Sarawak to continue pursuing economic restructuring this year under PCDS 2030, says Abg Jo

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Ing Siong (third left) presents a calligraphy piece to Wan Junaidi. From left are Dr Sim, Abang Johari, Fauziah, and Juma’ani. – Photo by Conny Banji

SIBU (Feb 14): Sarawak will continue to pursue its economic restructuring this year as underlined in Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said this included the takeover of Bintulu Port, MASwings, Affin Bank, and transitioning into a green economy.

Abang Johari pointed out Sarawak was very fortunate from 2021 to 2023 as its economy seemed to move on the right track.

“In 2022, we managed to increase our revenue from our economic activities to RM11 billion and in 2023 we managed again to increase our revenue to a record high of RM13.3 billion.

“Last year we were acknowledged by the World Bank as a high-income state. Now we want to translate that high-income state into high household income.

“We are able to restructure our economy and we will pursue the restructuring. God willing this coming June, we are going to take over Bintulu Port, which has been under the federal government for the last 43 years,” he said when officiating at the United Chinese Association (UCA) Sibu’s Chinese New Year gathering last night.

He added that Sarawak also wants to set up a port authority covering all ports with the introduction of legislation.

On MASwings, Abang Johari said the business model for the takeover will be different from other airlines.

“It is unique to us. Just like when building a bridge, you do not talk about ROI (return of investment) but to facilitate mobility and the success will be measured by our GDP (gross domestic products) growth.

“When we have a lot of tourists and people doing business coming over to Sarawak, that will create jobs. What is important is the spin-off of the tourism sector,” he said.

On Affin Bank, where Sarawak aims to become the blockholder, he said the negotiation is almost conclusive.

“Maybe in one or two months, we will have our own bank and the structure I cannot reveal to you tonight.

“I will reveal at the right time how we want to structure the bank. In other words, this bank will be the bank that boosts our small-medium enterprises (SMEs) because we want our SMEs to be very active and participate in our expanding economy,” he said.

On the green economy, he said Sarawak is at the forefront as far as hydrogen is concerned.

“Sarawak’s economic future is very bright. With stability, politics must be managed properly. No point for us to quarrel among ourselves.

“That is what is happening in Peninsular Malaysia,” he added.

The event was graced by the Head of State Tun Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and his wife Toh Puan Fauziah Mohd Sanusi.

Among those present were Abang Johari’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian and his wife Datin Amar Enn Ong; Utility and Telecommunication Minister Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi and his wife Datin Sri Sadiah Buji; Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dato Sri Tiong King Sing; Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Alice Lau; Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Deputy Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee; Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datuk Michael Tiang; Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau; and UCA Sibu president Lau Ing Siong.