Premier: Jaul an exemplary civil servant who contributed immensely to building Sarawak
Posted on : 17 Jul 2022  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (second left) presenting the award to Jaul. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (July 17): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has described former State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion as an exemplary civil servant who has contributed immensely to building Sarawak during his 42 years of service.

Abang Johari recalled that when he was appointed as Industrial Development Minister in 1987, Jaul was an officer in the State Planning Unit (SPU) and together, they worked together to chart the direction of the state’s economy, shifting from an agriculture-based economy to industrialisation.

“At that time, then Chief Minister Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, after the election in 1987, I was entrusted to form this ministry. The rationale was that Sarawak’s economy at that time was basically an agriculture economy, and Pehin Sri wanted us to shift towards industrialisation,” he said during a farewell, appreciation and retirement dinner for Jaul at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching last night.

Noting that the task was not easy, Abang Johari said with the assistance from SPU staff, including Jaul who was then the principal estate secretary, they managed to chart the direction of a new economy for Sarawak.

“The job was not easy as it was new, very raw, and we had to try to sell and promote Sarawak so that investors could come and start their industries here. Then, at the end of 1987, we went to the US as well as Europe, together with (Tan Sri) Rafidah Aziz,” he added, referring to the country’s then International Trade and Industry Minister.

As a result of intensive promotion and at the same time preparing Sarawak with the basic infrastructure, Abang Johari said they managed to a certain extent start industrialisation in Sarawak, beginning with Sejingkat, Sama Jaya, Kemena, Tanjung Manis and Kidurong.

He said they also managed to convince Petronas and Shell to set up a Shell Middle Distillates Synthesis plant, the first plant of its kind in the world in Bintulu.

“These were some of the contributions by Jaul at that time. His staff, including Dato Sri Wan Liz (Wan Lizozman Wan Omar), who is the current SFS (State Financial Secretary), and Datuk Ismawi (Ismuni) in industrial development and there, we succeeded in bringing investments into Sarawak, starting with Toko Electronic, then Taiyo Yuden and many others.

“I want to thank you very much for what you have done,” said Abang Johari to Jaul.

The Premier also commended Jaul for his leadership, as the first obstacle he faced upon assuming the role of State Secretary was the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was not easy, and even at midnight, I had to call Jaul to get reports. Secondly, we have to formulate the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, where I requested that he harness all the experts from the civil service and the private sector to formulate the strategy to recover our economy back to normal.

“More importantly, we needed a new direction in our economic development, particularly when I launched of the digital economy agenda. This is something new and still new, and Jaul has done his best to help the government adjust our economic development towards a digital economy and to recover from post pandemic that we have to face.

“I hope that the civil service will continue with its agenda as we in the government, of course, would like to have a very strong, innovative and creative civil service and working in tandem with the government’s policy for 2030,” he said.

Earlier, acting State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki described Jaul as an excellent mentor as well as a leader who is committed, easy to approach and pays attention to detail.

“‘Service, Service, Service’ is his motto because he is a leader who wants to see that the rakyat are well served by us all. And taking over from him is a big shoe to fill,” he added.

At the event, Abang Johari also presented Jaul with the Exemplary Sarawak Civil Service Award for his contributions to the state.

Meanwhile, Jaul said that as civil servants, they have the responsibility to not only serve the government of the day, but also to the people so that they have access to good facilities such as internet, proper roads and other necessities of life.

He said that civil servants can improve their service to the people by putting themselves in their shoes, showing empathy, and understanding their problems, difficulties and shortcomings.

“It is hard to bid you all goodbye but time says it has to be done. I am going to miss this amazing environment, such colleagues who stood by me always and helped me execute the plans entrusted by the government,” he added.

Jaul’s career started as assistant secretary in the SPU in December 1979, before being appointed as acting State Secretary (May 17 to Aug 21, 2019), State Secretary from Aug 22, 2019 before officially retiring on July 1, 2022.