SIBU: Inter-racial and inter-ethnic marriages over generations have contributed to Sarawak’s harmony, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“One thing good about Sarawak culture ... the Chinese marrying the Malay, the Malay marrying Chinese, Chinese marrying Dayak and also Bidayuh so much so over a period of time, as a result of these marriages, we have what I call hybrid Sarawakians,” he said during the Harmonious Night Gala Dinner organised by the Federation of Chinese Seven Clans Association on Sunday.
Abang Johari said it was also from such marriages that the people from different parts of the state could continue to live in peace.
“Inter-racial marriages strengthen our unity, and we know each other better,” he said.
A woman from Peninsular Malaysia, he said, even expressed her admiration for Sarawak as the many races, despite their differences in culture and faiths, could come together as one family.
Separately, Abang Johari said he needed the support and trust of Sarawakians to bring development and achieve developed status by 2030.
“We have all the ingredients to become a developed state by 2030 but we need trust. Unless you are sincere and have no other objective, God will help you to move forward,” he said.
Using himself as an example, he said due to his sincerity he had managed to survive in politics since 1977.
Saying that he could not do it alone, he wanted the people to work together with him for the sake of the future of the state.
“For the development of the state, we need to strike a balance. We need to see everybody taking part. The philosophy of the state under my leadership is that we need to look after the interest of everybody so that we can move forward,” he said.