The new year heralds real hopes for the people of Sabah and Sarawak to catch up with development as the National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) that will mostly benefit them when fully rolled out in January.

Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said that this was the best opportunity for Sabah and Sarawak to attain development as the present administration has set out unprecedented goals and objectives to realise this.

The seriousness of the present administration in carrying out “dynamic, brave and comprehensive goals and measures” gives confidence that these will materialise, he said.

“I look forward to seeing the two states that lag behind in development and has many rural poor, benefiting particularly from the three NKRAs through access to affordable and quality education, improving infrastructure in rural areas and raising the living standards of the poor.

“This is the first time a national initiative is laid out where the government is goal driven and result oriented. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is brave to lay out the NKRAs as it would be risky to fail to achieve them. His action shows his sincerity, and confidence,” he said.

“Now is the opportunity for Sabah and Sarawak to catch up in development under the administration of the Prime Minister and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin,” he said in his New Year message during a New Year and thanksgiving gathering at the home of Tandek assemblyman Anita Baranting.

Ongkili added that despite earlier criticisms against the NKRA, he was certain they could be achieved with support from all quarters and the people as well as with an efficient administrative machinery.

“We also need to work hard and be creative in implementing tasks and delivering services to the people. The Government will further harness creativity and enhance innovation in all sectors of the economy in 2010 through year-long programmes carried out during Malaysia Year of Innovation or Innovative Malaysia 2010.

“Hence, I urge the opposition to join hands in supporting the NKRA because their success will benefit everyone,” he said, adding that under Budget 2010, 60 per cent of the allocation had been set aside to ensure the success of NKRA.

On his ministry’s role, he said it would play a supporting role, for example, the CyberSecurity Malaysia agency would be involved in security while the ministry would also be lending its expertise in technologies for the development of rural infrastructure.

“The NKRA goals and objectives will cost money but at the end of the day when it is achieved the people of Sabah and Sarawak will be one of the beneficiaries,” he said.

Earlier, Ongkili also made several visits to project sites at his Kota Marudu parliamentary constituency, including the housing scheme for the poor.

He reminded the private sector and contractors who were given contracts for Government projects, to upgrade their work standard to meet the expectations of the people.