Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister 2 and PBB deputy president Abang Johari Tun Openg has been appointed as the next Sarawak chief minister, reported Bernama.
Among the first to congratulate the 66-year-old veteran politician on Twitter were Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar Radin.
Clad in a black baju Melayu, the nine-term Satok assemblyperson took his oath of office as the sixth chief minister before Sarawak governor Abdul Taib Mahmud at the latter's official residence in Kuching this afternoon.
The event was witnessed by Abang Johari's wife Jumaani Tuanku Bujang, members of the state cabinet, state assemblypersons and senior civil servants.
Abang Johari, or Abang Jo as he is fondly known, was one of three deputy chief ministers under the late chief minister Adenan Satem's administration. The two others are and James Masing.
Earlier, the Star quoted PBB senior vice-president Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as saying that Abang Johar had the party's backing to take over the reins.
"We all support Abang Jo," he told reporters in Kuching.
Senior PBB and state BN leaders met Taib this morning to discuss the succession following the death of incumbent Adenan on Wednesday.
Earlier, Borneo Post reported that Sarawak's new chief minister is expected to be sworn in today, as there is no provision in the state laws for an acting chief minister.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, the daily said this was urgent because according to the laws, the present cabinet is deemed dissolved with Adenan's death.
"The state is now technically governed by a caretaker government. Basically, there is no government governing the state when the chief minister has died until the new chief minister is appointed.
"While waiting for the new chief minister to be appointed, the present government is only a caretaker government.
“However, in a situation like this, by convention, the head of state could appoint somebody to administer the state as caretaker government so that there is somebody in charge while waiting for the governing party to find a successor,” said the source.
The source said the task of appointing Adenan's replacement falls on Taib.
“Appointment of the chief minister is the absolute discretion of the head of state. The exercise of his discretion cannot be challenged in court. That means, (Taib) is the one making the decision,” he added.- Mkini