Sarawak’s household income still low, despite being nation’s highest GDP contributor

KUCHING, July 28: While Sarawak is one of the largest contributors to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the reality is that its household income is still low at RM5,218 in 2019, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said.

Although Sarawak’s oil and gas revenue is a big contributor to the national income, he lamented that the average household income was still low because the industry did not provide adequate employment opportunities for Sarawakians.

“Sarawak will examine this shortcoming carefully and take action to rectify this situation. Therefore, among the economic focus for Sarawak after Covid-19 is to develop our petrochemical industry with its hub in Tanjong Kidurong Bintulu.

“Currently works on site preparation to develop a methanol plant at a cost of RM3.74 billion is in full swing at the 1,000 acre land allocated for this hub. In addition, an international company has also confirmed that it will invest RM24 billion (USD 6 billion) in this hub,” Abang Johari said during the launch of the state level waving of Jalur Gemilang 2020, today.

He said that the downstream oil and gas industry was expected to provide at least 74,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities.

“It is expected that with the implementation of this petrochemical industry as well as other economic programmes, household income in the state will increase and Sarawak will no longer have the term ‘Rich State But Poor’ by 2030.

Abang Johari assured that Sarawak will implement its own development programme based on the perspective of Sarawak while taking national perspective into account as well.

“If an anak Sarawak is unable to protect Sarawak’s own interests and rights, then who else can? I believe it is not a mistake for Sarawak to take our own steps towards greater development.

“This is so that Sarawak can become a developed state by 2030. As a state, if Sarawak can become developed, it will also contribute to the development of Malaysia,” he added.—DayakDaily