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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Jan 21: The Sarawak government may increase electricity tariff for industries in the future, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today.
He said he had indicated to potential investors coming into the state that the tariff would be increased over time but assured that it would still remain the lowest and most competitive in the region.
“We (state government) are requesting Sarawak Energy to add one more turbine to the Bakun hydroelectric dam so that they have enough power. This is because a lot of investments are coming in and with that sort of power, we will definitely generate a lot of interest in energy-intensive industries.
“But we can’t give cheap tariffs all the time. I have indicated to investors coming here that over time, we would have to increase our tariff but would still be competitive and lowest in the region.
“But then, at the moment, we are not doing it yet,” he said during a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Sarawak Energy and Bakun Resettlement Scheme Educational Fund here this afternoon.
On that note, Abang Johari said as more investors come into Sarawak, local youths should pursue courses and skills training that are relevant to current market needs in the state. He suggested the following fields of study: economics, real estate, information technology (IT) and marketing.
“And, therefore, we welcome this education assistance, and I hope it is not confined to certain disciplines. We have to look at other related disciplines that will definitely become the manpower resource to develop the whole area from the angle of economics, real estate, IT and marketing.
“These are the areas that we have to promote to our students or those who have graduated but want to do Masters. With these new skills, we can really develop holistically the region around Bakun, Baleh and Murum (hydroelectric dams),” he said.
Under the MoU, Sarawak Energy will allocate RM600,000 for educational incentives for the resettlers of Bakun, Murum and Batang Ai through the Bakun Charitable Trust.
Apart from that, Sarawak Energy also will allocate RM200,000 to the Batang Ai and Murum communities for the Charitable Trust to meet specific educational needs of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme. — DayakDaily