Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Sarawak is not at odds with Malaya, it is only seeking its rights based on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

He said, in a federation, there are responsibilities that must be shouldered by the federal government including developments in the state.

“What the state has to develop, we will develop; what the federal has to develop, it has to do that as well. Secondly, we have our rights according to MA63, this will be protected,” he said on Thursday.

The chief minister pointed out that as the state needed funds for development, he had imposed the State Sales Tax (SST) on its petroleum products.

“So, at first, Petronas was not willing to pay, we brought it to court and hopefully the matter will be resolved so that we have more funds that can be channelled for the state’s development.” 

Abang Johari said the state government would continue its agenda to promote rural development, allowing rural dwellers to gain access to facilities that were usually reserved for urban dwellers.

“There is one party from Malaya that said we will get bankrupt when we allocate funds to develop infrastructures to help the rural dwellers. There is also one party that questioned the need for coastal road,” he said in a barb aimed at opposition parties, DAP and PSB.

“We feel that the rural dwellers need to be helped so that the infrastructure will be complete for them,” he said.