KOTA KINABALU, Sept 27 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has lauded the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), saying that it sees Sabah getting greater focus in the nation’s five-year development programme, proof that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is “walking the talk”.
Hajiji said that the various allocations and plans for Sabah in the recently tabled 12th Malaysian Plan were proof of Putrajaya’s “shared prosperity” promise with Sabah.
“We are happy the prime minister has kept his word by underlining the development of Sabah, among six other states in the country, under the nine focus areas of the 12MP.
“We really hope the federal government would be able to provide a timeline to resolve all the issues in MA63 as well,” said Hajiji, referring to the promises made by Ismail Sabri to resolve the outstanding issues under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 in regards to the state’s jurisdiction.
Hajiji welcomed the prime minister’s assurance that Sabah and Sarawak and the other less developed states would receive about 50 per cent of the total basic development allocation under the 12MP.
“This will definitely ensure Sabah will stay in the country’s development mainstream,” said Hajiji.
He also welcomed the beefing up of security that will see new army camps being set up in Kota Belud and Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu as well as a General Operations Force Battalion Camp in Beluran.
Also highlighted in the 12MP was the upgrading of the Sabah East-West power grid and the construction of new power plants to boost power supply in the state.
Hajiji said he hoped the proposed Southern Link Grid, which was not mentioned in the 12MP, would be approved as it was a priority project for Sabah.
“We are also glad that the development of the new customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) post at Malaysia-Indonesia border would be carried out in the 12MP.
Ismail had announced that the new CIQS checkpoint would be built at Manalunan, Simanggaris and Kalabakan.
The chief minister had in March announced the development of the new CIQS post at the Malaysia-Kalimantan, Indonesia was in the pipeline, in anticipation of Jakarta’s decision to relocate the capital city to Kalimantan.
Also included in the 12MP was the National Digital Networking (Jendela) programme where Sabah would be getting RM3.1 billion to upgrade and build new telecommunication towers as the country moved towards greater 4G and 5G internet penetration.
“Sabah is looking forward to the RM3.1 billion worth of Jendela programmes to upgrade the internet facilities in the state because the people, especially those in the rural areas are really in need of better digital connectivity,” he said.
Sabah also agreed with the proposed formation of a special unit at district offices to address poverty issues as among the measures to eradicate hardcore poverty and reduce the income gap among the people.
“The state government also appreciates the federal’s sensitivity on Sabah’s healthcare needs as shown with the announcement that new health clinics that will be built in Penampang and Beaufort as well as a new regional blood centre in Sabah,” he said.
Thanking the federal government for the continuing emphasis on Sabah, he also hoped there would be quantifiable monitoring of all the development plans in the 12MP in the state.
“The state government believed this will be an effective way of monitoring to ensure the planned developments are completed during the 12MP period,” he said.
Earlier, Ismail Sabri tabled the 12MP themed #Keluarga Malaysia “Makmur, Inklusif, Mampan” (Prosperous, Inclusive, Sustainable) and also reiterated that he was committed to ensuring all the issues in the revision of the MA63 will be resolved towards accelerating socio-economic development in Sabah and Sarawak.