KOTA KINABALU (Mon): The Institute for Development Studies (Sabah) is pleased to welcome Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub Hj. Johari as the Chairman of the Board of Directors effective from 14 December 2020.
Datuk Dr. Mohd Yaakub has previously served IDS since its establishment in 1985, in which he was the Executive Director/Chief Executive of the Institute for fifteen years from 1994 to 2009, prior to his appointment in 2009 as the President/Chief Executive of the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA). He had served as the President/Chief Executive of SEDIA until June 2020.
Over the course of his professional career, Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yaakub has sat on the board of various corporate bodies including Suria Capital Holdings Bhd., Warisan Harta Sabah Sdn. Bhd., and Kimanis Power Sdn. Bhd. among others. He currently sits on the board of Permodalan Nasional Berhad.
Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yaakub is an alumnus of University of Salford, England where he attained his PhD in Sociology. He holds a Master of Science in Liberal Studies from University of Manchester, and Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences from University of Sussex.
As the newly appointed chairman, Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yaakub has expressed his priority in realigning IDS to meet current challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic turbulence exacerbated by disruptive technology, domestic political instability, geo-political and regional economic tensions. Sabah had in the recent years witnessed its economy spiralling downwards from 8.2 percent in 2017 to 1.5% in 2018 and continue weakening to 0.5 % last year.
He added that, the political re-alignment at the state level following the recent State Election with the federal government augurs well for Sabah. The commitment by the federal government to assist in the development of the state as indicated through the 2021 National Budget and the commitment by Petronas on the sales tax to be paid to the State Government are clearly very much welcome. The later commitment has also been incorporated in the Sabah State 2021 Budget, tabled by the Chief Minister on 18th December 2020.
The State Budget for 2021 amounting to RM4.3 billion focuses on achieving sustainable economic growth for the people’s wellbeing is the first budget for the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government. Sabah is projected to collect RM4.48 billion in revenue next year, generating a surplus of RM178.7 million.
Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) Development Plan expected to be tabled in January, will be implemented over five years from 2021 to 2025. Among its objectives are to build a united, peaceful and prosperous State and society, to optimise the State resources and revenue, to stimulate economic recovery, to improve the people’s economy, and to develop human capital. It is a strategic direction of the development of the State. This plan will move in line with the main framework of national development through the Shared Prosperity Vision (WKB).
IDS is committed to assist the State and Federal Government to develop the state to realise the vision of Sabah Maju Jaya, an innovative, economically successful, united, liveable and a partner in Nation Building with sustainable and Shared Prosperity by 2030.
Since its inception, IDS had assisted in the preparation of the Sabah Action Blueprint, serving as the secretariat of the Sabah Economic Action Council during the Asian Financial Crises, launching of the Agenda Halatuju Pembangunan dan Kemajuan Negeri Sabah, formulation of the Sabah Development Corridor Blueprint and also the establishment of Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority.
Since its establishment, apart from assisting the Sabah State Government in carrying out development analyses and policy studies, IDS had also provided feedback to the Sabah State Government on public policy issues, such as the Malaysia Agreement 1963, highlighted key issues and development problems encountered by the public, assist in monitoring the effectiveness of the government delivery services, and provided second opinion and policy options for the government.
In delivering its services, IDS is committed to a high degree of integrity and professionalism, and uphold the principles of good governance. Given the increasingly volatile, uncertain, increasingly complex and ambiguous global scenario underpinned by the emergence IR 4.0, IDS need to carve a new approach to stay relevant and ahead of the curve.
In this regard, everyone in IDS, from its staff, management, directors and members need to have all hands-on deck, engage in meaningful cooperation and take on clear responsibilities together with all stakeholders to deliver superior outcomes. This requires IDS staff to continuously take the responsibility to enhance their respective professionalism. IDS corporate culture shall embrace greater freedom, creativity, flexibility and speed to allow its staff and everyone in IDS deliver superior outcomes. The aim is to unleash and channel the skills, knowledge, talents and energy of IDS human capital into meaningful channels so that it can lead to superior outcome and timely solutions
He said it is most crucial that IDS, as a research institution familiarise itself with digitalisation and state-of-the-art knowledge and information management system in order to anticipate the future, move forward and minimise potential damage to come up with workable solutions. IDS should be unique, a class of its own, chart its destiny and carve its place among the globally renown development policy research institutes.
IDS’ Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Kiob said that Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yaakub’s vast knowledge and experience in research, social and economic development, as well as the corporate sector would be very helpful for the Institute in charting its future to remain relevant.
The newly appointed IDS chairman, new board members, Dr. Ramzah Dambul, Azrul Ibrahim, Muhammad Suffian Bin Hindi, Philip Yaditing and Haji Amde Sidik as well as the existing board members will hold a Special Board Meeting on 22 December 2020, in conjunction with the handing over ceremony of IDS Chairmanship from YB Datuk Darrel Leiking to Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yaakub Johari.