Having to play catch-up

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SIBU: It is the dream of every Sarawakian to see the state developed like the other states in Malaya, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out although the state had its fair share of successes after being part of Malaysia for the past 57 years, it was still playing catch-up to Malaya in terms of development.

“What is important is that Sarawak must continue to take steps to pursue more intensive development in order to become a developed state by 2030,” he said in his address at the Malaysia Day celebration in Sibu on Wednesday (Sept 16).

Abang Johari recalled that 1963 to 1970 were very challenging years for the state.

“Sarawak faced the Indonesian confrontation and communist threats.

“The assistance of the federal government and its allies in the Commonwealth in terms of security forces ensured that all these challenges were successfully overcome,” he said.

The chief minister said, after 1970, with the formation of a coalition government  involving the Bumiputeras and the Chinese, Sarawak gradually shifted to a more stable era and was able to focus on development.

“Many socio-political changes in the country have taken place over a period of 57 years. However, in 2018 after GE14, there was a change of government at the federal level.

“This was a turning point that had a profound impact on the country’s socio-political climate that must be seen in a positive perspective to continue efforts to strengthen the country’s development,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that fortunately, Sarawak as a political entity, had played an important role in ensuring that the country could be re-stabilised by the formation of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government led by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“The GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government decided to support Muhyiddin as the prime minister because Sarawak does not want to see Malaysia marred by uncertainties.

“I thank the government at the federal level for being a functional government that understands the aspirations and desires of the people,” he said.

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