Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has got another feather in his cap from none other than Rosmah Mansor the Prime Minister’s wife, the latter obviously impressed by the efforts towards empowering women and the overall development of the state under the stewardship of Musa Aman.
Ever since coming to power in march, 2003, the quiet and efficient Chief Minister of Sabah has gone about doing his job earning both admiration and respect from even his opposition. Under him Sabah has changed for the better. The image of Sabah as a land of illegals, crime, smuggling, corruption, backwardness and poverty is now a thing of the past. Today there are visible signs of peace and development. This is indeed refreshing. Today Sabah would undoubtedly be the most improved State in the country. It’s indeed a great leap forward and due credit to the leadership of Musa Aman.
When people talk about the new Sabah, they usually refer to the transformation — the State was in complete chaos when Musa Aman first assumed office in 2003. Sabah was more popular for its rampant kidnapping in the east-coast of Sabah, the disorder, illegals and poverty. Things have changed and there is hope and optimism among the people. Not only within but the image of Sabah as perceived by the outsider is positive. This is very important for the future prospect of the State. With order, political stability and strong progressive leadership, investors will have confidence to enter Sabah and this will do a world of good to the local economy.
The other aspect about the leadership quality of Musa Aman, which merits attention and applause, is the reformist zeal that he has demonstrated during his tenure as Chief Minister. This is rare for a politician because the more power you get to wield, the more entrenched your vested interest becomes. In the case of Musa Aman, he has challenged the status-quo on many occasions.
Take the case of the RM1.3 billion coal power plant project in Silam, where Musa Aman had scrapped it. Musa Aman said the decision by the state Cabinet to cancel the project was made for health and environmental reasons. Actually the proposed site was close to conservation areas like Darvel Bay Malian Basin, Danum Valley and Ulu Segama which have highly sensitive ecosystems, much of which are still in pristine condition. Darvel Bay itself has a highly diverse marine life and has been called the “Cradle of Coral Evolution” by the scientific community and the location is the genesis of coral reefs running through the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. See, Musa was concern and he specifically said that he cannot trade off the environment for progress and deprive our future generation of Sabah’s natural wonders.
In a unique approach, the failed Silam Power Plant will be replaced by a more Eco-friendly power plant elsewhere. Under the plan, Tenaga Nasional and Petronas was asked to work out a 300 megawatt power plant using gas or fuel probably from Sarawak.
Musa Aman is not your usual run in the mill politician who clings on to power. He has an agenda and vision for the peaceful development of Sabah and its people. And he wants to deliver this vision through real performance and not just publicity stunts. He has been able to move away from the old ways of doing politics i.e. based on the status-quo. And in a way this is welcome development not only for Sabah but also for the politics of the country.