Dr Annuar (second right) presents a framed picture of the state development coordination committee meeting held earlier today as a memento to Abang Johari, as Dr Sim (left) and others look on.

SIBU (Aug 7): The mean monthly household gross income for both urban and rural areas in Sarawak has recorded positive growth of 6.9 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively, from 2019 to 2022, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Sarawak Premier said this is according to the Household Income and Expenditure Survey released by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

“In 2022, the monthly mean household gross income in Sarawak in the urban area increased to RM7,744 from RM7,243 in 2019, while in the rural area, the monthly mean household gross income reached RM4,579 in 2022 compared to RM4,218 in 2019.

“I am happy to share that the statistics highlight a positive growth trend in mean monthly household incomes for both urban and rural areas in Sarawak<” he said at a press conference during his site visit to the Kampung Datu Baru redevelopment site here today.

He said the higher increase in the mean monthly household gross income in rural areas compared to urban areas was the result of the state government’s efforts in ensuring balanced development and inclusive growth throughout Sarawak.

Abang Johari also said that according to the DoSM, the total monthly household income in Sarawak had experienced an upward trend, reaching RM3.9 billion in 2022 compared to RM3.7 billion in 2019 – an increase of 5.4 per cent.

He said that over the three-year period, the mean monthly household income in Sarawak witnessed a growth of 8.4 per cent, rising from RM5,959 in 2019 to RM6,457 in 2022.

Concurrently, the median monthly household income also experienced significant progress, reaching RM4,978 in 2022, compared to RM4,544 in 2019, which was a growth of 9.6 per cent.

He believed the state is on the right track to increasing the average household income to RM15,000 per month by 2030.

This, according to him, was proven when the World Bank recently acknowledged that Sarawak is now a high-income state.

“Through a series of targeted high-impact development programmes, we aim to foster a society where no one is left behind and opportunities are accessible to all.

“On that note, the Sarawak government also invests in human capital development to ensure our people are equipped with the right skills to increase their average household income to RM15,000 per month by 2030.

“We have to work hard to increase their income by employing their new skills so that their family income will increase,” he pointed out.

With Abang Johari at the press conference yesterday were Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian and Deputy Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee.

Meanwhile, during a gathering with the Sibu community on Sunday night, the Premier said Sarawak is on track this year to surpass the RM12 billion revenue recorded in 2022.

He said this could be seen by the state’s revenue up until June.

“InsyaAllah our income is more than what we have recorded last year. I cannot reveal the actual figure to you yet but the trend is our revenue (this year) is more than 2022.

“Meaning to say if last year we recorded RM12 billion, if I say it is more than RM12 billion then it is more than that figure for this year.

“This also means we managed to increase our revenue that we will give back to carry out development projects in our state,” he said in his speech.

The gathering was in connection with yesterday’s State Development Coordination Committee Meeting here.

Abang Johari also called on community leaders to understand new policies being implemented by the state government.

He said Sarawak’s economy is developing well and is heading towards a new economy through the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.

The policies, among others, involved the introduction of the digital economy through technology, identification of the strength of state resources, carbon trading, hydrogen production, and mitigating climate change, he said.

“We have implemented these policies that must be understood by our community leaders because if they don’t, they will not know what is going on.

“For example, on spectrum (invisible radio frequencies which transmit signals) whereby under Sarawak Land Code we have the authority over the land and what lies within the land.

“Who has the authority over the space above the land? That is what we call ‘spectrum’. Spectrum is valuable because now we have WhatsApp, Instagram, and all of these use signals. We must have control over the spectrum,” he explained.

He added that with Sarawak recognised as a high-income state by the World Bank, it is vital for community leaders to understand these policies.

“Because there are those who still confuse the difference between per capita income and gross national income (GNI) per capita.

“So, we must increase the household income per capita through skills development, for example for those doing farming, do transition from using traditional methods to the use of Internet of Things (IoT),” he said.

At the same event, 10 longhouse chiefs from Sungai Machan and Sungai Poi in Kanowit received their communal land gazette under Section 6 of Sarawak Land Code from Abang Johari.

Among those present at Sunday’s gathering were Abang Johari’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang; Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Minister of Telecommunication and Utility Datuk Julaihi Narawi; Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn; National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang; State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki; Education, Innovation and Talent Development Deputy Minister Datuk Annuar Rapaee.