Master plan needed to spur Miri’s economic devt — CM

Lee (right) receives a report of recommended projects to drive Miri’s development from acting Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Mohamad Yusuf, witnessed by invited guests.

MIRI: A comprehensive master plan that encompasses development thrusts, strategic objectives and programmes as well as projects is needed to drive Miri forward in line with the state’s development strategies, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said the key sectors for Miri’s economic development include digital transformation and innovation, education and human capital, services, agriculture, tourism, forestry, transportation, manufacturing, infrastructure and utilities, and oil and gas.

He added that pursuance of digital technology has been a priority of the Sarawak government as it is the way forward in making the state’s economy more competitive globally.

“To achieve this, we need to encourage and promote innovation and prepare our society to respond to global challenges, such as the shock by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Research and development (R&D) particularly digital technologies and biodiversity, is one of the focus areas in our effort to develop indigenous products which have potential economic value for commercialisation,” Abang Johari, whose text-of-speech was read by state Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, said.

Lee was representing the chief minister at the closing ceremony of the ‘Greater Miri Development Master Plan Lab’ held at a hotel here yesterday.

Abang Johari said the now-operational Miri Biovalley Park is hoped to be able to provide a quantum leap in R&D and knowledge accumulation especially for Miri division, to meet the state’s development agenda.

Similarly, SMA Tegas Digital Innovation Hub based at Marina Parkcity will hopefully be made full use of to nurture young talents and create innovation for socio-economic betterment, he added.

Abang Johari also said the move to establish regional development agencies such as Upper Rajang Development Agency, Highland Development Agency and Northern Region Development Agency under the Regional Corridor Development Authority, as well as Sri Aman Development Agency and Integrated Samarahan Development Agency, was to ensure a more integrated approach in developing the respective regions.

Each agency has had a substantial allocation of RM1.5 billion approved by the state government, he pointed out.

On the two-day event, which was jointly organised by Miri Resident’s Office and Sarawak Economic Planning Unit in collaboration with Curtin University Malaysia, the chief minister said he viewed it as the right step because development plans should involve all relevant agencies and be supported by the right ecosystem and the right enablers.

“I am glad Miri has started the preparation of the master plan, taking into consideration the inputs and feedback from the ground,” he said.

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