KUCHING,Oct 28 — Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg is confident Malaysia’s largest state can reach developed status by 2030 as its economy is heading in the right direction.
He foresees Sarawak reaching digital economy status even earlier, by 2025.
“This will happen if we can think for ourselves, be focused in what we do, believe in ourselves and be prepared to use modern technology, including Internet of Things and by then we will have 5G network cellular technology,” he said at the Bumiputra Entrepreneurship Excellence Awards here last night.
“This is our dream, hopefully we can realise it if we are together,” he said.
He said the state government has already started building internet infrastructure to support a digital economy.
He added that part of it includes a collaboration with China’s technology giant Huawei, to set up 5G network in the state.
Abang Johari said a disciplined workforce has also helped.
He said many predicted Sarawak was doomed after Barisan Nasional (BN) lost in last year’s general election, but the state has instead increased its reserves.
“After two years, our reserves have increased despite having no relations with the Pakatan federal government.
“I have every confidence that our mould of administering the state can be implemented to bring about positive results for the benefit of the people,” he said.
Sarawak is currently controlled by a coalition of local based parties, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, after withdrawing from the defeated BN.
Abang Johari said his state administration’s top priorities are to modernise its agriculture, tourism and service sectors, infrastructure, ports, utilities, training and education under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“I can see that the federal government is also going into agriculture industry in a big way, but in our case, we will go into modern agriculture with the use of technology and IoT,” he said.
Abang Johari was referring to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir’s statement yesterday that the federal government was encouraging private firms and government-owned companies to invest in large scale fruit and vegetable farming.
The chief minister said Sarawak has its own plans for large-scale farming and will concentrate on producing food.