Sarawak Cabinet cuts pro-GPS party from local councils

Abang Johari said the decision to exclude PSB was made at the state Cabinet meeting yesterday. — Bernama pic
Abang Johari said the decision to exclude PSB was made at the state Cabinet meeting yesterday. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, July 12 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) will no longer be represented in any local council, Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg said today even though it is supportive of the state ruling coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

He said the decision to exclude PSB was made at the state Cabinet meeting yesterday.

“Only the four component parties of Gabungan Parti Sarawak are represented in the local councils,” he told reporters, referring to Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

Though PSB is not a component party of GPS, its president Tan Sri Wong Soon Koh is in the state Cabinet as the Minister of International Trade and e-Commerce, courtesy of the chief minister.

The term of the previous councillors expired on June 30 this year.

Asked if the exclusion of PSB from the local council is an indication that Wong would be out in the even of a state Cabinet reshuffle, Abang Johari said he does not know yet.

He said he does not know when he should reshuffle his Cabinet.

“Let me see something first. If there is new technology and I need to get the right person who should know this technology, then I may do so,” he said when met by reporters after launching the Mind and STEM Festival at Chung Hua Middle School No. 1 here.

The two-day festival is organised by the Malaysian Mental Literacy Movement, together with the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Sin Chew Daily.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who also with the chief minister, said his office is making arrangement with the Astana Negeri for endorsement of the list of councillors by the Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

“We hope to pay a courtesy call to the governor possibly next week so that the councillors can take their oath of office as soon as possible,” he said.

He said the local councils have been without their chairmen or mayors and councillors since July 1 after the term of the previous chairmen or mayors and councillors expired on June 30.

“Once the governor has endorsed the list, only then the new councillors can take their oath,” he said.

Dr Sim said he presented the name list of councillors to the state Cabinet meeting yesterday which gave its approval.

He confirmed that representatives from PSB were not on the list.