State govt to study recommendations from IDECS 2019

Abang Johari (centre stage, red tie) together with senior ministers in a group photo with the members of the organising committee as well as distinguished guests at the closing of IDECS 2019.

by Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 9: The Sarawak government will look into all recommendations from the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2019 seriously to enhance efforts in digitalising Sarawak’s strengths.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg expressed gratitude and appreciation to all the experts who came from near and far to give their views and input to guide Sarawak’s transformation process.

He disclosed that the first IDECS in 2017 paved the way for Sarawak to move into the digital economy with the government committing RM1 billion in state funds to build and prepare the relevant infrastructure for the first two years.

“The second IDECS (in 2018), we created Sarawak’s identity by connecting the government with and bringing services to the people. The question (sic) now is on this third (edition) IDECS,” he said.

“We will take note of all of your inputs and I will reveal the government’s next course of action when I have studied all the recommendations,” he said during the closing ceremony of IDECS 2019 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here this afternoon.

Abang Johari however pointed out that Sarawak is definitely on the right track as the future of Sarawakians in particular and Malaysians as a whole must be consistent with the rapidly advancing ecosystem throughout the world.

“We cannot be isolated though it may take time but we must start somewhere. I like the quote from our speaker Dr Michio Kaku (world renowned futurist and physicist from the United States) about science and technology, in which it is created by intellectual capital,” he said.

He emphasised that Sarawak was blessed to have the input factors to drive technology especially surplus energy including from hydroelectricity, creative and talented young people who are the intellectual capital as well as rich, natural resources to develop biotechnology and nano-technology.

“But we must have the enabler. We must get the right technology in order to drive economic development as well as identify and digitalise the strengths that Sarawak has,” he said.

“To digitalise our strengths, the infrastructure must be there. As such, the state government is investing in this basic infrastructure. At the same time, we work with established technology providers. We don’t have to reinvent, but we share technology from the providers in order to create the ecosystem in order for our our population to flourish,” he added.

Sarawak has the ecosystem, he reiterated, but it was a matter of finding the strategies to create and sustain the balance for urban and rural development, like riding a bicycle, as the state moves forward.

“That’s why Sarawak adopted the digital economy as a vehicle for us to advance right up to 2030. Beyond 2030, the whole ecosystem may have changed due to advancement and new technology,” he concluded.

State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Deputy Chief Ministers Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing and Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong as well as Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah were among those present. — DayakDaily