KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal will visit Kalimantan next month, where he is expected to touch on possible collaborations following Indonesia’s plan to move its capital to the province of East Kalimantan (Kaltim).
Shafie said he would be spending a few days in Kaltim and North Kalimantan’s Tarakan after the Malaysia Day celebration.
He told reporters this after receiving a courtesy call from Singapore Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat.
“They (Kalimantan officials) invited me early this year but I could not make it because I was tied up with so many things.
“Right after Sept 16 in Kuching, Sarawak, I will spend a day or two in East Kalimantan, and another day or two in Tarakan.
“We are already aware of this proposed (Indonesian capital) move, which I think will benefit both countries as Kalimantan borders Sabah and Sarawak, ” he said, adding that the Indonesian consul-general to Kota Kinabalu, Krishna Djelani, would help arrange their trip.
Shafie said while there was a lot of potential in Kaltim, it was vital to boost cooperation.
He added that this was something he would take up with Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad as he wanted to pave the way forward for both nations, in particular in relation to Sabah.
Meanwhile on his meeting with the Singaporean official, Shafie said they spoke about collaboration in the services industry, tourism, as well as the industrial sector.
He said Sabah could learn from an advanced country like Singapore.
Chee, who is also Senior Minister of State for Education, suggested that Sabah and Singapore come up with twinning packages to promote both locations to the international tourism market.
He said Singapore was also interested in agriculture products from Sabah and wanted to see how to facilitate exports of the island republic.
“I believe under the leadership of Shafie, we can bring our cooperation to the next level.
“One idea that I discussed with the Chief Minister earlier is whether we want to explore the setting-up a trade and tourism promotion office in Singapore. If we have such an office to promote such linkages between Singapore and Sabah, I think this will further enhance such opportunities, ” Chee added.
Meanwhile on another development, when asked about Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya urging all states to establish integrity units in their CM or Menteri Besar offices, Shafie said he welcomed the idea.
“Yes we will adhere to it, ” he said.