‘Sarawak can fast track its digital economy agenda if it secedes from Malaysia’

Erick Chin

KUCHING, Sept 26: Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S) is advocating that Sarawak must regain its sovereignty to fast track its technology and digital development agenda.

Its spokesperson Erick Chin reckoned that only after Sarawak wrested back its status as a nation would it be able to make decisions on expediting technology development by working with advanced countries such as China, the United States and Japan.

“If Sarawak is a nation on its own, it can bring about space development and digital technology from China, US and Japan into Sarawak; thus, bringing more development benefits to Sarawak, as a whole,” said Chin in a statement.

S4S was responding to a recent statement made by China aerospace expert Huang Chunping, who was formerly the rocket systems consultant for the Chinese Manned Space Programme.

Huang commented that Sarawak’s location on the equatorial made it a strategic location for rocket launches. He added that if a rocket launch station could be set up in Sarawak, it would make Sarawak proud. In addition, if an Asean cloud centre could be built in Sarawak, it would mean faster computer and digital development for the state.

Chin said presently China and the US were competing for influence within the South China Sea region, and Sarawak, which is strategically placed, would be a place of contention for both super powers.

However, Chin pointed out that as the sovereignty of Sarawak had been taken over by Malaysia, Sarawak could not initiate any direct negotiation with China or the United States to tap into their digital technology.

To Chin, development in computer and digital technology would bring about more vibrant business opportunities, including online businesses.

“The problem now is that Sarawak is under Malaysia. We are not even allowed to work together with Singapore or Hong Kong to speed up our digital connectivity. Everything must go through Putrajaya,” he claimed.

“For beneficial international projects, Putrajaya will take it first as Sarawak has lost its rights to make direct deals with other countries. This limits Sarawak’s opportunity and holds back the state from moving fast in developing its digital technology,” opined Chin.

He claimed that due to constraints imposed by Putrajaya, some Sarawakians could not even enjoy basic digital connectivity.

“Sarawak can only optimise its position in the South East Asia region if it regains its sovereignity as an independent nation,” Chin asserted. — DayakDaily