Funds for minor Sabah projects if asked
Published on: Monday, July 12, 1965

DAILY EXPRESS (Monday, July 12, 1965) - JESSELTON, July 11 — The Federal Minister for Sabah Affairs and Civil Defence revealed here that funds could be made available for more minor development projects in the State, if requests were made.

Speaking to newsmen before departing on Friday for the Federal capital after a five-day visit here, Dato Stephens said that several small projects have been completed in Sabah. 

He said he was not aware of any project that had been held up for lack of funds. In fact the State could get more funds for its projects, he added. 

The completed projects were a positive advantage to the people in the rural areas though the sums spent on them were not very large, it was pointed out. 

The Minister said that most development projects were going on quite well. 

“Projects are pushing ahead and there are no problems,” he added. 

The Minister added that the “Ranchangan Kilat” (self-help) projects were also being carried out and completed.

Dato Stephens revealed that in his talks with State officials during his visit, he had discussed on major road schemes such as the road to Kudat and Sindumin on the Sarawak border.  He explained that certain changes and adjustments are likely on the Ranau-Telupid sector of the Jesselton-Sandakan Road. 

The Federal Minister said that the shortage of teachers was not only chronic in Sabah, but it was a nation-wide problem.  The Federal Minister said he did not think the salaries offered to teachers were not attractive.  He pointed out that under the unified scheme, teachers got several fringe benefits and other securities besides attractive salaries. 

Touching on the labour situation, he observed that the State was making efforts to recruit more labour. “If we cannot get the labour from within Malaysia, then we will have to get them from outside,” he said. He warned, however, that it was also not easy to get labour from Hong Kong these days. 

Dato Stephens pointed out that it was up to employers to induce labourers to come to Sabah. He observed that people who had worked in estates in Malaya would be preferable to fill the gaps in the agricultural field in Sabah. 

He observed that there are labourers in Singapore but the majority of them would not be able to cope with the situation prevailing in the estates here They are mostly urban labour not suitable for estate work.  On Civil Defence, the Minister said that training instructors had arrived in Jesselton and they were pulling on with their work now. 

He said that there were about 100 volunteers now. That was “quite satisfactory” he added. There was already office space available and he hoped that the supplies of first aid kits and other equipment would come through soon. 

 





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