KUALA LUMPUR Any party wishing to form the new Sabah state government needs to offer a solution to the lack of employment opportunities that has prompted many young Sabahans to move to the peninsula to look for jobs that match their qualifications.
Apart from focusing on the development of basic infrastructure and economic recovery post-COVID-19, the solution to the lack of employment opportunities that cause these young Sabahans to leave the state should be on every potential leader’s priority list.
Political analyst, Assoc Prof Dr Jeniri Amir, for one, described the issue as one of Sabah’s great losses especially in the aspect of manpower, expertise and human capital development needed to boost state economic growth.
“I think the voters will choose a candidate or a party based on their capability and initiative to find the best solution to the issue apart from their efforts towards the development of the state and the wellbeing of the people,” he told Bernama here recently.
Furthermore, he said only political stability can ensure that the next state government would be able to create a proper economic plan based on the aspirations of the people of Sabah.
Jeniri said political stability and leaders with high integrity could lure foreign investors to the state, hence enliven the economic activities and open up more employment opportunities to the locals.
It was reported that the unemployment rate in Sabah was the second highest in the country, with a total of 112,000 unemployed people last year.
Meanwhile, Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) said the issues of state development and employment opportunities had been repeatedly voiced out by the people and it had become more critical after the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he believed the people would continue raising the issues when approached by candidates contesting in the state election.
A total of 1.12 million Sabah people will go to the polls this Saturday to choose the new state government.
The election is seeing 447 candidates including 56 Independents contesting for 73 state seats, including 13 new seats gazetted last year.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency