Bank Negara gives a nod to Sarawak Pay

Abang Johari (fourth left) presents a song with his ministers and assistant ministers at Forum Belia Tegas 2017 at BCCK today.

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KUCHING: The state government obtained the green light from Bank Negara to implement ‘Sarawak Pay’ just a week ago.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the new initiative will be implemented next year, where the government will first experiment with the business establishment through Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

He said the application will then be trialed in Kuching, where it would slowly become the mode of payment in Sarawak.

Abang Johari said this while speaking to the youth at Forum Belia Tegas 2017 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) today.

When further probed by the media, Abang Johari said Sarawak Pay is a form of payment service which can be made through software application.

He said for a start, Sarawakians can make payment for government services such as land rate and assessment fees through Sarawak Pay.

Earlier in September, Abang Johari announced that the state will set up a digital payment or e-wallet system to boost the take-up of cashless financial transactions as well as strengthen the state’s development of financial technology.

Sarawak would be collaborating with Chinese ICT solutions and services giant Huawei to develop the digital payment platform, he said.

He also revealed that the system will be linked to neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Thailand and China.

Abdullah Saidol and Abdul Karim having a good time at Forum Belia Tegas 2017 at BCCK today

Meanwhile, to leapfrog Sarawak into the digital economy, Abang Johari told the forum that the 2018 state budget which he is going to table in November will include RM500 million to set up the digital infrastructure.

He said this RM500 million will be part of the RM1 billion which he had allocated to establish the state’s digital economy.

Among the purposes for the RM500 million will be for the building of signal towers which he said would take two to three years to implement.

Also present were Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Corporate Affairs Assistant Minister Abdul Saidol, Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Assistant Minister Dazu Len Talif, Demak Laut assemblyman Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian and Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.