Abang Johari hands over an Ukas certificate of appreciation for The Borneo Post, See Hua Daily News, Utusan Borneo, and Tea FM to See Hua Marketing Sdn Bhd marketing manager Jamie Kong. From front left are Abdul Karim, Dr Sim, Asfia, Sikie, and Dr Jerip. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Aug 2): The livestreaming of ministers’ speeches during public events encourages them to walk the talk more, to deliver what they have pledged to the people, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier said one of the agencies that often runs livestreams of events is the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas), which is the state government’s own communications agency.

“What is the meaning to have livestreaming of speeches? It is because (through livestreaming), all our speeches can be accessed by the viewers. This means they know what we are talking. And therefore, we must walk the talk, cannot ‘bulak’ (tell lies) anymore.

“We must work on what we are supposed to work on,” he said during the Ukas fifth anniversary dinner last night.

Abang Johari also hinted that Ukas, established on Aug 1, 2018 as a unit under the then Chief Minister’s (now Premier’s) Department, is here to stay to play its role in delivering factual news to Sarawakians.

“We emphasise on what’s needed in Sarawak. That’s where Ukas plays its role because Ukas was born in Sarawak. Ukas is fighting for the interests of Sarawak. Ukas must be there to acknowledge the spirit of Sarawakians and deliver to the people of Sarawak through facts,” he said.

He called on Ukas to continue playing its part in countering information that has been twisted on social media.

Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Corporate Affairs, Information and Ukas) Datuk Abdullah Saidol said Ukas plays a proactive role in disseminating information about Sarawak government initiatives and policies.

“Ukas has been functioning for five years. We want to remain relevant and productive in order to support the government’s increasingly vigorous agenda,” he said.

Ukas director Samuel Simon said many former staff and officers of the now defunct Special Affairs Department (Jasa) in Sarawak are with Ukas.

He said the establishment of Ukas by Abang Johari soon after the dissolution of Jasa due to a change in the federal government in 2018 was indeed very timely.

“Ukas is a beacon of hope to most of us, especially to our ex-Jasa officers, whose future was a scenario of uncertainty. In this regard, your (Abang Johari) timely intervention to establish Ukas will always be cherished by us,” he said.

He said Ukas would not have existed if not for the quick action, wisdom, and vision of the Premier, who saw the urgency and the significance of the Sarawak government having its own communications agency at that time.

At the event, Abang Johari also launched the new Ukas logo with the tagline ‘Saluran Informasi Rakyat’ (People’s Information Channel).

He also launched a book published by Ukas titled ‘Hope and Transformation’ authored by Sarawak journalism veteran Toman Mamora in conjunction with the fifth anniversary celebration.

Abang Johari also presented certificates of appreciation to representatives of 27 print and electronic media organisations in Sarawak.

Among those present were Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar; Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Minister in the Premier of Sarawak’s Department Datuk John Sikie Tayai; and Transport Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.