KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Abang Openg today rolled out his development strategy to establish the state’s digital economy – a blueprint he dubs “Digital Sarawak”.
Apart from reiterating the state government’s pledge to invest RM1 billion to improve Sarawak’s information and communication technologies (ICT) infrastructure, Abang Johari also announced the E-Commerce Transformation Plan, or E-Com Y30.
Abang Johari said the plan, formulated for Sarawak’s digitally-savvy youth, will complement the state’s digital village to be set up in Samajaya here.
“Our digital village can be strengthened to provide Silicon Valley-type infrastructure which can drive digital-minded Sarawakians to produce new, disruptive business models.
“The E-Com Y30 plan will prepare our youth at the digital village to graduate (as) entrepreneurs with digital knowledge (who will found) e-commerce start-ups,” Abang Johari said in his opening address during the International ICT Infrastructure and Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS 2017) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here, today.
Present were members in the state cabinet and from the Federal government. Also in attendance was State Secretary, Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who is also the conference chairman.
To harness the potential offered by a digital economy, and for the state to compete on a global level, Abang Johari said Sarawak needs a new strategy to develop physical ICT infrastructure for the next five years.
This includes construction of more telecommunication towers in the state. He said at present, only 1,200 communication towers exist in the state, which is insufficient to propel Sarawak’s potential in digital economy.
“I want 5,000 towers in Sarawak. We must reach every possible settlement, close the gap and cover all blind spots,” he said.
Abang Johari said the state needs to have seamless and resilient network services, as well as reliable data security.
“We want to build a world-class ICT infrastructure, since it is the backbone that will enable other new industries to flourish.
“We will soon have a clear roadmap, with a specific timeline and a dedicated agency to implement it, such as a new Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation, to integrate the physical and virtual worlds,” he added.