Abang Johari speaking at IDECS 2020. Photo: UKAS

KUCHING: The stellar response of Sarawak in mitigating the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised by the international press.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) was awarded the Malaysian Technology Excellence Award by the Singapore Business Review recently.

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

This was said during his speech when officiating at the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2020 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Wednesday (Oct 7).

The chief minister said the Covid-19 pandemic was one of the significant global challenges of the generation, which had severe economic and social impacts affecting the social interactions and people’s livelihood.

“However, we are fortunate that we had embarked on a digital transformation journey in 2017 as part of our Digital Economy Strategy and thankfully are able to manage the devastating impact of Covid-19 in our daily lives and interactions,” he said.

On digital economy, Abang Johari said data was becoming an increasingly valuable economic resource, being dubbed as the new ‘oil’.

“But only once it can be converted into business intelligence that can be monetised. Access to public and private sector data is essential to achieve commercial and social values and drive economic growth.     

“Digital Economy is a global economy, and I am sure all Sarawakians aspire to progress and take our rightful place in the global market. But it requires us to transform across all sectors,” he said.

The chief minister said digital transformation will impact the economic development as well as social wellbeing of every community.

“This poses a challenge to the government’s capability to provide its services in a larger and complex economy,” he said.