Free tertiary education for Sarawakians; Abang Johari's wish on 72nd birthday

Credit: Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak
04/08/2022 07:11 PM

LIMBANG, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Free tertiary education for all Sarawakians in the future is Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s wish as he celebrates his 72nd birthday today.

He said that it was this intention that prompted him to devise the establishment of the state’s own sovereign fund, to realise Sarawak’s ambition of providing free tertiary education.

“I have been to three places and if all goes well in planning, we will come up with an approach (combining the best of both worlds) because we are both a resource and non-resource (based economy). We can generate funds for the future,” said Abang Johari when officiating the new Limbang Museum here.

Credit: Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak

The three places he was referring to are Norway, which is a resource-based economy, Singapore, which is not a resource-based economy and the United Kingdom with its global-class fund management companies.

“Our income has increased. That's why I dare to propose that we establish a sovereign fund that will be our reserve fund (savings) to secure the future. Going by the books, we could be the first state to have a sovereign fund,” he said.

Commenting on the new Limbang Museum, Abang Johari said that it will be an important centre, not only as a tourist attraction but as a reference and archive of historical material, as well as information about the development of Limbang.

Credit: Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak

According to him, the importance of the museum's role was highlighted when the Sarawak government began studying documents related to the establishment of Malaysia at the London Museum, as a basis for regaining Sarawak's rights which had been eroded.

“When we discussed MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963), we already have the correct facts through records stored in the museum,” he said.

For him, the new Limbang Museum has a personal attachment, since its site was formerly the district officer's quarters which was his birthplace in 1950.

“Alhamdulillah, it is all in the power of Allah that I was able to witness the development of Limbang until today. I did not (even) expect to become your leader. Hopefully, we will be given a long healthy life to continue doing good for the people.”