Always willing to listen
Federal govt never fails to consider Sarawak’s requests for devt – Najib
BINTULU: The federal government never ignores Sarawak’s request for development because Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has always maintained an excellent relationship with Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
Speaking at the 49th Malaysia Day celebration at the old airport here last night Najib said, “Because of our very close relationship, we have been able to discuss any request from Sarawak and we will continue to do so.”
He added that the federal government would build more roads and improve water and electricity supply in the state soon.
“Sarawak will soon have at least 21,000 km of roads, 80 per cent water and 83 per cent of electricity supply,” he promised.
The prime minister also revealed that since Sarawak had requested that the power from Bakun HEP be used for SCORE development, the federal government had decided to divert the energy generated from the dam to the state.
“The states in Peninsula, Sarawak and Sabah will be able to continue to develop because we belong to one big family. This is this truly 1Malysia,” he said.
Najib assured that the federal government would continue to bring development to every corner of the nation.
He said the BN government dared to use the theme ‘Janji Ditepati’ or ‘Promises Fulfilled’ because it had been able to fulfil all the pledges it made over the years.
“On the other hand the opposition had made the greatest blunder in the nation’s history when they said that they would take over the government on Sept 16, 2008.
“The government will never lie as we have to make our pledge to our God each time we pray,” stressed Najib, adding that the government was on right track to elevate the country to a developed status by 2020.
In his speech, Taib stressed the fact it was the people of Sarawak who chose to join the federation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963 even though the state could have gone on its own after gaining independence from the British on July 22, 1963.
“However, the people and the leaders at that time chose to join a much bigger entity by joining the federation of Malaysia,” he said.
Taib said at that time, it was very difficult for Sarawak to go on its own as it was poor and backward.
He also revealed that the first Prime Minster the late Tunku Abdul Rahman had wanted Sarawak to join the federation of Malaya as early as 1959 as he wanted Sarawakians to be as independent as the people of Malaya.
“When he (the Tunku) came to Kuching in 1959, he only noticed the Orang Putih welcoming him and the local people we just looking as bystanders. Realising the situation he told me that he wanted Sarawak to join the federation,” added Taib.
Earlier, the organising chairman Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim said that Bintulu was chosen as the main venue as it was a model of the vast transformation that had taken both in the state and in the nation.
Bintulu has developed from a mere fishing town with a population of 5,000 to some 100,000 today with ultra modern oil and gas facilitates and as the main hub of the SCORE project.
Three persons who were awarded the Tokoh Hari Malaysia award were Tan Sri Hamdan Sirat from Sarawak, Tan Sri Harris Salleh from Sabah and Ismail Embong from the Peninsula. Special awards were also presented to para-Olympians Hasihin Sanawi (Silver) and Muhd Ziyad Zolkefli (Bronze) from the just concluded London Para-Olympics 2012. -BP