to impact

LABUAN — The Labuan development blueprint is set to change the landscape with the economic potential impacting the region, said Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli.

Rozman said Labuan Corp was preparing the comprehensive and detailed blueprint, and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was expected to launch it towards the year-end.

He said inputs from various relevant ministries, industry players and the Sabah State Government had been obtained in the preparation of the blueprint.

“Back up with various investment potentials, we are optimistic to be able to contribute to the whole region.

“This is in line with the Sabah state government’s aspiration to see Labuan prosper when it agreed to hand it (the blueprint) over to the Federal government,” he said.

Rozman said this at a joint press conference with Bank Negara Malaysia governor, Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim, at the release of Labuan Financial Services 2015 Annual Report yesterday.

He said there was still a “missing link” that needed to be addressed, which was the connectivity to the mainland of Borneo (Sabah and Sarawak).

“We are still adamant of stressing the ‘bridge idea’, the construction of bridge which in turn will help improve the island’s economy and population as well as to complement the surrounding areas. The blueprint has outlined for Labuan to be satellite town,” he said.

Labuan has diversified its economy by focusing on tourism and education sectors, following the slump of oil prices, he said.

“We are receiving direct flights from China this year, which will bring at least 2,000 Chinese tourists per week to the island.

“The upgrading of the infrastructure on the island for tourists and visitors is in the pipeline,” he said.

He said Malindo Air was expected to introduce scheduled flights from other cities to Labuan and vice versa.

Meanwhile, he said, the Federal Government had channelled huge allocations into the duty-free-island for development since the early days when Labuan was elevated into one of the federal territories.

Rozman said the funds have enabled the island to prosper and enjoy continuous rapid development.

He said the status of Labuan as Malaysia’s international financial centre has paved the way for a number of direct investments and the growth of infrastructure like roads and airport. — Bernama

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