Abang Johari warns manpower shortage may worsen due to Nusantara’s devt

Abang Johari (fifth left) receives a memento from Dr Ripin while other dignitaries look on.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

MIRI, June 12: With many developments ongoing in Sarawak, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg warns that the worker shortage may worsen especially concerning Indonesian workers following the relocation of Indonesia’s capital to Nusantara.

He said Sarawak is experiencing a shortage of workers to meet demand, adding that the majority of locals do not want to work in the construction sector such as the Pan Borneo Highway project.

“The prices of construction materials have increased but we can address the issue by increasing variation order. But what about the issue of shortage of workers?

“The oil palm plantation sector has been complaining about worker shortage. However, we cannot continue to depend on the Indonesian workers to work in our plantation because they would shift to work in their own country following the development of Nusantara, the new capital of Indonesia,” he said.

He said this when speaking at the Lambir Gawai Raya 2022 event and launching of the Integrated Community Centre (Phase 2) project in Taman Jelita held at Marriot Hotel in Miri earlier tonight (June 12).

Abang Johari further said that with Sarawak’s population at 2.8 million, the State is also facing a decline in its birth rate for the years 2020 and 2021.

“We hope to see our population increase. If there are too many elderly, it will not be good also. Because we need the youths who can use technology.

“If we are able to increase our population, our labour will not be a problem. Because we have many developments so unemployment is not a problem,” he elaborated.

At the event, Abang Johari approved a RM24 million allocation for the implementation of seven projects requested by Lambir assemblyman Dr Ripin Lamat.

The projects are the third phase of construction for Integrated Community Centre Project (PICC) at Taman Jelita at a cost of RM5 million, followed by the construction of a new tamu (traditional open-air market) at Taman Tunku (RM 6 million), the upgrading of St Bernadette Church at Bekenu Junction (RM2.5 million), construction of a new mosque at Royal Malay Regiment Camp (RM3.5 million), construction of a multipurpose hall at the Lapangan Terbang Miri housing area including a badminton and basketball court (RM2 million) and extensions for two new longhouses for Bukit Kisi folk.

Abang Johari also said he will instruct the Sarawak Public Works Department (PWD) to give estimates to upgrade the single carriageway road from Luak Esplanade to Sepupok into a dual carriageway.

Amongst those present were Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister-cum-Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin; Tourism Deputy Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew; Public Health and Housing Deputy Minister Datu Dr Penguang Manggil; Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni; Dr Ripin; and Pujut assemblyman Adam Yii Siew Sang. — DayakDaily