KOTA KINABALU: Sabahans must strive to do better than their peers in Peninsular Malaysia, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
“I want Sabahans to be better than their friends there. I want them to be smarter than their peers in Peninsular Malaysia and to work harder as well as to study harder. We can prove that we can be better than other people,¨ he said when officiating at the SL1M program at UMS here, on Saturday.
Abdul Rahman when asked by the media about Sabahans migrating to Peninsular Malaysia to seek employment replied: “I want Sabahans to be confident with no inferiority complex … we want to compete with the best in the world, not only in Peninsular Malaysia.
“There is nothing wrong with comparing ourselves with our peers in Peninsular Malaysia but enough is enough, we need to move faster than them. While the government will never neglect Peninsular Malaysia, we as Sabahans must rise up to the challenge and embrace the programs provided by the government,¨ he said.
In his speech earlier he told those attending the event: “If people in Peninsular Malaysia crawl, we have to walk, if they walk, we run, if they run we sprint, if they sprint we need to fly. I do not want them to go over to Peninsular Malaysia because I want them to contribute back to Sabah.”
The Kota Belud member of parliament was of the opinion that the only way to narrow the gap between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia is for Sabahans to move faster and get ahead.
Touching on the SL1M program, Abdul Rahman said it was part of the government’s effort to ensure that its rakyat in Sabah got the opportunity to help develop the country.
Abdul Rahman said SL1M was doing a wonderful job in trying to get all the youngsters who fell through the cracks, to enter the job market.
“I told them just now that it was not just about the jobs as it is very important for the SL1M participants to know that they are doing this not only for themselves but also for their family as well as for the state and country.
“We need all of you to be part of the big success story of Malaysia in terms of the economy,¨ he said, adding that the response to the program was overwhelming as thousands of graduates attended.
Late last year a similar program was conducted in Sepanggar and the response too was very good, he said, adding that this proves that the rakyat are interested in the government’s approach through SL1M where it goes down to the grassroots and do the job matching process for them.
“We go to them; if they cannot come to us this government will go out there and find you and help you. The industries are also very responsive and the fact that 6,000 jobs are offered means the state’s economy is growing and we need to fill in the vacancies,” he stressed.
Abdul Rahman added that he has asked SL1M to expand its program of job matching the graduates before they graduate which it is currently doing on a small scale so that the graduates and industries do not have to waste time looking for jobs and employees.
He pointed out that there are scouts from neighbouring countries head hunting among university students for talented workers so there is a need to take necessary steps to ensure that these students stay and work in the country after they graduate.
“As far as Sabah is concerned, SL1M has helped to reduce the unemployment rate in the state and at the same time the poverty rate,” Abdul Rahman said.