arawak from the second most backward state, when it gained Independence through the formation of a new Federation Malaysia in the 60s, has been transformed to become one of the most progressive states in the country. More importantly, the state has been developing the potential to become the most progressive and prosperous state in the country towards the year 2030.
Generally, the people can see things happening now because from the beginning, from the time the previous generations started to make efforts to become part of a new a nation Malaysia 50 or 60 years ago, they did not only want the formation of Malaysia but were prepared and ready to roll up their sleeves to work for its formation; they wanted to be part of it and were ready to work for its progress and advancement.
Then the people did not only subscribe but support the struggle for the formation of Malaysia and work very hard to ensure its success. More importantly, they formulated a trend of politics that could contribute towards the progress and advancement of Sarawak to become the most successful state in the country.
The people were made to realize and subscribe to politics that could contribute towards the overall progress and advancement of the State and country after Independence.
Obviously, the people must pursue politics that subscribe to efforts to promote unity among them to ensure that all efforts must be channeled towards development. This has become a motivating factor for them to work harder together to achieve greater success not only for themselves but for the state and country.
The Yang di Pertua Negeri, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, in his speech during the recent Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering in Lawas said Malaysia has taken very seriously matters relating to development for the people, State and country with the primary objective to raise the standard of living of the Rakyat.
He recalled when he first became the Chief Minister on March 26, 1981, the per capita income of Sarawak was RM4,000. Today, it is more than RM 100,000. Actually, by the time he retired from politics on February 28, 2014, the per capita income was nearly RM110,000. In other words, the per capita income has risen by more than 20 times during the last two generations.
He said the State used to have a form of development based on development of natural resources using proper methods. But now it no longer depends solely on this form of development even though production based on development of natural resources is still important.
However, what is more important is that the State has the freedom to carry other forms of economy by using knowledge, expertise and efforts of the people. This is reflected in the diverse forms of economic activities. Before, the country could only show specialty in exporting rubber, tin ores and oil palm but now it is indulging in diverse forms of production and services for exports.
Now the State and country can export products and services to any markets in the East, West, Africa and others. Efforts will be intensified to spread the export of local products and services to wider markets in order to increase the volume of export of products and create more employment opportunities for the people.
Malaysia is not developing like many developing countries with a limited market. The people go out and deal with anybody in the world stage whether they are Japanese, Germans, Americans and people of any other countries, who can consume their products.
This is a good position, as most of other forms of development are quite shallow or not broad enough from local perspective, in laying a stronger foundation for the development of the economy.
Tun Abdul Taib said he has high hope that the people in the present generation must realize that continuous efforts must be made to the raise the level of progress and prosperity with the local capability to work through ASEAN in using whatever products and services that can be sold by using diverse approaches.
Ultimately, the common goal is to move Sarawak forward from time to time as the people, who have been able to adapt themselves to changes and maintain their unity and solidarity, have much higher level of education, to develop Malaysia to attain the status of a developed country with high income economy.
Tun Abdul Taib said even though Malaysia is yet to become a developed nation, the pattern is already there, it is already established. Malaysia is on the way to become a developed nation, a developed nation which has the capability to sustain its progress and to adjust itself to opportunities that are available in the world market.
He said the State and the country are already on the threshold of a developed nation. The country has the capability and capacity to produce the numbers of people, who can produce results are increasing as reflected in the number of graduates being produced in the last one decade. This is what Malaysia has been doing.
Tun Abdul Taib said the success is not only confined to Kuala Lumpur but also in Sarawak, where the people in Sarawak, from one generation to another, have been able to adapt to changes. The leaders that come up in the State have been able to bring the people to work together, according to their own styles of leadership, in the struggle to push for greater success for the people, State and country.
He said the State is now at the level, which can be considered almost near the status of a developed nation. However, continuous efforts must be raise and educate the children to pursue good education to enable them to compete not only among themselves in the country but with those in the ASEAN region and at the international level.
Tun Abdul Taib said the people of Sarawak during the last two years have proven themselves to able to determine their own future. They witnessed changes involving three Chief Ministers and the changeover of leadership had no adverse effects in the State and country.
Instead the new leadership has taken a number of things into consideration namely a lot of new development being carried out and a lot of past developments being continued. More new leaders are being groomed to carry out the tasks and responsibilities to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the Rakyat.
Essentially, the people, comprising diverse ethnic groups, must realize that development and progress must be through efforts of all and co-operation among them must be made closer.
In this regards, the machinery of the government must get the full support of the people in order to achieve the objectives of whatever development that has been planned to raise their standard of living
Obviously, the spirit is being imbibed in the whole community. More importantly, the spirit is being supported and subscribed by all communities to such an extent that today the people can see even the opposition, though they do not talk about it, are accepting the fact that Barisan Nasional in Sarawak has been successful in bringing the people together and mobilize their strength and energy towards efforts that do not only benefit themselves but also the State and country.
Besides, the people comprising diverse ethnic groups have been working very hard and in all sincerity in fighting against negative politics that have the tendency to raise issues to divide the people, undermine their unity and solidarity and raise the expectation and ambition of the people that cannot be realized in a short period of time.
As a consequence, the people feel, as how it has been happening in most developing countries, frustrated and dissatisfied and make accusation that the leaders are not fulfilling their promises.
Essentially, the people must continue to pursue politics that subscribe to efforts to promote unity among them to ensure that all efforts must be channeled towards development. In this regard, the solidarity and unity of the people could help to trigger a certain feeling and interest towards development and progress and motivate them to work harder together to achieve greater success not only for themselves but for the state and country.
Generally, the international community recognizes that Malaysia takes matters relating to development very seriously. Actually, the country has become a good model in the efforts to bring progress and development to the people and raise their level of achievement from time to time
For example, even though Lawas is at the northern end of the State but it is also involved in development that has brought Malaysia to become a dynamic nation. The success of development has brought about prosperity particularly within the context of ASEAN.
Tun Abdul Taib believes the level of success that has been achieved will ensure a better co-operation among countries in this region, better income for the people and a better future for the State and country.
He said the success being achieved in the country is truly the fruits of the common struggle during the past 50 years. For this reason, the new generations must be made to realize that they must be prepared and ready to continue with the struggle in the next 50 years. It is the only way to ensure that the state and country will achieve greater success in future.
InsyAllah, the country will become more prosperous and progressive with the peace and stability that have achieved for the State and country. The State and country have been very lucky by subscribing to politics that manifest the true feelings, hopes and aspirations of the people.
However, efforts must be intensified to bring about greater progress and prosperity to Sarawak as part of Malaysia and raise the income of Anak Sarawak Rakyat Malaysia with more sophisticated efforts.
Tun Abdul Taib notices the common attitude that reflects that the people are making efforts towards greater progress whether in a small of big community or whether in the Chinese, Bidayuh or Orang Ulu community no need to say about the Malay community. The people all realize the importance of working together and taking own initiatives to ensure a good future for themselves.
He is grateful to Allah SAW for giving him the health and strength visit places whether they be Malay, Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu areas throughout the State to keep in touch with the people.