KOTA KINABALU, Dec 23 — The Sabah government led by Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) would work harder to bring more progress to the state in 2022, said Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.

In his 2021 Christmas and New Year 2022 message today, Hajiji said GRS was on the right track to bring progress to the state and its people despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Sabah government had done its best in handling these including the economic and health crises for close to two years.

“The state government has not wavered in putting its development plans into action even during the crisis. We look forward to pushing ahead fervently in 2022 to ensure that our development agenda as outlined in the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) and state 2022 Budget will proceed smoothly,” he said.

Hajiji said the state’s five-year Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) development plan kicked off in March this year which saw the signing of three major investments worth RM10 billion, namely, the Lok Kawi Resort City, a copper foil manufacturing plant and a high-yielding integrated coconut project.

He said the Sabah government had been relentlessly pursuing more high-impact investments while the discussions were still on-going with several investors to bring investments into the state.

“Once these investment proposals have been finalised, it will help re-stimulate the growth of our state’s economy so as to bring benefits to the rakyat and state,” he said, adding that Sabah was also on the right track to becoming an investor database centre in the Asean region in line with the SMJ development framework.

Hajiji also expressed gratitude to the people of Sabah for their trust and continued support to the GRS state government to lead and develop the state and called on them to continue keeping peace and stability intact so that Sabah could attract potential investors.

The recent unanimous passing of the Federal Constitution Amendment Bill 2021 in Parliament was a momentous and significant milestone which will pave the way for full restoration of Sabah’s rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

The chief minister said several other demands from Sabah had been successfully resolved through the Special Council on MA63, adding that devolution of power to Sabah for the issuance of deep-sea fishing licence was proof that Sabah’s rights and privileges, as provided for under the MA63, were acknowledged.

To cap a productive year, Hajiji said another success was the signing of the Commercial Collaboration Agreement between Petronas and the state government to mark a new era in Sabah’s oil and gas industry.

Hajiji said this resulted in the formation of SMJ Petroleum Sdn Bhd, Sabah’s wholly-owned oil and gas company, and according to him, the Sabah government was also in the midst of finalising the Sabah Gas Master Plan with Petronas to be launched soon.

Meanwhile, Hajiji wished everyone a safe Merry Christmas and New Year 2022, and he hoped the celebrations would strengthen unity, religious tolerance and respect among Sabah’s multiracial and multi-religious communities. — Bernama