Sabah to maintain good govt-to-govt ties with Putrajaya, says Shafie

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 12 Mar 2020

KOTA KINABALU: It is important to maintain good government-to-government relations between the state and Federal Government, regardless of political ideologies, says Chief Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal.

He said as he had indicated even before the new cabinet was formed, his support remained with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but the need for good government-to-government collaboration was still there.

“I'm sure the Federal Government, too, needs our help when they want to do something here; for example, when they build schools, they need land, and land is under state purview, ” he said.

Shafie said this during a press conference after opening at the World Islamic Economic Forum here, (March 12) Thursday.

He said government-to-government collaborations must not be hindered by political ideologies for the benefit of the people.

In view of the slow economic growth due to international trade war between China and the United States, Shafie said the state government would be announcing a stimulus package next month to help the people of Sabah.

He said Dr Mahathir had previously announced a stimulus package for the nation, but it was vital that Sabah too had its own plans for the benefit of the people.

“This stimulus package must be people-centric and whatever initiatives planned must be able to generate employment for Sabahans, especially those affected by the trade war and Covid-19, ” he said.

He said they were looking at bigger projects that would have a bigger impact on the economy and hoped to realise these plans by next month.

“We must see how we can best position ourselves to face economic turbulence and, hopefully, with that sort of initiative, we would be able to formulate something for our home to mitigate the problems faced, ” Shafie said.

He said now was a good opportunity to do investments as prices of goods would be lower.

“I am sure this is not going to be a long-term problem, ” he added.

On Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's (Bersatu) suggestion for the Federal Government to revive the Sabah Federal Development Department (JPPS) and Village Development and Security Committees (JKKKs), Shafie said this was a step backwards.

“This is not what the people of Sabah wants, we want devolution of power, and to revive the JPPS is like going back from what we have been working towards in terms of getting back state rights according to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), ” he said.

He added that the suggestion did not fit into what Sabahans wanted, considering the state was already halfway through their discussions to get back rights under MA63.

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