Preserve culture of open house visits, says Abang Jo

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (centre) greeting guests at his Hari Raya open house while a crowd queues to enter. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: The practice of visiting open houses during festive seasons regardless of race and religion should be preserved for future generations, says Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the large crowd at his Hari Raya open house at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Wednesday (April 10) was a display of unity and harmony.

"Apparently, the crowd is larger than last year. It shows our unity because the guests are from different ethnic groups and religions.

"It's a sign that the people in Sarawak are very cohesive," he told reporters when met at the open house.

Abang Johari said it was natural for Sarawakians to visit one another, not only during Raya but other festivities like Chinese New Year and Gawai.

"The unity that we have prevails and should be preserved.

"In some places, there are divisive sentiments expressed by certain parties, but in Sarawak we stay on an even keel," he said.

Abang Johari added that Sarawak's unity was the foundation for the state to move forward in its development.

"We have a lot to do to achieve our target of becoming a strong state in Malaysia," he said.

The Premier said this included Sarawak's proposed takeover of three strategic entities this year – Bintulu Port, Affin Bank and MASwings.

With Bintulu Port coming under state control from the Federal Government, he said it would open up opportunities for Sarawak to be involved in logistics.

"Global shipping lines are moving away from fossil fuels to methanol. With our proposed green methanol, this will enhance our bunkering services.

"If you look at the sea route from India to China and the Far East, we are strategically located in the middle," Abang Johari said.

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