Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Mohd Najib Tun Razak together with Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud and Datuk Yahya Hussin affixing the Jalur Gemilang to the holder when officiating at the Malaysia Day 2009, as the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Muhammad Salahuddin and Dato Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim look on. PHOTO: RAMIDI SUBARI
Peter Sibon & LH Cheng
KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Patinggi Najib Tun Razak pledges to develop Sarawak and Sabah to make them on par with states in Peninsular Malaysia.
“As head of the Federal Government, I pledge to develop the two states, and I have proven this with my frequent visits to Sarawak. Not only have I visited big towns like Kuching, Miri and Sibu but I also have visited villages such as Kampung Piching in Serian,” Najib said in his keynote address when officiating at Malaysia Day Celebrations held at Padang Merdeka here last night.
He promised that he would visit every nook and corner of Sarawak in the future.
On the 1Malaysia Concept that he coined, he explained that it embodied a sense of belonging in one big family, and a source of pride to do one’s best for the nation.
He said the (1Malaysia) concept was actually derived from Sarawak and Sabah because they had large numbers of ethnic groups.
“Last May, I have said that Sabah was the best model for 1Malaysia. Today, I would like to appeal to all Malaysians to emulate Sarawak, the Land of the Hornbill, as another model for 1Malaysia.
“Both Sarawak and Sabah are actually the best models of 1Malaysia.”
He admitted that states in Peninsular Malaysia were more advanced than Sarawak and Sabah in terms of development, but they (Sarawak and Sabah) manifested the true spirit of ethnic harmony and unity.
He quoted a media survey which said that not all Malaysians understood the true meaning of Malaysia Day Celebrations.
“In the September 15, 2009 survey, only six people out of the 20 interviewed, understood its meaning. Eight others were confused thinking it’s Independence Day, while three others thought that Malaysia Day is related to the 1Malaysia Concept. Three others did not even have any idea of what Malaysia Day is all about.”
The Prime Minister explained that Malaysia Day was in fact an important historical event when three regions namely Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya decided to form a federation.
“Likewise, the 1Malaysia Concept is appropriately used as a theme for the Malaysia Day Celebrations this year.
“I hope that this spirit will continue to fire us to ensure that Malaysia remain as one nation and its people united.”
He also paid tribute to those who have struggled to achieve the country’s independence. Three Sarawakians namely Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Bujang Mohd Nor, Dato Sri Dominic Dagok and Dato Sri Tra Zehnder were among 10 Malaysians given the 1Malaysia Role Model award (Tokoh Anugerah 1Malaysia).
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, and Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Dato’ Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim also spoke at the function, which was also attended by Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Muhammad Salahuddin and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Hajah Norkiah.