Malays urged to embrace technological, economic advancement to progress

Abang Johari (second right) and Deputy Chief Minister and the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Amanah Khairat Yayasan Budaya Melayu Sarawak (AKYBMS) Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan looking at an exhibition held in conjunction with the 7th Sarawak Malay Cultural Seminar in Kuching.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 1: The Malay community must shift from ‘Buku 333’ to ‘smartphone economy’ to further advance their economic transformation in the digital era, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the concept ‘Buku 333’ has long been outdated and the whole community should embrace the latest technology to progress.

“What I mean by shifting from ‘Buku 333’ to ‘smartphone economy’ is that we must embrace technology and modern economy,” he told the media after closing the 7th Sarawak Malay Cultural Seminar held at a hotel here yesterday.

Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari said he as the chief minister of Sarawak must be fair to other communities.

“As good Muslims, we must be guided by the principles and tenets of Islam. Then our efforts will be blessed by Allah and we will not go astray from our focus and intentions.

“And in so doing, we must also be fair to all races, especially in Sarawak, where we are living in a diverse and plural society,” he said.

He also assured the Malay community that the state government has implemented many initiatives to elevate the socio-economic development of the community, including housing, infrastructure, education, business and economy.

“We will continue with our efforts to transform the whole state. In the coming Budget Speech which I will table in the DUN (State Legislative Assembly) this Monday, it will be the biggest in our history. So, I hope our community must participate in developing the state through this biggest allocation such as the construction of coastal roads, plus bridges, that will cost RM6 billion, the first phase of the water grid system to address the shortage of water in stressed areas (RM2.8 billion), electricity supply (RM2.3 billion) and digital infrastructure such as telecommunication towers with an allocation of RM1 billion,” he revealed.

He assured Sarawakians that the huge allocation will not be taken from its reserve but from a new source of income which he will announce in his Budget Speech.

“They (opposition) said that we will make use of our reserves. But I can assure you that we will not touch our reserves but instead we will find a new source of revenue based on the Federal Government’s financial obligation under Article 112 (D) of the Federal Constitution,” he revealed.

On another issue, the Chief Minister said the state government will allocate RM40 million as seed capital for newborn babies, starting next year for their education.

“But the money will only could be withdrawn when the child reach 18. This is to make sure that they can further their education to tertiary level,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari warned the Malay community against any religious extremist groups from outside Sarawak which could create division among the community as well as animosity towards people of various races and regions in the state. — DayakDaily