Thursday, April 25, 2013

Musa Aman speaks of his aspiration, hope and goals..

1. Sabah has undergone tremendous changes over the last decade especially in its economic landscape. How would you describe Sabah now?

Alhamdulillah, Sabah is on the right track in its effort to develop the economy. Our economic growth has been very encouraging, and this has led to the creation of numerous business and investment opportunities as well as job openings for the people of Sabah.

On behalf of the State Government, I would like to thank the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak for introducing various programmes and policies to ensure that all levels of the community will benefit from the country's development.

To hasten the State's economic development, a blueprint or "halatuju" was introduced in 2004. In line with the "halatuju", the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) was established in 2008 with the objective of further enhancing economic growth in Sabah. Alhamdulillah, the emphasis given to the agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors, as well as projects and programmes under the SDC initiatives, has brought about positive results.

Last year, Sabah recorded the highest amount of private sector investment among all the states totalling RM10 billion. Overall, total investments from domestic and foreign companies in Sabah since the launch of the SDC amounted to RM112.8 bilion.

I am also pleased to share that Federal Government led initiatives such as the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) 2.0 are on track and are showing  the desired results. These programmes encompass diverse sectors of the economy and answer the aspirations of Malaysians while strengthening the Government's delivery system. The Sabah State Government is committed to these initiatives, and I wish to call on Malaysians in Sabah to support these programmes.

The Tenth Malaysia Plan and the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) are progressing well with the overall aim of uplifting standards of living. Emphasis on vital infrastructure, such as roads and schools, are always on the agenda as we strive to bridge regional imbalances within Sabah. We are always open to listening to issues raised by the business and trade community in Sabah, and to work with them in finding solutions, some of which require consultations with the Federal Government.

In addition, the BN Government continues to look into the welfare of the people regardless of background. The Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) is now in its second phase, and the Government is also disbursing RM100 to school-going children for them to buy educational materials. It is unfortunate that some quarters are taking full advantage of the situation by criticising the Government for our efforts. We are sincere, and I wish to call all Malaysians in Sabah to disregard claims made by the Opposition over these type of aid programmes, and the range of projects that we plan for the rakyat. The Opposition is getting more desperate by the day, and will spew lies to discredit our hard work over the years. The BN Government has a proven track record, and investors continue to be drawn to our country to do business.

The State Government has always made sure that all segments of the community, including those in the interior, are not left out in our development programmes. The State Barisan Nasional government will continue to work hard to make Sabah a premier investment hub in the region.

2. Are you happy with the current pace of development and administration of the State?

In the context of development, I would say I am happy with what we have achieved. I am confident the State economy will continue to be robust and stable under the State BN Government which has proven its success in bringing about the desired development and progress for Sabah. 

You can see the pace of development in Sabah under the State BN administration. We have succeeded in developing the State rapidly. Billions of ringgit has been spent on infrastructure development such as roads, electricity and water supplies, health services and education in the State. This clearly shows the sincerity and commitment of our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak to fulfill the aspirations of the rakyat in Sabah.

In the State Government's effort to develop Sabah, we constantly remind ourselves about the importance and need to efficiently manage our resources. Public funds must be efficiently and prudently utilised. The State administration has been resolute in maintaining excellent in financial management.

I would like to state that the Auditor-General has declared Sabah as one of the States with the best record in financial management. Sabah has been recognised with the "Sijil Tanpa Teguran" (Clean Bill) over the last 12 consecutive years.

Besides that, RAM Rating Services Berhad has accredited Sabah with "AAA" (Triple A) rating over the last four years. It is also worth noting that Moody International has certified Sabah with the MS-ISO 9001-2008 for its budget process and management for four years in a row since 2009.

3. Since you assumed the Chief Ministership, what has been your priority in the development of Sabah?

As Chief Minister, it is my duty and responsibility to develop the State in all aspects. If I am asked what has been my main focus, it is poverty eradication and education development.

I am happy that the poverty level in Sabah has drastically decreased from 19.7 per cent in 2009 to 8.1 per cent last year. It is a significant drop and the highest recorded in the country. This is a major success in the context of poverty eradication in Malaysia.

Overall, poverty rate in the rural areas recorded a decline from 32.8 per cent in 2009 to 12.9 per cent in 2012. This is an achievement we can be proud of. In Sabah, we have introduced and implemented various programmes to assist the low-income group and the poor to have a steady and consistent source of income under a concerted effort to eventually eradicate poverty in Sabah.

The programmes, among others, include the 1AZAM, Agropolitan, "Mini Estet Sejahtera" or MESEJ, assistance for livestock breeders, farmers and fishermen, and Micro-Credit, a credit facility for small time traders and entrepreneurs. Besides that, the State Government has also introduces the issuance of "communal title" to ensure that the lands are not sold but inherited by the generations to come.

Under the communal title initiative, the land is developed on a commercial basis with relevant agencies to generate profit for the benefit of the local people.

In the field of education, I must say that knowledge is key in our effort to develop the State. The development of quality human capital is crucial for the younger generation. With good education, we would be able to improve ourselves and contribute to the development of the State. It is for this reason that we have established the Education Hub in Sandakan.

4. Sabah has been acknowledged as one of the leading tourist destinations in the region, and is known for its unique tourism products. How would you describe and rate tourism in Sabah since you assumed the Chief Ministership?

In 2007, the State's tourism sector generated RM4.62 billion in tourist receipts. For this year, we have set a target of 3.105 million tourist arrivals that would generate an estimated RM5.51 billion in revenue. We are thankful because Sabah is endowed with natural beauty such as Mount Kinabalu, Maliau Basin and Sipadan island. We are also blessed with a multi-racial society with diverse cultures and traditions.

Recently, we were awakened by the intrusion in Lahad Datu. However, I believe it is an isolated incident and I am confident the tourism sector in Sabah will continue to make significant contribution to the State's economic growth and generate business and employment opportunities for the people.

5. The current State Government is known as caring and responsible Government which gives priority to the protection and conservation of its diverse flora and fauna. How has Sabah managed to ensure a balance between the need for the development and the protection and conservation of the environment?

The State Government takes pride in having the best forest management in Malaysia as evident from the large tracts of totally protected areas. The State Government has initiated large scale forest restoration and conservation efforts in the interest of not just the current but also the future generations.

In our effort to develop the State, we are mindful about the need to maintain a balance between the need for development and protection of our natural environment. For this reason, the State Government has introduced and Enactment to protect the Kota Kinabalu waterfront and ensure that no reclamation will be allowed along the coastal area from Likas Bay to Tanjung Aru.

However, we must also take into account our overall development requirement. As such, we will continue to encourage investors to set up ventures in Sabah in the hope of creating more employment opportunities for the local people so as to improve their well-being.

6. How would you describe the ties and unity among the State's multi-racial society?

We in Sabah value unity among the various communities. We see ourselves as one big family. Although the people are from different religious and racial background, we do not have a problem among ourselves. The high-level of mutual respect among us has enabled us to live in peace and harmony.

Although we have more than 32 ethnic groups in Sabah, the people have remained united, holding fast to the spirit of mutual trust and respect. Sabah is indeed a fine example of the 1Malaysia concept espoused by the Prime Minister.

7. In the political aspect, what is your view of the current political situation in Sabah?

For Sabah, I am optimistic and confident that the State BN is strong and stable. Based on our track record, I am happy that Sabah has gained international recognition from globally-known bodies, including independent ones, in the aspect of financial management, forest protection and conservation, and excellence in the civil service. I believe with our track record, the BN will once again be returned to power in Sabah.

8. How is the preparation of Sabah UMNO and its partners in the State BN for the 13th general election?

We have and will continue to strengthen our party machinery to ensure that we are in a strong position to face the general election. The State BN is fielding winnable candidates for the election. Our candidates possess good track record and reputation. We are ready to face the election anytime it is held.

I have always reminded BN's elected representatives to constantly listen to the sentiments of the people, fulfill their needs and solve problems they faced. I would like to emphasise that as one big family in the State BN, we must continue to enhance our unity, understanding and cooperation in order for us to form a formidable force in our quest to continue championing the cause of the people and bring development in the State to the highest level.

9. Are there any other issues which could be a challenge to the State Government?

One of the things that has been occupying my mind is the erratic global economy and the pursuit towards a developed nation. Some of the problems and challenges are beyond our control. As such, we will continue to work hard to weather whatever challenges that come our way in our pursuit to become a developed nation by the year 2020.

I am also concerned with elements that threatens our peace and harmony. This is a real challenge for a country with diverse races and religions. We do not want any quarters to disturb the prevailing peace and harmony for their personal interest.

I would like to emphasise that the Government's move to set up the Royal Commission of Inquire (RCI) on the illegal immigrants problem in Sabah is proof of the sincerity and transparency of the BN Government to deal with the issue.

On the incident in Lahad Datu, the situation is under control. Our security forces have carried out their task with success. We must not belittle the sacrifice of members of the security forces to ensure our security and to protect our country's sovereignty.

I would like to assure that the BN Government will continue to give its utmost best to overcome whatever issues that could pose a potential threat to our State. We must bear in mind that we will not be able to maintain sustainable development if we live in a chaotic environment.

10. What is your vision for Sabah?

I would like to see all the basic needs of Malaysians in Sabah filfilled one day in the future. In the economic front, I am confident our company will continue to be robust and grow to a higher level, thus allowing us to introduce and implement more programmes and development to further improve the livelihood of the rakyat. I would also like to see Sabah remain conducive for economic development as it is a catalyst to propel the State to greater heights in all fields.



  1. Kepimpinan di bawah Ketua Menteri, Datuk Seri Musa Aman yang dinamik merupakan antara rahsia kejayaan Sabah mendapat pengiktirafan cemerlang iaitu Sijil Tanpa Teguran selama 12 tahun berturut-turut sejak tahun 2000 menerusi Laporan Audit Negara.

  2. kejayaan tersebut juga tidak akan tercapai tanpa adanya visi dan keupayaan dari segi pemikiran yang bernas dan tindakan susulan untuk mencapai sebuah negeri yang maju jaya, aman makmur dan sejahtera.


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