Gawai-Raya: CM reminds Sarawakian students of airfare subsidy

Abang Johari and Juma'ani (standing centre) in a group photo with students as they break fast together in Kuala Lumpur. All photos courtesy of Ukas.

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KUCHING, May 18: Sarawakian students who plan to fly home to Sarawak for the forthcoming Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations can book their air tickets now as the state government will bear the airfare.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced this at the breaking of fast with Sarawakian students at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Friday evening.

According to the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas), Abang Johari revealed that there were about 10,000 Sarawakian students pursuing higher education in various fields, especially new disciplines, at institutions of higher learning outside the state.


“With the stability in revenues and good economy, the state government wants to help our students, like what I have promised during `Lan Berambeh’ last year, to assist with your return air tickets to go home for Hari Raya, Gawai or Chinese New Year,” he said.

“Last Chinese New Year, the assistance of RM300 were extended to students to go home for the celebration.”

Students take the opportunity to have a wefie with Abang Johari.

He also shared that students of mixed marriage could receive the assistance twice, which amounted to RM600 but given separately for two different festive occasions.

“So, those who have not booked your tickets to fly home, hurry and get the air tickets. After that, submit (tickets and receipts) to Sarawak volunteers like Azmi from Yayasan Sarawak. We (will) pay you,” he said as the attendees cheered and applauded the initiative.

Abang Johari reiterated that the state government was able to sponsor students’ airfares due to the good economy and unity of the people.

“And for those who will be graduating and thinking of getting married, please do so because newborn Sarawak baby will be given RM1,000 by the state government for their future.

“This is something we want to share (with the people) because for me, if we practise good deeds, I believe God will help us, and there could be more blessings,” he added.

Abang Johari presenting green packets to students.

Abang Johari also pointed out that the state government would be finalising an approach to ensure that job creation in Sarawak could match the new skills and knowledge the students had obtained.

“Otherwise, there will be a mismatch. We need to provide careers for our new graduates. The state government is going forward with the state’s economy based on the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0),” he said.

As such, he added that development in Sarawak would also focus on infrastructure development in the rural areas, including roads and bridges, electricity and water supply as well as telecommunications to drive economic growth, especially through modern agriculture.

He reminded students on the importance of new knowledge in cybersecurity and cyber law because times had changed and so have the law.

These subjects, he emphasised, were important in the uprising e-commerce sector and urged students reading law to take this into consideration.

“I was made to understand while speaking to lawyers that our law in the trading regime, especially maritime law, is outdated. This means we need to enhance our knowledge of the new law as our economy has changed.

“We have to really work hard to transform from IR2.0 to 4.0 because we are taking a huge leap, but I believe Sarawakians can do it. That is why I am taking the leap. With the state government’s efforts, I believe Sarawak’s future is bright,” he said.

Abang Johari’s wife, Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and State Secretary Tan Sri Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who is on leave, were present. — DayakDaily