LONDON: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Wednesday gave a special address at the Commonwealth Diplomats Induction Programme held at Malborough House in the British capital upon invitation of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The invitation was also a follow-up on the Commonwealth Leadership Academy collaboration of which Sarawak has a significant role to play.
The chief minister spoke about Sarawak’s experience through the years to develop its economy, maintain racial and religious harmony, protect the environment, preserve and conserve wildlife, develop its renewable energy resources and develop its economy sustainably.
He gave a special emphasis on Sarawak’s current push towards transforming itself into a digital economy, adding that the digital revolution had become an unstoppable force.
He said Sarawak had to move away from conventional economics and embrace the digital transformation or risked being left behind.
To a question from the audience during a question-and-answer (Q&A) session, he said the Sarawak government must match its policies with the aspiration of the younger generation.
He said youths comprised about 60 per cent of Sarawak’s population, and a shift towards digital economy would give opportunities for them (youths), who are Internet-literate, to be actively involved in the digitisation of the economy.
Earlier, upon arrival at Malborough House, Abang Johari and his delegation met with the Commonwealth secretary-general, Baroness Patricia Scotland.
State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, deputy State Secretary Datu Sabariah Putit and Emerging Leaders Dialogue Asia 2016 organising chairman Adrian Jerome were among those who accompanied AbangJohari during the visit.
They talked for about half-an-hour touching, among others, on efforts to create platforms for the enhancement of leadership roles among emerging leaders in the Commonwealth countries.
Abang Johari is set to fly home to Kuching on Thursday after leading a two-week-long study visit to Europe.