Concern over jobless grads

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 22 Apr 2004

SABAH has to urgently tackle a growing problem of unemployed graduates in the state, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said. 

“There is a pressing need for us to create more job opportunities for these graduates as more of them are remaining unemployed,” he said in his motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah. 

Musa said the state’s slow economic growth all these years had resulted in limited job opportunities for graduates. 

He said the government would also have to look into the mismatch between the training given to youths and the type of skills sought by employers. 

The government’s priority was also to cultivate more entrepreneurs among the graduates, he said. 

OPENING ADDRESS: Musa delivering his motion of thanks to the Yang di-Pertua Negri yesterday. On his right is Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

He noted that apart from the two universities in Sabah, there were also 20 private colleges as well as a number of polytechnic training centres and vocational schools.  

Musa said education was the key solution in tackling Sabah’s hardcore poor problem, noting that the state’s poverty rate of 16% was the highest in the country. 

“We will strive to ensure that as many as our rural folk have access to basic facilities such as electricity and water supply, roads, health facilities and housing,” he added. 

Musa said on the economic front, Sabah was striving to become a palm oil processing hub in the East Asean Growth Area (Eaga) to ensure the state became a leader in the industry. 

Noting that Sabah was the country’s largest palm oil producer, he said there was a need to further develop the downstream processing industries of this resource here. 

“We will therefore have to develop and get more investors for our palm oil industry clusters (POIC) in Sandakan and Lahad Datu,” he said, adding that the state’s oil palm plantation sector must reduce reliance on foreign labour which now totalled 200,000 workers.  

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