Darell wants to push for aviation centre in Kota Kinabalu

Avila Geraldine

KOTA KINABALU: The International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) is looking into the possibility of establishing an aviation centre in the state.

If this takes place, its Minister, Darell Leiking, said today that Sabah would become an aircraft spareparts producing state.

He said the country’s aerospace sector expected to generate about RM13 billion in revenue this year.

“So, I’m thinking of pushing for an aviation centre at KKIP (Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park),” he said after paying a courtesy call to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at his office, here, today.

“We might be producing aircraft spareparts one day. We will wait for September as we are currently having negotiations.”

Darell said he would let Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed sort out the matter.

He added that Composites Technology Research Malaysia, which was based in the peninsula, was producing turbine casing and other spareparts for the aviation industry.

“This is under Miti’s facilitation. I didn’t know this was done in Malaysia.

“Now, I want to bring this (investment) to Sabah so we will have a fair share, trade, investment and distribution. It cannot be one-way and it cannot be when you think of Malaysia you only think of the peninsula.”

Darell said the ministry would bring in huge foreign investments to create more job opportunities in Sabah.

These investors, he said, would focus on the production of chemicals, foam, plastics and other materials, but they were not from China.

“MITI has met potential investors and we have conveyed (MITI plans) to the chief minister.

“The chief minister said red tape has to be reduced.

“We want to ensure that Sabah does not lose out in the current economic situation. We want to boost Sabah’s economy and tourism industry.”

Darell stressed Sabah had huge potential to attract investors.

He said he hoped the state government would encourage greater development, including improving basic facilities, to attract more investment. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd