Tuesday, July 16

Chinese told to end division

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CM appeals to Chinese community to close rank to contribute effectively to state’s development

 

Dr Sim (front third left) presenting the grant to Tan (second left) and Lee (third right) witnessed by others. — Photo by Chimon Upon.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says a divided Chinese community will not be able to contribute effectively to the development of the state.

Appealing to the different factions in the Chinese community to reconcile their differences, he said many Chinese associations have spoken at length on unity but the community is divided into three or four camps.

“We can’t appoint a Temenggong or Pemanca because the respective groups have their own choices. This is a big problem to the community and the government. The Chinese in the urban and rural areas have to unite for there is no strength in division,” he added in his speech read by Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian at the Federation of Kuching Division Community Associations’ Chinese New Year dinner at a restaurant here on Friday.

Abang Johari urged the Chinese community not to be misled by the opposition’s claim that they were the ones speaking up for them and fighting for the state’s rights.

“There is a certain false belief in the Chinese community that opposition parties are the ones to voice their problems in Parliament or State Legislative Assembly (DUN). But in actual fact who fought for the rights of Sarawak under MA63 (Malaysian Agreement 1963) and the Federal Constitution to be given back to Sarawak?” he questioned.

He pointed out that the state government’s record of sending a team of lawyers to London to study and find substantial documents and evidences particularly on sea boundaries and oil mining rights, acquiring Bakun Hydro Dam, setting up of Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) to source funds to finance strategic and economic projects and Petros to strengthen development in the oil and gas sector is ample proof of its commitment to develop the state.

On Sarawak’s future and direction, Abang Johari said Sarawak must progress from conventional to digital economy.

“We cannot depend on federal government all the time to give us money. We need to find the money ourselves and only Sarawak-based political parties consisting of PBB, PRS, SUPP, PDP and all other parties that support us can determine our destiny. Even Umno cannot determine our destiny.

“We are the ones doing the job while the oppositions are just trying to make sweet promises and run us down. Tun Mahathir ruled for 22 years and he did nothing much to enable Sarawak to catch up with other states in the Peninsula. Why should we believe that he will do great things for Sarawak if he becomes prime minister again,” he added.

Dr Sim in his speech reminded Sarawakians to not be too concerned about the situation in Peninsular Malaysia but instead be united and focus on strengthening the position of Sarawak politically, economically and financially. “The opportunity is now and it does not come by easily or often so we must seize it while it is there or it will just slip away. The people must not take this chance for granted because the future of Sarawak is in our hands,” he said.

During the event Dr Sim presented a grant of RM240,000 to the federation.

Penghulu Tan Heng Kee, organising chairman Lee Tong Kwang and Social Security Organisation (Socso) state director Philip Sangkan were among those present.