BEAUFORT: The new Sabah government has its development plans laid out clearly with implementations expected to be carried out in phases, says Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The Chief Minister said during the first year of its governance, the state had managed to pay off a RM1bil debt following proper financial management.
"For this year, we will again focus on managing state funds properly so that money can be saved up for development purposes," he said during a Kimanis Youth gathering on Monday (Jan 13) night.
The gathering featured concerts, debates, motivational talks from politicians and other activities organised by Pakatan Harapan, Parti Warisan Sabah and Upko.
Shafie said the state would also help fishermen but they want to make sure that fishermen do away with the subsidy mentality.
He said lands will be provided for fish rearing and related industries for eligible Kimanis folk.
"We want industrialisation and to go downstream so that more Sabahans benefit from these economic activities," he said.
Shafie said by banning export of timber, and getting investors to Sabah instead for furniture making and other businesses would spin off the economy.
"Sabah will be launching its own brand of cooking oil soon, one in Tawau and one in Sandakan," he said, referring to Sabah Best brand.
He said these were just part of the state government's direction for Sabah.
The event was attended by over 2,000 people from all over Kimanis.
Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said Sabah's uniqueness in creating harmony in a multicultural community must be preserved.
"Sabah is special, that is why I keep coming here. The diverse people are united and a model for the whole Malaysia, don't let Umno change this.
"Even though Umno can play up racial (sentiments) in West Malaysia, they won't be able to in Sabah," he added.
Syed Saddiq also reminded the government to be more aware on the needs and challenges of the younger generation in today's world.
"I also call on the youths who are voting here, it is not enough for you to just go out and conduct your responsibility to vote.
"But you need to talk to your families, parents and relatives, and make sure their votes go to the one that can bring changes, namely Warisan," he added.
The Kimanis by-election is a straight fight between Parti Warisan Sabah's Datuk Karim Bujang and Barisan Nasional's Datuk Mohamad Alamin.
The Kimanis seat was declared vacant after the Federal Court on Dec 2 upheld the Election Court's ruling, nullifying Datuk Seri Anifah Aman's victory in the 14th General Election in May 2018.
Anifah, who was the former foreign minister, had won the seat with a 156-vote majority, securing 11,942 votes against Karim's 11,786 votes while another candidate, Jaafar Ismail of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, had obtained 1,300 votes.
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