KUCHING: The Sarawak government plans to introduce an e-resident status to foreign nationals in order to facilitate the easier entry of professionals and specialists who are required for the industries in the state.
State premier Abang Johari Openg said that he had sent a team to study the mechanism and implementation of the e-resident in Estonia, a country which he said Sarawak could emulate as a model for this initiative.
“Once I have the model (for implementation), I will bring it to the state assembly to get approval for e-resident,” he told reporters after attending the launch of the Tun Abang Haji Openg Digital Centre at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) in Kota Samarahan, near here.
He said the state government would work together with the industries in Sarawak as well as the embassies or high commissions to screen through the e-resident applications before approving them.
“It must be a government-to-government process. We are going to use the data provided by the government of the applicant’s country before we issue the e-resident,” he said.
Abang Johari said the status of the e-resident holders would be similar to those who are permanent residents of the state, where they could enter and leave Sarawak without too many immigration problems.
He said e-resident would be something new in Malaysia but had been implemented by a number of countries due to the global expansion of companies around the world.
“Strategic personnel (of the companies) who have to come often (and stayed for a short period) can do so without much (immigration) hassle,” he added.
On the establishment of the digital centre at Unimas, he said this is the right move towards producing more data specialists in Sarawak as it progressed further in its endeavour into the digital economy.
“A lot of processes are technology-based, so we need our university to migrate towards new technology, new discipline and new processes that will produce graduates that match the needs (of the industries),” he said.