Anwar gives nod for RM320mil federal aid to solve Sabah's water woes

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government is set to provide over RM320mil aid to expedite and resolve Sabah's chronic water woes.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that he was confident the RM320.25mil assistance would help the state implement short-term plans to solve the state’s water woes.

He said plans would involve the implementation of six programmes encompassing 20 projects throughout the state including nine projects under district plans for Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Putatan, Papar, Beaufort, Keningau, Tawau, Lahad Datu and Sandakan.

He said this in a statement following his meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Putrajaya on Thursday (June 1).

Hajiji was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister III cum state Works Minister Datuk Shahelmy Yahya, state secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong and other senior state officials who briefed the Prime Minister on Sabah’s plans to address the water supply problem.

Welcoming the Prime Minister’s quick decision, Hajiji said the projects were expected to take six to 12 months to complete.

The meeting was also attended by Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali and Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali among other senior government officials.

During the meeting, the state government’s long-term high-impact water supply plans were also discussed, including two dam projects in Papar and at Upper Padas, Sipitang.

On this, the Prime Minister called for the immediate setting up of a task force comprising state and federal ministries to seek a holistic approach and the best way forward, said Hajiji.

Anwar, who was in Sabah on Wednesday (May 31) to attend the state-level Kaamatan celebrations, had said that he wanted to resolve the water problem in the state and was holding a high-level meeting on Thursday (June 1).

Kelantan’s Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob and his official entourage were also present at the meeting to brief the Prime Minister on Kelantan’s water supply problem.

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