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Monday, February 11, 2008

S’wakians 5 times richer now

Taib says prosperity more evident in the last 20 years, thanks to people-BN unity

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the commitment of the people and the government to the State’s economic development has helped to raise the per capita income by five times in the last two decades.

Speaking at a Chinese New Year gathering hosted by Sibu United Chinese Association at the town’s civic centre last night, he said this was especially so in the decades when he was the chief minister.

He said this could be achieved because there was unity between the people and the BN government, “and with such a strong economic base, the people and government can do more in the next few decades”.

Taib listed the launch of Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) by the prime minister today in Bintulu as a dream come true for all.

“This is one way the people are working with the government to realise the mission and vision, and this will definitely create more jobs and greater income.”

Describing SCORE as the next era of progress, he said it would benefit the immediate surrounding areas like Sibu, Bintulu, and Miri while the spillover would reach the whole State.
He said the prime minister, who is here today to launch the project in Bintulu, is happy with what the people and the government could do together.

“And let us make this Year of the Rat a prosperous and joyous period.”
Emphasising the importance of harmony and unity in development, he said the people and the government could not achieve much without working together.

“In a democratic country, it is important to accept the rule of the majority. We cannot progress if the minority keeps demonstrating their feelings through riots and violence, which will only cause the nation to plunge into deeper disorder and chaos.”

He said the government was committed to continuing the development even at the expense of cutting oil subsidies so that the people could survive in harsher economic situations.
Reflecting on the current global economic situation, he said the prices of food, particularly those of soya bean, corn and wheat, had increased because of the demand of these cash crops for making bio-fuel.

“We cannot escape from this problem, not even the US, which has now plunged deeper into economic turmoil not only because of the rising food prices, but also their mortgage problems.”
He said for Malaysia, the people were lucky because other big Asian countries like India and China were emerging as economic powers, and these had helped the countries in the region to minimise the global economic turmoil.

“In Malaysia, we must understand that there is no short term economic solution, and SCORE will therefore take us to a new height of growth,” he said.

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