CM: Petrochemical industry one of Sarawak’s economic focuses post Covid-19 pandemic

Posted on : 28 Jul 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post Online

Abang Johari sticking the Jalung Gemilang on one of the convoy vehicles.

KUCHING: The petrochemical industry with its hub at Tanjong Kidurong in Bintulu is one of the economic focuses of the state post Covid-19 pandemic, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He disclosed that currently, site preparation in the 1,000-acre area allocated for this hub to develop a menthanol plant at a cost of RM3.74 billion is in full swing.

“In addition, an international company has also confirmed that it will invest RM24 billion (US$ 6 billion) in the hub.

“The downstream O&G (oil and gas) industry is expected to provide employment opportunities to 74,000 people directly and indirectly,” he said in his speech at the launch of National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang Campaign Tuesday.

Abang Johari said he expects that with the implementation of this petrochemical industry programme as well as other economic programmes, household income in Sarawak will increase so that Sarawak will no longer be termed ‘Rich But Poor State’ by 2030.

He pointed out that there is no denying that Sarawak is one of the largest contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 10 per cent.

“In 2019, Sarawak’s GDP is estimated at RM136.05 billion with a per capita income of RM53,317.

“Statistics seem to be commendable but the reality is that household income in Sarawak is still low, at RM5,218 in 2019,” he said.

Abang Johari also noted that even though revenue from oil and gas in Sarawak is a major contributor to the country’s income, on average, household income is still low because the Sarawak oil and gas industry does not provide adequate employment opportunities for Sarawakians.

“Sarawak should examine this shortcoming more carefully at a micro level and take action to rectify this situation,” he said, adding that is why the petrochemical industry will be an economic focus after Covid-19.

Also present were DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, Utilities Minister Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Itom, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, other Cabinet ministers, assistant ministers, heads of departments and invited guests.