KUCHING: The establishment of the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC) will go a long way towards enhancing research culture in the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this includes exploring areas of biomedical studies through collaborations with other institutions.
“Recently I announced that a tropical disease research centre or Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC) will be established in Kota Samarahan with an allocation of RM200 million.
“This is a long-term measure based on research and development or (R&D) which should also be emphasised by the Sarawak government,” he said during the Sarawak Day celebration on Thursday.
Abang Johari said under the Federal Constitution, matters of public health are a joint responsibility between the state government and the federal government.
“Therefore, the state government is responsible for raising the level of public awareness on infectious diseases and taking measures to address it,” he said.
The chief minister said the Sarawak Research Development Council (SRDC) had inked memorandums of understanding (MoU) with several institutions to collaborate in the areas of biomedical sciences and human capital development.
It included the Australian National Phenome Centre, Perth, Amili Pte Ltd (Singapore), Cambridge Sparks, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Swinburne Sarawak.
“These will add to our existing list of collaborators including Cambridge Academic of Therapeutic Sciences, University of Cambridge.
“In future, we will explore engagement with universities such as the University of Oxford, perhaps to develop programmes to harness our rich biodiversity.
“I believe that these initiatives will help to pave the way to enhance the research culture in Sarawak, leading to a vibrant bio-economy, capitalising on our diverse cultures and natural resources,” he said.