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Kudos for Musa-led Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Association of Chinese Chambers of Commerce Malaysia (ACCCIM) president Tan Sri William Cheng is impressed with the rapid economic development that has taken place in Sabah over the last couple of years.

“I see a lot of changes in Sabah. It looks different…the economic landscape is different,” he told reporters after a breakfast meeting hosted by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman with members of ACCCIM at Musa official residence in Sri Gaya here yesterday.

Attributing the positive changes to the leadership of Musa, he said the current political stability, sound government policies and focused economic direction have led to the significant economic development in Sabah.

Cheng, who is also the president of Selangor Chinese Chamber Of Commerce, said such factors were important in pulling in business and investors to a country and state.

William said Malaysia and Sabah have these attributes in terms of the capacity to attract investors and tourists alike.

“Sabah is rich in natural resources…oil and gas, timber, minerals and so on but most important, you have the right leadership to take Sabah to greater heights,” he said.

He said the sectors of  tourism and agriculture, namely aquaculture in the state, were doing well and had the potential to become bigger.

“I am also told that Sabah has strong environmental conservation laws. This is also good for the state in terms of eco-tourism,” he said.

Cheng also urged the Chinese Chambers of Commerce to work hand in hand with the Chief Minister to make Sabah more prosperous.

Meanwhile, Musa said investors were attracted to doing business in Malaysia because of the conducive investors climate, good government policies and stable politics under the able leadership of Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak who strives to be fair to all communities regardless of race and religion.

Here in Sabah, he said the State Government strives to do the same for all Malaysians the state.

He said the environmental laws on conservation and protection put in place by the present state government actually has long term positive impact on the overall development of a state.

“Protecting your forest, phasing out logging and reforestation means in 30 to 40 years time, the future generation can once again have  tropical rainforests which were previously logged,” he said.

He said likewise, having  clean air and waters also have long term positive impact in drawing investors and business to Sabah.

Citing a United States based multinational company, Darden Incorporated, he said the food giant committed some USD2 billion to develop lobster farming off the coast of Semporna because the water was not polluted and the State has sound environmental policies.

“The also told me that the other important reason as to why they chose to come here was because of the prevailing economic and political stability in Malaysia and Sabah included,” he said.

On another note, Musa said the Sabah Government valued the contributions made by the Chinese community in Sabah especially towards the economic development of the state.

“The government both at the Federal and State level understands the needs of the Chinese community. They want opportunities for their businesses to flourish, their security assured, quality education for their children and their houses of worship continue to remain relevant,” he said.

He said the BN government will continue and strive to meet the needs of the Chinese community in Sabah, adding that their continued support is important to the wellbeing of the state.

Among those present were  Sabah United Chinese Chamber Of Commerce president (SUCCC) Datuk Seri Panglima Guan Sau Wah,  SUCCC deputy president Datuk Seri Panglima Sari Nuar,  ACCCIM vice president and Johor Chinese Chamber Of Commerce president Tan Sri Dato Lim Bah, ACCCIM vice president and Pahang CCC president , Dato?Lim Sing, ACCCIM vice president and Negeri Sembilan CCC president Dato?William Tan, ACCCIM deputy secretary general and Terangganu CCC president, Dato Low Kian Chuan and others.

Source : Borneo Post

Sabah devt on track – Musa

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s development is on track with both state and federal led projects, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman

Investors, according to the state Finance Minister, were continuing their interest in what Sabah has to offer, including in the oil and gas sector apart from the state’s engine of growth such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

“Existing businesses and prospective ventures require insurance. I wish to call on Progressive Insurance to offer relevant and attractive packages to meet demand from new and existing business ventures in Sabah and beyond our state,” he said on Monday night before witnessing Progressive Insurance Bhd handing over its dividend payment cheque of RM3,309,632 to the state government.

Musa said it could not be denied that the insurance sector is facing stiff competition and constantly needed to address new challenges.

“Factored in with periodical financial instability in different parts of the world, it is certainly not easy to be a player in the insurance sector and I must commend Progressive Insurance for your achievements over the years.

“I am pleased to note that you have even revised upwards your projected revenue for this year and to learn that in the last eight years, you have declared gross dividends of over RM50 million to shareholders,” he said.

According to Musa, the state government, as a key shareholder, hoped that Progressive Insurance would remain on top of changes in the financial market and the insurance sector.

“By staying alert, Progressive Insurance can take quick steps to overcome projected challenges whenever a problem or issue starts impacting the ever changing insurance industry,” he pointed out.

“It is important you continue to uphold sound management practices, good corporate governance, transparency, accountability and efficiency as part of your daily operations.

“With a forward looking management team and with the investment that the company has put in training its employees as well as agents, I am confident that Progressive Insurance will continue to chart higher dividends for its shareholders in coming years,” he said.

Musa witnessed the dividend payment of RM3.3 million by Progressive Insurance Bhd presented by its chairman, Datuk Harun Datu Mansor to the state government, received by Finance Ministry permanent secretary Datuk Pengiran Hassanel Haji Pg Mohd Tahir at a dinner at Sutera Harbour Resort.

Source : Borneo Post

MASwings’ Decision To Fly To Palawan Hailed As Gift For Kudat Folks

KOTA KINABALU, May 10 (Bernama) — MASwings’ announcement to fly to Puerto Princesa, Palawan in the southern Philippines by the end of October this year has been hailed by BIMP-EAGA Malaysia Business Council chairman Roselan Johar Mohamed as heaven’s gift to the people of Sabah, particularly in Kudat. He said with greater connectivity, more trade can be achieved between Kudat in the northern part of Sabah and Palawan.

Roselan said the business council of BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) is closely monitoring the Kudat situation and some announcement will be in the offing. “The much awaited trade mission from Palawan is coming in June to visit Kudat,” he told Bernama here today.

Yesterday, MASwings chief executive officer Datuk Captain Nawawi Awang announced that MASwings, a fully-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, would embark on its second phase of international route expansion by the end of October this year. Nawawi was quoted as saying that the new MASwings’ international air service would cover the Kuching-Balikpapan (Indonesia) and Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princesa routes.

Roselan said further upgrading of the Customs Immigration Quarantine Security (CIQS) station in Kudat is being discussed “even though the present facility there is just enough for the moment.”

On MASwings’ recent success after expanding their routes to Pontianak and Tarakan, Indonesia early this year, he said the high load factor achieved had compelled the airline to increase the original three Tawau-Tarakan flights a week to one flight daily with effect from July 1 this year. “This is very fast indeed and beyond our wildest imagination. This is a classic success story and we hope many others will emulate MASwings.

“That is the beauty about BIMP-EAGA. The successive meetings we had throughout and over the years are all designed to make travel easier and cheaper. We are talking about 70 million people within the designated Bimp-Eaga region,” he added.

Roselan said travelling is very important because it provides high visibility and “our visitors come, they see and ultimately they will buy.”

“So money spent on travelling and other spending is very high and this keeps our economy moving. Our airports have been most accommodating and Miri (Sarawak) airport is currently being upgraded just for this purpose — to welcome local, national and international visitors. Likewise, the Sabah government is upgrading the Tawau seaport passenger terminal and it is expected to be ready soon,” he said.

Roselan said the government truly values the economic importance of visiting neighbours and hopes this new upcoming facility will triple Tawau’s retailing and merchandising business. “At the same time, we have to warn the local traders never to maximise profits. A small profit here and there will always welcome repeat customers-cum- travellers, and trade will continue to prosper. Gone are the days when we used to shun the economic migrants. Now we welcome all visitors and any well designed passenger terminal can easily filter the genuine or legitimate travellers with ease and effciency,” he said.

Source : Bernama

Ranau District Kaamatan Festival opening event

YB Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai performing a symbolic gesture during the opening event

YB Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Resource Development and Information Technology representing Chief Minister of Sabah officiated the Ranau District Kaamatan Festival opening event held at the Ranau District Community Hall on May 12th, 2012. Seen in the photo, YB Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai made a symbolic opening gesture during the event which involves cutting a few of paddy stalks observed by Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment cum N30 Karanaan State Assemblyman,YB Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, Minister of Rural Development cum N31 Paginatan State Assemblyman, YB Datuk Siringan Gubat,  Member of Parliament for P179 Ranau  and YB Dr Joachim Gunsalam, N29 Kundasang State Assemblymen.

YB Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai Timbalan Ketua Menteri Sabah dan Menteri Pembangunan Sumber dan Kemajuan Teknologi Maklumat mewakili Ketua Menteri Sabah merasmikan acara Pesta Kaamatan Peringkat Daerah Ranau bertempat di Dewan Masyarakat Daerah Ranau pada 12 Mei 2012. Kelihatan YB Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai melakukan simbolik perasmian acara iaitu memotong  beberapa batang padi sambil diperhatikan oleh YB Datuk Masidi Manjun, Menteri Pelancongan Kebudayaan dan Alam Sekitar merangkap ADUN N30 Karanaan, YB Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin, Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar merangkap ADUN N31 Paginatan,  YB Datuk Siringan Gubat, Ahli Parlimen P179 Ranau  dan YB Dr Joachim Gunsalam ADUN N29 Kundasang. 

MASwings Set To Fly Kota Kinabalu-Palawan Route By End October

KOTA KINABALU, May 9 (Bernama) — Buoyed by the successful first phase of its direct international flights to Tarakan and Pontianak in Indonesia and Brunei Darulsalam, MASwings will embark on its second phase of international route expansion by end of October this year.

In announcing this, its chief executive officer Datuk Captain Nawawi Awang said the new MASwings’ international air service would cover the routes of Kuching-Balikpapan (Indonesia), and Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Phillippines).

MASwings, a fully owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, plans to operate the routes three times a week.

“We are still in the process of getting approval and clearance from the relevant authorities (in the Philippines), and if everything goes well, we are targetting to commence operations of the Kota Kinabalu-Puerto Princesa sector by end October.

“This is going to be our first service on the Philippines’ shore. We in MASwings hope to become a bridge, in terms of air connectivity, for the people within the BIMP-EAGA (The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area) member countries,” he told reporters here Wednesday.

Source : Bernama