Sarawak govt can have the cake and eat it too

Abang Johari (second left) at Sarawak Day Celebration held in Miri. From left: Lee, Taib and Ragad Kurdi.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, July 22:   The Sarawak government will not arbitrarily implement development projects that will affect its financial reserves, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said it has been public knowledge that Sarawak has prudent financial management that allows the state to have relatively large reserves where it earned excellent recognition from international rating agencies.

“In order to achieve infrastructure development that is equivalent to the states in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak desperately needs a larger development budget and intensification of our economy.

“A responsible government will ensure a stable and strong level of financial savings. Therefore, the Sarawak government in its wisdom, does not arbitrarily implement development projects to provide infrastructure and other basic facilities that can affect the position of our financial reserves.

“This is where the initiative to create alternative financing or alternative funding based on models such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Development Bank of Singapore was born.

“The Development Bank of Sarawak or DBOS was established in April, 2017. With its main aim of focusing on infrastructure development, in a short time record, DBOS has enabled the government to implement various strategic projects in the URDA (Ulu Rajang Development Agency, HDA (Highland Development Agency) and NRDA (Northern Region Development Agency) areas with a total financing of RM4.5 billion,” said Abang Johari during his Sarawak Day Celebration held in Miri today.

He said Sarawak Day which falls on July 22, is an important day in the history since July 22, 1963 as this was the day where Sarawak was given the power to self govern.  

“I was only 13 years old when this happened. Back then, I knew quite well that something very important was going on as I could see the flurry of activities and important people coming and leaving our house to see my late father, Tun Datuk Abang Openg who had been appointed the first Governor of Sarawak.

“Today, people like me and most of you here are inheriting this legacy of our forefathers who had envisioned a better future for the generations after them. 

“It does not work if we don’t work hard. Now, we are duty-bound to build on what we have received from our forefathers and there is no other way for us to do it except for us to unite in a common goal towards creating a Sarawak of Excellency.

“We have all the ingredients to be a prosperous State which must be grounded upon a sound economic policy and unity of Sarawakians,” said Abang Johari.

Also present at the function were Yang di-pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Too Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib as well as Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin.— DayakDaily