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Abang Johari (centre) in a group photo on stage with Awang Tengah (left), Uggah (second left), Masing (second right), Jaul (right) and Dr Sabariah (third left). — Photo by Chimon Upon, Borneo Post

Data, innovation-driven Sarawak to thrive by 2030, says Abg Johari

(SAINS News; 08 Oct, 2020)

KUCHING: Sarawak will be a thriving society driven by data and innovation where everyone enjoys economic prosperity, social inclusivity and a sustainable environment by 2030, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said data is an increasingly valuable economic entity that can be converted into business intelligence and insights that can generate revenue.

“In the new business model for digital economy, the two promising and emerging areas that are driving value creation are platform economy and monetisation of data.

“Digital platforms are the primary element in digital economy, while data is a vital resource that can lead to value creation,” he said when officiating the 4th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (Idecs) 2020 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.

Besides the importance of data and its flow in the ecosystem, he said the other aspect of data-driven economy is the study, design, development, testing, production and sales of ‘packaged digital data’ in the form of knowledge and information products and services that can be monetised to meet local and global demands.

“Data-driven economic growth requires information system to function as an integrated whole with interoperability between different organisations and information systems.

“The commercial and social values of data can be maximised when the databases in public and private sectors can be integrated and the required data are able to be shared to create value.

“This will require the provision of open interfaces by each system so that other systems can access the required shareable data accordingly. This approach would synergise the potential values of data in the digital economy ecosystem and facilitate, support and accelerate the growth of the economy,” he explained.

Abang Johari cited the Sarawak government’s single sign-on platform as an example where users can register a unique digital identity (Sarawak ID) and access all the applications available on the platform, thus improving the ease of doing business with the government.

“The Sarawak government’s open data platform also exploits open interfaces that are Application Programming Interfaces for the public to access the available sets of data made available by the government.

“This will open up opportunities for the public and private sectors and entrepreneurs to innovate and produce digital products and services for monetary purposes.

“I am hopeful that access to the government’s data will accelerate the growth of data-driven start-ups in Sarawak,” he said.

To further enhance data-driven economic growth, the chief minister said the state government will continue to develop and enhance policies for the public and private sector data access; data centre that will meet the data hosting requirements; government open data platforms; and Big Data and Data Analytics platforms for data analysis, research, innovation and commercialisation.

These will be addressed as part of the 2030 Digital Economy Strategy, he added.

Abang Johari, who is also Idecs patron, said in order to ensure that all Sarawakians will benefit from digital economy, digital community centres (DCC) are being developed throughout the state to provide digital skills training and capacity building programmes.

“These digital inclusivity initiatives will help in developing local socio-economic sector by empowering the community to benefit from the state’s digital transformation.

“It is hoped that these efforts will create a sustainable and resilient community that is technologically savvy while maintaining their respective values and identity.”

He said the DCCs are properly planned to provide positive impacts on people’s overall quality of life.

“I hope that this initiative will be supported by all parties and over time, the respective community would be able to thrive into a truly ‘digital community’ as implied in the name of this project,” he said.

Also present at the event were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion and Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit who is also Idecs 2020 chairperson.- Borneo Post

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