Premier promised that the government will continue to restore the rights of Sarawak

Abang Johari said Sarawak’s rights granted under MA63 must be respected and strengthened. — Bernama file photo

KUCHING (July 22): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has pledged that the Sarawak government will continue its efforts to restore state rights that have eroded over the years.

The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman said Sarawak’s rights granted under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) must be respected and strengthened.

“I want to thank the leadership of the unity government that recently agreed to return 52 undeveloped lots to the state government, including the General Post Office building,” he said during the Sarawak Day 2023 celebration held at Padang Merdeka here today.

Abang Johari said that under the previous devolution process, Sarawak was allowed to implement projects worth RM50 million and below through the Technical Department. These projects are under the Public Works Department and Drainage and Irrigation Department of the state.

He said the state government also has representatives sitting on the Board of Directors of the Inland Revenue Board in accordance with the provisions of Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

In the field of education, he said that Sarawak does not depend on the programs and initiatives of the federal government despite education being under Feder.

“To maintain policy consistency and dynamism in line with current needs as well as future demands in accordance with the powers given to Sarawak under Article 17 of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) Report, the state government has put together several initiatives aimed at uplifting the development of education in Sarawak.

“This is so that Sarawak’s education can catch up with the standards of countries that are more advanced in education like Singapore,” he said.

Abang Johari said the state government has also implemented other programs to fulfill its responsibility in ensuring the welfare and benefits of people in need, such as the elderly.

He said, for example, Kenyalang Gold Card (KGC) card holders can have access to health screenings as well as having discounts at some outlets.

“Besides the KGC initiative, the state government has also implemented various initiatives including assistance for the B40 group, mothers who have given birth and cash assistance to the needy group.

“As a responsible government, the state government always pays attention to the needs of the community in the state,” he said.

Touching on the history of Sarawak, Abang Johari said the state was liberated from the British Crown Colony on July 22, 1963 after 17 years of rule since 1946. He said before that, Sarawak was under the administration of the Brooke family for 100 years (1841-1941).

“Over the past 60 years, state leaders including the late Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkam, the late Datuk Tawi Seli, the late Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub, Tun Pehin Sri Taib Abdul Mahmud and the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem have strived to uplift the dignity of Sarawak by laying a solid foundation to unite Sarawakians of all races and faiths and the Report also restored Sarawak’s economy. .

He noted that his predecessor Adenan during his time started an initiative to restore the rights of Sarawak which had been damaged for decades.

“All Sarawakians should praise the struggle he initiated to raise the dignity of Sarawak as a region that founded Malaysia. Thank you, Tok Nan,” he said.

Abang Johari said Sarawakians should also extend their appreciation to the security forces who have fought terrorism and communism since the early 1960s.

“Under the leadership of the former prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub, communist activities ended with the Sri Aman Agreement in 1973,” he said.

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