KUCHING, Jan 13 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg believes that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will still be in power when Sarawak achieves its developed status target in 2030.
“I have no worries as long as our policies are for the people. That is the key; unless our policies have problems, then people won’t respect us anymore,” he said during a special interview with members of the local media in conjunction with his third anniversary as chief minister which falls today.
“I tell you honestly. This is a question of sincerity. As long as Sarawak achieves developed status, people will continue to support us.
“Maybe, I won’t reach the year 2030, but we have to groom the leaders who will take over from the current leaders.
“Maybe they have better ideas. You cannot be static and I cannot be selfish,” he said, adding that he will not be the chief minister forever.
Abang Johari noted that each successive chief minister faced different challenges and had their own ways of developing the state.
He said he came in when his immediate predecessor Pehin Sri Adenan Satem passed away on January 11, 2017.
“My time now is that we have more young and well-educated people in the state government,” Abang Johari said.
He said over the last three years, he has done his level best to lay the basic foundation for a modern Sarawak within the era of digital economy.
He said the state will achieve developed status as long as there is political stability and understanding among the people of various races.
“I would like to thank the media for your cooperation extended to me and I am confident that the political stability and understanding will go on smoothly for the mutual interest of all, especially Sarawak, and also Malaysia, because we also want Malaysia to be a strong nation.
“If there is an understanding among us, when we respect our own rights, in the context of Malaysia, I feel if Sarawak is strong, Malaysia is also strong.
“This is the core of our struggle as far as Sarawak is concerned because I took note of the comments made by an international rating agency Standard and Poor’s recently.
“When Standard and Poor’s says that Sarawak’s economy is in good health, such as the A- rating, they commented that our state economy is better than the whole country. But the rating agency also commented that our state economy can be pulled down if Malaysia’s economy is bad,” the chief minister said.
“Therefore, I hope that Malaysia’s economy is also good, and Sarawak’s economy will be in that position, maybe better for the future,” he said.
Asked if he is satisfied with what the state government has done for the whole of last year, he replied: “Yes, to a certain extent.”
“I think we have to fulfil what we have set out. But there are certain grey areas in terms of understanding between the federal government and state government.
“That has to be thrashed out, but in terms of direction, our direction is clear.
“I think people are accepting what we should do for the future. What is important is that we are in good hands and also policies are in tune with what people want.
“At the same time, we must keep abreast of the whole ecosystem what is going on in this region.
“We have good relations with our neighbours in Borneo. I think with that sort of understanding, we can move further forward,” he said, adding that Sarawak’s relations with Singapore have brought certain benefits to the state.