Premier: Sarawak may provide free tertiary education by 2026

Abang Johari delivers his speech during Pesta Benak 2023 at Sri Aman Waterfront, Simanggang Town on Oct 1, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

By Shikin Louis

SRI AMAN, Oct 1: Sarawak may be able to fulfil its wish to provide free tertiary education to Sarawakians studying in any five State-owned institutions by 2026, says Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said he has instructed the Sarawak Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) to conduct a study on the feasibility of providing the free tertiary education initiative.

“Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee (Deputy Minister of MEITD) informed me that according to their study, insya-Allah, as long as Sarawak is led by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), I think under the 13th Malaysia Plan (13MP) in 2025 or 2026, we will roll out the free tertiary education for Sarawakians.

“I can commit this will be implemented by 2026 because I have projected that our economic strength will be even stronger in 2026,” he said when officiating at the Pesta Benak 2023 closing ceremony held at Sri Aman Waterfront today.

He also mentioned that Sarawak’s revenue for 2022 has recorded nearly RM12 billion, and it is expected that the revenue for this year will set a higher record.

He further said Sarawak has set up its sovereign wealth future fund, which would complement the implementation of the free tertiary education initiative.

For the record, Sarawak owns five learning institutions so far, namely Swinburne University, Curtin University, University of Technology Sarawak (UTS), i-Cats University College and Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (Centexs).

Also present were Abang Johari’s wife Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas; Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development II (Talent Development) Datuk Francis Harden Hollis who is also Simanggang assemblyman; Sri Aman MP Dato Sri Doris Sophia Brodie; and Sri Aman Division resident Abang Mohamad Porkan Abang Budiman. — DayakDaily