Warisan Vice President, Datuk Junz Wong said many Sabahans find it difficult to secure decent jobs in their own state despite 59 years of independence.
Aside from limited job opportunities, some Sabahans are deprived of learning opportunities due to limited access to digital devices and financial constraints.
In a statement released here today, Junz also asserted that major population in districts such as Tongod, Telupid and Beluran are still living in dire economic conditions even though most of the land there are being developed as palm oil plantations.
This was reported by The Vibes in an article titled “Why is Sabah still poor despite being palm oil rich?” three months ago.
“Why is this happening? Did anything go wrong with existing education, employment or economic policies?
“Despite being blessed with abundance of nature such as mountain, beaches, islands and natural resources, there are limited downstream activities in the state over the past decades due to lagging infrastructures be it road, water and electricity,” Junz said.
According to him, limited opportunities compelled some residents in rural and poor districts such as Tongod, Telupid and Beluran to migrate to major towns mainly Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan or Tawau to look for jobs offering monthly salaries of between RM2,000 to RM3,000.
On the other hand, after completing their tertiary education, young Sabahans in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan or Tawau chose Kuala Lumpur or Singapore and Australia for high-skilled and high-income job opportunities.
“In addition, many SPM graduates aspire to be social media influencers or e-hailing drivers right after finishing their high school education.
“With 72.1% no longer interested in pursuing tertiary education, will traditional employers find it even harder to recruit the right talent due to limited education qualifications, skillsets and working experience?,” Junz asked.
To address limited learning and employment opportunities among Sabahans, Warisan launched the Warisan Cares initiative in May to assist Sabahan youths in securing work and study opportunities.
At the moment, Warisan is cooperating with Kuala Lumpur City College (previously known as Optopreneur College).
“Through this programme, Sabahans students and youths will be able to obtain qualifications and expertise in retail sector and business management.
“Warisan Cares initiative also correlates with my earlier call to create more job opportunities for the people’s welfare and well-being,” Junz said.
Warisan is committed to continuing the following plans when back in power :
Developing more downstream industries (particularly manufacturing of finished goods and agricultural production; providing job training incentives for companies recruiting new staff; and providing grants for companies to upgrade existing production facilities.
“These plans would enable Sabah to re-align its focus by further developing the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
“By diversifying the state’s economic base, Sabahan youths aged between 15 and 40, which comprise more than half of the state’s population (2.07 million out of 3.88 million), will eventually find Sabah as an “attractive” state for them to stay,” Junz concluded.