CM reveals Sarawak’s vision of becoming Borneo’s power hub
Sarawak is gearing to transform the state into a power hub in Borneo with its recent move to acquire the Bakun hydroelectric plant, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg.
Abang Johari said the acquisition of the Bakun HEP dam from the Federal Government will not only benefit the state and Sarawakians, but also Sabah and Kalimantan.
During the Sarawak-level National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan dialogue here yesterday, Abang Johari said the acquisition of more dams would create a surplus of power, which could be sold as income for Sarawak.
“We have started selling power to Kalimantan, which requires it to upgrade its grid.
“God willing, if we can produce a surplus in power, Sarawak can emerge as the main supplier of power to the whole of Borneo,” he told 1,600 participants of the state TN50 dialogue at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Sharing the stage with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Abang Johari was responding to a question from Bekenu Sarawak United National Youth Organisation chairman Mohd Fikri Ali.
Abang Johari also shared with the audience, comprising mostly university students and youth organisation representatives, on steps by the state to join the digital economy.
He said Sarawak was prepared to invest RM1 billion to develop trunk infrastructure that would increase the Internet speed from an average of 40 megabits per second (mbps).
“We want the Internet connection to reach a certain terabyte per second.
“Speedier data connection will spur e-commerce in the state. We have entrepreneurs who want to explore the digital global market, but they do not have the enabler.”
He also said the education system would be reformed and it would emphasise the mastery of Bahasa Malaysia and English.
“How will you keep abreast with technology if you do not master the English language?
“Most manuals for equipment and gadgets are written in English. Emphasising English does not mean we should neglect Bahasa Malaysia since it is our national language,” he said, adding that Mandarin should also be focused on following the emergence of China as an economic powerhouse.
Khairy called on Sarawakians to pledge solidarity to Abang Johari to help develop the state with assistance from the Federal Government.
On his vision for 2050, Khairy said he hoped there would no longer be people using race and religion to gain political mileage, which would only divide society.
“Let us look beyond our differences and remain united to develop the country,” he said.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg speaking at the state TN50 dialogue as Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin looks on at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak in Kota Samarahan yesterday.