The appointment of Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg as the sixth chief minister is the most appropriate decision, says Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) senior lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Jeniri Amir.
According to the Sarawak political analyst, there are several factors supporting the appointment of the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president, including his political experience as well as the quality of his leadership in both the government and party.
He said Abang Johari was the most senior individual and most experienced in the party (PBB and Barisan Nasional) and Sarawak politics, starting in 1981 while three other candidates, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas joined politics in 1986; Datuk Amar Awang Tengah (1987) and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (1999).
The four names had been tipped as favourite candidates to succeed the late Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem who died of heart complications at the Kota Samarahan Hospital Heart Centre near here on Wednesday.
“Abang Johari is a seasoned politician who has gone through various tests in the political arena,” Jeniri told Bernama.
He believed, when Adenan appointed Abang Johari as deputy chief minister, it was in preparation for Abang Johari to take over the state leadership when Adenan was no longer chief minister.
Apart from that, Jeniri said Abang Johari was also a leader and politician loyal to the party and the earlier chief minister (Tan Sri now Tun) Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“In fact, Abang Johari gave full support to the appointment of Adenan as chief minister in 2014, even though he himself was touted as a successor to Abdul Taib then.
“Abang Johari did not bear any grudge, this is the character of a leader we want, in fact his integrity was never questioned because he was a clean leader.
“His appointment as deputy chief minister during Adenan’s era proved the late chief minister had full confidence in his credibility,” added Jeniri.
Besides that, he said Abang Johari was a humble leader, popular and well-liked by people of various races, adding and he was an approachable person who loved being with the people.
“Even though Adenan left behind a huge legacy, we are confident Abang Johari is capable of carrying out his responsibilities as chief minister with the wisdom, vision and wide experience he possesses,” said Jeniri.
He said Abang Johari played a very important role when he was holding the deputy chief minister’s post under the leadership of Adenan while his achievements in the various state ministries were outstanding.
“I am confident he will not disappoint Sarawakians and he is expected to continue with Adenan’s agenda in the interest of the state and its people.”
Jeniri said Awang Tengah would be expected to fully support the appointment of Abang Johari as the latter was the one who brought in Awang Tengah into Sarawak politics.
He said Awang Tengah had the time and opportunity to move up as experienced by Abang Johari earlier.
Jeniri was confident Abang Johari’s appointment would not break up Barisan Nasional (BN) as Uggah, Awang Tengah or even Fadillah would give their full support to the appointment.
In this regard, he said as chief minister, Abang Johari would preserve the close relations between the state and federal governments.
“Sarawak needs a chief minister who can work with federal leaders.
“This is because the existing cordial relations with the federal government will ensure Sarawak benefitted from more allocations from the federal government to continue developing the state,” he added. – Bernama