April 22, 2012: Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Anifah Aman proposed that Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) set up a branch campus here to meet the needs of the growing oil and gas industry in the State.
He said a 600-acre site in Mandahan would be ideal to set up the university as it is close to the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) here.
"The 600-acre land was initially kept aside to build a bigger Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), but later this was not carried out as the State Government decided to further develop the present KKIA into a bigger airport É which we are seeing now.
"Hence, I see there is a huge potential to develop the land for education purposes not only for Kimanis residents but also for the State as well as the country."
Anifah, who is Foreign Minister, said this while officiating at the presentation of SMK Agama Limauan's Excellence Awards 2011 here.
Also present were the school's principal Ismail Mamat, Kimanis Umno officials and parents.
"I will apply to the local authorities not to give away the land (600-acre) to companies for private development but to specifically allocate it for the proposed establishment of UTP here.
"Having the higher learning institution here would uplift development in Kimanis and our local youths who have interest to pursue tertiary studies in technical fields could enroll into the university. This would cut education costs for Sabahans who would otherwise have to go to peninsula to continue their studies.
"At the same time, the SOGT could also get sufficient manpower and qualified human resources for the oil and gas industry in Sabah," Anifah said.
Petronas set up a Kimanis Petronas Training Centre with its temporary campus at Membakut Jaya, this year, and is in the midst of constructing a permanent campus of the centre worth RM30 million here.
"Once the centre is completed in a few years' time, I will liaise with Petronas to set up its university branch here as part of its contribution and corporate social responsibility to the people in Kimanis and Sabah," he said.
Anifah, meanwhile, advised students to not use their academic and religious knowledge to defame and degrade people's lives for self-interest and personal gain.
"It is best for students to practise and apply their knowledge and academic qualification to develop the society and the nation.
"Do not use your intelligence in the wrong way like slandering people to get what you want when you clearly know the accusation is not true.
Nothing good will come from this despicable act," he said, pointing out that his family and he himself were previously defamed on the Internet by unscrupulous people for political gain.