Abang Johari speaks at a meet the people session in Kampung Punang, Lawas.

LAWAS: The future of Sarawak and its people under the rule of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is bright, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“Leaders change but the coalition will remain and the government policies will continue to be implemented. From Tun Datuk Patinggi Abdul Rahman Ya’kub to now Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, to Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, to myself, and to my replacement, it has been and will be ‘patah tumbuh hilang berganti’ (what is broken, can be restored; what is lost, can be replaced),” he added.

Abang Johari said this during a dialogue session with the people at Kampung Punang here on Monday (Sept 28).

On Lawas, he said its landscape had changed following the widespread development brought about by the state government.

“What I’ve said I would do, I did…,” he added, assuring that promises made by the state government would always be kept.

Apart from development, Abang Johari said it was also in GPS’ interest to implement policies for the welfare of the people.

He said examples of these included the RM450 assistance given to mothers as part of the Post-Natal Care Incentives (BIB) and RM1,000 for newborn Sarawakian babies under the Endowment Fund Sarawak (EFS).

“No other state is providing such assistance. Only Sarawak.

“Having a lot of children is also good as it helps to increase the population. When the population grows, the market also grows and this is good for local businesses,” he explained.

Abang Johari also said when he was appointed chief minister after the passing of the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, he and his cabinet members continued the latter’s struggle which included looking for ways to improve what was implemented to increase the income of the state.

He added one of the accomplishments of the GPS government was the payment of the state sales tax (SST) on petroleum products by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and its subsidiaries as well as other oil and gas companies operating in the state which amounted to some RM3.1 billion.

“This is what we’ve accomplished. There are more to come. But let me keep my ways (to myself) on how to generate more income for the state,” he said.