KOTA KINABALU: The State Government will further increase the special allocation by more than 100 percent from RM53 million this year to RM115 million next year, specifically for new strategies and approaches that will benefit directly to various segments of society.
Besides ensuring more people-oriented programmes, Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman said these additional allocations and new programmes are a sign of the State Government's gratitude for the significant increase in the State's revenue which he wants to share and return to the people.
Among the programmes to be implemented next year to be in line with the State's Budget 2018 theme, Musa said of the RM115 million, RM5 million has been proposed to strengthen the economy and improve the social wellbeing of women and single mothers and RM6 million is allotted for the senior citizens.
Of the RM6 million, he said RM5 million would be spent to meet daily needs and improve the comfort and well-being of senior citizens; and a sum of RM1 million for implementation of Program Pantas Warga Emas by providing a subsidy to senior citizens for sub-division of family-owned land and existing ownership.
For the specially privileged people (OKU), Musa said besides earlier welfare aid that was announced, the State Government will also implement a special programme for the OKU with an allocation of RM8 million.
"Of the RM8 million, RM5 million to support the needs of OKU and to increase self-esteem as well as to nurture their identity for their community life enrichment; RM1 million for OKU Entrepreneur Development Grant (Geran Pembangunan Usahawan OKU, GP-OKU) to encourage their participation in entrepreneurship and business.
"While a total of RM2 million is allocated improve and provide more OKU-friendly public facilities to enable them to carry out daily activities easily and this programme will commence in the city of Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau," he said.
For boosting small and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs), Musa said RM10 million proposed to be allocated for Yayasan Usaha Maju (YUM) so that it could continue its micro-credit programmes for target groups and the poor and another RM5 million to assist in developing and enhancing the SMEs.
Musa said he allocated RM5 million to improve the well-being of less developed villages through the Program Kampung Sejahtera.
On youth development, he said a total of RM5 million will be allotted for Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme Sabah and Youth Excellence in Sports Scheme Sabah under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
"RM8 million is to increase the participation of various segments of society in the implementation of the Government agenda through the establishment of Institut Kerjasama Kerajaan dan Rakyat (IKRAR) under the Chief Minister's Department.
"IKRAR is responsible for implementing the Skim Jaya Diri Perantis Anak Sabah (Syabas), Skim Pementoran Kerjaya (SKOR) and Geran Pengupayaan serta Pengiktirafan Kecemerlangan in which all of these are to accommodate the younger generation's aspiration," he said.
To further assist students' education, Musa said RM5 million will be for financial assistance to Sabah students who are pursuing their education in higher learning institutions.
Meanwhile, he said RM12 million additional allocation is provided specifically to the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry as well as enthusiasts so as to further stimulate and boost the development of the tourism sector, especially in the rural areas and to promote local communities involvement.
"Of the 12 million, RM5 million will be spent to encourage the involvement of rural communities in the rural tourism industry by providing tourism facilities, such as homestay programmes, recreational centres and public toilets in tourism centres.
"While RM2 million for rural communities who are interested in developing and upgrading eco-tourism products and rural environment (rural tourism) as well as efforts to conserve and protect turtle species in Sabah.
"Another RM2 million to encourage involvement and to increase the income of rural people in developing and commercialising tourism products on carvings, handicrafts and ethnic culture; and another RM3 million for artists, musicians, singers, dancers as well as associations of writers, culture and authors in Sabah to highlight and develop their talents as well as to publish their works," he said.
To provide a more cheerful, conducive, clean and safe environment in public areas, Musa said a further RM15 million allocations are provided to the Local Government and Housing, Local Authorities Ministry and Kota Kinabalu City Hall to improve infrastructures and public places under the following programmes:
- RM7 million to assist traders and small hawkers by repairing old and damaged stalls as well as to provide rubbish bins for cleaner and more comfortable environment for the community;
- RM8 million to enhance and rehabilitate public amenities such as toilets, playgrounds, jogging tracks, public parks, trees planting, repainting of old buildings and installation of CCTV in public places.
Other than these, Musa said RM3 million proposed for grassroots Cooperatives Business Expansion Grant and Fund (Geran dan Tabung Pengembangan Perniagaan Koperasi-Koperasi - GP-KOP).