Fed up with Putrajaya, Fatimah rallies Sarawakians to ‘move on’

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 8: Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah emphasised that Sarawak must move on as the state can no longer depend, wait and hope for the federal government to address its community well-being woes.

“We are living in trying times under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government. While their election manifesto promised a lot of immediate changes that will change the economic and educational landscape of rural Sarawak, the impact has yet to be seen,” she told the august House in her winding-up speech yesterday.


“Gone are the days of hoping for the federal government to address our community well-being woes. This is crucial for Sarawakians as we cannot depend entirely on others to achieve developed status by 2030,” she said.

In fact, Fatimah pointed out that lame excuses of “no money” and “more time required” had been used time and again to justify their inability to realise those promises.

“Move on, please. Look at what Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Sarawak Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) are doing. He puts on his thinking hat to look for new ways and means to increase the state revenue,” she said.

She pointed out that the imposition of the Petroleum Sales Tax, for instance, had provided Sarawak with a new source of income to generate new economic activities as well as to finance infrastructure development.

“With this, the chief minister was able to introduce no less than 65 practical initiatives in a year of his tenure, which warrants doing things our innovative and creative way – The Sarawak Way, i.e. including standing firm on claiming our rights.

“Only Sarawak-based parties care and know what is best for Sarawak,” she emphasised.

As such, Fatimah informed that her ministry was leveraging on the culture of collaboration and partnership with strategic partners to generate innovative and inclusive policies and intervention programmes to place everyone in Sarawak on board the ship of societal well being.

“It is our sincere hope that such collaborative efforts and cross-sector partnerships between public, private and civil organisations will continue to strengthen and enhance the social capital of our communities so that they will be more resilient to face the current and future political, economic and social challenges.

“We have to embrace the culture of collaboration and foster partnerships to provide integrated and effective solutions in the spirit of collective responsibility and accountability to develop Sarawak,” she added.

In conclusion, Fatimah shared a ‘pantun’ (poem) as she was reminded that others might not share Sarawak’s hope and aspiration for a better Sarawak:

“Apa guna berjanji,
Kalau tak ditepati,
Tiap hari ternanti-nanti,
Rakyat merana dan makan hati.
Sorong papan tarik papan,
Papan dari Kampung Biawak,
Apa diharap Pakatan Harapan,
GPS juga mengutamakan Sarawak.” — DayakDaily