Sabah’s per capita income has surpassed Kelantan’s, says PM
By RUBEN SARIO
Saturday February 18, 2012
LAHAD DATU: Sabah is no longer the country's poorest state because of various government initiatives to boost the income of its people, said the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the per capita income of Sabahans had surpassed Kelantan and was now comparable to the national average thanks in part to the various initiatives of the federal and Sabah Governments
“Sabah is now a state with so much potential,” he said when launching the Mini Estet Sejahtera (Masej) scheme at Kampung Nala, some 60km from this east coast town yesterday.
The Prime Minister said the number of hardcore poor in the state had at one time stood at 30,000 families and this had been reduced to about 7,000 families.
Warm welcome: Najib being greeted by the people at the launch of the Mini Estet Sejahtera (Masej) scheme at Kampung Nala yesterday. With him is Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman.
He said this was possible due to the close cooperation between the federal and state governments and cited the Masej scheme at Kampung Nala as a good example of this.
It was undertaken by the Sabah government with a RM22mil funding from Felda. This amount does not include the RM50mil the federal agency gave the state.
At a briefing here later, Najib was told that a palm oil-driven industrial zone in this Sabah east coast district had raked in more than RM4.5bil in investments over the past four years.
The Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) also has the largest concentration of major Malaysian companies and foreign investors in one location in Sabah.
“We are emerging as a key industrialisation driver in Sabah,” said POIC chief executive officer Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wai in a briefing after the Prime Minister toured the state-owned industrial zone here yesterday.
POIC Lahad Datu falls within the oil palm NKEA ( national key economic areas) of the Economic Transformation Programme that seeks to triple revenue from oil palm, which surpassed RM80bil last year.
Meanwhile, Dr Pang also revealed details of a mechanical oil palm harvester jointly developed by Malaysia and China.
According to him, a prototype of the MCAM (short for Malaysia-China Agricultural Machine) has shown good results in trial runs.
The machine harvester is expected to overcome Malaysia's over dependence on foreign labour in the oil palm industry.