The Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA) will soon be organising socio-economic labs for the three development regions of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) as part of a wider effort to raise the standard of living among rural residents and eradicate poverty.
The labs will focus on areas overseen by RECODA’s development agencies – Upper Rajang Development Agency (URDA), Highland Development Agency (HDA) and Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA). The board of each agency is chaired by a Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister.
In an online briefing with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed today, RECODA CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni informed Putrajaya that the labs will involve in-depth discussions among stakeholders, community leaders, researchers and government agencies to shed light on the best that each region can offer economically.
“We are trying to understand what kind of activities can be done to alleviate poverty,” Ismawi informed the online sharing session today, which was also participated by the Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU), Sabah EPU, researchers and other agencies.
“Whatever we do here, we do this together on a long-term basis. The outcome of the labs will be the basis for us to plan things properly for the next five years,” Ismawi said.
Ongoing socio-economic development programmes being implemented by RECODA include developing facilities for the parang-making industry, constructing ‘Anjung Usahawan’ to provide opportunities for small traders to sell their produce and wares, donating ‘enjin sangkut’ or outboard motors to fishermen and providing facilities for traders to smoke ‘Tahai’ fish.
Sarawak EPU director Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel said Sarawak aims to double the size of its economy with a focus on digital innovation as part of the recently unveiled Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.
Meanwhile, Mustapa said government initiatives should not only focus on infrastructure development but also on locally-drawn initiatives that have a bottom-up approach.
Today’s online session involved Poverty Circle members that comprise representatives from the government, private sector, civil society and education institutions.