Cabinet reshuffle rumour: Abang Johari keeps mum

Abang Johari (fourth from left), Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan (fifth left) and others at Pesta Gedong this morning (March 24, 2019).

By Lian Cheng

GEDONG, March 24: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has kept mum about speculations that a cabinet reshuffle is around the corner.

When met by the media boys at the Pesta Gedong launching this morning, the normally media-friendly Chief Minister just focussed on shaking the hands of his supporters when reporters lobbed the questions at him — not once, but thrice.

Only after finishing the last handshake did he turn his attention to the reporters, but only briefly.

But nothing came out of his mouth.

With his trademark smile, he used the traditional hand gesture to indicate he had nothing to say to the eager reporters, who were grouped barely five feet away.

The press boys knew then that they have to give it another shot on another day, so they packed their bags.

Speculations of an imminent cabinet reshuffle have been rife ever since Abang Johari talked about ‘termites’ during an official function in Marudi on Wednesday (March 20). It was the first time since he became the state’s chief executive that he had unleashed such a harsh reprimand of leaders within the house of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in public.

Describing those leaders who could be plotting to bring down GPS as “termites”, he said he would not allow them to remain in the ruling coalition.

A check with a GPS insider revealed that it is still 50-50 whether a reshuffle would happen and that discussions were still ongoing.

“Things can turn both ways. We all have to wait and see,” said the source.

Judging from Abang Johari’s body language this morning, it is safe to say a cabinet reshuffle is one of the options on the table.

If it was not under consideration, he could have just answered “No, that is not true” when the reporters prodded him with the question thrice. He gave the “No, there is no snap election” answer when reporters asked him whether there was going to be a snap election some time ago.”

Precisely because a cabinet reshuffle is one of Abang Johari’s options, it is only politically wise for him to keep the cards close to his chest, for now. Hence, the silence. — DayakDaily