‘Lawas on the right track to development’

Abang Johari hitting the digital drum to symbolically launch Berdundun Digital. Also seen on stage are (from left) Talib, Len Talif, Sharifah Hasidah and Awang Tengah.

KUCHING, Aug 6: Lawas will be developed in three to five years when all basic infrastructure including digital infrastructure are put in place.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that the future for Lawas is bright but there was a need to heighten public awareness about advancing the Internet economy to move Sarawak forward.

“We want to encourage e-commerce activities because Sarawak has vast land expanse but a small population of 2.8 million people only. As such, we need to go for digital economy to develop our state,” he said during the launching of the Berdundun Digital programme in Lawas today.

Lawas, he added, has projects that will positively impact the people including roads as well as water and electricity supplies.

“As for water supply, hopefully it will be done in three years. There will be no problem with new piping as the state government has provided allocations to replace the old pipes,” he explained.

“After this, we will build the roads. This mean after three to five years, we will have the latest infrastructure (in place) including telco towers,” he added.

The state government, he reiterated, was targeting to build 300 telco towers across Sarawak including Limbang and another 300 more towers planned for next year.

“When we upgrade the Internet connectivity, expand road networks, enhance water and electricity supplies (which are all in progress), we want our children to have the right education and latest knowledge.

“What the state government is doing today is for the future of our children. It is for you. I am getting old and the young Sarawakians will take over from me. What we do now is for you,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that the state government is work hard to creating a good ecosystem with new policies for the common good of all people.

With all the infrastructures completed, he stressed that rural residents whether in farming, handicrafts-making or other cultural initiatives, will be able to market their products and services as well as reach out to a wider market both domestically and internationally no matter they were.

“Advanced and digital technology have changed the way we lived and worked. In agricultural farming, we can control the irrigation system to water the crops using our smartphones while farmers and entrepreneurs can manage their orders to be delivered anywhere in the world, also with their smartphones,” he said.

“For example, to sell tahai fish from Lawas or Kuala Lawas, you just need to post it up online with the pricing. Customers can place their order and transactions can be done with Sarawak Pay,” he elaborated.

This is e-commerce, he emphasised, which is the new way to trade and generate economic activities.

Abang Johari added that Sarawak must catch up with the Industrial Revolution 4.0 wave or Sarawak and its people will be stuck while others continue to make progress and move foward.

“So Let’s ‘berdundun’ (assemble) together in using digital technology to improve our lives while the young generation should go and explore new fields. The future of Sarawak will be bright in a better climate,” he concluded.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister in The Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip and Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali were among those present. — DayakDaily