KUCHING: The loyalty of the people in the state to the country is unquestionable, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud assured.
He said Sarawakians might appear to be parochial but they were all as loyal as their counterparts in any other states in the country.
“We may seem parochial but our hearts are fully Malaysians,” he stated in his welcoming speech at the opening of the 13th Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Convention by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.
He said when Sarawak agreed to form Malaysia together with the Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Singapore 50 years ago, the state had pledged its full commitment to sink and swim together with other states and nobody should ever doubt this spirit until this very day.
However, he said, in Sarawak there could be some difference in the ways of doing things compared with the other states in Peninsular Malaysia and due to its vast size with a population of about 2.5 million people it was very difficult to develop the state.
“We don’t deny that some of our policies differ from some other states in Semenanjung (Peninsular Malaysia) and it is not that we want to show that we are clever but because we feel that they best suited the situation in the state,” he said.
He said nevertheless the state and federal governments shared a common interest which was to unite the people of various races through the concept of moderation in order to bring Malaysia to greater heights.
“As for us in Sarawak, I can give the assurance here that we will play our role in developing the nation and for this, on behalf of the people in the state, I am very thankful to the federal leaders for helping us to develop Sarawak which was never easy,” he said.
According to Taib, the biggest challenge that the federal and state governments had to face now was to ensure that the basic infrastructure could be put in place to develop Sarawak into a fully industrialised state by year 2030.
“The period of greater migration will come when there are ample employment opportunities and requirement for greater manpower to fully develop Sarawak and that will be the start for a stronger nation that is more united prosperous and equal to any developed nations in the world,” he anticipated.
He noted that in the long run Sarawak has great potential to provide plenty of new job opportunities with the implementation of SCORE.
However, Taib said, this could only materialise with the help and support of the federal government. - theborneopost