Hajiji Haji Noor
KOTA KINABALU: The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) that sees Sabah getting greater focus in the nation’s five-year development programme is proof that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob walks the talk.
In welcoming the 12MP tabled by Ismail Sabri at the Dewan Rakyat today, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor said during the recent Malaysia Day celebrations here, the Prime Minister had assured that all issues regarding Sabah and Sarawak especially in terms of development and those related to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) will be given special attention.
“We are happy the Prime Minister has kept his word by underlining the development of Sabah, among six other states in the country, under the nine focus areas of the 12MP,” said the Chief Minister.
Tabling the 12MP themed #Keluarga Malaysia ‘Makmur, Inklusif, Mampan’ (Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable), Ismail said he was committed to ensuring all the issues in the revision of the MA63 will be resolved towards accelerating socio-economic development in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We really hope the Federal Government would be able to provide a timeline to resolve all the issues in MA63 as well,” said Hajiji.
The Chief Minister also welcomed the Prime Minister’s assurance that Sabah and Sarawak and the other less developed states would receive about 50 per cent of the total basic development allocation under the 12MP.
“This will definitely ensure Sabah will stay in the country’s development mainstream,” said Hajiji.
He also welcomed the beefing up of security, particularly in Sabah as underlined under the Fourth Focus of the 12MP that will see new army camps being set up in Kota Belud and Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu as well as a General Operations Force Battalion Camp in Beluran.
Also highlighted in the 12MP was the upgrading of the Sabah East-West power grid and the construction of new power plants to boost power supply in the state.
He said although the proposed Southern Link Grid was not mentioned in the 12MP the State Government hoped the Southern Link Grid would be approved in the 12MP because it is a priority project for Sabah.
“We are also glad that the development of the new customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) post at Malaysia – Indonesia border would be carried out in the 12MP.
Ismail Sabri had announced that the new CIQS checkpoint would be built at Manalunan, Simanggaris and Kalabakan.
The Chief Minister had in March announced the development of the new CIQS post at the Malaysia-Kalimantan, Indonesia was in the pipeline, in anticipation of Jakarta’s decision to relocate the capital city to Kalimantan.
Also included in the 12MP was the National Digital Networking (JENDELA) programme where Sabah would be getting RM3.1 billion to upgrade and build new telecommunication towers as the country moved towards greater 4G and 5G internet penetration.
“Sabah is looking forward to the JENDELA programme because the people, especially those in the rural areas are really in need of better digital connectivity,” he said.
The Chief Minister said Sabah also agreed with the proposed formation of a special unit at District Offices to address poverty issues as among the measures to eradicate hardcore poverty and reduce the income gap among the people.
“The State Government concur with the approach since it is in line with our plans,” he said.
“The State Government appreciates the Federal’s sensitivity on Sabah’s healthcare needs as shown with the announcement that new health clinics that will be built in Penampang and Beaufort as well as a new regional blood centre in Sabah,” he said.
Hajiji said the State Government also welcomed the RM101 million Dudar – Taburan – Mandawang rural road project in Kota Belud as part of the Federal Government’s rural areas transformation plans.
Thanking the Federal Government for the continuing emphasis on Sabah, he also hoped there would be quantifiable monitoring of all the development plans in the 12MP in the state.
“The State Government believed this will be an effective way of monitoring to ensure the planned developments are completed during the 12MP period,” he said.
On the State Government side, the Chief Minister assured that it will give its fullest support and cooperation so that the development programmes in the 12MP would be carried out successfully.