Strong state-federal ties intensify economic recovery efforts

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Haji Noor said strong state- federal relations will help intensify economic recovery efforts for Sabah and improve the livelihood of the people in the post-Covid-19 pandemic era.
He said Sabah was still in recovery as the state faced issues amplified by the pandemic including the poverty rate and unemployment.
“The Federal Government has been receptive to Sabah’s needs through its commitments under the 12th Malaysia Plan to enhance Sabah’s development.
“In the spirit of the national Keluarga Malaysia and state-led SMJ roadmap, greater state- federal collaboration can strengthen relations and forge understanding to drive the recovery and development of the state and improve the livelihoods of Sabahans,” he said in his message at the launch of the 26th edition of the Malaysia Economic Monitor (MEM), by the World Bank today.
The Chief Minister said good ties between Sabah and the Federal Government have led to much progress, most recently with the additional increase of the State’s Special Grant from RM26.7 million to RM125.6 million.
“This additional funding will be used to build 1,500 ‘Rumah Mesra’ SMJ houses in all 73 state constituencies. During the Keluarga Malaysia Aspiration road tour, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob echoed support for Sabah through several government policies to help the people of Sabah through social and economic development.
“This includes federal support for the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, repairing and rebuilding schools in rural areas, and implementation of the Phase 1 Hardcore Poverty Eradication programme in 10 localities in Sabah,” he said.
Hajiji said that despite challenges from the pandemic, Sabah’s economy remained resilient.
“The State’s economy is on the right path and seeing signs of recovery. Under the implementation of the state’s Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) Development Plan, Sabah recorded RM 5.449 billion in revenue in 2021, the highest on record.
“In the first half of 2021, Sabah attracted RM4.4 billion in foreign investments, the third highest after Kedah and Selangor. These key investments in manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture are expected to create almost 10,000 jobs.
“We also anticipate that the re-opening of Malaysia’s international border effective 1st of April this year, will re-vitalise Sabah’s tourism sector,” he said.
Welcoming the MEM 26th edition publication, the Chief Minister said Sabah looked forward to a productive working relationship with the Economic Planning Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department and future collaborations with the World Bank Group Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub in Kuala Lumpur.


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