KK & Sabah News-Flash
09. October, 2017
Expected Growth in Sabah’s Economy
There is an expected growth in the economy of Sabah which is an effect of the increasing number of tourist arrivals at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). According to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, tourist arrivals from January to August this year is more than 5 million while for the same period last year, it is only more than 4 million. Transforming the figures to per cent, there is an increase of more than 13%, which is by itself an impressive double digit growth already.
Liow said that his ministry is encouraging more airlines to include KKIA in their routes to bring in more tourists to Sabah. The Sandakan airport runway is being extended by an additional 5 kilometers with an estimated cost of RM80 million. This is necessary for the landing of aircrafts with wide bodies (e.g., Boeing 777 and Airbus 330).
Aside from the airports, Liow also said that his ministry is also looking into improving the efficiency at the Sepanggar port. MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said that the port is expected to become busier now that it can be considered as an open port, made possible with the scrapping of a 30-year-old policy, blamed for high costs of goods in the state. The scrapping of the policy took effect June 1.
The Transport Minister was in Kota Kinabalu to attend the launching of the state MCA meeting Sunday.
2018 Budget: Proposals for Crime Fighting Capabilities Enhancement
Several proposals have been sent by the police department to the consideration of the government for the possible inclusion in the 2018 budget. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohammad Fuzi Harun said that one of the aspects for improvement that they included in the proposals is for the improvement of its information technology system. This can address cyber-crimes and curb the spread of Daesh ideology.
Other proposals include the installation of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in lock-ups and the renovation of old police stations. Mohammad Fuzi further gave the assurance that the east coast of the state is being continually guarded.
2018 Budget: More Attention for the Needs of the Disabled
Fariz Abd Rani, a 38-year-old person with disability, laid down the items that need to be included in the 2018 budget. He suggested that more attention be given to the needs of the disabled community (OKU) for them to be part of the national transformation agenda. Foremost among these needs are housing aid, education, public transportation and medical equipment support.
Bound to a wheelchair, Fariz said that the design of housing facilities for the OKU community should be disabled-friendly in order for them to move around the house. The design in public transportations should also meet the needs of the OKU community in order for them to be part of the workforce.
Aside from housing and transportation facilities, Fariz also stressed the need for education and medical equipment support for the OKU community. He advocates the idea that education is for all, thus, OKU children should not be separated from the rest of the class. Even vocational schools should also give equal chances to members of the OKU community by allowing them to enroll.