Indonesia’s capital relocation will open up socioeconomic opportunities for Sarawak, says Abdul Taib

Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud (second left) inspecting a guard of honour at the opening ceremony of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly meeting on Tuesday (May 17). - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star

KUCHING: The relocation of Indonesia's capital to Nusantara in neighbouring Kalimantan will open up socioeconomic opportunities for Sarawak, says Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

He said Nusantara's proximity to Sarawak would strengthen bilateral trade between both regions.

"I am pleased to note that Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) has taken a step forward in this direction by supplying power to west Kalimantan.

"SEB is also working with Indonesian companies to develop hydroelectric projects in north Kalimantan towards developing the Asean power grid," Taib said when opening the Sarawak Legislative Assembly meeting here on Tuesday (May 17).

He said the state's private sector should get ready to take up the economic opportunities in Kalimantan.

The core administrative centre of Nusantara is expected to be ready in 2024.

Taib also called on the state government to improve Internet connectivity in the state in line with its digital transformation agenda.

He said this was important for the state to achieve high-income status through better efficiency and productivity.

"Digital transformation will enhance our business ecosystem, reduce bureaucratic inefficiency, improve transparency and ensure that Sarawak is well connected to the world," he said.

In addition, Taib urged the state government to study and improve the management of seaports with innovation and new technology.

He said this would enhance Sarawak's attractiveness as a trade and investment destination.

"As Sarawak has an open economy, seaports play an important role in facilitating the movement of goods and supporting supply chains.

"By developing modern infrastructure, I believe Sarawak can become a competitive investment destination in the region," he said.

Earlier, Taib inspected a 105-member guard of honour mounted by the General Operations Force led by Dep Supt Muhammad Izzat Fahim Mohd Sofi during the opening ceremony at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex's parade ground.

The guard of honour was accompanied by a 40-member police band led by Insp Frankie Billy.

The state assembly will sit for eight days until May 26. Three Bills will be tabled, which are the Supplementary Supply Bill, Land Code (Amendment) Bill and Forests (Amendment) Bill.

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