Propelling Sarawak towards 2030

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

—  Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer

Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS2030). What does this term mean?
 
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, on Sarawak Day, July 22 2021, rolled out the PCDS2030. It will enable Sarawak to recover from the pandemic to build a sustainable and resilient economy.
 
PCDS2030 is increasingly being used, especially in speeches and press releases. Lately, during the DUN sitting, PCDS2030 has been referred to many times as well.
 
However, suppose you ask the persons around you about its specific aims and objectives, you will most likely get a shrug of the shoulder.
 
So just a quick flavour here to share some of its basic aspects. This will enable us to share further and explain PCSD2030 to our friends. 
 
First and foremost, there are two phases of the PCSD2030. The first phase focuses on the development of Sarawak’s basic essential structure. These include roads, bridges, water, electricity supply and our telecommunication network.
 
The implementation of the first phase will lay the foundation for the performance of the second phase of PCDS 2030. Investment in talent, skills and innovation will drive this second phase.
 
To enable this to happen, our Abang Johari said, “The Sarawak GPS government has committed an estimated RM63 billion to implement PCDS 2030 under 12 Malaysia Plan, whereby RM30 billion will come from direct development expenditure and RM33 billion from alternative funding.”
 
The aim is to double the size of our economy to RM282 billion by 2030.
 
To achieve this, seven strategic trusts will be pursued under PCSD2030. These are Economic Structure, Ease of doing business, Targeted Spending, Optimising Assets and Human Capital, Digital Execution, Social Inclusivity and Environmental Sustainability.
 
The focus will be on these six economic sectors: manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining and social services.
 
To make it all happen the Sarawak Economic Action Council (SEAC), the body tasked with implementing PCDS2030 have developed seven enablers. These are digital transformation, innovation, education and human cCapital, infrastructure, utilities, transport and renewable energy.
 
Just touching on a few points here, I would say that on the economic front we should have more economic inclusivity very quickly.
 
Opportunities for all our people to participate in all sectors of the economy business irrespective of race will super-charge our economy and accelerate the drive towards 2030. This would significantly improve the chances of achieving the vision by 2030
 
On the ease of doing business, much has to be done. Priority needs to be given to digital technologies all the way from the registration process of businesses to application at the sole proprietorship and partnership levels and for the applications of permits and licences. Bureaucratic and unnecessary procedures need to be done away with.
 
This will allow entrepreneurs to focus on growing their business and will encourage more people to enter entrepreneurship.
 
Further on human capital having more job opportunities for all races in the civil service would enhance productivity and add diversity into the civil service. This would really optimise the available intellectual capacity of all our peoples towards developing Sarawak.
 
There is also a current problem that needs attention.
 
With the recent hike in price of almost all items and without the accompanying increase in income for most people, effectively we have less purchasing power.
 
While there is some form of safety net for those receiving pensions, those retired from the private sector have little security.
 
It is this type of bread and butter issues that the ordinary people are now worried about.
 
So while we have noble aims to move towards a high income economy, the high cost of living appears to have arrived on the scene first.
 
To be fair, this appears to be happening worldwide.
 
However, we as members of society also have to look into ways to avoid wastage. We need to act responsibly about production and consumption.
 
Hopefully, the above has tickled your interest in PCDS2030 and has helped develop your interest in Sarawak’s plan to leap forward. You can read the full-text version of it at  https://sarawak.gov.my/media/attachments/PCDS_Compressed_22_July_2021.pdf
 
Perhaps the Sarawak government could organise a series of roadshows to engage the general populace in participating in PCDS2030.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a time of seismic change and has led to a series of crises.
 
The need to reorganise and energise is essential to build resiliency. PCSD2030 is one of the major platforms that will help Sarawak achieve this much-needed resiliency and self-reliance.
 
Overall, I would say that with the PCSD2030 in place, the best of Sarawak is yet to come. With Abang Johari at the helm, PCSD2030 is achievable.
 
Let us all play a role in it and make it a stronger Sarawak.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.

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