KUCHING, Dec 10: The late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s dream to have a Wisma Melayu Sarawak finally came true as the earth-breaking ceremony today marked the start of its construction that will put another iconic landmark in Kuching city.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and other senior ministers came together under a bright blue sky to perform the groundbreaking for the soon-to-be-home of Amanah Khairat Yayasan Budaya Melayu Sarawak (AKYBMS) at Jalan Diplomatik, Petra Jaya here.
“This building is a symbol of unity. We have achieved success to this level due to our zeal and vitality.
“It was Tok Nan (late Adenan) who allocated the land. Now me and Awang Tengah will develop the building that will be a symbol of the contributions and sacrifices of the Malay community in our peaceful Sarawak,” he addressed the function today.
Abang Johari emphasised that the Malay leadership, which strongly upholds the Islamic principle, has always adopted the Sarawak-centric approach in governance and given the history of humans in this region before the advent of Islam.
“Based on history, we are from one root but divided by religions. So that time (the late) Adenan tried to unite the communities into one.
“We, who have accepted this, must see the big picture as to where we are now and to where are we heading to.
“For us, the most important is to have the right foundation and that is why the government under our leadership from the late Tun Rahman, Tun Taib, (late) Adenan and me, are all for Sarawak-centric and not race-centric because we want to be fair to all,” he said.
Abang Johari shared his knowledge of the evolution of humans in this region read from a book which claimed that this area from Kampuchea to the Philippine Island was ‘the Malay world’ or Malay archipelago.
“The book also mentioned that the communities in this region were of Malay descent before the coming of Islam.
“I remembered when I was the Minister of Industry before, there was an investor from the United States who invested in an electronic plant called Comet, which has been bought over by Western Digital to be expanded now. The chairman is from Taiwan who told me he was of Malay descent as he is a native of Taiwan,” he explained.
This, he added, was in line with written history in which the Malay communities in this area, in fact, belonged to the same cluster but evidence revealed that they were separated by foreign or western influences that led to the creation of different clans and changes in lifestyles.
“Nevertheless, we see the Melanaus, Bidayuhs and Ibans are our people. As such, Malay leadership is focused on Sarawak-centric in Malaysia. That’s why we are fair from the start until now like Awang Tengah had said that no one race can govern this state and those given the authority must be fair to all based on Islamic principles.
“We have our law, we will safeguard our existing law and use it to develop our state,” he said.
The Sarawak-centric policy, he pointed out was demonstrated in developments throughout Sarawak including a new building for Dayak Cultural Foundation at Ong Tiang Swee Road, Orang Ulu Cultural Centre to be built in Miri, as well as building for the Bidayuh community.
“And today for the Malay (community). Hopefully, with more revenues, we will do more. We are fair to all because we treat them as one. This is our way to administering the state,” he reiterated.
Pointing out that knowledge is the most important foundation to move forward, Abang Johari is proud that AKYBMS has the policy to develop the socio-economy of the Malay community in Sarawak.
“The Malays are actually good traders and sellers which was why there were trading activities between China and Spain in the past. We have that heritage, so we must revive this spirit to enhance us as the “Malay stone” in this region,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Assistant Minister of Entrepreneur and SME Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, and State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar were among those present. – DayakDaily