BINTULU: The state government will continue to develop the state like what has been implemented by the previous chief minister the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and also carry the task entrusted by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“I have a different approach to develop the state and within 100 days of me at the helm, all the necessary things have been implemented to improve the state’s economy.
“The economy should be developed holistically with the existing resources and add value to the resources,” he said at the Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri gathering organised by Bintulu Islamic Welfare Trust Board and PBB Jepak at Parkcity Everly Hotel here yesterday.
Present were Abang Johari’s wife Datin Amar Dato Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip and wife Datin Dr Zaliha Abdullah, Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women and Family Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, Samalaju assemblyman Majang Renggi, Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon, Bintulu Resident Muhamad Yakup Kari, and director of Islamic Education Bureau of Sarawak Islamic Council Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah.
Abang Johari said among the approaches (to develop the state) were to increase internet speed for the community without segregating the people in urban and rural areas and upgrading physical development in rural areas.
He also said he would continue the efforts of ‘Tok Nan’ to protect and preserve the state’s biodiversity by freezing the issuance of timber licences, adding value from its natural resources related to research on drugs, improve the timber industry, and forest protection and preservation.
“Borneo, which is rich in biodiversity, needs replanting of trees with the cooperation of Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (Bintulu) with the establishment of a relevant laboratory,” he said.
Abang Johari said he had drawn up a plan that emphasises education with the establishment of the state Ministry of Science and Technology, and the upgrade of 460 dilapidated out of 960 schools using the state’s fund.
He said the prime minister also agreed for the state government to set up its own bank (Development Bank of Sarawak) which would operate in January next year, with professionals identified to lead the bank.
“From DBOS, the state will have its own funds to manage the strategic development of education and other industries. It will also boost the state’s economy apart from upgrading internet speed with an allocation of RM1 billion.
“Some people say I’m too brave to do it but we have a way to accelerate the state’s development and improve the level of education which is important to eradicate poverty,” he said.
He said Sarawak had also set up its own oil company under the name of Petroleum Sarawak (Petros) with the state government working with Petronas to explore for oil and gas in the state.
“With Petros we can be involved in the upstream sector with Petronas exploring our oil reserves to benefit Sarawak.”
He added that local companies could be involved in the maintenance work and so on.
Abang Johari also talked about the construction of a bridge across Sungai Kemena to Kampung Jepak, which was approved under the Public Works Department for implementation within three years, which would open new settlement areas in Jepak and the transfer of the administrative office to Jepak.
“All these efforts will spur the economy and development of Jepak area, thus more new land will be opened up.
“The opening of new land is important so that development will not only concentrate in one place. It will also increase the price of land due to high demand,” he said.