KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will appeal if the federal government wants to defer or not continue any project that has yet to commence in the state, especially involving development projects, the Sabah State Assembly was told today.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said this was because Sabah currently needed a large allocation to develop the state, especially involving the development of public infrastructure to provide comfort to the people.
He said the federal government has yet to officially inform the state government about the deferment or not continuing any development project, but he gave his assurance to appeal to ensure that the project was continued when the notification was received.
This is very important because we always said that the allocation given was insufficient. To defer or withdraw (the allocation) is not very suitable for Sabah … we will appeal once we are officially notified,” he said.
He said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak (BN-Usukan) who asked about the report saying that the federal government would defer or not continue any project that has not started as a measure to save public expenditure.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed was reported to have said that the move was to save on public expenditure to enable funds to be channeled for the welfare of the people and efforts to revive the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, in his reply to a question from Datuk Rubin Balang (Independent-Kemabong) who asked about the state government’s approach to improving the economy of the people and the state, Hajiji said various efforts have been made to attract tourists to increase the economy.
He said Sabah recorded a significant increase in tourist arrivals for the first five months of this year, namely 558,169 people compared with 102,965 people recorded in the same period last year.
“This shows an increase in the number of tourists by 442 per cent. I am confident that this figure will increase further by the end of this year following the opening of land, sea, and air entry points.
“With the presence of these tourists, of course, the services and related sectors such as hotels, transportation, and food will quickly recover. This also proves the effectiveness of the state government’s approach to reviving the economy through the Sabah Maju Jaya Development Plan,” he said.