KOTA KINABALU: The proper execution of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) programmes lined out for Sabah would determine the people's confidence towards the Federal Government, say analysts.
Academician Tony Paridi Bagang from Sabah UiTM said the measures announced under the 12MP are considered “fair” given the current economic situation and Covid-19 pandemic, but hoped there would be space for adjustments where Sabah can get more allocations.
He said huge allocations for Sabah's infrastructure development and digital infrastructure are critical as the state lagged behind in these two areas.
"It gives hope to the people but now it boils down to the execution; people’s confidence would strengthen once they see good outcomes.
"In addition, allocations for management of natural disasters perhaps need to be given due consideration, as many areas in Sabah are now very prone to floods," he added.
On the bumiputra agenda, Tony said the government must be transparent when it comes to the execution of programmes and policies as this is vital to eliminate the perception about “second class bumiputra”.
Political and economic analyst Dr Oh Ei Sun agreed that that basic infrastructure and Internet technology in Sabah must be given due attention under 12MP, adding that Sabah has long been neglected in its developmental needs.
The senior fellow with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said the government can work with the private sector in these two aspects.
"In terms of basic amenities, after more than half a century of nationhood, it is time to make sure Sabah and Sarawak have adequate electricity and clean water supply, as well as roads and railways.
"A suggestion is since right now they are building the Pan Borneo Highway project, they should consider extending the current short stretch of the railway system in Sabah into Sarawak, along the highway project.
"That way, there is also corresponding parallel railroad because it will spur economic development, as the system can be used as transportations of good and people," Oh suggested.
On technology particularly linked to the Internet, he said it was the right time to apply sustainable green technology in Sabah.
"What better than to roll out and experiment in Sabah and Sarawak, as opposed to do it in Kuala Lumpur where cables have been laid and you have to dig out and re-install fiber (optic broadband) for example, but in Sabah, you can do that easier because nothing is there in the first place," he explained.