By John Isaac
SARAWAK is currently the most stable state in Malaysia, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Politically, Sarawak is more stable than Malaya where there are endless squabbles over the premier’s post, he said.
“It has come to a point where some parties even claimed that Sarawak MPs Datuk Henry Sum Agong (Lawas) and Hasbi Habibollah (Limbang) are supporting them. When did we ever support them?
“Of course we can be friends at the administrative level, but when it comes to the people, we have to prioritise the people. Do not fight over a position,” he said when speaking at the ‘Dinner with Chief Minister of Sarawak’ programme held at Banting Indoor Stadium which was reported by the New Sarawak Tribune.
Abang Johari said he was lucky to have a team of leaders who did not fight over the state’s top post, and that he would always involve the others in the decision-making process.
“I share my workload with the deputy chief ministers and others. Before I make a decision, I would discuss with them beforehand.
“If they agree with me, we’ll go ahead with the plan. If not, we ‘colop dolok’ (leave it aside and keep in view).
“This is our way and this is how we stay in harmony and not rocky like our Malaya counterparts.”
Abang Johari also said that he had undertaken empowerment approach in efforts to develop Sarawak.
“We do not want to develop (the state) top-down (strategy). We want to go bottom-up. This means whatever the people demand, we will consider and implement, not the other way round.
“That is why I have established another agency under Regional Corridor Development Authority called Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) to develop Limbang and Lawas.
“NRDA is chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and its members comprised elected representatives. The elected representatives will listen to what the people demand and they will raise matters up.
“From here, we then empower NRDA by giving authority to the management to implement what the people from the grassroots level want. That is why I have allocated RM4.5bil to agencies under Recoda – RM1.5bil each to NRDA, Upper Rajang Development Agency and Highland Development Agency.”