Sarawak fortunate to go digital early

Abang Johari speaks at the launch of the STEM Playground Virtual Fair 2020.

KUCHING: Sarawak is fortunate to have started its digitalisation journey in 2017, which has allowed e-commerce to continue during the Covid-19 pandemic, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

When the movement control order (MCO) was enforced on March this year, it brought along socioeconomic impacts, but the e-commerce sector was able to carry on, he added.

“As such, we in Sarawak cannot be left behind in e-commerce, because the e-commerce market is wide and borderless.

“And that is why, I took the initiative to develop digital economy, and further strengthen our digital entrepreneurs through Digital Innovation Hub under Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), Centre of Technical Excellence (Centexs) and Tabungan Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (Tegas).”

Abang Johari said this when officiating the STEM Playground Virtual Fair 2020 on Monday (Sept 28).

The Sarawak government, he said, introduced the Sarawak Pay e-wallet to provide cashless transactions.

“I am also happy to see, especially fishermen and ‘kuih-muih’ entrepreneurs, using Sarawak Pay to receive orders and payments. This proves that our society can adapt to digital technology.”

Abang Johari also hoped that with the setting-up of Digital Village in Samajaya, expected to be completed in December, it would further boost local digital entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, Assistant Urban Development and Resources Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh, who is also Tegas chairman, said since 2016, the STEM Playground programme was organised in a large scale.

“However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme this year had to be held virtually. And instead of the traditional physical programme, which would attract 40,000 visitors, the virtual programme held through digital platform is expected to attract about 100,000 to 150,000 visitors.”

The programme ends on Oct 4 and is 24 hours a day. To participate, visitors can visit to register.