BETONG, Sept 26 — The Betong zone Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Special Convention held at the Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan Sports Hall today could be a sign of the 12th Sarawak State Election is approaching.
The convention which was attended by 654 delegates from 14 branches in the Betong zone is seen as injecting a new spirit in them to continue giving their full support to the PBB leadership headed by Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.
This special convention is also linked to preparations by PBB as the backbone of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and three other parties, namely Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) in facing the 12th State Election.
Abang Johari said like a student who is required to revise his subjects in facing an examination, “we are now doing our revision and I am confident we will pass with flying colours”.
He also urged the party delegates and particularly the people of Sarawak not to place the state’s fate in the hands of others.
“Let Sarawak’s future be determined by Sarawakians themselves,” said Abang Johari to thunderous applause from the delegates present.
Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman, said there would also be a “special reward” awaiting for the people of Sarawak, however, it would only be announced if GPS still be given the mandate in the 12th Sarawak Election.
“There’s more than the five per cent (oil royalty) we collect from Petronas. Let me keep this to myself first. I will announce it when we win,” said Abang Johari, who is confident that the state government currently led by him has a clear direction to further develop Sarawak.
The convention also saw the presentation of various topics including ‘Strategic Partnership: Infrastructure Development’ by state Infrastructure and Ports Development Assistant Minister, Datuk Julaihi Narawi and ‘Utility Projects: Electricity and Clean Water Supply in Rural Areas’ by Sarawak Utilities Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
The special convention in Betong is the second after the one held in Miri on Sept 5 and according to the plans, two more will be held in Sibu and Kuching respectively.
Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who is also the PBB Convention Main Committee chairman and PBB Betong Zone Special Committee chairman, was also present.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also announced that the Sarawak government is now in the process of taking over a number of agriculture areas in Betong which are currently under Tabung Haji Plantation Berhad.
“The ongoing discussion has entered the phase of setting the purchase price and soon these areas will be taken over by our (Sarawak) government,” he said.
It has been the Sarawak government’s intention to develop the Betong area as an agricultural hub, hence a number of high-impact initiatives need to be taken to provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, especially in the agro-business sector. — Bernama