Granting power to Sabah is ‘first baby step’ to fully realise MA63


KOTA KINABALU: The agreement of the federal government to allow Sabah handle development projects of up to RM50 million is seen as the ‘first baby step’ to fulfill the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Sabah Bumiputera Chamber of Commerce (DPBS) president Datuk Hasnol Ayub said it is the first step of the new central government to push for the agreement of other matters as contained in MA63.

In fact, it also shows the determination and commitment of the Unity Government in implementing MA63 for Sabah after the formation of the government in November last year.

“Perhaps the other (matters in MA63), are not ‘low hanging fruits’, perhaps to meet the other matters require amendment of enactments which need to be brought to Parliament or restructuring of the policy which is still under discussion and takes time,“ he told Bernama.

Hasnol said Sabah also needs to be prepared and have a platform to receive and handle the allocation so that it has a greater impact on the people of Sabah.

He said the devolution also needs to be looked at in several aspects including how the state government will implement it, monitoring in terms of Sabah’s economy and environment and, measuring the extent the results of the devolution will benefit the people.

Taking the example of SEDIA, Hasnol said the agency already has a template that can be used as a guide and reference because it has more than 10 years of experience implementing projects worth billions of ringgit.

Tthe Association of Malaysian Consulting Engineers Sabah Branch chairman Razalie Sindong believes that the audit monitoring and supervision as well as the project implementation procedures should be taken into account.

He said it is important that the implementation of related projects can be carried out effectively without any leakage and bureaucracy.

“If the projects are implemented quickly, it will have a big impact on Sabahans specifically because the results of the project can be used and enjoyed at the same time while improving the economy of the people of Sabah,“ he said.

In addition, it will also make it easier for local residents to move to hospitals, schools, other public facilities and create tourism potential in the area such as homestays and ecotourism.

Razalie said the granting of full autonomy to Sabah would enable the state government to implement projects that need to be prioritised for the people.

He said the state government knows better the direction of the state in the local context, the needs of the people and better knows which projects need to be prioritised to be implemented first.

“With the granting of full autonomy, this will open a new chapter for the people of Sabah to make the state Below the Wind more advanced, indirectly reducing the disparity in infrastructure development between Borneo and the Peninsula,“ he said.

Last Wednesday (Jan 4), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that full autonomy will be given to Sabah and Sarawak for projects under RM50 million in compliance with the stipulated financial regulations.-Bernama



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