KUCHING, July 16 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh has contributed much to Malaysia’s largest state, but his decision to resign from the state Cabinet should be respected, Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg said today.
Abang Johari said Wong was a seasoned politician who had also been speaker of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly.
“You must respect his decision. That is his choice. I am sure that being an experienced politician, he has his own reasons,” he told reporters at the 11th International Conference on Information Technology in Asia 2019, organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak here.
Abang Johari was asked to respond to Wong’s resignation from his twin posts as the state international trade and e-commerce minister and second Sarawak finance minister.
Wong confirmed his resignation was definite and that it had been endorsed by PSB delegates at their annual conference in Sibu three days ago.
Wong blamed hostile relations with the state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties as the reason for his decision to step down.
He had also said that he would personally hand over his resignation letter when he paid a courtesy call to the chief minister later.
PSB, though not a component of GPS, was represented by Wong at the state government level.
Abang Johari confirmed he will be meeting Wong within the next few days.
“Let’s see what he wants to discuss with me,” he said.
Asked if he would allow Wong to stay on for a while until a suitable replacement is found, the chief minister said: “His party’s recent events may not be politically correct.
“But we must remember that Wong has contributed a lot to the state, not only as a Cabinet member but also he was the Speaker of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.
“Therefore, we must acknowledge his contributions to the stability of the state government before and also what he has done to the state.”
Asked if he would put Wong in a place where he could continue to contribute to the state, the chief minister said he would think about it after they have met.
Abang Johari said he had not thought of reshuffling his Cabinet after the resignation of Wong later.