We are no beggars

Lynch Cowan

Sarawak will get by through prudent management of resources: Abang Jo

SERIAN: The state government will not beg for development funds from the federal government.

“No, we will not beg, and I don’t want to be a beggar,” said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“As the central government, Putrajaya has a responsibility in helping to develop the state, but for whatever reason they are not keen to give us the money,” Abang Johari said at the launch of GPS Zone 4B at Balai Tayung Langui, Pichin near here.

The chief minister described the federal government’s withdrawal of development funds as an act of ‘buruk siku’ (literally, rotten elbows which in the local Malay – and riverine Iban communities as well – refers to a taboo of taking back what one has given. The punishment for such an act is an elbow that will rot.)

“Their act of ‘buruk siku’ will not weaken the state government; neither will it make us poorer.

“On the contrary, because we know they are not keen to give us the money to develop the state, Sarawakians have to rely on ourselves.

“This realisation (of being denied development funds) brings us closer as a people. We grow to be wiser and more resilient.

“No, we will not beg, and I don’t want to be a beggar.

“The state has the fund, GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) will continue where the federal government has left off. We will do what needs to be done to improve the living quality of the people.”

Abang Johari seen as he arrives for the launch of GPS Zone 4B at Balai Tayung Langui, Pichin. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

He assured that Padawan Road will be upgraded: “The road has an important role to play in boosting rural economy and we have the money to build it.”

He further said the state government will manage its state resources prudently and wisely and will give this back to the people.

“There’s someone who claimed that Sarawak will go bankrupt in three years’ time, (does) he think we are stupid?

“The state government is not stupid. We know how to manage our state resources.

“It is different with them, they don’t even know how to handle basic accounting,” he said.

More than 3,000 people from Serian district came to the event yesterday.

Among those present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas; Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; Native Land Development Assistant Minister Datuk Roland Sagah, who is Tarat assemblyman; and Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot.

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