Rural development should be main focus of Budget 2021 – Sabah Deputy CM

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KOTA KINABALU, Nov 3 — Budget 2021 should give due focus to rural development by placing emphasis on infrastructure development and expanding internet penetration as well as improving educational and healthcare facilities.


Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam said rural roads infrastructure and networks which were relatively low have also impacted the lives of those living in remote areas.

He said poor road conditions in the state especially in rural areas have also posed challenges to the people living there to improve socio-economically and in terms of education.

“These bad road conditions have made it difficult for residents to market their agricultural product and this will indirectly affect efforts to develop the agricultural sector and improve the living standards of the rural community” he told Bernama via WhatsApp today.

Budget 2021 is scheduled to be tabled by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in Parliament this Friday (Nov 6).

Joachim who is also Sabah Industrial Development Minister said poor internet coverage has resulted rural people to be lagged behind others in many aspects especially education.


He said this has become more pronounced during the current COVID-19 situation that requires the teaching and learning process to be conducted online.

“How can students in rural areas participate in virtual learning if they are still facing internet access constraints.

“It is no point talking about the 5G implementation when there are still areas with poor Internet connection and this connectivity gap between urban and rural areas needs to be addressed immediately,” he added.

Joachim hoped the refund of 40 per cent of revenue from Sabah as well as what is stipulated under the Malaysian Agreement 1963 would be given serious attention by the federal government.

He also hoped that Budget 2021 would include measures to help boost the state’s industrial sector and economy as a whole. – BERNAMA

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