Focus on developing Sarawak

Abang Johari officiates at the closing ceremony of SUPP Convention 2020 while from left Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Datuk Seri Richard Riot, Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Datuk Sebastian Ting and Datuk Chieng Buong Toon look on. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is focussed on developing Sarawak and finding solutions to challenges caused by Covid-19 rather than delving on petty politics.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Covid-19 pandemic has affected lives and the economy worldwide. In such challenging times, politicians must spend their time to find solutions in tackling the challenges.

“Although the solutions are not easy, in Sarawak, we have set up the Sarawak Economic Action Plan Committee to find the best exit post Covid-19,” he said.

Abang Johari said that politicians must work hard to find solutions that would benefit Sarawak and its people while the state was in the process of recovering from the pandemic.

“Even now, the issues over the prime minister’s post have yet to be settled. I don’t know why. I am not criticising West Malaysian politicians but at this stage of challenges due to Covid-19, still they want to fight over the prime minister’s post,” he said.

Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman, said the people must be the top priority, under GPS’ ‘Sarawak First’ motto.

“Stability is important, we must have a common platform and a common stand in order to develop our state in the midst of uncertainty.

“… and as your chief minister, we are in the midst of restructuring our economic approaches, because is it no longer business as usual.

“We are fortunate that we have started digital economy in the state in 2017, earlier than the rest of Malaysia,” he said.

He said among the digital initiatives included forming the state’s e-wallet — Sarawak Pay, and the state government had also utilised digital tracing in order to curb Covid-19, in addition to Sarawak’s own television station — TVS.

“Our direction must be clear, that is in 2030, we must be the most developed state in Malaysia. We must prepare our economic policy in that direction.

“Number one, our financial strength must be there. Thank God, we fought Petronas and we won. Number two, we want to exercise our rights on land including minerals on our land. Number three, we must diversify our income, and I have exercised that right with the state sales tax (SST). And number four, we must upgrade our talent, Sarawakians, they got the talent in all fields,” he said.

He pointed out that with all the infrastructure development efforts in place and producing more talents in the state, it would benefit the people and talented Sarawakians would be able to contribute to the state, and eventually the state’s economy would improve.