Tuaran (Monday) – Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor welcomes the efforts of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) in launching a programme that has identified areas with locals heavily affected by the pandemic and distributing food baskets to these people, as part of its corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
The Chief Minister informed that “through this CSR programme by SEDIA held today, as many as 300 food baskets have been distributed to villagers from within this locality”. In his position as the Chairman of SEDIA, Datuk Seri Hajiji presented the food baskets of several villagers in a brief ceremony held at the Bajau Samah Cultural Centre in Kampung Lok Batik. Also in attendance were Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Mohd Arifin Arif, Assistant Minister of Finance Jasni Daya, and SEDIA Chief Executive Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hashim Paijan.
Malaysia, including Sabah, is currently still battling against the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted the normal way of life globally, since early last year. This has affected the job security of many Malaysians, led to an increase in the unemployment rate, and halted business operations including among factories, plantations, and non-essential retail businesses. Movement among the people has also been restricted in order to contain the spread of the virus.
As a statutory body that is aware and concerned of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and working restrictions experienced by the people, SEDIA is ready to support the State Government’s efforts by distributing aid to those struggling to provide for themselves. The goal of the CSR programme is to help ease the hardships experienced by the people, especially in the targeted areas.
The objectives for the programme are to:
- Distribute aid in the form of food baskets to the identified households;
- Symbolise the solidarity of the efforts between SEDIA, the State Government, and frontliners in ensuring the safety and security of the people from COVID-19; and
- Promote registration among the people for vaccination against COVID-19.
SEDIA has also ensured that any efforts to distribute food baskets adhere to the latest standard operating procedures as determined by the government, and is conducted in collaboration with the Chief Minister’s Office which has been identifying the affected areas.
SEDIA was established on January 15, 2009, through the adoption of Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority Enactment 2009. Through the enactment, SEDIA is vested with the necessary power to serve as the One-Stop Authority to plan, coordinate, promote and accelerate the development of the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). SDC was launched earlier on January 29, 2008 during the Ninth Malaysia Plan as one of Malaysia’s five regional economic corridors, with the aim to accelerate the growth of Sabah’s economy, promote regional balance and bridge the urban-rural divide, while ensuring sustainable management of state resources.
It is hoped that the CSR programme will strengthen ties and cooperation between the people in the affected areas, the state government and SEDIA, especially in the planning and implementation of future SDC development programmes. This collaboration also illustrates the confidence of the government towards SEDIA as the One-Stop Authority that implements SDC development programmes in Sabah.