After 40 years as Satok rep, Abang Johari considers shifting seats in coming state polls
Posted on : 17 Nov 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (second left) pose for press photographers with Naroden at second right. – Photo by Chimon Upon

SERIAN (Nov 17): The coming 12th Sarawak election could see Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg contesting in a different seat after having represented the Satok state constituency since 1981.

The Gabungan Parti Sarawak chairman said at an event here this morning that he would consider contesting in a different seat after Gedong incumbent Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais offered to make way for him to stand in the rural constituency.

Abang Johari, who is the chief minister and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) president, also said he would consult the voters in Satok first before deciding whether to contest in a different seat.

“And God willing I can make a decision about it after a ‘sembahyang hajat’ (a special prayer to seek blessing on one’s wishes),” he said, thanking Naroden, who is International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Assistant Minister, for the invitation.

However, Abang Johari expressed his hope that Naroden would still continue to serve the state if he does not defend Gedong in the coming election.

“Even if Naroden quits — not that I asked him to — I hope he will still continue to serve,” he said.

Earlier, Naroden said he was willing to make way for Abang Johari to contest in Gedong in order to accelerate the constituency’s progress.

He said Abang Johari can ensure Gedong’s growth as he hoped that the development in the constituency would also spill over into the neighbouring districts such as Kuching, Samarahan, Sebuyau and Simunjan.

“All this requires more power, financial strength and the authority to give approvals. Only the chief minister has that power. Therefore, I will willingly give way to Yang Amat Berhormat (Abang Johari) if he wishes to contest in Gedong in the 12th state election,” he said.

Naroden, 68, was elected the Gedong assemblyman after the seat was established in the 2016 state polls. Prior to that, he had represented Simunjan since 1991.

There are rumours that entrepreneur, Datuk Ibrahim Baki, who is Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) board member and PBB deputy secretary-general, could contest in Satok if Abang Johari decides to switch seats.

The Election Commission will meet next Wednesday to decide on the nomination and polling dates of the 12th Sarawak election.

The polls should have been held by June this year but it was held back due to the Covid-19 Emergency Proclamation.