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Sabah Way Off Track on FDIs

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Sabah Way Off Track on FDIs

What did the chief minister mean by saying ‘Sabah is on the right track in its efforts to boost foreign direct investments (FDIs)? He said his working visits to several countries — including China —bore positive results as several parties have expressed their interest to invest in the state. He said this after launching the Ministry of International Trade and Industry Day 2019 in Kota Kinabalu recently.

After 17 months in power, he is still making empty promises and not delivering on his commitments. Doesn’t Shafie realise that Sabah’s economy will continue to suffer and unemployment rates increase, while he makes these makes these empty promises.  

The chief minister should be more forthcoming and transparent about FDIs in Sabah. He should share the blueprint for economic investment, socio-economic impact and proposed infrastructure development plans with the people, rather than just making ‘forward-looking’ statements.

It is high time Shafie Apdal supports his statements with facts. Since coming into power, he and the Warisan Government have really nothing to show. All he has achieved so far is to encourage more illegal immigrants to enter Sabah especially with ‘Prosper thy neighbour’ ideology!

It is a question of trust which people are beginning to question.

First, Shafie should respect the law. His should not go against the Court’s ruling which found the appointment of the Director of the Water Works Department as illegal. He should not have asked the Director, Amarjit Singh, to report to work as normal.

His actions alone will scare investors away. Why? Because he does not respect the rule of law. Just because he is the chief minister, he feels he can do anything. This message will scare potential investors to Sabah.

Second, Shafie should already have an investment blue-print for the state, by now. With such a blueprint, it will enable genuine investors to plan a strategy. The blueprint (developed by the state) would also chart out the strategic plans for Sabah and enable investments to be in line with the state’s long-term growth strategy. We don’t want investors coming with their proposals, terms and conditions that may not be in-sync with the State’s plans.

Third, whilst the state works towards addressing investors’ concerns such as local resources, etc. it must also have in place a strategic plan to attract quality investors.

If you are thinking ‘China’, then be prepared to be exploited. The State Government will be faced with issues such as poor employment opportunities at the top, middle and general workforce categories, minimal utilization of local content and no reinvestment strategy. Typically, profits would be repatriated.

Shafie should be patriotic to the people of Sabah. Identify national entrepreneurs to invest in the state. At least, they would be more appreciative of the local culture, practices and needs.

Shafie needs to be action-oriented. Talk less, do more!

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