KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan is calling on Lawas folk to continue rendering their undivided support to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) in the next state election, which is due in mid-2021.
He said this was because the GPS government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg will continue to fight for the state’s rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).
The Bukit Sari assemblyman recalled that in the 2018 general election, five polling stations in his constituency, which is under Lawas parliamentary constituency, showed 100 per cent support for the ruling coalition.
“Voters in five polling stations in Bukit Sari voted 100 per cent against the opposition (Pakatan Harapan – PH). This goes to show that GPS has the support of the people.
“Our government is GPS government under the leadership of Abang Johari, who is our chief minister. The government at the federal level has changed to PH but we must continue to give undivided support to GPS under the leadership of Abang Johari,” he said at a festive gathering hosted by Persatuan Anak Jati Lawas Di Kuching (Jati) here yesterday.
Some 600 Jati members attended the gathering.
Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development, pointed out that all component parties of PH Sarawak are from Peninsular Malaysia compared to GPS, which comprises only local-based parties.
He said political parties from outside Sarawak would know less about what Sarawakians needed, particularly given the fact that the PH government had cancelled several infrastructure development projects in the state.
He said the recent statement by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng about Sarawak going bankrupt in three years, was another indication that leaders from outside the state had no knowledge about Sarawak.
“Sarawak has been given A+ and A ratings in terms of financial management for 17 consecutive years. So when the minister made an open statement like that, it is more political in nature. Sarawakians are not stupid.
“We have been having sound financial management for 17 years and running. We have a new stream of revenue this year following the implementation of the five per cent sales tax on petroleum products. We are not digging into our reserves; we’re not stupid,” he stressed.
Awang Tengah opined that it is time leaders from Peninsular Malaysia stop underrating Sarawakian leaders, saying: “They (peninsula leaders) are making statements as if they thought we are still living on the trees or in caves.”
Earlier, he called upon Jati to continue reaching out to the people of Lawas who are working or pursuing higher education in Kuching.
He also observed that many from Lawas who had settled down in the city had not brought their next generation back to their hometown.
“Some of you who have settled down in Kuching for years and decades should bring your children back to their roots, introduce them to their relatives and foster closer ties among your own families.
“The association must continue to play its role despite limitations. Let’s work closely together to help our children especially those furthering their studies in Kuching,” he added.
Among those present were State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Awang Tengah’s wife Datin Amar Dato Dayang Morliah Awang Daud and organising chairman Salim Angas.