KUCHING: Several universities in India will collaborate with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) on technical education to produce the skilled manpower required for the state’s development.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud forged the collaboration during his recent trip to India.
“I have just come back from India and I managed to get a few universities there to cooperate with Unimas on technical education,” he said at the launch of the book Belacan to FM authored by former RTM southern region director Datuk Affandi Tahir at Pullman Hotel here yesterday.
Affandi, whose broadcasting career spanned over 47 years, is also the CATS FM adviser and Corridor Development Corporation Bhd (CDC) strategic management and corporate affairs adviser. CDC hosted the book launch.
Taib said that Sarawak required some 100,000 graduates and diploma holders as well as skilled technicians in various fields by 2020 for the development of the Tanjung Manis halal hub and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
He said the world’s market for halal products was estimated at RM600bil a year and this would go up to RM1tril in the years to come.
“We have to prepare ourselves (to produce) for the global market. We have to find out how the agro-based industry can make us conquer the world.”
Taib said the halal hub development required manpower with knowledge and expertise in bio-sciences and biotechnology and to be involved in research and development activities.
“All these begin with education, and we have to concentrate on technical education to transform Sarawak.”
The Chief Minister said the halal hub development had helped transform Rejang, where Affandi was born.
Taib said that Affandi was a shinning example of how a kampung boy from a poor family had conquered all the hardships and limitations in life and climbed up to become a top man in the broadcasting industry.
“From a humble beginning to top professional, you (Affandi) are the first one to get out of the poverty trap in Rejang. Today, Rejang is secure as the location for the halal hub,” he said.
Taib said that young people should not lose the courage and determination to face hardships in life.