KINABATANGAN, Oct 8 — Sandakan is poised to become the second city in Sabah after Kota Kinabalu when all the criteria as a city are met, says deputy chief minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin
Following this, a soft-launch of Sandakan as a city is expected to be officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob this month.
Sandakan’s Committee on Economic Development and Investment (JPEPS) which held a meeting recently had agreed to announce Sandakan as a city on February 22.
“We have forwarded all relevant related applications to the Sabah Local Government and Housing Ministry,” he told reporters after officiating “Program Ceria Ke Sekolah” of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) here today.
Also present was SESB CEO Datuk Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahid.
Bung Moktar, who is also JPEPS chairman said various plans to upgrade Sandakan Municipal Council as a city hall had been planned, including creating a private hospital and ensuring adequate housing, apart from the development of public infrastructure facilities.
The deputy chief minister who is also Kinabatangan MP, said the status of Sandakan as city will empower districts like Beluran, Kinabatangan and Tongod in terms of economic development besides attracting more tourists to the area.
At the event, Bung Moktar also handed out SESB school aid to 300 school children in Kinabatangan, aside from a RM34,000 donation to Sekolah Kebangsaan Kuamut, a school adopted by SESB to aid teaching and learning in the school.
He also officiated the 700-megawatt Balat power station which is capable to provide electricity to nearby villages in a move to enable more rural folks have access to electricity at the event.
“The station has been in operation since August 1 and some 400 residents in Kampung Balat now have 24-hour electricity with a 17-megawatt capacity power supply and electricity generated from the power station is now extended to nearby villages,” he said.
He said, he also hoped the Rural Development Ministry would implement the Rural Electricity Supply (BELB) projects which had been planned to help improve the quality of life in rural areas where residents are still relying on electric generator sets for their daily activities.
According to him, a sum of RM120.5 million had been allocated to implement the BELB grid line connections to three zones covering the districts of Kudat, Pitas, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, Papar and Sandakan. — Bernama