By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Feb 17: The state government allocated billions of ringgit from the state’s budget last year to prime the pump and this is expected to mitigate the effects of the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.
With huge funds for development especially infrastructure projects, it is expected to sustain the state’s economic growth at between five and six per cent this year.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg believed that Sarawak’s economic growth will outpace the country’s economic growth this year.
“On the economic front and because of Covid-19, the economy is somehow affected.
“First, the tourism sector will be a challenge and Malaysia is no exception.
“But Sarawak, we are lucky because we are injecting substantial money to stimulate our economy through infrastructure development.
“Infrastructure development definitely has the supply chain as a lot of materials is needed for us to construct roads and bridges, water supply and power supply.
“Therefore, with the injection of a few billions into our economy, that will assist our economy to grow in spite of Covid-19
“I expect the (Sarawak) economy to grow between five and six per cent through infrastructure development,” he said in his speech during the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Division’s 41st Anniversary celebration at a hotel here last night.
Thus, he believed that Sarawak’s economy will be supported by job flows from the construction sector and not be affected by Covid-19.
He added, the tourism sector is not big in terms of contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and that the state’s economy will prosper as a result of more work in the construction sector and from the exports of goods and services.
Abang Johari outlined the state government’s emphasis on the construction and services sectors, as well as education to enhance the state’s economy.
He also noted that the state government has allocated RM9 million to Chinese schools as well as more funds through elected representatives to develop education in Sarawak.
Among those present at the Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions 41st Anniversary celebration were deputy counsul-general of China in Kuching Zhang Yang, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting, Federation of Chinese Associations of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions vice-president-cum-event organising chairman Tay Boon Sin and members of various Chinese associations. — DayakDaily