Anwar delivers his speech at the event. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Sept 16): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has hailed Sarawak as the nation’s ‘most advanced state’, underlining the remarkable strides that it has made since the birth of Malaysia.

In his address for the Malaysia Day 2023 celebration at Stadium Perpaduan here tonight, Anwar emphasised the transformative journey that Sarawak had embarked on since 1963.

He commended the state’s evolving potential as a pivotal player in green technology, hydrogen production, and various downstream industries within the Asean region.

“Sarawak has undergone a profound metamorphosis. Today, Sarawak is not the Sarawak of 1963. It possesses the potential to become a hub for green technology, hydrogen production, and various downstream sectors, making it a frontrunner in Malaysia,” he said.

He also revealed that at a special Federal Cabinet meeting in Kuching yesterday, Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was asked to brief the ministers on the developments in the state.

“Last time, when we came here, we lectured Sarawak leaders. Today, I asked Premier Abang Johari to give his views and lecture federal ministers because Sarawak has fields like renewable energy, green technology and electric vehicles. It now seems Sarawak is the most advanced state in Malaysia.”

Anwar, who is also Minister of Finance, also emphasised the importance of unity and political stability in the nation’s overall development.

He acknowledged the role played by Sarawak and Sabah, represented respectively by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), in maintaining national unity and political stability.

“Unity and stable politics are paramount for Malaysia, given its diverse population and geography,” he said.

Moreover, Anwar reaffirmed his commitment to fulfilling the promises and agreements made during the formation of Malaysia, particularly pertaining to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

“Our responsibility as the new generation is not to negotiate, but to execute the agreements that our forefathers made. We aim to implement, not just discuss,” he pointed out.

On the subject of poverty eradication and economic development, Anwar regarded them a key goal of the Unity Government.

“We will provide assistance to every impoverished family, ensuring that they would not remain in hardship,” he added.

In a significant move aimed at bolstering development efforts in the states of Sabah and Sarawak, Anwar also announced the allocation of over RM1 billion for various projects in the border regions.

The allocation is expected to spur economic growth, improve infrastructure, and enhance the quality of life for residents in these areas.

“I went to Jakarta recently. Jakarta has decided to build the capital of Nusantara in Kalimantan. And we don’t want to miss out on taking advantage of the facility to further develop Sabah and Sarawak.

“For that I have approved an addition to the approval of many projects in Sabah and Sarawak, an addition of more than RM1 billion for development at the border. I have tasked the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Fadillah, to ensure, expedite and there is no reason at all to delay Pan Borneo so that it is completed faster than the previously set expectations,” he added.

In his closing remarks, Anwar expressed profound gratitude to the Sarawak state government under the leadership of Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and the people of Sarawak for their unwavering cooperation and commitment towards building a united and prosperous Malaysia.