KUCHING: Betong MP Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas will not be standing as a candidate in the coming general election.
In a short WhatsApp conversation yesterday, he told The Borneo Post in no uncertain terms that he would not be contesting as a parliamentarian.
“Yes, I will not be standing for parliament,” he said when asked if he could confirm that he would not be standing as a candidate for Betong in the coming general election.
The main reason being there is an understanding in Sarawak that no one should serve both as a parliamentarian as well as a state assemblyman.
“It is understood that no one should hold both parliament and state assembly (seats). Other than that, I want to focus on my responsibilities as Deputy Chief Minister.”
Uggah, who is Deputy Chief Minister as well as Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Minister, further pointed out that he had decided to free himself from the responsibility of a parliamentarian to focus on modernising Sarawak’s agriculture sector as well as developing the rural areas of the state.
Born in 1955, Uggah stood as PBB candidate for Betong in the 1986 general election and won. Since then, he has been the MP representing the area until now.
Between 1990 and 1995, Uggah, who possesses a Bachelor degree in Economics, was appointed parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Department.
In 1995, he became the parliamentary secretary for Rural and Regional Development Ministry until 1999.
In 2000, he was promoted as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Three years later, he was appointed Deputy Transport Minister until 2008.
The year 2008 marked another significant breakthrough in Uggah’s political career when he was elevated as full
minister, leading the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.
He led the ministry for five years until the 2013 general election when he was appointed the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister after winning handsomely by polling 15,476 votes.
In 2016, former Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu announced his retirement and Uggah was asked to return to Sarawak to take over Jabu’s position.
He contested as PBB candidate for Bukit Saban state seat in the May 7 state election and won as expected.
The seven-term Betong MP, but first term Bukit Saban assemblyman, was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister by former chief minister the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
He continued to hold the second most important post in Sarawak when Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg took over the helm of the state after Adenan passed away.
Uggah is one of the few politicians in Sarawak whose votes increase with every general election, from the initial 8,052 votes in the 1986 general election to 15,476 votes in 2013 general election.