Abang Johari (right) speaks to the media while Awang Tengah looks on.

BINTULU (Nov 4): GPS’ landslide victory in the Jepak by-election is a strong endorsement from the people for the GPS government to bring a more structured development to Bintulu, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“This victory is a sign that the people of Jepak and Bintulu have accepted our policies that we have planned and will implement for the development of Bintulu.

“Moreover, the proposal to develop Jepak Jaya, which has also been jointly proposed by the late Datuk Talib Zulpilip – of course Iskandar will continue his efforts.

“The Samalaju, Kidurong including Jepak Jaya area that we will develop will become a model industrial town, complete with facilities that can bring more investment to Sarawak through Bintulu,” he said.

At the same time, he said the government would continue to develop local talents so that they can meet the demands of rapid development and high-level economy with suitable training.

He said GPS will work harder following the strong mandate given by the Jepak voters to GPS candidate Iskandar Turkee who with a bigger majority compared to his predecessor.

“Our majority has increased, we have a majority of 8,784 votes. This is a clear message that this democracy is not only for us to fight but we must see the reality of what is really happening,” said Abang Johari, who is GPS chairman, during a press conference after the Jepak by-election official announcement at the Bintulu Civic Centre tonight.

He assured that GPS will continue to strive to develop Sarawak to become a prosperous state by 2030, and Bintulu will continue to be developed with detailed plans until 2030.

Asked about the lower voter turnout of 48.57 per cent, Abang Johari said it has been expected because the turnout for by-elections would be much different from the state or general elections.

He said among the reasons, there are many voters in Jepak who are working outside Bintulu, and for young voters, they are still at their respective higher learning institutions.

“Usually in the by-election, the most that you can get is 50 to 54 per cent, but today we got 48, close to 50 per cent.

“Actually, it’s ok, but the important thing is that GPS gets a bigger support in the by-election,” he said, adding that if it reached 50 per cent, most likely the majority could be much higher.

He believed the perception of voters that GPS will surely win even if they are not voting, was probably one of the reasons for the lower turnout.

Abang Johari thanked the GPS component parties that have worked hard to inform the voters about the state government policies.

He also thanked Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is GPS’ director of operations for the by-election, for his hard work with the elected representatives from the coalition’s component parties.