MIRI: Students must look ahead and be bold in taking up new disciplines in order to thrive in the new global economic landscape.
Officiating at the presentation of Yayasan Sarawak’s student excellence awards ceremony at Curtin University Malaysia here yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said: “Identify a strategic discipline of studies because new disciplines that embrace technology are saleable, and are demanded throughout the world, such as cyber security analysts and experts.
“We need a lot of programmers and data analysts in big data analysis. I am not saying other courses are not relevant but these are additional disciplines on top of other courses such as engineering, arts, medicine or law.
“These new disciplines will unearth the students’ special talents and skills that are employable for the new market development; otherwise we will have unemployable graduates.
“Unlike during our time when there were only engineering, law and arts, today you have various new disciplines that can bring you to a new worldwide development.”
Abang Johari said that the research field was also important, and hoped that after the students have received their first degree, they would go for postgraduate studies and conduct research because Sarawak is blessed with resources.
On scholarships and loans, the chief minister, who is also Yayasan Sarawak chairman, said they had sent 931 students to Curtin University Malaysia since the foundation’s establishment, and would continue to do so.
“The rejection rate for Yayasan Sarawak students is very low, and if you have an excellent result, you will get the scholarship. If not, you will get a loan from Yayasan Sarawak.
“What we need now are creative and innovative students, and we hope that one day we can be like Estonia, a very small eastern European country which is 100 per cent digitalised. That is the way of life we Sarawakians want to have in the future.”
Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang also spoke at the event. He said 18 schools in Miri division received Yayasan Sarawak Excellent Student Award for SPM and STPM, which came with a Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) premium savings certificate worth RM500 for SPM and RM700 for STPM.
Abang Johari also presented parent-teacher association grants worth RM10,000 each to five schools, namely SMK Luar Bandar Miri, SMK Merbau, SMK Luak, SMK Long Lama, and SMK Bekenu.
Curtin University Malaysia pro chancellor Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit, pro vice-chancellor and chief executive of Curtin University Malaysia Professor Jim Mienczakowski, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, and Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat were among those present at the event.