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KUCHING, Sept 27: The Minister in Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) hopes the recently announced 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) could help stimulate the transformation agenda in government and parliament as well as to reclaim the rights of people in Sarawak and Sabah as stated in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which has eroded over the years.
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said since independence, the people in these two States have been longing to enjoy development similar to those in Peninsular Malaysia and hopefully under 12MP, the people in Borneo will be able to see more progress taking place at an accelerated rate.
Citing history, he explained among the reasons why leaders in Sarawak and Sabah had agreed to be part of Malaysia in 1963 was because they were impressed by the system and well-planned development in Semenanjung Malaysia.
“This was the ‘unspoken promise’ to the people in Sarawak and Sabah upon joining Malaysia – that they too can enjoy similar development status,” said Wan Junaidi in a statement today.
Nevertheless, Dr Wan Junaidi is optimistic that the current government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, is committed in the development of these two States, which is one of the priority areas under 12MP.
“This is the hard truth. More than 40 per cent of the people in Borneo are still living in rural areas, lacking in basic facilities and infrastructure namely connectivity, communication, electricity, education as well as healthcare.
“As a Sarawakian-born Federal Minister, I am indeed hopeful, that under 12MP, more development and progress will take place in Sabah and Sarawak so that we will be able to enjoy the same facilities and infrastructure as the people in Semenanjung,” he said.
In the quest towards making Malaysia a developed nation, Wan Junaidi hopes that more attention would be given on sustainable development, where more focus can be given towards conserving the environment, protecting wildlife, environmentally friendly mining activities.
In the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia, he also reminded the government to not lose sight of the people’s happiness level and to ensure everyone will be able to enjoy the benefit of the country’s economic growth.
“Malaysia is a developing country and most Malaysians are living in urban areas. As such, it is timely for us to also look into issues concerning urban poverty namely affordable housing, improve social safety and a more effective poverty eradication programme. In our pursuit to achieve economic greatness, we must make sure no one is left behind.
“In conjunction to this, I would also like to propose for the government to focus on development initiatives, beyond Klang Valley area. There are many States in the country that are still not doing well, economically and it is time to help them out so that Malaysia can have a more balanced social and economic growth throughout the country,” he added. — DayakDaily