Sabah state budget to focus on economic revival

KOTA KINABALU – The Sabah Budget 2021 will among others focus on efforts to revive the state economy and redevelop sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said.

In giving an idea on the framework of the state budget, scheduled to be tabled on Dec 18, Hajiji said the state government was committed to ensuring that every planning and priority outlined in the budget would be able to push Sabah forward next year.

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“We hope this outbreak will end or (the number of cases) will drop by early next year. Therefore, our budget framework is focused on redeveloping Sabah’s economy. In this aspect, attention must be given to various sectors such as the tourism sector.

“We need to manage properly and hopefully more tourists will come to Sabah when the outbreak is over. In addition we will also focus on other developments such as infrastructure, agriculture and industries which have been affected by COVID-19,” he said during RTM1’s Narrative Talk programme late Nov 16.

Elaborating, Hajiji said the Budget 2021 for Sabah will also focus on streamlining the state government’s administrative machinery further to ensure that all planned development framework are implemented more efficiently.

“Soon I will announce the guidelines, focus, direction of the state government. What we intend to do is to ensure growth of Sabah’s economy for the people to benefit, create employment opportunities and much more that are needed in Sabah,” he said.

On the 2021 National Budget tabled on Nov 6, Hajiji said, the state government hopes the federal government will give Sabah a large allocation in efforts to improve the quality of health facilities in the state, especially in facing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the COVID-19 State Disaster Management Committee had identified that the State Health Department is faced with various constraints including lack of medical equipment, and requires allocation to purchase reagents, screening kits and consumables.

These are important to give Sabahans the best health services as well as to address the spread of infections in the state, he said.

“I am confident that the State Disaster Management Committee has submitted these requirements to the Federal government and we hope the request will merit their approval, ”he said.

Sabahans are also reminded to be disciplined and to comply with the standard operating procedures set by the government to break the COVID-19 infection chain, he added.

— BERNAMA