Columns
Modernising Sarawak’s agri sector
John Teo | 08 Sep 2017 00:30
Idris recently quelled Sarawak media speculation that he would be appointed to the Petros board
One of the earliest political battle-cries in Sarawak coined in the early years of Malaysia that has resonated anew these days was “Sarawak for Sarawakians”. Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg has lately been casting about for qualified Sarawakians to fill various key appointments created in the wake of a series of new state agencies tasked to drive his ambitious economic agenda.

The chief minister recently announced the appointment of local-born retired banker Sim Kheng Boon as CEO of the Development Bank of Sarawak which is expected to begin operations in the new year.

Abang Johari also revealed the names for the board of the state-owned Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros), headed by former State Secretary Tan Sri Hamid Bugo. The new company will spearhead the state’s foray into the oil and gas industry.

The list of well qualified and battle-tested Sarawakians cannot be very long and Abang Johari ought to cast his net far and wide to pick the very best to ease the huge challenges his economic vision and the strategies to go with it necessarily entail. Indeed, he must not restrict himself only to the best qualified Sarawakians to aid him through the tasks ahead. The best available candidates ought to be signed up regardless of whether he or she is from Sarawak.

What is perhaps somewhat puzzling is why such a celebrated Sarawak-born corporate titan turned federal minister as Datuk Seri Idris Jala has not been pressed into service on behalf of his home state despite the years he has made a splash nationally in spearheading the national economic transformation drive.

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