Premier of Sarawak
The Right Honourable Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg was appointed as the Sixth Premier of Sarawak on 13th January 2017.
He is the youngest son of the first Governor of Sarawak, the late Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg bin Abang Sapiee.
He was born in Limbang, Sarawak on 4th August, 1950. He obtained his Masters of Business Management from Brunnel University in the United Kingdom. He received his early education at Sekolah Rendah Merpati Jepang in Kuching and later at St. Joseph’s School, also in Kuching.
He entered politics in 1977 as Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) youth leader and was first elected to the State Legislative Assembly when he won the Satok seat in 1981. In 1982, he was appointed as the Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister of Sarawak. After the state elections in 1983 he was appointed to the post of Assistant Minister of Regional and Community Development.
After winning the Satok state seat again in 1987, he was promoted to the post of Minister of Industrial Development and became a member of the State Cabinet. In 2000 he was appointed as the Minister of Tourism, later in 2004 the Minister of Housing, and in 2009 the Minister of Housing and Urbanisation.
After retaining the Satok state seat in the 2011 state elections, he was appointed as the Minister of Housing and Minister of Tourism. In 2016, he was appointed as a Deputy Chief Minister and also held the portfolios of the Minister of Housing and Urbanisation and Minister of Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
He has been Member of Dewan Undangan Negeri for the Satok state constituency for nine consecutive terms from 1981 through to 1983, 1987, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016.
He was awarded the second highest Sarawak state award of Datuk Patinggi Bintang Kenyalang (D.P.) in 2017 that carries the title of Datuk Patinggi, the national award of Panglima Mangku Negara (PMN) in 2021 carrying the title Tan Sri, the state award of Datuk Amar Bintang Kenyalang (D.A.) which carries the title of “Datuk Amar” in 2008, Johan Bintang Sarawak (JBS) in 1985, Panglima Negara Bintang Sarawak (PNBS) in 1990, Pingat Perkhidmatan Bakti (PPB Perak) in 1988 and Pingat Jubli Emas (Gold) in 2013.
He was appointed Pro Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus in March 2017. On 7th October, 2017 he was awarded an Honourary Doctorate in Business and Management by University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS), Sibu and later on 20th December, 2018 the Honorary Doctorate of the University Award by Swinburne University of Melbourne, Australia.
The Right Honourable assumed the posts of President PBB, Chairman of the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Chairman of Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan Negeri (MKKN) after being appointed as Chief Minister of Sarawak on 13th January 2017 upon the demise of the fifth Chief Minister, Pehin Sri Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem.
He is the Chairman of Yayasan Sarawak (Sarawak Foundation), Chairman of Bintulu Development Authority (BDA), Chairman of the State Planning Authority (SPA), Chairman of Sarawak Higher Education Fund (SHEF), Chairman of Sarawak State Mineral Authority (SSMA), Chairman of the Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB), Chairman of Sarawak Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) and Chairman of Sarawak Mosques Trust Board.
He is president of the Sarawak National Youth Organisation (SABERKAS) since 2009.
In the 12th Sarawak State Elections in December 2021 he moved to the Gedong State seat after serving for 40 years in the Satok state constituency. After winning the Gedong seat and a resounding victory in the 12th State Elections with his GPS party winning 76 out of the 82 state seats, he is appointed and continued on as the Premier of Sarawak with his own mandate. He has taken on the title of the Premier of Sarawak upon a constitutional amendment in February 2022 that has restyled the title from the Chief Minister of Sarawak to Premier of Sarawak.
Currently, he also holds the portfolios of the Minister for Finance and New Economy, Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development and Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability.
The thrust of his administration lies in the development of emission-free green technology with a strong focus on Green Hydrogen. In 2017, he formed a Research Council to oversee various sectors in hydrogen application across various industries to enable Sarawak to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel and lower its carbon footprint. To date, Sarawak under his mantle has forged much significant collaboration with big renewable energy players across the globe; resulting in progressive technology transfers, Fuel Cell Vehicle pilot projects, etc.
The Right Honourable Premier also spearheads the pursuit of a Digital Economy with a view to digitalize Sarawak, Borneo and transform it into a new, developed and sustainable economy with high-income by 2030.
Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg is married to Puan Sri Datuk Amar Hajah Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Haji Bujang and they are blessed with two children.