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SARIKEI, Aug 31 ― In celebrating National Day, Sarawakians must not forget three historical dates which took place before and after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.
He said these are July 22, 1963 when for the first time Sarawak was led by a local in attaining self-determination and August 31, 1963 when Sarawak joined the Federated Malay States to celebrate this date as National Day.
“The date, which is important for us, is September 16, 1963 when the Federated Malay States joined Sabah and Sarawak to form a new country named the Federation of Malaysia,” the chief minister said in his speech at the National Day celebration here.
“These dates are very important to us in Malaysia, and for Sarawak these dates, I feel, have become the dates for us to remind ourselves of our history before and after gaining Independence through the formation of Malaysia as well as our history within the Federation of Malaysia,” he said.
He said Malaysia is successful because of the understanding among the past leaders where they managed and administered the country in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) which was then incorporated into the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the country.
“Malaysia is also successful because we respect many agreements which were incorporated in the Malaysian Constitution and MA63.
“Therefore, it is important for all of us to see this history as a platform for us to develop Malaysia in the years to come,” the chief minister said.
Abang Johari said over the last 56 years since the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Sarawak has achieved a number of successes in providing developments.
He added for the future Sarawak will have its own roadmap towards making the state as the most developed in the year 2030, adding that this is the way that state government wants to see more developments and progresses to take place.
Abang Johari also announced that the areas between Sarikei and Betong will become the food basket for the manufacturing of the food industry not only in Malaysia, but also overseas.
He said the state government will build infrastructures, like roads and bridges, in Kuala Rajang, Sarikei and up to Betong.
He said the state government has a commitment to upgrade existing roads, including a road connecting Sarikei with Tanjung Manis.
He added a RM600 million Batang Lassa bridge and RM300 million Batang Paloh bridge and electricity facilities will be built by the state government to make Sarikei-Betong areas as food basket a success.