Stand firm against  outsiders


Abang Johari tells Sarawakians to learn from the past and never surrender control of their own destiny again

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Sarawakians must stand firm and not be enticed by outsiders if they want to defend their interests.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who made this call at the Federation of Kuching Division Community Associations Lunar New Year dinner on Thursday said  Sarawakians must be resilient and allow outsiders to control them.

“What I ask of our fellow Sarawakians is to not be easily swayed or enticed to let others from outside Sarawak control us. Once we lose control of our own state, we will ‘sweat blood’ to get the control back,” the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman said at the Federation of Kuching Division Community Associations Lunar New Year dinner on Thursday.

“I am not trying to scare people but we can never tell what others will do to us once they can control us. We have learnt our lesson when we were in BN (Barisan Nasional), where we have to agree based on consensus even if it has to go against Sarawak’s interest. Therefore, fellow Sarawakians, let us all protect Sarawak.”

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian read his speech.

Abang Johari also urged Sarawakians to rally behind the GPS government to safeguard Sarawak’s rights.

“Last year, our country’s political scenario has undergone unprecedented changes and Sarawak was caught in a delicate situation with many important issues remaining outstanding.

“Therefore, your mandate to support us again will be crucial to safeguard the rights of Sarawak. Together we fight for a better Sarawak,” he said.

He said it is the Sarawakian way to do things without unnecessarily causing tension among Sarawakians.

He pointed out the Sarawak government “is not in the habit of bringing others down in the course of our duty towards the rakyat and we strive to respect our fellow Sarawakians and their views”.

“We prefer to do things quietly for the benefit of the people and our strength lies in our service towards the people within the limit of our resources and without politicising everything,” he added.

Abang Johari said the GPS administration “is now an independent platform as we do not have to refer to Putrajaya all the time to make decisions for the sake of Sarawak”.

He even called the change of federal government a blessing in disguise for Sarawakians.

“Because now we can assert our rights according to the (Federal) Constitution and MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963). I do not think we can impose the 5 per cent sales tax on petroleum gas for export if we are still tied to the federal government on the same political platform,” he said.