KUCHING: The state government will build an incubator centre at Samajaya Free Industrial Zone for use by young entrepreneurs and startups, said Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
“The government will spend RM30 million to build the incubator, which will have at least 50 rooms. It will be equipped with fast Internet connection of between 150 to 300 megabytes per second, which we want the telco companies to make sure they can provide.
“Many of our young people are creative but have no place to rent. The incubator will have the facilities for them to rent at cheap rates so that they can engage with their business partners and connect to the world.
“The building design will be simple and functional, like a warehouse with all the necessary infrastructures,” he said when officiating at the Sarawak Career and Training (SCat) Fair 2017 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.
The project will be handled by Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas) and construction is expected to start immediately.
Abang Johari also mentioned that the state government would invest in information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, which is expected to cost RM2 billion. The state government was expected to foot RM1 billion, with the federal government matching the other RM1 billion.
However, he added that the exact details could only be worked out after the international conference on ICT infrastructure and digital economy (in April).
“We will know after the international conference, because we need to get certain inputs before we can formulate and find the best model for Sarawak.
“It must be done soon – the infrastructure such as clouding, satellite, fibre optic. But we need to have the advice from experts before we build the trunk infrastructure,” he said.
According to Abang Johari, these were part of efforts to establish an ecosystem for digital economic development as the state prepares to move from traditional to digital economy.
“The world is connected because of the Internet. The Internet has shrunk the world. It is a game changer. This is the economic landscape we are facing.
“We cannot depend on the market in Sarawak (only), we have to go beyond Sarawak, beyond Malaysia. Whatever products and services you produce must be connected to the world.
“The government is directing efforts and resources to this changing landscape so that our people can exploit the opportunities,” he said.
Abang Johari also pointed out that by building basic ICT infrastructure, it would also help rural folks to change the rural economy by connecting them to a wider market.
“Products and services must be connected to the market. We are fortunate that we are within the ecosystem of developing markets.
“We are within six hours flight to markets in India, China and ASEAN countries. That is about three billion consumers,” he said.
SCat Fair 2017 is jointly organised by Work Development Unit of the Chief Minister’s Department and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas).
Also present were State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohammad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing, Assistant Minister for Workforce Development and Training Datu Len Talif Salleh, Work Development Unit director Abdul Rahman Deen, and other assistant ministers and department heads.