KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has called on Sarawakians to unite as the state's Dayak community celebrates the Gawai festival.
"Sarawak belongs to all of us and it is my personal conviction that Sarawak has to be administered and developed involving the participation of all races.
"It is all right for us to have different political affiliations and have different ideas about things, but let us unite as Sarawakians for the greater good of this Land of the Hornbill," he said in his Gawai message on Friday (May 31).
The harvest festival of Gawai is celebrated on June 1-2 every year.
Abang Johari said although Gawai was an occasion signifying Dayak unity in their quest towards progress, it was not intended to segregate the Dayaks from other communities in Sarawak.
"But it is always good for Dayaks to unite among themselves and see how best they can participate in Sarawak's economic development along with their counterparts from other races," he said.
He also said the state government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was "resolutely determined" to ensure that rural areas, where the majority of the Dayaks live, are well served with basic amenities, including roads, clean water, electricity and Internet connection.
The additional revenue from the 5% sales tax on oil and gas products for export will be channelled back to the people in the form of infrastructure facilities, he added.
"Let us unite to ensure that together we can provide all these needs to our people and be a developed state by 2030," he said.
Abang Johari also called on Sarawakians to trust each other more than "others who come and go", in an apparent reference to peninsula-based parties.
"Not all may agree with what I say here but and at the end of the day, Sarawakians are left to fend for themselves.
"Whatever our shortcomings as a group or otherwise, we as Sarawakians have to work it out among ourselves in one way or another," he said.