Embrace digital technology for better services

Abang Johari (right) receives a souvenir from Dr Sim (second left), while Penguang (left), Jaul (centre), and Antonio (second right) look on.

KUCHING: Local authorities in the state have been encouraged to use digital technology towards providing better services to the people.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that in enabling such services, the state government through Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) would put up an Internet centre at local councils and areas under the Village Development and Security Committees (JKKKs).

“For areas in Kuching and Miri, they already have it (Internet centres). I request the local authorities to embrace technology in providing services to the community,” he said when witnessing the swearing-in ceremony of local councillors statewide which was held virtually today.

Noting the challenges in the rural areas, he hoped that local authorities, especially those covering bigger areas, would use technology in offering services to the people.

He also urged local authorities to have their own policies to help the community, particularly small businesses under their respective jurisdiction in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.

“As we have just launched the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 for Sarawak for us to recover from the effects of the pandemic, I therefore, call upon the local authorities to use the strategy as a guideline so that you can come up with your own approaches to regenerate the economy at the local authority level,” he said.

Abang Johari said while he did not know when the pandemic would end, there were signs the state would be able to control it.

“When the time comes, we will eventually reopen all sectors of the economy,” he said.

Today, a total of 758 councillors of 24 local councils throughout the state were reappointed with their term of office extended effective July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

Leading the councillors at the swearing-in ceremony and reciting the corruption-free pledge was Miri City Council (MCC) mayor Adam Yii.

Also present then were State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Penguang Manggil and the ministry’s permanent secretary Datuk Antonio Kahti Galis.