KUCHING: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government’s plan to set up a sovereign wealth fund drew compliments from many.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari on Thursday pointed out that the fund will be able to secure the state’s future when it is no longer generating revenue from its oil and gas.
To this, many agreed that the state’s surplus revenue should be invested and kept as a contingency plan.
However, the fund must come with prudent management.
Datuk Dr Madeline Berma (Fellow at Academy of Sciences Malaysia)
The fund is one way to safeguard the long-term financial interests of Sarawak’s future generations through active management and active ownership of wealth. However, the state needs to make sure that the fund has a clear legal status for investors and incentives. It must be managed by fund managers with good track records in investment.
Lina Soo, (Sarawak People’s Aspiration Party president)
I am all for it. But the setting up of the sovereign wealth fund for the state’s future generations must be managed by professionals with accountability reports made available to the public.
Shauqi Afhrah Ismail (Masters Degree student)
Thinking of the possible implications if Sarawak runs out of its oil and gas resources shows that the state is forward-looking in its future planning. However, it must have a concrete plan with a strong and honest team dedicated. This isn’t an easy task as Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Jonathan Chai (Sarawak Business Federation secretary-general)
I will give my undivided support to the idea. With the expanded revenue base we currently enjoy, it gives us more options to explore for more viable commercial ventures which could generate sustainable long term income for the state. Realistically, it would probably be more effective and pragmatic to raise the household income in part by distribution of wealth through allocation of dividends from such fund to every Sarawakian directly from time to time.
Mohd Ilham Abdullah (Unimas Business School administrative executive)
Since oil and gas are non-renewable resources, we should be dynamic and not rely on one source of income. It is good to be idealistic but do mind on the execution part of it. We do hope that this initiative gives significant impact towards the state and its people.