SPEECH OF YAB DATUK SERI  MUSA HJ AMAN, CHIEF MINISTER OF SABAH AT THE INNER WHEEL CLUB DISTRICT 330 AGM CUM FELLOWSHIP WEEKEND, AT LE MERIDIEN HOTEL, KOTA KINABALU, ON 17TH  MARCH 2012

 

It gives me great pleasure to be here this evening and I wish to thank the organizing committee for this invitation to the 32nd Annual General Meeting of Inner Wheel District 330 celebration ball. I was made to understand this is a weekend for Inner Wheel Members to relax and rejuvenate and I am happy to note that you have chosen Kota Kinabalu to do this. Indeed, Sabah – the Land Below the Wind, continues to attract locals tourists from other parts of Malaysia and from all over the world. Kota Kinabalu has the second busiest airport in Malaysia with tourism arrivals of 2.8 million annually. Apart from nature attractions, we offer facilities for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE). Due to this, international and domestic visitors enjoy coming to Sabah, in particular Kota Kinabalu, for business and leisure. I was told that many of you attended the 14th International Inner Wheel Convention held here in May 2009 and can testify to what Sabah can offer.

 

Sabah is undergoing rapid development as part of Malaysia’s transformation programmes, including those which focus on the economy. Aside from growing with the rest of the nation through national plans, Sabah has its own development agenda with main thrusts in tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. Presently, our agriculture sector is performing well, driven by the palm oil sector, while tourism has remained a strong income and employment generator. The Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park and other initiatives such as the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster are driving the manufacturing sector, with focus on creating downstream products from palm oil and from oil and gas.

 

On a different note, I would like to speak about the role that women play in contributing to socio-economic development. Women are top performers in institutes of higher learning. About 50 years ago, only one out of every 10 local undergraduates were women, but today more than six out of 10 first degree holders are women. Malaysia’s development plans have always been inclusive, and have ensured continuous increased participation of women in the workforce and the number of women in key decision-making positions. Our country also continues to support single mothers with small incomes, and to encourage entrepreneurship among women who live in rural areas. I believe these measures are in line with the Inner Wheel vision of true friendship, personal service and understanding. As the world’s largest women service organization with over 100,000 members worldwide, you have continued to serve with dedication and passion. It has been said that it only takes a small effort to make a big difference. I would like to congratulate Inner Wheel Club members for making a difference through your service to mankind. However, it is said that “all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl.” I hope that women with their hectic multiple roles will make time to take care of their health and manage stress.

 

On this note, I wish to congratulate the President and members of the Inner Wheel Club of Kota Kinabalu for successfully organizing this AGM and Fellowship Weekend. I hope that you will continue to strive for excellence in the years to come, and wish you all the best in your future undertakings.  Thank you.