KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin has expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the assistance rendered to the state, not only for economic recovery efforts but also the Covid-19 immunisation programme here.
In his policy speech during the opening of the state legislative assembly on Tuesday (Sept 21), he said the huge allocation of RM5.1bil for Sabah under the Budget 2021 for development projects as well as to manage the Covid-19 pandemic reflected the central government’s concern for Sabah and its people.
“For the Bantuan Prihatin Covid-19 2.0 and Bantuan Prihatin Covid-19 Sabah 3.0 packages, the state government has spent RM324mil to help the people and sectors impacted by the pandemic.
“This includes one-off cash aid, waiver of rental for People’s Housing Programme (PPR) units, immunisation programme and the food basket programme,” he said.
At the same time, Juhar congratulated Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for his appointment as the ninth Prime Minister, expressing confidence that the close ties between the state and federal governments will continue.
He is also optimistic that the stimulus packages and economic recovery plans, introduced by the state and federal governments to ease the negative impact of the pandemic, will help hasten the recovery of the state’s economy.
Juhar also commended the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state government led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor for coming up with the idea of Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) as a framework for the state’s direction, as it was a way to revitalise the state’s economy during this challenging period.
One of the development programmes involved planted commodities such as fruits and vegetables, where it aimed to improve the income of some 1,480 farmers.
“Six agro-based collection centres are being constructed at Beaufort, Keningau, Kota Marudu, Kundasang, Telupid and Lahad Datu.
“The centres will be equipped with collection, storing, packaging and cold storage facilities so that rural farmers’ products can be marketed more efficiently.
“These premises will also allow easier access for exporters, retailers and consumers to get their supplies,” he said, revealing that the state will cooperate with the private sector to build a fruit processing mill in Lingkungan, Beaufort.