SIMANGGANG, Oct 1 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today said he is confident that the implementation of free tertiary education for Sarawakian students at state-owned universities can begin in three more years.
He said he has asked state Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn and his deputy Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee to conduct a study on the possibility of giving free tertiary education to Sarawakians only in state-owned universities.
“This means that those who are eligible to enter the universities will be given free education to further their studies,” the premier said at the close of the Tidal Bore Festival here.
The state-owned universities are Sarawak campus of Curtin University of Technology, Sarawak campus of Swinburne University of Technology, University Technology Sarawak, Centre of Technology Excellence Sarawak and I-Cats College University.
Abang Johari, who is also Sarawak finance and new economy minister, said the state government can afford to provide free education based on the study conducted by the state education, innovation and talent development ministry.
“I feel that, if there is no obstacle, we can give free tertiary education by 2025 or 2026.
“I can certainly commit by 2026 because our state economy will be expanded and higher income for the state by that year,” he said.
He said indications are that the state revenue will be much higher this year than the RM12 billion recorded last year.
He said the revenue will also be generated from the state sovereign wealth fund, adding a percentage of the revenue be set aside to finance the free education.