KUCHING, May 31 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today it is alright for the people to have different political affiliations and different ideas about things but they must unite as Sarawakians for the greater good of this "Land of the Hornbills".
In his message in conjunction with Gawai Dayak, which falls tomorrow, he said it is his personal conviction that Sarawak has to be administered and developed with the participation of all the races to be a developed state by 2030.
“We are not perfect and neither have all our wants already been fulfilled. In the rural areas where the majority of our Dayak friends live, they still need roads, bridges, clean water, 24-hour electricity and Internet connection.
“As chief minister, this is my humble message to our Dayak friends in conjunction with this year’s Gawai celebration. Let us learn to trust our fellow Sarawakians more than we trust others who come and go. Not all may agree with what I have to say here but, at the end of the day, Sarawakians are left to fend for themselves” he said.
On Gawai Dayak, he said it is a celebration that seeks to give identity to the Dayak community in Sarawak since its inception in 1963 and, equally important, it has always been an occasion signifying Dayak unity in their quest towards progress and advancement.
“I believe Gawai Dayak and Dayak unity have never been intended to segregate the Dayak community from other communities and neither is a Gawai Dayak rally ever meant to be a show of force to fellow Sarawakians of other races,” he said, adding that the Dayak are known for being hardworking and persevering in the face of hardship and adversity.
Abang Johari said he is confident that the Dayak community can play an important role in helping Sarawak become a net exporter of food and be a part of the agricultural and economic transformation by participating actively in the field of commerce and industry.
“I believe our Dayak farmers can make it good by commercialising their farming with the support of good connectivity and marketing strategy. This is where they have to transform their traditional subsistence farming to modern farming through the application of new technologies and digital marketing platforms,” he said.
He said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government is also resolutely determined to ensure that the rural areas are well-connected, well-served with facilities and amenities, and the economic capacity is expanded.
Sarawak now has more money from the imposition of the 5 per cent tax on oil and gas products for export and the funds will be channelled back to the people in the form of infrastructure facilities, he said. — Bernama