Many Chinese in Sarawak are hoping that a Chinese assemblyman from the Barisan Nasional (BN) fold would be appointed deputy chief minister, reported Borneo Post online.
The Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions president Richard Wee said the community had been waiting to see a Chinese assemblyman be given the post.
The last Chinese deputy chief minister was George Chan, who served between Sept 9, 1996 and April 16, 2011.
“Now that Abang Johari Tun Openg is the chief minister, there’s a vacancy for one of the deputy CM’s post,”
Wee told reporters at the welcoming dinner for the performers of ‘Culture of China, Festival of Spring’ at a restaurant here on Sunday.
According to him, the time has come again for each of the three major races – the Malays, the Dayaks and the Chinese – in Sarawak to be represented in the state government through the deputy chief minister’s post.
He said when the present Local Government Minister Sim Kui Hian won the Batu Kawah seat in the state election last year, talks were rife about him (Sim) being appointed deputy chief minister.
“I hope that the chief minister would consider (this matter) seriously and favourably, as it is the kind of hope that the Chinese community would like to see,” added Wee, who is also Chung Hua Middle School (CHMS) No 1, 3 and 4 board of management chairman.
Asked if the Chinese community were in favour of Dr Sim being the new deputy chief minister, Wee said this would fall under the prerogative of Abang Johari.
“At the moment, we cannot say who it will be; we can only hope that it would be a Chinese assemblyman,” he said.
“I am sure if given the opportunity, he (Dr Sim) would rise to the occasion.”
Meanwhile, Wee said on behalf of the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions, he announced that the federation fully supported the appointment of Abang Johari as the state’s sixth chief minister.
“He has always been very supportive of Chinese education and culture. If we had any request for him, very seldom would he turn us down.”
On a personal level, Wee felt that Abang Johari should be able to continue the work of his predecessor Adenan Satem, who had already laid down the solid foundation, direction and policies for Sarawak.
Adenan – who became the state’s fifth chief minister on Feb 28, 2014 – passed away last Wednesday.
“I do have that kind of confidence in him (Abang Johari), for him to continue the legacy,” Wee said.