Industry, business leaders attend dialogue on digital economy

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (fifth left) and state ministers in a photo-call after a dialogue session with industry and business leaders on Sarawak Digital Economy.

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s vision of a booming digital economy for Sarawak took another step closer to realisation following a dialogue session today with industry and business leaders with regards to the state government’s Digital Economy initiatives.

The 17 areas discussed were legislation and governance; digital government; digital data; cyber security; digital infrastructure; agriculture; tourism; manufacturing; e-commerce and services; health; physical infrastructure and utilities; housing and urban development; transport, logistics and supply chain; talent management; digital village; centre of excellence; and community digital gap.

The dialogue session also covered the state government’s move towards rule-based governance, principles, policies, processes and procedures in driving Sarawak’s digital economy.

Abang Johari said: “Because we want to build a world-class ICT infrastructure for Sarawak, it is necessary that the state government take the lead in driving the development of the physical ICT infrastructure, rather than leaving our future to commercial operators and service providers and at the pace and at the mercy of others.”

He added that if the state cannot achieve commercial viability, then it will pursue economic feasibility as there is a need to move the economy into remote areas where none has dared to go before.

“We shall embark and embrace state-of-the-art technology in data transmission – the Optical Transport Network at Edge – to spur the growth of Sarawak’s economy.”

On the other hand, to manage specifications and implementation for the needs of Sarawak, and setting of rules, regulations and policies, the state needs to set up its own Sarawak Multimedia and Communications Authority (SMCA)

He said the legislation for SMCA will be tabled in the State Assembly sitting in November this year.

Abang Johari emphasised that the digital economy will create an entirely new dimension of development and growth for Sarawak by creating new jobs for young people in both urban centres and rural areas, transforming the way they live and do business.