Abang Johari (fourth left) and his wife Juma’ani (centre) and Paulus to his right with other VVIPs at the Sarawak Backbenchers Club Gawai Raya Nite 2018 held at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching.
KUCHING: The registration of Sarawak’s new political platform Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) comprising Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is expected to be finalised in August.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said although the new coalition is in the process of registering with the Registrar of Societies, everybody has already acknowledged its existence.
“Walaupun kita belum lagi mendaftar (even though we are not registered yet), God willing it will be finalised by next month (August) – everything will be finalised,” he added.
Abang Johari being welcomed by Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh upon his arrival to attend the Sarawak Backbenchers Club Gawai Raya Nite 2018 at Grand Margherita Hotel Kuching. Also seen are Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women and Family Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah (left) and Paulus (behind Abang Johari).
He was speaking at the Sarawak Backbenchers Club Gawai Raya Nite 2018 at Grand Margherita Hotel here on Wednesday night.
Present were his wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, State Legislative Assembly speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Sarawak Backbenchers Club chairman Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau assemblyman), state cabinet ministers and assistant ministers and their wives.
Abang Johari said the next thing is for the component parties to promote the coalition and its struggles at the grassroots level.
“This is very hard work among us because one of it is that we are going to chair our party and continue to develop our effort in developing our state,” he said.
On another matter, he mentioned that when an opposition assemblyman came to see him on an announcement he made on road and rural water supply projects costing billions of ringgit, he told him that the Sarawak government had its own formula to finance these projects.
“Thank God, we have a bank – the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) as a conduit for us to finance all these projects and it would be included in our Malaysia Plan. This is something of a new model and I believe that we are the only state government with that model- the other states do not have it.
“With that, we do not have a problem in developing our state and from that perspective, I believe that we are able to deliver whatever we promise to our people.
“The question of state revenue, I think, the next session I will tell you the detail of how we can increase our revenue.”
Abang Johari said that it was also a blessing in disguise “in our new amended oil and mining ordinance that we have extra stream of revenue that we can get while at the same time we are able to get Sarawakians to participate in oil and gas not only downstream but also upstream”.
He said the Sarawak government had made an arrangement after a discussion with Petronas and Petros when they came to see him for mutual benefits of all parties when extracting oil and gas in the state with direct participation by foreign companies.
“If there is a direct participation by foreign companies with Petronas, it has to inform the Sarawak government. If there is direct participation with Petros, the Sarawak government will inform Petronas,” he said.
Abang Johari lauded the extraordinary performance of every backbencher at the just-concluded session of the State Legislative Assembly held from July 9 to 18.
“I have to say that every time I went down to the chambers, the enthusiasm and the research done by the backbenchers on the subject of their argument particularly on the subject of Sarawak Land Code as well as the Sarawak Oil and Mining Ordinance (impressed me).
“These two subjects are very dear to Sarawakians, firstly on the subject of Land Code – a drastic approach that had been taken and I must congratulate Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri (Datuk Amar Dr) James Jemut Masing as both of them were in the committee and in particular the secretariat under Datu Jaul Samion – all have done their work very well,” he said.