KUCHING: International College of Advanced Technology Sarawak (i-CATS) University College has appointed Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as its first chancellor.
Abang Johari conveyed his appreciation to the university on the appointment and shared that he was involved in the early formation of Sarawak Skills Development Centre (Sarawak Skills) during the late 1980s when he was the Minister of Industrial Development.
“It was a tough task given to me by the then Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud where I needed to set up a skill centre that would provide the manpower needed for the industries entering Sarawak.
“As a result, two industrial parks were set up in Kuching, namely the Sejingkat Industrial Park and Samajaya Industrial Zone,” he said during the Sarawak Skills/i-CATS 23rd convocation and the official launching of i-CATS University College on Monday (March 8).
The chief minister added he was very pleased to see the transformation of Sarawak Skills then.
“… and now I can see the development of this institution together with i-CATS, which has now turned into a university college,” he said.
Meanwhile, i-CATS University College president and pro-chancellor Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain when reading the Instrument of Appointment of Abang Johari as the university’s first chancellor, said that appointment was in appreciation and recognition of Abang Johari’s role as the architect of Sarawak’s economic and social development.
“In his role as the chancellor, the university will benefit from his broad spectrum of visionary insights to facilitate the development of industry-relevant courses and programmes for the benefit of the populace.
“This will go a long way to facilitate our mutual objectives for Sarawak to become a high-income and developed state by 2030,” said Abdul Aziz, who is also Sarawak Skills chairman.
Sarawak Skills, established in 1994, is the preferred provider of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for industrial workers and school leavers in Sarawak.
One of its subsidiaries, i-CATS was elevated to a University College status on Dec 3 last year.