KUALA LUMPUR: Sabahans in Peninsular Malaysia can now feel a little closer to home  with the opening of the Sabah Liaison Office or Pejabat Perhubungan Negeri Sabah  (PPNS) Kuala Lumpur at 3 Towers in Jalan Ampang here.  

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor said PPNS KL would serve much  like an embassy for Sabahans working and residing in Peninsular Malaysia.  

“PPNS KL, a Sabah state government agency under the Chief Minister’s Department,  also acts as the Sabah State Government intermediary for dealings with the Federal  Government involving administration affairs,” he said at the official opening of the office  at the nation’s capital today.  

He said the administrative landscape of the state government had changed, hence the  need for interaction between the governments such as on issues of migration, tourism,  investment and diplomatic affairs, which necessitates the State Government to set up  the Office.  

Through PPNS KL, the Sabah state government can implement administrative policies  in a more orderly and systematic manner, he said.  

“I want the Sabah Liaison Office to ensure our investor-friendly approach succeed. In  this respect, I want the Office to bolster its role as the bridge between the Sabah and  Federal governments as well as with foreign embassies and private companies in the  peninsular,” he said.  

PPNS KL would also maximise governance management efficiency, an important factor  in attracting more investors to come to Sabah, he said.  

“I want the Office to also serve as an information centre with regard to tourism, culture  and investments,” he said.  

Hajiji said the Sabah State Government’s image would also undergo a rebranding with  the establishment of the Chief Minister’s Official Office on level 23A, Penthouse of the 3  Towers, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.  

During the CovId-19 pandemic, Hajiji said the State Government through PPNS KL had  planned and implemented various initiatives to assist Sabahans in Peninsular Malaysia.

The PPNS has received nearly 200,000 applications from Sabah for the Bantuan  Prihatin Covid-19 2.0.  

“Through the PPNS, we have spent RM357,000 for the distribution of food baskets to  Sabahans living in Peninsular Malaysia and another RM239,362.46 to help families to  send their deceased back to Sabah in 2021. All these are done to assist needy people  from Sabah,” he said.  

Hajiji said that the second pillar of the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya – human capital and  people’s prosperity, would see the construction of a Transit House for Sabahans in  Peninsular Malaysia expected to be completed in December this year.  

The new initiative would help lessen the burden in terms of cost for Sabahans dealing  with their children’s education or medical needs, he said.  

“As a government responsible for the trust entrusted to it, we will continue to fight for the  people of Sabah regardless of religion and race,” he said.  

PPNS KL has a staff strength of 34 headed by Director Sabariah Haji Saffree.  

Present at the ceremony were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and  Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali, Deputy Chief Minister III/Works Minister  Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, Speaker Datuk Seri Panglima Kadzim Yahya, Minister of  Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Haji Mohd Ariffin Arif, State Secretary Datuk  Seri Panglima Sr Safar Untong and Sabah Public Service Department Director General  Datuk Datu Rosmadi Sulai.