Wednesday, August 21

SCORE-ing greater success

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Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (right) visits a gallery which showcased the transformation of SCORE over the last 10 years together with (from left) Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Abang Johari, and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

Part 6 of a 6 part special series to celebrate the second anniversary of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

THE Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is the key growth driver for Sarawak’s rural areas. It was one of the five corridors initiated under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to address development imbalances throughout the country.

SCORE comes under the purview of the Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA), which has two main goals – to promote SCORE by creating and stimulating new and existing markets, and to work towards achieving Sarawak’s ambitious investment and development goals.

To further expand SCORE into the rural areas, the Sarawak government has established three development agencies under RECODA – Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA) and the Highland Development Agency (HDA) – both established on July 12, 2017, and the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA), which was established on March 15, 2018.

“This is in tandem with the state’s development agenda to accelerate the development of physical infrastructure and amenities in these areas in order to modernise the rural economy,” said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at SCORE’s 10th anniversary celebration on Nov 19.

He said the Sarawak government would continue to support SCORE’s development as it has proven to be effective in industrialising Sarawak.

“RECODA now needs a new organisation structure, business model and strategies to undertake all of these activities, which are important for SCORE’s development.

“The development authority is now undertaking a restructuring exercise and we will recruit more qualified people to be on board in order to expeditiously execute SCORE’s development agenda,” Abang Johari added.

Expansion well in progress

With the latest initiative, the SCORE area has been expanded from about 70,000 sq km to about 100,000 sq km, or two thirds the size of Sarawak.

Through the SCORE Development Plan, Sarawak is forecasted to generate RM334 billion in terms of investments, of which RM267 billion or 80 per cent is expected from the private sector, while the remaining RM67 billion will come from the public sector.

Coupled with the establishment of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS), the Sarawak government is now able to provide funding of RM4.5 billion to RECODA for the development projects under URDA, HDA, and NRDA.

To date, SCORE has recorded over RM79.971 billion in both public and private investments.

“Out of this, RM33.64 billion or 42 per cent comes from private investment. The total amount of private investment realised thus far is RM22.53 billion, generated from nine projects that are already in operation,” said Abang Johari.

Seven of these projects are in Samalaju Industrial Park, while Mukah and Tanjung Manis have one each.

Abang Johari said the seven investors in Samalaju Industrial Park had contributed significantly to the local economy by generating a spill-over of about RM500 million per month.

Investments growing

Since the inception of SCORE in 2008, Sarawak has recorded an average economic growth of 3.2 per cent. Sarawak’s nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008, he said, was RM86.9 billion and is forecasted at RM145.2 billion in 2018.

“Our Nominal GDP per capita in 2008 stood at RM36,075 and is RM51,925 in 2018. SCORE has contributed significantly to the economic performance of the state, especially through its public and private investments,” said Abang Johari, who is also SCORE’s chairman.

Sarawak is expected to generate RM334 billion in investments, of which RM267 billion or 80 per cent is expected from the private sector and the remaining RM67 billion will come from the public sector through the SCORE Development Plan.

When the SCORE Development Plan is fully realised by 2030, it is also expected to create 1.6 million new job opportunities, especially for young Sarawakians.

With substantial funding from the Sarawak government to implement basic infrastructure and amenities projects, as well as socioeconomic programmes, Abang Johari expects RECODA to position itself well to attract more investors within the next two to three years.

He further revealed that RECODA is undergoing a restructuring exercise and will recruit more qualified people to join the organisation in the near future.

The restructuring, he added, is timely due to the workload and challenges which they are facing through the setting up of the three agencies.

He also said they will continue to exercise their duties in a professional manner to facilitate and attract investments in SCORE, not only in Samalaju Industrial Park but also in Tanjung Manis Halal Hub, Mukah Science Park, Matadeng Industrial Park, and all other areas designated under the three development agencies.