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KUCHING, Sept 28: The Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) hopes that Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will provide specific and special financial provisions or allocations for the Dayak community towards enhancing and elevating their social-economic and educational participation within Malaysian society under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
DCCI secretary-general Libat Langub in a statement today said in this way, the special rights and status accorded to the natives of Sarawak in Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and under the Federal Constitution will be realised, thus enabling the native community to enjoy similar economic status with other progressive communities in Malaysia.
“The tabling of 12MP in Parliament, with its special focus and priority on enhancing and intensifying socio-economic development in Sabah and Sarawak towards resolving issues and claims under MA63, is indeed refreshing.
“This will signal bright optimism and assurance of a better prospect for Sarawak under the concept of ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ under the new leadership of YAB Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob,” he said.
Libat was commenting about the 12MP tabled by Ismail Sabri in Parliament yesterday which gives priority to the development of Sabah and Sarawak as one of nine main focuses of the country’s development roadmap for the next five years (2021-2025).
Under the 12MP, basic infrastructure provision efforts will be intensified in both States, including upgrading and constructing roads and bridges, improving access to clean water and electricity, enhancing broadband coverage and improving healthcare services.
Although the development plan under the 12MP for Sarawak is commendable, Libat urged the federal government to factor in the Dayak business community in the overall plan to ensure that capable Dayak companies and entrepreneurs will meaningfully participate and share in the contracts and services to be awarded for the said development.
This, he believed, will help achieve the socio-economic intent of the special status of the natives under the MA63 and enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
Apart from that, Libat also urged the federal government to set up a monitoring unit to ensure the development is implemented properly and in accordance with the spirit of MA63.
Among the development initiatives under 12MP given priority for Sarawak, Libat noted, are the National Digital Network (Jendela) to build telecommunication towers, completion of the 1,150km-Pan Borneo Highway, the road project from the Ba’kelalan border and Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex to Lawas, upgrading 10 Native Courts in Sarawak which will hasten the State’s objectives of transforming and elevating the Native Courts to be on par with the Civil Courts and Syariah Courts, and the federal government’s initiative to conduct surveying and then titling of 397,000 hectares of Native Customary Rights (NCR) land in Sarawak.
Libat hoped that with the prime minister’s undertaking to be involved in ensuring the projects under 12MP are carried out, bureaucratic red tape will hopefully be eliminated or lessened and ‘little Napoleons’ in government departments will be prevented from derailing the 12MP’s noble objectives. — DayakDaily