17th June, 2012
KENINGAU: The Sabah Handicraft Centre here will enhance the socio economy of the people by creating job and business opportunities.
As such, this will further boost the state’s economic growth for the benefit of the people, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said at the opening of the centre yesterday.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officiated at the function.
Musa who is also Finance Minister said the centre was not only meant for the people in the interior but also for all Malaysians.
He said the success of such an initiative was as a result of the close cooperation between the state and federal government, especially the Prime Minister who cared for the people.
“As a responsible government, we have proven out commitment to safeguard the people’s interest. And, the federal level, the Prime Minister has introduced and implemented various programmes and transformations to bring about unity, raise the people’s quality of life, among others,” he said.
The 1Malaysia Peopls’s Aid (BR1M), aid for students and 1Malaysia Clinic were among the many programmes that had been implemented.
At the state level, Musa said development was planned and carried out in a holistic manner in line with the Halatuju, Sabah Development Corridor 9SDC) and the transformation programmes introduced by the Prime Minister.
For instance, he said that under the SDC, Keningau which is located within the Interior Agropolitan Zone, was rapidly undergoing transformation to become a tourist and integrated farming district with focus on agro-tourism, handicraft production and homestay programme under the handicraft village concept.
“I am confident the initiative todevelop the interior areas in Sabah will help change the people’s life for the better in line with the national development effort,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said the Barisan Nasional government has fulfilled its promise to build handicraft centre here.
“This is BN government, we fulfil the promises that we make. We not only talk and plan but we “turun padang” to be with the people unlike the opposition which only knows how to make empty promises and tell lies.
‘During my meeting with the people especially at the ‘Yayasan Sabah with the People’ roadshows, I had mentioned that opposition leaders apparently visited Sabah as they wanted to help the people.
“But how are they going to help the people of Sabah when the states under their rule are in disarray?”.
He said unlike the opposition BN leaders, especially the Prime Minister, constantly “turn padang” to meet the people.
And, Musa also said the presence of the Prime Minister here clearly proved that despite having a tight schedule and heavy responsibility as the country’s number one leader, the people of Sabah were close to his heart.
“He is a sincere and caring leader,” Musa said.
The Chief Minister added that the turnout of a massive crowd at the event also showed that Sabahans not only from Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Tenom and Sipitang but also Keningau and elsewhere were undivided in their support for the Prime Minister’s leadership, struggle and transformation programmes.
The RM30 million handicraft centre, funded by Yayasan Sabah, has various facilities including an exhibition hall and it also sells an assortment of handicrafts produced locally to visitors.
The centre also provides training and handicraft making courses for the people to learn to make quality handicrafts.
According to Musa, the feeral government allocated RM20 million to carry out all programmes and courses and provide training facilities at a cost of RM20 million.
He added that apart from being a centre for training and marketing of handicrafts, it is also a new tourist attraction in the interior.
Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the Chief Minister’s wife Datin Seri Hajah Faridah Haji Tussin, state cabinet ministers, elected representatives and local community leaders.