SANDAKAN: The Wawasan Kemakmuran Bersama 2030 (WKB 2030), which was officially launched by the Prime Minister last Saturday, is a commitment of the PH government to make Malaysia a nation that achieves sustainable growth along with fair and equitable distribution, including addressing the issue of widening socioeconomic development gap between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.
Minister of Economic Affairs, Dato Seri Mohd Azmin Ali replied in response to a question raised by Member of Parliament for Sandakan Vivian Wong (pic) in parliament this morning on how the WKB 2030 will benefit Sabah and how it will close the development gap between east and west Malaysia, which the previous government had failed to do so.
The Minister further elaborated that under WKB 2030, one of the main objectives is to reduce the GDP per capita ratio disparity between Kuala Lumpur / Selangor from the current 2.6 to 1.5 by 2030.
“To achieve this, we will be introducing new regional economic hotspots outside the Klang Valley areas and key economic growth activities for Sabah, such as Island Tourism, Borders economy, Downstream petroleum processing, Commodity economy and downstream products, fisheries and aquaculture.
Furthermore, the government will be placing priority to the development of basic infrastructure, roads, healthcare and education in an effort to increase the current average household income of Sabah, which stands at RM 5,354, compared to RM 9,463 in Selangor. We believe that this will significantly increase Sabah’s share of the national GDP from the current 6.2%”, added the Minister.
During the supplementary question time, Vivian further pressed that the few key economic growth activities mentioned by the Minister are not new to Sabah and “not just that we did not see a significant growth of economy at the past years but deteriorating as well”.
Without the development of new industry, what are the steps that the government will take so make sure Sabah is be able to catch up with the rest of the country?
In response, the Minister informed the House that the development of new industry sector for Sabah is definitely on the agenda. In fact, his Ministry has conducted various meetings and dialogues with the Sabah State Government and various state agencies to identify potential new industry and new way forward.
“We are working very closely with the state government in carrying out the WKB 2030. We are taking into consideration all views and proposals from the Sabah State government with regard to WKB 2030 as we believe that the State government knows best about the needs and requirement of the state”, the Minister said.
When interviewed, Vivian said that “It is great that the Minister assured that the government, under the WKB 2030 initiatives, will place focus on developing our basic infrastructures. I hope that more good news will be announced tomorrow on budget day to fix our infrastructures as mentioned by the Minister of Economic Affairs this morning”.