Sarawak plans to set up commercial bank to help SMEs, says Abg Jo


Abang Johari said the work to materialise the plan is already in the pipeline. – Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING (April 30): Sarawak is planning to set up its own commercial bank by the end of this year to help local entrepreneurs, especially those in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In announcing this, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said efforts to materialise the plan is already in the pipeline, with negotiations with the federal authorities underway to acquire a licence to operate the bank.

“When our economy increases, of course the participation of the private sector will happen and this includes SMEs. The problem is that sometimes SMEs cannot borrow money even if they have a good project. This may be due to the bank not approving their applications.

“That’s why I’m working on this and maybe by the end of the year, Sarawak will have its own commercial bank to help our SMEs,” he said in a speech at the Gedong District Aidilfitri 2023 event yesterday.

He said the main target group of the proposed commercial bank would be SME players, adding the new financial institution would be the catalyst for development of SMEs in the region.

During a Hari Raya gathering in Sibu on April 25, Abang Johari had mentioned that Sarawak would have a new financial institution that would benefit small- and medium-sized industries and help expand the state’s economy.

Meanwhile, the premier said he will make an announcement in two weeks’ time regarding a new technology in algae production.

“In two weeks, I will announce a new technology that we created in Sarawak that has such a high value.

“Who would have thought that algae could produce material that is required by the aviation industry and that it would be produced for the first time – from Sarawak to the world,” he added.

Also present at the gathering were Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Aidel Lariwoo, Batang Sadong MP Rodiyah Sapiee, Simunjan assemblyman Awla Dris, and Advisor to the Ministry of International Trade, Industry and Investment Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais.