We need to take care of ourselves, says Sarawak CM

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg says the state will develop a methanol hub in Bintulu which will provide jobs for 74,000 people

KUCHING: Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today said that only Sarawakians are capable of protecting state interests and improving their lives.

He said the state government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would look into the needs of the state at the micro level, especially in terms of infrastructure development, which would accelerate the state’s economic growth.

Speaking at the launch of the state-level Kibar Jalur Gemilang campaign today, he said while Sarawak contributed 10% to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), in reality Sarawakian household income per capita was still low.

“It was estimated that in 2019, Sarawak’s GDP reached RM136.05 billion with a total of RM53,317 of income per capita.

“The statistics seemed to be something we should be proud of but in reality, the household income in the state is still low, amounting to only RM5,218 in 2019,” he said.

He said only Sarawakians were capable of protecting the state’s interests and rights.

“It is not wrong for Sarawak to want to move towards better development and become a developed state in the country by 2030.

“If Sarawak becomes a developed state, then it will also contribute to the development of our country.”

Abang Johari said the development programme would be implemented based on the state’s needs as well as the national perspective.

He said Sarawak also contributed hugely to the country’s oil and gas revenue but this hardly enhanced household incomes in the state.

“On an average scale, household income in the state is still low because the oil and gas industry does not provide sufficient jobs for Sarawakians,” he said.

He said one of the state’s economic focuses post-Covid-19 would be to develop the petrochemical industry through its hub in Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu.

He said the state had acquired approximately 1,000 acres of land to develop a methanol plant worth RM3.74 billion, and that an international company would be investing RM24 billion in the hub.

“The downstream oil and gas industry is expected to provide employment opportunities for 74,000 people.

“It is expected that household income in the state will increase through the implementation of this petrochemical industry programme as well as other economic programmes (in Sarawak),” he said.