Our BIMP-EAGA BUSINESS COUNCIL has always been guided by the following sentiments:
Firstly, we must overhaul our mindset and start thinking as ONE GREAT NATION to overcome trust issues and eradicate selfishness. The single catalyst for this process will be FRIENDSHIP AMONG MEMBER NATIONS.
Strengthening cooperation and awareness in the BIMP-EAGA will only happen if members forgot their own orders and protective instincts and focus on the desire to serve their people well.
Within our own country, it is essential that we eradicate roadblocks to integration.
As long as we have feelings other than the above, all meetings and discussions brought forward would have been a nought or otherwise, unfulfilled satisfaction.
Your three questions has been very broad and never specific. I may find it a little difficult to comment. But nevertheless, I shall try my best. Let it be known that whatever I have answered or commented here are just my own feelings and may not necessarily tally with others.
The first and greatest achievement I noticed during and after the meetings are the friendly and smiling faces of all the participants and nobody looks antagonised or intimidating. In fact this is very essential and 50% of the battle has been won by smiling faces. Putting it simply, I view the BIMP-EAGA meeting as a backdoor channel towards more other official meeting in which over-riding negative perception can be overcome.
Secondly, the ease of networking brought about by the friendly ambiance has greatly enhanced
Regional contacts thus making all business proposals can be exchanged with much ease and no
Restrictive protocols to overcome.
Noticeable achievements as observed by the private sectors:
1. Philippine was able to produce high-yield hybrid rice seed which Malaysia was not willing to share.
2. Indonesia was successful in its seaweed production and followed by the Philippines whilst Malaysian production was dwindling because of unscrupulous middlemen.
3. Philippine acknowledge their Cavendish banana production is suffering from inclement weather and wished to share growing techniques with Malaysia who politely refused due to priority attention focussed on palm oil and also lack of arable land.
4. Malaysia has visibly executed successful planting experiment of figs in Palawan which is brought about by the positive attitude of the Governor there for the benefit of its people.
5. Indonesia has adopted FOOD SECURITY as its No:1 priority and looking forward to self-sufficient on rice and corn and now venturing on regional exports of rice and corn to Malaysia.
6. Malaysia has delayed its earlier proposal to embark on Napier Grass production due to land scarcity and can now look forward to start planting by end of this year after private land was found at great costs.
7. Brunei has quietly embarked on its research & development food program and we all can look forward to their first share of success.
8. Kudat Malaysia has completed its Ferry Terminal well ahead of schedule and fervently prayed for Bulliluyan, Palawan to ready theirs before end of this year 2017.
9. Palawan has started completion of its North-South Highway program and to end up at Bulliluyan. This road and the ferry terminal will expose Bulliluyan ( a muslim dominated province) to the rest of the world and they will share the economic cake of developments. The Governor is truly integrating his people and does not want AS to set up base at Palawan.
10. The second time start of the Gen Santos-Bitung Link on 30.4.17 is an eye opener and we hope common sense will prevail, i.e.: freedom of choice and freedom to purchase.
11. Malaysia approval to allow wooden kumpits to ply between Sabah Malaysia and the Muslim Mindanao has been the best corrective decision because in our zeal to achieve higher income brackets, we still did not forget the agony and sufferings of the under-privileged few amongst us.
12. Malaysia has technically approved the RM300.0 million cross border road to link Kalabakan/Serudung to Simanggaris, Indonesia thus completing the TRANS BORNEO HIGHWAY that encircle the whole island.
13. Sabah & Palawan has finally started talking to link power cable between Kudat and Bulliluyan and if everything goes on well, the Palawan will have their power by 2019.
14. Sabah & and the BASULTA archipelago (Basilan, Sulu & Tawitawi) will commence their first talk in the not too distance future where Sabah can also provide power to outlying islands of Mindanao.
15. Whilst Kalimantan Barat is buying power from Sarawak Malaysia, talks are underway for Kalimantan Utara to supply power to Sabah Malaysia, just to balance off the trade difference if any. This we call it mutual respect for symbiotic relationship.
Malaysia has always practiced mutual respect for one another and have always has difficulty to say “NO”. Initially when we first tried on our Prosper thy Neighbour approach, we did it with care and feelings filled with sincerity. After all, the hands that giveth is always better than the hands that receive. That was the time when we also had our share of domestic difficulties. Now, over the passage of time, situation has reversed and we truly welcome legal Contributors to our economic wellbeing.
BIMP-EAGA is here to stay and we should be thankful for its very existence. Of course we cannot deny the slow pace for its developmental program, but the recent inclusion of the private sectors has greatly amplify its public image.
The planned agendas may not be interesting for the average businessmen who may want to listen to project announcement. Only the selected and privileged few can fully understood the course it is taking and benefit to prosper the projects it can successfully initiate along the way.
The completion of the Kudat-Bulliluyan submarine cable will complete the Asean Power grid.
The ferry link between Kudat-Bulliluyan will further integrate the people of our nation.
If Sabah and Kalimantan Utara can embarked to plant Cavendish banana jointly with Mindanao, then all the Certificate of Origin can truly show ‘BIMPEAGA’, a feat that the Government can facilitate truly by rendering lands for the planting instead of merely lip service or exhibiting rhetoric grandeur for the occasion.
Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed.