KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s acknowledgement of the state’s contributions to the whole country has sent positive vibes among state leaders who see it as further support from the Federal Government.
Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said he was delighted with Najib’s message during the 50th Malaysia Day celebration yesterday, and he was looking forward to more rural development in the state.
Speaking to reporters after the celebration, Masing said it was high time that the rural development agenda be completed because the state and its Barisan leadership had made so much economic and political contributions to the country.
“Najib acknowledged that Sarawak had contributed not only to the formation of Malaysia and its development. He also acknowledged that Malaysia was formed on Sept 16, a day not to be forgotten,” he said.
He said the completion of the rural development agenda was long overdue and it was high time that the state Barisan Nasional be acknowledged for its contributions and be repaid for its loyalty.
“To me as far as development is concerned you do not bite the hands that feed you. There must be social agenda and gratefulness. Whoever helps you, say thank you,” said Masing.
Minister in charge of the 50th Malaysia Day celebration, Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, said Najib was most appreciative of the close collaboration between the state and the Federal Government.
He recalled that earlier Chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud stressed that the state government would always support the policies of the Federal Government for the sake of national unity.
“Najib acknowledged the unity of Sarawakians, which shows that we are on the right path. It is a track for us to move further along to ensure greater development in the years to come with strong collaboration between the Federal and state governments.”
The Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI), meanwhile, welcomes the new Bumiputra Economic Agenda announced by Najib as it encapsulates newer strategies and
programmes to develop a dynamic bumiputra community by the year 2020.
In a press statement signed by its secretary-general Libat Langub yesterday, the chamber said it was happy with Najib’s assurance that the agenda would be inclusive of minority bumiputra communities in Sarawak and Sabah.
“With the simultaneous launch of the Bumiputera Economic Council (MEB) to be chaired by Najib himself, DCCI hopes that the implementation and execution of the economic agenda would be taken seriously and specifically take into account the special interest of minority bumiputras of Sarawak and Sarawak as enshrined under the Federal Constitution so that they would not be left out,” it said.
DCCI also proposed that MEB should have a few minority bumiputras from the two states as its members.
“As the bulk of the Dayaks did not benefit from the previous economic policies for bumiputras, DCCI urged MEB to take immediate affirmative actions to ensure that the new economic plan work equitably for them,” it said.
“This could be done by allocating specific and minimum quotas to the minority bumiputras in respect of all the benefits and privileges outlined in the new economic plan.”