Taib: Sarawak To Have Another University

(Bernama) – SIBU — Sarawak is poised to have its sixth university with the elevation of the Laila Taib College, here in two to three years from now.

Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said the move was to meet the demand for more graduates, especially in engineering and technical disciplines, in its regional development corridor or SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy).

“Of the 1.6 million jobs in SCORE up to 2030, more than 52 per cent are skilled jobs for diploma and degree holders,” he said in his speech, here last night at the 110th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Chinese Foochow settlement in Sibu.

The government hoped to set up similar institutions in other places as well in order for the state to produce the required number, he said.

Taib expressed the hope that the private sector could assist in this direction.

Meanwhile he called on businessmen from the Foochow community, long known for their great entrepreneuring spirit, readiness to work hard and in taking risks, to help in the development of SCORE.

“There are many new frontiers you can explore, many fields you can exploit.

“Initially SCORE will need foreign investment to start off, but it is going to need you and the people to generate its growth and success,” he said.

He said even without formal education, these businessmen had shown their ability to do very well and had pioneered the state’s timber industry development, its shipbuilding, seafood production and others.

He said SCORE, for instance, could offer them vast opportunities in the heavy industry’s downstream or supporting activities.

“Then there are equally tremendous opportunities in the halal food production using the latest biotechnological techniques to ensure a very high hygiene standard.

“There is, next, the tourism and eco-tourism sector in the pristine interior like Baram and Kapit that you can explore and exploit,” he said.

Among the 2,000 guests at the dinner were the grandson and great granddaughter of the late Wong Nai Siong, the founder of the settlement, who are now residing in Australia.