SAMARAHAN: The setting up of the state’s very first Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC) will lay the foundation for Sarawak to be at the forefront of biotherapeutic development using local natural resources.
Caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the centre was in line with Sarawak’s initiatives to develop its biomedical industry under the Post Covid Development Strategy (PCDS 2030).
“This centre is also timely for Sarawak to develop its own capabilities and expertise in preparation for any future outbreaks.
“It is really indeed an honour for us to launch this building dedicated to the development and commercialisation of products and services to combat communicable disease for Sarawak and the rest of the world,” he said before officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony of SIDC here on Tuesday (Nov 16).
He said even as the state government was taking initiatives to be in charge of its own destiny, it was still maintaining a close interaction and collaboration with the federal authorities.
“It is envisaged that the establishment of the SIDC will catalyse development of biomedical industries in Sarawak, being the start of a biohub integrating hospitals, research centre, academia and the biopark,” he said.
The centre and other related upcoming complexes, he stressed, would provide a complete pipeline from discovery to testing and clinical trials through to production plus human capital training to provide a highly-skilled workforce for the biomedical industry.
“SIDC is strategically situated in Samarahan and close to the surrounding universities, research centres and the Sarawak Biodiversity Park (SBP).
“The centre’s proximity to Kuching, airports and ports as well as other amenities such as international schools, high speed internet and soon a much-improved public transport system will also attract investors and experts around the world to work at the centre and contribute to our economy,” he said.
SIDC is a research facility under the purview of the Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC).
Also present were Minister for Education, Science and Technological Research Sarawak (MESTR) Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong; Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee; State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samionand SRDC general manager Dr Peter Morin Nissom.