SALAM Sejahtera dan Salam Ibu Pertiwiku,

Bagi pihak saya sendiri, isteri dan seisi keluarga saya ingin mengucapkan Gong Xi Fa Cai kepada seluruh Anak Sarawak daripada kaum Cina di mana sahaja saudara dan saudari berada ketika menyambut perayaan Tahun Baru Cina pada tahun ini.

I wish all our Chinese friends a happy Lunar New Year and may the New Year brings prosperity, unity and good health to all of us in our beloved Land of the Hornbills.

Dear friends,

The Lunar New Year is a time of the year that our Chinese friends always look forward to. In Chinese tradition it’s a time to honour the deities and ancestors, and a time to bring the family together and is a celebration of luck and good fortune for the coming year.

Dear friends,

Sarawak is a land of diversity. Not only our nature is rich and diverse but the culture, ways of life and beliefs of our people is also diverse. We are free to practice our culture and profess our beliefs and we have always tried to resist elements and ideologies which are against the spirit of our unity and brotherhood. We celebrate our diversity and find common ground in our differences.

We are proud that Sarawak has been a place where people can understand and respect each other and be able to live in a society where unity is of utmost importance to our common good and overall well-being. Respect for one another’s religion, custom and opinion have been the basis of our racial unity and religious harmony.

Of late the spirit of our brotherhood and social cohesion has been somewhat challenged in the face of onslaught of new and vicious politicking culture from outside Sarawak. Knowingly or unknowingly we began to cast doubt and aspersion upon each other, which if left unchecked, would sow the seed of distrust among us. I pray the day would never come that a serious division among us would justify others to come and take control of us.

Dear friends,

I am confident that Sarawak’s economy will grow at an encouraging rate in the few years ahead because our policy is geared towards growth and expansion. As I mentioned during my Budget Speech 2019, the State economy is estimated to grow at 5.0% for 2019 compared to 4.6% for 2018 despite the challenges faced in the national and global economies.

Sarawak’s public expenditure for infrastructure development is at a record high this year and the few years ahead. We are not cutting down on projects but rather we are doing the reverse as we have the means to finance them by imposing the 5 % tax on oil and gas. The expanding economy means there will be more work for our contractors and consultants, more businesses for our traders right down to small retailers in our towns all over the state.

We are spending within our means based on the revenue we expected to collect and we are not even using the state’s reserves. Be rest assured that our economy is a well-managed economy and we have been prudent in our spending and for this reason we have a substantial amount of reserves and receiving a “Clean Bill of Health” from the Auditor-General for many years already.

Investors, notably from China and South Korea keep coming in support of our industrialisation programme, particularly, at Samalaju Industrial Park and Samajaya High-Tech Park because they know that we are politically stable, our policies are consistent and well-defined while our renewal energy capability is enormous.

To date, SCORE has recorded about RM80.0 billion worth of both public and private investments. Through the SCORE Development Plan, the State is forecasted to generate about RM334 billion in terms of investments. When the SCORE Development Plan is fully realised by the year 2030, it is expected to create 1.6 million new job opportunities, especially for young Sarawakians.

The success of the Samajaya High-Tech Park is also encouraging. Just last week I launched the first phase of an elecfoil production facility in Samajaya costing RM400 million. The total investments by companies in Samajaya have exceeded RM12 billion and more foreign companies have indicated their readiness to invest there.

Dear friends,

Our economic transformation programme on other fronts such as agriculture will create even more opportunities for Sarawak to develop new products and find new markets for the products. The potentials of our agriculture are enormous and we must capitalise on this in order to become a net exporter of food. Quality durians, pineapples and rambutans are some of our products that can fetch good market overseas.

Dear friends,

Amidst our quest to strengthen Sarawak’s economy and upgrade our infrastructure, we must not lose sight of our struggle to regain our lost rights according to the Federal Constitution and Malaysia Agreement 1963. This is the wish of all Sarawakians which must be respected as discontentment among the people of Sarawak is not healthy for the well-being of the nation.

Sarawakians must be united in this struggle regardless of our political stance. The spirit of Sarawak First must not be mellowed down just because of our political affiliation with others who are treating Sarawak like a stepson. It is not an easy road ahead for us and that is why Sarawakians must speak and act with one voice.

Dear friends,

Saya menyeru kepada saudara dan saudari yang bukan daripada keturunan Cina supaya meluangkan masa untuk berkunjung ke rumah-rumah terbuka rakan-rakan kita daripada kaum Cina dalam usaha berterusan untuk memperkukuhkan perpaduan dalam kalangan kita yang pelbagai agama, bangsa dan budaya. Biarlah Sarawak terus menjadi contoh kepada semangat perpaduan kaum dan agama yang tulen bagi seluruh negara.

Akhir kata, sekali lagi saya mengucapkan Selamat Tahun Baru Cina 2019 dan bergembiralah di samping keluarga dan rakan-rakan.

Terima kasih. Gong Xi Fa Cai.