KUCHING, Jan 23 — Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian today reminded Sarawakians that they must safeguard their unique racial harmony that could be seen in the celebration of festivals such as the Chinese New Year.
He said there were no racial differences or religious barriers in the state where people of all races visit each other during the festive occasions.
“This is the race harmony asset that all Sarawakians should treasure,” Dr Sim, who is also the Sarawak local government and housing minister, said in his message in conjunction with the Chinese New Year that falls on January 25.
He expressed his concern over the growing cases of extremism in the country, including the recent controversy of Chinese New Year decorations in SMK Bandar Puchong 1, Selangor and an attempt to challenge Chinese and Tamil schools’ legal status in the constitution.
He said all these will jeopardise racial harmony in the country and lead to national chaos if the federal leaders did nothing and fail to act against the extremists.
He said Sarawakians must give their backing to the state government in banning the entry of religious and political extremists to the state, saying that their presence will disrupt existing peace and racial harmony.
He also reminded the state’s residents that 2020 will be full of uncertainty and challenge, with the country’s economy currently in doldrums, the ringgit depreciating and cost of living rising.
“Therefore, our country leaders must come up with a strategic solution to tackle current issues and to spur our economic growth, instead of putting too much effort in fighting against their political opponents,” he said.
He said the Sarawak government’s vision is to achieve extraordinary economic development by the year 2030.
He said the state needs to be a wealthy, starting from this year, then following the path to becoming stronger and developed state by the year 2030.
Dr Sim said Sarawak’s current economic development was good and healthy, estimating that growth of 5.5 per cent to 6 per cent is achievable this year.