Abang Johari receives a memento from Wan Junaidi during the event. From second left are Abdul Karim, Juma’ani, Wan Junaidi’s wife Puan Sri Fauziah Mohd Sanusi, and Sharifah Hasidah. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Aug 9): The Dewan Negara now has a neutral president in Tan Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier revealed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had asked him to recommend a neutral person for the position.

“So, I recommended Wan Junaidi to him. The only thing at the time, Wan Junaidi had stated that he wanted to enjoy his retirement and I had to ask Wan Junaidi first,” he shared during a dinner last night to celebrate Wan Junaidi’s appointment as Dewan Negara President.

Abang Johari said Anwar had faced a challenge finding someone considered as a neutral candidate for the role.

Because of that he told the Prime Minister the problem could be solved by appointing someone from Sarawak.

“Once I asked Wan Junaidi on that matter, he said that he had no problem in coming out of his retirement, because of the country he was willing to serve,” said Abang Johari.

Wan Junaidi was sworn in as the 19th Dewan Negara president after Tan Sri Rais Yatim’s tenure ended on June 16.

The 78-year-old veteran Sarawakian politician was the sole candidate proposed for the post.

Separately, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is willing to assist Anwar to ensure a stable Malaysian government.

He stressed GPS is not siding with any party because the most important thing to the coalition is the Malaysian government’s stability in order to achieve more development.

“I believe more foreign investors will come to Malaysia if the country’s government is stable and peaceful. That is why we must emphasise on the stability of the government,” he added.

Among those present during the event were Abang Johari’s wife Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; and Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Law, MA63 and State-Federal Relations) Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali.