This will allow Jamilah Anu the opportunity to continue with the excellent work of her late husband

KUCHING: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has welcomed the announcements by certain political parties that they will not be contesting in the Tanjung Datu by-election.

Referring to DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara which had public stated so, Ahmad Zahid said this would allow Jamilah Anu, who has been chosen by the Barisan Nasional to be its candidate for the by-election, the opportunity to continue with the excellent work of her husband.

Jamilah, 61, is the widow of the incumbent Adenan Satem.

Adenan, 72, who was Sarawak’s fifth Chief Minister, died on Jan 11 due to heart complications, hence the by-election.

Nomination and polling have been set for Feb 4 and Feb 18 respectively.

“It is public knowledge that 14 nomination papers had been collected.You can collect the papers but do not submit them at the nomination centre tomorrow.

“But at the same time we are not stopping anyone including independents if they want to contest as we are a democratic country,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid was speaking to reporters at a Chinese New Year Gathering organised jointly by the state government and the Kuching City South Chinese Community here today.

DAP, PKR and Amanah had issued press statements stating they would not contest as they wished to concentrate on the coming 14th general election besides as a gesture of respect and honour to the late Adenan.

Ahmad Zahid said if Jamilah were allowed to win uncontested, it would mean more development and prosperity for the Lundu constituency and its people in particular.

On another issue, he commended the very smooth transition of power in the state following Adenan’s whereby Deputy Chief Minister and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) deputy president Abang Johari Openg took over as the new chief minister.

“This demonstrates the great quality of leadership in the state which is very different and very unique.

“Sarawakians are very lucky. Despite the differences in religions, opinions, approaches or thinking, they are very united as 1 Sarawak,” he said.

He said in fact Sarawak’s unity index was the highest in the nation.