KUCHING, Aug 22: Sarawak government must consider all options and implement strategic plans to stay relevant as a nation and be strong financially for its people.
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) supreme council member Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim thus emphasised that there was nothing wrong to export energy to other countries such as Brunei, Sabah and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“It is even more important now to have new sources of supplementary income so that Sarawak can be financially strong as the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government have had to salvage and take over abandoned projects by Putrajaya,” he said in a media release today.
He pointed out that timber export would slow down due to criticisms and responses to timber harvesting from international environmental organisations and Western countries, perhaps to protect their own industries.
“Moreover, when oil and gas is replaced or reduced in consumption due to increase in the availability of alternative fuels in the next 10 to 20 years, and when coal is not longer a commodity for export, what is left (for Sarawak)?,” he asked to ponder.
“Thus, affordable power or alternative renewable energy like hydropower could become one of the main export products for Sarawak. No doubt about it,” he said.
Bakun Dam, he added, was originally built to partially supply electricity power to Johor but the deal never take off for some reasons.
“So please be realistic. Hydroelectric dams were built in anticipation of growth in our state push for industrialisation. It will take time to see the results of major plans which have been implemented,” he pressed.
Ahmad was responding to an article by Sarawak Report (SR) criticising and attacking the state government over a statement on Sarawak looking to benefit from sale of electricity, tourism surge when Indonesia relocates capital to Kalimantan.
Furthermore, he emphasised that Sarawak needed to have the basics including ample energy and infrastructure to attract industries and investors as well as to create job opportunities for locals.
“So what has SR done so far to come up with a feasible and realistic solutions to build our nation economically and socially as well as to help the people, other than criticising the leaders?,” he asked.
“If they (SR) cannot provide conducive economic solutions to a developing nation, please shut up! Hydropower can become one of the important sources of revenue for Sarawak,” he stressed.
Ahmad emphasised that the state government needed to source for more funds to implement various projects in order to fulfill the needs and demands of the people as well as take Sarawak to be a developed nation in 11 years.
“The projects are major ones like bridges, roads and dilapidated schools which require substantial amount of fund,” he said.
“Maybe SR don’t want Sarawak to make progress and remain backward? I would like to believe not. But as a Sarawakian, we want to see Sarawak be a developed nation by 2030!,” he added.— DayakDaily