Beefing up govt service, agencies

CM sees need to increase capacity of govt departments to meet demands of development initiatives

Abang Johari singing D’Lloyd’s ‘Kasih Sayang’ after fielding questions from the press during his session with the media.

KUCHING: The State Government will revamp its civil service and agencies to cope with the implementation of “strategic projects” initiated in the first 100 days of Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg’s tenure as Chief Minister.

This was revealed by Abang Johari during the ‘Chief Minister’s Special Session, 100 Days and Beyond’, with the media held at a hotel here yesterday.

He said he and State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani will chart the course of action to implement the roadmap of the state’s development up to the year 2030 when it is expected to be fully developed.

He added that the State’s civil service need to buck up so that they will not be caught unprepared in carrying out these initiatives.

“The whole machinery will be revamped to what we have in mind such as the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC) and light-rail transit (LRT) which will be implemented by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

“Meaning, we will source experts to lead these major initiatives so that these projects should be on the ground by 2020 but their completion will depend on various factors.”

He hoped that some of these major initiatives would be operational by then, especially the LRT, and the rest would be completed soon after that.

Abang Johari who is also Minister of Resource Planning and Environment was confident that the proposed LRT which will run on electric powered-locomotives, that will initially link Kuching-Kota Samarahan-Serian, will be completed in the next three years.

“As LRT is a specialised job, it will be implemented by SEDC,” he revealed.

He pointed out that his move to implement the LRT was to ease traffic congestion as well as to improve urban public transport in Sarawak.

“If the Brookes could implement our first train service from Kuching to Mile 10 before, we should be able to implement something much better than that, as we are moving towards modernisation and to ensure that our people will have a much better quality of life with shorter times travelling from their homes to their respective work place,” he said.

As for SMA, the Chief Minister said, he will table a new bill to provide guidelines on its operations in the second DUN sitting expected to be held on either in November or December this year.

Abang Johari revealed that Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan would head a committee on the State civil service, which is one of the three State Transformation Committees (STC).

Two other committees, namely, the rural economic development, has been entrusted to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and the rural transformation (infrastructure development) under Deputy Chief Minster Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing.

“I also have given the hint to him (Awang Tengah) yesterday (Friday) that he will look after education in Sarawak because we have investment in the tertiary education such as University College of Technology (UCT) in Sibu, Curtin University in Miri and Swinburne University here in Kuching.

“He (Awang Tengah) has been entrusted to look into the committee which looks after education in Sarawak and other ministers will look after other things,” he said.

Earlier, he said he had never thought that he would become the Sixth Chief Minister as he just wanted to serve the people especially in his constituency of Satok.

“I was asked to join politics by the late Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub and I have thought all the while, for the past 33 years, that I would just serve the people, because I was never obsessed with power. But because God is great, so here I am as your chief minister,” he said in jest.

Source: The Borneo Post

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