SIBU, Oct 3 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg today signalled that the state will be holding its election “any time from now” even as Malaysia faces a surge in Covid-19 cases.
It is the clearest indication to date that Abang Johari, who also Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president and chairman of the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), is seeking to extend its mandate.
“I want to convey a message that the drum will be sounded. I have the wood on standby and also the drum on standby.
“When the drum is struck with the wood at any time from now, we must all go out to defend PBB and GPS in the election,” he told a special PBB mini-convention here today.
Abang Johari stopped short of disclosing when he will advise Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud to dissolve the legislature.
The current GPS mandate expires next June.
Abang Johari said PBB and GPS have the experience in administrating the state and that they will defend the state’s rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report.
The chief minister also said a state-owned television station will be launched by Taib on October 10 to coincide with the official birthday of the Sarawak governor.
“The station will air mostly programmes related to Sarawak,” Abang Johari said, adding that Sarawak is rich in arts and cultures and beautiful sceneries that will attract tourists.
Among those present at the mini-convention were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah and federal Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
The convention was attended by over 1,000 delegates from PBB branches in the central zone of Sarawak.
Sarawak recorded three new Covid-19 cases today while the country’s daily statistics surged to 317 new infections today.
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has described the recent surges as the “third wave”.