Tuesday, March 2

RM7 billion for development since last year

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The Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Abang Johari walk towards the grandstand before the 22nd convocation ceremony yesterday.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Sarawak government has approved more than RM7 billion in allocations to implement various development projects in the state since January last year.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in revealing this, said most of these allocations are for development projects in the interior, coastal and rural areas.

He noted that areas in Hulu Rajang alone had been allocated RM1.472 billion for the next two years, which he believed would be able to change the development landscape in Song, Kanowit, Kapit, Belaga and other areas around it.

“The philosophy and policy of development that we carry out is inclusive because we do not want to see any race or region in the country being marginalised.

“The impact of mainstream development and economic growth should be enjoyed by all the people in this state. We want all races, all regions, all divisions to enjoy the benefits of development that the Sarawak government implements,” he said in his speech upon being conferred an honorary doctorate in Economic Development by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) at its 22nd convocation ceremony here yesterday.

Abang Johari, who is also Unimas pro-chancellor, said without being too dependent on the federal government, the Sarawak government would continue to defend the fate and future of all Sarawakians; making sure their aspirations are met and that they are included in the mainstream development.

He said in view of that, the Sarawak government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is politically determined and committed to take all the steps and efforts to ensure that facilities and infrastructure are provided to the people.

“This is not a question of politics. It is a matter of the future, and the future cannot be gambled with cheap politics. I would like to assure here today that we will continue to be committed in re-doubling our efforts to narrow the gap between rural and urban areas, among the various communities in the state.

“We want to ensure that the economic gap can be narrowed through pragmatic and holistic policies, as well as foresightedness,” he said.

Abang Johari stressed that the Sarawak government’s struggle is people-centric, regardless of race and region. He admitted and lamented there were still areas and schools in the state that are in a state of dilapidation and lagging behind, and pledged to strive and do the best for the people in this state.

On his conferment, the chief minister expressed his sincere thanks to Unimas for the honour. “I sincerely appreciate this award, and I am determined to continue my efforts to intensify the development that will always be beneficial to the economy of the state,” he said.