KUCHING: The legacy of former chief minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem as well as his interests in arts and culture will be continued under the current state government leadership, assured Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
While reflecting on Adenan’s life, the chief minister said the former was passionate about arts, culture and music.
“Both Adenan and I came from the same village. Our parents’ homes were only 100 metres apart.
“The age difference between Adenan and I was six to seven years but Adenan and my elder brother formed a musical group back then. My brother played the guitar while Adenan was Sarawak’s Elvis Presley.
“That was his passion in music and arts,” Abang Johari said when officiating at the inauguration of the Pehin Sri Adenan Satem Chair and the 2nd International Conference on Social Sciences & Humanities 2021 (Icossh) here on Wednesday (Oct 27).
Abang Johari added Adenan was also an avid reader and was rarely seen without books.
“He was a well-read person. Before he went to Australia, he contributed a lot of articles.
“He was very passionate about the environment and national parks. He really loved Sarawak and as his successor, I will continue his legacy in terms of arts and culture,” Abang Johari assured.
The chief minister hoped that Sarawak’s natives could be recognised through state laws to fulfill Adenan’s wish.
“He wanted to remove the usage of the term “others” when filling in government forms.
“Sarawak has 27 (recognised) ethnic groups. Vaie, which is localised in Bintulu, is not included, the same goes for Jatti Miriek which is indigenous to Miri. That is why we need to amend Article 161A of the Federal Constitution.
“This is to recognise these ethnicities based on Sarawak laws. I still remember Pehin Sri (Adenan) saying ‘there is no such thing as bangsa lain-lain (other ethnicities).
“Undoubtedly, these diverse cultural groups will provide vast resources for research activities, particularly on culture, language, traditional practices, performing arts and way of life,” said the chief minister.