By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, August 4: Should a state election is held today, Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg’s could easily win comfortably with at least 69 seats out of the 82 in the State Legislative Assembly.
In pointing this out, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing said Abang Johari’s administration has earned great respect from the people especially after Petronas decided to recognise Sarawak’s rights to impose five per cent State Sale Tax (SST) on petroleum products produced in Sarawak.
“To me, Abang Johari scored a first class honours to lead Sarawak at least until 2030, this is shown by the fact that although he is a not a lawyer, he has been able to find the loophole in the system to get extra money for Sarawak through the implementation of the five per cent SST, which is based on Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO 1958) and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
“And because of that, I believed that if we were to hold our state election today, GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) which he leads will get not less than 69 seats which we currently held,” Masing told DayakDaily when commenting on Abang Johari’s achievements in conjunction with the latter’s 70th birthday today.
Masing, who is also the Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development reiterated that with the extra income from SST, the State Government under Abang Johari will be able to carry our more infrastructure projects for benefits of the people
“When we have more money, we can build more roads. And when we have better road connectivity, we can further develop Sarawak,” he stressed.
As one of the deputy chief ministers, Masing revealed that Abang Johari has high tenacity to do what is best for Sarawak.
“Many of the initiatives which he introduced were his own especially on the imposition of the SST. So too are the acquisition of the Bakun HEP, the setting of Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) and Petros (Petroleum Sarawak Berhad),” added Masing.
Currently, GPS held 69 seats while Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) both hold six respectively and the remaining one is held by partyless Ali Biju.
Meanwhile, University Putra Malaysia’s Dean for the Faculty of Humanities, Management and Science Prof Dr Jayum Jawan pointed out that Abang Johari has an appealing quality to the masses as the latter keeps on pursuing Sarawak’s rights under MA63.
“But it’s better when a state government is focusing on it as they carry more weight than an individual or parties that are not backed by the legislative as much as Abang Jo has, through GPS, which commands the majority in the State Legislative Assembly,” said Jayum. —DayakDaily.