CM: Sarawak determined to take back its rights

Sarawak Kedayan Association president Ripin Lamat (fifth from right) presents a token of appreciation to Abang Johari while others look on.

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MIRI, July 7: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will carry on fighting for Sarawak rights as only Sarawakians can fight for it, said Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The chief minister also reiterated that GPS would not join Pakatan Harapan (PH). The state government would, however, cooperate and collaborate with Putrajaya to further develop the state.

Speaking at the Miri Kedayan Association’s fundraising dinner held at Mega Hotel here on Friday, Abang Johari said GPS would soldier on with the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem’s struggles to recover the state’s rights.

“That is why we formed GPS, so that we can continue to carry on with the (Tok Nan’s) mandate,” he told those present.

Abang Johari said he believed the state would be all right by working with the PH-led federal government.

“Recently, we won and gained regulatory control over our oil and gas resources in the Federal Court (against Petronas).

“I believe we will be able to carry on with our own aspirations while working together with Pakatan Harapan (PH),” he said.

On the PH government, Abang Johari pointed out that both sides shared the same aspiration, which is to collaborate and cooperate with each other.

For instance, he said, the recent visits by Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin and Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Salahuddin Ayub clearly showed the federal government’s openness to work with his administration.

Next week, Minister of Human Resources M. Kulasegaran is scheduled to visit Sarawak, too.

“This shows that they (the federal government) do take note of our resolution, which is to recover our state’s rights,” said Abang Johari.

Meanwhile, at the fundraising gathering, Abang Johari pledged a RM100,000 grant for the association.

He told the more than 5,000 Kedayans present, including those from Sabah and Brunei Darussalam, that maybe Yayasan Sarawak could sponsor research on the cultures and language of the Kedayan community.

Ideally, the sponsorship should be open to those pursuing Master’s and Doctorate (PhD) degrees in the field of sociology.

“Sociologists will assist the association to collect information on the origin of the Kedayan community from the perspective of language, culture, history and arts,” he said.

On Miri Kedayan Association chairman Mohd Abdullah Jamin’s request for his community’s priceless artefacts to be returned to the state, Abang Johari gave an assurance that the state Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports would talk to the Museum of London in the United Kingdom on this matter.

Also present at the dinner were Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his assistant, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Bekenu assemblywoman Rosey Yunus, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting and Mohd Abdullah. — DayakDaily