China-US spat no issue for Sarawak in technology collaboration with Huawei — CM

Centre for Asia Leadership president Samuel Kim from Harvard University (centre) presenting some tokens of appreciation to Abang Johari (second left) after the closing of the Asia Leadership Forum 2019.

KUCHING, May 10: Despite the recent spat between China’s communications giant Huawei and the US, Sarawak will continue to embrace Huawei for its cutting edge telecommunications and communications technology, particularly in 5G.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg explained how Sarawak was lacking in development and infrastructures, particularly digital infrastructure, and the need to acquire expertise and technologies from various sources like China’s Huawei to be a developed state by the year 2030.

“We are not interested in the politics between Huawei and the US, we are only interested in their (Huawei) technology,” he said when closing the Second Asia Leadership Forum 2019 at BCCK here today.

Speakers from Harvard University including US Director of American Secretaries of State Projects Eugene Kogan were present.

Abang Johari speaking at the closing of the 2nd Asia Leadership Forum.
Abang Johari (left) presenting a token of appreciation to Kogan.

Abang Johari added that for the state to move forward, it had to collaborate with other developed nations including China and Singapore.

“Because collaboration is important for us to reach out to our market, we are collaborating with Singapore Net for our online payment system Sarawak Pay. Only last month I witnessed a signing of a collaboration agreement between Sarawak Pay and Union Pay of China.

“It is not easy because you have to establish the ecosystem in technology. We are lacking in terms of digital infrastructure, at the same time we have to develop the talent,” he said.

He added that of all the other countries in this region, Sarawak had an advantage in its natural resources, which included oil and gas, and sustainable power.

“The question is how do we translate those resources into our strength in terms of advantage for us to reach out to our market. That is where I feel that talent development and education is the key, and command of language is important.

“We must be able to understand how to operate the technologies. The manuals are all in English, so we have to be able to know how to read and speak English,” he said.

That was why, he added, Sarawak took up the challenge from the Federal Education Minister Maszlee Malik for Sarawak schools to teach Science and Mathematics in English.

“And thank God for Sarawak, one of our official languages is still English. We have not deviated from that,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily