The finding from a newly-established think tank group, was discussed in the first round of meeting yesterday by representatives of nine major sectors and to be forwarded to the higher authorities, including the Prime Minister.
The think tank is spearheaded by Labuan member of parliament Datuk Yussof Mahal with its members comprising academician, professional and players in the oil and gas, financial services, education, shipping, port services, tourism, chambers of commerce, women development and consumerism and development.
The issues include the need to look at aggressive business promotion for Labuan to increase the profile (image) of the island, the lack of basic infrastructure which has hindered investors to come to the island, creating international lifestyle, turning the University Malaysia of Sabah Labuan International Campus (UMSKAL) into a full-pledged university to cater for more programs to suit the local industries’ needs, ensuring the booming oil and gas sector supports the supporting industries, realising the government’s agenda of turning Labuan into a premier tourist destination and recommending for more flights into the island.
Yussof said the recommendation from the finding would be further discussed in the next meeting before forwarded to the Ministry of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing and Prime Minister for endorsement and consideration.
“The establishment of think tank group is merely to assist the government in policy making as well as in decision making for the benefit of the people and the industries on the island,” he said.
Yussof noted that the nine sectors playing a vital role in the development of Labuan and members are allowed to voice out and give inputs to be concluded as recommendation to the government.
“We are glad to note that the think tank members have shown their commitment by giving ideas and inputs in order to see the prosperity of the island, and this is due to the fact they are all heads of the important sectors in Labuan who are eager to see the progress and development of the island for the benefit of all. It is a fruitful meeting,” he said.
All the members have unanimously agreed to come up with a four -year action development plan, with short-term and long-term review, for the island and would have its meeting once in every two months.
Yussof said Labuan had been recognised as an oil and gas hub and international financial services centre and had greatly helped placing the island on the world map, coupled with the mega methanol Petronas Labuan, which is the fourth largest in the world.
“But unfortunately, we are still lagging behind in terms of promotion. As such, this is one of the areas we are looking at to be improved,” he said.
A member of oil and gas sector, Datuk Harris Tan, chief executive officer of Asian Supply Base, highlighted the need for business promotion overseas, currently being carried out by his group.
“When we are overseas for business trip, we are not only promoting our facilities but also other sectors like financial services as well as incentives for investors being offered in Labuan,” Harris said.
Asian Supply Base (ASB) currently houses more than 70 major international oil and gas companies, including the world’s largest and second largest oil and gas companies – Shlumberger and Halliburton.
The think tank group members are CEO of Asian Supply Base Sdn Bhd, Datuk Harris Tan; CEO of Petronas Methanol Labuan, Khairol Anuar Shukri; CEO of Labuan Shipyard Engineering Sdn Bhd, Mohd Azman Nasir for oil and gas sector; Managing Director of Labuan Liberty Port Management, Mohd Alias Abnd Rahman (Port and Logistic Services); Director General of Labuan Financial Services Authority (Labuan FSA), Datuk Azizan Abd Rahman and Datuk Chin Chee Kee (Financial Services); Chairman of Indian Chamber of Commerce Labuan, Dahlif Singh; Malaysian Malay Chamber of Commerce President Datuk Haji Yussof Mohammad and Labuan Chinese Chamber of Commerce’s Wong Kii Yii (Business Sector); Director of UMSKAL, Professor Dr Sharif Omang (Education and Human Capital); Chairwoman of Labuan Consumer Action Council and Labuan Women Association, Fauziah Datuk Mohd Din; Director of Tourism Office Labuan, Maxwell Francis (Tourism), Deputy CEO of Labuan Corporation, Siti Maznah Awg Damit and Director of Planning of Labuan Corporation, Ibrahim Tambi for development sector.