I never said ‘Sarawakians do not need bridges’ — Rina

Rina paying a courtesy call on Abang Johari (second from right) at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building complex this afternoon. Also in the picture are Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom (left) and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (right).

KUCHING, Sept 6: Rural Development Minister Rina Mohd Harun today clarified that she had been misquoted by a national Malay daily for saying “Sarawakians do not need bridges” despite the fact that bridge projects had been approved.

She said the daily had misquoted her on Aug 23 during a Parliamentary speech, but the daily had published a correction and submitted an apology on Aug 28. The misquoted article had also been removed from the daily’s online page.

“I hope this will clear the air, especially for Sarawakians who were upset with the misquoted statement,” she said.

The misquotation drew a lot of flak from Sarawakians and Sarawak politicians. Among them was Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil and Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who sarcastically remarked that Rina should go on a tour of Sarawak’s interior and see for herself.

Today was Rina’s first official visit to Sarawak following her appointment as Minister of Rural Development.

She assured that she would come to the state more often and would go to the rural areas of the state to oversee rural development projects being implemented there.

At the end of the press conference, Rina even offered to stay in a longhouse during her next visit to the state, to be hosted by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

The minister today also paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. — DayakDaily