Saturday, March 25

Covid-19 compels use of new technologies — BCCCI president


Yek Siew Liong

Datuk Abdul Kadier Sahib

BINTULU: The Covid-19 pandemic has propelled new technology across all aspects of life, in particular the Asian lifestyle, from e-commerce to remote working and remote
learning tools, said Yek Siew Liong.

“In fact, it is rapidly accelerating the digital commerce pivot globally, forcing businesses to revisit and even re-imagine their strategy to the interest of capturing new
marketplace opportunities and their share of new digital customer segments.

“Those who have viewed digital commerce as a secondary channel now need to reorient every aspect of their business towards a digital commerce mindset,” said the president of Bintulu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI).

Yek opined that businesses that fail to get digitally connected will become excluded from the global market.

He said to orientate the future development agenda based on the principle of digital economy is therefore the way forward and it is also the single most important driver of
innovation, competitiveness and growth.

Yek was commenting on the state government’s approach in setting up a Sarawak Economic Action Council to manage the post-Covid-19 exit economic  strategy up to 2030.

He welcomed the setting up of the council in order to obtain views of the stakeholders in various sectors for the formulation of action plans to achieve the Sarawak new economic agenda based on the two core principles of digital economy and environmental sustainability.

“Equally important is environmental sustainability in order for us to have healthy communities.

“We must be able to control the rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation and non-renewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely,” he said.

He believed that the application of two core principles and the integration between them will lead the state to new paradigms and move toward economic recovery in the context of the present pandemic.

For Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to allow most economic sectors to resume operation on May 12 in Sarawak according to standard operating procedure (SOP) for different  industries or economic activities after deliberation of the six criteria of State Health Department means that the outbreak of Covid-19 in the state is now manageable and under control, he added.

“I am glad to note that the collective effort by everyone in both private and public sectors has come to fruition.

“Most businesses have been severely affected by this pandemic and if not for the help from our government to mitigate the financial losses, the damage to most businesses would be critical,” said Yek.

He pointed out it is a matter of time that the economy needs to be regenerated and stimulated to become healthy and strong again.

Yek also said the time seems to be now as the Health Department report according to SDMC justifies such action to reopen the economy.

“Nevertheless, the threat of virus is still imminent as there is no vaccine in sight any time soon.

“Strict adherence to SOP, putting on face mask, practising social distancing and good hygiene are paramount to prevent the spread of the virus,” he said.

Sarawak Chamber of Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS) vice president cum Bintulu branch chairman Datuk Abdul Kadier Sahib said the Sarawak Economic Action Council is a practical structured step to take to prepare the people go through the post Covid phase.

“It can be very effective if industry players through various chambers of commerce are invited to participate at sub sector levels to give their input,” he said.