Frontliners, SDMC lauded for keeping Covid-19 under control
Posted on : 01 Jan 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says despite facing the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Sarawak has been able to keep the disease under control and at the same time strengthened its economy.

In his recorded speech during the Sarawak New Year Sarawak Countdown 2021 event at Stadium Perpaduan here last night, Abang Johari acknowledged the sacrifices of the frontliners in Sarawak in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and curbing its spread.

He also lauded the effectiveness of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) in dealing with the pandemic in the state.

“We cannot deny that the Covid-19 has caused anxiety and tension all over the world. Many lives were lost due to the disease, and it had affected the economy in terms of demand, production, investments and income.

“Nonetheless Sarawak has proven its ability in keeping the disease under control, and I am proud of our SDMC which has worked very hard to ensure all Sarawakians are protected from the Covid-19 disease,” he said.

Abang Johari recorded his appreciation to all frontliners who had put their lives on the line and sacrificed their time and effort to protect all Sarawakians.

“For the rest of Sarawakians, I thank you for your cooperation and sacrifices to break the chain of Covid-19 infection by complying with the directive from SDMC. So long as Covid-19 is still out there, we must adopt and practise the new norm,” he said.

Looking forward to 2021, the chief minister said prior to the pandemic Sarawak had already put into motion plans to develop and utilise digital economy as one of its mainstream economic activities.

He said looking at the state’s development since 2018, the state government had restructured the state economy through several approaches, which included the establishment of Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS), Petroleum Sarawak (Petros), and heavily invested in infrastructure projects such as the coastal highway and bridges spanning across the rivers, and supplying electricity and water to the rural areas.

“This has greatly impacted the rural areas all the way to Ulu Kapit after the completion of the Sibu-Kapit road.

“The rural areas of Baram also saw positive impact from the various infrastructure development projects there through the Highland Development Agency (HDA).

“In 2019, we also started to impose the Sarawak Sales Tax on all of our petroleum products, despite having to go through court. This has given additional revenue to Sarawak in 2019 and 2020, and the years to come,” he said.