WELL the end of the year is always a good time to reflect on what has transpired to prompt and motivate ourselves to do better in the year to come.
This is the time to take stock and count our blessings, as well as plan what to do to reach greater heights.
Looking back at 2015, I am so grateful to be an Anak Sarawak.
There has been so many things in the past year that have clearly shown that it is indeed wonderful to be a Sarawakian and to live in our great State.
Among the things I am particularly grateful for are that the State government under our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem has clearly declared that Sarawak has no tolerance for racists, bigots or religious extremists.
As a Christian I am assured that I can worship freely, without restrictions on what I can call my God or the language I wish read the Bible in. Adenan has promised that the word ‘Allah’ can be used by anyone and at any time and that there would be no restriction on Bahasa Melayu Bibles in our great State. He has also promised that there would be no Hudud Law.
While we keep hearing of hikes in other states across the South China Sea, our CM has reduced electricity tariff based on consumption units, reduced ferry services statewide to RM1 and waived GST on local council services. As of midnight tonight there will no longer be any tolls in our State either, as the final toll bridge – Tun Salahuddin Bridge – goes toll free.
Adenan has also focussed on rural transformation with the creation of Serian Division and nine new districts – Tebedu, Subis, Beluru, Telang Usan, Sebauh, Bukit Mabong, Tanjung Manis, Pusa and Kabong, along with six new sub-districts – Siburan, Bario, Tinjar, Long Bedian, Mulu and Ng Budu.
The extra RM500 million for rural development to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas clearly demonstrates this commitment (and let me remind you that the DAP was against this!).
He’s also ensured that Bumiputeras in Sarawak are not classified as ‘Lain-lain’. That our ethnicities are recognised and respected because Malaysia is not just Malay, Chinese and Indian as we always hear in official speeches, textbooks and tourism promotional material, and have had to put up with on official forms. We are Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and Melanau too, and should definitely have our ethnic heritage acknowledged. Our Sarawakian Chinese brothers and sisters are also not pendatang. We are all Anak Sarawak.
Our CM has also made it clear to Putrajaya that policies are to be formulated with the understanding that not all Bumiputeras are Malay or Muslim. Indeed!
As a Sarawakian, I am also very thankful that Adenan has demanded more autonomy in line with the devolution of power to the State. That talks and negotiations are indeed on for greater empowerment for the State government in accordance with terms in the Malaysia Agreement.
Our Chief Minister has also recognised the importance of the English language and ensured that it is our second official language. We’re the only state in Malaysia to do so! And they always say we’re backward!
There’s much more to be grateful for as a Sarawakian but these are the main things I can think of tonight. For more read my post on Adenan’s 45 principles and actions since taking office.
Looking forward to 2016. May we continue to support Adenan in defending our Sarawakian way of life.
Happy New Year everyone.