Sabah a steady recipient of federal development funding, says Musa Aman

BRANDON JOHN

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has been receiving funds for development from the Federal government, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

The state's requests for financial backing are usually approved, he said, in response to an additional question by Dr Roland Chia Ming Shen (PKR-Inanam) in the state assembly sitting here.

"Any project that requires funding which can ultimately benefit the people of Sabah, I would not hesitate to bring forth to the federal Finance Ministry.

"We have, for example, received RM250 million from the Facilitation Fund for the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), in addition to RM500 million for the Tanjung Aru Eco Development," he added.

Musa said Sabah also enjoys the distinction of being the best paymaster in Malaysia, which lends credibility to the state's ability to borrow from and repay the Federal government.

Earlier, State Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Ramlee Marhaban, in his reply to Chia's original inquiry regarding the amount of federal funding for the state government, said the state received a total of RM1.046 billion in grants and RM533.9 million in direct funding last year.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister cum State Industrial Development Minister Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah asserted that in terms of economic development, Sabah is not far behind other states.

He was responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing (Parti Cinta Sabah-Tamparuli) regarding whether or not 'the state's infrastructure problems will prevent it from keeping up with the nation's Vision 2020'.

Tan addressed Bumburing's criticism of Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park's (KKIP) use of a separate independent power producer (IPP), saying that it was not an indication of poor electrical service in the state, but a move towards self-sustainability.

On Sabah's development front, he cited the four industrial parks throughout the state - such as Sabah Oil and Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP) - which have encouraged an investment of not less than RM11 billion into Sabah.

"Instead of creating fake news regarding Sabah's development, we shoud be proud of the state's achievements and instead, spread the news that the state is progressing," he said.