Sabah to announce its own stimulus package to counter Covid-19 woes

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will announce a stimulus package of its own next month to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, says Chief Minister Shafie Apdal.

Although Dr Mahathir Mohamad had announced a similar package for the country, he said, Sabah still needed its own programme.

“We believe there will be a spillover for Sabah (from the national package), but we need to have our own, too, for the benefit of the people,” he said after launching an event here today.

“We will not spell it out now, but it must be people-centric. Whatever initiative it is, it must generate job opportunities for those affected by the trade war and Covid-19.”

Adding that Sabah would be looking at bigger projects in hopes of having a bigger impact on the state economy, he said he hoped to be able to announce the plan by next month.

With the state-initiated package, he said, Sabah would be able to formulate its own strategies to resolve any problems that arise.

“We are looking at areas where people have money but just keep in the bank and don’t want to invest it due to the uncertainties.

“I think this is the moment for investments to come,” he said, adding that it would not be a long-term problem.

On Sabahans who had attended an Islamic missionary gathering at a mosque in Seri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Shafie said they should be put under home quarantine.

“We have taken steps to curb the spread of Covid-19. We must make sure they are quarantined and if they come from certain places, we use the same policies,” he said, adding that the situation was under control for now.

Tawau health department officer Dr G Navindran had yesterday advised about 350 people from Tawau who attended the tabligh gathering from Feb 27 to Mar 1 to immediately go for a health screening.

The health ministry said the 131st case of Covid-19 was among the 10,000, of which 5,000 are Malaysians, who attended the tabligh gathering.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 60-year-old Malaysian man had tested positive for the virus on March 10.