KUCHING: The Kembara Kenali Borneo tour inspired by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah provided an opportunity for His Majesty to build a “bridge of friendship” between the regions of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
Al-Sultan Abdullah said he came up with the tour simply to allow him to meet the people in the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak more closely.
“(This tour) provides an opportunity to build a new bridge where there is no river. The bridge is a bridge of friendship. My presence, and that of my family, my entourage is as if representing part of the people in the Peninsula.
“I, representing the Malay Rulers, am extending my arms to all as one Malaysian family in our beloved country,“ said His Majesty at the closing ceremony of the tour and a dinner hosted by the Sarawak government here.
According to Al-Sultan Abdullah, the welcome displayed by the people in Sabah and Sarawak throughout the journey was unexpected and will be sweet memories for him and his family.
Meanwhile, Al-Sultan Abdullah advised elected representatives of constituencies in the interior areas of Sabah and Sarawak to continue to engage with their constituents to be able to better understand their needs.
According to His Majesty, during the tour, he received many complaints and letters of application from residents for basic necessities such as water supply, electricity and good roads.
“I would like to advise all YB (Yang Berhormat) to go and engage with the people, go and meet the people, go and listen to the people what they need,“ said Al-Sultan Abdullah, adding that the federal and state governments need to play a more effective role in solving the people’s problems.
His Majesty assured that all the complaints he received from the people during the tour would be given due attention and would be forwarded to the relevant authorities as soon as possible.
His Majesty expressed confidence that with the composition of the people’s elected representatives from Sabah and Sarawak in the federal government, the needs of both regions can be met.
Al-Sultan Abdullah said the Kembara Kenali Borneo tour will be his last visit to Sabah and Sarawak as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as his term expires on Jan 30 next year.
His Majesty said throughout the tour, as well as during his visits with Tunku Azizah to the Borneo states, he and his entourage were given a great welcome by the people in Sabah and Sarawak.
“This visit is my last as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Therefore, on this meaningful night, I would like to say goodbye and thank all the people of Sabah and Sarawak for all the sweet memories,“ said His Majesty.
The dinner was also attended by the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, Acting Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sarawak Tan Sri Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Al-Sultan Abdullah and his entourage will complete the Kembara Kenali Borneo Tour for Sarawak, covering a distance of 1,194 kilometres by travelling to Telok Melano, the starting point of the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway, before returning to Kuching and heading back to Kuala Lumpur. - Bernama