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BINTULU, March 9: Establishing the Sarawak Medical Innovation and Technology Hub (SMITH) in Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu represents another watershed moment for Sarawak’s medical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.
Deputy Minister of Education and Innovation Dr Annuar Rapaee stated that the establishment of SMITH would enable the country to produce more health and medical products, thereby reducing its reliance on imported equipment and medicines.
“I once told the Premier of Sarawak (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) that we (Sarawak), including Sabah and Kalimantan, have yet to have a developed pharmaceutical industry.
“We cannot produce the essential medicines and equipment that we need.
“I raised to him (Abang Johari) the disadvantages and dangers of being too dependent on imported drugs, especially for treatments,” he said when representing Abang Johari to officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony for SMITH in Tanjung Kidurong here on Monday (March 7).
Dr Annuar emphasised that the construction of SMITH is timely because it will serve as a vital hub as a medicines provider in the future, particularly in East Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the Sarawak government recognised the critical importance of establishing and developing this hub in order to position SMITH as a focal point for the development of the medical and pharmaceutical industries in this region and throughout Sarawak.
In addition, SMITH will expand the nursing training to produce more trained nurses in the State with capabilities comparable to those in developed countries.
S2S Global president Collin C Bain, Sarawak Economic Development Corridor (SEDC) general manager Abdul Hadi Datuk Abdul Kadir and Arrow Medsource Group founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Kevin Teng were also present. — DayakDaily