CM: Bidayuhs playing crucial role in developing Sarawak

(From front left) Awang Tengah, Uggah, Manyin, Abang Johari and Juma’ani watch a welcoming dance. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The Bidayuh community will continue to play a crucial role in moving Sarawak forward, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, the community has long embraced the philosophy of not being concerned “whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice”.

“You can find Bidayuhs in PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu), SUPP (Sarawak United People’s Party), PDP (Progressive Democratic Party), and it does not matter which party they are in, they work within the parameters to move the community forward,” Abang Johari said yesterday when launching the PBB Zone 3 meeting.

He cited the philosophy of the late Deng Xiaoping — People’s Republic of China leader and reformer — who opened China to the global market.

“This is the philosophy that opened up China, that transformed the country into today’s second economic power and it may surpass the United States,” said Abang Johari.

Reiterating that Bidayuhs have been “better than Deng Xiaoping long time ago”, Abang Johari said the community has what it takes to spur economic development in the state.

He advised Bidayuhs to embrace technology as the state transformed from a conventional to digital economy.

“Look around you, and you should see that knowledge and skills are what you need,” he said.

Abang Johari stressed Sarawak has the right talents to transform itself into one of the fastest-growing states in Malaysia.

He said the state government has identified Bidayuh areas for a fruit production zone, while pointing out the laboratory in Rampangi is studying the irrigation of watermelons and vegetables.

Abang Johari explained the irrigation system is controlled by censors capable of deciding when to water the plantings.

“When the production increases, the income will also go up. Once you have the income, your social status will be there and you will have enough for your family and children to pursue tertiary education,” he said.

The PBB president and state Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said PBB “is a very dynamic party and we are relevant in any era”.

“Our party is strong and we have consensus. During the January 3 BN meeting in KL (Kuala Lumpur), they said Sarawak is the best model and that politics is very nice in Sarawak.

“I told them that our culture is different and that we do not use a leader who wants to be the prime minister for a second time. It’s called recycling,” he quipped.

Abang Johari said he might have a different approach compared to his predecessor Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, but their fundamental policies remained the same.

He pledged to carry on Adenan’s efforts to restore the state’s rights.

“We will use our own approach and model to get the rights back within the context of the Federation of Malaysia. The moment you are strong, you can determine the future.

“We have to move forward with a digital economy. Let us unite together, pool our resources, and turn Sarawak into a progressive state by 2030,” he added.

PBB Zone 3 comprises the Serembu, Mambong, Tarat, Tebedu, Kedup, and Bukit Semuja branches.

Among those present were Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, as well as Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.

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