SIBU (Sept 18): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg disclosed last night that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has requested he brief Members of Parliament (MPs) and Chief Ministers (CMs) on Sarawak’s new economy.
Abang Johari said this followed Anwar’s request for him to share the topic with the federal Cabinet in Kuching on Saturday.
“You know what happened yesterday (Saturday)? He asked me to give a talk to all the ministers in the federal Cabinet.
“Before they started the meeting, PM requested me 30 minutes to teach them how we live and how we develop the state of Sarawak particularly, in the new economy.
“The hydrogen economy and green economy are new to them. So, yesterday (Saturday), I became a teacher to teach the federal Cabinet.
“Now, he (Anwar Ibrahim) wants me to give a talk again to all MPs and CMs on the new economy that Sarawak has adopted.
“‘Sekarang dia ikut kita’ (Now, they follow us), ‘kita tidak ikut dia’ (we don’t follow them). We are very humble,” he said at Sarawak Central Chiang Hsia Huang Clan Association’s 63rd anniversary dinner here last night.
Anwar and the federal Cabinet were in Kuching to celebrate the 60th Malaysia Day.
“I am very humbled because for two nights, I got people saying that Sarawak is very advanced. Last night (Saturday), it was the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim,” Abang Johari said.
During his address for the Malaysia Day 2023 celebration here on Saturday, Anwar had hailed Sarawak as the nation’s “most advanced state”, underlining the remarkable strides that it has made since the birth of Malaysia.
Adding on, Abang Johari recalled telling Anwar that everyone works together in Sarawak.
“That was why I told the PM last night (Saturday), if Sarawak is prosperous, Malaysia will also be prosperous.
“We are not talking about ourselves only. What we want is whatever is the right of Sarawak, you give back that right to us, as agreed by our founding fathers, and we work together as an extended family in Malaysia,” he stressed.
Abang Johari pointed out the World Bank had declared Sarawak as a high-income state because of its gross national income (GNI) per capita of more than US$13,205.
Despite that, he stressed that household income must also increase through talent development and education.
He said Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that recognises the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), which started when the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem was chief minister.
As Adenan’s successor, Abang Johari said he continued the policy and and increased the state’s allocation to Chinese independent schools.
“Together we build this talent development so that our people can be transformed into a high-income economy through job creation and high salary.
“That is why we go for digitalisation; digital economy that the salary will be upgraded. High salary measuring together with the standard of qualifications that they have,” he said.
Abang Johari shared he had asked association chairman Wong Ing Huong on the relationship between Sarawak Central Chiang Hsia Huang Clan Association and the surname Wong.
“There is no Wong there. So, I was puzzled because I was told tonight is the event among the Wong Clan to come and celebrate together.
“So, tonight I learnt a lesson. Actually, Wong is the same as Huang, the spirit of Huang is there and therefore, the spirit of Sarawak is there irrespective of how you describe yourself whether you are Iban, Chinese, Malay, and Orang Ulu.
“Just like the Wong and Huang, we become Sarawakians and we extend this culture to the rest of Malaysia. We are very fortunate in Sarawak, whether you are Wong, Johari, or Edward, we live happily and build Sarawak,” he added.
The Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Xing Wei Ping, as well as Ing Huong, also spoke at the event.
Donations were handed over to Chinese Independent Schools: Catholic High School, SM Wong Nai Siong, SM Kiang Hin, Guong Ming Middle School, SM Citizen, and SM Ming Lik.
Among those present were Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Michael Tiang; Sarawak Central Chiang Hsia Huang Clan Association adviser and Bawang Assan assemblyman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh; Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau; Pemanca Datuk Jason Tai; and chief organising chairman Wong Siong Boon.