Chief Minister YAB Shafie Apdal was recently quoted in a Bernama statement on 29 September 2019 that the state and federal governments have never neglected to improve the economic status of the Bumiputera and native communities in Sabah. He said the governments have remained committed and proactive to ensure that the effort to achieve that objective could be implemented in the best possible way.
Unfortunately, these are all just words! Nothing significant has been done to improve the economic status of Bumiputera and native communities! They are still the same today. There is no excuse for Warisan and Shafie, especially after 17 months in power!
The State Government must be responsible for Sabahans. How?
- It must be sincere in bringing economic benefits to Sabahans. Ministers must behave professionally; Engage with communities in a respectful manner; Don’t intervene in private sector businesses and Implement socio-economic projects that can significantly improve the livelihood of Sabahans, not just for the sake of implementing them.
- Embrace new advancements and technologies in businesses – Traditional economies and the way of doing businesses must change to stay relevant. Look at new platforms such as industrial revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), which embraces digitalization such as Internet of things (IoT), big data, robotics, AI and more.
- Prioritise rule of law and pay greater attention to legislation – Prioritise corporate governance and anti-corruption practices to ensure that operations and businesses conducted by the government, authorities/agencies and GLCs are conducted in a fair, ethical and transparent manner.
- Instil the vision of Shared Prosperity (2021-2030) and United Nation’s sustainable development goals in all public and private sector projects in efforts to reduce income gaps, eradicate poverty and protect the ecosystem and environment.
As part of its implementation efforts, the government should prioritise and instil components of ‘green’ or ‘circular’ economy in all public and private sector projects. Circular economy offers a sustainable and ‘clean’ approach towards resource utilization, production, waste recycling, etc. The benefits include high gross national income (for the state), high employability, reduction in greenhouse gasses and minimising carbon footprint.
It is time for the Warisan government to revamp its strategy and assume a more people-oriented approach so that the expectations of the people and civil society can be achieved.
If the Warisan government Is not willing to change, it risks becoming irrelevant and being left behind. Sabahans should not be made to suffer and pay the price for the government’s poor administration and misguided agendas.