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Ewon proposes a 'Look East' policy within the country, emphasising the potential of Sabah, Sarawak


25 November 2023

By Nabalu News Journalist


KOTA KINABALU: The should government adopt an additional focus and a "Eastward-looking policy within the country," which involves developing the economic potential and entrepreneurship in East Malaysia, namely Sabah and Sarawak.


According to the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDC) Datuk Ewon Benedick the previous administrations had made Japan the foundation and an example of development the look east policy.


"If Indonesia can place a vision and significant focus on developing Kalimantan for their Nusantara capital project, and if Sarawak is already ahead in terms of green technology-based economy and water industry, then certainly Sabah also has its own potential for development," he said..


"Therefore, I propose that an Eastward-looking policy within the country be developed by providing additional focus on developing East Malaysia, namely Sabah and Sarawak, as the new economic centres of the country, similar to the economic centres developed in the Peninsula," he said.


He said this to reporters after officiating the UDA Sabah Carnival at Lintasan Deasoka here today.


Ewon, who is also the President of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), said that the vision and proposed new policy are in line with the spirit of togetherness between Sabah and Sarawak within the Malaysian Federation.


"We all know that without Sabah and Sarawak, the country of Malaysia would not have existed in 1963."


"Therefore, our vision is not only to demand the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement but also to seek better focus through stronger cooperation between the Federal Government and the State Government to develop the economic and entrepreneurial sectors in Sabah, and to develop new economic potential in this region, as implemented by neighboring countries in these islands," he said.


Ewon stated that among the sectors with potential for development in the state are tourism and smart agriculture.


"We can develop smart agriculture in Sabah considering that we have assets such as land and a relatively large population, and we are adjacent to a country (Kalimantan, Indonesia) that is building economic strength in the Borneo region.


"Furthermore, agriculture is among the eight focus areas of the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in our country, which is why I want to see Sabah embrace this focus," he said.


He acknowledged that the agriculture sector has been a focus of the Sabah government thus far, but it can be improved by introducing a new focus on smart agriculture.


"We can develop smart agriculture in Sabah because we have assets such as land, a relatively large population, and proximity to a neighboring country (Kalimantan, Indonesia) that is building economic strength in the Borneo region."


"Furthermore, agriculture is among the eight focus areas of the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in our country. That's why I want to see Sabah embrace this focus," he said.


He acknowledged that the agriculture sector has been a focus of the Sabah government thus far, but it can be improved by introducing a new focus on smart agriculture.


Regarding the UDA Carnival, Ewon said it can improve, strengthen, and enhance the entrepreneurial culture among the people of Sabah, enabling them to become part of the industry players in the country starting as micro, small, and medium-sized entrepreneurs.


"With the involvement of government agencies in the exhibition, I believe it can also disseminate information and services provided by these agencies.


"At the ministry level, we have organised various special programmes for entrepreneurs, including National Cooperative Day, National Cooperative Month, MSME Week, and upcoming National Hawkers and Small Traders Carnival from 7th to 9th December," he added.


This shows that the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) and federal agencies have done their best for the people of Malaysia in Sabah," he said, and he hopes that the people of Sabah seize entrepreneurial opportunities as outlined in the 2024 National Budget.

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