New Year Message from YB Dr. Sim Kui Hian, Minister for Local Government and Housing cum President of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party
The year 2018 had seen many events and changes, including the trade war between the USA and the People’s Republic of China, and disastrous events occurred in many countries, while in Malaysia, the government in power was transferred peacefully. 2019 is an important year to Sarawak. The government would continue to strive for the aims of Sarawak first while giving priority to the interests of the people. It would implement projects beneficial to the people as well as looking after their welfare. The aims of the Sarawak Government are to regain her autonomy including the autonomy over education and medical services.
The Sarawak State Assembly had approved the levying of 5 percent sales tax over the export of petroleum products. The measure would no doubt draw additional revenue. The Sarawak Government had decided to share the revenue from the 5 percent tax for the implementation of projects beneficial to the welfare of the people. From 2019 onwards, every new born baby in Sarawak would be entitled to RM1000. This is the beginning. The people can expect to enjoy more welfare benefits in the future.
Sarawak should enjoy economic autonomy. The PH Federal Government is called to pay back to Sarawak the 50 percent tax collected from Sarawak, as well as the 20 percent oil royalty promised as soon as possible.
The Sarawak Government pay great attention to the implementation of the MA63 which gives autonomy to Sarawak. We are anxious to regain the autonomy given to Sarawak under the MA63, especially those that had been eroded over the years.
We feel happy that the Sarawak Government keep an unshakable stand over the privileges of autonomy. The Government never compromise over any policy or laws detrimental to its autonomy rights. We expect breakthrough and new achievements over the issue during 2019.
The harmony prevailing between the varied races in Sarawak is the greatest and privileged heritage of Sarawak. We will never allow any
quarters to destroy it. Sarawak has established the Unit For Other Religions (UNIFOR) and has allocated RM20 million in 2018 for the development of activities of all religions. The allocation would be increased to RM30 million this year. We hope the allocation can be increased to RM50 million in the future. The funding for various religions in Sarawak cannot be found in other parts of Malaysia.
We feel worry over the actions and speeches expressed by those extremists in Malaya. We ought to take precautions to prevent their encroachment in Sarawak.
We call on all Sarawakians, to stand solidly behind the Sarawak Government for the sake of building a better developed and a strong Sarawak.
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