Kota Kinabalu 17 March - Sarawak wants to emulate Sabah's policies on forestry and wildlife conservation as well as tourism, which its Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said Sabah has done quite well under Datuk Seri Musa Aman's leadership.
Speaking at the welcoming dinner in conjunction with his inaugural visit to the State after his appointment as Chief Minister, Adenan said Sarawak should emulate Sabah's forestry policy.
"Sabah's timber industry used to be in a big mess but now it is well regulated and managed. We ought to follow your footsteps in this matter," said Adenan, who recently declared war on illegal logging and froze permits for new timber concessions – measures which were introduced by Musa soon as he became Sabah CM a decade ago.
He also said Sabah's wildlife conservation policy was something that Sarawak was interested to emulate such as the rehabilitation of the orang utan in Sepilok, Sandakan.
Adenan said Sabah's Danum Valley was another example of excellence in terms of conservation that Sarawak would definitely be looking at. "I want to create another Danum in Sarawak and compete with your Danum," he said at the dinner in Shangri-la's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Monday. Adenan is on a two-day official visit to the State.
One thing that Sarawak would not follow Sabah, he said, was "to allow so many outside people to occupy the state, that we will not follow" that was met with laughter from the floor.
He was referring to the State's illegal immigrant problem which Musa inherited from previous administrations.
He said there was no necessity for Sarawak to have its own Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) and that he sympathised with Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan who have his work cut out for him as chairman of the working committee on foreign migrants in Sabah.
It's understandable, he said, as the problem faced by Sabah was compounded by its proximity with the Philippines.
"So we want to get away as far as we can from that ... Sarawak also have some problem with Indonesian Kalimantan but not that much," he said.
Adenan also said that the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak have greater autonomous power than the other state chief executives, as well as due to the fact that Sabah and Sarawak are bigger in size.
He said despite the existing bond and cordial relationship between Sabah and Sarawak, the relationship must continue to be nurtured everyday.
Adenan also spoke about his early days after taking over from Tun Taib Mahmud who had been Sarawak's Chief Minister for more than 30 years.
"It is a very long time, basically one generation. Whenever you mention CM in Sarawak he is Taib Mahmud," he said.
A few months ago, he said he was at a function and he asked the State Secretary "where is the CM?" but was responded by a shocked State Secretary "you are the CM."