By Karen Bong and Chris Bishop
KUCHING, Jan 5: Sarawak is a beautiful and valuable “jewel” that everybody desires with even attempts to snatch it from the hands of Sarawakians.
Highlighting this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg thus called on the people of Batu Kawah to be as strong as the “batu” (rock) in protecting not only Batu Kawah but the entire Sarawak and any influences to disunite them.
“(Sarawak) Like a pretty lady, (in which) many people want to get her. Sarawak is so beautiful and blessed. It is an envy of many that so people want to take over Sarawak. They will try and split us and take over this jewel.
“Only Sarawakians can look after Sarawak. Don’t gamble your future, as in the next 10 years, god willing by 2030 we will be a developed State in all fields,” he reminded in his speech at the earth-breaking ceremony for the construction of a sports-community hall with innovation hub at the abandoned Ang Cheng Ho quarry site at Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong here today.
Abang Johari reiterated that the future of Sarawak is very bright and he is very confident to drive Sarawak into a high income state by 2030.
Sarawak, he stressed, is in a good position with strong economic fundamentals, abundance of resources, talented human capital and harmonious living that earned the State as “shining star” drawing many people here even during the pandemic.
“Our economy is good because the government is good and visionary. With efforts in place to steer Sarawak from crisis to recovery, many workers want to come to Sarawak even by sneaking in through illegal routes. This means there are many opportunities in Sarawak, otherwise they will not come,” he said.
He added that Sarawak and the State government have reached many milestones throughout his three-years tenure as Chief Minister including enhancing the financial position of Sarawak with extra income, taking back Bakun HEP, improving the education sector and digital infrastructure as well as the countless major and minor projects implemented statewide.
“This is what we do because I have Sarawakians behind me, that is why I fight.
“With people behind the government that prioritised Sarawak, (but it) doesn’t mean we want to be independent, we continue to safeguard our rights and pursuit based on our constitutional rights. So within these three years, we would put Sarawak in a good direction with correct fundamentals.
“We also want to expand digital infrastructure especially internet connectivity. I think in February I will announce what we are going to do with rural connectivity with a new formula and method,” he elaborated.
Abang Johari emphasised the need for a continuity in leadership in which the leaders who are well groomed and trained must be fair to all communities in Sarawak.
“I am here but the time will come and I will retire. We are very fortunate that our leaders have trained us, I didn’t become a Chief Minister just like that but I have been here (in politics) for 40 years.
“It is the same for SUPP (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party), the leaders trained their leaders, PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu) trained their leaders and so as other component parties (Parti Rakyat Sarawak and Progressive Demoractic Party),” he said.
He extended appreciation to the people of Batu Kawah for supporting SUPP president and Batu Kawah assemblyman Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian which has propelled him to fulfill his duty in transforming the constituency for the better.
“Then there were those who exited SUPP and created troubles. But Dr Sim is different. He is like the cardiologist for Batu Kawah. With his experience and the whole SUPP behind him including the Chinese and multiracial community, we under GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) will transform Sarawak.
“That’s why everybody has a stake in this State. I will pursue this and will continue to groom our young leaders,” he assured.
With more developments and planning in the next five and 10 years steering Sarawak on the right track towards 2030, he reminded that all these can only be achieved with a very strong government that prioritised Sarawak and its people.
“This is our future. So don’t gamble with our future. The other side (Peninsular Malaysia) is busy on who is going to be prime minister, but Sarawak is too busy implementing projects for people and pursuing the best for Sarawak.
“Make sure Batu Kawah is still Batu Kawah under GPS. You have your neighbour Batu Kitang, I don’t know why there are all the batu here. So you must be strong like batu to protect Batu Kawah and Sarawak as well as the influences that can break the people apart,” he stressed.
State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang were among those present. — DayakDaily