Sarawak to issue five-year work permits for foreigners in strategic sectors, says Premier
Posted on : 21 Jun 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari delivering his closing speech at IDECS 2022. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (June 21): Professional expatriates who come to Sarawak will soon be given straight five-year work visas, said Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

On when such move will come into effect, he said it would likely be in two or three months after the Cabinet meeting next month.

“We have to work with the Immigration Department, we have worked out the formula and category, but we are confining it to professionals in strategic sectors only such as engineers or scientists.

“We will give them five years straight, no need for them to renew annually,” he told a press conference after closing the 5th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2022 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

Earlier in his closing speech, Abang Johari said that the future of Sarawak is largely based on digital information and Big Data, which requires decoding by people.

“This is the way forward for Sarawak, but we are short of people. We need people with the expertise. The companies coming here also need scientists.

“We have to revisit our immigration process. We want to give working visas straight for five years to people who come here to work, especially the upper echelon and the scientists. Then the whole economy will come up and the cascading benefits, the spillover will be for the common people,” he said.

Abang Johari pointed out that knowledge of information technology and digitalisation is important with Sarawak going towards green energy.

“How are you going to produce (green energy) based on the best methods? That is where digitalisation comes in. Through artificial intelligence (AI) you would know how to produce the process.

“To do that you must know how to gather data, and decode the data. With the help of AI you can get the outcome,” he said.