KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will also benefit economically from the inevitable expansion of the Borneo economy because of the development of the new Indonesian capital, Nusantara, which will be situated in Kalimantan in 2024, said Datuk Yong Teck Lee.
Yong, speaking as a guest-of-honour at the Asia Pacific TOP Outstanding President Award Annual Meeting 2022 said Sabah is strategically located geographically. Describing further, he said to the east of Kalimantan, there is heavy flow of shipping traffic, known as the Lombok-Makkasar Straits. This is the shipping route linking North East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), to East Asean and Australia and New Zealand. This strategic Lombok-Makassar shipping route is the second busiest after the Malacca Straits.
Yong, former Sabah Chief Minister, predicts that Kalimantan’s population will grow to 20 million in 15 years’ time. All sorts of construction materials and services will be needed. Food, consumer goods and services are in great demand.
“What now remains for us Malaysians, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, is how to adapt to the new normal – a rich and prosperous Kalimantan.
He said in terms of the stages of development, Kalimantan today is like Guangdong thirty years ago. Kalimantan in twenty years’ time, will be like Guangdong today, a rich and prosperous province.
“To Sabah’s east, is the Philippines, a vibrant country of 110 million people. Tomorrow, the Philippines will be electing a new, strong and experienced team of President and Vice President that will continue the policies of the current government. Stability and progress are what we should expect in our huge neighbour to the East.
“I believe that their past conflicts in the Southern Philippines are over. The BangsaMoro Autonomous government, which governs the Muslim Provinces of the Southern Philippines, has done well in bring stability, security and growth to the region, our immediate neighbours.
“And, to our north, is China, the dragon that has awaken. I think I do not need to convince you about China’s peaceful rise, the Belt Road Initiative and the beneficial economic impact on ASEAN economies.
“In short, Sabah is surrounded by rich and prosperous countries. Consistent with the “Prosper Thy Neighbour” concept, there is every reason to have confidence that Sabah will also prosper in the years to come.
Yong urged members, as successful business people, to see the economic potential in Sabah and help make Sabah an economic power house.
“As your members come from 18 countries, and your association has offices in several cities, you can use your extensive network to trade with Sabah and to bring investments to Sabah and to strengthen Sabah’s business global business networking,” he added.
He is sure that the Professor Datuk Dr. Wilson Yong, Malaysia Maritime Silk Road President, Datuk Philip Yong, the Sabah Maritime Silk Road Chairman, Sabah – China Business Association, Datuk Liew Soon Tai and others can work hand in hand with Dato’ Seri Liaw Jixiang and other associations.
Yong thanked president of APC (Sabah) Datuk Seri Winston Liaw, organising chairman Chong Yin Chye MBA and committee for inviting him to officiate this meaningful event.
He wish them all success in their business endeavours. For the recipients of awards, Yong congratulated them and wish them success which will be another shining example for the business community.
Yong took a brief moment to introduce a Sabah government asset called POIC Sabah located in Lahad Datu which is strategically located in ASEAN and RCEP. He said POIC Sabah is an industrial park with its own ports for liquid, dry and containers, which at 20 meters is one of the deepest in ASEAN. It is strategically located along RCEP and ASEAN trading routes. For transhipment of containers at the Philippines to the USA, POIC port at Lahad Datu is the closest to the Philippines.