Senator wants higher cap for investments in Sabah

Senator wants higher cap for investments in Sabah

Anifah says limit should be raised from RM2.5 million to RM100 million.

SENATOR Tan Sri Anifah Aman has once again urged Putrajaya to raise the threshold for investments in Sabah, saying the RM2.5 million limit for each investment is only enough to establish one fastfood restaurant at a time.

The former foreign affairs minister is awaiting a reply from the government for Sabah to allow investments of up to RM100 million each as well as to be given the authority to issue manufacturing licences.

“I think they (Putrajaya) will give me a written reply. However, I have urged them to raise the threshold to RM100 million.

“With only RM2.5 million, we can only establish one McDonald’s outlet at a time. We need more of course,” he said last night at a breaking of fast event hosted by state agency, InvestSabah, in Kota Kinabalu, last night.

Anifah said he has also discussed the matter with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Martrade) chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman. Sabah established Invest Sabah Bhd in August 2020 as a state trade promotion agency, with Anifah as its chairman.

At a recent Dewan Negara sitting, Anifah said Sabah had difficulty wooing major investors because of the bureaucracy in the federal regulatory framework. Any company wishing to invest more than the RM2.5 million in Sabah must apply to Putrajaya for a permit and manufacturing licence.

“This move would not only enhance the state’s economy but also create more job opportunities for the locals while contributing to national development,” he said.

Sabah received approximately RM11 billion in investments in 2023 and is currently ranked the fifth highest in terms of gross domestic product in Malaysia, but the state continues to face socio-economic challenges.

The state’s income per capita remains one of the lowest in the country and is coupled with persistently high unemployment and poverty rates. The unemployment rate stands at 7.7%, well above the national average of 2.5%, while hardcore poverty stands at 1.2%, exceeding the national rate of 0.2%.

– The Vibes, April 6, 2024

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