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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Oct 23: The State government’s efforts in restoring eroded rights are not solely in the interest of Sarawak but should be seen as a step towards further strengthening the identity of Sarawakians as part of the larger Malaysian Family.
Highlighting this, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that the tabling of the Bill to amend the Federal Constitution to be in line with the spirit of Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and recognising the privileges of Sarawak and Sabah, is a very good start by the Federal government in listening and considering the demands of the two Borneo states, which are part of the Malaysian Family.
“Thank you Prime Minister for the consent (to table the Bill) and I hope that the amendments will be successfully tabled in Parliament and will have the support of all Members of Parliament (MPs).
“We in Sarawak sincerely hope that as part of the Malaysian Family desired by the Prime Minister, our efforts to ensure that the spirit, rights and privileges of Sarawak, as well as Sabah, in the context of the MA63 are respected and will be better understood by our family members in the other places,” he said.
Abang Johari emphasised this at the launching of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) concept at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob here tonight.
On the development in Sarawak, the Chief Minister pointed out that while there is no doubt that the Federal government has implemented various development programmes in the State, including the Pan Borneo Highway project, they may not be enough to ensure Sarawak can catch up with the level of development like in Peninsula.
“Like in a family, each member of the family has differences in terms of characters and requires different treatment.
“As the head of the Sarawak government, I see that the approach should be different to elevate the economic status of Sarawak as the economic fundamentals of Sarawak are quite different from that in Peninsula,” he added.
Abang Johari thus hopes that this Malaysian Family approach can see the differences and plan development policies that are appropriate to the situation in Sarawak and Sabah so that these regions can develop faster in following the footsteps of the Peninsula.
“As one large Malaysian family, I believe the ability to listen to the grievances of our family members is also important to ensure that our family atmosphere continues to remain friendly with goodwill.
“We acknowledge that there will inevitably be differences of opinions and views in various aspects of the country’s development. However, I believe this situation is only temporary like the saying that goes “biduk berlalu, kiambang bertaut”,” he said.
The launch of Keluarga Malaysia was the highlight of Ismail Sabri’s inaugural visit to Sarawak after he was appointed the Prime Minister.
Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Federal Works Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusoff, Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahzir Khalid, Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion were among those present. — DayakDaily