KOTA KINABALU: A bottom-up approach will be the best mechanism for Sabah’s growth through the mobilisation of the grassroot economy.
Institute for Development Studies (Sabah) (IDS) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ramzah Dambul said the state’s economy is expected to continue with a positive recovery and rapid development growth in 2023.
Following the tabling of the Sabah State Budget by Finance Minister Datuk SeriHajiji Noor on Nov 25 last year, he said it has highlighted the transparency of dispersing the allocated funds, including the efficiency to disburse the fundings to the respective ministries.
However, Ramzah said the full mechanism to productively utilise the allocated funds has to be thoroughly mapped out, in order to maximise the state’s resources.
“As a think tank to the State Government, IDS foresees solutions and policies for many fundamental social and economic development issues as key enablers for the state’s economic transformation, in line with Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) development plans. Datuk Ramzah elaborated.
“Building towards establishing a strong grassroot economy in Sabah, the district development framework has to be strengthened to realign our bottom-up policies so that they match with the strength of each district,” he said in a statement.
Ramzah added that the RM204 million and RM212.63 million allocated to the Local Government and Housing Ministry and Rural Development MInistry respectively, aspires to create a balanced region through heightening rural economic activities.
As one of the pillars for the SMJ Thrust, RM134.59 million has been allocated to develop the tourism industry, and additional fundings for Community Based Tourism.
“Grassroot economy is receiving major traction on the state’s development strategy, as more fundings is channelled towards development of the cross-sectoral rural economic activities,” he said, adding it could also be a key enabler for the state’s human capital plans in addressing youth unemployment in Sabah with a record of 9.1 per cent.
Ramzah added the focus on the grassroot economy would create a sustainable economic growth that could generate more job opportunities.
Sabah Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry is also actively identifying framework for various types of innovation, including grassroot innovation designed to address the needs of poorer marginalised groups.
“The Institute plays a key role to be the connector between the government and all its agencies, the industry and the public in mapping out the best feasible strategy for the state to fully maximise its allocated funds and its resources.”