The Ministry of Finance is planning to extend banking services to the small town of Sook near here for the convenience of the people in the area, Deputy Finance Minister II Shahar Abdullah said.
Shahar said he had been briefed by several quarters, including Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Arthur Joseph Kurup on the importance of banking services in area.
“I notice the population here (in Sook) has increased to about 70,000. Therefore, this requirement (banking services) is urgent and we will consider it,” he told reporters after opening a Sahabat Amanah entrepreneurial workshop on challenges of new norms organised by Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) here.
Arthur Joseph, who is also Member of Parliament for Pensiangan, and AIM Sabah regional general manager Norashifah Salleh were present.
Shahar said a detailed study on the banking services requirement in the area had to be done first after taking into account all aspects before a decision is made.
“The detailed study is very important to ensure its effectiveness, which is why the Ministry of Finance (MoF) needs to go down to the ground to see the needs of the people here,” he said.
Sook, one of the districts in the Pensiangan parliamentary constituency besides Nabawan, is located 41 kilometres from Keningau and 148 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu.
On AIM, Shahar said the MoF has disbursed RM23 million to its recipients, who needed a loan to start a business, since the agency was established in 1987.
A total of 378,000 AIM recipients were registered nationwide covering 30 territories, of which 82,716 were from Sabah.
Shahar urged Sahabat AIM in the state, especially in Sook, to change from traditional business methods to ebusiness to increase their revenue.
At the event, he announced an allocation of RM50,000 for the Nabawan branch of Kelab Usahawan Sahabat AIM. – BERNAMA