KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Deputy Secretary General Datuk Ho Jia Lit yesterday welcomed the return of licensing power for the exports and imports of timber products from the Federal Government to the State Government through the Sabah Forestry Department.
He hoped that the Federal Government would restore more powers due to Sabah in other areas in order for the State Government to have more autonomy.
Ho said the transfer of licencing power for the exports and imports of timber products to the Sabah Forestry Department was the result of the State Government’s effort in its pursuit of more autonomous powers from the Federal Government.
He believed that the move would spur the development of the timber industry, especially the furniture business.
Moving forward, Ho hoped that the Federal Government would restore more Sabah rights to the State Government, including the rights stipulated in the 20 Points and Malaysia Agreement.
“The Federal Government has recently announced the exemption from cabotage policy for East Malaysia and the liberalization of the Sepanggar Port.
“With the transfer of licencing power for timber exports and imports back to the State, we believe there will be more good news in time to come. This also very much depends on the relentless efforts by the Committee for Revision of Sabah Rights,” he said in a press statement issued yesterday.
Last week, Ho said LDP leaders have paid the first Chinese Chief Minister of Sabah, Tan Sri Peter Lo a visit.
“Tan Sri Peter Lo is one of the leaders involved in drafting the 20 Points safeguards for Sabah. During the visit, our LDP leaders have expressed their commitment in safeguarding our State rights.”
Ho pointed out that the matter of Sabah rights involved many aspects, including oil royalty, Goods and Services Tax (GST), decisive power in development planning, appointment of more Sabahans to head federal government departments as well as overlapping of federal and state’s jurisdiction.
“The Committee for Revision of Sabah Rights, chaired by the Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang, is currently looking into these matters.”
On that note, Ho urged Sabahans back the committee in order for it to achieve its aim to restore the rights due to Sabah.
“Supporters of both political divide should be united in pursuing and safeguarding Sabah rights for the benefit of all Sabahans.
“It is not about propelling the agenda of a particular political party,” he said.-MWONG/BNN