Monday, 31 May 2021

Selamat Ari Gawai Dayak, Gaya Guru Gerai Nyamai

We take this opportunity to wish all of our dear friends, relatives and neighbours "Selamat Ari Gawai Dayak, Gaya Guru Gerai Nyamai". Gawai Dayak is special to all Sarawakians of all walks of life because it is the day when the mood for festivities are equally shared by our local folks. May all of our Dayak friends and relatives have a wonderful celebration despite having it on a modest scale in view of the present Movement Control Order (MCO) to avoid spread of COVID19. May all of you have a lifetime of bountiful harvest and good health ahead.  

Highlighting the RM1.4 billion assistances rolled out in our sixth Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS 6.0)

In highlighting the recent announcement on the RM1.4 billion Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) 6.0 financial package, we are thankful to our GPS government's initiatives and it is also a manifestation of Sarawak's government concern for the local folks.

I have mentioned to our media friends that only a caring government would do such a thing and the present Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government under the Right Honourable Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is leading the way.

For the record, this is not the first for our government to roll out the BKSS assistance but the sixth one so far. Thus, Sarawak is blessed to have a caring leader like Abang Johari because he is someone who can feel the heart beat of the people especially in this time of need.

The various assistances given would help those who are particularly affected by the enforcement of the state’s second movement control order (MCO) and the help rendered out this time will definitely lessen the burden of sectors and local folks who are the direct beneficiaries. It is the hallmark of a caring government which our local folks are supporting. 

This time round, BKSS 6.0 had included 15 measures, of which eight measures involve cash payout and seven involve discount incentives whereby the new packages, among others, provided cash assistance to B40s and single individuals aged 21 and above, frontline workers, hawkers and petty traders, boat operators, e-hailing drivers, the tourism sector, and others affected by the MCO. The assistance also include discounts to electricity, water, assessment rates, and rentals to eligible recipients.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Our Government to function as usual on advice by His Majesty Yang Di-Pertuan Agong

We welcome the good news of Yang di-Per­tuan Agong, Al-Sul­tan Ab­dul­lah Ri’ay­atud­din Al-Mustafa Bil­lah Shah who will de­cide when our Sarawak State Leg­isla­tive As­sem­bly (DUN) will be dis­solved.
This is after the virtual meeting session he had with our Right Honourable Chief Min­is­ter, Datuk Pat­inggi Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg on May 25 re­gard­ing the ten­ure of Sarawak's DUN and the com­ing 12th state elec­tion (PRN12).
Ac­cord­ing to our Chief Minister, he had in­formed Yang Di-Pertuan Agong that the ten­ure of our cur­rent state as­sem­bly ends on June 6, and the pro­vi­sion of the State Con­sti­tu­tion which re­quires the state elec­tion to be held a er the ex­piry of the state as­sem­bly.
In his state­ment, our Chief Minister had also ex­plained that fol­low­ing the dec­la­ra­tion of Emer­gency from Jan 11 to Aug 1 this year, the power to dis­solve the DUN is now with the King in con­sul­ta­tion with the Yang di-Per­tua Negeri, in line with Ar­ti­cle 13 and Ar­ti­cle 15 of the Emer­gency Or­di­nance (Es­sen­tial Pow­ers) 2021.
Thus, in line with the pow­ers of the Yang di-Per­tuan Agong, the Chief Min­is­ter has let it to the dis­cre­tion of the Yang di-Per­tuan Agong to de­cide the ap­pro­pri­ate date for the dis­so­lu­tion of the Sarawak DUN to­gether with His Ex­cel­lency Yang di-Per­tua Negeri of Sarawak after re­ceiv­ing ad­vice from the Attor­ney-Gen­eral, Elec­tion Com­mis­sion, Min­istry of Health, Royal Malaysia Po­lice, and the Malaysian Armed Forces. Syukur alhamdullilah, His Majesty Yang Di-Pertuan Agong has ad­vised, after look­ing at the rather wor­ry­ing sit­u­a­tion of Covid-19, for the state gov­ern­ment to func­tion as usual with the pow­ers un­der the Emer­gency Or­di­nance (Es­sen­tial Pow­ers) 2021.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

My comments on Parti Bumi Kenyalang's suggestion to tap into our reserves

Recently I had mentioned that it was illogical for our government to tap into its RM31 billion reserves just for the sake of assisting businesses and people affected by the COVID19 pandemic.  

I was responding to Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president, Voon Lee Shan who suggested to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to utilise the fund to save businesses and lives of the people by subsidising small businesses, hawkers and all poor citizens of Sarawak during the pandemic.

Seemingly, it looks like PBK’s way of managing a government which is by giving handouts and spending all the state’s reserves. If they (PBK) are the government, it is just a matter of time that the coffers will run dry.

On May 14, Voon had mentioned that the federal government had not rendered much help to Sarawak since the outbreak occurred. He had also said that countries in the world had shown that only total lockdown was the most effective way to combat Covid-19.

What Voon may had forgotten that our government had given out a lot of assistance packages with total worth RM3.2 billion via Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sarawak or BKSS since last year in aid of our local folks who are affected by the COVID19 pandemic.

Continuing our support towards the national youth development agenda

Our government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak (MYSS) will continue supporting the national youth development agenda that will empower them in becoming leaders of the future and for Malaysia to attain sustainable human capital in the long run.

We are solidly behind our Prime Minister, Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who in his National Youth Day 2021 address had mentioned the government is committed in  continuing its efforts to empower our youths who are Malaysia’s greatest assets.

Kudos to our Prime Minister who is a visionary leader and is also a champion on youth matters through the various initiatives being implemented specifically for our young folks through who had been provided with numerous assistance packages. We also welcomed the formulation of the proposed New Youth Development Model (NYM) which is undertaken Federal’s Youth and Sports Ministry together with the cooperation of the Malaysian Youth Council or Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM).

Our youths will be the direct beneficiaries of the NYM which is aimed to complement the existing Malaysian Youth Policy 2015 – 2030 that will remain relevant especially with the latest policies that encompassed our country’s Shared Prosperity Vision as well as attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Sarawak government through MYSS had always held our youths close to its heart simply because they holds the key to a brighter future and past history had shown successful economies are those who are driven by visionary leaders who believed in the power of dynamic, innovative and empowered youths. 

Despite the COVID19 pandemic and the restrictions faced on our part in undertaking the traditional ways and means to get close to our youths, our Ministry Youth and Sports will continue to find innovative ways in reaching out to them via the new norm concepts of doing things.

We are not being rhetoric because there still a number of activities which had been planned and executed the past two years despite facing the challenges imposed by the COVID19 pandemic. In fact, last year we did manage to organise the annual Hari Belia Sarawak or our own Youth Day celebration albeit on a modest scale. We even organise a series of e-Sports online tournaments which had created abuzz among our local youths and there are a lot of them who benefitted from our Sarawak Youth Creative Industry Fund (SYCIF).    

The fund which is the first of its kind introduced by our Sarawak Government in 2018 is aimed to develop their talents and to add value to their programmes such as arts and culture especially music, film, drama, theatre and the list goes on. 

Through our Sarawak United National Youth Organization or SABERKAS, we have also created a good platform that aims to guide and develop our youths to become capable leaders because if such are not be done, our state will face problems in the future. SABERKAS is also active in rural areas to give the opportunity to youths in rural areas via programmes and activities that can boost their active participation in Sarawak’s development agenda.

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Ucapan Selamat Menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri kepada rakan semua

Assalammualaikum dan salam sejahtera. Kami sekeluarga ingin mengucapkan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri kepada kesemua rakan yang disayang. Sama sama kita bersyukur kerana masih diberi kesempatan untuk menyambut Hari Raya tahun ini walaupun ianya diraikan secara sederhana. Bersama kita patuhi #SOP dan #PKPB untuk menghindari penularan #COVID19 dimusim perayaan ini. #kitajagakita #kitangitu #sarawak

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Kudos to Pandelela Rinong for being on the same page with us

She has spoken and Datukship or otherwise, for national diver Pandelela Rinong, her love for the sport trumps everything. I am glad that she had voiced out these things to our media friends recently and this had also shown us that we are on the same page.

I also share the same views by our Federal Minister for Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar who commented on the awarding of a "Datukship" to Pandelela which could come at a later time as the most important things right now are our athlete’s continuous progress and consistency.

Most of us would agree that Pandelela should be awarded for her world-class feats in sports through a scholarship in her studies which may progress until PhD level as well as the financial support for her family’s welfare and needs.

We should all try to encourage Pandelela pursue the highest level of education just like what our former national sprinter, Dr Mani Jegathesan who was the fastest man in Asia back in 1966 and was often referred to as the “Flying Doctor”. Dr Mani was the Malaysian sports icon in the 1960s but he was firstly a medical student before becoming a doctor. 

I also to agree with Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi’s views and said that Pandelela can become a great thinker and later when reflecting back on her life, she will understand that all of us have directly and indirectly helped her to enhance her greatness in sports and in life. Kudos to our media friends for highlighting Pandelela's achievements and to share her honest views on the datukship issue which had stirred the mixed reactions from our local folks and especially netizens.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Supporting efforts to uplift and nominate Kuching city as a destination in ASEAN Creative Cities Network

We fully support the collaboration with federal Ministry Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) in pursuing efforts to uplift and nominate Kuching City as one of the creative cities network at United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and ASEAN levels under the gastronomy category. 

Such efforts were recently announced by our Malaysia's Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, YB Datuk Seri Hajah Nancy Shukri who said at regional level, ASEAN had supported UNESCO's efforts in creating a network of creative cities and to fully support the aspirations of countries which are keen joining the network of creative cities. 

We also welcome Malaysia's intention to nominate Kuching City as one of the creative cities which is a pragmatic effort that will have a positive impact on our local socio-economic developments as well as increasing the visibility, give positive image to Malaysia and Sarawak at international scene. 

Such noble efforts are also is in line with ASEAN’s Vision 2025 that is aimed to create a more prosperous and competitive community in this region. The Creative City Network or CCN is one of the initiatives introduced by UNESCO back in 2004, to foster innovation and creativity as a catalyst towards sustainable and inclusive city development. 

Among the seven main categories of creative cities that have been outlined are namely science and literature, film, music, design, traditional crafts and arts, gastronomy and media art. Thus, the varieties of heritage menus and ethnic-based dishes that we have back home can make Kuching City one of the top destination of choice to be awarded as a creative city in the gastronomy category. The rich biodiversity which we had include the variety of herbal plants that can be used as a food source can add value to Kuching which can represent Malaysia.

We thank you YB Datuk Seri Hajah Nancy’s efforts towards Kuching attaining the creative city status so that it can join 11 other creative cities that at ASEAN level, under the ASEAN Creative Cities Network (ACCN). The initiative to nominate Kuching City as Creative City of Gastronomy will be one of the cultural tourism products attractions that we will have in boosting Malaysia's economy, its tourism and culture industry.

A good article which is well deliberated by Rajah Murugaiah on the current "Datukship" issue

A good article well written by the executive editor, Rajah Murugaiah who deliberated on the current issue which had caught the attention of our local folks and especially Netizens. In his column published in the New Sarawak Tribune, it was mentioned that he (Rajah) would never imagined the media's "innocuous" query on the form of incentives for our diving champion, Pandelela Rinong after her historic performance at the recent FINA Diving World Cup held in Tokyo, Japan.

In fact, Rajah had also mentioned his conversation with Pandelela via WhatsApp which he had reproduced in toto. He did include similar WhatsApp conversation with the great "Flying Doctor", Dr Mani Jegathesan who back in the 1960s was a national sprinter and had held multiple national and regional short distance records.

Read more of Rajah's well deliberated article at:


Sunday, 9 May 2021

Taking this opportunity to wish Happy Mothers' Day to all mums

I take this opportunity to wish all mums, Happy Mothers' Day. Together we are celebrating this special occasion in honouring our mothers as well as motherhood which a way of honouring the sacrifices of our mums made for their children.

Thank you mother.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Giving credits to Pandelela Pamg Rinong for her world class feat

Recently I have mentioned to our media friends that Sarawak will ac­cord some kind of re­ward to na­tional diver Pan­delela Pamg Ri­nong for se­cur­ing Malaysia’s first-ever gold medal at this year's FINA Diving World Cup but I have also pointed out that it was not good to al­ways re­ward ath­letes each time they won some­thing.

This is because if we keep on think­ing of giv­ing re­wards ev­ery time some­body gets a gold medal or achieves fame, it will not be good also be­cause ath­letes nor­mally love their sport and they are pas­sion­ate about what they are do­ing. But Sarawak will have its own way of re­ward­ing them and I had been re­ceiving phone calls from peo­ple ask­ing if the state would ac­cord Pan­delela with a Datuk­ship in recog­ni­tion of her sport­ing achieve­ments, sim­i­lar to several other renowned na­tional ath­letes.

My re­ply to them was, she is only 28 years old and we should not spoil her. I mean this because can you imag­ine some­one in their 20s hav­ing a Datuk­ship? It will be very dif­fi­cult for her to in­ter­act nor­mally out­side – when you got friends out­side, they call you ‘Datuk’ and things like that. What I have meant is to let Pendelela en­joy her life. The mon­e­tary con­tri­bu­tion from the state govern­ment will come, but we do not want to high­light it too much. We would want her to bring us more fame and for her to en­joy the sport that she loves.

I have also cred­ited Pan­delela’s achieve­ments for cre­at­ing a lot of in­ter­est in diving among younger Sarawakians. I can also see that we do have quite a num­ber of young ath­letes com­ing up in diving from Sarawak, which prob­a­bly in the next few years we would be able to see them cre­at­ing waves, maybe in state or na­tional cir­cuits. It is hope with Pandelela's lat­est gold medal won at world level will cre­ate more in­ter­est in diving as well as other wa­ter sports.

Stepping up efforts to advocate responsible tourism among the community and tourism players

 I applaud Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) for entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with Sarawak Centre of Performance Excellence (SCOPE) that will advocate responsible tourism among the community and tourism players.

Kudos to STB and SCOPE which will be working together in organisinh workshops and research on the latest trends of responsible tourism focusing mainly on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) such as quality education (SDG 4), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) and partnerships for the goals (SDG 17).

Such collaborations would engage our local community and hopefully they can come to the same level of understanding on responsible tourism. I thank them for inviting me to participate in their  "Responsible Tourism Webinar" which was held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on May 6.
In my speech I have mentioned on responsible tourism which would help us to ensure Sarawak’s biodiversity remains protected. Sarawak is well known for its many national parks and its ecotourism initiatives. The state is home to majestic natural ecosystems, as well as a diverse selection of flora and fauna. Thus, responsible tourism can help safeguard these natural resources and ensure their protection and survival for many generations to come.

The webinar was participated by 50 tourism industry players via Zoom application with many others present physically, featured international speakers like Society for Sustainable Tourism president Susan Santos de Cardenas and EXO Travel Malaysia general manager, Sara Salsini.
The webinar was aimed to create awareness among participants on best practices in sustainable tourism in line with the aspirations of Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) to position Sarawak as a leading destination for eco-tourism and business events in the Asean region by 2030.

With the majority of the participants of these workshops belonging to the B40 women category between the ages of 16 and 70, these expanded skill sets have also given them an opportunity to improve their livelihood. On top of running their homestays, women from the community can produce their own soaps and sell them as an additional side income.The soap-making workshops also, most importantly, provide villagers and rural homeowners with means to create their own hygiene products – a vital addition to combat the pandemic in our daily lives.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Kudos to national diving queen, Pandelela Pamg Rinong for her sterling performance at FINA World Championships in Japan

Kudos to our national diving queen, Pandelela Pam Rinong who had won gold medal in the 10 meter individual platform at the FINA World Cup Diving Championships held in Japan on May 5. I congratulate Pandelela for making Malaysia proud on the world stage by winning the first gold medal for our national squad this year.

Pandelela's achievement had mean a lot to Malaysia and Sarawak because the world championship which she participated was the last avenue for athletes from all over the country to secure their place in the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics this year. Her (Pandelela's) achievement had done proud us all because it is considered a bonus for our national squad and it has been used to evaluate the performance of athletes who had without any competitions after almost a year.

On behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, I call on our local athletes to double their efforts in training and preparing themselves to be better prepared in spearheading our country's challenge in international competitions. Pandelela's achievements had also proven that Sarawak athletes were able to compete with those from more developed countries in terms of advances in sports science, diet and sports technology which are now among the important factors in preparing athletes of international standard.

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Throwing support to our Parliament's decision on UNDI 18

In view of the issue on UNDI 18, I have mentioned that the Election Commission (EC) needs to address voters' registration for those aged 18 as soon as possible in order to resolve the matter.

I am however pleased with our Parliament’s decision on Undi 18 as announced by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law), YB Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan on May 1.

The government has given an assurance to implement the Undi 18 this year and YB Datuk Seri Takiyuddin has also mentioned that currently the Election Commission (EC) was still looking into several matters before finalising, and it is expected to be implemented in July this year, thus enabling Malaysians aged 18 to vote in the 15th General Election (GE15).

At the same time, I have expressed hope for the Undi 18 plan (lowering of voting age to 18) would be implemented this year but this also depends on whether it can be achieved for the Sarawak polls. If not, we intend to enforce it for GE15, which we know is in 2023.

Meanwhile, on election candidates who are aged 18, I have mentioned they are welcomed to stand if they felt that they were capable. They may run for office as candidates, but in order to vote, I assume there is a minor stipulation that they must register as voters with the EC. I see this process as a little complicated, but everyone can be a candidate because it has been accepted in Parliament and gazetted by the government.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Another publicity stunt by the opposition in calling for our DUN to convene in short notice

The recent call by Sarawak's Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman, YB Chong Chieng Jen for our State Legislative Assembly (DUN) to convene for the deliberation on the procurement of Covid-19 vaccine is like seeking cheap publicity and an act of showing that he cared for the well-being of Sarawakians.

As a Member of Parliament and DUN Member, YB Chong should know better that calling for a DUN sitting is different than calling an association or a club meeting, which can be done any time. As far as a DUN sitting is concerned, all the 82 ADUNs will be delivered the relevant notice at least 28 days prior to the sitting scheduled next.

I have mentioned this to our media friends who asked for my comments on YB Chong’s recent remarks that the DUN should convene to deliberate the state’s procurement of Covid-19 vaccine and keep Sarawakians informed of the immunisation process.

Surely the DAP lawmaker should be aware that the current term of DUN Sarawak would expire on June 6 and given this fact, it would be impossible for DUN secretariat to issue the necessary notice to all the ADUNs. Thus, I believe that YB Chong was calling for a DUN sitting for the sake of seeking cheap publicity to show that he cared for all of us.

YB Chong had earlier on said a DUN meeting should take place to inform Sarawakians of how the state government was going to procure the vaccine such as from which suppliers since there are so many suppliers even though the state government has said to reject AstraZeneca.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Celebrating Labour Day 2021 on a modest scale

Assalammualaikum and I take this opportunity to wish happy Labour Day 2021 to all my dear friends. Syukur alhamdullilah, together we can still celebrate this year's Labour Day even though in a modest scale and following the new norms. Labour Day is not just a day for us to take time off from work but it is actually an appreciation to the enormous contribution and sacrifices given by all employees towards the development of our society, state and country.

In fact, the celebration of Labor Day on May 1 every year is a day to commemorate our common struggle in discharging our daily duties as well as inject new spirit to all employees in upholding the noble efforts in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. At the same time, let us continue to take good care of our health and to follow the existing standard operating procedures (SOPs) in order to curb the spread of COVID19 pandemic that is still plaguing the world. 

#LabourDay #HariPekerja #Sarawak #Malaysia #KitaJagaKita #StafSafe #COVID19