KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal has called on Sabahans to work hand in hand with the state government to enable efforts to generate development to be implemented better next year than in 2018.
In his New Year’s message, Mohd Shafie said, as a citizen, Sabahans must have the right and courageous approach to ensure success of all development plans and programmes in Sabah and that the benefits would be felt for generations to come.
“Whatever challenges and obstacles lie ahead of us, if the people are united and the government machinery runs well, I am sure these problems can be overcome. We pray to Allah to protect our country always so the people can progress forward and prosper.
“Our beloved Sabah has a wealth of resources despite having to constantly thwart numerous threats, but with the cooperation and support of the people, God willing the year 2019 will be one of growth, opportunity and prosperity,” he said.
Mohd Shafie said the year 2018 had indeed been a very challenging year, but he was grateful that a change of government had taken place.
“It is now slightly over seven months since the Warisan-led government of Sabah has taken office but within that short time there have already significant accomplishment to bring about changes that the people had long been hoping for,” he said.
Of particular, Mohd Shafie said two ministries were created in Sabah – the Sabah Education and Innovation Ministry, as well as the state Health and People’s Well-being Ministry – and at the federal level, Sabah parliamentary members were also placed in strategic ministries.
“These changes aimed to benefit the people and the good of the state, including the ban on log exports; the abolition of the Communal Land Title; and the allocation of RM10 million one-off grant from Sabah Foundation to help children start off in their pursuit of higher education,” he said.
Mohd Shafie said the significant achievement also includes the termination off all previous Water Department contracts linked to the Watergate scandal; the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project; and higher oil royalty to be demanded in accordance with the terms contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 for Sabah.
“There will be more in store in 2019 to yield results from plans that have been implemented since May 12, 2018,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mohd Shafie said, 2019 is a year that would also be fraught with challenges and obstacles not just at the state and national level but everywhere around the world.
“The trade war between the United State and China, and the financial constraints inflicted upon us due to the enormous debts incurred by the previous government will undoubtedly affect the economic growth in this region and therefore our country especially in Sabah,” he said.
However, as Malaysian, we must unite regardless of race and religion to ride the storm ahead in solidarity, he added.