By Lian Cheng
SARIKEI, Jan 28: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Aband Johari Tun Openg emphasises the Chinese in Sarawak are not ‘pendatang’ (migrants).
He said in Sarawak, all races including the Chinese, Iban, Malays and Melanau, have been celebrating all festivals such as Chinese New Year, Hari Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri together as one.
“We don’t care about races; we all ‘Gong Xi Fa Chai’ (wish each other prosperity) together.
“This is our way. Like what Tok Nan (former Chief Minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem) said, the Chinese are not ‘pendatang’. They are locals. They have been here a long time. They give birth here. They get married here and they also die here.
“They are not ‘pendatang’. Together we celebrate today (Chinese New Year) because since years immemorial, we have been working together. We go to the same schools, we go to the same coffeeshops, we drink together, we eat together, we even go for the same girls. This is our culture,” said Abang Johari at Repok assemblyman Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii’s Chinese New Year Open House at Dewan Sentral Sarikei today.
Abang Johari also said Sarawak’s racial and religious harmony has made her a “very special state”.
“We are a very special state. Other states, they quarrel. This state, we don’t quarrel. We ‘Gong Xi Fa Chai’ together.”
He said when the state has harmony, the leaders can think how best to develop Sarawak, including Sarikei.
Highlighting some of the development programmes in Sarikei such as the building of roads and bridges linking Sarikei to Tanjung Manis as well as the provision of water and electricity, Abang Johari said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has made good on all its promises.
“Other people only talk, they don’t fulfill their promises. When GPS promises, it makes good its promises,” said Abang Johari.
In the Year of Rat, Abang Johari said Sarawakians must be like rats — smart and able to adapt well to its environment.
“If people want to fight us, we will find ways to fight back. We must protect our own house. This is our way,” said Abang Johari.
Also present at the open house were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah and assistant ministers Datuk Len Talif, Dr Annuar Rapaee and Abdullah Saidol, as well as other elected representatives. — DayakDaily