Published on: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Kota Kinabalu: Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said his Ministry will do all it can to prevent the mass migration of Sabah's rural youths to the peninsula to look for jobs.
"There is a lot of migration of rural youths from places such as Tenom, Pensiangan and other rural areas in Sabah to look for jobs in Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Klang Valley and other places.
"My Ministry will focus on the rural entrepreneurship programme so as to enhance the participation of rural people, especially youths, to get into business so that they need not migrate.
"There is a lot of potential in rural areas such as in agriculture and we need to tap into the resources," he said.
"It is not good enough creating all sorts of infrastructures in both urban and rural areas without developing the people. It is important to blend together to develop the rural areas as well as the people there," he said.
Shafie hoped that with the money granted under the budget as well as the Perusahawan Bumiputera Scheme towards encouraging youths in rural areas to go into entrepreneurship, more youths will grab the opportunities to improve their livelihood as well as that of their families without the need to migrate.
Meanwhile, Shafie assured Sabahans that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to be implemented in 2015 will not burden them, including those in the rural areas.
He said the GST was part of a long-term move to manage the nation's financial system and will not burden the rakyat at large.
"It is a systematic tax system, which will improve the country's financial management.
The six per cent rate imposed under GST is not as high compared to the present Sales and Services Tax.
"The Sales Tax was fixed at around 10 per cent while the Services Tax was at around six per cent. However, under GST, the rate fixed was below than 10 per cent and is anytime the better structure," he said.
Shafie said with the GST, there will be no more double taxation on the people.
He said the budget tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak showed that the government delivered its promises.
"The BR1M is there. The welfare of the people at large, irrespective of whether there are in urban or rural areas, are all covered," he said.
He said the budget was also to ensure that the government can handle its own financial management in view of the world's economy which is unpredictable and very volatile.
"We have to reposition ourselves in term of how best we can install a system where we no longer rely on all norms of the economies," he said.