Lest We Forget : Part 1
The politics of development, as the state’s philosophy of development, was introduced by the fourth Chief Minister of Sarawak, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud (now Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Governor of Sarawak) whose primary concern, since he took over the helm of the State government on March 26,1981, was to pull Sarawak out of the back water of development into its mainstream.
He had been preoccupied with the idea that Sarawak must run faster than other states in order to catch up with their progress and advancement.
The rate of poverty in Sarawak in the early 80s was about 60 per cent and unemployment among the people especially youth in villages and longhouses were very high.
The demographic pattern of the State was about 80% rural and 20% urban. The situation gave rise to an explosive feeling of dissatisfaction against the government, which was being accused of pursuing politics of favoritism.
Consequently, instigating racial and communal feelings was the best weapon to win support, though a highly divisive support, in any elections.
The new way forward must necessarily be to mobilize the people and orientate them towards development.
Besides, the way forward was also to motivate youth to have more confidence in themselves and be prepared to accept changes and reinvigorate members of the civil service and synergize their services with the demands of development. It was indeed a tall order.
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