Sarawakians urged to support govt’s move to embrace digital economy


Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (centre) makes his way to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) chamber to deliver his address. He is flanked by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (right) and DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Awang Asfia Awang Nassar.

KUCHING: Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday urged the people to appreciate and support the effort and initiative undertaken by the government towards digital economy and be prepared to face the challenges.

He said the digital era would provide plenty of opportunities for the people, especially the younger generation, and would definitely change the people’s way of life and how jobs are carried out.

However, he pointed out that while the digital era would also bring opportunities, the people ought to prepare themselves and be resilient.

“The people must be prepared to embrace the economic opportunities and changes brought about by the digital era, but at the same time must also be resilient to face the challenges that it will bring,” Taib said in his address at the State Legislative Assembly special sitting yesterday, held in conjunction with its 150th anniversary.

He stressed that such initiative by the government was an important step to chart the state’s economic landscape towards a progressive and sustainable one, adding that the move was a wise and visionary step taken by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“The initiative by the chief minister (Abang Johari) is visionary and in line with the current global economic scenario,” Taib pointed out, adding that the continuous focus on rural transformation was also a wise move.

Taib expressed confidence that the initiative of the government to set up Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros) and Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) would contribute towards the development and growth of the state’s economy.

The Head of State also pointed out that he was glad that the government, under Abang Johari, still continued to fight for the state’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), including the state’s exclusive right on the sea territorial boundary and natural resources.

On Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Taib pointed out that it had succeeded in building hydro dams to hasten industrial development in the state.

According to him, SCORE has attracted several investors, particularly in heavy industries, and provided job opportunities to the people, and increased the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) from RM550 million in 1963 to RM124 billion in 2016.

During the period, the export value was RM77 billion in 2016 from RM373 million in 1963, and job opportunities rose to 1.2 million in 2016 from 294,000 in 1963, he said.

Taib was also glad to note that the poverty level in the state has declined to 0.6 per cent in 2016 from 56 per cent in 1976.

The Head of State also touched on the racial harmony enjoyed by the people, political stability and the state’s rapid development which he attributed to power sharing.

Related news: State assembly marks 150th anniversary with special sitting



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