KUCHING: Sarawak's "Segulai Sejalai" phrase, which means "Together in Unity", has caught the attention of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Prime Minister said he would adopt the phrase as the motto for unity for the whole nation.
"I was struck to hear the 'Segulai Sejalai' phrase, which I think should be used in Malaysia and not just Sarawak.
"Wherever I go from now on, when I talk about unity and cooperation, I'll make sure I say Segulai Sejalai," he said at the state Gawai dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Wednesday (June 7) night.
Segulai Sejalai, an Iban phrase, is the theme of this year's Gawai celebration, emphasising the importance of unity among Sarawak's diverse communities.
Anwar commended Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and the state government for their commitment to unity, saying Sarawak was a model of peaceful and harmonious relations.
He said it was time for Malaysians, especially those stirring up divisive sentiments, to learn from Sarawak's example and practices.
"This is not to overpraise my friend Abang Johari, but to categorically state that the unity, support and harmony in Sarawak are utilised to the full for the benefit of the people.
"So I'm proud to say that we're committed to work with the state government to build up Sarawak and Malaysia to greater heights," he said.
Anwar also agreed to Sarawak's request for more funds to be allocated to the survey of native customary rights (NCR) land in the state.
"For this year we will add another RM10mil for the survey as this is important to help resolve land issues faced by the Dayak community," he said.
In addition, Anwar said he would look into channeling financial assistance to non-Islamic houses of worship in Sarawak.
"I will discuss this with the Premier to ensure that the allocation we give to churches and temples in Peninsular Malaysia will be channeled to Sarawak as well," he said.
Earlier, Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah appealed to Anwar to consider increasing the allocation for NCR land survey.
He said only RM2mil was allocated for the purpose under the Federal Government's special bumiputra programme this year.
Uggah also asked for federal funding for the state's Unit for Other Religions (Unifor).
"We have 2,730 houses of worship of various religions and Unifor has received 782 applications for assistance amounting to RM485.7mil.
"The Sarawak government has approved RM100mil for Unifor this year but it has yet to receive any grant from the Federal Government," he said.