MIRI: Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (pic) has extended an olive branch to Chinese voters in the state – many of whom voted against Barisan Nasional in the past few state and general elections.
The state Barisan chief appealed to them to work with him to develop Sarawak.
Speaking to a multiracial crowd of more than 3,000 people at a Chinese New Year dinner organised by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Miri division on Friday night, Adenan said he needed the full backing of the Chinese to form a solid and cohesive government.
“I call on all the Chinese in Sarawak to come back to the side of the Barisan government.
“I want your full support.
“We, in the state government, recognise the importance and contributions of the Chinese towards state and national development.
“However, there has been a lack of Chinese support for Barisan the past years. I want to mend the relationship. The state government has done a lot to show our recognition of the Chinese communities.
“The state government has given official recognition to the Unified Examination Certificate from Chinese schools.
“I am giving annual financial allocations to Chinese independent schools and I want greater Chinese representation in the state administration after the state elections.
“Come back to Barisan and work with us for the sake of building up a strong and united Sarawak,” he said to loud applause.
Adenan stressed that Sarawak would propose that July 22 be gazetted a state public holiday to remember that date in 1963 when Sarawak obtained independence from the British before it joined Sabah, Singapore and Malaya to form Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.
SUPP president Prof Datuk Dr Sim Hui Kian said Adenan deserves the undivided support of every race as he has proven himself to be a good and caring chief minister.
Adenan later also sang four golden oldies and managed to raise RM1.8mil to construct a kidney dialysis centre in the Kuala Baram district north of Miri City.
The centre will be built by the Miri Red Crescent Society to cater to the needs of kidney ailment patients.