Abang Johari: Commitment to Data and Technology Ministry only if GPS wins state election

Abang Johari encourages the dialogue session participants to read “The Blockchain Revolution” by Don Tapscott.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Sept 27: The prerequisite to set up a Data and Technology Ministry in Sarawak is for the incumbent ruling coalition under Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to defend its majority in the upcoming Sarawak election.

Abang Johari who is the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman acknowledged the importance of data and digital technology but he could not commit he would do so as this Sarawak Legislative Assembly term will soon expire.

“Yes, data is very important. (However) to start a ministry, I have to win first,” said Abang Johari at the “Sunday Morning with CM: Dialogue Session with Young Entrepreneurs” organised by DayakDayak and Kuching Freelance Journalists Association (Pewarta) at a hotel here today.

JW Sam suggests the formation of a Data and Technology Ministry in Sarawak during the dialogue session today (Sept 27, 2020) between young entrepreneurs and Abang Johari in Kuching.

Abang Johari said this when responding to queries from JW Sam of Socoe Sdn Bhd on the next phase of digital development envisaged by the former and whether a Ministry of Data and Technology would be set up to consolidate all efforts in developing digital technology, taking its cue from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Estonia.

“That one (setting up a Data and Technology Ministry), I can’t answer you because I have to let them (the voters) elect me first. That one I can’t because I have to form a cabinet and I have to have a portfolio. As it is, I have a short time left (the current term of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly will expire in June 2021),” said Abang Johari.

Even though he could not commit to creating the new ministry, he gave his assurance that this will be the direction Sarawak will take as he strongly believed that big data is “the oil of the future”, citing the role of data in turning Sarawak into a hydrogen producing state as well as its role in identifying natural resources along Sarawak’s coast. — DayakDaily