The Yang di-Pertua Negeri (front, second left) being welcomed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (on TYT’s right) upon his arrival at DUN Complex in Petra Jaya. Behind them are Taib’s wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib (behind Abang Johari, partly obscured) and the chief minister’s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang (far back, at left). — Photo By Chimon Upon
KUCHING: The formation of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) by leaders in the Sarawak government is in line with the aspirations of the people of Sarawak.
In stating this, Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the newly-formed coalition would provide a solid foundation for the Sarawak government to champion the rights and autonomy of Sarawak.
“I believe that GPS can become a strong and solid political coalition that can unite the people for the well-being and progress of Sarawak,” he said in his address at the opening of the 18th State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting at DUN Complex here yesterday.
The Head of State also expressed his confidence that GPS would serve as an important platform to claim Sarawak’s rights from the federal government in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution. “I therefore urge the federal government to give their sincere cooperation to the state government to achieve this goal.”
Taib was also optimistic that the Sarawak government would be able to manage its natural resources well, particularly oil and gas, to ensure that Sarawakians could benefit from them.
“I am pleased that the efforts towards managing these resources effectively and sustainably have been implemented.
“I believe that enforcement of laws such as the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 and Gas Distribution Ordinance 2016 will ensure that Sarawak’s valuable oil and gas resources are well established for the future of the people of Sarawak.”
In this regard, he said the establishment of Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) is in line with the government’s efforts to manage the development of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak.
“This is in line with Sarawak’s aspiration to become the region’s leading oil and gas industry hub and collaborate with Petronas for the interest of the country, in particular Sarawak.
“Therefore, I call for the rights of Sarawak borders, especially the maritime borders, to be maintained and safeguarded. This is crucial so as to ensure that valuable natural resources such as oil and gas in Sarawak waters could be developed and managed for the benefit and prosperity of the state,” he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Taib took the opportunity to congratulate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the latter’s appointment as the seventh prime minister of Malaysia.
“I am confident that with his vast experience in economy, politics and social, Malaysia will continue to progress and prosper towards Vision 2020,” he said, expressing optimism that under Dr Mahathir’s leadership, the federal government would continue to implement programmes and projects in Sarawak for the well-being of the people.
He also congratulated Pakatan Harapan (PH) for winning the 14th general election and forming the new federal government.
Taib hoped that with the mandate given by the people to the PH-led federal government, the country and its citizens would continue to receive benefits in terms of development and prosperity.