State Water Grid project to start in October, RM8 billion set aside for first phase


Student showing Abang Johari (third right) with (from second left) Len Talif, Abdullah, Sudarsono and others his work at the fair.

KUCHING: The first phase of the State Water Grid project is expected to start this October.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he is hopeful that the laying of pipelines for the water supply works would commence before end of the year.

“We will start laying the pipelines from Batang Ai to Tanjong Manis in October,” he said when launching the Sarawak Career and Training (SCaT) Fair 2018 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here yesterday.

Prior to the SCaT launch, Abang Johari announced that the state government would have to set aside at least RM8 billion for the first phase of the water supply project.

The State Water Grid will provide constant treated water supply to residents of all longhouses and villages across Sarawak.

He said the state government will make sure that longhouse and village folk have access to water supply.

He asserted that Sarawakians need to have a dream before they could embark on a journey to move the state forward.

“Our dream is to make Sarawak an advanced state in Malaysia by 2030, so we have to groom our talents. You (young Sarawakians) will be the engine of growth.”

Abang Johari said he had pledged RM30 million for the development of a Digital Village in the state during the SCaT Fair last year.

He said he would not hesitate to increase the funding, if need be.

“The Digital Village is going to commence end of this year, and RM30 million may not be enough. I will add more if it is not enough,” he said.

He called upon Sarawakians, particularly the young generation, to embrace innovation and be more creative as Sarawak moves forward with its digital economy agenda.

He said the word ‘innovate means making changes and if you are to make changes, you have to change’.

He added that people would have to have ecosystem and knowledge in order to initiate change.

Citing China as an example, Abang Johari said mainland Chinese “ have a philosophy on the train, that if you are travelling on a train, you are in the speed of the train otherwise you are left behind”.

“And if you’re in a train, and the speed of the train is 80kph, you’re not as fast as a bullet train which goes about 300kph.”

He said people would have to get on the bullet train in order to reach the destination quicker.

“You cannot tell the train to slow down. And Sarawak wants the train with speed of 300kph. Which is why we say we want to leapfrog and we cannot be 80kph all the time.”

He therefore advised Sarawakians to practise ‘destructive thinking’ which he explained as ‘going against the norm’ to figure out a new way to do things.

He said they have to be willing to take calculated risks where “destructive thinking” was concerned.

“There will be risks because to achieve destructive thinking, you have to go away from your comfort zone. You have to learn more and apply technology,” he added.

Students of Chung Hua Middle School No 1 invented the ‘Kenyalang Robot’ for the launch of SCaT Fair 2018 themed ‘Be A Change-maker’ organised by Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas).

Abang Johari also witnessed the exchanging of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Tegas and five companies namely Azendian Solutions Sdn Bhd, Chumbaka Sdn Bhd, EFXCO Sdn Bhd, Petrosar Sdn Bhd and Satu Creative Services Sdn Bhd.

Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment and Tegas chairman Datu Len Talif Salleh, Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee, Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol, and permanent secretary to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research Datu Sudarsono Osman were also present.



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