KUCHING: Sarawak’s political stability has attracted private investments to the state despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said today.
He said the state’s economic foundations are also strong as the people are united.
“This is unlike the situation in Peninsular Malaysia that is very unstable. Whenever there is a Parliament sitting, there would be an issue about who should or has the majority to become the prime minister,” he said.
“Everyone over there is fighting to become the prime minister and it may keep the private investors away,” he added.
Speaking at the Bau 200th anniversary, Abang Johari said revenue from Sarawak’s oil and gas resources had helped the state in fighting the spread of Covid-19.
“I am aware that health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has commended Sarawak for managing to stem the spread of Covid-19 in the state. And this is because of our own policy which requires all travellers entering the state to undergo mandatory quarantine.
“For Sarawakians, we pay for their quarantine cost at the designated hotels using our state funds as we have extra money to do it. But in other states, there isn’t such a requirement or policy as their state governments can’t afford to do that (pay for the quarantine costs).
“We are very serious when it comes to the safety and health of our people. That’s how the people benefit from the oil and gas revenue. We will also provide free Covid-19 vaccines for all Sarawakians,” he said.
Abang Johari said Bau was once active in the gold and antimony mining industry but the Geological Department had confirmed that the district no longer had enough deposits of gold to make mining viable.
“Thus, we are now focusing on tourism as its core industry, supported by agriculture, due to the soil fertility of the land in Bau.”
The state government had also allocated RM40 million to provide power and water supply from Bau to Lundu and Sematan.
Apart from the Pan Borneo Highway, the state government will also construct a dual carriageway from Bau to Batu Kitang and Siniawan.
“All these will be able to boost the tourism industry in Bau and I believe it will also attract private investors,” Abang Johari said.