Sarawak govt observes principle of meritocracy in top civil service

Abang Johari being welcomed by a traditional dance performance to the Pesta Benak Sri Aman.

SRI AMAN, Oct 25: The appointment of top civil servants in the Sarawak government is based on meritocracy, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“I am the chief minister for all races. I am fair. When I look at our (government) administration, whoever that is senior and has the capability, the person will be elevated.

“So (Datuk Amar) Jaul Samion was promoted to be the State Secretary. We are fair. Another one from the Bidayuh community became the deputy state secretary – (Datuk) Ik Pahon, so that there is professionalism (within the civil service).

“As long as it is the right person and the person has the capability, we will elevate the person. There is no racism,” Abang Johari said when officiating the Pesta Benak at the Batang Lupar Waterfront here today.

Abang Johari stressed the same principle applied in the ruling of Sarawak as he did not hold the absolute power despite being the Chief Minister.


“I thank (Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas) Uggah, (Tourism, Art, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul) Karim (Rahman Hamzah), (Housing and Local Government Minister Dato Sri Dr) Prof Sim (Kui Hian). We in the cabinet are a team. My power lies with all the ministers in the cabinet and I refer to all of them in my decision.”

Citing the example of renaming of Sri Aman to Simanggang, he pointed out that it was a unanimous decision made by all in the cabinet.

“So today, I declare that the name of Sri Aman be changed to ‘Simanggang’,” he said.

Abang Johari reiterated that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has in place a development plan for Sri Aman division.

“We are in the midst of undertaking revenue re-engineering. We will look for income sources for Sarawak. Our income sources are okay. Thank God. Do wait for Nov 4, I will reveal it in the Sarawak Budget.”

To the many landowners in the Sri Aman division, Abang Johari warned them not to sell their land.

“Don’t sell your land. Instead, use your land for agriculture by applying technology and Internet of Things (IoT) to do agriculture. How to do it? We have people showing you how to go about doing it.”

Highlighting the great demand in the Singaporean market for raw materials like animal feed, shrimp and tilapia fish, he encouraged landowners to engage in modern farming.

“We had last month exported 12 tonnes of tilapia fish to Singapore. We have the place and water bodies to keep tilapia. And the Singaporeans preferred our tilapia to those from Peninsular Malaysia. They said those from Sarawak are of better taste.

“We do have a bright future. Sri Aman also has a bright future because the new generation can be modern farmers,” he added. — DayakDaily