KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s northern Kota Marudu district is on track to become the economic hub of northern Sabah, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said.
Dr Ongkili said the prices of property had increased by 35% in the last two years and the district would see the number of shophouses doubling in the next three years with ten more commercial development projects already approved for Kota Marudu.
“The lots for the five ongoing shophouse projects have been snapped up, showing that we are on track with economic and commercial development fast taking place,” he said during the swearing in of 18 district councillors whose tenures had been extended for the term Jan 1 to June 30.
Dr Ongkili, who is also Kota Marudu MP, said the district was also getting more tourists and business people visiting, particularly with the existence of more than 10 public-listed companies involved in oil palm plantations in Kota Marudu, Pitas and Paitan/Sungai Sungai of Beluran.
“There is also an immediate need for more hotels here, at least of three-star rating in Kota Marudu,” he said in his address to the councillors.
He however said, the district needed to look into proper waste management and have wider roads to cater to the growing need of the people and business community.
Dr Ongkili also told the councillors to focus on ‘cleanliness’ in the district. This covers being free of litter, illegal immigrants, social ills and drug menace as well as having clean commercial businesses.
“The council can stress on social education as the attitude of the people will ultimately determine the success of our campaigns,” he said.
The 18 district councillors sworn-in were Christopher Mandut, Lu Kim Yen, Marius Masain, Webley Disin, Jamadil Idaron, Mairin Tutun, Hendrus Anding, Seah Yun Chon, Teoh Tian Ping, Al Malek Utuh, Jonan kk Gaul, Baintin Adun, Solupin Gintanga, Abdul Karim Kassim, Satria Abdul Karim, Elui Majingkin, Padis Majingkin and Majudin Gambus.
Earlier, he officiated the distribution of the RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia government aid at Marak Parak in Kota Marudu and at Matunggong sub-district.
So far, 4,000 people out of 6,000 applicants in Matunggong, excluding online applications, have received their vouchers, while in Kota Marudu, 7,000 vouchers were distributed out of 16,000 applications.