KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg wants to transform the state’s economic ecosystem to be more conducive for youths to develop their talents.
He said one of the areas the state would be focusing on is the creative industry, in which Sarawak has an abundance of young talents.
“For instance our creative industry, we have the talent. That’s why you notice some of the national singers are from Sarawak.
“Even in Hollywood we have James Wan (film director from Sarawak),” he said during a special meeting with the press recently in connection with his third anniversary as Sarawak’s sixth chief minister.
Abang Johari said because of that, the state government is in the midst of turning the old State Legislative Assembly building into a performing arts centre.
This is so that Sarawakian young talents can build up their talent and showcase them worldwide.
“I mean that is the trend for the future. But the talent can be stunted if the ecosystem is not there.
“When you can sing, you don’t have a venue to showcase your singing talent, where else can you sing? In your bathroom?” he said.
Another example he cited was a famous local Malaysian actor Tony Eusoff, a Bidayuh from Siburan who is now one of the top actors in the peninsula.
Abang Johari said the state leaders must first have faith and confidence in carrying out these policies that would benefit Sarawakian youths in the future.
He said Sarawak has all the resources and necessary ingredients to move forward in such manner, so long as the leaders are confident and Sarawakians are not shy to showcase their talents.
“A lot of Sarawakians are working overseas. The reason is because the opportunities here do not match with their training. That’s why they are overseas.
“In other words you have to upgrade your economy that will match with their training. If you are trained in data analytics, so your economy must be based on digital,” he said.
That was one of the reasons why Sarawak Pay was created, he added, so that Sarawakians who are knowledgeable in digital and information technology can work with Sarawak Pay and such.
To date, he said Sarawak Pay has handled over RM100 million worth of transactions since its inception in November 2017.
“Whether you like it or not, we have to lift our economy and provide the economy that will match with the training, and Sarawakians are talented. You go overseas, a lot of our Sarawakians are overseas, and they have done quite well,” said Abang Johari.
However, he said it does not mean that only Sarawakian youths bounded to Sarawak can find opportunities here.
He emphasised the importance of education where Sarawakians should and can excel in all spheres of talents, including sports.
“You know, you cannot only talk about Sarawak. You have to also talk about the capacity of Sarawakians because you can also operate beyond Sarawak. So that is why education is important.
“Now we are providing the right ecosystem, as I’ve mentioned earlier, the areas we are looking into include education, building international schools, so Sarawakians can excel in all spheres, including sports,” said Abang Johari.
He added: “So what I’m saying here is, what we are doing now is to create this environment, it’s up to Sarawakians themselves now.
“There are many opportunities, up to you to take up the opportunities.”
[Source: “CM wants state’s economic ecosystem to be more conducive for youths to develop talents (Video)” published by BorneoPost Online]