He said the setting up of the Ministry of Science and Technology Research, for example, would propel Sarawak into the future.
“We are going to emphasise on research and development (R&D) with the setting up of the Ministry of Science and Technology Research. But whether we can achieve the goal of Vision 2020, it all depends on various factors because it is very subjective.
“We may even overtake other states because it’s all about speed,” Abang Johari told the media after the opening of the First Session of the Second Term of the State Legislative Assembly sitting by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, yesterday.
Abang Johari said the underlying policy of the state government was contained inTaib’s speech, which was to focus on R&D to value add the state’s resources.
“We need to focus on new technology because we want to reach out to the global market. Meaning, we want to embrace the whole global economy and we need to value add ourselves since we are rich in biodiversity. We have the talents and the power. The only thing is to have the brain power. Once we have the brain power we will be powerful,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, in supporting the chief minmister’s policy, said the state’s emphasis on R&D was inevitable in order to catch up with the more advanced states in the country.
“We can achieve the vision of a developed state as we are now putting all the necessary infrastructure in place such as roads, electricity, water and telecommunications. The whole idea is to focus on modernisation so that we can move forward as planned,” he said.
Awang Tengah, who is also Minister of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development said R&D would carry the state towards industrialisation.
“Now that we have hydropower, we can move forward faster towards our goal of a developed state, perhaps even before 2030,” he said.
He also said that R&D would encompass all sectors of the state’s economy.
“We are rich in biodiversity. With effective R&D, we can leapfrog into the future especially in pharmaceutical and medicinal industries,” he said.
Awang Tengah added that the setting up of Ulu Rajang Development Authority (URDA) and Sarawak Highlands Authority (SHA) would spur the development of the rural areas as well.
“Due to our small pollution, we have to be export-oriented. That’s the reason we have to focus on R&D.”
Meanwhile, Awang Tengah, who was recently promoted as a deputy chief minister, also thanked the chief minister for the trust he has in him.