KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg has re-assured the Christians, especially the Dayaks, that he has no problem with them continuing to use the word “Allah” in their prayers and churches.
“We don’t see it as a problem for the Christians to use the word,” he said at the State level Gawai Dayak dinner here last Saturday night.
Abang Johari said that his predecessor the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem had also allowed the Dayak community to use “Allah” in their Christian prayers.
“Now, with Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah looking after affairs of non-Muslims as the head of the Non-Islamic Affairs Unit, and me looking after the affairs of the Muslims, we will work together with other leaders for the betterment of Sarawak.
“There is no other state like ours,” he said.
Abang Johari also presented the Dayak community with a belated Gawai gifts when he announced the allocation of a piece of State land each to Dayak Culture Foundation (DCF) and the Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The two pieces of land are located at Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here.
DCF and DCCI had last year requested Adenan to alienate State land for them to set up their headquarters.
“With this land in strategic area, I am sure the two organisations will be able to play their part in the expansion of our economic cake in Sarawak,” Abang Johari said.
He said the State-owned Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS) would start operating on January 1 next year.
“Actually, we have formed the Board of Governors for this bank,” he said, pledging that people running it will be professionals and banking experts.
Abang Johari, who is also the Finance and Economic Planning Minister, said Sarawak must have its own bank in order to accelerate economic development.
He cited a few examples from other countries including China which formed a bank called Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a strategic step for the country to move forward.
“With that strategic move (DBoS), we can focus on our emphasis to develop particularly the rural areas,” he said.
“You know very well we cannot entirely 100 per cent depend on Kuala Lumpur, we must have our own approach. We are very fortunate the federal government also supports us,” he said. – dayakdaily.com