TAWAU, Feb 9 — More than 20 local companies in Sabah registered with Bursa Malaysia will be called up for discussions on investing in the development of the state, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
He said this was to boost the state’s economic growth and increase employment opportunities for Sabahans.
“I will call them (the companies) up one by one to ensure they can invest at the state level and not just be registered at state level without any returns for the people.
“I am confident. I have already begun talks with the Hap Seng boss, asking him to invest and he told me he will invest RM1 billion for Sabah,” he said in his speech at the Chinese New Year open house at the Sabah Chinese High School here today.
The open house, organised by the Sri Tanjong State Assembly, was also attended by two Sabah Deputy Chief Ministers, Datuk Christina Liew and Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, as well as more than 1,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie said the state government would ensure a proper platform for investors in a bid to speed up any form of application processes.
“Don’t delay too long, don’t have too many red tape for approvals. If we approve, it will not only help develop the state but also (create) more jobs for our children,” he said.
Mohd Shafie also wanted the development in Sabah to be balanced and not focused on certain districts only.
“I do not want only Kota Kinabalu to be developed, and Tawau isn’t. I do not want Tawau to be developed, and Sandakan isn’t. We must have balanced development.
“(Districts) on the west coast of Sabah have electricity and water, but (districts) on the east coast have no electricity or water,” he said, adding that it was a challenge they would have to go through to develop Sabah and one he cherished because it (the challenge) was for the ‘leader to resolve, not for a leader to shy away (from)’.
Mohd Shafie also emphasised that the spirit of solidarity prevalent in Sabah needed to be nurtured and maintained as it was the strength that would ensure cooperation in developing the state.
“We must not look at a person’s race or judge a person based on it. If we do that, then Sabah cannot be developed properly,” he said. — Bernama