KUCHING: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government will determine Sarawak’s own progress, prosperity and destiny, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (pix) said today.
“Another challenging year has slipped away, yet another one awaits us, but I am sure we will rise to the occasion magnificently and with our heads held high,“ he said in his 2019 New Year’s message today.
He said 2018 had indeed been most challenging for the state government, especially after the 14th General Election when Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the federal government, adding that GPS have been treading on very unfamiliar grounds.
“But under the wise leadership of our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, we have raised the bar, and I am very confident we will continue to do so, in terms of our own development efforts and level of prosperity.
“We have the GPS, a Sarawak-based party led by Sarawakian leaders advocating the Sarawak First policy to steer us to greater heights,“ said Uggah.
He also appealed to Sarawakians to continue giving their strong support to the GPS government to continue to nurture racial harmony, and thus, strengthen unity in Sarawak.
Uggah said for 2019, Sarawak had an unprecedented budget of RM11 billion, and that it would be a hectic year for the government as it implements the development programmes to uplift the people’s livelihood and transform Sarawak.
Meanwhile, he said the state government had formed the Sarawak Petroleum Berhad (Petros) in March 2018 and in November last year, the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) was set up to finance the state’s economic growth and development needs.
“These are among a few of our major accomplishments and it is our absolute pride as well in declaring that Sarawak is leading the nation in honouring religious freedom.
“We also have the Unit For Other Religions (Unifor) to help these religions besides Islam to grow,“ he added.
On the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), Uggah said negotiations were still ongoing, adding that the state government had not run out of steam and as a matter of fact, local members from the opposition parties also sat in the negotiation committee.
“This is an indication of our unity, where and when the interest of Sarawak is at stake, and for the love of the state,“ he stressed.
Uggah, who is also Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, said his focus beginning tomorrow (Jan 1) was to redouble the ministry’s efforts in transforming the state’s agriculture sector, which is now popularly regarded as the new source of wealth for the state.
“In a nutshell, my ministry is out to promote precision farming which is technology driven. We need to be more efficient and productive as by 2030 we want to be a net exporter of food,“ he said. — Bernama