Don’t blame others for our circumstances


By Alexandra Lorna and Natasha Jee

KUCHING: The Dayak community must invest in quality education, skills and professional training for the younger generation to prepare them for the digital and green economy.

“Maintaining a core value of integrity, team work and hard work for success and being prepared and willing to embrace change will be the fundamental for our future success,” said Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) Datuk Gerawat Gala.

“We must not take the easy way out by excusing our failures by blaming others for our circumstances,” he said.

Speaking at the state Gawai Dayak Celebration 2022 held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Yesterday night (June 25), he said it is a known fact among the Dayak community that they have yet to achieve the same level of successes in business and other private enterprise compared to some other communities.

“I may be wrong, but some members of our Dayak business community have yet to make it to the KLSE or SGX. Part of the reason for this maybe a combination of the lack of opportunities and exposure as well as insufficient capital base for big business ventures.

“The Pan Borneo project is a good example whereby the Dayak businesses had such high hopes of participating in certain projects based on the government’s policy to allocate 30 per cent of the contract value to Sarawakian Bumiputra businesses.

“According to the Dayak Chamber of Commerce their members actually secured far less than this 30 per cent target. I will leave it to the members of the chamber to make an in-depth study and analyse the reasons for this, to make the right and proper recommendations for alternative strategies to secure future opportunities for the Dayak communities,” he said.

In the same breath Gerawat however reminded that it is incumbent of the Dayak community to continue to support the State government led by Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the Premier’s focused socio-economic agenda which encompasses rural transformation, commercialization of agriculture, improvement of educational facilities, and most of all, the drive towards digital and green economy will create and open up numerous opportunities for all Sarawakians including the Dayak community.

“The Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030, the signing of the Commercial Settlement Agreement between Petros and Petronas, the growing Digital Economy and Premier’s introduction of the New Economy or Green Economy (especially Hydrogen economy) are all indicators of the promising outlook and future opportunities for the people of Sarawak.

“Having said that, we must be also be aware that we could risk missing out on these opportunities if we are not prepared to equip ourselves to overcome the various challenges associated with these opportunities.

“We must have a critical mass thinking with the required education, skills and competency to take on these opportunities in business or professional careers both in the government and in the private sector,” he said.

He said the community is all for the Premier’s continuing and persistent effort to secure the State’s participation in the oil and gas business from Petronas as well as with the setting up of Petros, the five per cent sales tax on sale of Petroleum products and the signing of the Commercial Settlement Agreement between Petros and Petronas.

“This bring high hopes for our Dayak business community especially those who have been long in the oil and gas industry to enhance and consolidate their participation in the oil and gas business through strategic partnership with the state government agencies or GLCs and even international oil and gas players,” he told.

He said the community will continue to look to the sustained, wise, able, visionary, inclusive and sound leadership of the Premier to ensure the Dayak community will continue to progress together along with all other communities in Sarawak.

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