Abang Johari gives in-the-sea Miri City Hall 2.0 idea his thumbs up
Posted on : 15 Nov 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Yii (third left) presents a picture of the new Miri City Hall as a memento to Abang Johari, witnessed by (front, from left) Lee, Dr Sim, Dr Chan and Dr Rundi. Also seen at the back, between Abang Johari and the mayor, is Penguang.

MIRI (Nov 15): Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is very supportive of the proposal to have the extension of the new Miri City Hall built in the South China Sea.

However, he also pointed out that this would require a mandate from the people to retain Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as the ruling coalition of Sarawak after the next state election and for him to continue leading the state as chief minister.

“I can’t ‘cakap’ (say) now as I no longer have the mandate, but if you put us back, I would consider the ‘second drum in the sea,” he said in officiating at the opening of the new Miri City Hall building in Marina Parkcity today.

The ‘drum’ mentioned by Abang Johari referred to the shape of the building, which resembles an oil barrel – signifying Miri’s status and history as a petroleum producing hub.

The remark was made in response to Miri Mayor Adam Yii seeking the nod for the council’s plan of having the city hall’s second phase development be built in the sea, and also having it connected to the main building at Marina Parkcity via bridge.

According to Yii, the whole design concept is based on the offshore production platform.

It is informed that Abang Johari had helped put the city hall project on track in 2018 by approving funds for the land acquisition and also the construction of the building, amounting to RM92 million, after a delay of nearly 10 years.

Abang Johari signs the plaque, as (from left) Lee, Dr Sim, Yii, Dr Chan and Dr Rundi look on.

The funding had been augmented by the additional revenue from the sales tax on petroleum products, following the state’s victory in the court battle against Petronas.

Adding on, Abang Johari said GPS had always been people-centric and a defender of state rights, as reflected in its defence over the right to collect sales tax under the Oil Mining Ordinance, its fight for substantive amendment to the Federal Constitution in definition of ‘Federation of Malaysia and inclusion of mention of the ‘Malaysia Agreement 1983’ and the ‘Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report’.

He said political stability in Sarawak was crucial in moving the state forward, achieving its goals and aspirations, and enabling the people to seek better infrastructure and services, pushing Sarawak to move forward in digital economy.

The Miri City Hall building, he pointed out, would symbolise progress, the solidarity in diversity among Mirians and the prosperity of the city – an epitome of a stable government that is able to deliver progress unlike other strife-torn countries such as Sudan, which is also resource-rich.

Abang Johari regarded the critics and detractors of GPS as ‘those with failed personal agenda in politics’.

Meanwhile in his speech, Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian who was also present, regarded Abang Johari as ‘the chief minister for all local councils and Sarawakians’, as reflected by the latter ‘walking the talk’ by approving the city, district and municipal council building projects throughout the state.

Dr Sim also highlighted the need for stability in ‘delivering the goods’, pointing out the proposed Sarawak Cancer Centre project as having been repeatedly delayed following the change of four prime minister in the past four years.

He commended Abang Johari, Yii and his team, as well as the contractors for their roles in delivering the first Green Building Index city hall, which he regarded as ‘a symbol of synchronicity and continuity between the local government and the state government’.

Former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, and Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, were also present.