By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Oct 20: Sarawak must leapfrog towards an advanced digital economy to have an ecosystem for her people, especially the young and future generations, to thrive and flourish in, in the present rapidly evolving technology-driven era.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg stressed this when acknowledging the concerns of young and future graduates who are equipped with new knowledge and skills but are unable to find jobs.
“A student highlighted (during the Townhall Session) about the lack of job opportunities in new types of work such as in biotechnology, nanotechnology and even artificial intelligence (AI),” he said.
“That is because our economy is still conventional and not advanced (in order to create and offer new types of work across all industries),” he added.
He highlighted this in his address at the Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak 2019 dinner gathering held at Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) here last night (Oct 19).
As such, Abang Johari emphasised that it is time for Sarawak to undertake digital transformation towards achieving a high income state status by 2030.
“We will develop Sarawak using our anak Sarawak mould as we won’t rely and follow the national policy entirely,” he reiterated.
The state government, he disclosed, will continue to focus on developing Sarawak’s rich resources through four strategic sectors under the coming 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
“The four strategic sectors Sarawak would develop under the 12MP would be modern agriculture through technologies such as Internet of Things (loT); tourism and services including the wellness sector; infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity supply; and education especially tertiary education and training so our children are equipped with the knowledge to transform Sarawak,” he said.
“Other plans include urban renewal and improving public transportation so our cities can be on par with major cities in Malaysia,” he added.
He also highlighted that the three development agencies under Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) will focus on regional development.
“We will ensure more structured development for the whole of Sarawak.
“All these efforts are for Sarawakians and to provide job opportunities for our children. We cannot be isolated from the world,” he added.
Abang Johari highlighted the fact that the deep understanding among various races in Sarawak is a plus factor that must be nurtured so that the people will be able to work together towards achieving the goal of an advanced economy.
“We will work hard for our children so let’s work together to spur and move Sarawak forward,” he urged.
Earlier on, event organising chairperson Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing who is also Bintulu MP, pointed out it was important to have a platform for Sarawakian children to share their views and ideas and to gain insights into local issues closed to their hearts.
“This is to ensure that the future generation will understand and truly appreciate what they will inherit later on,” he said.
“The Town Hall with the Chief Minister was the most anticipated session of our children. This shows that we have never abandoned or neglected the voice of Sarawakian youth,” he added.
This gathering, Tiong emphasised, must become the base for Sarawakians to show their love and care for the state of Sarawak.
“Also, our children have to realise that whether backward or advanced, rich or poor, Sarawak is in our hands and on our shoulders,” he said.
Some 8,000 Sarawakians attended this year’s Lan Berambeh Anak Sarawak dinner gathering which was officiated at by Head of State Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib. Also present were Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders and lawmakers. — DayakDaily