KUCHING, May 13 – Following the landslide victory by the Barisan Nasional in the 11th Sarawak state election on Saturday, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today announced the appointment of three assemblymen as deputy chief ministers.
They are Plantation Industries and Commodites Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg. Their appointments are effective today.
This is not the first time Sarawak has had three deputy chief ministers(DCMs). It was the norm in the 80s. BN swept 72 of the 82 seats up for grabs in Saturday’s election. In the 10th state election in 2011, BN won 55 of 71 seats in the state assembly then. The seats in the state assembly were increased to 82 following a redelineation exercise.
Uggah, who is PBB senior vice president II, before this had been speculated would be given a DCM post following a vacancy after Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang decided not to contest in the election. Uggah, who has been the member of Parliament for Betong for 30 years or seven terms since the 1986 General Election, is no stranger to the voters in Bukit Saban, which comes under the Betong Parliamentary constituency.
The state election saw him defeating PKR candidate Noel Changgai Bucking for the Bukit Saban seat by a majority of 4,599 votes. Meanwhile, Abang Johari, who is more fondly known here as “Abang Jo”, retained the Satok seat for the eighth time. He is the most senior leader in PBB, after party president Adenan.
He was formerly a political secretary of Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud in 1983, when the latter was Sarawak Chief Minister, and was appointed Assistant Minister of Regional and Social Development in March 1984. The son of Sarawak’s first Yang Dipertua Negeri, the late Tun Abang Openg Abang Shapie, Johari has successfully transformed the Satok constituency from a traditional kampung settlement into a progressive commercial area.
He was previously Housing and Tourism Minister. Meantime, Masing scored a thumping victory for Sarawak BN when PRS won all 11 seats allocated to it in the election. The Sarawak Land Development Minister contested for the first time in the Baleh seat in the 1983 state election, and in the 11th election, he defeated Agop Linsong from DAP with a majority of 4,793 votes. With the victory, he retains his position as Baleh assemblyman for the eighth time.