Abang Johari delivering his closing remarks at International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (Idecs) 2020 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching yesterday. Photo: UKAS

KUCHING: Sarawak is fortunate to have embarked on a digital transformation journey three years ago that has enabled it to effectively manage the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this journey, which came in the form of the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022 launched in December 2017, had seen its progress to digitalise the state’s economy and helped to address most issues during the pandemic.

“As always with any strategy, certain aspects such as digital sovereignty, interoperability, ease of doing business, cybersecurity, digital readiness and supporting digital transformation of the private sector could be further strengthened to accelerate our post-Covid-19 Economic Agenda,” he said.

Speaking at the opening of the 4th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (Idecs) here today, he said the pandemic had caused severe economic and social impact but Sarawak had contained it well by implementing by its digital economy strategy.

“Our digital readiness was recently highlighted when the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) was awarded the Malaysian Technology Excellence Award by the Singapore Business Review for utilising digital technology to control the spread of the Cvoid-19 pandemic in Sarawak,” he said. 

Abang Johari said Covid-19 would create permanent long-term effects on how economies and financial systems operate in the future, with all countries no longer able to do “business as usual”.

Being aware of this situation, he said, the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC) was established to formulate the state government’s Post-Covid-19 Exit Economic Strategy up to 2030, where the state’s vision is to become developed and economically driven by data and innovation.