BINTULU: The spirit of caring for the welfare of society should form part and parcel of nation-building.
“It is this spirit I would like to see prevail in a new place we build whether in Bintulu and later in Mukah or Betong,” said Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
In the case of Bintulu, a new progressive town in the making, the government was trying to infuse the quality of life on the people there as much as it did in Kuching and Miri, Taib said.
“Kuching is a very old town, Miri is a slightly younger town and Bintulu is much younger still.
“We can determine from the beginning that Bintulu must be built with the same care as what we have built in a much longer period in other towns,” he said.
On Bintulu Development Authority’s (BDA) slogan of ‘Friendly Industrial City’ by 2020, he said: “That is not easy to achieve because an industrial city normally means more busy people, very regimented in their life and everything measured by time and schedule from the very beginning and if people don’t follow a good pattern of social programme the place can become big and rich with lots of social problems in the future.”
He said this during a charity dinner for Bintulu Orphanage Complex at ParkCity Everly Hotel on Saturday night.
He regarded Bintulu Orphanage Complex as the beginning of a combined effort of all people for healthy social development in the town.
“This is what we mean by the concept of Malaysia that cares, this has been practised in a small way by ordinary people whether the person goes the mosques and drops his 50 sen into the little charity box or to our young man who attends dinner and contributes a bit of donation or corporate bodies.
“I thank all those people who were responsible to make a collection for Bintulu Orphanage Complex for it to be realised within the next two years,” he said.
Looking at the experience gained from the orphanage centre in Kuching, he said it was not just about providing enough food and accommodation but more importantly to make orphans grow in confidence that they can face the world and be like other children.
“In the case of Kuching since its inception in 1993 we have been able to get more than 40 graduates and some have become engineers in SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy).
“It is something they should be proud of, they can achieve that status because we have the spirit of caring.
“We cannot of course give what their parents can give but at least we can give some time to them to make them feel that they can grow and experience some happy moments,” he added.
At the same time, Taib stressed the importance of assuring orphans they were taken care of.
“That can be done by anybody, you don’t have to be rich to do so, all you need is your commitment to give two or three hours per month to look after these children. It is our hope to make Bintulu a friendly and happy industrial town of the future,” he said.
On another matter, Taib said he had found a piece of land in Mukah to build another orphanage complex and Betong would follow suit in the near future.