Focus on critical basic facilities continues – Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU (June 9): The State Government will continue to focus on infrastructure and public amenities development programs, especially critical basic facilities such as water and electricity supply that are highly needed in this state, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor.

Hajiji pointed out that the effort is not only a catalyst for strengthening the state’s economy but also ensures the welfare and well-being of the people.

The dedication and commitment of the State Government is reflected in the huge allocation in the 2024 State Budget which amounted to RM2.63 billion, with RM1.72 billion allocated to the state’s Works Ministry and its departments.

According to him, the government is concerned about the rakyat’s worry about infrastructure and basic facilities such as roads, bridges, slopes, drainage, sewerage services, railways, ports and docks, traffic management, government buildings, and others.

“Therefore, cooperation between the State Government and engineers is very important to ensure that every planned development in this state can be implemented effectively, meeting the required standards, and thus driving economic growth in Sabah,” he said.

“This is also in line with the State Government’s commitment to empowering the road network and to completing the Pan Borneo Highway Project in this state,” he said at the 46th Annual Dinner of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Sabah Branch at Magellan Sutera, Sutera Harbour Resort yesterday.

Hajiji said that the engineering profession has made significant contributions to national development, including in Sabah and the role they played not only helped to drive the economy but also improved the quality of life for the people of this state.

According to him, the state government’s efforts to ensure the Sabah Maju Jaya Development Plan (SMJ) can be realized and enjoyed by all in Sabah require the cooperation of all parties, including engineers.

Hajiji said continuous professional development is essential for developing engineering leaders as engineers are at the forefront of nation-building and are vital assets of a country that need to continue to expand their technical expertise to stay relevant, especially in adapting to technological advancements.

He hoped that engineers and industry players in the country will seize opportunities, especially in current technological developments, to ensure that this state can be developed better based on proper engineering practices and using the latest technology.

“If this becomes a reality, then we will be able to attract more investors, thereby opening up job opportunities and knowledge sharing as well as experiences from abroad to this state,” he said.

According to the Chief Minister, the State Government looks to organizations like IEM to assist wherever relevant, considering that engineers at every level can use their professional knowledge to contribute to higher productivity and professional enhancement for national development.

“Several aspects need to be considered and emphasized to ensure that the state’s development efforts do not harm the existing resources so that future generations can enjoy the natural resources we will pass on to them.

Sustainable development is the challenge we face, which is why to develop the state, it requires a balance between the environment and the physical development brought for the people,” he stressed.

Hajiji also wants IEM and all parties to continue promoting engineering practices to attract more young people to pursue engineering to produce local talents from Sabah who can compete globally.