KUCHING (Nov 22): A sum of RM20 million will be set aside to kick start the Sarawak Science Centre construction works next year, said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Opening.
He also said a sum of RM21 million has been set aside for promoting research and development (R&D) in Sarawak’s biodiversity.
“We will continue with our initiatives to conserve, protect, and manage our resources sustainably and also committed to keeping 60 per cent of our landmass as forest cover.
“Efforts to conserve and promote biodiversity as a natural capital will pave the way for more investment inflow into Sarawak. This will co-create solutions, generate more green jobs, and business opportunities to drive our economy sustainably,” he said while tabling the State Budget 2023 at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday.
Abang Johari also said the state government would provide a sum of RM2 million to establish the Sarawak Bio-Industrial Park next year.
He said the initiative would enable Sarawak to tap into global biotechnology wealth and capitalise on our rich biodiversity.
“This project will create an ecosystem for innovation and commercialisation,” he added.
On the setting up of the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre, he said the state government will allocate a sum of RM8 million to Sarawak Research and Development Council to support its R&D and innovation activities next year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the outbreak of rabies in Sarawak have taught us that there is an urgent need for Sarawak to address the gaps in our preparedness for pandemics and future outbreaks.
“Towards this, we will be establishing the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre to spur the development of biomedical and biotechnology industries and drive human capital development in biomedical sciences.
“A sum of RM191 million has been committed for the entire project, of which RM20 million is expected to be spent in 2023,” he said.
The establishment of the Sarawak Science Centre, Sarawak Bio-Industrial Park, and the setting up Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre, are among the initiatives that are under the 10th thrust for the State Budget 2023.
The 10th thrust highlights the state government’s efforts to promote research and development (R&D), science and technology, and innovation, which would be the key drivers of long-term economic growth.