Abang Johari says state grateful for development implemented by federal govt, pledges to work towards closer ties with Putrajaya
A colourful performance by thousands of people at the parade.
BINTULU: The state government thanked the federal government for its efforts to develop Sarawak since the formation of Malaysia 54 years ago and pledged to work towards closer ties with Putrajaya.
Addressing the state-level National Day celebration here yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for approving the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway from Telok Melano in Sematan to Miri and from Limbang to Lawas.
“This is the biggest infrastructure development project undertaken by the federal government in Sarawak in 54 years, and we believe the highway will push Sarawak to greater heights,” he said, adding that Malaysia was not a deterrent for Sarawak to determine her own destiny.
“Now is the time for us to move forward and become a developed state if not better than others,” he said.
Under Abang Johari’s leadership, several initiatives have been implemented such as the setting up of Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) and Petros, a wholly owned state oil and gas company.
The chief minister said Bintulu is blessed for being the centre of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak while Samalaju a centre for SCORE.
“We also want Bintulu to be a hub for the gas industry in Sarawak as a methanol plant will be built in Tanjung Kidurong soon.”
Abang Johari also talked about Bakun HEP being taken over from the federal government by the state, the devolution of powers, and agricultural transformation.
“We have to come up with a new way to develop our agriculture so that it can become a profitable business venture for our farmers. I have approved an allocation of RM100 million as venture capital that shall be made available through a special purpose vehicle that the government will form soon,” he said.
On the devolution of powers, Abang Johari said the state would always discuss the matter with the federal government in a friendly and family-like atmosphere to resolve whatever issues and to come up with amicable solutions.
“We thank the prime minister for being always open and willing to discuss with us our request such as the state powers which have been eroded over the years, to be returned to Sarawak.
“We support a strong central government and we want a the state-federal relationship to be close and cordial,” he added.
A total of 80 contingents, comprising thousands of participants took part at the parade held at Bintulu Civic Centre yesterday, starting 8am.
Meanwhile, Land and Survey Dept was adjudged the champion in the parade category, followed by Bintulu Development Authority and Sarakup Induk Dayak Sarawak.
Deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, other cabinet ministers and assistant ministers were also present at the event.
Taib cuts a cake to mark the state-level National Day celebration as (from left) Awang Tengah, Masing, Uggah, Dr Rundi, Abang Johari and others look on.