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Achieving an industrialised state status tough but not impossible

By Chris Maskilone

KOTA KINABALU: Achieving an industrialised state status is tough but not an impossible task as Sabah possesses the resources, manpower and capital as well as comparative advantages.

In order to be able to achieve this objective, the Sabah state authorities must address effectively the infrastructures, utilities, connectivity and government delivery system.

Tangau (middle) receiving a memento from Sampil during the retreat. SNT Pix/Credit MTI

With all these in place, it would be able to attract at least RM60 billion real investments by 2030 or RM6 billion annually into the state economy.

These were among the findings of the Department of Industrial Development and Research (DIDR) one-day retreat Nexus Resort, Karambunai today.

The retreat also proposed that the ports facility have to be effectively upgraded in terms of deeper wharfs, sufficient no of berths and adequate hinterland land while the same goes to the roads, which has to be more efficient and geared towards serving the industrial parks and industries around the state.

The quality of the workforce must also be upgraded towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0).

The retreat was attended by officers and staff of DIDR  as well as the CEOs of agencies under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI)  such as SEDCO, KKIP, POIC Sabah, SOGDC and Sandakan Furniture Hub.

DIDR director, Stephen Sampil said the objective of the retreat was to update the department’s staff on current industrial policies.

It was also to prepare them to navigate the challenges faced by the organisation as the state government strive to achieve an industrialised state along the likes of Selangor, Penang and Johore by the year 2030.

According to him, the retreat was also in response to the Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin policy speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting in the beginning of this year where he said that one of the thrusts of the present government is to transform Sabah into an industrialised state with a 35 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of the industrial to the state’s economy by 2030.

The retreat was officiated by Deputy Chief Minister cum MTI minister Datuk Seri WIlfred Madius Tangau who also delivered a talk on the vision of the government and the roles to be played by DIDR staff towards the achievement of this goal.  

The retreat themed “Towards an Industrialised State by 2030” zeroed on the current status of the industrial sector vis-a-vis the state’s economy, the role played by investors, industries, innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and government delivery system in achieving this industrialised status by 2030.  

Challenges and constraints faced in order to achieve this status was also deliberated in the retreat.  

Eminent personalities also shared their knowledge and expertise at the retreat, which included the CEO POIC Sabah Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wai, Deputy Vice Chancellor, UMS Assoc Prof Dr Ramzah Dambul, Director of Strategic division, Entrepreneur Development Ministry of Malaysia Ismayati Ismail, Acting CEO IDS Anthony Kiob and Deputy Director EPU, Sabah Thomas Logijin.

The retreat also pointed out on the need for a more effective internet connectivity to be comparable to those in the region at 100 mbps or more as well as the availability of water supply.

A key takeaway of the retreat was the need for a more efficient and effective government delivery system to formulate, implement and monitor policies, programmes and activities to push and grow the state’s industrial sector.

On this, Tangau said that the government was mulling on the creation of a new body to address more speedily and effectively the tasks and responsibilities as a result of the government’s objective to achieve an industrialised state by 2030.

This was after taking note of the fact that the DIDR’s staff strength has shrunk by around 25 per cent but increased functions having at least three folds since the establishment of the department in 1977.

Tangau also impressed upon DIDR’s staff on the need for a positive work culture in discharging of their duties and responsibilities.

Also present was the Ministry of Trade and Industry permanent secretary Datuk Madiyem Layapan and the ministry’s senior officers.-SabahNewsToday