CM: Sarawak to emulate Singapore to open its door to foreign digital experts

Abang Johari delivering his remarks at the closing ceremony of IDECS 2020 at BCCK today. In the background is Sarawak’s logo in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Oct 7: Sarawak will emulate Singapore to open its door to foreign digital experts to develop its digital economy, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Towards that end, he emphasised that Sarawak needs to be flexible in its policy to allow foreign digital experts to enable Sarawak to further develop its digital economy.

“I agreed with the panellists that sometimes we have to open our door to experts to come over to Sarawak. Singapore did that. Singapore opens its door to experts from through the world. And that is where Singapore is today.

“Of course there is a political issue here. But if we have the will and power to transform Sarawak into a global player because digitally you are part and parcel of the whole world landscape.

“And therefore under that circumstances, we have actually done our job in order to lead ourselves with the rest of the world,” Abang Johari said in his closing remarks at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2020 held at Borneo Convention Centre, Kuching (BCCK) here today.

Earlier, former State Secretary Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani suggested that Sarawak to allow “digital nomads” or foreign digital experts to assist Sarawak in its digital transformation.

This he said, could be done by allowing these digital technologists be given temporary visas to Sarawak with a duration of between six months to one year, to lend their expertise to develop Sarawak.

On related issue, the Chief Minister pointed out that in order for Sarawak to move forward in digital economy, the state will embark aggressively on its digital infrastructure.

On the importance of English language, Abang Johari emphasised that even though Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, Sarawak has adopted English as its second official language.

“We cannot deny the fact that the language of technology is the international language which is English. That is why we the Sarawak government’s decision is, while it is mandatory to use Bahasa Malaysia which is our national language, we must also encouraged our young to master the English language.

“You just imagine today, all the panellists were speaking in English. If you don’t understand what they are saying, you feel you are somewhere in the world because you cannot comprehend what they are talking about.

“This technology language which I think is still English and we have to encourage our people to master English. That’s where our education system in Sarawak where we have to be flexible if we want to become a state that is going towards digital economy,” he added.

In his closing remarks, Abang Johari introduced Sarawak’s very own logo in its fight against Covid-19 pandemic with its tagline “Good Environment, Heathy Living, Virus-less” with an orangutan as its main mascot. — DayakDaily