Abang Johari

KUCHING: The sovereign wealth fund mooted by the state government will be able to secure the state’s future when it is no longer generating revenue from its oil and gas, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said with the savings kept in the wealth fund, the government would also be able to implement people-centric programmes to benefit the public.

“When our infrastructural facilities have been completed, we will have a lot of savings and we have to put it somewhere where it can be managed properly and reinvested so that it will give us returns for our future.

“Maybe with the funds we have collected, we can one day provide free education to our children with the condition that the returns of the investment are managed properly with good governance,” he said.

Khazahan Nasional is a good example of a well-run wealth fund. It has some fine points which can be emulated by Sarawak.

Abang Johari said one country that Sarawak is modelling itself after in terms of the implementation of the sovereign wealth fund is Norway.

“Norway, like us, has income from oil and natural resources and they don’t have a huge population.

“When they have surpluses, these are reinvested in a few industries and the returns are used to develop the country. It is a sophisticated approach, but we can learn from it,” he said during an interview on post-2021 Budget with TVS on Thursday night.

Abang Johari said Singapore also has a similar model but based on returns from its economic system, adding that regardless of which model will be adopted, what is crucial is that the funds are managed properly.

“Say, if we have RM10 billion in expenditure and we have a savings of RM30 billion, the savings can be invested so that when we finally run out of oil and gas, this fund will still give returns to Sarawak as long as we are not extravagant in our spending.”