Sarawak Premier envisions free education for all Sarawakian students up to tertiary level by 2030

Abang Johari (second right) at a town hall session with Sarawak civil servants at a hotel here today (Sept 28, 2022). Photo credit: Sarawak Information Department

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Sept 28: Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg claims that by 2030, all Sarawakian students would have access to free education up to the tertiary level.

Abang Johari made the remarks during a townhall session with Sarawak civil servants at a hotel here today.

He revealed that the offer of free education was part of his aspirations by the year 2030.

“The money to provide for free education will be generated using a sovereign wealth fund, which would be proposed during the November meeting of the State assembly.

“We will manage our revenue prudently and what we will keep for the future,” he said, adding that it will be based on a Norwegian formula.

“Thirty per cent of the yearly revenue will be for equity and the rest saved — which could generate more income,” he said.

He went on to say that students at five state-affiliated institutions of higher education would be able to enrol in the degree programmes for which they had applied because their university admissions are not subject to approval by the Central University Admission Unit (UPU).

Among them are the Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak campus in Miri, the Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak campus in Kuching, the University of Technology Sarawak in Sibu, and the Post-graduates Centre at the Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) Sarawak in Kuching.

“Swinburne University has agreed to establish a law school that will offer courses on native customary rights (NCR) land and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63),” Abang Johari revealed.

He continued stating that the university’s senate in Australia has approved the State government’s proposal for the university to establish a law faculty.

“The offer of courses on NCR land and MA63 will be the first by any university in Malaysia.

“We want to see the study on NCR land to be done professionally, not rhetorically. We want to know how the NCR land existed,” he added.

Also present were Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Sarawak State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Minister for Women, Childhood, and Community Wellbeing Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, Minister of Education, Innovation, and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai, and Sarawak Attorney General Dato Talat Mahmud. — DayakDaily