Sarawak has made great strides over the past few years towards transforming its economic landscape.
In line with its aspiration to become a developed state by the year 2030, Sarawak has accomplished many successes under the leadership of Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
These accomplishments included Sarawak’s venture into green hydrogen economy with two major hydrogen manufacturing projects expected to begin operations in Bintulu Petchem Industry Park in 2027; the transformation of the state’s public transport system with the rolling out of hydrogen-powered buses and soon the Autonomous Rapid Transit; and development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) amongst others.
Political observer Dato Peter Minos said since Abang Johari took helm as the sixth chief minister in January 2017, Sarawak has become the new frontier of growth.
“Many things have happened in Sarawak. Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari brought in new industries to the state such as the use of hydrogen for our public buses, undertaking the first offshore Carbon Capture and Sequestration project a Petronas Kasawari fields near Bintulu; development of algae production technology to produce SAF, and so on.
“You can say that he is a very innovative man and he deserves to be called ‘father of innovation’ and fittingly so.
“These initiatives that he has introduced all have the potential to bring in billions of revenue to Sarawak making our state very progressive and prosperous,” he said.
At the State Legislative Assembly sitting in November last year, Abang Johari had announced that Sarawak was projected to collect a revenue of RM11.035 billion for 2023, making it the highest revenue projected in the state thus far.
He said the revenue was derived from several major sources including tax revenue, which totalled RM5.246 billion (48 per cent) of the total expected revenue in 2023.
Minos described Abang Johari as a very proactive and creative leader for Sarawakians, who never cease to seek for new ideas and strategies be it in Sarawak, Malaysia or overseas.
“While others only talk, our Premier gets things done and makes sure they are implemented.
“He faces problems and challenges and is headstrong in solving them,” he said.
He said the Premier is aware that Sarawak has a lot to catch up in terms of development, particularly in its rural areas.
“He knows the need to bridge the urban-rural divide and so he embarks on basic infrastructure development on roads, bridges, electricity and water supply to our rural areas.
“He also stepped up to modernise our agriculture industry through the use of digital technology to improve production of food which is in line with Sarawak’s goal of becoming a net food exporter by 2030,” he said.
Minos believed that Abang Johari’s initiatives and plans for Sarawak have won the hearts of Sarawakians.
“He has impressed Sarawakians who have more admiration, respect and confidence in him,” he said.
SUPP Stakan Branch chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok said Abang Johari has shown to be a capable leader in leading the state in the past six years.
“He is very informed on the world of business and technology while implementing policies that will take Sarawak to greater heights and achieve its goal of becoming a developed state by 2030,” he said.
He pointed out that one of the Premier’s earlier initiatives was to initiate the digital economy agenda as the way forward to drive Sarawak’s economy to achieve a high-income status.
“He set up digital economy for our state to grow with the trend of the world economy so that we can trade more conveniently even during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.
“He revived our economy by setting policies such as the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 to take Sarawak out of the pandemic setback.
“By placing emphasis on three pillars outlined in PCDS 2030 namely economic prosperity, social inclusivity and environmental sustainability, Sarawak is set towards a bright and prosperous future,” he said.
Sim said with Sarawak’s abundance of natural resources, Abang Johari has been able to harness their potentials into tangible resources.
“Not only do we have renewable energy from our abundant water supplies but our water resources have also been put to good use to produce hydrogen gas.
“Apart from that, we have also harnessed the power of the sun into solar energy to supply electricity through solar panels to rural areas,” he said.
“The Premier has also led Sarawak ahead of Peninsular Malaysia by tapping into carbon trading with our trees in our forest and carbon storage with our old disuse oil wells, as well as make use of of carbon dioxide being produced by large factories or generators for growing algae which inturn can produce hydrogen gas and aviation fuel to complete the circular economy for Sarawak,” he said.
Sim also commended Abang Johari’s decision to set up a Sarawak commercial bank for small, medium enterprises (SMEs) to enable the small and private sectors to contribute in achieving Sarawak’s goal of becoming a developed state.
“This will help to inject fresh capital into the private sector to recover from the pandemic as well as to venture into the new economy of a ‘green industry’,” he said.
Source : The Borneo News