S’wak – land of opportunities

State adopts tagline made famous by USA in line with state’s rich resources

KUCHING: Graduates in Sarawak need not worry about job availability in the near future as the state is carrying the tagline, ‘land of opportunities’, said State Secretary Datuk Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani.Morshidi said the United State’s of America is carrying a similar tagline whose profile fits Sarawak which has abundant resources and is enjoying rapid development.

“America has been known to be the land of opportunities. Well, today I say Sarawak is the land of opportunities. This is clear by looking at our rate of progress and our wealth in natural resources.

“So graduates should not be worried about availability of jobs because by the year 2030, or even earlier than that, we will provide jobs in various sectors particularly through the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE),” he said at the presentation of the University Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Dean’s List and Vice-Chancellor Award and Certificates here yesterday.

He said the state government had long before planned a structure of economy that would make jobs available to its people and that SCORE was part of that plan.

Expected to attract an investment totalling RM334 billion, SCORE would open up jobs in various sectors like aluminium smelting, glass, oil and gas, steel, palm oil, eco-culture, marine and service industry, he said.

In terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he said SCORE would bring the state’s GDP to as much at RM118 billion compared to RM33 billion now.

He said this clearly showed that employment opportunities would rise from the present 900,000 to 2.5 million by 2030 relative to the current state’s population of 2.4 million and what it was expected to grow to in 2030, which was 4.6 million.

Morshidi pointed out that opportunities in the state were abundant and this was evident if one were to study how much the state had progressed in every term since it helped to form Malaysia.

For example, he said, aside from being wealthy in natural resources, Sarawak’s income per capita is now at RM10,500 compared to just RM660 in 1963.

Even its economy was diversified from just agriculture to manufacturing services, he said.

Having achieved all this in the first wave of development, he said the state government was still not satisfied and this had resulted in bringing on the second wave of development with SCORE included.

He assured that the second wave of development would certainly provide various employment and even business opportunities in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Morshidi advised UiTM students to be an all-rounder instead of just being good in academics only.

Sharing his personal experience as a student and as a working professional, he said it was important to dabble in sports and other co-curricular activities too as doing so would certainly instil useful positive qualities upon a person.

He also said that future graduates might not realise this now but they would soon find out job satisfaction is attained when they contribute towards bring development to the country and people.

“I can tell you that what satisfies and makes you feel good is when you find that your contributions make a difference in the country and the people’s lives,” he added.

Earlier on, UiTM Sarawak campus director Associate Professor Dr Jamil Hamali said that the university had come up with several programmes that would assist the different level of achievers.

He explained that the university had the ‘already there’ for those who excelled, the ‘almost there’ programme for those scoring 3.5 pointers and above, the ‘not there yet’ programme for those below 3.5 point and the ‘new arrival’ programme.

Each level, he said, had a specialised way of dealing with the students to help them achieve better and move up the ladder.

He was happy to note this year’s recipients totalled 551 comprising 533 in the Dean’s List and 18 for the Vice-Chancellor Award. Last year, UiTM had 530 recipients with 512 in the Dean’s List and 18 for the Vice-Chancellor Award.

“We hope that UiTM can contribute to the workforce that’s needed by the state,” he added.

Also present were deputy director (Academic Affairs) Associate Professor Dr Fatimah Bujang, deputy director (Research and Industry Network) Associate Professor Dr Rosita Suhaimi and deputy director (Student Affairs) Associate Professor Dr Wan Akil Tuanku Abdullah.

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