CM gives approval to boost LSD’s manpower in engineering, R&D

Abang Johari (third right) activates a gimmick to officially open LSD Sarawak's Innovation and Integrity Day 2020 celebration. Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) broadcast.

By Karen Bong

LAWAS, Sept 29: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has approved the Land and Survey Department (LSD) Sarawak’s request for additional manpower to strengthen its Engineering as well as Research and Development (R&D) sections.

Stressing on the importance of R&D to improve and further develop an organisation, he urged LSD Sarawak to explore the convergence of big data that can be analysed and leveraged upon to increase efficiency and productivity.

“I’m someone who believes in R&D. If we want to develop, we need to do research and it has to be holistic. So for land administration, like it or not, we have to do a lot of research in terms of information systems (IS).

“It (IS) is the key to decide on many of the processes. For this sector, you may have to explore on the convergence of data which will give the big data. In other words, you cannot be isolated,” he highlighted at LSD Sarawak’s Innovation and Integrity Day 2020 celebration here today.

Much research will need to be done, he said, to explore and determine the right system and software to sift through the mass of data compiled which will be the basis of work processes such as approving a project plan for a particular locality.

With revenue engineered from State Sales Tax (SST), Abang Johari pointed out that extra annual earnings will be ploughed back into developing the state especially using technology.

“We got roughly RM3.1 billion (from Petronas and subsidiaries, and other oil companies operating in Sarawak) for one year. If we have this amount of revenue for five years, that’s already RM15 billion additional (if) based on the present global oil price.

“But I believe we can increase the revenue. So I agree with the expansion of manpower for the Engineering and R&D Units (of LSD Sarawak) but they should be of quality especially (in being) technology literate,” he added.

Abang Johari said that the State Planning Authority (SPA) gave emphasis on systematic planning whereby urban planning must take into account various aspects including population, traffic systems and integration.

“In this matter, I think your R&D has to be there. Today, we don’t need to create a physical model of a city, but a 3D visual in which components can be added on, say, planning for the next five to 10 years.

“And through simulation, we can see or visualise the city and it becomes, roughly, a general masterplan which can be used to identify the size of land, density, building structures so that we can build a beautiful city,” he elaborated.

With many cities in Sarawak still young, Abang Johari pointed out that they need to be based on organic growth and cannot be of concentrated settlement, apart from proper traffic and road systems.

These factors, he continued, have been taken into consideration in the planning for the construction of the coastal roads which must be linked to areas with potential growth such as in services like tourism and agriculture.

Touching on the potential of blockchains (accounting technology), Abang Johari recognised that collaborations along the chain of the state’s administration agencies were apt and crucial to deliver more efficient services to people.

“Other agencies must respond (to the collaboration) also because it will not work one-sided. This is what you call blockchain, it is the whole block. It will multiply along the value chain.

“This means that all agencies and departments must have approaches similar to LSD Sarawak. That’s why last year, I urged the Public Works Department (PWD) Sarawak to come out with their own chain,” he said.

With the blockchain solution, Abang Johari said it will change the civil service ecosystem to one which is more efficient, transparent and confident especially with the ease and speed in interaction along the chain.

“Furthermore, it could help reduce the cost to implement a project because it is the ‘ding-dong-ding-dong’ (back-and-forth, or unnecessary processes) that pushes the cost up and the loss in time. With collaborations, you can implement the project efficiently with less cost,” he added.

Earlier on, LSD Sarawak director Abdullah Julaihi has requested the state government to strengthen manpower in its Engineering and R&D section considering the increase in number and size of jobs given to SPA and SPK (Village Expansion Scheme). — DayakDaily