KUCHING, June 21 — The Sarawak government will issue automatic work visas for a duration of five years, instead of annually, to foreign digital scientists and technical experts working in the state, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.
He said Sarawak, with its small population, is short of people with expertise in these fields.
“The companies coming here also need scientists and that is why we have to revisit our immigration process,” he said after witnessing the signing of eight memorandums of understanding (MoUs) held in conjunction with the two-day International Digital Economic Conference Sarawak 2022 (Idecs 2022) here.
He said top-tier professionals and scientists who come to Sarawak to work with such companies will be issued “work visas straight for five years”.
He said a five-year work visa would benefit the state’s economy as a whole, as well as have a spill-over effect to the people.
One of the MoUs signed this afternoon was between the state government and Microsoft (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd that aims to accelerate digital transformation within the Sarawak government and key economic sectors including agricultural and manufacturing, as well as SMEs in the state.
The state government and Microsoft will collaborate towards the realisation of a cloud network and empowering the public sector with digital skills for civil servants through the Microsoft’s Enterprise Skills Initiative (ESI), with certificates and courses from Microsoft Learn, LinkedIn Learn and GitHub.
The other MoUs were between the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT); Association of Professional Technologist & Technician (APTT), Global Entrepreneurship Sdn Bhd (Startup Malaysia) and Petrosains Sdn Bhd; as well as Sarawak Centre of Performance Excellence (SCOPE), Asia School of Business (ASB) and Teraju Bumiputera Corporation.
A memorandum of agreement (MoA) was also signed between Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universitas Mulia, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, on a machine-learning approach for operational research, knowledge-based approach for information understanding and machine-learning approach for knowledge discovery and prediction.