(Seated center) Abang Johari, (seated from third left) Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching Raden Sigit Witjaksono, Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee, who is also the chairman of UTS board of governors, UTS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Khairuddin Ab Hamid, and others posing for a photo session. – Photo by Peter Boon

SIBU (Aug 6): Sarawak will require a lot of data analysts as the state moves towards the path of digitalisation to become a high income economy by 2030, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.


While describing data as the new ‘oil’ for the future, Abang Johari called on Sarawakians to prepare themselves for this profession.

“We need data analysts,  data is the new ‘oil’ for the future. And therefore, I hope Sarawakians will be able to prepare themselves on this new ‘oil’. By analysing the data that is in front of us so, we need a lot of data analysts.

“We also need people who can read and also do coding and decoding. We have the data but we have to know how to translate the data through the process of coding and decoding.


“But data is something which is precious and it must be protected. Along this profession, we also need cyber security analysts – how this area will insulate strategic data and data that is the basis for us to move forward,” he said.

Abang Johari, who is UTS Pro-Chancellor, was sharing with the graduates during University of Technology Sarawak (UTS) 7th Convocation Ceremony at Dewan Canselor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud here today, on Sarawak’s future direction, and what the state needs, should these graduates decide to pursue their post graduate studies.

He also urged graduates intending to take up postgraduate studies to consider the field of robotics.

“The other area I would like for those of you going further in digitalisation to explore is robotics — using robots as a process of production so we don’t have to rely on manual labour, but instead on machines, including our agriculture sector,” he said.

Adding on, he also wanted Sarawakians to have expertise on chips design.

“Especially when migrating from fossil fuel to hydrogen, there is a lot of chips required in machines, including healthcare, and (I hope) those for going for postgraduate studies to look into these areas,” he said.

Earlier, Abang Johari mentioned that the state government is investing in educational infrastructure by setting up international schools and investing in universities such as UTS as well as giving scholarships and bursaries to students.

“Hopefully, the outcome will be positive to Sarawak in our journey towards becoming a high income economy by 2030. We are actually proud that the World Bank has categorised us as a high income state before 2030.

“We have reached the gross national income per capita income required, so what the government is doing now is increasing our household income,” he said.

He said Sarawak has started with its digital economy and this has become to tool to go forward in the green economy, with sustainability as the key.

Abang Johari also said the graduates are the leaders, innovators and changemakers of tomorrow.

“It is our hope that you will use your education to make a positive impact on the world around you and to advocate and contribute to the betterment of society — in Sarawak and Malaysia, as a whole.

“Whether you choose to pursue further studies, join the workforce, start your own ventures or dedicate yourselves to public service, remember that you have the power to shape the future and make a difference,” he said.

This year, a total of 347 UTS students received their scrolls during the convocation. Ho Xiao Feng was awarded the Chancellor Award, while there were two recipients for Academic Award, namely Tan Yi Qi and Farah Nur Syamira Muhammad Junaidi.

UTS vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Khairuddin Ab Hamid delivered the opening remarks.

Among those present were Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching Raden Sigit Witjaksono and wife, Lucy Octavia, Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development I Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee, who is also the chairman of UTS board of governors, Khairuddin’s wife Datin Dayang Mariani Abang Zain, and UTS deputy vice-chancellor (academic) Professor Dr Mohammad Shahril Osman, who is chairman of the convocation organising committee.