KOTA KINABALU, Sept 27 — The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) will ensure Sabah remains in the mainstream of the country’s development, says Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.
He said this could be seen in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s assurance that Sabah, Sarawak and the other less developed states would receive about 50 per cent of the total basic development allocation under the 12MP.
Hajiji said Ismail Sabri, who tabled the 12MP today, had ‘walked the talk’ when giving greater focus to Sabah in the nation’s five-year development programme, keeping his words during the recent Malaysia Day celebrations held here.
“The Prime Minister had assured that all issues regarding Sabah and Sarawak, especially in terms of development and those related to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), would be given special attention.
“We are happy the Prime Minister kept his word by underlining the development of Sabah, among six other states in the country, under the nine focus areas of the 12MP. We also hope that the Federal government would be able to provide a timeline to resolve all the issues in MA63,” he said in a statement today.
Meanwhile, Hajiji said Sabah would benefit greatly from the RM3.1 billion allocation under the National Digital Network (JENDELA) programme to upgrade and build new telecommunication towers as the country moves towards greater 4G and 5G penetration.
“Sabah is looking forward to the JENDELA programme because the people, especially those in the rural areas are really in need of better digital connectivity,” he said.
He also welcomed the beefing up of security, particularly in Sabah, as underlined under the Fourth Focus of the 12MP that will see new army camps being set up in Kota Belud and Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu as well as a General Operations Force Battalion Camp in Beluran.
Hajiji said the upgrading of the Sabah East-West power grid and construction of new power plants would boost power supply in the state, and although the proposed Southern Link Grid was not mentioned, the State government hoped it would also be approved because it was a priority project for Sabah.
“We are also glad that the development of the new customs, immigration, quarantine and security (CIQS) post at the Malaysia-Indonesia border would be carried out under the 12MP.
Thanking the Federal Government for its commitment to Sabah, he also hoped there would be quantifiable monitoring of all the development plans under the 12MP in the state, to ensure the planned developments are completed during the stipulated period.
The Chief Minister also assured that the state government would give its fullest support and cooperation for the development programmes under the 12MP to be carried out successfully.