Sabah to formulate master plan for industrial parks in poorest districts, says minister
12 Oct 2023
Sabah will take about six months to formulate the master plan for the proposed industrial park at the Kota Belud-Kota Marudu area.
Last week, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that there would be two new industrial parks with one at Kimanis and the other one at the Kota Belud- Kota Marudu area.
Both Kota Belud and Kota Marudu are the poorest districts in the country.
State Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe said that despite the government having identified those areas, the Land and Survey department would still need to do some studies.
“My agency (under the ministry) already did the inspection of the land, we are still identifying and working together with the Land and Survey department.
“Not every place is suitable, but we have already taken up the initiative. We hope that in six months, we will be able to identify land to be created as industrial areas, then we will come up with the master plan,” he said, adding the integrated park would be near to the Pan-Borneo Highway.
The Luyang assemblyman was speaking at a press conference after closing the Automation & Digital Forum Series forum organised by Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) held at a hotel here.
He added that he had brought the cabinet paper to propose for more industrial parks as the existing Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park is soon to be out of vacancy for investors.
“Our industrial park (area) is depleting very fast, so I think now 80 per cent of the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) has been taken up.
“I think Sabah should be more aggressive in creating industrial zones. There are interested investors who registered their interest to invest in Sabah.
“That is the reason why I brought the cabinet paper and informed them that we need the industrial areas, that’s why the cabinet approved it,” he said, adding the rate of KKIP is getting more expensive especially for the local businesses market.
Earlier during his speech, Phoong said Sabah presents an interesting opportunity. Sabah has a nascent manufacturing industry at 7.6 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with Malaysia’s 24 per cent average.
“To sustain a growth rate exceeding 3 per cent , Malaysia must actively seek new avenues for expansion. Sabah, with its untapped potential, stands as a prime candidate.
“The state should transition from being primarily an exporter of raw materials to a hub for manufacturing, leveraging its abundant resources and strategic proximity to consumer markets in North Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines.”
Present were MIDF group chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat and chief executive officer Azizi Mustafa.