Berita Sabah

China cannot help Sabah

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What is the Warisan government’s agenda for Sabah’s economic development? First the state bans log exports that benefit international companies in efforts to create downstream activities and increase the number of local hires. But where is the infrastructure to make sure that it can survive domestically? Nothing has been done in this case.

Then, they stop a deal for a local company from acquiring the assets of Sabah Forest Industries and help local employees – but later propose a China company, Lee & Man Paper, as a potential buyer, knowing very well that this company lacks business ethics and integrity.

It is hard to say too strongly the harm that comes from deals with China. Simply accepting any investor willing to pay is not good enough – many countries have fallen into what is called the ‘China Debt Trap’. Is this what Sabah China Chamber of Commerce and Sabah Government is mooting for?

A typical demand for Chinese projects around the world is to use China contractors for every aspect of work. From the actual work right down to the tea lady, including the food supplies are likely to be China contractors hired by the China investor. Workers are likely to be shipped-in from China to keep costs down. Where does this leave the locals? Where does this leave the local economy? 

None of the money being made developing the project will go to them or the local economy. This also means that there will be no community investment – why should there be when the Chinese workers simply go back home to China when the project is over?

Local companies such as the country’s national oil company bring other benefits to areas that they carry out projects in – schools are built, roads are developed, new infrastructure is established, charitable works are carried out. Why isn’t the state government promoting local companies to invest in projects in Sabah? What are the State Government’s concerns?

If Warisan relies on China investors, the poor in Sabah will remain poor, even though developments might be happening around them.

China may seem like they are willing to provide the funds needed to pursue economically beneficial projects, but at the end of the day, those funds go to hiring China companies to work on the project and bring in China workers.

We point out once again: The actual benefit of all these projects go back to China. Community investment? Forget about it. Local hires? Not a priority.  China projects are for the benefit of China, economically and geopolitically. Asking a China company to come in as an investor is to make the state indebted to China, while making China contractors rich – and the poor remain poor.

Is that what we want for Sabah? Why isn’t the Warisan government acting in the best interest of the people when it comes to business deals? Who really benefits from bringing in foreign investors? Not the people of Sabah, that is for sure.

Find out more at https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2019/05/20/banning-sabah-log-exports-a-misguided-move-says-yong/ https://www.nst.com.my/news/politics/2018/05/366934/rm12-billion-takeover-saves-jobs-1500-paper-mill-workers-sipitang

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