KOTA KINABALU, Dec 22 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor insisted that all government programmes or projects implemented at the district level either through the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) or state ministries must be completed according to the stipulated schedule.
He said he was saddened when receiving reports related to the implementation of development programmes and projects this year that were not satisfactory even though the allocation had been channeled, and some even reported that 60 per cent completed this year, the same as last year.
Thus, he said the cooperation of mayors, district officers, municipal council presidents and senior government officials is highly demanded, including improving the level of work so that government programmes and projects approved in their respective districts can be fully implemented.
“The people expect us to implement the programmes and projects but unfortunately they are not ready. The government is paying serious attention to this matter and I received information from the Ministry of Finance that the project implementation performance is not encouraging.
“I want all relevant parties to pay full attention including monitoring all programme and projects implemented by the government. If projects for the people cannot be implemented, the people will be the losers and they will be angry with the government, including me as the chief minister,” he said while opening the SEDIA Strategic Linkage Programme with District Administration here today.
Hajiji who is also SEDIA chairman wants all government officers including district officers to speed up the process of local and foreign investment applications to Sabah in line with the investor-friendly approach practised by the state government.
“Investors come to bring job opportunities to the people, so don’t delay the approval. This will also hinder the government’s efforts to bring development to the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hajiji said many lessons need to be taken seriously by all parties including SEDIA to restore the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, which among other things involves food and medicine security as well as public health capacity.
“The state government is committed to ensuring food security in Sabah. For that purpose, the agricultural sector will continue to be driven by empowering four sub-sectors, namely crops; livestock; fisheries and aquaculture; and commodities such as rubber.
“In 2023, the state government will distribute a total of RM501.54 million to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the departments under it. Of that amount, RM69.2 million was distributed to operate and fund various assistance programmes for farmers, fishermen and breeders,” he said.
He said, SEDIA has a close and strong cooperation with the federal and Sabah government agencies in implementing programmes and development projects that are able to speed up economic activities, especially in rural areas.
“Let us move forward together progressively because everything we do is for the people and this state. We have seen how much can be achieved to improve Sabah’s economy,” he said.