Sabah govt will help those affected by demolition op in Semporna, says CM

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will help the nomadic Bajau Laut (Palau) following the demolition of community houses during a recent operation in Semporna, says the Chief Minister.

Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pic) also said the demolition was for the state's sovereignty.

“We are planning something for (the community). Don't politicise the issue as the state knows how to handle this matter," he told reporters after an event at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) near here on Tuesday (June 11).

ALSO READ: Hundreds of Bajau Laut left without homes after demolition op in Semporna

He had earlier witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the state Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry and Kibing Group subsidiary SBH Kibing New Solar Energy (M) Sdn Bhd to expand its investment in Sabah.

Asked about plans for humanitarian aid to those affected, Hajiji said the details would be revealed later.

Last week, hundreds of coastal villagers including members of the stateless Palau community lost their homes in the demolition exercise.

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) condemned the act, calling for state authorities to take a more humane approach to solving such issues.

Authorities including state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew had said the demolition in Semporna was for safety and security purposes, following crimes such as shootings, among others, in these areas.

On the MoU, Hajiji noted that it marked SBH Kibing New Solar Energy's commitment to build a new solar glass manufacturing plant in Kimanis, Papar with six production lines.

ALSO READ: Sabah government to investigate demolition of Palau community houses in Semporna amid controversy

He said this showed that the state government's efforts to accelerate the growth of the industrial sector have been effective.

He stressed that the "Sabah Investor-Friendly" initiative as outlined in the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya development plan had bolstered investors' confidence and attracted foreign companies to the state while encouraging existing investors to expand.

SBH Kibing New Solar Energy’s new investment, estimated at RM7.2bil to be carried out over three phases, will create a total of 5,000 job opportunities for Sabahans.

Kibing Group has already invested more than RM3bil in the silica sand processing plant and solar glass manufacturing plant generating 1,800 jobs in KKIP.

The company has already added a third production line to its existing facility, representing an additional investment estimated at RM700mil and creating approximately 600 additional jobs.

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