Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Baseless allegations and rumours on GPS support to current leadership

Today I have dismissed the allegations on Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Members of Parliament (MP) who are mulling on leaving Perikatan Nasional (PN) which are merely rumours that were aimed at creating political instability.

All the rumours of GPS MPs jumping over to join Pakatan Harapan (PH) led by it’s president, Datuk Seri Anwar are rubbish and aimed to create uncertainty and instability in Malaysian politics. GPS is as solid as ever with PN and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin”. Moreover, GPS which is the Sarawak‘s ruling coalition is solid together and made up of PBB, Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).

We are not easily swayed and would not be pulled by our noses, more so by the likes of Anwar who must learn to respect us in Sarawak. No amount of ‘carrot dangling’ will sway GPS parties. We have agreed to team up with PN in order to create stability to Malaysian politics and we will not be despicable in creating instability after that.

It has been reported by an online news portal that some in GPS are considering severing ties with PN and this is so untrue.

Quoting several sources from Sarawak, the news portal had reported on the alleged  friction that had risen between GPS and allies in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and UMNO at the sidelines of Sabah Election, most recently over the Petronas deal as well as the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

These sources, according to the online new portal, claimed that the insistence of Bersatu and PAS to contest had worsen the ties between GPS and PN. We in GPS had refuted these rumours which are untrue.

Monday, 21 September 2020

Together we can combat corruption and malpractices

During the recent official launching of  Integrity Day and launch of Organisation Anti-Corruption Plan workshop (OACP) by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak (MYSS), I have called on heads of Sarawak State's departments and divisions including those under the ministry to be firm and and not tolerate any employee who are involved in corruption while carrying out their duties.

I have also told them that every serious act of corruption involving the ministry’s employees regardless of rank, position and status must be reported to the top management and relevant authorities.

I believe that it was equally important to inculcate the integrity culture among the employees in order to strengthen integrity in every organisation because that is the basis in delivering quality services to the community and the parties that were dealing with the ministry.

This is because whether we realise or not, honesty, trust and integrity are actually the intrinsic values that are the backbone and peg of economic progress. In business for example, an honest and trustworthy trader will gain the trust of the customers who bought the goods sold and indeed the customers will continue to buy from the trader that has integrity.

Every civil servant too must perform their duties in honesty, trust and high integrity at all times and not easily fall into the problem of breach of trust by taking any form of bribes from outsiders.

We must believe that it is very important for Sarawak to have a group of civil servants who have high appreciation and practice of integrity values to ensure the development goals of the state and nation could be achieved efficiently and effectively.

I have cautioned that an organisation would not be perfect in its administration without focusing on good governance, transparency and at the same time produce efficient work.

It is also our shared responsibility to strengthen and cultivate the practice of integrity in all aspects of life to ensure that Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole will always be supported by members of civil society who have high self-integrity.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

President post in SABERKAS Sarawak is a trust given by our leaders

I sincerely thank our past President, Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister of Sarawak who has passed the baton to me as the new President of Sarawak United National Youths Association (SABERKAS) as of 19 September 2020.

It is a great honour for me to lead SABERKAS which has over 44,500 members throughout Sarawak and I viewed the appointment as a trust as well as heavy responsibility that must be shouldered because the establishment of our association involves our local youths who need guidance from leaders in order for them to become future generation of leaders.

I also congratulate YB Datuk Dr Haji Abdul Rahman Junaidi for filling the Deputy President post and to all of our four vice presidents namely YB Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, YB Martin Ben, YB Dennis Ngau and Aziz Datuk Abang Drauf.

I am also aspire to empower local youths in digital economic activities while encouraging their involvement in several areas that will further strengthen the required skills and competencies. As a youth organization that has nothing to do with politics, we will strive to guide and bring young people in Sarawak to be more dynamic and to shape a brighter future where they can participate in the development of the state and the local community.

SABERKAS' membership is also open to youths regardless of race and religion because it was set up to encourage their involvement in the fields of economy, arts, culture, sports and other intiatives that will benefit them in the long run.

We must remember that our youths are the most active members of the community and their number is almost half of the total population in Sarawak and also in Malaysia. Thus, the youths can shoulder the responsibility in contributing to the process of nation building and development which covers all aspects both in terms of politics, economy, social, culture or education.

With our youths forming the backbone of our community and country, we at SABERKAS will work hard and focus on improving the future of the local youths that will benefit the community that nurture them while facing future challenges. to be more resilient and be well prepared in order to progress.


Saturday, 19 September 2020

YAB Chief Minister decline renomination for President post in SABERKAS Sarawak


Our Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak has declined re-nomination for the post of President in Sarawak United National Youth Associations (SABERKAS) for the 2020-2023 term citing that he wants the new set of leaders to take over the helm.

He had announced this at our 16th Triennial General Meeting (TGM) which was held at Pullman hotel in Miri on September 19 and had left it to SABERKAS leaders to elect the new president who must have the experience as well as the capabilities to work with youths. 

“I leave it to them, but in my opinion Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah, who has been working with me as deputy president, is suitable to lead Saberkas and prepare the organisation for the new era until 2050,” he told reporters during the press conference which was held after the TGM.

Our Chief Minister also added that he was proud that SABERKAS was still strong even after his 11-year tenure, to the point where even those in Peninsula Malaysia acknowledged and made Sarawak as their model of an unified state.

“It is also our culture, where our leaders know when to give way to the younger generation and I relinquished my post when Saberkas is still strong even financially,” he told reporters on how SABERKAS has helped to nurture him and many state leaders to become credible leaders because the association serves to become the training grounds for future leaders not only as elected representatives but other fields as well.

He commended SABERKAS which has many well-educated leaders who can contribute to both the association and also to Sarawak. Presently SABERKAS has over 44,500 members all over the state and its membership is open to those interested.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Calling on our Bidayuh community to work closely with us in coming state elections

I have called on our Bidayuh community to work together in winning all of the eight Bidayuh majority state seats in the coming state election due to the vote swing favouring the opposition in the last 14th General Election which was held in 2018. 

In the 2018 election, the state Barisan Nasional, which is now Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), had only managed to retain Serian but lost Puncak Borneo and Mas Gading to Pakatan Harapan (PH).

We are a bit worried as far as Bidayuh seats are concerned. Hopefully, all is well in the coming state election. Because in the last parliamentary election, two seats fell and fortunately only Serian saved us from embarrassment.

So, in the coming state election, we should work hard to ensure not just seats in the Serian Bukar Sadong areas are won, but also those seats in Bau, Lundu and Padawan are won (by GPS). We do not want the Bidayuhs to be split.

Being the vice president in Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), I have told them that it is important for the Bidayuh community in particular and Sarawakians in general to keep GPS in power to ensure continuity of development and implementation of proposed projects.

I had also warned them about those playing up racial and religious issues especially by those politicians from the Peninsular.

Please be very careful of those politicians who come over and tell you this, tell you that especially when election is coming. When it comes to election season, there will be many kinds of people. Some are like ‘langau’ (flies) who pick up on issues but leave after the election.

No need for Sarawak's negotiating team to meet and discuss on state’s oil and gas matters

Recently I have reiterated that there is no need for our negotiating team to meet and discuss on the state’s oil and gas matters, because things are now moving in the right direction in relation to Sarawak’s rights to its oil and gas.

I was interviewed by our local media friends on this matter and said that Sarawak does not go for ‘permintaan gila gila’ (crazy requests) in the spirit of sharing within the Federation of Malaysia. 

Since I am heading the negotiating team which was appointed on June 10 by the Sarawak Consultative Committee on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), I have mentioned that  the good ties between Sarawak and the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government has resulted in many positive results including Petronas paying the sales and services tax on petroleum products to Sarawak.

As such, it is best for the executive body, or both state and federal governments, to do the negotiating rather than leaving it to the legislators whose tenure will end soon when the state election is called within the next ‘two to three months’.

Organs of our government comprise of three bodies which is the executive, legislative and judiciary. It is not only the legislative that can be the negotiator, the main ones that manage the government whether the federal or state government are the executive as they are the ones that set the ball rolling.

But I am not saying we push aside totally the legislative. How I see it,  that the Batu Lintang State assemblyman, YB See Chee How or  the Bukit Assek assemblywoma, YB Irene Chang, is that the way they look at things as if the legislative (body) must take over.

Bear in mind that the legislative (body) has its tenure. In two to three months, you are no more legislator once the DUN (State Legislative Assembly) is dissolved. What would happen to the Consultative Committee?

That is why if there is already negotiation which is already going on in the right direction by the executive (body) which comprise of people who are also in the legislative, why not just let it be since things are going in the right direction. We are getting what we want.

Karim, who heads the negotiating team appointed on June 10 by the Sarawak Consultative Committee on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), said the good ties between Sarawak and the current Perikatan Nasional federal government has resulted in many positive results including Petronas paying the sales and services tax on petroleum products to Sarawak.

As such, he said it is best for the executive body, or both state and federal governments, to do the negotiating rather than leaving it to the legislators whose

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Sarawak is developing law on crafts development

Our state's Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTACS) together with Sarawak Craft Council (SCC) are working with the Sarawak Attorney General’s Chambers to develop a law on the development of local crafts because it is crucial for the local craft council to have a legal framework.

We hope to table the Bill in the coming State Legislative Assembly sitting at the end of the year and once approved, it would establish a more effective and structured body to plan and develop the craft industry in Sarawak.

Our ministry had also planned to build a dedicated Sarawak Handicraft Centre in Kuching, under the 12th Malaysia Plan in order to showcase and serve as a souvenir centre for authentic Sarawak crafts products.

This would include spaces for capacity building activities, reference centre and modular spaces to create awareness, interest and encourage creativity in handicrafts, he said.

MTACS is also working with other relevant agencies such as the state Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industry Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak (MINTRED), local councils and non-government bodies to establish craft centres in major towns in Sarawak.

These centres will serve as arts, cultural and creative centres and will not only become part of the visitors’ destination but will also be a platform for capacity building and entrepreneurship development of the local craft communities.

While the government would assist in developing these facilities, it was also crucial to develop talents and skills, both production and business, to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

He said capacity building programmes will be revamped, with the collaboration of various agencies, for a more effective curriculum to increase the number of producers and products quality in which SCC is training about 200 producers annually in production and business skills.

We hope to increase the number of highly skilled active producers from the current 1,000 to 2,000 and a target of sales from RM32 million in 2019 to RM80 million in 2030 and our ministry is very much aware of the hardship faced by the tourism, arts and culture industry including the handicraft sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While many have been able to continue doing business through social media platforms, the volume of sales has not been encouraging. From statistics collected by the Malaysian Handicraft Board, the total sales until July 2020 was only RM8.2 million with the lowest sales in May totalling only RM41,000. The target sales for this year is expected to be around RM20 million compared to last year’s sales figures which were RM32 million.