Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.
– Warren Bennis, American author and scholar
Re-energising and uplifting a nation can be challenging, even at the best of times.
This is especially true after the COVID-19 pandemic devastated peoples, communities and economies globally.
Those of us reading this are fortunate to have survived and now can contribute to rebuilding in our own ways.
In Sarawak, there is a sense of many new things happening. This started ever since the late Tok Nan became the chief minister. He spearheaded the drive to regain Sarawak’s rights.
However, more importantly, the momentum on many fronts has been picking up since Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg took over the helm.
He has been building on past foundations and charting a new course for a unique and progressive Sarawak.
The sense of confidence by the rakyat in his stewardship was reflected in the 12th state last year. His GPS coalition won handsomely with 76 out of 82 seats.
This was the mandate given to GPS to pursue a policy of progress, peace, and stability in a dynamic manner.
The Sarawak government is now implementing the Post-COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 towards a developed status by 2030.
A full-fledged transformation is now underway via innovative initiatives and policies. These will also help to cushion Sarawakians against future ‘black swan’ events and make the state more resilient to future shocks.
Many building blocks are being put into place or have been implemented to achieve developed status by 2030.
I will touch on some of the building blocks and initiatives for a New Sarawak, among many being implemented.
The many-fold increase in innovative revenue generation via new ideas, including the introduction of SST for oil and gas oil production, will ensure the funding of many development projects for Sarawakians.
The initiatives such as developing our hydrogen economy, sustainable aviation fuel, and income generation from environmental sustainability projects will create many new jobs and skills here.
There is a massive investment in education via Yayasan Sarawak in universities, colleges, skills centres and international schools, all owned by Sarawak which will provide many educational opportunities for us soon.
The rising cost of living is one such area that has already seen supportive intervention by the GPS government. The many forms of subsidies for water, gas and electricity help to lessen the burden on all in Sarawak. The series of BKSS welfare packages continue to provide relief to many.
The many mitigation measures for businesses on electricity tariff to food producers and retailers, coffee shops, restaurants, and other food and beverage industry help reduce their business costs.
The government continues to mitigate the rising cost of living, especially food prices, onto the rakyat. However, these are caused by international events beyond their control.
Very importantly, the government’s makes efforts to transform our agriculture sector food security and self-sufficiency for Sarawak.
The Malaysia Agreement (MA63) negotiation to restore Sarawak’s rights continues to be a priority.
There have been significant progress accomplishments on this front. The latest one is having a Sarawak representative on the board of Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negara.
The amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution restored Sarawak and Sabah’s status. This was a significant achievement.
The regional development of many areas in Sarawak, such as the highlands in the Baram, through the Highlands Development Agency, is just one example of how the people in the interior will benefit socially and economically.
The planned establishment of a Sarawak sovereign investment fund, will be a major platform for a sustainable Sarawak. It will build up our financial reserves and strengthen our future financial capacity.
To ensure transparency and accountability the emphasis will be on good governance with well-defined regulatory framework.
There are of course many elements for a New Sarawak and these are only some examples. I would urge Sarawakians to continue placing their trust in Abang Johari and his team.
Our Premier in a speech in May said, “Our top priority now is to build both physical and digital infrastructure to increase efficiency and link Sarawak to global market. This will become the platform for Sarawak’s economy to grow in the coming years, and create a thriving society that enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity and sustainable environment.”
You are presented with an opportunity for a united, prosperous and New Sarawak.
So, do exercise your democratic responsibility on November 19 2022, and participate in laying the Foundation for a New Sarawak.
The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.