BINTULU, June 23: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s claim that Sarawak will be bankrupt in three years’ time from now over its big spending is what an Iban saying describes as “Taju Remaong”, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.
He said according to Iban folklore, “Taju Remaong” is the much-dreaded snare of the very powerful mythical Leopard King which is meant to finish off or enslave its victims.
He made the comparison when addressing a Gawai Ngiling Tikai gathering at Rumah Miekle Ding in Seputan, Sebauh, here on Saturday night.
“The Remaong King would bait his trap with goodies laid on jungle paths. Those who came across them, would pick them up or ate it up, and they are doomed,” he said, according to a statement.
“It is the same in Lim’s case where he lay the bait with his claim. If Sarawakians are to believe him, we are doomed.”
Uggah opined that the claim is meant to get the people to oppose the state Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government.
“It is the agenda in Sarawak for this to happen in order for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to take over the state in the next state election.
“If this happens, Sarawak will be rendered powerless in defending its rights and privileges and wealth as enshrined in the Constitution,” warned Uggah.
For these reasons, he urged the people to continue to rally strongly behind the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, especially for the benefit of the future generation.
Uggah also said that Lim’s statement reeked of his ignorance of the state government’s prudent management of its resources including finance.
“If Sarawakians must know, Lim had actually canceled a number of very important development projects for the state, including at least three major bridges.”
He said Abang Johari had in fact in his own way generate extra income for the state and is not using the state’s RM30 billion reserve wantonly as depicted.
“He has, for instance, impose five per cent sales tax on petroleum and oil products from the state and this has generated substantial income.
“DAP leaders have promised a lot of things to Sarawakians in its election manifesto. Where is the 20 per cent royalty payment from our oil and gas the 50 per cent return on taxes collected, among others?
“The latest claim that the PH government will save Sarawak from bankruptcy is yet another sweet promise,” he lamented.
Uggah also refuted another claim made by local DAP leaders that if not for the PH government, outstanding Dayaks would continue to be sidelined in top management posts particularly in government-linked corporations and companies.
He said Dayak intellectuals had also been appropriately recognised in the government and its GLCs, citing the appointment of Datu Jaul Samion who is now the acting State Secretary and Mohamad Syazwan Abdullah@Laga Jenggi as MLNG Chief Executive Officer to name a few.
“For the record, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi is also the first Dayak to lead the Bintulu Port Authority and not Dr Anthony Brian from the state DAP as the party would like all Dayaks to believe,” he said.
Uggah said Dayak children could go high in their careers with excellent education and qualifications, and with the right commitment and attitude.
He commended Tr Miekle for having 104 graduates now from his 28-door longhouse, which includes Rundi himself.
He meanwhile also pointed out the state government was now in the process of implementing its rural transformation plans.
“We are doing this through modern hi-tech agriculture for its superior result and productivity. The old subsistence farming is not an option if we want greater harvest and income.
“We must go into commercial agriculture and our current and future agriculture industry is moving in this direction,” he said.
He also thanked Petronas for honouring the Dayak by helping to organise and participate in Gawai festivities.
This, he said, would go a long way in maintaining or strengthening even the existing racial harmony and understanding.
The gathering, which attracted more than 1,000 people, was jointly organized by ASEAN Bintulu Fertilizer Sdn Bhd, Malaysia LNG Group of Companies, Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, Sarawak Gas and Petronas Group of Procurement Sarawak.
Others present at the gathering include former deputy chief minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu. Kapit MP Datuk Alexander Nanta, Progressive Democratic Party president Datuk Sri Tiong King Sing who is also Bintulu MP, Repok state assemblyman Datuk Sri Huang Tiong Sii, Petronas Carigali Sarawak Gas senior manager Morris Mail and other senior officers from Petronas Group of Companies based in Bintulu. — DayakDaily