WALKING THE TALK IN SARAWAK: It's proof he is a caring prime minister of all Malaysians
BETONG: DATUK Seri Najib Razak said he decided to join Sarawak folk yesterday in celebrating the Gawai harvest festival as he is the prime minister for all and to show that the government cares for all Malaysians.
He said that his wish to be close to the people and bring about balanced and equitable development had been proved by the allocation of RM2.3 billion during his walkabouts throughout the state in the last three years.
"When we celebrate Gawai, we are celebrating a success story. We are celebrating because we are successful in nation-building, economic and social development and in unifying this multiracial society of ours," he told a crowd of 3,000 at the Gawai Dayak open house at Dewan Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan here.
At the function, Najib also approved a federal allocation of RM5 million for the construction of the Dayak Cultural Foundation headquarters in Kuching.
The prime minister also reminded the people not to gamble with the country's future because the opposition would not be able to emulate the track record and achievements of Barisan Nasional.
"This is not the time to experiment (by voting for the opposition) as it will create more uncertainty. We must stick with what we have."
Najib said the government was committed to turning Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020 based on an in-depth road map.
In the case of Sarawak, he said, about 73 per cent of the allocation announced during his walkabouts had been utilised, with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Douglas Uggah as the coordinating minister.
Rural and Regional Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was also a frequent visitor to Sarawak to ensure that these development projects were implemented smoothly.
Najib said the government's pledge to continue delivering to the people was an not empty promise or an election gimmick.
At the open house, he joined Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and other dignitaries on stage to sing Wawasan Bekikis Bulu Betis, the lyrics of which were specially composed by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu in the spirit of Gawai.
Farmer Tarang Rimong, 53, from an Iban longhouse in Ulu Layar, about 40km from here, expressed his appreciation that Najib had come to meet the rural folk.
Habsah Hamid, 42, said she was proud that Betong had enjoyed much development. One of her daughters, Nor Azrin Fazira, 16, was studying at the Betong Mara Junior Science College opened by Najib when he was the then education minister. Bernama