Refrain from nominating assemblymen for the coming GE, says CM

Abang Johari (centre) speaks to the media while PBB Satok deputy chief Ibrahim Baki (left) and PBB supreme council member Datuk Idris Buang (right) look on.​

KUCHING, Dec 17: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has urged the state’s Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to refrain from appointing assemblymen as candidates for the coming general election (GE14) where the winning candidates will become Members of Parliament (MP).

Speaking at a press conference after officiating at the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Satok branch triennial general meeting at Pullman Hotel here today, Abang Johari said elected representatives who hold both posts at the same time might not be able to focus on their work and this could lead them to perform less than optimally in serving the people.

He added that new young and aspiring candidates should be put forward as they might have better and more modern ideas that could realise the state government’s digital economy aspirations.

“As far as PBB in concerned, we do not practice that. But I would like other component parties to follow suit, if possible,” he iterated.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari was asked if PBB would be nominating new candidates for the upcoming GE. He simply responded: “Yes. But I do not want to say it now. As usual in PBB, we have new faces and aspiring leaders.”

On that note, he revealed that all candidates be it new or incumbents, would be thoroughly screened by various government agencies before their names are submitted to Putrajaya.

“As far as Sarawak is concerned, all candidates will be thoroughly screened by various agencies including Immigration, the police, the Inland Revenue Board and the Election Commission.

“We do not want candidates to be disqualified at the last minute. We cannot take for granted everything would be okay. We do not want the Pujut issue to happen again,” he said, referring to Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon who was almost disqualified from the August House for having dual citizenship in Malaysia and Australia. The court later ruled in Ting’s favour.

Abang Johari said this would not only cause great inconvenience and wastage to the affected political party, but also the voters if a by-election was to be held to re-elect a replacement MP.