Premier promises to continue matching grant for IEM Sarawak’s bigger International Engineering Centre in Kota Samarahan

Janang (third right) presenting a souvenir of a painted portrait to Abang Johari (second right).

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Aug 13: The Sarawak government will continue to provide a one-to-one matching grant for Institute of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Sarawak Branch to realise its decade-long dream of establishing a bigger International Engineering Centre (IntEC) in Kota Samarahan that would serve as a regional hub not only for education, but also advancing engineering science and research.

At IEM Sarawak Branch annual dinner 2022 last night, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has reiterated its promise for the matching grant once construction for the facility commences.

“If you have RM5 million, I (will) give you RM5 million. If you collect RM10 million, I give you RM10 million.

“This (the facility) is very important for R&D (research and development) and also to improve on technology. We are no longer depending on foreign labour. We must embrace technology, robotic operations and beyond. I am very obsessed with R&D and that is the way for us to move forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, IEM Sarawak Branch chairman Dato Ir Janang Bungsu said that the plan for the new IntEC is gaining traction as it has finally received a confirmation letter from IEM Council with regards to IEM Sarawak’s property ownership last week.

“We were given six acres of land at Kota Samarahan by the Sarawak government for the establishment of the IntEC. There were sensitive issues on the plot of land that had stopped us from fulfilling the true purpose of IntEC. But these issues are now behind us.

“IEM Sarawak is determined to ensure that the IntEC is on track again to fulfill its true purpose as promised to the local engineering fraternity 10 years ago. Achieving this goal would be monumental for our beloved Sarawak and the local engineering fraternity,” he emphasised.

IntEC is currently located at the Isthmus Raintree Square in a shoplot building wholly owned by IEM Sarawak.

On top of that, Janang added that IEM Sarawak has also received a RM1 million grant from the Sarawak government beginning of this year.

As Sarawak strives towards becoming a developed and high income State by 2030, he emphasised that IEM will work closely with the Sarawak government to bridge the knowledge gap needed in order to exercise better technical competencies and professionalism to alleviate the escalation of costs, while improving timeliness in service delivery and providing quality products.

“Our goals conforms with one of the enablers of the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030, which is education and human capital.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with higher learning institutions, industrial players, government agencies, and our IEM headquarters affirmation to make the purpose and function of our centre more significant to the industry and Sarawak government,” he added.

Abang Johari’s wife Datuk Amar Jumaani Tuanku Bujang and Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian were among those present. — DayakDaily