KUCHING, July 28 ― The Sarawak government intends to eliminate the term rich state but poor people associated with the state by 2030 by increasing the household income of its people which is still low at RM5,218, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg today.
He said that one of the focuses of the initiatives to improve the economy of the Sarawakians is to develop the petrochemical hub industry which is being implemented in Tanjong Kidurong, Bintulu, on a 400 hectare area and to develop a methanol plant costing RM3.74 billion.
“Besides that, an international company has also confirmed that it will invest RM24 billion in the hub which is expected to provide employment opportunities to 74,000 people directly and indirectly.
“It is expected that with the implementation of this petrochemical industry project and other economic programmes, it will increase the household income in the state,” he said in his speech during the launch of the state-level 2020 National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang Campaign at the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building today.
Commenting further, Abang Johari said that there was no denying that Sarawak was one of the largest contributors to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at 10 per cent and in 2019. Sarawak's GDP was estimated at RM136.05 billion with a per capita of RM53,317, but the reality was much lower.
“Sarawak’s oil and gas revenue is a major contributor to the country’s income, however, on average, household income is still low because the Sarawak oil and gas industry does not provide adequate employment opportunities for Sarawakians.
“Sarawak should examine this shortcoming more carefully and take action to rectify this situation,” he said.
He also said that Sarawak should implement development programmes based on the state’s perspective as well as taking into account the national perspective.
“If the Sarawakians themselves are not able to protect their interests and rights, who else can possibly do so and I think it is not an offence for Sarawak to take steps towards greater development so that it can become a developed state by 2030,” he added. ― Bernama