KUCHING: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says he will respect the decision by Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh to quit the state Cabinet.
The Chief Minister confirmed that Wong had made an appointment to meet him "in the next few days" on resigning his ministerial posts.
"You must respect his decision. That is his choice.
"Being an experienced politician, he has his own reasons," Abang Johari told reporters on Tuesday (July 16) when asked if he would let Wong stay on for a while before stepping down.
Wong, who is Second Finance Minister and International Trade and e-Commerce Minister, said on Monday (July 15) that he would resign from the state Cabinet after meeting Abang Johari, after having obtained the endorsement of his party to do so.
Wong also said he had no "moral locus standi" to remain in the state Cabinet after PSB was sidelined in the new list of councillors drawn up for local authorities. On top of this, their elected representatives' minor rural project and transformation project grants had been frozen by the state government.
Abang Johari said Wong had contributed a lot to the state as a Cabinet member and previously as state legislative assembly speaker.
"His party's recent events may not be politically correct, but we must acknowledge the contributions of Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh to the stability of the government and also what he has done all this time," he said.
He did not specify the "politically incorrect" actions, but is believed to be referring to PSB's recruitment of former members from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties.
This gave rise to accusations that PSB was undermining the ruling state coalition and led to calls for PSB leaders to be dropped from the state Cabinet.
A splinter party of Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP), PSB is not part of GPS, although Wong and former deputy president Datuk Dr Jerip Susil are in the state Cabinet.
Dr Jerip, who is Assistant Transportation Minister, abruptly resigned from PSB last Thursday (July 11).