Premier: EU leaders to visit Sarawak next month

From left: Sharbini, Hii, Awang Tengah, Abang Johari, Abu Bakar and Dr Sim photographed during Sarawak GLC Leadership Forum 2024 in Langkawi on Jan 28, 2024.

LANGKAWI, Jan 29: European Union (EU) leaders are expected to visit Sarawak next month, says Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the guests would include ambassadors of EU countries and business figures.

“The EU ambassador said he studied our Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 and saw how serious we are about building a green economy in Sarawak,” he said when speaking at Sarawak GLC Leadership Forum 2024 at a local hotel in Langkawi yesterday (Jan 28).

Explaining at length about Sarawak’s strength in the realm of sustainability, Abang Johari pointed out that Sarawak with its vast renewable energy base had all the criteria to be a renewable energy hub in the region.

He acknowledged that the energy transition was not without skepticism from certain quarters but Sarawak must take the ‘calculated risk’ in order not to be left behind, particularly in the production and use of hydrogen as an emission-free fuel.

He expressed his confidence that a technology would be found to produce relatively cheap hydrogen as clean energy in as much as the manner a cell phone has evolved from a bulky size to palm-sized gadget.

Additionally, Abang Johari said development goals should not only be measured in terms of the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) but more importantly, whether the generation of the economy could benefit people across the board.

Citing some literature, he further said the United States of America’s economic recovery after the great recession between 2007 and 2009 were not as rosy as the figures portrayed, as a closer look indicated that 91 per cent of the increase in national income went to the top 1 per cent.

“So, for all Americans, there was no recovery and therefore, GDP figures were quite misleading and not a true measure of wealth,” he added.

He pointed out that this shortcoming in the GDP standard is what the PCDS 2030 would want to adequately address in the long-term to ensure inclusivity in wealth distribution for all the people of Sarawak in order for its developed State status to achieve its true meaning.

Also present were Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, Sarawak Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Sarawak Energy Berhad Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Sharbini Suhaili and Deputy Sarawak Secretary (Operations) Datu Hii Chang Kee. — DayakDaily