Chiew urges need to stress do­mes­tic in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion

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Of these sec­tors, only two are in­volved in in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion for ex­port, namely palm oil and tim­ber, while the oth­ers are more ser­vice-ori­ented.

KUCH­ING: Sarawak needs to ur­gently de­velop its do­mes­tic in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion pol­icy if it wants to achieve a de­vel­oped state sta­tus.

Chiew Chiu Sing ( DAP-Tan­jung Batu) said the state did not have to rely on for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) all the time.

“I note that the big­gest com­pa­nies in Sarawak are in­volved in power sup­ply, prop­erty, con­struc­tion, palm oil and tim­ber.

“Of these sec­tors, only two are in­volved in in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion for ex­port, namely palm oil and tim­ber, while the oth­ers are more ser­vice- ori­ented.

“In fact, these big play­ers in the palm oil and tim­ber in­dus­tries should be in the fore­front to lead Sarawak in in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion ac­tiv­i­ties by go­ing up the value chain and pro­duce prod­ucts for ex­port,” he said when de­bat­ing the state bud­get yes­ter­day.

Chiew said for ex­am­ple, the big tim­ber com­pa­nies should pro­duce high value global fur­ni­ture prod­ucts cap­i­tal­is­ing on the state’s abun­dant hard­wood tim­ber re­sources and not just sell logs for easy money, while com­pletely ne­glect­ing to in­dus­tri­alise, build fac­to­ries and make prod­ucts.

He re­called that Pe­hin Sri Ade­nan Satem’s ad­min­is­tra­tion had talked about this be­fore, and asked where the fur­ni­ture made in Sarawak for ex­port were now.

“Or, are we just in­ter­ested in catch­ing the il­le­gal log­gers, not that it is not im­por­tant, and now even catch­ing them with drones?

“But please for good­ness sake do some­thing more pro­duc­tive for our tim­ber in­dus­try,” he said.

Chiew said the big palm oil com­pa­nies must also pro­duce high- end prod­ucts such as in the cos­metic and food in­dus­tries with palm oil as the ma­jor in­gre­di­ent, and not just look at North Korea pro­duc­ing cos­met­ics even though they did not even have palm oil.

He said the state gov­ern­ment must fully re­alise the state’s com­par­a­tive ad­van­tages and build on them to cre­ate fin­ished, branded prod­ucts as global cham­pi­ons in their re­spec­tive fields.

He sug­gested that while the state could not just leave it like that to the big com­pa­nies, the state gov­ern­ment must think of some­thing to en­cour­age them through in­cen­tives.

“For ex­am­ple, the gov­ern­ment can grant tax de­duc­tions on in­vest­ment in high- end fin­ished prod­ucts, pull in uni­ver­si­ties to work to­gether with these big com­pa­nies to do re­search, in­vent and pro­duce these prod­ucts while mak­ing sure that our in­sti­tu­tions have the best ex­perts, the lat­est tools and sci­en­tific equip­ment for the task.

“The gov­ern­ment of the day must also con­duct trade pro­mo­tion over­seas by us­ing just one per cent of the ex­port value of their goods.”

Chiew Chiu Sing, Tan­jung Batu as­sem­bly­man

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