Tawau has one common economic aspect with Perth, capital of Western Australia - its booming tourism industry. The MP for Tawau is also the State Minister for Tourism.
Some rich people from Tawau have settled in Perth, which has the largest number of Sabahans living there, whether as ex-Malaysians or holding on to the Malaysian citizenship with PR status in Australia.
The tourism industry adds Aus$11.8 billion to Western Australia economy which is driven by exports to Asian powerhouses - China, India, Asean, Korea and Japan.
In Perth about 109,000 people are employed in tourism and so should be the way forward for Tawau to retain its youths from migrating elsewhere for employment.
Many China visitors are thronging both places. Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. Like Sabah, Perth is seeking to capitalise on this demand with 4,000 hotel rooms built or planned.
Perth Hub property moved to Tawau this weekend for exhibition show and meeting with prospective buyers of its strata apartments being sold by Resiwest Real Estate principal Aubin Hay and his professional team who are in Tawau this weekend.
Perth offers the most affordable property prices out of all Australia capital cities.
Whether it is shopping, lifestyle, retirement, proximity to transport or education, Perth Hub's superior location is second to none for convenience.
While migration is an important factor in both Tawau's and Perth's growth, the population will get older especially if more young people leave either for education or work.
Property prices are getting more reasonably affordable in both places compared to cities elsewhere in the country.
Both places' median age is tipped to grow from 36.6 years now to more than 40 by 2066. The proportion of those aged over 85 is expected to double to 3.6 per cent of all residents.
An improvement in the job vacancy index is a positive sign for Perth as it is for the Tawau property market.
In Perth, advertisements for jobs have been declining since their peak in 2011, in line with apartment prices.
A fall in the job vacancy index in 2012 has preceded a fall in the median price of strata apartments in 2013.
However, job vacancy figures in 2018 have been improving, with the index moving from 66 in December, 2017, to 76.2 in May of 2018, an increase of 15.4 per cent.
As at March 2018, the median sale price for a house in Perth was recorded at Aus$510,000, consistent with long term growth over the past 10 years as was the case for Tawau in ringgit.
As at March 2018 the median unit price in Perth was Aus$401,000 for strata property. The Perth long-term rental yields for 1-bedroom units was 5.1 per cent, 4.7 per cent for 2 bedroom units, and 4.4 per cent for 3 bedroom units.
Of occupied private dwellings in Perth, 61.3 per cent were rented, 12.4 per cent were owned outright, and 22.6 per cent were owned with a mortgage.
The most common occupation of those who live within the CBD is professionals making up 35.3 per cent. In ten years period, Perth and Western Australia has seen a total population growth of 17 per cent to some 2.4 million in the city.
The Western Planning Commission's strategic land use planning report outlines a strategy to accommodate 3.5 million people within Perth by 2050. Sabah's population has reached beyond 3.9 million people, this year.
The National Australia Bank forecasts Perth's property prices to increase more than any other capital city over the next two years, as Sydney and Melbourne are likely to experience a drop in prices in the coming years.