CM: Sarawakians will excel in digital economy agenda

Abang Johari listens to a briefing from a student from SMK Pujut Miri, whose product has won the golden award under the secondary school students category.

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Oct 23: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is confident that Sarawakians can compete in the challenging and competitive global market in today’s economy.

Complemented with the abundant resources in Sarawak and government policy to empower human capital, the chief minister described the younger generations as a “talented, hard working lot” that will succeed in developing Sarawak in the new, advanced economy.

Citing some big and successful names in digital economy such as E-Bay and Alibaba, he believed that Sarawakians too can excel in digital economy.

“What’s important is for the education system to create critical thinking among our students to be able to ask critical questions as to why certain things happened the way it is.

“Students too must find solutions to weaknesses. This was the reason why we (Sarawak government) set up the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research,” he said at the Sarawak Invention, Innovation and Design Expo (SIIDEX) 2019 at CIDB Convention Centre, here, today.

Abang Johari (fourth left) and other dignitaries having a group photo with students of SMK Tebedu, who won the competition based on their ‘smart working stick’ innovation product.

Abang Johari also pinned his hope on students to prefer science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), so that they could help develop Sarawak.

“To excel like other developed countries such as Germany, Japan and Korea, we must master science and mathematics. We must encourage our young people to master STEM subjects,” he said.

Meanwhile, Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said knowledge and innovation are the twin pillars around which nations will compete to grow and prosper in the 21st century.

“In the context of Sarawak, innovation is critical because we have been left behind and we have to leapfrog to catch up with others. The only way we can leapfrog to a status of a developed state is by using innovation as the ladder,” he said.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) rector, Prof Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali, said a total of 128 products competed in SIIDEX 2019, including 26 entries from schools.

Competiting products included arduino products, automation, electrical and electronics, biotechnology, agriculture, cosmetic, teaching and learning applications, waste management, food production and applications development. — DayakDaily