John Ilus

SERIAN: Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Ilus said an issue, though small and may often be trivial, must be resolved with full tolerance, or through ‘give-and-take’.

Sensitive sentiments regarding racism, religious elements, or extreme beliefs that could lead to disunity should be eradicated immediately, he added.

“As a community that has values such as the Rukun Negara, it is only right that we defend the democracy of the country (that has existed) for so long.”

He said this when officiating at the Serian District Merdeka@Komuniti Programme organised by the State Information Department at Serian Community Hall here yesterday.

John said the community needed to work together in helping each other as well as in teams in a collective effort to bridge the development gap separating Sarawak and the rest of the country.

“Our government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), is very keen to claim the rights and interests of this state.

“This is done to ensure that the people would be able to enjoy its privileges and to (recognise) the state’s position as one of the provinces that formed Malaysia in 1963.”

However, he noted that the state had yet to be able to fully benefit from the results of the formation of Malaysia.

The situation could be observed clearly through the imbalance of progress in Sarawak compared to other, more developed states, he said.

“So our struggle now as Sarawakians is to demand our rights and interests so that it can continue to be protected in the hopes that this development gap would be reduced.

“Only then can we enjoy Merdeka and the (benefits) of the formation of Malaysia can be felt together (by all people).”