Sept 16 re­minder of nation’s birth

Abang Jo­hari says role and sta­tus of Sarawak, Sabah in for­ma­tion of Malaysia must be pre­served in nation’s his­tory

The Borneo Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Danny Wong re­porters@the­bor­neo­post.com

SIBU: Sarawakians and Saba­hans feel it is im­por­tant to give due recog­ni­tion to Sept 16 as the date Malaysia was formed and the date must not be for­got­ten in the nation’s his­tory be­cause Sarawak and Sabah were par­ties in the for­ma­tion of Malaysia and were an­nexed by Malaya.

This was stated by Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Pat­inggi Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg in his speech at the state-level Malaysia Day cel­e­bra­tion at Sibu town square last night.

“I be­lieve the big­ger im­pli­ca­tion is that the peo­ple in both the east­ern part of Malaysia do not want to be taken for granted not only his­tor­i­cally but also eco­nom­i­cally and po­lit­i­cally.

“Sarawakians also want to be on equal stand­ing with their coun­ter­parts in Penin­su­lar Malaysia in as far as eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is con­cerned be­cause that was the hope and as­pi­ra­tion of our found­ing lead­ers when they signed the Malaysia Agree­ment in 1963. It is also the hope of all Sarawakians yes­ter­day, to­day and to­mor­row,” he said.

Head of state Tun Pe­hin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mah­mud, wife Toh Puan Raghad Kurdi Taib, the Chief Min­is­ter’s wife

Sarawakians also want to be on equal stand­ing with their coun­ter­parts in Penin­su­lar Malaysia in as far as eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is con­cerned be­cause that was the hope and as­pi­ra­tion of our found­ing lead­ers when they signed the Malaysia Agree­ment in 1963 . —Datuk Pat­inggi Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg Chief Min­is­ter

Datin Pat­inggi Datuk Juma’ani Tuanku Bu­jang, Deputy Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Awang Ten­gah Ali Hasan and Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Trade and ECom­merce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh were among those present.

Abang Jo­hari said it could not be de­nied that Sarawak is be­hind Se­me­nan­jung Malaysia in in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

“But we are thank­ful that the Prime Min­is­ter is aware of the as­pi­ra­tion of Sarawakians that they should have at least one sys­tem of roads that is of high­way stan­dard after 54 years as part of Malaysia, there­fore the con­struc­tion of the Pan Bor­neo High­way is very much wel­comed,” he stated.

He also said the state of more than 1,000 di­lap­i­dated ru­ral schools, be they pri­mary or se­condary schools, was a case in point that should be rec­ti­fied as soon as pos­si­ble to ad­dress the per­cep­tion that Sarawak was not be­ing given due at­ten­tion by the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment as ed­u­ca­tion was un­der the purview of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

“We un­der­stand that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment may not have suf­fi­cient funds to re­pair or re­build th­ese ru­ral schools which isw es­ti­mated to cost about RM1 bil­lion over and above the sum al­lo­cated in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“We are will­ing to as­sist the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment through our De­vel­op­ment Bank. We ap­pre­ci­ate that the Prime Min­is­ter has agreed to this ar­range­ment.

“The Deputy Prime Min­is­ter has also agreed to the same ar­range­ment in a meet­ing here last Wed­nes­day (Sept 13) so that the run-down ru­ral schools can be phys­i­cally im­proved with­out much de­lay.

“We be­lieve that Malaysia can be a stronger nation if there is equal eco­nomic foot­ing on both sides of the South China Sea. Dis­con­tent will only breed dis­cord and dis­unity among Malaysians,” Abang Jo­hari added fur­ther.

The VIPs led by His Ex­cel­lency ( fth left) to­gether with Raghad (sixth left), Abang Jo­hari (fourth left) and Wong (third left) singing along the pa­tri­otic song.

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