POSTED ON DECEMBER 6, 2021, MONDAY AT 7:35 PM
KOTA KINABALU (Dec 6): The Sabah government has set a time frame of two years for investors to start development projects in the state, the Sabah State Legislative Assembly was told on Monday.
Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said the state government had also instructed the State Secretary to ensure that every application received from investors to implement development projects in the state needed to be expedited for approval for implementation.
He was replying to a question by Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak (BN-Usukan) who wanted to know the approval process for all proposals or methods to determine the time frame for investors who want to invest in Sabah.
Hajiji said this would ensure that the approval of development plans, including related approvals, would be expedited as well as simplified to avoid delays in planned projects.
The Chief Minister also said the State Government will intensify efforts to facilitate and expedite the process to realize several new investments in Sabah.
He said the new projects included the manufacture of photovoltaic glass, Tanjung Lipat Smart City development, cultivation of medical herbs in Kundasang, eco-tourism resort development at Mengalum Island and property development on Yayasan Sabah’s land involving 10 acres at Tanjung Lipat.
In addition, Hajiji said the Sipitang Oil and Gas Indsutrial Park (Sogip) was expected to receive new investments involving ZLNG project by Petronas, integrated palm oil refinery, manufacturing of silicon metal, e-waste green technology recycling, industrial waste treatment facility and marine services.
“If the investments are realized, Sabah is expected to receive direct investments worth about RM25 billion,” he said.
Hajiji, who is also State Finance Minister, said that in response to Salleh’s question on the strategies and measures taken by the State Government to overcome the economic slowdown.
He said the State Government would step up efforts to facilitate and expedite the process to realize these investments.
“At the same time, the State Government is committed to explore more high-impact investments to stimulate the economy and improve the people’s wellbeing in Sabah.”
To an additional question by Senallang assemblyman Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Apdal on transparency of the investment projects at Sogip, Hajiji said the Sogip board of directors have received applications from Petronas, Awan Timur Kluang Sdn Bhd and Green Tech Recycling, among others.
He said all proposals were still being studied by the board of directors and no agreement nor memorandum of understanding (MOU) have been signed yet.
Under the Sabah Maju Jaya initiative and 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Hajiji said the mapping of main growth nodes including strategic and potential borders have been identified.
He said an area has been allocated for the development of Serudong-Simanggaris Border Town.
“The State Government will develop this area given the economic potential that will benefit Sabah following the relocation of the capital of Indonesia to Kalimantan.”
He said the development of the border town involved construction of roads connecting Kalabakan to Simanggaris, Kalimantan and building an Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security Complex (ICQS) at the entry point for cross border inspection.
He said the development would deliver positive economic and social impacts to the areas along the borders of Sabah and Kalimantan.
On the other hand, Hajiji said the State Government’s liaison, trade and tourism office in Singapore would be operational in early next year.
He said the initiative would enhance the existing trade relationship between Sabah and Singapore, as well as attract investors to invest in various sectors in Sabah.
He added that Sabah would participate in Expo 2020 Dubai this month to explore potential in trade and investments at the international level.
“Expo 2020 Dubai is an important platform for Sabah to promote our products and services, including tourism and industrial products, to the international market.
“At the same time, Sabah will take the opportunity to promote investment and business opportunities here through the flagship industrial parks under the Ministry of Industrial Development.
“Sabah’s participation in the expo is expected to generate high trade and investment returns and will drive efforts to stimulate the economy of the state.”