KKDW to focus on uplifting three poorest districts in Sabah – Ahmad Zahid

KOTA KINABALU: The Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKDW) will zero in on assisting Pitas, Kota Marudu and Tongod which are the three poorest districts as among the efforts to help Sabah.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor himself had urged KKDW to assist the three districts in terms of village development projects such as infrastructure and utilities. 
Ahmad Zahid who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the effort to implement is being studied by KKDW with Sabah government in the technical committee between the two parties, chaired by Sabah State Secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong.
We at KKDW will implement via discussion with the Economy Ministry and Finance Ministry to realise the intention of the state government to focus on the three districts and bring them out of the hardcore poor group in Sabah,” he said here today. 
He was speaking at a media conference after attending a coordinating meeting between KKDW and the Sabah government for 2023 which was also attended by Hajiji.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said the technical committee of KKDW and the Sabah Government also played a role in trying to coordinate the allocation channeled to the state so that the allocation could be received as soon as possible and the projects involved are implemented effectively.
He said under Budget 2023 presented on February 24, Sabah would received various allocations, and coordination between KKDW and the Sabah Government was required to ensure that the projects involved ran smoothly.
“This coordination involves department heads in the ministry and Sabah agencies as well as on our side (KKDW), this is something which is conducted so that the implementation (of the project) can be felt by the people of Sabah as soon as possible,” he said.
He said apart from helping the three poorest districts and the coordination, the main item on food security was identified as the rice estate initiative which will be implemented in Sabah to ensure the staple food supply can be produced independently by the state for ‘local consumption’ while assisting to build ‘stockpile’ for contingency needs…Felcra (Felcra Berhad) has a modality for the implementation of this rice estate as carried out in Seberang Perak.
“The villagers are involved as shareholders in the estate by earning dividends and are also involved in employment as workers on the rice estate while housing areas are provided by Felcra for them so that there is a new economic development in the area,” he said.
In this regard, Ahmad Zahid said he is leaving it to Hajiji and the state government to announce the details of the rice estate initiative, including the areas involved, after the study into the matter has been completed.


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