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Sabah is in good hands under Najib and Musa
Published on: Saturday, September 23, 2017

By Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan
IN spite of the depressed oil and gas price environment over the past two years, Sabah has demonstrated that it could withstand and manage challenging conditions arising from external developments by registering solid real GDP growth in 2015 and 2016.

Sabah GDP growth of 6.2pc and 4.7pc outpaced the national growth rate of 6.0pc and 4.2pc in 2015 and 2016, where its share of contribution to the national economy rose from 6.6pc in 2015 to 6.7pc in 2016.

It’s also among the only six states which achieve faster growth than the national rate.

Sabah’s strong economic growth was propelled by the services sector, particularly from wholesale & retail trade and information & communication services which grew by 5.7pc last year.

This outstanding growth in the services sector was underpinned by the tourism industry where Sabah was the fourth most visited state by domestic visitors last year.

Its popularity among the international visitors was also evident as international visitor arrivals in 2016 rose by 150,000 to 1.13 million from 980,000 in 2015.

Impressively, Sabah’s mining sector grew by 20.6pc last year supported by higher production of oil and gas amid dismally low oil and gas prices which have been in downward spiral since 2nd half of 2014.

According to employment data provided by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), the people of Sabah are the direct beneficiaries of the state economic performance as more than 80,000 jobs were created over the past two years despite rising unemployment rate in national level.

Business establishments in various sectors such as factories, hotels, retail outlets and professional firms also increased in line with the growing Sabah economy.

For example, there are 1,789 factories in Sabah now compared to 1,443 in 2010–an increase of 4.4pc per annum.

Only 1,299 construction firms existed six years ago and it has increased by 14.4pc per annum to 2,513 firms today.

This increase in business establishments in the state is another proof that the economic growth has benefited Sabahans. More establishments mean more jobs and more income for the people.

This robust economic growth is a manifest of a sturdy economic management under the effective leadership of Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman and a proof of a good “dividend” from a close and healthy relationship between the Federal Government and the Sabah Government.

This achievement in economic growth is made possible because of the strengths in political stability, harmonious community as well as high political will in delivering the mandates for the people.

It is in the best interest of Sabahans to continue supporting the current government both in state and federal levels. With stronger collaboration and cooperation between these two governments, the development gap between Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak will eventually be reduced in the coming years.

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