State govt keen to offer land, energy to Singapore if they want to set up data centre in Sarawak

Abang Johari speaking at AAEC 2022. Photo credit: JaPEN Sarawak

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By Nur Ashikin Louis and Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 12: The State government is keen to offer support in terms of land and energy to Singapore if they want to set up their data centre in Sarawak.

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg made this offer as he noted that Singapore, a small but heavily urbanised island city-state, is short of space and energy.

“Singapore and Sarawak are just nice (referring to the distance between the two countries). If you want to have your data centre, come to Sarawak, I (will) give you the space. We can also share our energy with you.

“I had a discussion with the Singapore Foreign (Affairs) Minister who said that the whole of Singapore can fit into Bakun,” he said when officiating at the Asean Australian Engineering Congress (AAEC) 2022 at Tegas Digital Village in Sama Jaya High Tech Park here today.

Abang Johari emphasised that Sarawak has abundance of hydropower with four huge dams which are able to produce more energy through hydrogen and floating solar.

“So we welcome engineers to come over here and work together to give value to our natural resources.

“The Sarawak government is working on adding values to our natural resources, such as for the production of hydrogen as we are aiming towards the hydrogen and green economy.

“(Apart from that) Currently, we have one investor investing in a plant in Sarawak for carbon sink as Sarawak is embarking on a carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) and storage strategy,” he added.

Abang Johari has just returned from Singapore after a five-day study visit there to gain insights into the operation and management of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and to promote further economic cooperation between the island republic and Sarawak.

As Sarawak aims to head towards a green future and economy, Abang Johari pointed out that this transformation will require innovative engineers who are prepared for an increasingly digital future amidst increasing challenges to build sustainable communities, to overcome the impacts of climate change, to be resilient during uncertain geopolitical and economic climates, and to have responsible consumption and consistent production.

Noting that climate change is a global problem that could put the planet at risk if temperatures continue to increase, he said: “It is a real threat and Sarawak with its ecosystem as well as the natural resources that we have, we want to contribute towards a sustainable environment.”

Earlier on, Abang Johari also shared Sarawak’s Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 to turn Sarawak into a developed State with a thriving economy driven by data and innovation where everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity and a sustainable environment.

“Advancing digital transformation is key towards improving productivity and efficiency, and engineers will play a key role to apply digital technologies in order to maximise the economic value in the global business environment that is dynamic and volatile,” he said.

Since the commencement of the Digital Economy Agenda in 2018, he added that Sarawak has successfully enhanced the State’s economic development through transformation in several sectors including agriculture, oil palm industry, e-commerce, finance and fintech, digital government, smart city, tourism, manufacturing and the services industry.

These efforts are spearheaded by several organisations including Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation Berhad (SDEC), CENTEXS Digital Academy, Sarawak Information Systems (Sains) and many more.

Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Dato Sri Roland Sagah Wee Inn, Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Minister of Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stepehen Rundi, AAEC 2022 organising chairman Ir Dennis Ong and Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus pro vice-chancellor and chief executive Prof Lau Hieng Ho were among those present. — DayakDaily