CM: Unity key to turn Sarawak into economic powerhouse

Abang Johari (centre) arriving at the Bau Bicentennial Celebration.

By Peter Sibon and Karen Bong

BAU, Dec 31: Sarawak must take care of its present unity as it is crucial for its future development, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out that Sarawak has been seen as a role model in the country with unity and political stability being the biggest assets.

“What’s is crucial now is for us to take care of our unity. That’s the key.

“At the moment, there is political instability in Kuala Lumpur. Sometimes it’s going to left, sometimes it’s heading to the right.

“And as long as there is Parliament Sitting, there would be speculation of a new prime minister. All seemed to squabble to become prime minister. So much so that it has effects the private sector’s confidence in our country’s development,” he highlighted at Bau Bicentennial Celebration: 200 Years History of Bau at Tasik Biru here today.

Abang Johari however was relieved that the situation in Sarawak has been harmonious, peaceful and good so far.

“We maintain what we have. And I as your leader, what I want is to transform Sarawak into a powerhouse in Malaysia in terms of economic development as we already have strong economic fundamental,” he stressed.

On a related issue, Abang Johari emphasised that with strong economic growth and ongoing rapid development throughout Sarawak, many more professional Sarawakians overseas will return to assist in building the State.

“This is because the level of our economy has grown to the level where they are able to apply their skills and expertise.

“Now with more opportunities in Sarawak as we continue to develop and make progress, more Sarawakians will come back,” he said.

He reiterated that when the Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) project kicks start which will include Bau, many more Sarawakian professionals will be coming back to work and assist the government.

“(Moreover) When the Petrochemical Hub (in Bintulu) has been set up, people working with Shell and Petronas will also be coming back as they want to serve here. When Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) was set up, many in the industry had returned to assist the government.

“When introducing new policies, there will certainly be risks, but we must be brave and calculate the risk. If the benefits are more then why not venture into it such as the ART and hydrogen,” he added of the need for Sarawak to move in speed and in tandem with the new era.

As Bau celebrated the success of the gold industry in Sarawak today, Abang Johari urged for greater unity among the people and pooled together efforts to find new gold to position Sarawak to greater heights.

“That new gold will be there provided that GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) is still there. With visionary leaders in the government, the future of Sarawak will be there,” he gave assurance.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong, Deputy State Secretary (Rural Transformation) Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, Tasik Biru assemblyman Dato Henry Harry Jinep, Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu and Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh were among those present. — DayakDaily