Datuk Abang Johari Openg has been sworn in as Sarawak’s sixth Chief Minister at the Astana Negeri today, taking over from Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who passed away on Wednesday. Abang Johari was previously one of the state’s three deputy chief ministers, along with Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas. He is also the deputy president of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), as well as Minister of Housing and Urbanization, and Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak.

Image: Jiwa Bakti
The 66-year-old politician is a veteran who has been in the political scene for more than 30 years since joining the state cabinet in 1984 as Assistant Regional and Social Development Minister. He followed the footsteps of his father, Tun Abang Haji Openg, who became the first Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak (aka Governor of Sarawak) after the independence from the British and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Image: The Star
Abang Johari, or fondly known as Abang Jo, is also currently serving as a nine-term assemblyman for Satok after winning a by-election in 1981. In the Sarawak state elections last year, he successfully defended his seat for PBB against PKR’s Mohammad Salleh Shawkatali. Back in 2014 when Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud stepped down as chief minister, Abang Jo was actually considered to take over. However, the position went to the late Adenan instead.

Image: New Straits Times
Abang Jo's experience in politics certainly made him an obvious choice as the East Malaysian state's new Chief Minister.