KUCHING, Oct 13: Political observer Datuk Peter Minos opined that Sarawak has made a strategic move by focusing on the development of water, electricity, road and digital economy (WERD) simultaneously.
He said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s focus must be carried speedily and successfully.
“Focussing on the years ahead, the development of WERD simultaneously is the right way ahead, the right strategic move,” he said in a press statement today.
Minos said Sarawak had plenty of water bodies — rivers, man-made lakes and streams — that could be tapped for domestic consumption and also for energy, transportation and tourism.
“However, the immediate concern is, of course, the provision of clean and treated water to each and every household across the state, especially in the rural areas.”
On electricity, Minos said the priority was for domestic consumption, yet the availability of it for industrial effort and modern endeavour should not be neglected.
“There is a crying need for electricity in many villages and longhouses right now, and they deserve this very basic thing in life. The government is duty-bound to supply electricity and treated water without having to ask and plead.
“They are simply basic necessities of life, and the part of begging and crying for them is outdated because the government must just provide them as of duty. It is conscionable that water and electricity be extended to any household and person who genuinely needs them.”
Regarding roads, he said it was self-explanatory that without them, there would be no physical connectivity.
“I read years back that in the massive initial development of the United States in the 19th century, the key component was the construction of roads and railroads, and they did it right.”
A huge and elongated region, Sarawak definitely needs a really good road network, connecting towns and longhouses as well as villages.
“The necessity for roads is almost as great as that of water and electricity. It is also very basic. In our march for industrial and agricultural development, as we do now, good roads is key and a must.
“Public investment on it is also a must, massive it may be. There is also a cry for roads in many parts of rural Sarawak and those wanting them must be heeded. A must. It is simply basic.”
On the digital economy, Minos said if tiny and resource-poor nations like Estonia had gone very far in maximising the use of digital technology and the Internet, Sarawak could achieve that as well.
“You cannot run away from going digital in the modern world if you want to really advance and progress and ultimately get developed. Going digital is now a must, just like we badly need the best road network,” said Minos, citing the example of the essential use of handphone to every individual.
“So, it is good that Sarawak now, as the chief minister has openly and aptly said, `We go simultaneously for WERD.’ And WERD we must now go for a well-rounded development of Sarawak and the good future of Sarawak and its people,” said Minos. — DayakDaily