Thursday, October 24

Taking risks in order to move forward – Abg Johari


Abang Johari strumming the ‘sape’ to symbolically officiate Encon while Kadim (right) and Andrew (left) look on. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi


KUCHING: Sarawak needs to take risks if it wants to move forward in today’s fast-paced digital era, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out that if the state were to continue playing it safe, it will not be able to keep up with the changing digital world.

However, he acknowledged that embracing risk-taking does not mean to do so haphazardly.

“When it comes to new discoveries, there is always a risk so this where we have to keep ourselves abreast with the latest technology,” he said at the opening ceremony of the 11th International Unimas STEM Engineering Conference (EnCon) 2018 at a leading hotel here today.

Citing his recent announcement on hydrogen fuel cell buses, which are expected to debut on the roads of Kuching city by March next year, as an example, Abang Johari said this project no doubt has its risks and this is where research and development come in to ensure that the project follows through.

He is also aware that the decision to provide hydrogen fuel cell buses have raised a few eyebrows, including Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

“There are some people asking why don’t we use conventional buses instead. But to me, if you don’t [take risks], you will always be behind people. If you don’t do your research, you cannot be the first one to discover.

“We want to take the risks but these risks must be calculated. This is direction where the state government is going towards to.”

Also present were Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi and Encon 2018 chairman Prof Dr Andrew Ragai Henry Ringit.