Sabah and Sarawak need to be developed as a new growth area for Malaysia – Matbali

KUALA LUMPUR: Sabah and Sarawak need to be developed as a focused new growth area for this country.


In proposing this, Datuk Matbali Musah (GRS-Sipitang) said it is time for the government to shift its focus away from the Peninsula alone.

Speaking during the debate on the Royal Address in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, he said the potential of both states of Sabah and Sarawak is immense following Indonesia’s decision to move the National Capital to East Kalimantan, which Malaysia shares a large landmass with on the island of Borneo.

“If a large country like Indonesia has already shifted its administrative centre and economic development away from Java Island, then it is significant and consistent for Malaysia to also shift trade to Borneo Island and make Sabah, Sarawak, a new growth centre.

“The uniqueness of Borneo Island is that it is a shared island among three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam,” he said.

Matbali also hopes that the Unity Government will allocate more funds for Sabah and Sarawak for mutual prosperity.

“This is important considering the topographical and geographical structure, geopolitical culture, and socio-cultural diversity of both states, which are vast, extraordinary, and have many unique characteristics,” he said.

He is optimistic that Sabah and Sarawak will not be marginalized because Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is very committed to narrowing the development gap between regions.

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