Wednesday February 13, 2013
Sarawak pledges full support for PM, says Taib
MIRI: Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has openly expressed his worries about “unpredictable changes” lying ahead over the next three to five years but has pledged the state government’s total support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak to continue leading the nation.
The state Barisan Nasional chairman and PBB president said there was a need to be wary of “what lies ahead in the socio-economic and political climate, both in the domestic and international arenas”.
Addressing prominent Chinese community and business leaders here during a Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Federation of Chinese Associations of Miri on Monday night, Taib said one of the toughest challenges that would come for sure was economic growth which was expected to be slowing down this year.
“We have to be wary. It is like being cautious about the snake. The snake may look docile, but be careful with the tail that can strike anywhere. We (state government) are particularly concerned about the economic situation that lies ahead,” he added.
Taib said high growth would not be a feature this year, adding there was a downturn in the economy in Europe, western countries and in the middle east countries now.
“Luckily we still have China to look at. The economic situation in the world may not hit us in Sarawak too severely, but it will definitely cause some effects, so we will need to do more to strengthen our trade relationship with China, India and Africa,” he said.
Taib said in Malaysia, the people would need to have a very stable and solid government which was experienced enough to lead the country through these hard times.
“Unfortunately, there is a trend growing across the world where people want exciting politics, clamouring for change. In facing in this general election, the rakyat must bear in mind that we must have an experienced government, one with meti- culous care and ability to lead the country well.”
The chief minister said only Barisan had the strength and experience to govern and lead the country through these expected hard times, adding: “The challenges coming our way over the next three to five years will be big.”
As such, Taib told about 1,000 people at the gathering that the state government would back up Najib and give him the full support he needed to continue working for stability in the country.
Taib said that during his years in office, he had seen governments changed hands in the foreign fronts and he was used to seeing such drastic developments.
“I am used to seeing one government goes up, another goes down. That is why I firmly believe on the need to rely on an experienced government to lead us.”
“Now, we hear that there is someone who wants to be the Prime Minister if the Opposition takes over the country after the general election. However, in 1997, when this man was the Finance Minister, he wanted to rely on the financial aid from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to tide over the country’s financial difficulties.
“Indonesia relied on the IMF and they ended up having to give up control of their banks and financial institutions and other agencies.”
Taib was here for a two-day visit to celebrate Chinese New Year here. Also present was Head of State Tun Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng, several state Cabinet ministers and local politicians.