KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman said the implementation of development projects especially under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan (11MP) in Sabah is progressing smoothly.
He said in the first year of the 11MP implementation in 2016, 81 per cent or RM646.874 million of the total allocation for State Government funding had been spent.
He said in the second year of the 11MP implementation, the Federal Government’s development funding increased by 12.6 per cent to RM4.277 billion compared to 2016.
“As of September 25, 2017, the number of projects approved were 647, that is 304 extension projects and 343 new projects.
“Among them are the implementation of Sabah’s Pan Borneo Highway, rural water supply and electricity, rural road links, public housing programs, building and upgrading roads including three tiered intersections in Kota Kinabalu, enhancing the communication sector, education and security infrastructure,” said Musa at the State Awards Investiture ceremony at the Istana Negeri here yesterday, in conjunction with the Head of State Tun Haji Juhar Mahiruddin’s 64th birthday celebration.
On the implementation of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), Musa said as of June 30, 2017, RM2.5 billion was channelled by the Federal Government for the project under the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Malaysia Plans.
Of the total figue, RM2 billion, or 93.6 per cent, had been channelled by SEDIA. Meanwhile, since the launch of the SDC in 2008 until the second quarter of 2017, a total of RM163 billion in cumulative investments has been recorded.
Musa said the tourism sector continued to strengthen by registering a total of 2.109 million tourists in the first seven months of the year and it was a double digit increase of 10 per cent over the same period in 2016.
“The State of Sabah remains the most popular tourist destination among foreign and domestic tourists.
“At the same time, the State Government has also undertaken various aggressive efforts to attract more investments in the hotel sector including the construction of five-star hotels.
“Additionally, new iconic projects to be implemented such as the Sabah International Convention Center (SICC), Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED), Jesselton Quay and Kota Kinabalu Convention City projects will attract more tourists and investors to the state.
“The government is also actively exploring high potential tourism destinations in every district in the state,” he explained.
The Chief Minister said the manufacturing sector also showed encouraging growth momentum through a 3-per cent increase in total exports of manufactured goods in the first half of this year amounting to RM1.194 billion.
Musa said at the same time, the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) continued to attract more investors with the development of the Digital Free Trade Zone, besides the Shared Services and Outsourcing Center (SSO) which helps Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) market products locally and internationally.
He added that as a step forward, the implementation of the Third Sabah State Agricultural Policy (2017-2027) would continue to focus on strengthening the contribution of the agricultural sector to the state’s economy to enhance the standard of living of the people, especially in the rural areas.
In order to encourage the commercial youth participation in the agricultural sector, he reckoned that the Young Agropreneur Development Program would be strengthened with strong support from Agro Bank and TEKUN Nasional through the Special Loan Scheme (easy loan).
In his speech, Musa also congratulated 22 of the 31 state’s ministries, departments and agencies that had been audited last year, for receiving the highest five-star rating, the most accredited state in terms of recognition compared to other states.