KUCHING: Leaders need to embrace change and keep abreast with the digital revolution to transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2030.
Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the current crop of political leaders must adopt technology and cutting-edge ways of doing things to ensure the state would not be left behind in progress.
“Leveraging on technology advancement is the way forward for Sarawak to grow its economy.
As we shift towards a digital economy, leaders of today must adopt to global advancement, embracing technology and keeping abreast with the digital era.
“This pace of change is greater than what we have experienced during the industrial revolution. The adoption of new technologies will occur at an exponential pace in every walk of life,” Abang Johari, who is also PBB president, said at the party’s special “Jasamu Dikenang” convention to honour past leaders at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here.
The convention attended by some 5,500 delegates and grassroots leaders from all PBB branches paid tribute to Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem and long-serving former deputy chief minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang.
Taib was former PBB president and the state’s longest serving chief minister for 33 years before he stepped down in 2014 to assume the role of the head of state.
Adenan succeeded Taib as the state’s fifth chief minister and party president but his tenure lasted only three years after he died of a heart attack on Jan 11.
Jabu, a former PBB deputy president and deputy chief minister, retired from active politics before the May 2016 state polls after 43 years in service. He relinquished his party post last January.
“The stalwart of past leaders have contributed impeccably to the strength of PBB today. They have laid the foundation for new generation of leaders to continue the state’s development policies and transform Sarawak into one of the richest state by 2030.
“We must possess the vision to continue the struggles of past leaders,” Abang Johari said.
He added that Taib has introduced development policies that are inclusive of all communities particularly the rural areas.
Taib had overseen Sarawak progress from agriculture to industrial revolution, transforming the state’s economic landscape with the introduction of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score). The former chief minister also emphasised on the English language to ensure Sarawakians can adopt to globalisation.
Abang Johari said Adenan, despite the latter’s short tenure as chief minister, managed to introduce policies that help the people cope with rising cost of living.
Adenan had eased people’s burden with the abolishing of tolls, reduced electricity tariff and assessment rate.
He also started negotiation with the Federal Government to reclaim some of the state’s autonomy that has eroded over the years.
Abang Johari pledged that his administration would continue talks with the Federal Government over the matter.
He described Jabu as influential in advocating development among the rural people.
“One thing that the younger generations can learn from Jabu is that he was loyal to the party and a team player,” he said, adding that Jabu was hardworking and frequently went to the interiors to transform the lives of farmers and fishermen.
“In PBB, it us our culture to respect our leaders and show gratitude to what they have done. Apart from these three leaders, this event is also symbolic to other past leaders with us today.
“Now, our focus and priority is to move Sarawak forward to new economic ventures and opportunities, one that is based on digital economy and technology advancement,” he added.
Taib advised the state leadership to always embrace change and keep up with global development trend.
“We must realise that development does not stop but change characters and keeping abreast with this changes will give greater benefit to our people from a different aspect.
“More active young population and more educated people will create a greater fusion in the interest of bumiputras, together with the Chinese, to produce a better Sarawak. This is within our reach. Let us all work together to achieve this,” he said.
A Jasamu Dikenang book was also launched in tribute to the three leaders.