KOTA KINABALU: Only a fraction of the more than 200 government-linked companies (GLCs) and statutory bodies in Sabah have been paying dividends to the state government.
And Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor was not happy about it.
As such, Hajiji has issued a stern reminder to all GLCs to step up efforts to meet the target of paying at least RM1mil dividend to the Sabah government beginning this year.
He said there were more than 200 state GLCs and statutory bodies in Sabah but only a little more than 10 have been paying dividends to the government.
"There are those who have not paid. So, during my tenure as Chief Minister, I am making it a point that all of them must pay at least RM1mil every year," he said, in a statement on Thursday (May 26).
"I want all GLCs to fulfill their duty to pay good dividends to be used for the benefit of the state and the rakyat.
"Those entrusted to lead and manage GLCs must perform."
Hajiji said this when chairing the Sabah Softwoods Berhad board meeting at Menara Kinabalu here.
Last year, the state government received RM114mil in dividends payment from GLCs and statutory bodies which represented a 12.9% increase compared to 2020.
"Our decisive actions will determine the path to success and it is the leadership’s role to chart this course.
"We need to explore new revenue sources including investment initiatives and various economic activities," Hajiji said.
Meanwhile, the chief minister said crude palm oil (CPO) producers such as Sabah must brace themselves to address any adverse situation with the much volatile global economic situation brought upon by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
He said market analysts have predicted Malaysian planters to be the largest winners in the long run, as they were able to sell their CPO at high prices, which should translate into a higher profit margin in the second quarter of 2022.
"The current good CPO price works to our advantage and will be a boon. However, we must not be complacent when the price is good.
"There is a need to be mindful and to prudently manage the rising cost of materials, transport, fuel, labour and other consequential prices of goods and services," he said.
Hajiji was also pleased to note that more efforts were being carried out to re-stimulate Sabah’s economy during the transition to the endemic phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We are pushing harder to ensure there are no hurdles to curtail our Sabah Maju Jaya development plan," he said.
Earlier, he welcomed Mohd Daud Tampokong on board as Sabah Softwoods Berhad’s new chief executive officer.