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“Return Labuan To Sabah” – Tuaran MP Tells Federal Gov After Years Of “Broken Promises”

“Return Labuan To Sabah” – Tuaran MP Tells Federal Gov After Years Of “Broken Promises”

Labuan is facing an alarmingly high unemployment rate and the locals are questioning if it’s worthwhile to remain a federal territory.

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Tuaran MP, Wilfred Madius Tangau, is urging the government to return Labuan to Sabah, claiming Putrajaya failed to develop the tax-free island as promised.

Madius pointed out that the unemployment rate in Labuan is still alarmingly high at over 7% despite being under federal jurisdiction for some time, with various taxation laws introduced and approved.

According to Free Malaysia Today, Madius said Labuan’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was RM85,560, the second highest in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur. Most of it is attributed to the local oil and gas sector.

However, most of these activities are part of the Sabah government’s initiatives under Asian Supply Base Sdn Bhd (ASB), not federal initiatives. If ASB were to leave Labuan, we would lose 5,000 job opportunities.

Pakatan Harapan MP in Tuaran, Wilfred Madius Tangau

Some companies registered through the Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA) also moved their operations to Kuala Lumpur. Madius questioned why companies allow this and why they can’t attract investors to do business in Labuan.

Due to some of the factors listed above, Madius added that the people of Labuan are questioning if it’s still worthwhile for Labuan to remain a federal territory.

By returning Labuan to Sabah, Madius believes they can promote the island by promoting the local customs and culture.

Returning Labuan to Sabah also meant that Labuan would come within the domestic Immigration Zone of Sabah.

This means travel between Sabah and Labuan, by land, water, and air, and eventually by Labuan Bridge, will not face the hassle of immigration control.

Last week, former chief minister Dato Yong Teck Lee said the return of Labuan to Sabah was inevitable because the federal government repeatedly failed to keep its promises to Sabah and Labuan during the federalisation process of Labuan in 1984.

The federal government promised to keep Labuan a free port and an expanded barter trade and business centre. However, Labuan has become a tax revenue collection island for the federal coffers.

Yong said the other promises such as national integration, national security, speed up development, and Labuan as an international conference centre, offer the local people little to no benefits.

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