Sarawak to fund digitalisation drive

Abang Johari (centre) speaks to the press. On his right is Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan. Also seen standing is Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources Datuk Zaidi Mahdi (left) and Forest Department Director Datuk Hamden Mohammad. Photo: JaPen

KUCHING: Sarawak would need to have its own allocation of funds to implement its digitalisation initiative.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this would enable the state to better optimise its resources through technology.

“Hence, we introduce the digital economy approach where we give emphasis on the use of technology, and this new application will enrich the resources we have.

“That is why I am saying Sarawak’s economy is different than Peninsular Malaysia because we are resource-based, but we need to optimise our resources and conserve it through technology,” he explained.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating at the launch of Le Tour de Restoration programme on Thursday.

Earlier, he said Sarawak was exploring the use of drones to deploy seeds to boost its tree planting initiative state-wide.

“This is just an example in forestry where we make use of drones to deploy seed balls which will increase our forest cover.

“For instance, when you want to cut trees, you must be selective, you use the drone to capture the image, then you will know whether that area is good to plant trees. We need to enrich our mangroves, nipah and sago,” he said.

Abang Johari said preserving the commodities required its own environment and such information could be obtained through technology.

“You must have data, this data can be collected and combined through technology but technology is costly.

“That is why budget must be given to tech and that will enrich our productivity and when we have forest cover, and fast growing trees, we can turn it into industrial forests,” he said.

Abang Johari (centre) briefed on a product by the Forest Department. Photo: JaPen