Economic potential in sight

Sabah, S’wak embracing digital economy for future growth

PUTRAJAYA: Sabah and Sarawak are leveraging the digital economy to enhance socio-economic growth in these states.

According to Sabah’s Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, the digital economy offers significant potential for the state, providing avenues to address traditional challenges while creating new opportunities for economic development.

The state’s population, which comprises 90% bumiputra, faces barriers in terms of economic opportunities, limited access to social services, healthcare facilities, telecommunications and quality education due to geographical factors, said Hajiji.

As such, he said there is a need to empower the community through access to human capital development, quality education and digital literacy.

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“To fully maximise the potential of the digital economy, we must focus on infrastructure development and connectivity to fully harness the potential of the digital economy.

“This will not only support the grassroots economy but also serve as a foundation for a more inclusive and sustainable economic development for Sabah,” he said in his speech on the last day of the Bumiputra Economic Congress 2024 (KEB 2024) yesterday.

What lies ahead: Participants listening to the Prime Minister’s speech during the closing ceremony of the congress. — BernamaWhat lies ahead: Participants listening to the Prime Minister’s speech during the closing ceremony of the congress. — Bernama

Hajiji said that the six strategic thrusts announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to drive the Bumiputra Economic Transformation were in line with the aspirations of Sabah and important to close key development imbalances.

These thrusts include eliminating implementation gaps, establishing equality among regions, races, and groups, and identifying new opportunities and future economic developments.

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Hajiji also said no matter how far out the rakyat live, if they have access to good infrastructure, facilities and quality education, they will be able to succeed.

“We hope that prosperity can be shared together in this Keluarga Malaysia.

“Don’t make the South China Sea a barrier to our development and shared harmony,” he said.

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said as 72.4% of Sarawak’s 2.5 million residents are bumiputra, efforts to increase this community’s economic involvement are in line with the policy and objectives of the Sarawak state government.

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Sarawak has launched the Sarawak Digital Economy Blueprint, which outlines the strategy for the development of the digital economy to boost productivity and economic development, he said.

“According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the digital economy is estimated to contribute an average of 24.3% to the world economy in 2025, which is worth US$25 trillion (RM118 trillion).

“Imagine if we were able to take advantage of just 1% of this value; it would contribute US$2.5 trillion (RM11 trillion) to the country’s GDP,” said Amar in his speech.

He also said that Sarawak has entered into new economies, including green energy generation such as hydropower, for which the state aims to generate 10,000MW of energy by 2030.

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“Energy development has many spillovers in terms of power generation, transmission and distribution, including creating many business and enterprise opportunities that can be ventured by bumiputra companies, including our small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“I hope that this Congress will be able to increase the involvement of the bumiputra in all sectors.

“The government and entrepreneurs should have the determination and commitment to realise all proposals and resolutions by having a concrete and comprehensive action plan,” said Amar.

He added that to realise the aspirations of KEB 2024, it was important to continue to ensure stability, strengthen agreement, unity and cooperation among all communities in Malaysia.

“Only then will we be able to face the challenges in front of us with full strength and confidence and bring Malaysia forward,” he said.

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