CHIEF Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud declaring open the Stutong Airport Link road, witnessed by Tan Sri Ting Pek King (partially hidden behind the CM), Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, Dato Sri Michael Manyin, Datuk Amar Awg Tengah Ali Hasan and other guests.
KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud says “when I first came into office, I pledged to be the Chief Minister of the Malay, Dayak, the Orang Ulu, Chinese, Indian… all the people in Sarawak”.
Underlining his practice of impartiality toward the multiracial community of the state during an Aidilfitri gathering organised by the Ministry of Works at Four Points Sheraton Kuching here yesterday, Taib spoke on his ongoing attempt to live up to the pledge he made.
About 3,000 people from all walks of life from various races in the state attended the function.
“Since my election as the leader of Sarawak, I have ensured that in determining policies and making statements, I continue to take into account all races and religious groups that exist here.” Recounting his experiences from even before serving the state government, Taib said, “I was born, bred and schooled in Sarawak; having been privileged enough, I studied in St Joseph’s School where the student body comprised various races and learned from a very early age that coexistence is imperative.
“I (also) know the world quite well. I have studied the conditions in Malaysia as well as in other countries such as China, India, and European nations, which has led me to learn the most important lesson - that no country can progress unless it can unite its people.” The Chief Minister stressed that harmonious coexistence in a multiracial climate such as in Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak, had ultimately been possible due to the ongoing common desire to be part of a more prosperous nation, as well as growing acceptance of positive changes in tandem with development.
Drawing example from his aspiration some time ago to convert Carpenter Street into a ‘pedestrian’ mall to negate traffic problem in the area, Taib conveyed dismay in receiving a petition from certain groups who were against the move.
He said, “had this plan materialised, I am confident that Carpenter Street could be compared to how India Street is now, with its twostorey lots being valued at as much as RM2 million each”.
He added, “you are free to vote as you like because we live in a democratic climate but to merely curse, complain and criticise especially over petty matters… would there then be anything such as ‘critique’ that can teach me how to improve?” Taib concluded that while what was important in being a citizen was having a say on what went on in his or her country, true power of any nation lay in not those who expressed anger but those providing constructive information.