25/11/2023 09:32 PM

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 25 (Bernama) -- Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick has proposed the introduction of a new policy that focuses on the economic and entrepreneurship development potentials of Sabah and Sarawak.

He said this “domestic Look East Policy” should be developed as a new road map for the successful economic development of the two states in view of their diverse potential resources and assets. 

“Given that Indonesia, for instance, has embraced the potential of Borneo with the development of its new capital Nusantara, and Sarawak is already at the forefront of economic development based on green technology and the hydro industry, Sabah too has the potential to be developed further.

“This requires a new policy focused on overseeing the development of East Malaysia, namely Sabah and Sarawak, as the country's new economic centre, just as the economic centres in the peninsula have been developed over the years,” he told reporters after launching the UDA Carnival 2023 @ Sabah here today. 

Ewon, who is also the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) president, said the proposed new vision and policy are in line with the spirit of togetherness of the region as part of the Federation of Malaysia. 

"Without Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia would not have existed in 1963. Therefore, our vision is not only to demand that the Malaysia Agreement be implemented.

“We also want a better focus involving stronger cooperation between the federal and state governments for successful economic development in the region under the new direction, focus and policy (to be carried out),” he said.

Ewon said that Sabah, for example, has several potential sectors to be developed, including the smart farming sector.

“Smart farming can be developed in Sabah since we have assets such as land. We have a relatively large population and are neighbouring (Kalimantan, Indonesia).

“Smart farming has become one of the eight focuses of micro, small and medium enterprises in our country, and I would like to see Sabah take up this focus.

“We acknowledge that the agricultural sector has already been a focus of the Sabah government; we just (need) to have better coordination," he said.


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