KOTA KINABALU: Usukan assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak has outlined several crucial issues that the Sabah government needs to address to further enhance human capital development in the state.
He said one of the major human capital problems that needed to be addressed immediately was the migration of experts from Sabah, or “brain drain.”
According to Salleh, Sabah has many highly skilled workers who can contribute to the economic development of the state.
However, he said there are some local experts who do not live or work in Sabah.
“They are in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor, Singapore, and Australia. They have the skills we need but have chosen to earn a living elsewhere,” he said.
Salleh said this when debating the 2024 state budget at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly here today.
He hopes that the issue can be dealt with immediately because it affects Sabah’s interests in any investment, including the Giant Company from China, Kibing Solar Group, which invested around RM2.5 billion to build two factories in Sabah: SBH Kibing Solar and SBH Kibing Silicon in Kudat.
The former Chief Minister also raised the issue of job mismatch, which he said contributed to Sabah’s status as having the highest unemployment rate in Malaysia.
“In my view, this issue of job mismatch is a big factor in the unemployment rate, apart from other issues such as our dependence on foreign workers,” he said.
In addition, Salleh said the issue of retraining or relearning needs to be focused on.
According to him, the quality of human capital in this state in the future will greatly depend on the ability of the workforce to quickly adapt to the technological changes in the new work environment.
Salleh hopes that the state government can take the initiative to help deal with the issue by empowering state-owned higher education institutions.
Meanwhile, Salleh asked the state government to consider the possibility of re-organizing Tamu Besar Kota Belud after not being held for two consecutive years, namely 2022 and 2023.
He said the programme is believed to boost local business, domestic tourism, and international tourism because the Tamu Besar Kota Belud possesses its own uniqueness.
Salleh also hopes that the proposed digital city project in Kota Belud can be continued for the common good.