No gender bias in digital economy, IR 4.0 — Abg Jo

Abang Johari making his point during the dialogue session.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Aug 23: There is no gender bias in digital economy and Industrial Revolution 4.0 based on artificial intelligence, where everyone has equal opportunity to succeed.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said in this new advanced technology era, gender is not in the equation. It is the ability to produce results.

He said this in response to the six women panelist after a dialogue session on Women Leadership Training Program (WLTP) – Voices to be Heard at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching today.

Among the concern raised by the panelist from various sectors included the role of women in decision making in the political and economic sphere, as well as number of female lawmakers, the role of young women to shape the state’s future direction.

The panels also discussed issues for the special needs group or people with disabilities, old age and their needs, as well as assistance for women entrepreneurs.

“I admit that we have not achieved the 30 per cent target of women in the decision making level, as required by the United Nations that women should be part of law making decisions, or as parliamentarian in the country and state.

“However, we have achieved some 25 to 28 per cent on this matter and I am optimistic that in the future, this will be achievable because I believe that women can lead and become the country leaders,” he said.

Abang Johari (centre) receiving a memento from Fatimah, while others look on.

Abang Johari said women are gradually taking their places in the corporate world and that many women in Malaysia are holding high, important positions. Even the Bank Negara has a women governor, he added, while making reference to Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Touching on digital economy and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the chief minister said the youths, irrespective of their gender, can always be trained and exposed in many relevant fields to become quality human capital contributing to nation building.

Abang Johari said he believed in meritocracy, where qualified and deserving individuals ought to lead and given the opportunity to do so.

“We can produce quality human capital through exposure and training, Even those pursuing business, they need to know basic accounting the least including local and global market demands.

“If a person, who had the ability to succeed, able to stand on their two feet and can excel, then the government will definitely help and give the necessary assistance. If we have sustainable knowledge, then we are able to become self-reliance and sustain our life in the future,” he continued.

On people with special needs, Abang Johari said there are many areas of expertise to excel. The state government was also looking to train individuals to be experts in helping the disabled groups.

He added that the state was also looking to introduce schemes to aid the senior citizens, such as insurance with premium paid by the government.

“We have already given financial grant and assistance for newly born in the state and it will ease their financial burden when they reach 18, for education or to start their own capital.

“So, we can also help to assist the old age. We have to call for fund experts to look into this.”

Abang Johari said the state will also look at the plight of women entrepreneurs. The state has a special start up capital of RM5,000 for women entrepreneurs and would consider providing more financial assistance to those who excel in their businesses.

Welfare, Community Well Being, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah was present. — DayakDaily