Published on: Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has called on for everyone, particularly state agencies and government-linked companies (GLCs), to close ranks and focus on the joint-agenda to develop Sabah.
"I wish to state that with the strong mandate given to the Barisan Nasional in the last elections, we must close ranks and be focused in our joint agenda to develop Sabah," said Musa, adding it was also heartening to note that State agencies and GLCs were continuing to do well.
Musa, who is also State Finance Minister, said it is absolutely vital for these agencies to perform in order to pay dividends to the State Government, "and with that, allowing us to fund projects that benefit the people."
"Additionally, we must have the ability to think out of the box in making Sabah a state that is attractive to investors and to tourists.
To achieve this, we must cooperate with one another, and coordinate efforts when multi-stakeholders are involved.
"I also urge the civil service to continue giving its best, and to work with the private sector, academic institutions and non-governmental organisations in implementing plans," he said in his New Year 2014 message, Tuesday.
He said the transformation that Malaysia had been going through in terms of improvement to the economy and government efficiency was showing positive results.
"Through the foresight of our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) which he introduced are driving us forward in becoming a high income nation. In a highly challenging and globalised world, we have no choice but to transform so that the nation is able to compete within the region and the world," he said.
He said the various sectors of the state's economy were growing following Federal-led initiatives such as the ETP and the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).
The focus on oil and gas, palm oil, tourism and logistics sectors would translate into wealth for the state and its people, once some major projects get off the ground, he said.
"In order to drive some of these sectors forward, we must collaborate with the best minds to venture into the downstream processing of raw commodities, and also create a knowledge-based economy locally.
"Some of the significant projects that we are looking forward to are the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT), Kimanis Power Plant, the Sabah Urea Plant and on-going progress at the two Palm Oil Industrial Clusters in Lahad Datu and Sandakan, and the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park.
"I am pleased that the Halatuju or State Development Agenda that we introduced just over a decade ago has helped complement all initiatives listed under the ETP and the SDC.
"We had made the right decision in 2003 when Sabah decided to focus on tourism and services, agriculture and manufacturing.
We have also continued to place focus on education, and with the strong relationship that we enjoy with the Federal Government, we now have several institutes of higher education that are catering to specific training and manpower needs.
"The education hub in Sandakan is progressing well, and is providing much needed higher learning opportunities to locals from Sabah's east coast," he said.
Musa said the State Government would continue to work hard in reducing the poverty rate and have allocated RM178.14 million this year for various programmes to ensure more families move out of the poverty bracket.
"The State Government is prudent in its spending and we pledge to continue being financially sound through some of the measures that are already in place," he said.
According to him, the largest State Budget in the state's history that was passed a couple of months ago was aimed at bringing integrated and balanced urban-rural development, and will help fast track the development of much needed public infrastructure, boost human capital and accelerate socio-economic growth.
The State Budget for this year was RM4.6 billion budget, a 13 per cent increase from RM4.088 billion in 2013.
"For the New Year, it is my hope that Malaysians in Sabah will record achievements in your respective fields and ventures.
"Together, we can help transform our State and nation, and put it at par with some of the best countries in the world," he said.
"On behalf of the Sabah State Government, and my family, I wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014.
The new year is closely associated with fresh resolutions and renewed energy, and it is a good time to evaluate how much we have accomplished.
"Let us take stock of our achievements and shortcomings in the past year, and look for ways to plan for a better year ahead," he said.