S’wak wants to offer free tertiary education via sovereign wealth fund, says Abang Jo

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (second left) speaking to reporters after opening the new Limbang Museum.

KUCHING: Sarawak wants to provide free tertiary education to its people should the state have sufficient revenue in the future.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was part of why the state government was planning to set up a sovereign wealth fund.

"As the state's revenue is increasing, we want to put aside funds for future generations through a sovereign wealth fund.

"My intention is that one day we will have sufficient funds to provide free tertiary education to Sarawakians.

"Whether I can do it or not, I leave it to God, but this is my ambition," he said when opening the new Limbang Museum in the northern Sarawak town of Limbang on Thursday (Aug 4).

Abang Johari said he had visited Norway, Singapore and Britain to study their models of managing sovereign wealth funds.

He said Sarawak's approach would be tailored to the state's economy.

A Bill to establish the sovereign wealth fund is expected to be tabled in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly in November.

On the new Limbang Museum, Abang Johari said it would not only be a visitor attraction but a place of reference for academicians researching Limbang's history and development.

"The museum will display Limbang's heritage through artefacts and photographs which show the local culture and lifestyle.

"It will also be a reference for academic research on what is happening in Limbang and its historical story," he said.

On a personal note, Abang Johari said the museum was located at the site of the old government quarters in Limbang where he was born on Aug 4, 1950.

"So I have a personal connection with the museum," he said, adding that it was an honour to open it on his 72nd birthday.

The RM6.4mil museum has two galleries showcasing Limbang's administration and development from the Brooke era to current times.

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