KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA – 28 August 2023 – The Sarawak State Government, in a dynamic collaboration with the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), proudly announces the commencement of the Digital Economy Awards 2023 (DEA2023). This isn’t just an award; it’s a celebration of trailblazers of digital initiatives propelling Sarawak towards a dynamic and digitally empowered future. DEA2023 is inviting innovative ideas and groundbreaking solutions from all Sarawakians to take center stage on a global platform. Aligned with the vision set forth by the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS), DEA2023 call for entries showcases Sarawak’s unwavering commitment to become the beacon guiding Sarawak’s journey to fostering innovation and economic advancement. 

Led by the visionary leadership of Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, the esteemed Premier of Sarawak, IDECS has taken center stage as a critical initiative to drive transformative change within the region. IDECS is not just an initiative; it’s the driving force propelling Sarawak towards innovation-led growth, enriching the economic landscape and industries fostering socio-economic progress and advancement. This year, an amazing lineup is anticipated as DEA2023 coincides with the 27th World Congress on Innovation & Technology (WCIT) 2023 and the 6th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2023, making it an unprecedented occasion to showcase cutting-edge digital solutions that are reshaping the future.

Over time, IDECS has evolved into a globally recognised platform, providing Sarawak with an avenue to showcase its endeavors in cultivating a robust digital economy that resonates with international tech entities. One notable outcome of IDECS is the inception of eight pivotal initiatives steering Sarawak towards a digital-oriented economy. These efforts have led to the establishment of key institutions, including the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), and Development Bank Sarawak (DBOS). 

Brace yourself for what promises to be a monumental event, as the eminent convergence of the 27th World Congress on Innovation & Technology 2023 and the distinguished 6th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak 2023 (WCIT|IDECS 2023) is slated to unfold in the captivating city of Kuching, nestled in the heart of Sarawak, Malaysia, from the 4th to the 6th of October, 2023. Both are seamlessly brought together by the vibrant ideals encapsulated in the dynamic themes of “Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age: Harnessing Innovation and Technology to Propel Economic Prosperity, Foster Social Inclusivity, and Champion Environmental Sustainability,” alongside “Pioneering the Digital Economy for the Sake of Sustainable Development.” This historic convergence is your ticket to bridge divides and explore the boundless potential of innovation, technology, and sustainability.

Get ready to etch your name in history! DEA2023 beckons forth trailblazers from public and private sectors, industries, youth, businesses, entrepreneurs, digital innovators, developers, research centers, universities, civic techs, civil society representatives, NGOs, cooperatives, consortiums (public-private), and social activists. This engagement is geared towards showcasing innovative ideas, research, data analysis, feasibility and impact studies, visionary leadership, and solutions shaping Sarawak’s digital transformation. The spotlight is on YOU to redefine the digital landscape and inscribe your legacy amid its ever-evolving tapestry.

The journey doesn’t end there! With categories like the prestigious Premier’s Digital Economy Award and eight other exceptional categories as listed below, global recognition and rewards are just the beginning of your digital explorations and innovation.

Award Categories

The award categories include:

  • Premier’s Digital Economy Award
  • Digital Technology Transformation Award
  • Research & Development and Commercialization Award
  • Entrepreneurship and Startup Award
  • Digital Inclusivity Award
  • Digital Government Award
  • Digital Creative Content Award
  • Environmental Sustainability Award
  • Digital Leadership Award

Be a part of the future by electronically submitting your participation entries via our dedicated online platform before the deadline on 25 September 2023. The selection kicks off with meticulous shortlisting and category assessments, culminating in the evaluation for the prestigious Premier’s Digital Economy Award. On 26 September 2023, prepare yourself for the notification, when all finalists will be informed. Then comes the grand finale – mark 5 October 2023, in your calendar as all finalists will be required to attend the DEA2023 award ceremony, a must-attend event where the winners will be announced!

All eyes will be transfixed on the prestigious Premier’s Digital Economy Award, a beacon of distinction that carries not only a coveted RM20,000 prize but also the allure of a gleaming trophy and an esteemed certificate. But that’s not all, as eight other category winners will also walk away with prizes worth RM10,000 each, paired with a trophy and certificate. The awards ceremony will be a celebration of your innovation, dedication, and transformative impact on Sarawak’s digital landscape that’s reshaping the future.

Your journey begins with your submissions, which can span multiple categories, facilitated through an online platform beginning 28 August 2023 to 25 September 2023 (GMT+08). Entrants are urged to present comprehensive project summaries, development strategies, and supporting documents that showcase the impact and innovation of their initiatives. An esteemed Judging Panel, comprising of industry experts, will evaluate submissions based on predefined criteria.

DEA2023 promises to be a celebration of digital pioneers, highlighting their efforts to harness technology for the betterment of Sarawak’s society and economy. The accolades, including the prestigious Premier’s Digital Economy Award, underscore the pivotal role digital innovation plays in shaping a sustainable future. It’s time to become the beacon of change in Sarawak’s digital revolution! For more information, submission guidelines, evaluation criteria and to participate in this transformative journey, please visit the DEA2023 official website at


About DEA

In 2018, the Sarawak State Government launched the Sarawak Digital Strategy as the plan to develop Sarawak Digital Economy. A comprehensive action plan to bring digital technology into all sectors of the economy was structured. The Sarawak State Government emphasized on digital inclusivity, talent development, and digital infrastructure as its top priorities. International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) is one of the Sarawak State Government’s initiatives to make new development in Sarawak. This is to revolutionize Sarawak’s economy and industries and spur socio-economic growth and advancement. IDECS has grown to become a globally known platform for Sarawak to showcase its interest and initiatives in growing its digital economy to top international tech players. DEA2023 will be held in conjunction with the 6th IDECS.  The objective of DEA2023 is to acknowledge the digital initiatives from various organizations in transforming Sarawak into a notably digitalised society. This will include the participation of the public sectors, private sectors, industries, GLCs, Universities, NGOs, and individuals. 

About SMA

Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) is a regulatory body established pursuant to Section 3 of Sarawak Multimedia Authority Ordinance 2017 with the primary objective to spearhead, oversee and facilitate the development and implementation of the communication, multimedia and the State’s Digital Economy Initiatives. The SMA’s mission is to create a vibrant and inclusive digital economy in Sarawak that will drive economic growth, improve the quality of life for all Sarawakians, and position Sarawak as a leading digital hub in the region. For more information, log on to

For media enquiries, please contact:

Nur Fekriah Effendy

Acting Head of Public Relations Unit, SMA


Phone: +6019-8838861

Hazel Jasni

Group Communications Director, Citrine 


Phone: +6013-2100617