MIRI: The Sarawak government will use the RM2.95 billion state sales tax paid by Petronas and its subsidiaries to boost the state’s development, including financing the training of Sarawakians at state-owned international schools, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said this is in line with the government’s objective of setting up the international schools to allow Sarawakians of all races from both rural and urban areas to realise their full potential by having access to international-standard education.
“The money paid by Petronas to Sarawak will be used for training youths in international schools so that they can ‘duduk sama rendah, berdiri sama tinggi’ (be on par) with students of renowned universities such as Cambridge University,” he said when officiating at the Saberkas 16th Triennial General Meeting (TGM) here yesterday.
Also present was Saberkas deputy president Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah.
Abang Johari added that Sarawak decided to have some autonomy in education, especially in secondary and tertiary education, to prepare the younger generation for the new digital era.
“I am not saying that our national syllabus is not good. Our concern is our rural students including the Chinese who are poor, but if they are good in their studies, they can go to our international schools having Cambridge syllabus which are fully sponsored by Gabungan Parti Sarawak to produce students with high knowledge in new fields like cyber analytics and data analytics,” he said.
Abang Johari, who is outgoing Saberkas president, pointed out that Sarawak is blessed with resources including renewable energy and hydrogen, and only with readily-available human resources that are knowledgeable and skilful can the state be transformed to become a rich state by 2030 and beyond.
He stressed in the current digital era, knowledge is the key to success in all fields, adding that the old economic factors of production whereby only where there is land, labour and capital can there be success, are no longer relevant.
This, he pointed out, was proven by Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who did not require land to become one of the richest and powerful men today.