KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday unveiled the state Barisan Nasional’s manifesto for the 14th general election (GE14).
“Today, we launch our Sarawak BN manifesto to complement the BN manifesto announced earlier by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak), and more importantly to ensure that the aspirations of all the people in Sarawak become a reality,” the state BN chairman said when launching the manifesto at Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu’s (PBB) headquarters here.
Themed “Transforming Sarawak Through Digital Economy”, it outlines six thrusts, the first of which pledges that the state government will continue to safeguard Sarawak’s rights and preserve harmony, and secondly to continue to provide better educational opportunities and facilities.
The state government also pledges to continue to enhance rural transformation, and to improve the quality of life of the people, and to initiate new opportunities for continuous progress and prosperity.
The sixth pledges that the state government will continue to practice good governance and integrity.
Abang Johari further pledged the state’s full support to the prime minister, as most of the BN manifesto’s pledges will benefit Sarawak, especially in areas such as infrastructure development, education and the matter that is much closer to Sarawakians’ hearts — the “Malaysia Agreement 1963” (MA63).
The BN manifesto, announced by the prime minister three days ago, among others promised that the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement will be realised by consensus, and to return the rights to have control over electricity and gas in the two states.
Abang Johari said under the devolution of powers initiative, the state government has achieved thus far 13 points. Furthermore, the prime minister had also agreed to the establishment of a high-level committee between the federal and state governments to negotiate Sarawak state rights in MA63.
According to the manifesto’s booklet, distributed at the ceremony, the state currently is aggressively pursuing four matters.
The first refers to its right to reinstate Sarawak status as per the original Federal Constitution, and its right over oil and gas beyond the Oil and Mining Ordinance, and over tourism, while the second involves seeking more rights under the devolution of powers initiative.
The third refers to financial review, involving the increase of special grants from the federal government, as provided for in the Federal Constitution, and finally all other rights of the state that were eroded after 1963. – Bernama