Sabah excited about Indonesia’s new capital

KOTA KINABALU: Indonesia’s plan for a new national capital in East Kalimantan is taking off soon and Sabah is on board.

Sabah and Indonesia have had trade and other relations with each other throughout this time, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said, adding that the new development will further strengthen their ties and benefit both places.

“The relocation of the Indonesian capital will bring more economic and business opportunities to Sabah and Kalimantan.

“We already have good relations with Indonesia – for example, through BIMP-EAGA – but this will benefit both of us even more,” he added.

The Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) was established in 1994 to stimulate development in remote and less developed areas of participating countries.

Indonesia announced on Monday that its new capital in the east of the island of Kalimantan will be called Nusantara, which means archipelago.

Construction of the new capital was supposed to start in 2020, but the plan was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, a Bloomberg report about two months ago said Indonesia was moving ahead with the plan to relocate its capital in the first half of 2024.

Yesterday, Hajiji was at the Sabah International Convention Center to witness the signing of MoUs between the state government and three companies.

The companies were Borneomed Sdn Bhd (large scale herb plantation), SBH Kibing Solar New Materials (M) Sdn Bhd and Pavilion Kota Kinabalu Sdn Bhd (for the development of a Pavilion Harbor City).

He said the signing of these MoUs would further boost Sabah’s economy and create job opportunities.

Using the Pavilion Harbor City project as an example, he said it is expected to create some 4,000 jobs and attract investment totaling RM2bil to RM3bil.

“The other projects would also see hundreds of job opportunities created for locals when they start in the next few years,” he added.