By Karen Bong and Christopher Lidom
KUCHING, Sept 17: Sarawak is actively managing its finances with great prudence, which has enabled the government to flex its “strong financial muscle” to pour out nearly RM6.6 billion in assistance to help the people and industries cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy.
Highlighting this, Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg stressed on the importance of initiating the sovereign wealth fund which is to ensure any surplus funds will be saved and managed prudently and professionally for the future of Sarawak.
“We must save, given the fluctuations in the economic cycle, sometimes it goes up and sometimes it goes down which will require intervention. And those with strong financial muscle are able to face the unprecedented challenges such as the pandemic.
“Throughout the pandemic, the Sarawak government has spent RM5.8 billion of its own fund, apart from the funds allocated by the Federal government. Just last month, I disbursed another RM1 billion to assist Sarawakians and industries such as small enterprises and the construction sector in particular to cope with the impact on the economy.
“If we don’t have the money, I don’t think we can do BKSS but thank God we are able to roll out the assistance because we have managed our finance prudently as far as Sarawak is concerned,” he said when addressing the InvestSmart @Sarawak 2022 by Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia held at VivaCity Megamall here today, referring to the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang aid.
Abang Johari also encouraged Sarawakians to save and grow their income through smart investments.
With that, he welcomed the SC Malaysia to educate and empower the public, especially the youth, about investments as well as other avenues or new investment instruments which can help investors get reasonable returns.
Noting the investment scams and frauds in social media that normally involved promises of big payouts, quick money and high returns with little or no risk, Abang Johari advised people to be suspicious and vigilant.
“Refer to Bank Negara for guidance so that you don’t end up becoming a victim. It will cause not only individual problems but could affect the union of the family,” he said.
He hopes the public will always be aware of this because in social media, there is no physical interaction between the investor and providers of financial services and products.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and SC chairman Dato Sri Dr Awang Adek Hussin were among those present at the event. — DayakDaily