KUCHING: The GPS state government is in the midst of applying for a digital banking licence from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as part of setting up a digital banking infrastructure for Sarawakians.

Chief Minister Datuk Patiunggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak Government was in the midst of putting up the necessary telecommunication infrastructure and facilities throughout Sarawak in part to support our Digital Banking and other digital initiatives.

“Of course, we are fully aware that an effective digital banking must be resilient, fair and dynamic.  It is among the prerequisites for Sarawak Government to collaborate with reputable technology companies and local retail banks approved by the governing bodies,” he said during his winding up speech at DUN, yesterday..

“Like it or not, our economy today works across powerful networks, changing how people consume, work and communicate. The landscape of our way in doing business is indeed changing. Sales are increasingly taking place online and over digital platforms, rather than from physical shops. Intangible capital is now getting more important than physical capital. As we have heard and read, data is the new oil, he said.

“Also, like it or not, we are at a time where anyone can produce anything anywhere through 3-D printing, where anyone can broadcast their talent globally via YouTube or buy products from China whatever they want via Ali Baba.Com or other platforms,” he said.

He said, in this pandemic crisis, hyper-connected, capital-light world, I see the future belongs to Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) firms utilising digital platforms, which may come from our rural Pulau Bruit or Ulu Paku or Lusong Laku or Long Seridan.

“I see that the financial impacts of these economic development are going to be huge. In anticipation, my cabinet colleagues and I in GPS Government is already preparing this new banking infrastructure that new and young generation of Sarawakian will require,” Abang Johari added.