Abang Johari (second left) cutting the ribbon as to officiates the Centre of Excellence Open Lab while others look on. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni.

KUCHING: While turning Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, into the region’s technological hub is a tall order, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg was confident that it can be done.

He said while the significance of the feat is not lost on him, it is well within reach for Sarawak being an energy powerhouse and flush with natural resources.

“While this is an ambitious goal and people might ask on what I am talking about being a technological hub, the reason is that we have power. With power, we can offer reasonable tariffs.

“Without power, don’t talk (about being a technological hub). We have hydro power, renewable power. We even have our hydrogen power. Besides that, we can use floating solar to supplement the energy that we produce,” he said in his address when officiating at the launch of the 5G test bed here on Friday (Aug 14).

Abang Johari said Sarawak also has the talent to pioneer the digital transformation and it is able to train its own people.

“With this three that we have – energy, resources and talent – I think we can be the technological hub in this region, because the power, talent and that we can train our own.

“I would like to say to Sarawakians, let’s take this opportunity to learn about technology because we have established the ecosystem including campuses,” he said.

The chief minister said under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), more funds will be given under the state’s programme to improve connectivity adding that the problems pertaining to power, road and water supply is currently being dealt with.

“Once this is completed, the next one will be our talent development and digital infrastructure under 5G. If people say I am ambitious, then what to do (sic) that is how I do my job as the chief minister.

“I want Sarawak to be the forefront state in the whole of Malaysia and at the same time let us turn Sarawak into a digital hub. I think we can do it,” he said.