KUCHING, July 14: If the late Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president and Sarawak’s 5th chief minister, Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, was alive today, he would be delighted that the government has carried out two things for the people of Sarawak — passing the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and the Oil Mining (Amendment) Bill, 2018 — recently.
Current PBB president cum Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said these were the two important things that the late “Tok Nan” dearly wanted him and his deputy, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, to do.
“It is very sad, but we did accomplish what he (Adenan) wanted us to do and that lifts a heavy burden off our shoulders and that of our party, senior party members and leaders for the moment. It is a start, but we have more to do for the people and for PBB,” he said at the Gawai Raya 2018 dinner organised by PBB at Hilton Hotel Kuching on Friday.
Among those present were his wife, Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, and senior PBB leaders like Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Datuk Narawi Julaihi, Datuk Talip Zulpilip and Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.
Abang Johari reiterated that senior party members would continue to fight for Sarawak rights that were highlighted by Adenan. He acknowledged it was not an easy task, but both he and Uggah had achieved something so far, especially on the land as well as the oil and gas ordinance reforms.
“PBB must continue to surge forward to a greater (height) with the new state coalition, despite facing a slight set back in GE14,” he stressed.
Johari said he believed PBB was still the party for the people, even in the face of a new political landscape in the country.
“We had just experienced a new wave of change in politics, especially in Peninsular Malaysia. But let us not allow that to hinder our progress. On the other hand, we must also be very thankful that if we look at our party’s results in GE14, we contested in 14 seats parliamentary seats and won 13.
“Despite losing one seat, PBB is a party that is still accepted by the people of Sarawak, and there is so much future and hope in our party,” he said.
On the state BN winning only 19 of the 31 parliamentary seats in GE14 as compared to 25 out of 31 seats in GE13, he said the result served as a stern reminder to all coalition partners to only field winnable candidates in future polls.
As for PBB, he said the party must identify its weaknesses, especially in terms of wanting to wrest what rightfully belongs to the state, and continue to work as a team, uphold fair and equitable policies and always touch base with the people on the ground.
“Most important also is that we must take care of our party unity and forge closer ties with the community. If we develop what the people want, then our party will be stronger and invincible,” he said.
Abang said PBB was generally all right at the moment, but to give the party a “youthful look”, more young people should be recruited to join the party.
“We want a vibrant party that is able to do all it can for the people of Sarawak,” he said.
On development matters, he said his administration had set aside RM2 billion to bring clean water to the rural areas. This initiative was important as the state could no longer wait for assistance from the federal government.
“Water is a basic necessity and without this basic necessity, people start to blame the government of the day. And because of this, they can forget to vote for you,” he cautioned.
Abang Johari added that the state government would do the same thing to resolve electricity woes in the rural areas.
On land, he said the government not only reduced land premium by 50 per cent but also allowed the landowners to pay the premium over 10 years. — DayakDaily