PETALING JAYA: Warisan deputy president Darell Leiking has dismissed former prime minister Najib Razak’s criticism of his party’s ability to develop Sabah.
“As a former prime minister, he should know better than just to use one-year GDP (gross domestic product) growth to measure the performance of a government,” Leiking said in a statement.
He said the Warisan-led government was only in power for 26 months and it was too short a period to make any judgment.
He added that the state’s GDP growth for 2018 was lower due to a decline in global commodity prices brought about by external factors.
“The mining and quarrying sector, which is a major contributor to the state’s economy, registered negative growth of 5.6% that year, mainly due to disruptions in oil and gas production by Petronas. This is beyond the state government’s control,” he said.
He said this, in turn, affected the agriculture and mining and quarrying sectors, which contributed to 50% of the state’s GDP.
Sabah had faced multiple challenges despite being under the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration until 2018, he said, citing poor infrastructure, below-par health services in rural areas and rising cost of living, among others.
Leiking said among the Warisan-led government’s achievements were higher investments in the manufacturing sector, booming tourism, increased palm oil export and a more active construction sector.
In a Facebook post yesterday, Najib said Sabah’s economy had developed well under the BN administration but suffered under the Warisan-led government.
He said the state’s economic growth was higher than that of the entire country in the eight years under BN’s rule before the 14th general election.