Sarawak CM says he respects Wong’s quit decision, acknowledges contribution

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg speaks to reporters after launching the 11th International Conference on Information Technology in Asia 2019 in Kuching today.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said he respects Bawan Assan assemblyman Wong Soon Koh’s decision to resign from the state Cabinet.

“That is his choice. I’m sure Wong, as an experienced politician, has his own reasons,” Abang Johari told reporters after launching the 11th International Conference on Information Technology in Asia 2019 here today.

He said he would be meeting with Wong in the next few days to discuss his decision.

Yesterday, Wong, 77, the Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president, announced his resignation as Sarawak’s minister for international trade and e-commerce and second finance minister.

He said he had no “moral locus standi” to remain in the cabinet and had decided to leave as “a matter of political integrity” as PSB leaders had been excluded from the latest councillors’ list, the state statutory bodies and appointment as community leaders.

Wong said that elected representatives from PSB had been deprived of minor rural project and rural transformation programme funds since April.

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president James Masing said Wong should have read the signs long ago and that Gabungan Parti Sarawak had to defend itself following PSB’s action of encouraging members of PRS and other GPS component parties to join it.

But Wong said PSB had merely taken in some leaders who had either resigned or had been sacked from some component parties of GPS.

“We did so with the good intention of strengthening not just our party but also indirectly helping GPS. in the event these leaders choose to join the opposition,” he said.

Abang Johari described the taking in of these politicians by PSB as “politically incorrect”.

But he acknowledged Wong’s contribution to the state.

He also said he had not thought about who would replace Wong in the state cabinet as Wong had yet to meet him to formally hand over his resignation letter.