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Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor delivers his New Year message in a gathering of the civil service in Kota Kinabalu, January 25, 2022. — Bernama pic
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor delivers his New Year message in a gathering of the civil service in Kota Kinabalu, January 25, 2022. — Bernama pic

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KOTA KINABALU, Jan 25 — Sabah recorded total state revenue of RM5.449 billion for the year ended December 31, 2021, a new record for the state as it broke through the RM5 billion mark, Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor said.

The amount surpassed the previous high of RM4.541 billion recorded in 2014, which is an early indication of the effectiveness of its five-year Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) roadmap, a strategic development plan launched on March 29 last year.

“This is significant despite the various challenges faced by the Sabah state government. I am confident we are on the right path. Several economic indicators also show positive developments,” he said in a new year message today held in conjunction with a gathering of the civil service.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan who is also Sabah Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries; Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joachim Gunsalam who is also the state Minister of Industrial Development; and Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Khazim M. Yahya.

Other dignitaries include State Secretary Datuk Safar Untong; Sabah Federal Secretary Datuk Zulkapli Mohamed; Sabah cabinet ministers, state assemblymen and civil servants.

Other indicators pointing towards the effective implementation of the SMJ roadmap includes the state government’s ability to ease the economic decline in 2020 brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

Although economic growth had slumped by 9.5 per cent, the state managed to soften the fall from the initial estimated 15 to 19 per cent decline, Hajiji said.

“As a result of various state initiatives, the negative growth rate seen in various sectors in 2020 also turned positive in 2021.

“The state’s economic growth in 2021 is expected to continue its path to recovery albeit slowly, but it will be at a positive rate of between 3.8 per cent and 4 per cent,” he said, adding that this calls for sustainability in the state’s revenue collection and its financial position in order to accommodate future development allocations.

The Sabah government will also continue to strategise to raise revenue. This includes its focus on new initiatives to attract investment from within and outside the country to curb its reliance on existing sources of revenue and federal government allocations, he said.

Hajiji said according to statistics, Sabah received foreign investment totalling RM4.4 billion as of June last year. This was encouraging as it was larger than the rate of domestic investment.

“However, I believe Sabah’s potential is broader and it has the capacity to boost its growth rate alongside  a higher economic value chain,” he said. He also called on the civil service to give its full commitment to the state’s economic growth. — Bernama

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