KUCHING, Apr 1 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin thanked Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today for continuing to support him as the prime minister.

“I will like to express my appreciation for the support to me which I did not expect in this special meeting from the chief minister towards me, personally to me and as a leader of the federal government, not just now but also in the future,” Muhyiddin said.

The prime minister was responding to Abang Johari’s speech earlier that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government gave its assurance of its support toward him.

Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman, said the support is to ensure stability in the country.

He added that stability was needed for the country to overcome major challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

Abang Johari said the prime minister has been able to tackle the problems caused by the pandemic.

Later while addressing the special meeting with the state and federal civil servants at a hotel here, the prime minister gave his assurance that the federal government will give Sarawak the fullest support to realise its vision to make the state the most developed in Malaysia by 2030.

“Sarawak is a very rich state, rich in all resources. I would say that you have all the things that are needed to put you up into the global level so that the country will benefit from Sarawak’s development efforts,” he said.

He added Sarawak’s contribution to the nation is huge in terms of gross domestic products.

“I have heard from the briefing just now and the chief minister has brought up a number of matters, such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructures and other strategic development that have been outlined in the 10-year development plan of Sarawak.

“I am very impressed with a number of sectors, like agriculture.

“It is a key in term of food security, not just for Sarawak, but also for the nation, an issue which has become so critical at the global level, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic time, to ensure that we are able to produce enough food for our people and also the global community to have enough food,” the prime minister said.

Muhyiddin said he also fully supports the building of infrastructures in Sarawak, like the Pan Borneo Highway, the main state roads and village roads.

He added countries like China have been able to raise the living standard of their people and reduce the poverty level due to the massive construction of infrastructures.

“With the infrastructure in place, those residing along the roadsides, they can market their products and this will give them the opportunity to generate more income,” he added.

The prime minister also said that the effects of the pandemic were global, but as far as Malaysia is concerned, the federal government is focused on public welfare.

“The number of people that have fallen into the vicious circle of poverty has increased.

“We are now undertaking another exercise to see what the exact numbers are and where they are. What is needed is that they will be assisted in whatever possible manner,” he said.

“The question that arises is how can we generate more income for them. Sarawak has greater potential than most states in terms of generating more revenue.

“You still have your oil and gas. The potential is great.

“Therefore, the capability of Sarawak to move forward is very huge compared to some states, even comparable to the federal government, in terms of the rate of development in the next 10 years.

“That is why I want to assure all of the federal government’s commitment to work together with Sarawak to ensure that the national and state aspirations are achieved within the same period of 2030,” he said. (Malaymail)


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