KUCHING, Jan 13 — As had been widely-expected, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg was sworn in today as the sixth Sarawak chief minister.
He succeeds Tan Sri Adenan Satem who died of heart failure on Wednesday.
Abang Johari took his oath of office before Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud at the Astana Negeri in Petra Jaya at 4.05pm.
This morning, he led a delegation of PBB leaders to inform Taib that he has the agreement and support of his party to be the new chief minister.
Abang Johari, the youngest son of Sarawak’s first Governor Tun Abang Openg Abang Sapiee in post-Malaysia, was appointed the deputy chief minister.
He also was appointed to hold two state ministerial portfolios under Adenan’s Cabinet soon after the May 7, 2016 state elections. He is Sarawak minister of housing and urban development as well as minister of tourism, arts and culture.
Abang Johari, 67, is the state assemblyman for Satok, which he has represented since 1981.
In the last state election, he defeated Mohamed Salleh Shawkatali of PKR by a majority of 5,045 votes when he polled 6,854 votes against 1,809 by his rival.
He was elected PBB second deputy president, defeating Adenan during the party convention in 1989. Since then, he has been returned unopposed to the post.
Abang Johari automatically becomes president of the party, which, by convention, must be held by the chief minister.
He started his career in politics in 1977 and was elected as Satok assemblyman in 1981, and in the following year, he was appointed as Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister.
Later in 1984, he was appointed as Assistant Minister of Regional and Community Development. After winning the state election for Satok constituency in April 1987, he was appointed as the Minister of Industrial Development — a new Ministry created in the Sarawak Cabinet.
On September 15, 2000 he was appointed as the Minister of Tourism.
Following a state Cabinet reshuffle on July 1, 2004, he was appointed as Minister of Housing.
After the state election in September 2011, he was appointed to hold two portfolios as Minister of Housing as well as Minister of Tourism.
Prior to his involvement in politics, he had served as Executive Officer with Malaysia Airlines.
When Taib stepped down as chief minister in 2014, Abang Johari was a strong favourite for the post, but instead, Adenan, then party information chief, was picked as fifth chief minister.
Instead of showing his tantrums, Abang Johari remained loyal to the party.
“It does not matter in whatever capacity you hold in the government, the important thing is you serve with dedication,” he had told reporters then.
Born in Limbang Division, Abang Johari received his primary education at Merpati Jepang Primary School, Kuching and his secondary level at St Joseph Secondary School also in Kuching.
He obtained his masters in business administration from Henley College, Brunel University, United Kingdom.
Abang Johari is married to Datin Amar Juma’ani Tun Tunaku Bujang and they are blessed with a daughter and a son. – Malay Mail