SIBU, July 15: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says real racial harmony and integration among Sarawakians has resulted in mixed marriages which produce “hybrid Sarawakians”.
He said the real racial harmony and integration among Sarawakians have become values which both the Sarawak government and Sarawakians are proud of, and thus are most willing to uphold and protect.
“Sarawak — one thing good is our culture. We have a lot of mixed marriages. The Chinese marry the Malays; the Malays marry the Chinese; the Chinese marry the Dayak — the Ibans, some marry the Bidayuh; so much so that over a period of time, as a result of mixed marriages, we have what we called ‘hybrid Sarawakians’.
“People like hybrid cars, you know. Now, we want fossil fuel and electricity (as energy for cars). But Sarawak already has ‘hybrid human’. Not only the cars, but Sarawakians are ‘hybrid’,” said Abang Johari at the Dinner of Harmony organised by the Federation of Seven Clans Association at a hotel here last night.
He said to continue maintaining the existing racial harmony, the Sarawak government will protect and look into the interests of Sarawakians of all races and all faiths.
Citing the Sarawak government’s new policy of subsidising airfares for students studying in universities in Peninsular Malaysia during festive seasons, he said such a policy was formulated taking into consideration the students’ mixed parentage.
He said the subsidy of RM600 per student per year will allow the students to return home for two festive seasons as the subsidy is disbursed into two separate batches of RM300.
So for a student whose parents are of Chinese and Dayak parentage, the student may use the subsidy to return to Sarawak to celebrate both Chinese New Year and Hari Gawai Dayak.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also quoted the world renowned futurist Dr Machio Kaku and stressed that Sarawak has all the right ingredients to move forward and become a developed state with proper management of its resources.
“Life is like (riding) a bicycle. Bicycle — if you want to move, you must know how to balance it. If you cannot balance, you will fall. And that is how we manage Sarawak. We must balance.
“Meaning, we need to see the needs of everybody, so that we can move forward and that is the philosophy of the state government under my leadership,” said Abang Johari.
Also present at the dinner was Abang Johari’s wife, Datin Patinggi Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang.
Other state leaders who were at the dinner included Assistant Education and Technological Research Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee, Bintulu MP-cum-Progressive Democratic Party president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, Dudong assemblyman Datuk Tiong Thai King and Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau. — DayakDaily