Premier: Good ties between S’wak and China due to successful collabs in groundbreaking projects


Dr Sim flanked by Lee (left) and Kong leading other guests in cutting the anniversary cake. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Feb 29): The enduring and amicable ties between Sarawak and China have been attributed to various successful collaborations, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said particularly noteworthy was the partnership in groundbreaking projects such as the world’s first hydrogen-powered autonomous rapid transit (ART), showcasing successful collaboration in cutting-edge technology.

In commending such ties spanning economic, educational, and cultural cooperation, he expressed admiration for China’s impressive economic growth, deeming it an exemplary model for Sarawak’s own development.

“The robust economic growth in China serves as an exemplary model for us to learn from, and we look forward to further collaborations, driving the development of Sarawak and achieving mutual success.

“Let us continue working together for prosperity and sustainable development of Sarawak as well as peace and security for the region,” he said.

Abang Johari’s speech text was read by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian at the Chinese New Year cum 50th anniversary of the establishment of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations celebration organised by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sarawak (ACCCIS) at a local hotel here tonight.

Abang Johari also highlighted the importance of embracing technological advancements.

“In this era of rapid technological evolution, I emphasise the importance of staying ahead and embracing the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence.

“The integration of AI (artificial intelligence) into various industries is not just a trend but a necessity for sustainable growth and competitiveness. I encourage entrepreneurs to invest in technology, foster innovation, and adapt to the changing landscape of the business world,” he said.

Acknowledging the significance of sustainable business practices, he urged entrepreneurs to support initiatives adhering to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles.

“By incorporating ESG principles into our business models, we will not only gain wider access for our products in the global market but also contribute to environmental conservation, social responsibility, and sound governance, thereby fostering a more resilient and ethical business environment,” he said.

Providing an overview of Sarawak’s development agenda through PCDS 2030, Abang Johari announced that Sarawak achieved the classification of a high-income state by the World Bank in the previous year.

However, he emphasised the commitment to continue efforts to increase the income of Sarawakians by narrowing gaps between different segments of the population.

Celebrating the remarkable economic growth in 2023, Abang Johari disclosed that Sarawak’s revenue for the year reached a record high at RM13.3 billion, demonstrating the resilience and agility of businesses and entrepreneurs in the state.

“This is a testament to the ability of Sarawak and her people to emerge stronger in the face of economic challenges.

“With this economic growth, the Sarawak government is actively exploring new revenue streams, including raising our stake in Affin Bank. Negotiations are underway, and details will be announced in due course, adhering to Bursa regulatory requirements,” he said.

Looking ahead to 2024, Abang Johari outlined the vision for Sarawak, involving continued economic progress and prosperity.

“We are committed to exploring innovative strategies and fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors.

“I would like to extend my appreciation to the ACCCIS for consistently supporting the policies implemented by the Sarawak government and I call on the members to continue to do so in the vigorous promotion of PCDS2030.

“I am open to considering requests for assistance, for example in organising training courses and seminars aligned with the goals of PCDS 2030 with a view to enhancing the competitiveness of local businesses and their transformation as proponents of the new economy,” he added.

Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, Consul-General of China in Kuching Xing Weiping, ACCCIS president Kong Chiong Ung were among those present.