Put forth education and training, CM urges Sarawakians as state moves towards IR4.0

Taib (left) and Abang Johari (right) inspecting the parade on an open-cabin jeep.

MIRI, Oct 12: Education and training of Sarawak’s human resources is of utmost importance to prepare the state for an economy geared towards Industry 4.0 (IR4.0).

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg thus urged Sarawakians to put forth the importance of education and knowledge gaining so that they would be able to catch up with others while the state is moving towards IR4.0 and digital economy.

“The world is fast moving towards the digitalisation of everything; the economy, education, training, etc. If we don’t start now, the world will leave us behind,” he addressed the 83rd birthday celebration of Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud here this morning.

Taib (centre) flanked by Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib on his left and Abang Johari on his right waving the Sarawak flags.

As Sarawak geared towards digitising its economy while moving towards IR4.0, Abang Johari reiterated that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government will focus on four main thrusts to catalyst the state’s economy to become a developed state by the year 2030.

For the coming 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), he said Sarawak’s best option would be to transform its agriculture by using the latest technologies and smart practices with the ultimate aim of making Sarawak a net exporter of food by 2030.

“The use of Internet Of Things (IoT) to develop precision farming is fast emerging where farm chores like dispensing of fertiliser and water, control of temperature and humidity are all precise in terms of timing and quantity to optimise production,” he explained.

Abang Johari delivering his speech.

The second best option, he continued, would be to strengthen Sarawak’s tourism and services by focusing on various industries such as health care or wellness, culture and nature.

He emphasised that the state government will be giving its full attention to develop the tourism industry as a half-hearted approach would not yield the desired results.

In this respect, he shared that the state government is studying the possibility of enhancing its air connectivity.

“We also cannot hope to transform our economy if we don’t develop our road and Internet infrastructures, water and electricity supplies, and upgrade our ports and ports services,” he said, adding that Sarawak must be well-connected by roads and the Internet infrastructure must be supported by 5G services.

“These will be pursued aggressively under the 12MP as the construction of more roads, bridges and communication facilities are scheduled to take off the ground,” he stressed.

Taib (on red carpet) inspecting the parade at Miri Stadium.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari also revealed that Sarawak is expected to record an economic growth of up to 5 per cent by the end of this year.

“Being an open economy, Sarawak’s economy is much affected by what is happening globally and at the national level. In 2019, we expect our economic growth to be between 4.5 to 5 per cent supported by an improved trade performance in the first seven months of this year,” he explained.

“The increase in volume of trade and positive trade balance indicates the vibrancy of our economy which is further strengthened by the increase in public spending to build our infrastructures, public utilities and amenities,” he said.

He added that this showed that Sarawak was able to move by itself in its own mould to become a developed state by the year 2030.

“Sarawakians are dignified people who are capable of charting their own future and determine their own destiny like any other people who are already successful,” he said.— DayakDaily