Abang Johari speaks to reporters after the courtesy visit. – Photo by Sarawak Public Communications Unit

KUCHING (Oct 29): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has reaffirmed that the Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Future Fund is intended for long-term growth, with the intention of not touching it for 20 years under normal circumstances.

This is unless Sarawak is faced with crises such as a war or situations requiring immediate financial resources, he said.

“Our goal is to let the fund grow steadily over two decades. We draw inspiration from funds like Norway’s sovereign wealth fund,” he said when met by reporters after a courtesy visit by the fund’s Board of Guardians at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

Abang Johari went on to explain that the fund’s investment decisions and risk assessments will be carried out by specialised committees within the Board of Guardians.

The risk committee, he said, will evaluate potential risks before investments are made, taking into account market conditions and investment strategies.

“We will provide annual reports to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN), meaning to say we are accountable to DUN.

“But in the process, the government will not interfere in the fund’s management, except to receive these reports,” he added.

Abang Johari said the fund, with an appropriation of RM8 billion from the state, will abide by international principles, specifically the Santiago Principles in the management of the state’s finances.

“Today, I met with board members of the Guardians Sovereign Fund, who will oversee and manage Sarawak’s sovereign fund according to global best practices.

“The board members are those with prior success in handling similar assets,” he said.

On a related matter, Abang Johari said that Sarawak is also set to become a member of the London Sovereign Fund Forum, an international institution that monitors sovereign funds.

This signifies Sarawak’s commitment to aligning itself with international standards, joining the ranks of nations like Singapore.

“God willing, Sarawak’s economy will become more robust, and we may have surplus income, which we will invest and safeguard in strong financial institutions and a resilient fund for the future of Anak Sarawak.

“With this, I believe that the long-term prospects of Sarawak’s economy will be more secure,” he added.