Plan to Create World Class Environment in Sabah by 2033
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Although Sabah has achieved much development and progress since 54 years of independence, it is still lagging behind most states in Peninsular Malaysia especially rural development, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
He said in order to bridge this gap, the State Government had come up with the visionary Sabah Structure Plan 2033 to turn the state into one with a world-class environment for working, studying, playing, visiting, business and investment.
"This will create a lot of employment opportunities for people in this state. This is a comprehensive state government effort for long term, integrated and balance with the aim of promoting the socio-economic development of the state" said Kurup when closing the MYTV and MOP program at Pagalungan sub-district here yesterday.
In other words, he said this development plan would enable the people of this state to improve their quality of life in a well-managed environment with a sustainable communication system and transportation.
In addition, he said the central government had also planned rural development through the Rural Mega Surge Bounce Up Program (PLMLB) with the aim of eliminating rural poverty through increased income and quality of life as well as accelerating development in remote, isolated and abandoned areas.
"For example, the government has introduced an agropolitan project implemented by the Ministry of Regional and Rural Development (KKLW) and the Sabah Development Corridor. This project helps participants get out of the poverty line and increase income by actively participating in the plantation sector.
"To continue the development of rural areas, the Rimbunan Kasih Program targeted at the poor was introduced through the Government Transformation Program 2.0 (GTP 2.0).
"The program aims to transform rural areas to attract private investment, provide job opportunities and economic activities as well as encourage young people to return to serve in rural areas" he said.
In addition, the Pensiangan member of parliament said the government was focused on creating entrepreneurs among rural youths through a new program called the Rural Business Challenge (RBC).
He said it is a form of business planning competition and is open to youths in rural areas and the implementation of this program is expected to increase income and employment opportunities for the people, especially in rural areas.
To improve the quality of basic physical and social infrastructure, he said the government focused on four core developments, namely construction and upgrading of roads to link rural areas to social and economic centers (JALB), supply of clean and well maintained water through additional extensions and alternative solutions (BALB), construction and upgrading of houses for the poor and hardcore poor (PBR), and electricity supply to the people with special focus on Sabah and Sarawak (BELB).
He said the MYTV program yesterday was one of the Barisan Nasional (BN) efforts to equip rural youths with skills so they can participate and contribute to the ongoing development in their area.
"I believe the MYTV program will enable participants to become more competitive and resilient.
"This strategy is very accurate because the academic achievement of many of our youths in rural areas is moderate and they have no skills. They will face a high risk of economic marginalization and social exclusion if there is no program intervention" he said.
Kurup said that with skills training through MYTV in fields such as Woodworking, Bricklaying, Piping, Electrical Wiring, Culinary, Pastry/Bakery, Beauty, Handicraft and Agricultural Technology, opportunities will open up for participants to get jobs.
He said therefore, they could increase their income and thus increase the socio-economic level of their families respectively.
"I have learnt that there has been overwhelming response from MYTV participants where 186 people have enrolled and exceeded the original expectation of 120. Congratulations to all MYTV program participants from Pagalungan Area.
"Their decision to participate in the program is an accurate and wise decision, although participation in the MYTV program requires time and energy sacrifice, but it is a good investment for the future" he said.
He hopes that a significant portion of the 186 participants will continue their training in institutions of higher learning such as the Institute of Mara Skills, the Malaysian Building Academy, the Community College, Giat Mara and so on.
He was also informed that a Mobile Community Transformation Center (Mobile CTC) was being held at the same time. In addition, the Malaysian Armed Forces are also involved with the Mobile Outreach Program (MOP) providing medical services, dentistry, military exhibition and registration of Territorial Army volunteers.
Kurup expects the residents of Pensiangan and Nabawan, especially Pagalungan, to utilize all the services and facilities provided in the Mobile CTC and MOP program.
He said the integration of initiatives and solid support by various departments had a positive effect on program participants and the general public in the context of prospering the lives of the people, especially in rural areas of the state.
Kurup also hopes that this program will be further enhanced throughout the state in the future with more solid offerings and more agency engagements.