Premier warns of disruptions from malicious individuals jealous of Sarawak’s success

Abang Johari addressing the Ngabang Gawai Dayak to Betong Division at Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan Sports Hall on June 5, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas
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By Karen Bong

BETONG, June 5: Be careful of malicious individuals spiteful of Sarawak’s continued progress as they will attempt to cause more disruptions, warned Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg today.

“I am aware that some Peninsular Malaysians are ‘jealous’ of Sarawak’s current progress. When Datuk Amar (Douglas) Uggah represented me to attend the national financial council meeting chaired by Prime Minister, they reviewed a chart showing the revenue of each state.

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“The indicators showed most states only making between RM4-RM5 billion, except Selangor which may do better. Sabah increased a little to about RM6 billion, while Sarawak spiked to RM13 billion. It is transparent; we cannot hide our revenue and financial performance,” he said when officiating the Ngabang Gawai Dayak to Betong Division at Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan Sports Hall today.

Looking at Sarawak’s financial standing, Abang Johari mentioned that even Kedah Menteri Besar appealed if Sarawak can pay tithe (zakat) for rubber.

Foreseeing that Sarawak’s financial performance could better that of last year’s record-breaking RM13 billion, given the RM4 billion revenue recorded in the first quarter of this year, he is wary of the troublemakers as there are already signs of disruption, with recent online articles unjustly targeting and undermining Sarawak’s tenacious efforts to advance.

“In GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak), we know who is the glass and who is the diamond (a Malay proverb on distinguishing good and bad). Our intention is for the good of the people, and there is more we need to accomplish,” he pointed out.

Emphasising that Sarawak’s leap of progress is due to hard work and not sheer luck, Abang Johari questioned, “Can a lazy person depend on luck?”

“Don’t be jealous when Sarawak makes RM13 billion in revenue. That’s all hard work by our leaders. It is not easy to build bridges with many projects previously cancelled, but I see it as a challenge. We did not depend on others but found our own money to fund all of it at a cost of RM12 billion.

“All these were like yesterday’s dream, but now they are materialising. These are the fruits of our hard work, and people are proud to see these developments, like the Bintulu-Kemena bridge, while the bridge across Batang Lupar is also taking shape nicely,” he said.

Hitting back at an article accusing Sarawak of attempting to control the oil and gas sector which would be detrimental to the nation, Abang Johari asserted that Sarawak did not snatch the right of Petroliam National Berhad (PETRONAS) in pursuing its interests but is exercising its rightful claim to impose Sales Tax based on Schedule 9 Part 5 of the constitution and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“We have the power to manage gas distribution and today, Petros is the gas aggregator. I did not snatch the right of PETRONAS or the PDA (Petroleum Development Act); it is in the law before Malaysia was formed because pipe gas to house has already existed in Miri for a long time. It is in the law.

“I know infringing into other’s rights is wrong but it is also wrong to take our rights,” he said.

Moving forward, Abang Johari gave assurance that the revenue will be reinvested into the community through vital development projects to elevate not only Sarawak but also income of the people in pushing towards becoming a high-income region by 2030.

The Premier’s wife Puan Sri Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah, Minister of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Development Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu, former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang were among those present. — DayakDaily

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