MIRI: The state government is devising a new approach to put Sarawak at the forefront of knowledge through digital economy.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg pointed this out when addressing the crowd during a qurban ceremony at Masjid Darul Ehsan here yesterday.

“700 years ago, Muslims were the pioneers of the knowledge industry through our expertise in mathematics and algorithms. Now, that is no longer the case,” expressed Abang Johari.

Abang Johari greeting a resident as he makes his way into the mosque.

He opined that Muslims are now overtaken by others in terms of innovation in the knowledge sector.

“That is why the state government, under my leadership, is using a newer approach towards knowledge – digital economy.

“With a state as large as Sarawak with over 2.7 million people, we have to equip ourselves with knowledge on economics and the means that goes with it so that we can benefit our community.

Abang Johari revealed that using the latest technology such as Internet of Things (IoT), farmers can increase their crop yield and in turn produce more food items for consumption.

“This is one of our methods to create a better surrounding and one that will benefit the people,” he added.

“We have applied the latest technology in agriculture, which is precision farming, a method that focuses on technology-centric agriculture.”

He highlighted that the state government is doing its best in providing services to the community.

“This is by the introduction of the endowment fund, which all Sarawak-born babies are entitled to receive RM1,000, which can be withdrawn when they are aged 18.

“The money can be used for them to further their education or to fund their business start-up. This has been implemented and we expect 40,000 babies to receive the fund in one year, which accumulates to RM40mil given by the state government,” he said.

Abang Johari also hinted the state government’s bid to help mothers as he viewed most mothers need necessary aid as they are not working during their maternity leave.

“That is when they need it the most, for them to buy necessities such as milk and diapers. I will announce the funding for the programme during the budget presentation,” he explained.

Among those present were Women, Family and Childhood Development Assistant Minister Rosey Yunus, Rural Electricity Assistant Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Kabong assemblyman Mohd Chee Kadir, Miri Malay Charitable Trust Board chairman Datuk Abdillah Abdul Rahim, Acting Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof and Malay community leader Temenggong Abdul Rahman Fadzil.