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  SEDIA PRESS RELEASE   22 December 2016  

Clarification on statement by Junz Wong
 

Kota Kinabalu - SEDIA wish to clarify the erroneous statement made by Junz Wong on 21 Dec 2015, concerning SEDIA's office premise.

 

The Sabah State Legislative Assembly had approved the instrument for the establishment of SEDIA via the adoption of Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority Enactment 2009 on 15 January 2009. The Enactment was assented by Tuan Yang Terutama di-Pertua Negeri Sabah on 23 February and gazetted on 26 February 2009. SEDIA commenced its operation in March 2009 in order to expedite the implementation of SDC. In spite of this, SEDIA is actually a statutory body fully funded by the Federal Government through the Prime Minister's Department. The SDC projects are all funded from development allocations approved by the Economic Planning Unit, channelled to SEDIA by the Ministry of Finance, Putrajaya.

Under the Enactment, SEDIA has been entrusted as the One-Stop Authority to drive SDC, with the primary responsibility to plan, coordinate, promote and accelerate the development of the SDC. The objectives of SEDIA are;

  • To promote and accelerate the development of the SDC into a leading economic region and a choice investment destination for investment, work and living; and
  • To ensure that social development and sustainable development are kept as priorities whilst driving economic growth in the SDC.

In order to fulfil these objectives, SEDIA's functions among others are;

  • To promote and accelerate the development of the SDC into a leading economic region and a choice investment destination for investment, work and living; and
  • To ensure that social development and sustainable development are kept as priorities whilst driving economic growth in the SDC.
  • To recommend to the Government of the Federal Government on all projects of potential growth and opportunities to be included in the SDC;
  • To coordinate the expeditious implementation of all projects in the SDC by performing the functions of a one-stop centre;
  • To monitor and report to the Government and the Federal Government the status of all projects in the SDC;
  • To promote and market the SDC as an attractive business and investment location; etc.

In the early days SEDIA shared its office premise with the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at 7th Floor, Block C, Karamunsing Complex. This was because most of the early staffs of SEDIA were new recruits from IDS, including its Chief Executive. Since its establishment in March 2009, SEDIA had been looking for suitable premise due to the growing need for staffing and executing its mandate. Among the criteria required for the intended office locations were;-

  1. It must be nearby the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA);
  2. Reasonable rental and the cost of renovation to align with the need of staffing at minimal cost possible;
  3. Adequate space for parking, both for staff and visitors alike.
  4. Not vulnerable to traffic jam.

There were quite a number of places identified, however, after being surveyed; none meet the criteria as mentioned above. As a matter of fact, SEDIA shared its office premise with IDS for about 9 months.

The current premise which SEDIA is now occupying was only identified later, and the building, which was then empty and just completed, was actually reserved by a state government agency. However, due to the urgency for SEDIA to have its own office premise, the agency willingly gave its way to SEDIA. The rental rate offered was RM1.80 per square foot, the cheapest in town, and it had not been revised since then.

In view of the suitability of the current premise, SEDIA was advised to buy the building by a senior representative of the Federal Government, and a valuation exercise was commissioned in 2010. The price offered was about RM28 million, however, the result from the valuation report indicated that the building's value at that point of time was RM21 million. Thus, the intention to purchase was subsequently not approved by the SEDIA Members of Authority.

As statutory body fully funded by the Federal Government, SEDIA comes under the Prime Minister's Department jurisdiction. SEDIA's procurement procedures follow strictly the Treasury Instructions. SEDIA's financial reports had been given a clean bill of health for seven (7) consecutive years by the Auditor General and SEDIA also received a four-star rating in the Accountability Index from the Jabatan Audit Negara in 2014. SEDIA's management process is certified as complying with the internationally accredited Quality Management System Standard by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance - MS ISO 9001:2008. All these would not have been possible if SEDIA were to engage in questionable transactions. SEDIA's management is mindful of its fiduciary duty, and ensures that all transactions give the best value for money.

Since the launching of SDC in 2008 until September 2016, a total of RM158 billion worth of cumulative investments have been committed in Sabah, of which RM57.68 billion had been realised. In term of development expenditure (DE) since 2008 until 30 November 2016, the Ministry of Finance had channeled RM2,029 billion under the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Malaysia Plans to SEDIA. Of this, 94.52 percent or RM1,918 billion had been disbursed. SDC projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan had all been completed. The remaining projects are in the various stages of implementation.

All the initiatives under SDC, both private and public sectors had tremendously contributed to the state economic growth. As a result, Sabah's GDP in 2015 registered 6.1 percent growth the fastest state in Malaysia and higher than the national GDP, which is 5.0 percent. SEDIA is now embarking on a bigger agenda to enhance the state's global connectivity. SEDIA is also more aggressively promoting SMEs and investment into the rural areas. Junz Wong is welcome to visit SEDIA and meet its Chief Executive to obtain more information on SDC and SEDIA's operation if he needs more details.

- Issued by,

CEO's Office, SEDIA


   
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