Don’t be satisfied as ‘jaguh kampung’: Premier urges youths to aim beyond local success, focus on STEM subjects

Abang Johari (centre) signing a plaque to mark the opening of SJK(C) Chiaw Nan Miri on July 11, 2024. Photo credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

MIRI, July 11: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has urged young Sarawakians not to settle with being “jaguh kampung” (village champion) and aim to become world champions in today’s global landscape.

Emphasising the importance of a knowledgeable society, Abang Johari highlighted the need for students to focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, which he noted are still lacking in Sarawak.


“Sarawak remains weak in STEM subjects, with only 30 per cent of students engaging in fields such as mathematics, physic, biology, chemistry and information technology (IT),” he stated during the SJK(C) Chiaw Nan inauguration ceremony at the school premises in Taman Tunku which was streamed live via Ukas today.

As Sarawak advances towards a green and new economy in its transformative journey, including innovations in microchips and hydrogen, Abang Johari stressed the necessity of equipping children with the latest knowledge and skills to position Sarawak with competitive edge within Malaysia and on a regional scale.

“This requires a workforce proficient in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, which are foundational for a technology-based economy. We must prepare our children in these critical subjects to ensure continued development in Sarawak.

Abang Johari also commended Sarawak’s achievements in the arts, noting that recent competitions in California saw three Sarawakians winning gold medals.

“We are no longer just Miri’s champion; we are champions of the world,” he said.

He also observed that more Bumiputera families are enrolling their children in Chinese schools, as they recognised the importance of mastering multiple languages, including Mandarin, for a competitive edge in today’s globalised world.

“Proficiency in multiple languages will benefit our children, especially in trade and commerce. For instance, if we sell palm oil to China, effective communication in Mandarin is essential.

“The key is to continually seek knowledge, even from China. Parents should dedicate time to nurture their children’s future,” he called on.

Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Deputy Minister of Entreprenuer Development Datuk Ripin Lamat, Deputy Minister of Woman and Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus and organising committee chairman cum School Board deputy chairman Dato Hii King Chiong were present. — DayakDaily