Dr Johari representing Unimas (centre) exchanges the MoA with Law who represents Karuna (Sarawak) Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak’s vision of digital economy as the way forward was lauded by a local academician.

The dean of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (FCSIT) Assoc Prof Dr Johari Abdullah concurred with the move first floated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“We cannot depend on oil and gas as it can only last us for certain years. The same can be said about agriculture as it depends on the weather condition,” said Dr Johari during the FCSIT Open Day programme at the campus here yesterday.

“Digital economy is sustainable, but one of the challenges is in terms of human capital. That is where we (FCSIT) come in.”

Dr Johari representing Unimas (centre) exchanges the MoA with Law who represents Karuna (Sarawak) Enterprise Sdn Bhd.

Dr Johari pointed out that the state needed more computer science graduates as the demand in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector rises.

“From the faculty’s statistics for graduate employability, we always reach more than 80 percent and last year’s batch was 90 percent.

“I also learnt that our graduates were offered good salaries and one company even offered a salary amounting to RM3,800.”

On the programme, Dr Johari revealed that some 600 schoolchildren attended the open day.

“This is to give them exposure (on the sector) as we need more graduates from the computer science industry.”

The dean also highlighted the faculty’s role in training schoolteachers to teach computer science.

“Unimas has been appointed as an official training partner by the Education Ministry and the state education department.

“This is where we come in to help as secondary school students are being introduced to the subject.

“We also emphasise on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as the university has assisted in the formation of STEM education labs in 11 schools throughout the state.”

Dr Johari also lauded the university’s Service Learning programme which was first implemented in 2016.

“Since then we have approached over 200 communities and conducted various projects within the
community.

“I remember in 2017 when we went to Kampung Sungai Bedil, we introduced a voter tracking system to monitor voter’s movement.

“This was implemented and used during the 14th general election in the village,” he explained.

An exchange of Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was later conducted between the faculty and Rajang Digital Solutions Sdn Bhd represented by managing director Reuben Wee Kien Min; Karuna (Sarawak) Enterprise Sdn Bhd was represented by marketing director Law Cheng Hui.

Also present were Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI) director Prof Dr Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer, Unimas Publisher director Assoc Prof Dr Jane Labadin, faculty’s deputy deans, industry partners, community leaders and representatives from government agencies.