Abang Johari (7th right) with his wife (6th left), cabinet members and the audience who participated in the special TV programme with the Chief Minister, which was telecast live by RTM Sarawak on Tuesday night. — Photos by Chimon Upon.
Abang Johari (left) being interviewed by Sayeed Munawar in a special TV programme with the Chief Minister, telecast live on RTM Sarawak on Tuesday night.
KUCHING: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is optimistic that his ideas and strategic plans to transform Sarawak since assuming office as Chief Minister more than one year ago will become a reality.
He said his plans are to transform Sarawak’s economy and administration to make it a high income state by 2030.
He pointed out that the main challenge now and the next 12 years is to identify what direction to take and then to implement it.
Abang Johari said he is optimistic because he has a civil service that is very responsible and capable and “they will be the people who will be responsible to implement all these ideas and the policy in micro terms”.
“I am also lucky because the civil service is with me and they understood what I meant by digital economy and to embrace this, of course, firstly there must be money and secondly, we must give someone the trust to implement it and that is most important,” he emphasised.
Abang Johari was answering questions posed by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) host Sayeed Munawar Sayed Mohd Mustar in a special programme with the Chief Minister at RTM Sarawak’s auditorium on Tuesday night.
Saying there must be coordination between those making the policy and those implementing the policy, he did not deny that to embrace his ideas “will take time but will monitor in this one year or two years as to how far it can be and has been implemented”.
Secondly, he said there must be a response from the people, and they must understand and be together with the administration in its desire to make Sarawak a progressive state in the country.
“So we must have a creative mind and there are three things we must have — first, disruptive thinking, that is to use new ideas; secondly, to abandon the comfort zone and we must have the spirit to move faster; and thirdly, duly develop all changes.”
Abang Johari, who is also the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Minister for Urban Development and Natural Resources, said among his strategic plans to boost the transformation of the state are embracing digital economy, implementing high speed internet for rural and urban areas, and establishing Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros), Sarawak Pay and Light Rail Transit (LRT).
“To embrace this, and this is my second year in office, I will monitor and go down to the field to check how fast is the internet speed and how many towers need to be built, for example,” he said.
He said he had met many talented Sarawakians working outside the country who wished to come back to the state.
“I want to come back to Sarawak as there is future for me because what I learned can be applied in the new eco-system,” he said of those he met overseas and in foreign institutions of higher learning.