KOTA SAMARAHAN (Oct 12): The first-ever virtual reality theme park in Borneo, known as D-Virtual Park has been officially launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at Jalan Meradek here today.

Being a brainchild of Serba Dinamik Group as part of a digital strategy for Sarawak, the group chairman Datuk Abdul Kadier Sahib said the theme park was housing a ‘Creative Studio’ and also Mini Esports Hub D-Arena facilities in collaboration with Sarawak E-Sports Association (SESA).

“This D-Virtual Park supports the chief minister’s agenda in digital economy strategy for the state. It is built with the concept of the best digital technology infrastructure, mainly focusing on the latest development in virtual reality technology, technological innovation and digital entertainment in Borneo,” said Abdul Kadier.

Fast tracked to be completed in the first quarter of this year, the virtual reality theme park is featuring a rotating globe right at front of the building – the first in the country.

Abdul Kadier said Samarahan was chosen as the location for the RM13-million virtual reality theme park, instead the capital city of Kuching, as it was part of a digital economy strategy to develop communities in the rural areas in term of enhancing awareness on the latest technologies available.

Abang Johari (front, second left), flanked by Abdul Kadier (his right) and Abdul Karim, in a photo-call with others in front of the rotating globe at D-Virtual Park before the launching ceremony begins.

During the officiating of the launching ceremony, Abang Johari said he was impressed with the facilities and cutting-edge technologies being offered at the theme park and he hoped such park could be the sparks to encourage the young generation to embrace the latest developments on the technological front.

Abang Johari added that pursuing digital economy was his main agenda since taking over as chief minister from the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem and a list of initiatives had since been implemented to integrate the state economy, that was mainly based on agriculture sector, with digital technologies.

“We have organised a numerous of international digital economy conference as platforms for the state to revolutionised its way of doing business and promote digital economy,” he said, adding experts around the worlds were invited to be on the panel of speakers at these conferences.

Abang Johari stressed the state must seek to tap into bigger markets beyond its borders because the state has only a population of 2.8 million spread across its huge landmass.

Other initiatives introduced by the state government included the setting up of Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), introducing the state’s own mobile payments application Sarawak Pay and an allocation of RM1 billion to improve digital infrastructure in the state, such as building telecommunications towers.

Abang Johari experimenting with a virtual ride at the D-Virtual Park during his visit today.

“We use our own funds to upgrade the existing infrastructure in the state because there were delays in sourcing for funds from the federal government at that time and we were hopeful that the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission would provide us with a matching grant later,” said Abang Johari.

He also told that Sarawak Pay had been recognised by Singapore Business Review as being a digital application that was widely used during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accompanied the chief minister during the visit to the theme park was Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who said the virtual reality park could serve as a latest tourism product to be offered to the people.

“I see this place is located close to the city centre and I believe it has the potential to be inserted into one of our tourism packages to cater for domestic tourists. I was also quite impressed with the offerings at the park,” Abdul Karim added.

Four Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) were signed during the launching ceremony, one between Serba Dinamik Group, Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation and Centre of Technical Excellence, another one between Serba Dinamik Group and SESA, one between Serba Dinamik IT Solutions and State Family and Women Department and the last one was between StartUp Borneo Malaysia and Women Rise Malaysia.

Newly crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 Sarawakian Francisca Luhong James also made a special virtual appearance for her Women Rise Malaysia movement and congratulated the state on its digital initiatives.

During the launching ceremony, Serba Dinamik also introduced ‘D-Tamu’ as a ‘digital tamu’ marketplace.

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