KUCHING: Sarawakians will soon be able to go cashless when they pay for their utility bills as Sarawak Pay is expected to be rolled out this month (November).
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is optimistic that the state’s digital payment system will be initiated from November onwards, making it convenient for citizens to settle transactions with the government.
“Going cashless or having an ‘e-wallet’ is the ‘in-thing’ for us to settle our transaction. God willing by next month (November), I will roll out the Sarawak Pay which also serves as an ‘e-wallet’,” he said at the grand launch of Saradise Kuching here on Monday night.
He pointed out that Sarawak Pay will serve as a channel for Kuching citizens to pay for their bills through their smartphones.
“If you want to pay your electricity bill or water bill, you can now just use your smartphone and pay them through our Sarawak Pay, which has already been approved by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM),” he said.
He also revealed plans to link Sarawak Pay with AliPay, the mobile payment system by Chinese internet titan Alibaba.
“If we can link Sarawak Pay with AliPay one day, then the people can start trading with Chinese merchants,” he said.
Having just returned from Estonia, he expressed his wish for Sarawak to be known as ‘s-Sarawak’ one day much like how Estonia has its go-to tag ‘e-Estonia’ to describe the Northern European country’s successful love affair with all things networked and digitised.
“I have a dream that Sarawak will one day be known as ‘s-Sarawak’ where the S stands for smart.
“However, in order for Sarawak to be smart, we must have the basic infrastructure that will transform the state into a smart Sarawak with digital connectivity,” he remarked.
He also aspired to see Kuching transform into a city which integrates the old and the new together.
“Kuching is still not that big and we still have land for us to plan properly. We can have the old Kuching, which is the centre of heritage in one part of the city whereas the new Kuching will be a smart and modern part of the city.”
Abang Johari thus commended property developer Saradise Sdn Bhd (Saradise) for developing Saradise Kuching, an integrated lifestyle township which also incorporates an innovation space to support the state’s digital economy transformation.
“Saradise has designed something for everyone and incorporated smart technology into Saradise Kuching as well. I believe this township will become a smart township and transform this part of the city into a smart and modern Kuching,” he said.
Also present during the launch were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, Saradise Group chief executive officer Dato Chris Chung Soon Nam, Saradise director Datu Michael Ting and chief operating officer Dylan Yee Kar Sien.