Sandakan has much to gain as a city

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Richard Yong (third left) with Shaiful Bahari (second left), Lim Hanyue from Sandakan Hawkers Association (fourth left), Kapitan Thomas Lau (fifth left), Yong Vui Min (sixth left) at the Sandakan Central Market.

SANDAKAN (Feb 7): Sandakan is expected to get more and special attention from the government in its pursuit to be Sabah’s second city, said Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Sandakan Zone chairman Datuk Richard Yong.

“Sandakan, which was the former capital of North Borneo has the potential to meet the criteria to qualify as a city and SAPP fully supports its quest,” he added.

Richard said the GRS government can plan and special attention will be given to Sandakan as a city with positive spillover effect on nearby districts such as Kinabatangan, Beluran and Tongod. This will in turn tremendously benefit and help the local communities.

“Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Bung Mokhtar Radin had announced on 8 Oct 2021 that a proposal had been submitted to the cabinet to upgrade Sandakan as a city on 22 Feb, 2022.

“This would mean Sandakan, once it becomes a new city, will receive more and special attention in various aspects of social economic development,” he said.

Richard said Sandakan has rich historical heritage, cultural values, forestry, environment and wildlife conservation, as well as other sectors like tourism, oil and gas, and sustainable agriculture.

“Preservation and upgrading the existing values alongside the infrastructure and economic development would be the keys to enable Sandakan progress further.

“Sandakan and districts in the division will recover swiftly and become stronger and have a better future through this transformation,” said Richard, who is also SAPP Deputy President cum Secretary-General, when officiating the 2022 SAPP Sandakan Zone Lunar New Year celebration.

Meanwhile, Richard is pleased with the performance of SAPP members in Sandakan.

“Our members have been working closely with the Community Development Leader Unit (UPPM) to provide aid and assistance during this challenging moment combating the pandemic.

“The SAPP team swiftly responded to public requests, working closely with the Sandakan Municipal Council; we have resolved various community issues, fixed and upgraded public amenities, security and infrastructure, organised blood donation drives etc.

During Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor’s visit to Sandakan in April 2021, SAPP highlighted the parking problems in Sim Sim area and the Chief Minister had graciously approved the provision of more space and funding for the improvement of the parking area. He approved a RM4.25 million allocation for Sandakan which also included additional parking lots for Duchess of Kent Hospital.

“If we were given more roles and participation, I am certain the SAPP team would be able to do more and perform better for Sandakan,” said Richard while assured the team will continue to work hard to serve the rakyat.

“As a political party, we are here to serve, regardless of election results, we must not fail the people.”

“The people of Sandakan can see with their own eyes and judge by their wisdom who are those dedicated to serve. They will reject any elected representatives who failed them.

The Lunar New Year celebration organised by SAPP Sandakan Zone was also attended by representatives from Sandakan Chamber of Commerce, Bersatu, PAS, MCA leaders and various associations.

While in Sandakan Richard also visited the Sandakan Central Market and shops accompanied by SAPP Sandakan zone vice chairman Kapitan Dato’ Thomas Lau, vice chairman Saiful Bahari and vice chairman Yong Vui Min to extend Chinese New Year greetings to the business community.