CM demands devt for Sarawak to equal that in Peninsular Malaysia, calls for unity in this quest

BETONG - The state will not allow itself to be treated as a step child in the country anymore, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

In making this vow at an official Gawai Open House here yesterday, he reminded that Sarawak fully deserved a development growth on par with Peninsular Malaysia.

Adenan stressed it must be made clear that Sarawak would not regard itself as a state in this country but as a component in the formation of Malaysia and would protect its economy and autonomy.

“In terms of development, we do not want Sarawak to be left behind when compared to the peninsula. If Peninsular Malaysia enjoys rapid development, we want this state to enjoy the same benefit.

“If the peninsula has its highway from Johor Bahru to Kangar (Perlis), we also want a highway from Lundu to Lawas. The modernisation that is accorded to the peninsula should also be given to Sarawak as well,” he said at the event held at Dewan Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Betong MP and Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Bukit Saban assemblyman Robert Lawson Chuat who is also co-organising chairman.

To achieve the aspiration Adenan called on Sarawakians to unite and show strong solidarity to win the respect of Peninsular Malaysians.

“If you are weak, they don’t care for you. Only when you are strong they will take care of you. Therefore, we must continue to strengthen our struggle so that Peninsular Malaysians will take note of our unity.

“Be proud to be a Sarawakian, be proud of who we are. We have our own culture and traditions which must be maintained so that we would not lose our character,” he continued.

He called on Sarawakians of all races to give him another five-year mandate as chief minister so that he could continue to fight for the increase in the state’s oil and gas royalty from the present five per cent to 20 per cent and ensure that all tolls in the state will be abolished.

He added that the reduction in electricity tariff was to ensure the people also benefitted from the building of hydroelectric dams in the state apart from foreign investors and industries.

On the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said the state government was committed to help, within its capacity, to reduce the burden of the people. “I need your support in the coming state election. We want to show to the people in West Malaysia that we are all united in one purpose, to prosper Sarawak and we don’t want to be regarded as a stepchild.

“That is why I need to be in a strong position, with your support I can say to them (Peninsular Malaysians) that I speak for Sarawak so they better listen to what I have to say. Give me the chance to continue,” he urged.

Adenan assured that every Sarawakian is free to exercise their religion the way their faith should be practiced. Although the country’s official religion is Islam, he reminded that it is within the Constitution for those of other religions to practice their faith and that the state will continue to accord its people such freedom.

Jabu, in his speech earlier, requested that a park to be built in Betong under the 11th Malaysia Plan to meet to the recreational needs of its growing population.

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