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Sunday August 19, 2012

Focus on technical education

KUCHING: Technical education will be stepped up in the state over the next 10 years to meet the requirements of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said the Federal Government had approved the setting-up of a new technology university in Sibu, which would complement the four existing universities in the state.

“The University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) in Sibu will provide higher education programmes focusing on technical development,” he said in his Hari Raya Aidilfitri message yesterday.

During a visit to Sibu in April, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had handed over a letter from the Higher Education Ministry for the establishment of UCTS to Taib.

The university is expected to take in its first batch of students in September next year.

Taib also said the state government planned to set up more technical schools in the coming 10 years.

He said he was working with universities in Australia, India and other places to escalate the development of technical education throughout Sarawak.

“I urge our young people in the rural areas to take up this opportunity and obtain a technical education.

“Youths need to have bigger ambitions and be technically educated in order for Sarawak to achieve a high per capita income of RM45,000,” the Chief Minister said.

On SCORE, Taib said it would tap the state’s economic potential, particularly in the provision of energy at reasonable prices.

He said SCORE was already receiving an encouraging response from big industries to set up operations in Samalaju and Tanjung Manis.

“Samalaju is already developing into a new township with about 15,000 people. More than 10 factories have taken up land and will be constructed soon.

“In Tanjung Manis, a company has begun aquaculture using a biotechnology process, which we can sell with the halal brand,” he said.

He added that all this development was made possible, thanks to the state’s stable politics.

“I would like to thank the rakyat for returning Barisan Nasional in Sarawak with a two-thirds majority.

“In order to continue our development, I hope a similar victory will be given to Najib,” he said.