PUTRAJAYA: The ‘Kembara Kenali Borneo’ (KKB) programme should shift the development agenda in Sabah and Sarawak toward improvement, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
The KKB Coordinating Minister said the boost could be done from the aspects of economy and infrastructure such as roads, land and sea transportation, education as well as access to a better life.
“Let us carry out assessments and actions to improve the quality of life for the people in Sabah and Sarawak so that these Borneo states can also achieve progress, besides enhancing its economy to be on par with other states in Peninsular Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
The tour, which was held for the first time, aimed at realising the dream of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah to get closer to the people in Sabah and Sarawak.
KKB began at KM0 in Tawau, Sabah and ended at KM0 in Telok Melano, Sarawak. The King drove for more than 2,300 km throughout the 11-day journey from Sept 3 until Sept 13.
“Alhamdulillah, thanks to the strong support from everyone, KKB ran smoothly and successfully,” he said.
Fadillah also expressed his gratitude to the Sabah and Sarawak state governments as well as the people of both states who had made an all-out effort to support the tour.
According to him, people of various ethnicities were not only willing to wait from morning until midnight to have a glimpse of the royal entourage but also ready to endure the heat and rain by the roadside along the convoy route.
They presented various cultural performances and voluntarily wore their traditional costumes to welcome the KKB convoy, he said.
Fadillah said the Queen had shed tears several times, while the King spoke about being touched by the rousing welcome shown by the Sabahans and Sarawakians and expressed his heartfelt thanks during each speech at the dinner functions held throughout the journey.
He said many valuable lessons were gained when Malaysians and the whole world witnessed the nation’s Supreme Leader reaching out to the people, who gave an extraordinary response to the effort.
“The tour will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression in the hearts of the people as they witnessed how the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong approached the common people in all simplicity, without protocols, with great compassion and people-centric spirit to understand the hardships and needs of the rural population,” he said.
The programme has also highlighted that the common people and the Ruler are truly inseparable, Fadillah added. -Bernama