Abang Johari (centre) at the launch of Idecs 2020. Also seen (from second left, front row) are Sabariah, Awang Tengah, Uggah, Masing, and Jaul (third right). Photo: UKAS

KUCHING: Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be applied to analyse and monetise data, which in turn will drive Sarawak’s economy, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“From Sarawak’s perspective, we have a lot of geological data. We have a lot of natural data, but we are lacking in terms of how to process our data,” he said when officiating at an International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (Idecs) 2020 closing ceremony at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

He said that Sarawak was blessed with resources that provided data, such as its biodiversity which is one of the richest in the world.

“This data becomes our platform to drive our economy and this becomes our competitive advantage,” he said.

He added that data was the key, and this data had to be analysed to provide an outcome, which in turn would become a product. 

According to him, the state government’s strategy was to roll out the basic infrastructure, then transfer data and monetise the state’s resources.

He pointed out that with regard to digital economy, infrastructure was vital and hence Sarawak was emphasising on infrastructure development.

“For the first three years since we started in 2017, we have rolled out certain aspects of our infrastructure,” he said.

However, Abang Johari pointed out that infrastructure within the country must be linked to the world in order to allow transactions and engagements with the international market. Idecs 2020, he said, was a manifestation of this aspect, especially in terms of the various international experts involved.

At the same time, he agreed with panellists who had held a discussion session earlier that sometimes the state’s doors needed to be opened for experts to come into Sarawak – such as what Singapore had done, leading to its progress to where it is today.

Also present were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing; State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and deputy State Secretary (Performance and Service Delivery Transformation) Datuk Dr Sabariah Putit.