Kota Kinabalu, 19 September 2020
Once we enter the post Covid-19 era, immediate recovery actions are required for Sabah to revive its economy.
The fact that Sabah’s GDP (Gross Domestic Growth) indicates Sabah’s economy has been on sharp downtrend from 8.2% of 2017 down to 1.5% in 2018 and further declined to 0.5% in 2019. The impact of Covid-19 has worsened the Sabah economy in 2020.
Sabah’s economy has always been heavily dependent on the export of its primary and minimally processed commodities, which was severely affected during the pandemic. The global demand for the two of the most exported commodities, petroleum and palm oil dropped drastically.
Although agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors has great potential, they were limited by inaccessibility and inefficient logistic.
The stalled Pan Borneo project must be resumed, in order to enhance the accessibility and freight efficiency in Sabah. Looking at the larger perspective Sabah government need to be aligned with the federal government. Prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has repeatedly appealed to the people to elect a Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) State government so as to hasten the Pan Borneo, rural road improvement projects and infrastructure such as airports and seaports.
Digitalisation of business operation is a rapidly rising global trend, as a consequence of the pandemic. From marketing to delivery, many businesses complete their trades, orders, transactions, logistic assignments and other operations digitally.
Sabah entrepreneurs also desperately need a wider, better and more stable internet coverage, to be relevant and competitive in the post-Covid era.
PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the plan to improve Sabah’s internet connectivity between 2020 and 2022, by building more communication towers, upgrade transmitting devices, and extend fibre optic network coverage.
Sabahans must not miss out this opportunity reflecting on what happened to Pan Borneo.
Now is a new PN federal government and a new Prime minister.
It’s time for Sabah to progress. It is important for the state government to be synchronised with the Federal government the pace and synergise our strengths in order to be able to recover as quickly as possible from the slump. Too many people are suffering from the current economic slump that we have to look beyond political rhetoric.
As of now we need a stable federal government to continue to handle the Covid-19 and to prevent it from any worsening and to continue to provide assistance to help the people to ride over this extremely difficult time.
We only have to look at other countries to realise what is happening.
United we build, together we progress.
Datuk Richard Yong
SAPP Secretary-General/ Deputy President