Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg speaks at a press conference after the meeting with state cabinet ministers on Post Covid-19 Exit Economics Strategy at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya, Kuching. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: The state government is doubling up on its digital economy prowess to reduce its dependency on oil export which has seen a significant tumble this year.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said new technological advancements, one that the state has latched onto – Big Data – will be the new ‘oil’ of Sarawak’s economy.

“We will increase the capacity of our Data Centre and Innovation to cater for the ever-increasing demands across all economic sectors domestically as well as global needs.

“The enhanced capacity will be further supported by an ever growing need of digital services such as Digital ID, Digital Wallet, Big Data, Blockchain, Fintech, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence.

“Our Data Centre and Innovation will be environmentally sustainable as it consumes renewable energy,” he told a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.

Asked how soon the idea would take shape, Abang Johari said it would depend on inputs from the private sector to the state government through its subcommittee for Data Centre and Innovation, which was formed yesterday.

“The subcommittee will discuss with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) together with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA). We will then see what their recommendations are,” he said.

He stressed that Sarawak had the prerequisite to develop its own talent and   the state had the energy to power the Data Centre.

“We must remember that during the pandemic, a lot of people are going online. Luckily, we have the basics, all the businesses are online, even the tracking of Covid-19 patients are online.

“As far as digitalisation is concerned, I think we are on the right track,” he said.