Budget 2023: Sabah village heads want focus on infrastructure and rising prices

Sabah village heads hope the government will address rising goods prices in Budget 2023 by having, for example, more programmes like the Keluarga Malaysia Cheap Sale. – BERNAMApic

KOTA KINABALU: Ahead of the tabling of the Budget 2023 on Oct 7, village heads in Sabah have expressed hope that it will focus on infrastructure development and ways to help address the rising prices of goods.

Many of them also hoped that through the Budget, the government would take adequate measures to develop the state as promised much earlier, particularly in terms of basic facilities in rural areas.

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Kampung Pinahawon head Mison Madamin, 58, said it was time for the government to prioritise developing Sabah by upgrading infrastructure such as roads and Internet access.

"We know that the government has done many things to improve Internet access to the rural areas in Sabah, including my village. Sadly, the roads are in poor condition and must be upgraded.

"For a long time, the people in our village have been hoping for a road to be built from Kampung Pinahawon to Kampung Kionsom, also in Inanam.

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"This is very important because it will save travel time, and I hope Budget 2023 will take into account the urgent need to upgrade our roads,” he said when interviewed recently.

Meanwhile, Kampung Lokub head Unus Limun, 53, said the issue of basic facilities and infrastructure, such as clean water and electricity supply, as well as paved roads, has been a problem in Sabah for a long time.

"These are prolonged issues, but the new issue putting pressure on the people is the rising prices of goods... that has become the topic of discussions in coffee shops every day,” he said.

In this regard, Unus said he hoped that Budget 2023 will introduce effective initiatives to address the problem which has burdened consumers, especially when buying food and daily necessities.

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"We hope that in Budget 2023, the government can find the best solution because the issue of rising prices has been so significant of late.

"For example, the price of pork which used to be around RM22 to RM25 per kilogramme, has now increased to RM45-RM50 per kg,” he said.

Kampung Pinagon Baru head Martin Lotupas, 55, hoped that Budget 2023 would provide a huge allocation for the development of basic facilities such as paved roads.

"As we know, the roads in Sabah are in a pitiful state, and this is not only in rural areas but in urban areas as well.

"Many damaged main roads are not repaired quickly, which may be due to a lack of allocation.

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"Therefore, we hope that Budget 2023 will ensure that such problems are solved for the sake of the people,” he said.

He also suggested that Budget 2023 introduce initiatives to encourage traders to carry out sales promotions of essential goods, such as the Keluarga Malaysia Cheap Sale Programme implemented by the government. – Bernama

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