Sarawak different from Malaya

Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib

KUCHING: There is a need for Sarawak to explain its challenges and shortcomings to the federal government so that the latter can better understand the situation here and address it in due course.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Hanifah Hajar Taib said by doing so, it would enable the federal government to fulfil the state’s demands.

She said this included transportation facilities as the distance from one place to another in Sarawak differed from that of in Malaya.

“We have to try explain this to the federal government as what is priority for us may not be the priority for the federal government.

“We have to make this clear and conduct research and ensure that there is a shared agenda between the state and federal government.”

She opined that there was a huge communication gap. “We need to explain to them that we are different and they also need to adapt to us to accommodate the differences of opinion.”

“Sarawak has different ethnicities, geography, demographics and challenges,” she stated.

She added that the federal government needed to be aware of what the state is saying.

“In that sense, not all parties say the whole of Malaysia should be in the same group but for us we should say so. We also have our own differences and stands that require a strong foundation.”

Hanifah said this, replying to a question from Human Rights Commission commissioner Datuk Dr Madeline Berma during a webinar on ‘Inequality and Poverty: The Way Forward’ on Wednesday (Aug 4).

Berma had asked whether or not the establishment of the department had achieved more to help Sabah and Sarawak than without it.