KOTA KINABALU: Taking over the helm of the state government almost 100 days ago, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor says the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) is on track in implementing its promises to all Sabahans.
Despite facing serious Covid-19 pandemic issues in the state, the 65-year-old Hajiji said they have put their plans into motion to deliver their promises to the people in the run-up to the Sept 26 state elections.
In an interview with RTM in conjunction with his 100 days in office on Wednesday (Jan 6), Hajiji said that the GRS government has outlined its main agenda for implementation but was bogged down by the spread of Covid-19.
He said comprehensive programmes have been drawn up and these include firm plans on Sabah rights, infrastructure, economy, employment, public service, health and well-being, education, human capital, security, youth and women.
"We will implement the programmes once the Covid-19 threat eases," he said, assuring the people that he was 'Chief Minister for all Sabahans' irrespective of whether they supported the GRS or the opposition in the 16th state elections.
"I am and shall continue to be Chief Minister for all Sabahans irrespective of race, religion or political affiliation," he said, in calling on all Sabahans to unite for a progressive Sabah.
Hajiji, who led the GRS to topple the Warisan Plus government under Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, said that Sabah’s rights enshrined in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63) remained high on the priority list and they would pursue the issue that includes devolution of power from the Federal Government to the state.
"Besides the G-to-G committees on MA63, I am in touch with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin constantly on these matters. I shall keep the people informed of the progress from time to time," he said.
Hajiji said that good and friendly relations with the Federal Government were crucial for the state's interest and overall development.
State rights were among GRS's nine-point Aku Janji election manifesto.
Hajiji said the state government has already implemented some of the nine points in the GRS manifesto while others required longer-term solutions.
On issues of infrastructure needs, Hajiji said that the GRS government has allocated RM1.6bil or about 30% of the total of the 2021 state budget.
To better serve the people, Hajiji said the GRS government has also begun to look into introducing several programmes to equip the civil service to better serve the people through digitisation of the government system.
"Our most important priority is to revive and grow our economy. The GRS government will continue to help entrepreneurs who have been badly affected by the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.
Hajiji, who is state Finance Minister, said that a five-year economic plan based on a new "economic model" was being drafted.
The state government has also formed the Sabah Economic Advisory Council as part of efforts to revive the state's economy that has been seriously hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I believe that there is tremendous entrepreneur energy and investment potential capacity in Sabahans.
"To generate investment and employment opportunities in all economic sectors for Sabahans, many adjustments in existing policies and new policy initiatives are in the pipeline for the key sectors of agriculture, timber, oil and gas, the service industries and young entrepreneurs," he said.
He said the GRS government aims to create a conducive economic and business environment for all Sabahans to prosper and succeed in their jobs, business and professional lives for long-term growth.
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