Saturday September 1, 2012
Nation’s independence contributes to Sarawak’s success
By ANDY CHUA
SIBU: The independence of the country from colonial rule has enabled Sarawak to experience unprecedented growth in the socioeconomic and political aspects.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the success of the state was also due to the ability to shoulder the responsibility of an independent nation status well.
“This picture of independence is shown in our best effort to rule on our own. I am very happy today that we have been able to shoulder this responsibility of having our own power to rule the country. Because of this, the younger generation could now enjoy a much better future than those in our generations,” he said at the state-level Merdeka Day celebration here yesterday.
Taib said the independence of the country had also allowed the state to hasten its development as peace and harmony existed among the various races.
“We can see that the development that we have achieved since 1963 was much more than what we dare to dream of. The independence has brought better prosperity to us. We have since independence managed to increase the per capita income of our people from RM668 to RM37,000.
“We have achieved more than 50 times the per capita income of our people since Merdeka,” he said.
The state poverty rate had also gone down in tandem from 60% in the past to 5% now.
With just about 40,000 people categorised as poor, he said they would not be neglected as they would get help to get out of poverty.
Taib, who is also the state Barisan Nasional president, said the success of the state was equally shared by its people of various races.
Each race, he said, could participate in the economic growth as opportunities were open to all.
The success of the state, he said, had also spurred the younger generation to strive harder in its transformation.
“We can say that we have marched forward bringing all the people together. But the best symbol of all, is that our younger generation has shown much better commitment in our struggle.
“The future of Sarawak is very bright as we are heading towards a modern state with small and heavy industries. God willing, by 2030, we will be the pride of the nation,” he added.
He said Pandelela Rinong Pamg, who won a bronze medal for the country at the London Olympics, was the epitome of the tenacious hard-working Malaysian, who has shown that with commitment, youths in the state could achieve success at the international level.
He urged youths to show similar commitment and hard work because by 2030, 32% of them would be involved in the transformation of the state.
Among the 10,000 people present at the celebration were Head of State Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng and his wife Toh Puan Norkiah.