MIRI (Sept 19): Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officially announced today that he would be relinquishing his post as Sarawak United National Youths Organisation (Saberkas) president.
He announced this at the 16th Triennial General Meeting (TGM) held at a hotel in Miri.
“I have decided to relinquish my post as president of Saberkas and I leave it to the leaders of Saberkas to elect the new president, but my successor must have the experience and also must be easy with the youths.
“I leave it to them, but in my opinion Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah, who has been working with me as deputy president, is suitable to lead Saberkas and prepare the organisation for the new era until 2050,” he told reporters after officiating the TGM.
Also present were Abdul Karim, who was the TGM organising chairman, as well as deputies Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and Gerald Rentap.
Abang Johari added that he was proud that Saberkas was still strong even after his 11-year tenure, to the point where even those in Peninsula Malaysia acknowledged and made Sarawak as their model of an unified state.
“It is also our culture, where our leaders know when to give way to the younger generation and I relinquished my post when Saberkas is still strong even financially,” he said.
When asked on how Saberkas helped nurture him and many state leaders to become credible leaders, Abang Johari said it was one of the best training grounds for emerging leaders not only as elected representatives but others in different fields
Currently, he said Sarawak had many well-educated Saberkas leaders and they could contribute to the organisation.
Thus, he urged more youths to join Saberkas, which is currently the biggest youth organisation in the state with over 44,500 members.
He was confident with a pool of young leaders in Saberkas with their wide experiences, Saberkas and its diverse members would continue to become relevant in maintaining progress, peace and harmony in Sarawak.
Abang Johari was Saberkas president since 2009. taking over from Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was the Chief Minister at the time.
Since its establishment in 1973, Saberkas has always been headed by the Chief Minister as its president. The third Chief Minister, the late Tun Abdul Rahman Yakub, was its first president who was then succeeded by Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.