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Sabah wants drone tech to be integrated into state's economy

June 26, 2023
New Straits Times
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KOTA KINABALU: Integrating drone technology into Sabah's economy will hold great potential for the progress and prosperity of our state, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He said drones have become part of modern technology and their applications have rapidly expanded across various industries, from agriculture to infrastructure, from services to delivery, and environmental monitoring.

Hajiji said the development of drone technology should be quickly adopted by industry players, as the technology has wide-ranging applications and could address several issues promptly, including labour shortages in the agriculture sector.

"We acknowledge that integrating drone technology into Sabah's economy holds great potential for the progress and prosperity of our state.

"However, it requires the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders - the government, industry players, researchers, and the community itself," he said during the inauguration of the Sabah Drone Open Day 2023 at the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here.

He said that drones can also help ensure the preservation of fragile ecosystems for future generations and conserve our natural reserves, which are vital for tourism and environmental preservation.

"It is a new field that needs to be pioneered, and we, as the government, welcome and facilitate the development and growth of the drone industry.

"While safety regulations and drone rules are important to ensure responsible and safe drone use, it is equally crucial that these regulations should not become barriers that hinder the potential applications of drones in our economy," he added.

Hajiji added that Sabah, blessed with natural resources, cultural heritage, and a vibrant tourism industry, should not lag behind in the race to adapt technology to ensure sustainable and competitive growth in the economic sector.

"It is important for us to compete and seize the opportunities offered by technology, as it will pave the way for diversity, productivity improvement, job creation, and sustainable development," he asserted.

"Therefore, it is crucial for us to prepare our workforce to empower the digital era through skills enhancement initiatives." he added.