KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government has been urged to let Sabah have the funds promised over the years so it can achieve its Shared Prosperity 2030 vision due to kick off in 2021.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said Sabah needed to see a lot of development in terms of infrastructure and connectivity to lure investors.
“Now our gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is at RM23,000, so we need more, ” he said after a roundtable discussion with palm oil industry players here on Thursday (Sept 26).
He said Sabah was still waiting for many of the promised allocations and funds made years ago for development purposes.
He also said the Federal Government should keep its word on the 20% oil royalty and 40% revenue to be returned to Sabah, and do what it had said it would.
With regard to the roundtable meeting earlier, Tangau said stakeholders had pointed out several factors that were stopping the downstream processing for the palm oil industry, which could help boost Sabah’s economy tremendously.
“The main factors include lack of proper facilities and infrastructure, bad or no road connectivity, logistics problems, policies on rebate on export and slow approval of licences, ” he said.
He added that though these problems were not new, it was still necessary for them to understand the issues in perspective.
“For example, there is no free trade zone in Sabah, and I think Lahad Datu should at least have one, ” Tangau said.
He said the roundtable discussion organised by the Institute for Development Studies Sabah (IDS), together with the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Sdn Bhd, and his ministry would see a full report on the challenges of the industry.
“Once compiled, I will bring the matter up again in the cabinet meeting, ” he said.- The Star