he would concentrate on pursuing what had been done by Adenan for now.
“Give me time. I will reshuffle the Cabinet when the time comes,” he said amidst speculation that Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan would be appointed to fill the vacant deputy chief minister’s post.
“Basically, there are no changes in the line-up for the time being. The only ministry with an additional portfolio is Finance, with Economic Planning added,” Abang Johari told reporters after the ceremony.
CORRECTION: Our earlier caption — Abang Johari says Umno will not enter Sabah under his watch. It should have been Sarawak. We apologise for the error which has since been corrected