LABUAN: Efforts to develop the Federal Territory of Labuan need to be enhanced and go through a transformation process to ensure the region is on the right track towards the digitalisation era, says Senator Tan Sri Anifah Aman (pix).

Anifah, who is also chairman of the Labuan Corporation said the empowerment of the Labuan Federal Territorial Planning Executive Committee was necessary to ensure that measures to regulate, plan, coordinate and advise on the conservation, use and development of Labuan can be done effectively.

“However, the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) as the chairman of this committee can delegate the authority of the chairman, and I hope that authority is delegated to the Labuan Corporation,“ he said.

He said this when speaking at a meet-and-greet event attended by Anwar at the Financial Industry Convention Hall here today.

Anifah said the preferential tax rate of three per cent should be extended to more types of businesses in Labuan to attract local and international investors.

He said the low tax rate would reduce operating costs, allowing the company to offer more job opportunities and improve the living standards of Labuan residents.

In addition, he hoped that part of the financial income derived by Labuan would be given back to the territory for development purposes.

He said the Labuan International Business and Finance Centre (Labuan IBFC) had contributed more than RM1 billion in revenue to the government.

The senator said the provision of a Permanent Agricultural Park was also necessary to help young entrepreneurs and ensure food security, besides reducing the unemployment rate in Labuan.

The unemployment rate in Labuan, he said, was the second highest in Malaysia at 7.2 per cent even though Labuan's per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was the second highest in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur at RM85,560.

Meanwhile, Anifah hoped that the Federal government would consider building a bridge connecting Labuan and Sabah.

He said the construction of the bridge would facilitate the supply chain, where it would become simpler and cheaper to transport goods without having to depend on the times set by boat, ferry and plane services. -Bernama

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