Abang Johari speaks at the SCSICA 2023 dinner. – Ukas photo

KUCHING (Oct 28): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has set an ambitious vision for Sarawak to become the ‘Winston Churchill’ of the 21st century.

In a compelling historical analogy, Abang Johari explained that the British Royal Navy was transformed under the former prime minister’s leadership.

Churchill’s decision to embrace oil over coal for their ships to run faster and be more flexible led to the supremacy of the British Royal Navy, preventing Adolf Hitler’s forces from crossing the English Channel during World War II, he said.

“That is the lesson that we had to learn, from coal to oil. That was in 1911, today is 2023, 112 years later we are changing power from oil to renewable energy.

“In other words, let Sarawak be another ‘Winston Churchill’. We’ll adjust ourselves to a new renewable energy and build a stronger Sarawak compared with the other places in this region,” he said in his speech during the Sarawak Civil Service Innovation Convention (SCSICA) 2023 dinner last night.

Abang Johari emphasised the need for innovation and an open mindset to achieve the transition successfully.

He reflected on the digital economy’s integration into Sarawak’s governance, noting that it proved instrumental during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Many were sceptical at first, but Covid 19 has taught us that the digital economy is the solution to alleviate the burden of our people during the pandemic.

“Otherwise, we will not be able to track, communicate, or buy things and do payments online. Fortunately, we have a foundation in digital economy here in Sarawak, which has helped us withstand the challenges,” he added.