By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Nov 5: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth proposed today the setting up of a Sarawak Youth Development Fund as startup capital for those aged 40 years and below to kickstart business or entrepreneurship projects.
PBB Youth chairman Gerald Rentap Jabu said this followed the State Budget 2019 announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg this morning, where he announced six thrusts to strengthen the state’s economy.
“We are particularly interested in one of the thrusts, which is investment-driven economic growth. It requires the private sector to help boost competitiveness and strengthen our economy.
“Looking at the situation now, the state is in the midst of implementing a digital economy, and we want to give opportunities to our youths. So, I will, in my debate speech later, propose to the state government to set up a Sarawak Youth Development Fund,” he told a press conference at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building here today.
Gerald explained that with such a Fund, those ages 40 and below would have the opportunity to be offered micro-financing or kickstart funds from the state government to carry out their projects or businesses, especially in the field of digital economy.
He said this initiative was important because there would be fewer people or officers manning the front desk in future.
This means digital apps or programmes would be taking over front desk jobs. But before that, expertise would be needed to develop these apps and programmes, especially those involving e-commerce and e-businesses concerning payment.
“This is something important, and I think we need to develop it now because with the new world scenario in terms of digital economy, in 10 years’ time, for example, we might not see any officers or people manning the desks.
“You have to be your own. So, this is a starting point for that, to provide opportunities for digital entrepreneurs to provide their services and expertise,” said Gerald.
On the same note, Gerald also lauded the state budget announcement for being very rural centric, and especially the idea by Abang Johari to be able to come up with a new stream of income by imposing the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO), which enables the state to charge five per cent sales tax on petroleum-based products.
He said this would contribute at least RM3.7 billion to the state’s revenues and gives the government the ability to carry out development programmes and rural development projects. — DayakDaily