Dr Gunsalam brought two multi-billion ringgit projects into Sabah, says aide

KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah government official has credited Deputy Chief Minister and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice-president Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam (pic) for bringing in two multi-billion ringgit projects into the state.

Ahead of the race for the PBS deputy presidency, Yubidi Gumpoyo, who is Dr Joachim’s political secretary, said the latter had managed to attract the two investments through the Sabah Industrial Development Ministry.

The projects involved South Korean copper foil manufacturer SK Nexilis, which brought in investments valued at RM4.2bil, and solar glass maker SBH Kibing Solar New Materials (M) Sdn Bhd which pumped in RM2bil worth of investments into the state.

Yubidi said the projects were implemented under the Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) development plan through the Sabah Industrial Development Ministry which is led by Dr Gunsalam.

“Both projects were down to the efforts of Dr Gunsalam who worked hard from the get-go to ensure they are implemented successfully so that their impacts can be felt by the state and the people,” he said, in a statement here.

He said the entry of these projects not only enhanced the image of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-Barisan Nasional state government and the SMJ plan but also promoted PBS as one of the parties actively contributing to the state’s progress.

“This proves Dr Gunsalam is a highly capable leader whether being a Sabah Cabinet member, the state representative for Kundasang or a senior PBS leader.

“This means his appointment as the PBS representative in the GRS-Barisan state cabinet, holding an important portfolio, has not gone to waste because he is someone who works hard for the sake of Sabah and its people,” Yubidi said.

Dr Gunsalam will be contesting for the PBS deputy presidency against the party’s secretary-general Datuk Joniston Bangkuai who is also the Assistant Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister.

PBS is currently holding its 36th and 37th annual delegates conference here until this Friday (July 1), with the party polls set for Wednesday (June 30).

Towards this end, Yubidi dismissed the criticisms aimed at Dr Gunsalam, particularly in the media, saying it was malicious and intended to smear his image.

He said the PBS vice-president’s capabilities as a competent leader should not be put into question as the people in Kundasang had given him the mandate to be their representative for the last 18 years.

He, however, admitted that Dr Gunsalam may not be the most vocal leader but pointed out the latter was just focused on working.

“Dr Joachim is like diam-diam ubi berisi (staying humble but continues to work). But this is in line with the demands of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor who wants his leaders to do more hard work and less politicking,” he said.

Yubidi was commenting on a report by a news portal that somewhat portrayed Bangkuai as having the edge over Dr Gunsalam in the race for the PBS number two position.

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