KUCHING, June 24 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said he is leaving it to Putrajaya to call the 15th general election (GE15).
He said he is unable to tell when GE15 will be called as he is only the premier of Sarawak, not the prime minister of Malaysia.
“It is important for Malaysia to have a strong federal government and political stability and that investments will be affected when people no longer have any confidence in the federal government,” he told reporters after he opened the Masjid Darul Naim, Kampug Lintang here.
“In such a case, there is no inflow of foreign capital into the country so foreign investors will not buy our currency as they have doubts about Malaysia’s political stability.”
As for those who are urging Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to hold GE15 as soon as possible to tackle the rising inflation rate in the country, Abang Johari said the problem isn’t unique to Malaysia.
He said it is also experienced by other countries due to the increasing cost of consumer goods.
The premier said development projects such as roads and bridges in Sarawak will not be affected by the high cost of goods, including building materials.
He said the state government already put in place a development programme last year with the launch of the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) that is now being carried out.
“If there are ‘sick’ projects, we will engage rescue contractors where the costs of building materials are adjusted upwards to meet the current prices of these materials.
“This means, the implementation of these ‘sick’ projects won’t be delayed,” he said.
However, Abang Johari said the high cost of goods will affect Sarawak as most of its consumer items are imported while the Malaysian currency is weak.
He said the weak ringgit will lead to a high cost of imported goods that will be transferred to the consumers.
He said it is for this reason that the state government has decided to reduce electricity charges to ease the burden on consumers.
He said Malaysia’s economy must expand to overcome the high cost of goods.
“We also need to increase our exports so there is supply and demand of the local currency,” he said.