New decade a crucial period for Sarawak’s devt — Dr

Dr Sim (seated, fourth left) joins members of Sarawak Kim Mui Association in a photo-call during the Hokkien food tasting event at iCom Square. Also seen is Wee (standing back, third right).

KUCHING: The coming decade could very well be the most significant period for Sarawak’s development since the formation of Malaysia over 50 years ago.

In pointing this out, Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian states that the projected revenue for Sarawak this year is about RM10 billion – a significant increase from about RM5 billion recorded in 2018.

“In five years’ time, I believe that Sarawak’s revenue would increase by three to four folds, from the existing level. The state government has been actively looking (for) ways to generate higher revenues for the state since 2018.

“If the Sarawak government does not have stable inflow of revenues, do you think the state government servants in Sarawak would be able to receive up to two months’ (worth) of bonus?” he highlighted in his speech at a Hokkien food tasting event, hosted by Sarawak Kim Mui Association at a restaurant in iCom Square here

Dr Sim said with Sarawak having solid revenue streams, it would prosper and be able to fund people-centric initiatives such as free schoolbus service in Kuching, and the RM450 financial aid for every Sarawakian woman who had given birth beginning this year.

However, he stressed that such prosperity would very much depend on the continuous unity of the people of Sarawak.

To the Chinese community, Dr Sim encouraged them to be more involved in the mainstream developments happening in Sarawak to reap the benefits from all the development programmes run by the government.

Acknowledging that the Chinese population in Sarawak appeared to be on a downward trend, the minister suggested that a section of the new RM308-million Sarawak Museum Complex should be set up to exhibit the culture and history of the local Chinese, via close collaborations with the relevant agencies and also with the community.

Moreover, he said the proposal to construct a Chinese Cultural Village in Sarawak should be looked into.

According to him, this Chinese-version of the present Sarawak Cultural Village, is set to properly document and showcase the unique cultural practises of the different Chinese dialects and clan groups in Sarawak.

Meanwhile in his remarks, Sarawak Kim Mui Association deputy chairman Dato Richard Wee said all Chinese associations have important roles to play in promoting the culture of the community, especially to the younger generation, so that more people from diverse ethnic groups could have deeper understanding of the local Chinese tradition and heritage.

“Experiencing the culinary tradition of one particular ethnic group has been regarded as one of the best ways to understand its culture,” said Wee at the event.