KOTA KINABALU: Homestays and aquaculture are two sectors with high potential for development in Sabah’s east coast Semporna district, said Senallang assemblyman Nasir Sakaran.
Tourism is a burgeoning industry in Semporna that attracts not only local tourists but also foreign ones, especially from China and Europe, said Nasir.
Semporna, he said, is highly established as a world-class sightseeing and diving destination.
“We have discovered that homestays and aquaculture are two sectors that can be developed,” Nasir told FMT.
“Homestays, especially the traditional ones, can attract a lot of tourists, especially foreigners from China and Europe, who are eager to learn about the lifestyle of the local people.
“I’m hoping to help people build this sector by helping them get loans that will help them start their endeavours.”
Tourists in Semporna are also into seafood dining. Helping people venture into aquaculture could further bolster the dining segment of local tourism.
“A lot of visitors love to enjoy seafood, which is of the highest quality in Semporna,” said Nasir.
“So budding restaurateurs and aquaculturists would need assistance and, hopefully, we will be able to help provide that.
“The potential involves not only freshwater but also seawater aquaculture activities,” said Nasir of his future plans if he is elected again as the area’s assemblyman.
The Semporna native, who is nearing the end of his sixth term as an elected representative, was heartened by the development he had helped bring to Semporna, particularly his constituency Senallang, where more than 70% of the population is Muslim Bumiputera.
He said several projects, including the construction and improvement of village roads, sport arenas, mosques, the library and the native court, had been successfully implemented during his tenure.
Nasir, who is chairman of the state-owned agency, the Sabah Economic Development Corporation or Sedco, would also like to see more people help develop their land in Senallang.
“There’s a lot of land that needs agricultural development in my constituency. They need the help of government agencies, with loan packages made available to them.
“Short-term development will include growing of fruits and vegetables. Long-term agricultural activities, like the plantation of oil palm and coconuts, can also be encouraged and assisted.”