Taib: Greater progress due to good policies

Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

KUCHING: Good policies, which Sarawak has been lucky to have since Independence, have been able to help the state improve its economy.

Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said this had enabled the country to attain greater prosperity and more importantly get the people involved in the government’s efforts to generate greater development.

“The people have been able to enjoy the fruits of hard work and the success of each community, through well-organised and relatively more advanced commercial practices,” Taib said in his Chinese New Year message.

“The Chinese, for example, have been able to bring to Sarawak more orderly development. As we can see, Sarawak has a more orderly distribution of employment opportunities and the close relationship between all the races,” he added.

“The trend towards a more prosperous society, which benefits not only the commercial class but all levels of the society, will be continued as Sarawak moves forward to become not only a developed state, but the richest state in the country towards the year 2030,” he pointed out.

He further said that the state had been able to rope in more and more people with real talents to make them more effective in economic development so as to enable everybody to benefit from the fruits of development.

“We have been able to build a pattern of economy that enables us to bring about a greater distribution of wealth even to the remote community, who used to be rural dwellers, through the widespread benefits of education among children to play greater part in economic development,” he elaborated.

Taib said the trend now is quite strong that every race will benefit from whatever greater achievements that the country will be able to get through the development of resources and the cooperation between all races.

“This change in our midst has brought about greater unity among the people, greater cooperation between the races and much greater deployment of talents and skills, and the ability to expand economic activities mainly through the consolidation of traditional economic base and developing the prosperity from simple agriculture into much more economic activities,” he said.

Taib was glad to note that rural areas today have been producing not only agricultural products or primary products but have been able to produce human capital for development.

“Undoubtedly, the rural areas have been able to produce thousands of well educated people, who are beginning to play much greater roles in the development of the economy unlike in the old days when mainly Chinese got involved in commerce and Bumiputeras mainly in agriculture.”

He said the development of our economy was getting more sophisticated.

“The kinds of work that will grow from the development of the integration of our economy will benefit more and more races and greater cooperation among them. Today I can say the country is developing from Kuching all the way towards the north. Over the last 50 years, these are the general trend, which we are sure will benefit all people,” he noted.

He added that the trend would intensify itself in the same pattern and bring together much more closely the Chinese, the Malays, the Ibans, the Bidayuhs, the Orang Ulus, all to be conscious of the fact that the country is getting more prosperous and the opportunities for their children are much more varied and much more rewarding than before.

Taib expressed confidence that the country will take more straightforward steps into much more sophisticated economy with expanded role in the external market, and drag in people of various talents and skills into the greater and modern workforce of Sarawak and Malaysia.

“That is the Sarawak or Malaysia, which we have been dreaming of since more than 50 years ago. Now we are able to see it happening. It is beginning to unfold although not all the people have understood it; but at least all the people whether they are Malay, Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu can feel there is a change in their livelihood.

“This is what I want all the people to understand when we review our position from time to time. During the Chinese New Year, when I have the opportunity to talk, I will reveal this bit by bit to all people, to all races, not only to the Chinese, so that they know we have been on the right path of economic development based on the agenda to become a developed state by the year 2030.

“Undoubtedly, we have put the country on a proper footing of economic development and that the transformation of development has involved all races,” he said in concluding his message.

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