KUCHING, Oct 29 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg stressed today that as a Muslim, it is incumbent upon him to be fair to the people of various races and religions in the state.
“When we are fair, we will be more blessed,” he said in his address to the state Islamic agencies before the closed-door dialogue session started.
He said there must be peaceful co-existence in Sarawak as opposed to fighting aimlessly over religion and race.
“Because our state is peaceful, we are blessed as our reserves have increased. Just wait for the state budget,” the chief minister said, referring to the state budget 2020 he will table on November 4.
“When the state is peaceful, the people can earn their own living. When the state is in chaos, how do the people can earn their own living?” he asked.
He said peace meant the state government could provide infrastructure to the people.
The chief minister assured the Malays that the state government will safeguard and protect their interests.
He said that Sarawak was fortunate because religion and race is not a problem here and that ties among the people of various religious and racial backgrounds has remained strong.
Abang Johari said the state’s economy was moving in the right direction, with foreign investors still arriving.
He claimed the same was not true of the Malaysian economy, which he said was in crisis.
He added the ringgit’s value against the US dollar has fallen.
“We don’t even know where the direction of the Malaysian economy is heading to now,” he said.
Abang Johari said the state government will build boats for the coast guards that will be formed later.
He said the coast guards will patrol the waters off Sarawak to ensure the safety of local fishermen.
He added he has approved RM72 million for the creation of artificial reefs that will be planted near the 1,000km shores from Tanjung Dato in the southern tip to Lawas in the northern tip of Sarawak.
He said the reefs are meant to curb foreign trawlers from casting their nets long the waters off the state and to increase the fish population.