Amidst Sarawak’s ongoing endeavour towards becoming an advanced, high-income state by 2030, there are two areas that the Sarawak civil service (SCS) in both the State and Federal Governments must keep up to speed with: the most recent State legislations and development efforts that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Our ecosystem is shifting…. We cannot have outdated legislations. For that reason, we must update them so that they are relevant to the changing times,” said the Premier of Sarawak YAB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg.
He pointed out the Distribution of Gas (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that was passed during the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Sarawak sitting in November 2023, as well as the Forests (Forest Carbon Activity) Rules, 2022 that has gone into effect since 1 January 2023 as a few of these new legislations that civil servants need to able to comprehend.
“This is because (energy and carbon) are some of the latest in the world economic landscape where Sarawak has strength, and we must have certain laws that allow us to play a role in this new economy,” he explained in his remarks during Hari Perkhidmatan Awam 2024 (HPA 2024) that took place in Kuching on 7 February 2024.
The Premier also spoke of the Sarawak Government’s development efforts that are within the framework of not only its own Post COVID-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, but also the globally recognised SDGs.
“The Government’s policy today does not only focus on GDP (gross domestic product) growth – which in itself is important – but also the quality of life of the people.
“It is why we are currently focusing our allocation on the development of rural infrastructure, including electricity, water supply, roads and the economic progress of villages, such as in agriculture,” he added, citing recent efforts to transform rice cultivation activities in Gedong through the AgriHub@Gedong initiative led by Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Sarawak Campus as an example.
Earlier, he expressed his gratitude to all State and Federal civil servants for their “unwavering commitment” in fulfilling Sarawak’s 2030 aspirations of achieving socio-economic development driven by environmental sustainability and social inclusivity.
Reminding them to maintain their high quality of work, he was also grateful for their cooperation with the Government, having understood the Government’s development planning, policy changes and their impact or implication towards the people.
As the Government continues to introduce new approaches of governing and enhancing value to the State’s strength – such as digitalisation and alternative, renewable energy utilising Sarawak’s natural resources – the Premier is confident in SCS’s ability to confront challenges brought about by global mega-trends and adapt to them through these approaches successfully.
“So allow me to congratulate all of you, for today is called ‘Driving Relevance’,” he said, in reference to the theme of HPA 2024 ‘Driving Relevance, Inspiring Change for Future Sarawak’. “Meaning that if there is any change, the Sarawak civil service is ready for it.”