Sabah’s fortune will change under fed govt led by iconic leader - Christina Liew
29 November 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KOTA KINABALU: State Assemblywoman for Api-Api Datuk Christina Liew is optimistic that Sabah's fortune will change for the better with a new Federal Government under an iconic leader.
Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim assumed leadership of a unity government after taking oath as Malaysia's 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24.
Speaking in support of the 2023 State Budget on Monday, Liew, who is also Sabah Pakatan Harapan (PH) Chairman, said : "I welcome the RM5.138 billion surplus budget for strengthening the economy as tabled by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor last Friday.
"I hope this budget will propel Sabah towards economic recovery and bring relief to the rakyat, especially underprivileged families in the poorest districts.
"Now that we have a new Federal Government with a new leader at the helm, I believe Sabah will be given greater attention and more financial allocation, too, to take the State out of the economic doldrums."
Saying Rome was not built in a day, Liew called for sufficient time to be given to the government to effectively address burning issues such as the high cost of living and recurring floods as well as bad roads and also the high rate of poverty and unemployment in Sabah.
Notoriously, Sabah is lagging behind with a poverty rate of 19.5 per cent.
Sabah also had the highest youth unemployment rate in the country during the first quarter of 2022 at 9.1 per cent (or 190,000).
Liew, meanwhile, said she was, drawn to the State Government's efforts to restore and develop the tourism sector through various initiatives next year.
"I hope these will bear fruit to resuscitate Sabah's economy," she said, adding that one such initiative is to promote Sabah internationally as a preferred destination for conventions and seminars.
Liew went on to say that it was heartening to note that the Government has established the Sabah Convention Bureau to accelerate the growth of the tourism industry.
With the recovery of the tourism sector, the Api-Api Assemblywoman urged the Government to develop more new tourism destinations to attract new and repeat visitors to Sabah.
"In this respect, I call on the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment to reconsider the proposed Tawau Pangolin Sanctuary as a new wildlife tourist attraction (within the protected Tawau Hills Park).
"It was mooted in 2018 during my tenure as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
"In fact, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the sanctuary was signed between the Arizona Sabah Pangolin Sanctuary and Research Institute (SAPSARI Arizona), and Sabah Wildlife Department in June 2019," Liew recalled.
Founder of SAPSARI Arizona Mr Peter Chan (who is based in the United States) is still committed and waiting to work with the State Government for the development of the project, she added.