More jobs will be created: CM
Published on: Monday, April 15, 2019
By: Zam Yusa

KOTA KINABALU: More jobs will be created in Sabah in due course, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (pic), downplaying the criticism by certain quarters that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s election promise to create more jobs has remained unfulfilled. 

Responding to a question from the media on whether PH needs more time to fulfil the promise, Shafie admitted that job opportunities are not being created as fast as the people desire. 

“However, there are times when jobs will be created. We have encouraged certain Bursa Malaysia-listed companies in Sabah to make more investments,” he said. 

“These companies are related to the tourism and timber industries, and I’m sure we can work together with them to create jobs in Sabah. 

“For example, in May, I’ll be launching a hotel next door [to Suria Sabah] owned by Hap Seng Group that is worth almost RM300 million which will make more jobs available for the people.

“There are also factories that will create more jobs in the future which I’m sure the grassroots will be able to benefit,” he said after launching the 2019 Borneo Textile Craft Festival at Suria Sabah, here, Sunday. 

On the Sandakan by-election, the Warisan President said the PH coalition will work hard to ensure its victory. 

He said it has been established among the PH partners that a DAP candidate would contest the parliamentary seat, which became vacant after the death of former Sandakan MP and State DAP Chairman Stephen Wong Tien Fatt.

“We will work hard to ensure a PH victory,” he said. 

PH was dealt another by-election blow on Saturday when the former opposition block lost to BN, which retained the Rantau state seat in Negeri Sembilan through its candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

“We will go down and explain to the people, including the difficulty to solve problems such as the national debt left by the previous administration,” said Shafie.

Earlier, in his festival launching speech, Shafie said Sabah has potential to develop its textile craft industry internationally but players have to ensure the capability to fulfil demand is first enhanced. 

“We can even penetrate the Arab, Africa and Europe market but our textile products have to be tailored to those regions’ taste,” he said.

“Our capacity in terms of skills, manpower, equipment, etc, must also be boosted or we won’t be able to meet the increased demand. We are lucky because there’s no transfer of technology needed for the industry because the skills and material are sourced locally to make products that are comparable to already highly established brands.”

Federal Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said Kraftangan Malaysia’s sale last year was encouraging at RM506.5 million.

“Sabah’s handicraft sale stood at RM49.4 million while Sarawak’s at RM30.5 million,” he said in the festival’s welcoming address. These turnovers in Sabah and Sarawak are encouraging involving 3,018 major handicraft entrepreneurs.

“Therefore, the Ministry will create three focuses in Sabah and Sarawak, namely building a handicraft complex in Sabah in the 12th Malaysia Plan, encourage the private sector to turn to handicraft when sourcing souvenirs and expand the multi-function of textile.” 

Mohamaddin said the Government had allocated RM57 million under the 11th Malaysia Plan to implement the Sabah Tourism and Culture Development Project.

The Ministry, through Kraftangan Malaysia, will also reduce the number of B40-category of micro handicraft makers, which currently stands at 2,032, through several initiatives such as Base or Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur, he said.

In conjunction with the festival, Kraftangan Malaysia has carried out several activities such as developing new products based on traditional textile.

“I’m proud with the achievement of the Kraf Komuniti Ku project launched in September last year involving 77 people from Lahad Datu, Tungku and Kunak,” said Mohamaddin. Eighty-seven entrepreneurs are showcasing their textile craft and accessories in the festival from April 12 to 21.


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