By Nancy Nais and Karen Bong
KUCHING, March 18: The State government’s inclusive policies are to prepare and level up Sarawak for an equitable digital future where women are connected and not left behind as the world changes.
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that the question of gender does not arise in the digital economy, but instead who can command technology and have the required competency as Sarawak moves towards a digital future.
“The Sarawak government formulates inclusive policies because the future is no longer based on gender or race but it will depend on the ability of the individual. The thought can be quite scary but no one can escape this as we will be part and parcel of this future.
“Today, I want to share with you about gender equality based on knowledge and technology. If you want to achieve gender equality, it means he and she knows about technology because the future is digital and the transformation is now,” he said.
Abang Johari highlighted this at the opening ceremony of National Conference on Dayak Women: Dayak Women Making a Difference held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.
Furthermore, he pointed out that success is gender neutral given that more and more multinational companies now have capable women taking up top managerial roles like chief executive officer (CEO).
“That is the trend of the future. Sarawak is aiming to achieve this in 2030 through its Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) with focus on knowledge which transcends race.
“And education is still the key to make the difference, more so when it comes to technology and the digital future because if you don’t read and are clueless about technology, you are just going in blindly,” he added.
He also gave assurance that the Sarawak government has certain policies to upgrade all communities including Dayak women.
“To position Sarawak and our society for the future, we must look at energy, climate change and environment.
“We must also create a conducive environment including that of social for people to prosper within our economic agenda, where there are platforms for interactions and networkings to learn and create among people to move forward,” he said.
He gave an example of how a Chinese woman social entrepreneur Jacqueline Fong motivated the Penan women to produce handicrafts, buy them back and market the unique and exclusive products including exporting them outside Sarawak.
“If rural women can network with urban women, they can expand their marketing sphere and at the same time, generate income and make changes for rural women.
“Believe me, we will move forward with our own formula. With that, we need talent development which is most vital and I believe this forum will become a platform for us to produce new ideas and strategies to level up our present status.
“So for the betterment of Dayak women and Sarawak as a whole, let us work together and move faster ahead from where we are now,” he urged.
Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Agriculture Modernisation and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Tan Sri Empiang Jabu Research Chair Prof Datuk Jayum Jawan and Sarakup Indu Dayak Sarawak chairperson Dato Ir Alice Jawan Empaling were present. — DayakDaily