By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, March 16: Mayors, council chairmen and walikota as well as their deputies who have served for more than nine years will automatically be replaced by new faces.
According to Public Health, Housing and Local Government Deputy Minister Datuk Penguang Manggil, the new list of council chairmen and mayors have been approved by the Cabinet in its last meeting in February.
“All mayors, chairmen or walikota and their deputies who have served for more than nine years will automatically be replaced,” Penguang told DayakDaily when contacted.
This applies to all 26 local councils in Sarawak under the Public Health, Housing and Local Government Ministry except Kuching North City Council (DBKU) and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) which are under the Premier of Sarawak’s Department.
Penguang said the tenure of existing heads of councils will expire on March 31, 2023 and the newly appointed ones will be sworn in early April.
In such a case, it is speculated that Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng, Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) Clarence Ting, Miri City Council mayor (Adam Yii) and Kota Samarahan Municipal Council chairman Dato Peter Minos will stay put as they have all served less than nine years.
Among those who will be stepping down is Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang, who has served for more than a decade.
Lo when contacted said he had served the office for 11 years and it is time to let someone else have a chance to serve the residents of Padawan.
“I will accord help as required to my successor and do whatever I can to help my successor have a smooth transition.
“I will also not abandon MPP or the residents of MPP,” said Lo, who is also Batu Kitang assemblyman, when contacted.
The question arising now is, who will be replacing Lo?
It has been rumoured that Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Central Committee member Tan Kai will be taking over Lo’s post as the new MPP chairman.
Tan Kai when contacted said he would not speculate on the issue but will leave decision to his party and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
“I am a party man. I will follow the decision of my party and GPS,” said Tan Kai. — DayakDaily