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By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, June 26: Sarawak has been likened as the ‘Pearl of Malaysia’ as it is attractive to many amidst its rich natural resources and strong unity among its people.
Hence, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg advised Sarawakians to continue safeguarding the strong solidarity and racial harmony, which is the envy of many.
“There are people who are not happy with the harmony enjoyed in Sarawak. The state is considered a ‘pearl’ in Malaysia when it comes to unity, and many find this very attractive.
“Outsiders will find ways to take control of Sarawak but our solidarity, despite our multi-ethnic society, must be treasured. We must not simply give Sarawak away,” the chief minister said at Amanah Khairat Yayasan Budaya Melayu Sarawak (AKYBMS) Hari Raya gathering here yesterday evening.
Abang Johari reminded that only Sarawakians know best on the needs of the state and her people as well as the handling of Sarawak affairs.
He added that it had been the state government’s policy to ensure that everybody, regardless of race and religion, would receive their fair share of the pie. The state’s development policy supports the social and economic growth of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
“Outsiders come and go, but we must maintain the standard and quality of Sarawak governance.
“We must continue to support our state and may the hornbills fly high to protect Sarawak,” he said, while making reference to the state governing coalition Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) that stylised the iconic bird as its logo.
Abang Johari also took a swipe at Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng for the latter’s remark that Sarawak would go bankrupt within three years if the state government keeps up with its RM11 billion annual budget over its RM30 billion reserves.
Describing such statement as ridiculous, he reminded Sarawakians not to fall for such a tactic, which is aimed at confusing the people and to submit to their ideologies.
Touching on the event, Abang Johari expressed content with the role that AKYBMS had played to protect state unity and sovereignty.
In response to resolutions adopted by the foundation at its symposium last year, Abang Johari said the amendment to the Sarawak Land Code would also protect Malay land reserves.
The term Native Territorial Domain that was given legal recognition in the July 2018 State Legislative Assembly sitting recognises all native land rights, provided the people have evidence of ownership, he pointed out.
Abang Johari also advised the Malays and other natives to use modern approaches to develop their land, such as adopting modern farming for agriculture purposes.
He mentioned tourism as another area worth venturing into, especially for those living in the coastal areas. There are many economic activities the people can pursue from this sector.
Abang Johari also mentioned the importance of preserving culture and heritage.
Malay villages in Satok will be part of a heritage trail, while a museum will be built at Darul Hana to preserve Malay culture and heritage, he said.
Meanwhile, AKYBSM board of trustees chairman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the chief minister had approved RM20 million this year for the building of the foundation’s new complex. This on top of the RM5 million allocated by Abang Johari last year.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas was also present at the event. — DayakDaily