Sabariah speaking during the press conference. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Sept 28): The 4th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2020, to be held on Oct 7 and 8 at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here, will be going hybrid, said Deputy State Secretary (Performance and Service Delivery Transformation) Datu Dr Sabariah Putit.

She pointed out that in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the first day of the event will see a controlled number of 500 participants attending the event at BCCK while the rest will be attending virtually via webinar whereas on October 8, all sessions will be via webinar only.

“This year, due to the standard operating procedures (SOP) we are required to adhere to, the maximum capacity is about 500 participants.

“These participants will be coming from the government, government-link companies (GLC), private sectors and stakeholders,” she told a press conference at BCCK here today.

Though the Covid-19 situation meant that the conference could not be held on a larger scale like before, she said the Sarawak government is capitalising on the digital platform.

“We are grateful to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who led this journey (of IDECS) since 2017 and we feel that it’s a realisation and demonstration of his effort that we are able to get people on the digital platform.

“With this enabler, we are moving forward in terms of getting more participation instead of less,” she said.

Abang Johari is expected to officiate IDECS 2020 which is organised by the state government through the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) and Sarawak Centre of Performance Excellence (SCOPE).

Themed ‘Data and Innovation Accelerating Social and Economic Prosperity,’ the two-day event will feature a line-up of international speakers such as Prof Stephane Garelli, who is a Professor Emeritus at Institute of Management Development (IMD) Lausanne, Zuckerberg Media founder and creative director Randi Zuckerberg, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Infectious Disease Epidemiology professor David Heymann, AI Data scientist Inma Martinez, Harvard Business School Technology Management and Innovation expert Prof Karim R Lakhani, WAU Animation Studios chief executive officer Muhammad Usamah Zaid Yasin, UCLA School of Theatre Theatre and Performance Studies professor Suk-Young Kim, NanoMalaysia chief executive officer Dr Rezal Khairi Ahmad, Shenzhen Technology University circular economy consultant and professor Prof Dr Gordana Kierans and Porter Erisman, a leading expert on e-commerce in China.

“The speakers are unfortunately not able to attend in person but they will go live from their own country, for instance Prof Stephen will be going live from Switzerland and Randi will be speaking live from the United States,” said Sabariah.

Sabariah also said in the process of ensuring that digital inclusivity is felt by every segment of the society, IDECS will also be demonstrating a number of initiatives that have been envisioned by Abang Johari.

“One of these initiatives is the launch of digital community centres (DCC) and we will launch 20 DCCs throughout the state including one that is located in Limbang.

“The Chief Minister will be interacting live with the participating DCCs which have been commissioned throughout Ministry of Local Government and Housing and State Library (Pustaka) through the SMA initiative,” she said.

She said live streaming of the launch of IDECS 2020 will be available on TVSarawak and Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) Facebook channels.

“We hope to reach out to more participation from the public for this year’s IDECS through the live streaming.

“As for the webinars on October 8, there is a fee of RM100 per track so those who wish to join can pick and choose which topic they would like to sign up for,” she added.

For further information, please visit idecs.sarawak.gov.my.

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