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What the Bum Bum folks really need
Published on: Sunday, April 22, 2018

By A Suluk Economist

DATUK Seri Najib just announced that the government will build a bridge linking mainland Semporna and Bum Bum Island.

This was made during his visit to Semporna last week.

This shows that the BN Government has no economic plan for the whole country.

Najib can just simply approve any request from Sabah at the spur of the moment.

The proposed bridge may cost around RM 500 million.

This is a contractor’s economy. What the people of Bum Bum wanted was an economic project, where they earn and increase their income, to meet their rising cost of living. With the bridge, the cost of living at Bum Bum Island would double as every family will buy a “kancil” at least.

Bum Bum has an area of 20,000 acres and a population of over 20,000 who are one hundred per cent “Suluks”.

These people are sea fearing. They are fishermen and can stay at sea for weeks.

Therefore, what the government should do is plan the establishment of at least two or four deep sea fishing complexes. The proposed fishing complexes similar to the failed fishing complex at Terengganu.

Established on joint by both Malaysia and Thai government at a cost more than RM 50 million for thirty years ago.

It was officiated by both Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Thailand.

After just more than a year of operations, it was closed down because it was losing tons of money.

It was reported that the failure was because of the joint crews. The Malaysia crew only went out for an hour and then back to Terengganu and not working for a week or two. The Thais crew continued doing fishing for a week or two, then in the absence of Malaysian crew sold the catch at sea, and bring hundred kilos just to proof poor catch.

Again, it was reported the crew will be sent back to the boat just an hour before reaching the fishing complex to show their presence in boat. The reason is that these Malays of Terengganu are not fishermen nor sea fearing like the Suluk.

Sabah is reported to be surrounded by fish. Some 30 years ago, it was reported by United Nation in a FAO survey that fish around Sabah died at sea. Unfortunately, after all these years, there is not a single deep sea fishing complex.

This is not understood, when there are plenty of fish; the market is ready and over 400,000 Suluk sea fearing men are ready to go into deep sea fishing. The government should plan for the development of four deep sea fishing complexes at Bum Bum and at the same time improve infrastructures; allocate 2 acres for the planning of cash such as Marungai – there is market for Marungai. Sixty years old professor, Prof. Ungku Aziz during the launching of Rural Development by Tun Abdul Razak then Deputy Prime Minister, Development of Infrastructures are completed the rural people have the income to sustain improved living standard.

Such as, with the establishment of fishing complexes and cash props, the people Bum Bum with the completion of bridge can afford not only to buy Kancil, but Proton Saga.

It is noticeable that despite there are billions and billions Federal Funds being allocated to Sabah, the economy of the people remains stagnant. With modern living and without economic activities, the people are getting poor and poorer in relatives’ terms.

A Suluk Economist

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