LABUAN: Member of Parliament-cum-Labuan Corporation (LC) Chairman Datuk Rozman Isli said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, despite his busy schedule, will be coming here to launch the economic blueprint of Labuan next month.
"The development blueprint is an important plan which, when fully implemented by 2030, will transform the island into a diversified and vibrant economy without much dependence on the oil and gas sector and its International Business and Financial Centre (IBFC) status," he said.
He said the blueprint would help usher Labuan out of its present economic doldrums.
"The Prime Minister, when consenting to launch the blueprint, has shown great concerns for the island's future," he added.
Rozman also took the opportunity to slam those who continued to be sceptical about the proposed Labuan-Menumbok bridge and described the critics as "Doubting Thomases" of no credibility.
He said if the Government were not serious about the project it would not have set aside RM14.31 million for a comprehensive feasibility study on the project. The amount was set aside under the national Budget 2018.
"So you can conclude from this that this time it is for real. Yes, we have talked about the bridge since 1997, but over the years the local economy was doing well due to the surge in the oil and gas sector and there was no urgency for the bridge.
"But now the scenario has changed, the bridge is needed for the island as well as to be connected to the Pan-Borneo Highway being constructed," he added.
Rozman said the first phase of the bridge would likely take off by 2020 and urged local residents not to be fooled by opposition propaganda that the budget allocation was merely a pre-election gimmick to win votes.
"The Barisan Nasional government has always a way to address problems and since Labuan is a Federal Territory, it is obliged to bring the island to greater heights. Trust the Government and not the opposition."