KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Infrastructure and telecommunication systems are the main factors that will enable Sarawak to become a developed state by 2030.
National Professors Council (MPN) senior fellow Dr Jeniri Amir said a large allocation from the federal and state governments was needed for infrastructure development and upgrading of telecommunication network in an effort to boost the state’s economic growth.
“…good infrastructure and facilities, political stability and interethnic harmony will be able to attract foreign investors to invest in Sarawak.
“Sarawak is already on the right track in terms of its preparedness,” he said in an interview on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara programme yesterday.
Sarawak will be receiving RM4.5 billion in development allocation for next year, as provided under Budget 2021 tabled at Dewan Rakyat on Nov 6.
Finance Minister, Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the allocation is for the construction and upgrading of water and electricity infrastructure, roads, as well as health and educational facilities.
Jeniri said Sarawak should make full use of the allocation provided to bridge the digital divide in the state.
Sabah branch Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) senior lecturer Dr. Firdausi Suffian said Sabah would continue to record a high hardcore poverty and unemployment rate if no changes were made in its economic sector, despite receiving a large amount of allocations each year.
He said Sabah only depends on a few sectors especially tourism, limited exports of raw material and downstream sector.
“The downstream sector is important in diversifying the economy but it is limited, hence the high unemployment rate,” he said.
Sabah has been allocated RM5.1 billion for infrastructure development apart from RM3.8 billion for the continuation of the Pan Borneo project.