Sarawak CM remains coy on dissolution of DUN

Abang Johari speaking to reporters.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 22: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg remains coy on the dissolution of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN).

Abang Johari, who is also chairman of the state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), diverted the question to his two deputy chief ministers, when asked by the media when he would dissolve the DUN, “as there are already a feel good factor in place”.

“You ask (Datuk Amar) Douglas (Uggah Embas), you ask (Datuk Amar) Awang Tengah (Ali Hasan). They said no need yet,” he told reporters after launching Sarawak Agrofest 2019 here today.

When pressed further if he will be announcing the dissolution soon, he said “he do not know”.

“We are busy with the new buffaloes. One buffalo, one tonne,” he said, in reference to Uggah’s Modernisation of Agriculture Department, which  has bought two buffaloes from Australia for breeding purposes.

The two buffaloes, which weighs one tonne each, will be reared in Lawas.

Many believed that the said “feel good factor” was felt especially at the just-concluded GPS Convention on Nov 16, participated by some 5,000 GPS delegates from its four component parties of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

In the last state election on May 7, 2016, former chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem led the then Barisan Nasional ruling coalition to win 72 out of 82 seats. Out of the 72 seats, PBB now controls 46 seats, PRS (11), SUPP (7) and PDP (3).

Parti Sarawak Bersatu (formerly known as United People’s Party), which is a splinter party of SUPP, retained five seats.

Meanwhile, state opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) managed to defend 10 seats with Democratic Action Party (DAP) winning seven and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), three.

Following Pakatan taking over the federal government after the May 9 general election last year, Sarawak BN, which came under Abang Johari’s leadership after Adenan’s passing on January 11, 2017, decided to leave the national BN coalition and formed GPS.

PBB had captured 40 seats in the May 2016 state polls but in August, five partyless lawmakers who stood under the direct BN ticket — Datuk Gerawat Gala (Mulu), Miro Simuh (Serembu), John Ilus (Bukit Semuja), Rosey Yunus (Bekenu) and Paulus Palu Gumbang (Batu Danau) — were accepted into PBB.

Rosey and Paulus are former Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) leaders, while the remaining three are former PBB members, who resigned prior to contesting in the state election.

Mambong assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil was the latest lawmaker to join PBB after he decided to quit PSB on July 11.

A few days later, PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh announced that PSB ceased to be GPS-friendly party and will stand as an independent party in the coming Sarawak election.

On Oct 24, PBB announced the acceptance of Dr Jerip’s application. This has resulted in GPS holding in a total of 68 seats.

The 12th state election is expected that to be a showdown between the state ruling GPS coalition and the federal ruling Pakatan coalition.

Other local parties such as PSB and State Reform Party (STAR), as well as local parties such as Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK), are expected to join the fray.

The next state election is due in 2021. — DayakDaily