Sabah – paradise and a paradox
Friday October 23, 2009
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is a paradox – it is a land blessed with many resources yet remains poor.
That is how Prof W. Chan Kim, co-author of the best-selling Blue Ocean Strategy, sums up the state.
“When you have so much natural resources you are comfortable to sell what you have (but) what you have will one day disappear,” he said.
The professor, who co-authored the Blue Ocean Strategy with Renee Mauborgne, said there was a need to exploit the state’s resources in areas which are untapped.
Noting that Sabah was home to the third largest rainforest in the world, he said it was important that the state made itself known to the world as Asia’s rainforest tourism destination.
The main areas of economic growth in the world are pharmaceuticals, bio-science and telecommunications, he said, noting that the rainforest provided 25% of the ingredients for modern pharmaceutical use.
“I see Sabah as a powerful state especially compared to a place like Dubai which had nothing apart from a desert, goats and some oil and gas and today is a big tourist spot.
“You have incredible resources. Sabah can become better than Dubai but you must do more to attract the world,” he told reporters at a Yaysan Sabah-organised Blue Ocean Strategy conference opened by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman.
The Blue Ocean Strategy is about finding new market space that offers low cost, in-demand solutions.
Prof Kim said his advice to Sabah was to conserve its resources and attract people from around the world to come and multiply its resources to improve its economy and eradicate poverty.
He said the state should look at the future and adopt new ways to handle its resources.
“You have to put the pieces of the jigsaw together to get the full picture,” he said.