KUCHING – Through the latest technology, Sarawak is keen to share the harmony in its multi-racial diversity, as it has inspired Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to highlight the 1Malaysia concept.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he thanked the Prime Minister who had previously given the recognition that he had been inspired by Sarawak for the concept.
He said Sarawak’s strength was evident through the harmony inherent to its people who could live together peacefully, sitting at the same table, and even under the same roof, without any problems, despite the differences in religion, race and culture.
The matter was touched upon when he referred to the use of the latest technology, such as the use of virtual reality techniques, which should be used more widely to promote the beauty and harmony of the state, to attract the public here.
“Tourists can come and see how we share our green, how we protect our forests to provide oxygen for sharing with the world, so the government has to use the latest technologies to promote our products more efficiently,” he said.
He said this when interviewed on the one hour “Together With The Chief Minister of Sarawak” programme which was broadcast live on TV1 and SarawakFM radio yesterday.
The Chief Minister discussed issues such as the 1964 Malaysia Agreement, state oil company Petros’ development, Sarawak Development Bank, digital economy, physical development, vision and direction of the state development, Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu Sarawak (PBB) general assembly, Mind transformation, and so on.
Touching on the 1964 Malaysian Agreement, once again Abang Johari expressed his appreciation of the Prime Minister who, according to him, had a very rational and open-minded view in his preparedness to listen, negotiate and see if there was any power of the Sarawak state accorded under the agreement which had been eroded.
“We just want our rights, we do not want the rights or power of others, why should we ask for power which is not ours, it is a sin, to take the right of others is a sin, but it is also a sin if our right is taken by others, that is why we said we want to negotiate,” he said.
Abang Johari said the establishment of the state oil and gas company, Petros, was also done based on the law and constitutional provisions that enabled it to be created with the intention of bringing in state government involvement in the oil and gas industry.
Asked on the state government’s call for the federal government to raise oil royalty to 20 per cent, Abang Johari said it was a different issue, but what was important in whatever was done, it should be based on the national law and the constitution.
“I follow the law and the constitution, if it is Sarawak’s right I exercise Sarawak’s right, because I am the Chief Minister of Sarawak my duty is to develop the state, it does not mean that we will be separated from the Federation, not at all, we are forever in Malaysia, but we can share, he said.
Touching on connectivity, Abang Johari said apart from connectivity being tied to proper Internet access to achieve the dream of Sarawak’s digital economy, the physical connectivity associated with road construction, bridges and other infrastructure had never been set aside.
He then expressed his appreciation to the federal government which had agreed to contribute half a billion ringgit in addition to RM1 billion allocated by the state government to develop the domestic internet access infrastructure.
In terms of physical connectivity, Abang Johari said that throughout his administration, in the past one year and one month ago, he had announced the implementation of many road and bridge construction projects to connect the interior and coastal areas with the Pan Borneo Highway.
In terms of other infrastructure, he said he also endeavoured to develop various projects, because “we do not want after decades of independence, and with many large dams available, there are still areas without water supply”.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari said Sarawak also needed to provide the best ‘ecosystem’ to discover new talents as well as luring home Sarawak-born experts abroad to develop the state using the latest technology.
He said around 60 per cent of Sarawakians were “young people” who needed their leaders to be visionary and understand the current surrounding needs and demands to pursue progress, and this ecosystem would have to be developed for them.
Touching on the desire to develop transportation systems like the LRT, Abang Johari said it was not only related to the connection between two places, but more deeply it also referred to the technology transfer, the opportunity to use existing resources more efficiently, in addition to the facilities to develop satellite cities for future convenience, and more.
Referring to the 14th General Assembly of the Sarawak PBB which ended last week, he was grateful that it had proceeded well with many party posts uncontested as a result of consensus among party members to produce the future generations of leaders.
“This will provide opportunities and space to them to be trained as leaders, because we don’t live forever, what is permanent is the spirit of struggle, and they (future leaders) need exposure,” he said.
“In Sarawak, we need a balanced approach, because we are inclusive, we lead the whole multi-racial and multi-religious people, not the Chief Minister for the Malays only, but for all, Malays, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, the Chinese, all, “he added. – BERNAMA