Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has likened Sarawak to a 'pearl' over what he says is the state's high value within the federation.
He says Sarawak has everything it needs in terms of resources and is able to stand on its own feet, making it little wonder that 'outsiders' are keen to gain control of the state.
"There are people out there who would do anything to take control of Sarawak and we cannot let that happen. Sarawak is currently in good hands (under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak - GPS) and I believe Sarawakians know that too," he said when officiating the SAMArindok AKYBMS 1440H/2019M dinner, here on Tuesday.
He also commented that there were even those who went to the extent of saying the state was headed towards bankruptcy due to the development plans the Sarawak government has in store for its people.
"Those wanting to take control of Sarawak are not from Sarawak, and Sarawakians must realise that only Sarawakians can take care of Sarawak - not these outsiders.
"They are envious of Sarawak's resources and wealth, and are surely eyeing control of the state to the point of saying negative things about the Sarawak government, including that we are mismanaging the funds and reserves that we currently have," he added.
The chief minister stressed that the state risked losing its wealth and resources if it were to fall into the hands of outsiders, who will 'come and go' as they please as they do not have a sense of belonging to the state.
Thus, he hoped that Sarawakians will remain united as unity is Sarawak's greatest strength for development.
"Sarawakians must always stick together at all times in order for the state to progress. As long as the state government is under GPS, we will make sure Sarawak progresses forward because we are Sarawakians, and as Sarawakians, we always want the best for Sarawak.
"No matter what, Sarawak is our home and there is no other place that we can go to," he said.
The dinner, which was hosted by Sarawak Malay Cultural Foundation Charitable Trust (AKYBMS), saw the presence of deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Minister in the Chief Minister's Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Assistant Minister of E-Commerce Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais, Assistant Minister of Agriculture Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail, Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh, and Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, among others.