Abg Johari quiet on defending party post


KUCHING: PBB deputy president Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday was tight-lipped when questioned whether he would defend his post in the coming PBB Convention in October.

“It is too premature to talk about it. In PBB, we have our own culture. In the past elections, PBB has proved its strength and we place unity above all,” he said to reporters here yesterday after Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Norkiah visited his Raya open house.

He stressed the party had to remain strong or the urban development plan its leaders had in place for Sarawakians would go down the drain.

“If PBB is not strong, all will be affected because PBB is the backbone of Sarawak Barisan Nasional.”

Abang Johari, who is Minister of Housing and Minister of Tourism, is one of the two deputy presidents in the party. He represents the Bumiputera wing, while the other deputy president is Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu of Pesaka wing.

Abang Johari was elected to the post in 1998, and there had yet to be any contests for the post ever since then.

On a separate matter, he said the development of Sarawak will be shifted from rural to urban areas following the influx of people to cities and towns since the state government has an overall planning for the southern region of Kuching and is determined to make urban development its priority.

He revealed more projects would be launched in urban and suburban areas to boost various industries including manufacturing, housing and tourism.

The series of development projects would take place in the next 17 years to alter the landscape of the city particularly the Waterfront area, he told the media,

“Last time, we focused on rural development. And now we realise urban development is very important. We have plans to develop Sarawak and in the southern city, we want to build up the service industry.

“It includes heritage and tourism development. The state government’s overall planning is up until 2030, and we are talking about continuity here,” he said.

On the coming Malaysia Day celebration, he said the contractor implementing the Wastewater Management System in the city would be requested to speed up its work.

He, however, added the digging work at the city’s protocol road had been completed.

“The main event will take place at the Kuching Waterfront and unique performances will be staged at night. The work at the main protocol road is completed though work is on-going at Jalan Satok and Main Bazaar.”