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Taib warns ‘naughty’ folk not to cause strife

MIRI: Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has warned that he will not allow “naughty” groups in Sarawak to stir up racial hatred and religious strife in the name of democracy, although he agrees that peaceful political dissent should be allowed in the open.

The Sarawak Chief Minister, who is also the longest-serving state government leader in the country, said he was duty-bound to protect the existing harmony and unity among the many diverse ethnic and racial groups.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be threatened by small groups of radicals. If there are any 'naughty' groups in Sarawak who are thinking of instigating the people in the name of democracy, we are prepared to deal with them accordingly,” said Taib.

“We must not allow anyone to take for granted the peace and unity Sarawak has attained. Look around at the incidents that are happening everywhere that threaten to destabilise society. We will not allow this to happen in Sarawak.

“We are now evolving to become a more open government. The media is enjoying greater freedom than ever before and political dissent is allowed in the open as long as it is peaceful. We are enjoying greater openness compared to before, but it must be within the legal framework,” he said when declaring open the Setia Raja Flyover project in Miri City yesterday.

The project, part of a RM110mil flyover package for Miri funded by the Federal Government, involved the construction of two flyovers in the city. The other flyover – Pujut Flyover – was declared open last month by the Prime Minister.

Taib, who has been chief minister for 27 years, thanked the Federal Government for giving priority to improving the level of infrastructure facilities in Sarawak.

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