By Karen Bong
MIRI, Dec 15: Sarawak is the Malaysian state of choice among foreign investors, having received the highest total of foreign direct investment (FDI) at RM15.8 billion in the first nine months of 2020.
When pointing this out, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that this achievement was possible due to the state’s harmony, political stability, and inclusive policies.
He cited a report by UOB Global Economics and Markets Research which highlighted that East Malaysia attracted the highest investment in manufacturing in the first nine months of 2020 with Sarawak at the top with RM15.81 billion and Sabah with RM11.86 billion.
The report also revealed that the East Malaysian states attracted more than one-third of the overall manufacturing investment in the country.
“This way, our economy will gain in momentum and everybody will benefit including the Orang Ulu which is why you have the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce (and Industry).
“This is a different era. This is the current situation of Sarawak and we are thankful to our past leaders for setting a strong foundation to enable the state to develop,” he asserted during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of buildings of the Federation of Orang Ulu Associations Sarawak Malaysia (Forum) here today.
On the overall development in Sarawak including in highland areas, Abang Johari emphasised that long-term planning is the key to ensure prosperity across the whole of Sarawak including accessibility to basic utilities such as water and electricity supply as well as telecommunication infrastructure.
“We will definitely improve basic facilities from time to time. We won’t stop and it will continue. Whoever becomes the chief executive of the state, he has to do it. The person after me and continuously (sic) because development is an evolution process.
“Such as these buildings for Forum, I have approved RM25 million for the first phase and certainly, we will work to find (more revenue) for the second phase,” he pledged, while reminding the Orang Ulu community to remain united.
Abang Johari reiterated that Sarawak will always come first as long as Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) is the ruling government.
“With our resources, we can develop our state as even now we in GPS are thinking about setting up a sovereign fund because we believe that we will get some more revenue and this revenue must be for the future of Sarawakians.
“We need to manage these funds professionally and hence, I have instructed relevant officers to study this matter based on the model of Norway. It is too early for me to reveal (more details) but at least we have a direction towards managing our extra funds,” he said, expressing hope that all Sarawakians will benefit from the long-term policies of the GPS state government.
Forum advisor and its building committee chairman Datuk Gerawat Gala, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth ad Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Assistant Minister of Women and Early Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus, Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat, Forum president Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau and Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang were among those present. — DayakDaily