KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Musa Aman has hit out at those who claim Sabah is undeveloped and impoverished, describing such parties as malicious.
He said the state’s achievements since Barisan Nasional (BN) took control 15 years ago, compared to the period before that, were proof that the allegations were baseless.
“Firstly, in the 30 years from the early 1970s till 2000, the state’s income increased by RM1 billion to RM1700 million in 2004. In the 15 years thereafter, with a stable BN government, we managed to increase the state’s revenue threefold, that is, RM3 billion to reach RM4 billion today,” he said last night.
According to Musa, Sabah’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased from RM59.5 billion in 2011 to RM73.8 billion in 2016, placing Sabah’s economy at fifth place among that of other states.
“We will not stop here. Our target is to develop Sabah, the land below the wind, till the pinnacle. So those claims that Sabah is the poorest state is a big lie.”
Musa said Sabah had also successfully diversified its economic resources to multiply its earnings and reduce dependence on timber as a source of revenue from 85% to 13% currently.
He denied that the BN government had exploited the state’s forests, saying Sabah has the largest forest reserves in the country covering 53% of the state.
Sabah, he added, had the widest totally protected area involving almost 30% of the state’s land mass, exceeding the international standard by more than 10%, besides the 700 thousand hectares of replanted forest.
“What I have mentioned is only part of a long list of achievements. The track record of our party and government are stated in Sabah BN’s manifesto for GE14.
“We don’t boast that we are perfect. There is a lot more that we need to do in the interest of the people. But to accuse us of leading Sabah backwards from wealth to poverty is unjustified. The record speaks for itself,” he said.
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