LABUAN – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today launched the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030 that sets the direction for the holistic development of the duty-free island.
The plan is so designed for the total transformation of the island with the focus on the three major areas of economic, social and physical development.
Najib said the plan, which outlined various development projects that encompassed coastal development right up to urban physical development, would see Labuan undergo an economic transformation.
“Efforts to diversify the island’s economic resources have to be planned otherwise Labuan may not be able to advance in tandem with other places.
“We owe it to the people of Labuan because, among other things, the island is a stronghold of the Barisan Nasional government,” he said at the launch of the blueprint at Labuan Square where more than 15,000 people had gathered for the event.
Najib said one of the high-impact projects in the blueprint was the proposed construction of a bridge linking Labuan to the Sabah mainland via Menumbok.
“Some people say it may not be viable in terms of the cost of construction but the government does not just consider the rate of return. We want to see a holistic development because we cannot quantify,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that if the bridge could be a catalyst for the economic transformation of Labuan, the federal government would have no objection to approving its construction.
“If the bridge can spur economic activities, provide the people with access to and from the Sabah mainland and promote investment, then it will be useful to build it,” he said.
He said that once the techno-economic feasibility study on the proposed bridge had been completed and the BN continued to administer the country after the general election, it would not be impossible to go ahead with its construction.
“Hopefully, the decision on that certain day (polling day of the 14th general election) will be in favour of the present government. Insya’Allah (God willing), we will return here to launch the construction of the Labuan Bridge which is close to the hearts of the people of Labuan,” he said.
Najib said it was his hope that the Labuan development blueprint would identify the projects that could contribute to the growth of the island and the comfort of the residents.
“I understand that a theme park will be established in Tg Purun and a beachfront development will give rise to the Labuan Esplanade.
“I also understand that there will be shops selling international branded goods that we believe will encourage the tourism sector,” he said.
Najib said the launch date of the blueprint was a meaningful day for Labuan residents as the plan was a game changer in the history of the development of Labuan and a manifesto for the development of the island.
He also said that the federal government was always committed to implementing new ideas for Labuan. – BERNAMA