by Peter Boon. Posted on February 13, 2012, Monday
FOR PROSPERITY: (from left) President of The Federation of Chinese Associations (FCA) Malaysia Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah, president of FCA Sarawak Wong Aik Loung, Jabu, Wong, Taib and UCA Sibu president Datuk Lau Nai Hoh tossing the ‘Yee Sang’ during UCA’s 35th anniversary dinner cum Chinese New Year gathering at Kingwood Hotel.
SIBU: Sarawak is poised to be the richest state in Malaysia by 2030, says Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. And thrusting the state towards that goal is the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), a completely different concept for development, Taib added. But to do that, he said there was a need to transform the workforce to be more technical-oriented.
“Based on the many things that I have read about Sarawak and Malaysia as a whole, we will be the richest state in Malaysia by 2030 because we have changed the basis of our economy. Now, we are going to SCORE – a completely different basis for development. We are relying on playing the role of serving a global economy by manufacturing intermediate materials. We will be one of the biggest places with the biggest facilities for smelting in the next 20 years.
“And because of that, we need to transform our workforce to be more technical-oriented than before,” Taib said in his keynote address when officiating at United Chinese Association’s (UCA) 35th anniversary dinner cum Chinese New Year celebration of Federation of Chinese Associations (FCA) Sarawak at a leading hotel here on Saturday.
Expressing his optimism, he said: “I believe we can do this because of the great understanding between all races, encouraging each other in the pursuit of knowledge.”
He mentioned that these days the economy would not function well unless people were trained with all the skills and professional expertise required to achieve a higher level of economic development.
Elaborating on the potential in SCORE, Taib said its third phase would centre on the development of eco-tourism.
This, he added, would open up the interior areas of Baram and Kapit with better road network and connectivity.
The hydro development would also give rise to more lakes for holiday makers, hotels and water sports, he said.
Taib also dwelled on the rapid development taking place, following the completion of Sibu/Tanjung Manis Road which had boosted business activities.
Better connectivity through road networks in places such as Mukah, Sarikei, Bintangor, Kanowit would also make Sibu a hub for more businesses, he added.
He also stressed the vast opportunities in Tanjong Manis Halal Hub, which would exert a much bigger influence.
Towards this end, he was glad to note that the economy was becoming increasingly integrated where everyone was dependent on one another.
“This will allow for taking on of bigger jobs and undertakings, and will upgrade our economy to a level much higher than what we thought was possible at one time.”
For this goal to be materialised, he stressed that the government and the private sector needed to work hand-in-hand to ensure the people benefit from SCORE and the government’s future economic plans.
Earlier, he said: “Since 1981, our GDP has grown by more than seven times and I can expect we can achieve the developed nation status well before 2020.”
During the function, Taib also officiated at the upgrading of Sibu UCA’s existing venue, to the applause of some 2,000 people.
Among those present were Taib’s wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Second Finance Minister and Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah and Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee.