Time for Mahathir to help Labuan prosper
Labuan: The business community in the duty-free-island here are optimistic the island will not be neglected amid being an opposition federal territory.
They were of the view Labuan, being Malaysia's international financial and oil and gas hubs, with foreign expatriates operating on the island, needs federal government's attention.
A local businessman, Datuk Shamsul Sahari said Labuan was elevated to a federal territory in 1984, as agreed both by the Prime Minister and former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh.
"Rationally, despite the island is now an opposition federal territory, we believe Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will give attention to help develop further the island and to help boost economic activities here," he said in Tuesday.
Labuan is now an opposition federal territory after the GE14 which saw Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Rozman Isli winning the election with a slim majority.
"We need Federal Government's help to attract investment into the island for employment and business activities," he said.
"We do need to see some stability to continue to enjoying the economic performance that we are seeing in Labuan previously, which benefit the people and business community – but that can disappear overnight, if the island is neglected, but this will not happen," he said.
Labuan Indian Chamber of Commerce Datuk Daliph Singh also joined the chorus by saying that the Federal Government should have a long term development plan.
"It is a matter of time after everything is in place that, Labuan will be in the list of the country's economic development plan.
"Although, technically, Labuan is in the opposition, we disagreed predictions that the future of Labuan will be bleak.
"It was Dr Mahathir who agreed to shift the administration of Labuan to the Federal Territory, and we believe, he will now to help Labuan to come up as what he did to Langkawi." - Sohan Das