Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.

– Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of USA

Fifty-seven years on after July 22, 1963 — a historic date of which the state attained its self-rule status through the formation of the first Sarawak Supreme Council, development in the state leaves much to be desired.

There is no disputing that rural areas, although have seen efforts through development projects being implemented by the government, still have a long way to go if it wants to be on the same level with that of Malaya.

Regardless of your political beliefs and affiliations, we can’t deny that the state government is acknowledging this matter and is doing its best to address it in full.

In his 33 years in office, then chief minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud transformed the state to what it is today through his politics of development and his efforts are continued by his successors.he changes are there for all to see and to say that there is no development — none at all — is just ludicrous.

Just as Taib’s successor Pehin Sri Adenan Satem once said, “Ada mata, buta; ada telinga, tuli; ada mulut, bisu”.

You can’t see the developments being made if you are closing your eyes to it,
pretending that nothing is being done at all.

Unfortunately, this is the attitude of a minority of Sarawakians today, these so-called fighters for Sarawak, pejuang nasib rakyat; take it from me, I don’t mind your political affiliation, but whatever you do, don’t prey on the feebleminded.

I often see that this group of people, the fighters, are often reasonable people, professionals even. They are of physicians, lawyers, retired civil servants — but they couldn’t help but to somehow stoop so low and
mislead the people.

They would say that nothing is being done to develop their area since the 60s. They would also say that almost everyone in the state administration is shortchanging the people.

Whenever the government is announcing its plans to develop rural areas in the state to the public, these people would also say, “Why only now, why not sooner?,” or “What about our area, why only develop that area?” and a flurry of other distasteful remarks.

Believe it or not, these comments are commonplace in social media, which begs the question — do they want their place to be developed or not?

The Malay saying buat salah, tidak buat pun salah springs rather emphatically to mind.

What do these people want actually?

Since when did we turn into a community that is ungrateful and classless in both our actions and our words?

Can’t we just count our blessings and thank the people, the civil servants, the government, the contract workers who work day and night to serve our needs?

Development, basic amenities — water, electricity, roads and internet — are basic human rights and these are being attended to, admittedly it could have been sooner, but here it is.

Development takes time — that is the hard truth. Easy for you and me to understand, but there are also those who simply don’t want to understand.

Four years after July 22 was gazetted as a public holiday by Adenan back in 2016, now is as good a time as ever to reflect on what’s truly important — the future of Sarawak.

We don’t need to be endlessly playing politics, crying foul for whatever
misgivings and tyranny that you and I might be facing.

Instead, we should unite together to propel the state to greater heights; work together for Sarawak to be the most developed state in the nation in 10 years’ time.

Division will only hamper the progress and development that the people fully deserve.

We are getting there and our current leaders are confident that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the vision for 2030 will continue to be realised.

Such is the kind of optimism that we need and farsightedness that skeptics are often void of.

In short, efforts to develop the state needs to be applauded, supported and even credited.

The people shouldn’t be opposing development just because it does not bode well for the image of political parties that they are affiliated with.

Partisan politics must take a backseat in the interests of the state.

We can’t afford to be petty, not when the people are in dire need of development.