KOTA KINABALU, Oct 2 — The Sabah government will begin work to draw up plans to develop areas bordering Indonesia to ensure a complete infrastructure can be created in line with Indonesia’s plan to relocate its capital to Kalimantan.
Chief Minster Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the drafts would be drawn up so that the development project proposals on the Indonesian border specifically Kalabakan, near Tawau and Sipitang would become part of the essence in the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP).
He said work to prepare the framework would include prioritising the development projects such as inspection posts on the border and a constructing a more efficient road network including in Long Pasia, Sipitang to ease land connections and spur economic activities on both sides.
‘‘We will arrange in terms of priority because we must know type of developments will come to the area (border area). They (Indonesians) are quick into seeing the (need for the) construction of a road from Balik Papan to Samarinda, which has been completed.
‘‘We will inform the federal government of the framework in 12MP. If one notices, the infrastructure they built is much better from what we have. As such, we must make earlier plannings so that important infrastructures can be developed,’’ he told a media conference after arriving here following a three-day visit to Indonesia, here today.
The visit to East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan in Indonesia from Monday, among others, was aimed at firming bilateral ties between the two regions and strengthening co-operation in various economic sectors.
Mohd Shafie said the immigration inspection post must be provided as among the efforts to curb human traffickings and smuggling of goods across the border.
The move was also to ensure that the entries of Indonesians to Sabah were legal and not through rat trails, he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie said the relocation of the Indonesian capital to Kalimantan would also enable the provisions of direct flights from Sabah to the region and prompting further the growth of the tourism industry since both were unique and capable of luring tourists.
On his first visit to the region after being appointed chief minister, Mohd Shafie said it was very encouraging and the state government also invited the East Kalimantan and North Kalimantan governors to visit Sabah. — Bernama