Tuesday, July 7

Time to discard Putrajaya ‘walking stick’ — CM

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Abang Johari (left) and Wee hold up the appointment letter for the federation’s main body working committee. On Wee’s right is Goh. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says it is time for Sarawak to learn to stand on its own without having to always rely on a ‘tongkat’ (walking stick) from the federal government.

He said the after decades of depending on Putrajaya, the Sarawak government under the leadership of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is working hard on policies to develop the state and benefit the people.

“We can develop Sarawak on our own because we have the resources. The only area that we are lacking is human talent, but if we have that human talent and we know our rights, I think we can be better than the peninsula,” he said in his speech Tuesday during the installation dinner of the 2019-2022 working committee of the Federation of Chinese Associations Sarawak.

“For 56 years, we had the ‘tongkat’ from Barisan Nasional, and we had our ‘tongkat’ in Putrajaya. But let us try without the ‘tongkat’ – we do on our own. We consolidate and have good policies for the future,” he added.

During the event, the chief minister also gave his assurance that the Sarawak government would continue to support Chinese schools in the state in terms of giving grants for new schools and new locations for schools.

He cited the example of a school in Muara Tebas where he had promised to match ringgit-for-ringgit whatever amount was raised.

“At the time, they managed to raise RM3 million, so I matched them with another RM3 million. That was not including the RM8 million that was already allocated for them,” Abang Johari said.

Among those present at the installation dinner were Federation of Chinese Associations Sarawak president Dato Richard Wee, Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia president Tan Sri Dr TC Goh, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, and Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi.