Sabah eyeing RM25bil in investments from wide range of projects to lift economy out of pandemic slump

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking at projects calculated to bring an estimated RM25bil worth of investments as part of its efforts to revive the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pic) said the projects include solar panel manufacturing, photovoltaic glass manufacturing, investments in the Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park from ZLNG and Petronas, palm oil, silicon metal products, e-waste recycling or disposal, and industrial waste treatment.

He said other planned projects include the Tanjung Lipat Smart City, herbal medicine planting in Kundasang, property development in the capital city, and marine services.

“If these projects are realised, we expect to get some RM25bil worth of direct investments,” he said.

He was replying to a question by Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak (BN-Usukan) on the government’s economic revival plan for Sabah during a question and answer session at the legislative assembly meeting here on Monday (Dec 6).

Hajiji said the state government is in the midst of redesigning the multi-billion ringgit Tanjung Aru Eco Development project, which will balance development and public interest in its implementation.

He said while there would be top-quality resorts, commercial units and high-end residential units there, public areas like the Prince Philip Park and opportunities for small-time traders to continue business there will also be taken into account.

“We are excited to explore more high impact investment opportunities to revive the economy and bring more development and prosperity to the people,” Hajiji added.

To add on to these, he noted, there are existing projects under the 12th Malaysian Plan and Sabah Maju Jaya initiative which include the building of a border town at Serudong-Simanggaris.

More bilateral deals are expected with Singapore as well, with the state’s decision to open a communication, trade and tourism office there, he added.

“We are looking at our framework for implementation approval of the planned projects so that things can be dealt with more smoothly, efficiently, and faster,” Hajiji said.

He mentioned that there were still matters to be finalised in many of the projects, such as regulations and the selection of interested investors.

He said the state Cabinet decided that all work has to start on all MoUs and project agreements within two years of their signing.

The session also addressed issues concerning the state government's plans to help fishermen and farmers affected by the pandemic.

Topics on education, job opportunities, and questions of vaccination were also discussed.

On vaccination, parents were urged to help their children aged 11 and below to conduct routine Covid-19 self-tests as they are not yet vaccinated but are already attending classes.

Earlier on, Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Kadzim Yahaya reminded assemblymen and everyone else in the Dewan to immediately conduct self-tests and take precautionary measures if they felt unwell.

They were also reminded to strictly follow SOPs to minimise the risk of virus transmission.

A moment of silence was observed for leaders, assemblymen and their family members who passed away recently.

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