Seeking Singapore's help in sectors
Published on: Sunday, September 09, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Singapore and Sabah can work more closely since both have an interest in improving economic ties, trade and investment.Singapore Deputy Prime Minister cum Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said this during a media conference with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Saturday. Describing Shafie as an old friend, Teo said they go back two decades and that he (Teo) was very happy to be in Kota Kinabalu and to be discussing further cooperation with Sabah.

Besides possible investments in Sabah's tourism industry which he (Teo) hopes will see an increase in tourist arrivals from there, the two leaders also discussed technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

"I understand that Shafie has an interest in this area (TVET), particularly for providing skills for young people in giving them more opportunities in the future," said Teo.

"I have also invited him (Shafie) to come and visit Singapore, make an official visit and also bring some of his officials with him so that we can further our cooperation and have deeper discussions on how we can work together," he added.

He also spoke about the briefing he received on Friday, particularly on tourism development in the east coast of Sabah.

While acknowledging the beautiful coastline in the eastern part of Sabah, he thinks Singaporeans are more familiar with the State capital and Mount Kinabalu.

He said Sandakan, Tawau and Semporna may be quite a revelation and attraction for Singaporeans.

Meanwhile, Shafie said Sabah can learn a lot from Singapore especially in TVET, adding that Singapore being quite advanced in terms of the know-how, TVET and vocational schools and since the State Government has already set up a Ministry of Education and Innovation in Sabah, it is one area that needs Sabah to explore.

He will be sending a team to explore this. Shafie also indicated the need for Sabah to enhance the relationship with Singapore. "I think it is timely for us, if we can work with other countries like China and Japan why not our neighbouring country."

He said it is quite important to develop this in a win-win cooperation and that Sabah needs investors from Singapore as well.

"We have to spread it out, we cannot be too dependent on one particular state or country to invest in Sabah."

On whether discussions included plans to having direct flights from the east coast to and from Singapore, he said it is one of the areas they are looking at.

"They (Singaporeans) love to enjoy. Within two hours they can go to the mountain and go to the island and eat seafood at very cheap price and they can see the culture.

Also present were Teo's wife, Chew Poh Yim and Shafie's wife, Datin Seri Shuryani Datuk Shuaib.


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