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State To Get Back Rights - Najib

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Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the federal government gives its assurance that it will hand over the empowerment rights of Sarawak to the state government.

He, however, said it would be done only through discussions with the state BN headed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

“I understand Sarawak wants partnership with the federal government, to be independent within Malaysia. We want to take care of Sarawak’s feelings; thus, their rights will be preserved.

“I don’t want to take away their rights. We will discuss this nicely and review all the laws that were agreed upon during the formation of Malaysia,” he said at the leaders-meet-the-people session at Bintulu Civic Centre yesterday. More than 15,000 attended the gathering.

On the proposed Batang Lupar bridge project, which would be the longest in the country upon completion, Najib said it would be built to boost coastal development in the state.

“The financing is to be done jointly by the federal government and state government. The federal government will contribute 50 per cent and state government 50 per cent.

“I don’t know about the cost. If Sg Sadong bridge cost around RM211 million with a total of 1.45km, this proposed bridge will be higher, but the development potential is our priority. We will put this in our manifesto for BN Sarawak.”

Najib said this project yet again showed the strong partnership between the federal and state governments.

On the RM16.4 billion 1,000km Pan Borneo Highway from Lundu to Lawas, Najib said the federal government would make sure the project would be completed on schedule.

He also announced the reconstruction of seven dilapidated schools in the state using the Industrialised Building System (IBS).

Yesterday, Najib visited the dilapidated SK Sg Ladong in Batang Sadong that was built on Jan 1, 1957. The school, Najib assured, would be rebuilt with six classrooms in five to six weeks using the IBS.

The Sarawak Education Department, he added, had identified about 170 schools that need to be upgraded, and this would also be included in the BN Sarawak manifesto. These schools would be implemented in stages.

On another matter, Najib said the state would continue to prosper if the people rallied behind Adenan.

This was because the federal government would only liaise with the state BN government.

“If someone else say they can deliver for the people, don’t trust them. This is because BN is much better in terms of service delivery.”

Najib said Sarawak was an important state and that the federal government would help to hasten its development pace.

“We have big plans for Sarawak, not just political rhetoric. We have delivered and (will) continue to deliver.

“I realise that Sarawak has big potential, but if there is no connectivity, if we don’t build roads, bridges, telecommunication towers, water and electricity supplies, Sarawak will not be able to realised its potential as one of the states that has bigger roles to contribute to nation building.”