Matrade on track to increase export value of mid-tier MTCs to RM15 billion by 2021

Posted on : 13-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is on track to increase the export value of local mid-tier companies (MTCs) to RM15 billion by 2021 via the Mid-Tier Companies Development Programme (MTCDP).

Last year, the export value of the 101 MTCs under the MTCDP’s Wave 1 and 2 Programmes reached RM5.67 billion, up by RM1.52 billion from the RM4.15 billion in 2014, said Matrade’s Senior Director Strategic Planning Division, Wan Latiff Wan Musa.

“This year, we will see a better performance in exports as we recruited 54 local MTCs for the MTCDP’s Wave 3 Programme on April 1.

“We are also confident that upon completion of the programme, export revenue generated by the 54 MTCs would increase by eight per cent next year, up from the current RM1.2 billion,” he told Bernama yesterday.

Established in 2014, the MTCDP is a nine-month programme hosted by Matrade to help local MTCs from various sectors accelerate their export growth and strengthen their core business functions.

The programme will be implemented in eight waves over eight years and is expected to create 21,000 high-income jobs by 2021.

On the MTCDP, Wan Latiff said Matrade would diagnose, provide capacity building training such as product branding or new technology adoption to the participating companies.

He said Matrade would also facilitate those companies, ready to venture into new markets, by arranging business matching opportunities and holding seminars for them.

“After completing the nine-month programme, the companies will be absorbed into another programme called ‘Ramp-Up’,” he added.

The “Ramp-Up” is a two-year programme targeted at sustaining the growth momentum of the MTCs, further deepen their linkages in the international markets and help them grow to become future Malaysian Multinational Companies (MNCs).

“During the period, we will guide them on how to do business marketing and export promotions,” Wan Latiff said.

He also said that the programme would also enable the MTCs to cope with the higher demand from the other 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations once the agreement came into effect.

“When their exports grow, it means their capacity has increased and can cope with demand from TPP markets,” he added.

The other 11 TPP countries are the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

MTCs are companies with an annual revenue of between RM50 million to RM500 million in the manufacturing sector and between RM20 million to RM500 million in other sectors.

They contribute 30 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and represent 22 per cent of the workforce despite only making up about one per cent of all establishments in Malaysia.

Currently, there are about 9,900 mid-tier companies in Malaysia.

SOURCE–BERNAMA

Malaysia’s herbal-based F&B exports to reach RM400 million a year

Posted on : 13-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The export value of Malaysia’s herbal-based food and beverages is expected to reach between RM300 million and RM400 million a year, driven by the increasing popularity of herbal and natural products among consumers.

“Currently, our herbal industry growth rate is estimated at 15 per cent yearly and projected to worth RM29 billion by 2020,” Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said.

Speaking to reporters following the soft launch of the 10th Herbal Asia Trade Fair 2016 here today, he said industry players should intensify their research and development and tap into the export market.

“The herbal industry is a promising industry. Malaysia is well positioned to become a key global player as it is blessed with rich biodiversity and cultural background,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Dzulkifli said the herbal industry had contributed towards the production of diverse products ranging from healthcare, food, cosmetic and personal care.

On the global herbal market, he said the nutraceuticals market was valued at US$70 billion (US$1=RM4.02), while phytomedicine (US$20 billion), with an average growth rate of between 15 and 20 per cent annually.

Meanwhile, Herbal Asia Trade Fair 2016 Project Director Safinah Yaakob said the fair would focus on facilitating business linkages as Malaysian herbal industry players were poised for the export market.

She said 350 exhibitors from 10 countries, including Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Italy were expected to occupy the 6,599 square-meter exhibition floor to showcase their products, machineries and technologies.

“The trade show is expected to generate RM6 million in sales compared with RM5 million last year.

“The figure gap is small because we need to compete with other countries which are also promoting their herbs,” she said, adding that eight countries had already registered for the event which is expected to attract 10,000 visitors.

The Herbal Asia Trade Fair 2016 themed ‘Towards Sustainable Market Place for Herbal, Green and Natural Supply’ will be held at the Matrade Exhibition and Convention Centre here from Oct 5-8.

Among events arrayed at the fair are business-matching sessions, a trade buyer programme, a herbal conference and a herbal Asia programme.

Safinah said the Herbal Asia Trade Fair would be promoted during the Thailand Lab International Exhibition in Bangkok from Sept 21-23 and the Herbal Asia Italy on Nov 10.

About 50 Malaysian companies are expected to take part in the Thai exhibition with over RM1 million transactions expected, while 30 Malaysian companies showcasing their products at the Herbal Asia Italy are expected to generate RM10 million in sales, she added.

“Italy is one of the biggest buyers of herbal products in Europe and its halal sector is also booming. It is a huge market for Malaysian halal herbal products and services,” she said.

SOURCE–BERNAMA

A good start for new Bank Negara governor

Posted on : 11-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

There was a slightly awkward feeling when Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s name was not called out as usual as the Bank Negara governor.

Instead, when the master of ceremonies at the Global Islamic Finance Forum 5.0 event in Kuala Lumpur today announced the arrival of the governor, it was Muhammad Ibrahim who appeared.

Looking rather calm and composed, Muhammad marched confidently to the stage after being invited to deliver his first ever keynote address as the new central bank leader.

Muhammad, who was appointed early this month, still showed a little anxiety even though it was not his first keynote speech.

“Maybe his new position made him a little nervous,” a source close to him told Bernama.

But with his vast experience and familiarity in the industry, the former deputy governor quickly overcame his nerves and finished his speech with style and confidence.

His first official event attracted huge interest from the media seeking his comments on current issues, hoping to find a governor whose views might differ from his predecessor’s.

The turnout at the Sasana Kijang hall was exceptional, with almost 30 reporters, including about 10 from television stations, waiting for a door-stop session with Muhammad before he left.

Top on their list of questions was whether 1MDB would default on its coupon payment on a US$1.75 billion bond due today.

Maintaining his smile, Muhammad gave a short and concise answer: the government would honour all its debt obligations.

Before leaving, he reminded the reporters of Bank Negara’s upcoming first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) announcement on Friday, one of the central bank’s major annual events.

“See you guys on Friday,” said the gentleman in the black suit.

The symbolism – signifying the end of the era of the lady in the blue ‘baju kurung’ – could not have gone unnoticed.

SOURCE:-BERNAMA

“Model for power trading between ASEAN countries”

Posted on : 11-05-2016 | By : sabah today | In : International News

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s is moving into the power export business with the commissioning of the Sarawak-West Kalimantan 275kV transmission line, bringing much-needed electricity supply to the Indonesian province.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili said the project, which is operated by the Bengkayang Substation in West Kalimantan, is a model for power trading between Asean countries.

The interconnection began operating on Jan 21 this year and the grid has been supplying about 70mW of power per day to West Kalimantan and surrounding areas as of May 9.

“We, both the Malaysian and Indonesian teams, are proud to be able to execute this long-awaited dream of power trading between neighbouring countries,” Ongkili said.

The substation started construction in 2013 after Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Sjotveit and PT PLN (Indonesian state-owned electricity company) president director Nur Pamudji signed a power exchange agreement detailing the export of electricity from Sarawak to West Kalimantan.

Both countries subsequently set up joint technical committee to expedite the process of power trading.

“I commend the committee members from both countries for their efforts, after numerous trial tests, the Bengkayang Substation is now operating very well and the people of West Kalimantan have been enjoying better electricity supply,” Ongkili said.

“Malaysia and Indonesia are proud of this successful development,” said Ongkili in a statement here.

He had earlier visited the Bengkayang substation on Tuesday along with West Kalimantan governor Dr M.H. Cornelis.

Ongkili other power export projects in the works include Malacca-Sumatra interconnection that is still under development, while the Nunukan-Sabah link is at the planning stage.

He said these projects demonstrated that the long-proposed Asean Power Grid (APG) was not impossible to achieve.

“SEB and PT PLN has already proven that power trading between countries can be done successfully despite a lot of concern regarding technical standard, grid stability and tariff pricing,” he opined.

This energy development, he further explained, is highly recommended because it comes from renewable energy resources, which are sustainable and environmentally friendly.

SOURCE:-THE STAR

World Bank confident M’sia will grow additional 8% GDP by 2030

Posted on : 27-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

27th February, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank is confident that Malaysia will experience 8.0 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 2030, on top of normal growth, driven by the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
World Bank Group Global Practice on Trade and Competitiveness Senior Director Anabel Gonzalez said the additional 8.0 per cent growth would be the result of elimination of both tariff measures and non-tariff measures, post-TPPA. “Provided the countries approve the deal, the TPPA will come into force in 2018 and from there, the period of liberalisation and reduction in tariffs will begin.
“It will take some time to reach zero tariff and we expect this to happen in 2030,” she told reporters after speaking at the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute Strategic Issues Forum (SIF)/Corporate Malaysia Roundtable.
Gonzalez also said the World Bank Global Economic Prospects Report observed that the largest gains in GDP were expected in smaller, open TPPA member economies such as Malaysia and Vietnam.
This is because the two economies would benefit from lower tariffs and non-tariff measures in large export markets and at home, as well as, from stronger positions in regional supply chains through deeper integration.
While some quarters were concerned with Malaysia’s ability to compete internationally when all barriers were down, Gonzalez remained optimistic, saying that Malaysia had already been competing in international markets and it continued to do well.
“The question right now is how much more can be done and what kind of measures can be put in place to increase productivity,” she added. –Bernama
(Source: New Sabah Times)
27th February, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank is confident that Malaysia will experience 8.0 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 2030, on top of normal growth, driven by the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

PM launches Sabah and Sarawak Biomass Industry Devt Plan

Posted on : 26-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 26, 2016
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday launched the Sabah and Sarawak Biomass Industry Development Plan, which he described as a major milestone in Malaysia’s bid to become South East Asia’s premier biomass processing hub.
“In order to be a contender as the premier biomass processing hub in South East Asia, Sabah and Sarawak would have to play an instrumental role,” he said, pointing out that combined, the two states account for more than 50 per cent of biomass resources in Malaysia.
“If we could convert these biomass resources to higher value products such as biofuels and biochemicals, it can create a pathway for further downstream processing into products such as bioplastics,” he said at the launch of the plan here.
Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, and Assistant Minister in the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Len Talif Salleh representing Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the state-level biomass development plans are the fruits of close collaboration between the federal and state governments in formulating specific biomass opportunities that are unique to individual states.
“Both state governments are adopting a progressive vision and taking concrete measures to maximise their biomass potential, so that industry can co-develop a competitive regional biomass value chain and eco-system,” he said.
Najib said the Sabah and Sarawak state governments and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) would establish a local task force to implement their respective biomass action plan.
Under the plan, he said, Sabah could create RM3.2 billion in additional Gross National Income (GNI), RM13.5 billion in new investment opportunities and 25,000 new jobs leveraging on the 4.8 million dry tonnes of its biomass feedstock from the oil palm sector.
Biomass development in Sabah would focus on three main clusters namely Lahad Datu, Sandakan and Tawau, he said.
For Sarawak, he said, the biomass industry developmentcould generate an additional RM4.8 billion in GNI, create 30,000 new jobs and RM18 billion in investment opportunities for the state throughout the value chain, utilising around six million dry tonnes of its biomass resources.
The key biomass clusters in Sarawak would be Bintulu, Miri, Tanjung Manis and Kuching, he said.
Najib said the development of the biomass industry could help the country reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and increase its ability to weather global economic uncertainties while contributing positively towards Malaysia’s march to become a high-income nation by 2020.
He said Malaysia’s biomass sector had added nearly 7,000 jobs through new ventures since 2010.
“The sector can add a significant number of new high value jobs when some of the biofuel and biochemical projects start commercial-scale production in the next three years,” he said.
Since 2011, Najib said, Malaysia has made notable leaps in attractiveness as one of the region’s preferred biomass investment locations.
He cited a recent independent benchmarking study conducted on global biomass economies, which ranked Malaysia number one in the South East Asia region due to vast improvements in infrastructure and strong holistic government support for the biomass industry from 2010 to 2015. In 2014, a total of 12 biomass projects amounting to RM82.9 billion were approved compared with 11 projects worth RM54.6 million in 2013, he said.
“While most approved projects to date have been bioenergy-related, the increase in the on-going development of higher value added biomass projects such as biofuels and biochemicals are testaments that Malaysia is moving in the right direction,” he said.
Meanwhile Adenan, in his speech read by Len Talif, said Sarawak would integrate biomass as a new promoted industry under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) guided by a detailed roadmap and an action plan.
“Sarawak can host 10 biofuel or biochemical plants in various stages of development, mobilising six out of the 19 million dry tonnes of biomass in Bintulu, Miri, Tanjung Manis and Kuching in the next 10 to 15 years,” he said.
Musa, in his speech read by Tan, said Sabah’s Ministry of Industrial Development would be sprearheading the realisation of the Sabah and Sarawak Biomass Industry Development Plan.
“For the firt time, we can say with certainty that some serious biomass investments are coming into Sabah, and one or two of them should start some time this year,” he said. — Bernama
(Source: The Star)
February 26, 2016
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday launched the Sabah and Sarawak Biomass Industry Development Plan, which he described as a major milestone in Malaysia’s bid to become South East Asia’s premier biomass processing hub.

Explore new industries, says PM

Posted on : 26-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

26 February 2016
PUTRAJAYA: New industries must be explored to lessen the country’s dependency on traditional commodities, especially in current times when prices are sliding, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said developing new industries, like the biomass sector, had great potential for the country.
Malaysia, he said, had set its sight on becoming a premier biomass processing hub in South-East Asia, an initiative under the national biomass strategy 2020 (NBS2020).
“In order to be a contender, both Sabah and Sarawak, which account for more than 50% of biomass generated in the country, will have to play a key role for this plan to be successful,” he said when launching the Sabah and Sarawak Biomass Industry Development Plan.
Najib outlined why the two states were important in this effort, saying that Sabah had the largest oil palm planted area and milling activities and if 4.8 million dry tonnes of palm oil biomass was utilised for higher value applications, it could help create RM3.2bil in additional Gross National Income, RM13.5bil in new investment opportunities and create more than 25,0000 jobs.
Sarawak has a multi-biomass feedstock proposition such as forestry, oil palm, dedicated crops and biomass industry development, which can generate an additional RM4.8bil in GNI, create 30,000 new jobs and RM18bil in investment opportunities by utilising about six billion dry tonnes of biomass.
The key biomass clusters are Lahad Datu, Sandakan and Tawau in Sabah and Bintulu, Miri, Tanjung Manis and Kuching in Sarawak.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Seri Adenan Satem said the state would integrate biomass as a new industry under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy.
“We are confident that a realistic and well-executed biomass development industry can contribute towards Sarawak becoming a high income state in the next four years,” said Adenan, whose speech was delivered by assistant minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datuk Len Talif Salleh.
(Source: The Star)
26 February 2016
PUTRAJAYA: New industries must be explored to lessen the country’s dependency on traditional commodities, especially in current times when prices are sliding, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said developing new industries, like the biomass sector, had great potential for the country.

14th general election real test for Umno – Musa

Posted on : 23-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 23, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the 14th general election would be the real test for Umno and he called for increased work movement and maximisation of the party’s machinery efficiency.
“Everyone must be united and work collectively. This should also be the main focus of the party and the government,” he said at the Umno Sabah Silver Jubilee celebration held at the Umno Sabah building near here yesterday.
Musa added that if the party could be successful for 25 years, there should not be any reason why it could not hold on to the helm for another 25 years, perhaps even forever.
He also stressed that the upcoming general election was the party’s destination and that winning was the collective aim of all.
Musa also reminded that Umno has successfully ventured into Sabah and is now the largest party in the state.
“The challenge is how we can defend Umno’s capability to continue to be the choice party of the people of Sabah,” he said.
He cautioned the party’s leaders and members against following the rhythm of the opposition and reminded them that Umno Sabah had excellent track record that was not merely heard but seen and felt by the people of Sabah.
He also mentioned that due to the present state government, the agenda of the people of Sabah was no longer merely a state agenda but had become a national agenda.
“And as the captain of Sabah Umno and of the state government, I pledge to continue fighting to look after the rights of the people and interest of the state,” he said.
In his speech, he also reminded that the party’s strength was due to the people’s support, the unity of the members and for their fighting spirit.
He also said the existence of Umno in Sabah had brought meanings to the political landscape, state economic development and prosperity of the people.
Musa also shared the origin of Umno Sabah and why Umno was selected.
“History cannot be separated from mankind. Without realizing it, we have travelled with history. We have created history and would not be here today and tomorrow without our past history,” he said.
He added that history was important in the political struggle as it served as a guide to ensure they continued to be on the right track to move forward.
In addition, history also acted as a compass that drove our direction to achieve our real objectives, he said.
In the context of Umno Sabah’s origin, Musa said following the formation of Malaysia, the people of Sabah decided to form local political parties that were based on their respective races.
“After several decades of independence and in the formation of Malaysia, the political scenario in Sabah was far from being stable with changing state governments. Not only were the majority of our people divided politically, between Muslim Bumiputras and non-Muslim Bumiputras and the Chinese, but more sadly, the instability had stopped our progress and the state was far behind other states, including our neighbour Sarawak,” he said.
The state governments formed were incapable of making long-term plans and focused mainly on the needs of the races that were represented in extreme politicking environment, he said.
Aside from that, the relationship the state had with the federal government was also weak, he said.
Musa said with that realization, the people of Sabah knew they needed a new political model that could also serve as a unifying force.
“At that time, the change was not a choice but a demand because we realised that instability and disunity were not beneficial to anyone. The realization brought us to see Umno as a new hope. This is based on the long history and track record of Umno in West Malaysia,” he said.
Umno was hoped to be able to unite the communities in Sabah. It was also hoped to be able to bring political stability to Sabah and thirdly, with the political stability, it was hoped to bring progress to the state, he said.
Also present at the event yesterday were Sabah Umno Liaison Committee secretary Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin and Sabah Umno Liaison Committee treasurer Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor as well as Umno Malaysia information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 23, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the 14th general election would be the real test for Umno and he called for increased work movement and maximisation of the party’s machinery efficiency.

Najib says has held on to three principles in his 40 years in politics

Posted on : 22-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 22, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he has held on to three principles in his 40 years in politics, and that he would not destroy Umno, which was built by his late father and Malaysia’s second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
The Prime Minister said although he was characterised as being patient by his political aides, he admitted that there was a limit to the patience against those who attempted to discredit his leadership.
“Yes, I have a lot of forbearance, I agree. But patience has a limit as well. Do not assume that if I am quiet, you can do what you like, and if it goes over the limit, I will act, but it must be based on facts and the best interests of the government,” he said during a ‘Majlis Kesyukaran’ ceremony in conjunction with his 40th anniversary in politics, here yesterday.
He said throughout his political career, he held on to three principles, the first being, to have more friends than foes.
“In this hall, for instance, the members of the N87 Friends Club who are present here, who have always been with me through the good times, and diffcult times as well” he said.
The ceremony was organised by the N87 Friends Club comprising former Umno Youth division chiefs during Najib’s tenure as the party’s Youth wing chief.
Najib said he also held on to the principle of not attempting to unseat anybody in politics.
“My record is in any contest, I will only contest if it (the seat) is vacant. With this (principle), I will never unseat anyone,” he said.
He said the third principle was that he never ever bought any votes in the party.
“It was my late father who built Umno, and I will not be the son who destroys this party,” he said.
Najib also said there was no profession that could rival that of a politician in the quest to help the people and change the future of the country. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 22, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he has held on to three principles in his 40 years in politics, and that he would not destroy Umno, which was built by his late father and Malaysia’s second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.

Petronas to conduct tests on gas pipeline

Posted on : 20-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 20, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Petronas is conducting a series of tests on the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) from February 15 to July 3 as part of its continuous efforts to ensure the integrity and safety of SSGP that runs from Kimanis, Sabah to Bintulu, Sarawak.
In a statement yesterday, the company advised the public not to be alarmed by the occasional hissing sounds, increased number of vehicles and workers along the pipeline and flaring at the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) in Kimanis.
It will continue to engage the communities residing along the pipeline to update on the progress and measures undertaken throughout the duration of the tests.
Petronas is committed to the highest levels of international HSE standards to ensure the safety of the communities and environment in all areas of its operations, the statement added.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 20, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Petronas is conducting a series of tests on the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) from February 15 to July 3 as part of its continuous efforts to ensure the integrity and safety of SSGP that runs from Kimanis, Sabah to Bintulu, Sarawak.

Successful, productive US-Asean Summit, says Najib

Posted on : 18-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 18, 2016
SUNNYLANDS, California: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has described the just-concluded US-Asean Leaders Summit hosted by United States President Barack Obama here as successful, productive and very significant.
He said US-Asean relationship had an important role to play in contributing to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
“President Obama, in his closing remarks, thanked Kuala Lumpur as country coordinator for US-Asean relations,” Najib told Malaysian journalists yesterday at the end of the two-day summit.
Najib had shared his thoughts on combating terrorism during discussions Tuesday on safeguarding peace, prosperity and security in the Asia Pacific by highlighting that ideological warfare was an important tool besides military action.
Substantiating his point on the issue, he said Malaysia would set up a regional counter-messaging centre to win the hearts and minds of the people so that they declined the Daesh ideology.
Najib said the centre would counter Daesh ideology, which went contrary to the true principles of Islam, as well as other wrongful narratives of Islam.
He said the centre would be the country’s contribution towards combating terrorism.
Citing Malaysia’s seriousness in fighting terrorism, the prime minister said Malaysia would also come up with a Syariah Index soon in defining authentic Islamic principles and struggles as well as defining the true meaning of Islamic states.
Najib had also shared with the nine other Asean leaders and Obama his thoughts on the moderation approach, another important tool in combating terrorism.
Touching on climate change, he had called on developed countries to implement their pledged commitment on the Climate Change Fund and Green Fund in fighting global warming.
This is the fourth of the US-Asean summit series and the first after the United States and Aseanelevated their relationship to strategic partnership at the Asean Summit and related summits in Kuala Lumpur last November.
Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Obama and the 10 Aseanleaders issued a 17-point joint statement at the end of the summit highlighting, among others, their shared commitment to maintain peace, security and stability in the Southeast Asian region.
A strong resolve to lead in global issues pertaining to combating terrorism and violent extremism, trafficking in persons and drug trafficking were also contained in the joint statement. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 18, 2016
SUNNYLANDS, California: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has described the just-concluded US-Asean Leaders Summit hosted by United States President Barack Obama here as successful, productive and very significant.

Sapangar Port expansion set to balance Sabah’s development

Posted on : 16-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 16, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: The Sapangar Bay Container Port (SBCP) expansion in the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) marks a significant recognition to Sabah port infrastructure needs to balance the state’s economic development, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said.
He said the Sapangar Port has also been identified as a game changer under the National Blue Ocean Strategy to stimulate and drive economic growth within Greater Kota Kinabalu.
“Cities, such as Greater Kota Kinabalu, have always played an important role in a nation’s growth by providing investment and trade opportunities.
“Seamless connectivity between the hinterland and global market will invariably accelerate the state’s industrial and economic development,” he told reporters following a working visit to the Sapangar Port here today.
Pairin, who is also state infrastructure development minister, said SBCP would eventually serve as a gateway not just for Sabah, but also the ASEAN Economic Community and Trans-Pacific Partnership markets.
On SBCP expansion under the Sabah Development Corridor initiative, he said it would be developed into a transhipment hub under the 11MP.
“A masterplan to upgrade and expand SBCP infrastructure to allow main line operators shall be prepared this year.
“The transhipment hub strategy will boost the state’s connectivity to the international markets, (thus) generating higher volume of cargo to attract more shipping lines to call at the port.
“This will be the long-term catalyst to the industrial activities in the state,” he said.
Pairin said the positioning of SBCP as a transhipment hub augured well with the port’s strategic location along the main shipping route of the East Asian sea trade and at the centre of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
“The transhipment strategy, along with other improvement initiatives by the port would significantly address the issue of trade imbalance that may result in reducing the cost of ocean freight.
“This will eventually lead to not only lowering the cost of doing business and the cost living in Sabah, but also enhance the state’s economic competitiveness in the long-run,” he said. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 16, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: The Sapangar Bay Container Port (SBCP) expansion in the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) marks a significant recognition to Sabah port infrastructure needs to balance the state’s economic development, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said.

Sabah looking forward to strong ties with China – CM

Posted on : 14-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 14, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking forward to strengthening cooperation on finance, infrastructure and inter-connectivity with China.
Disclosing this yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the  State Government hoped that more capable Chinese companies will invest in Sabah.
“It is my hope that ties between Malaysia and China will continue to be strengthened in the years to come,”  he said in his speech at the 42nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, and Chinese New Year celebration also known as the Spring Festival here yesterday.
“The 42nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries is indeed a significant event and one that testifies how well this partnership has progressed over the decades.”
The Chief Minister added that Sabah welcomed the statement by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during his recent visit to Malaysia, where he assured that China’s rapid development would first benefit its neighbours, including Malaysia.
“This will provide opportunity for further strong ties, development of new ventures and cultural exchange between China and Asean-member nations,” he said.
Musa also cited that the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Malaysia last year also highlighted the high degree of mutual trust and friendly sentiment between China and Malaysia under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“This is probably the best period of development in the history of Malaysia-China ties ever since diplomatic relations were established by the then Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, 42 years ago.
“We welcome the fact that China works to deepen reform in an all-rounded way which generates more opportunities for the two countries to boost cooperation,” he said.
Sabah, said Musa, offered abundant opportunities in  various sectors as outlined in the Sabah Development Corridor and the Economic Transformation Programme such as in tourism and the downstream sectors of oil and gas and palm oil.
“On our part, we will help facilitate partnerships, investments and joint ventures that could create economic spin-offs and jobs in Sabah.
“The tourism sector in particular is an area that could be further developed between Sabah and China, with growing numbers of tourists from China visiting us, especially during certain periods, such as the Chinese New Year holidays.” he added.
Among the guests who attended the celebration which featured a performance by acrobats from China were the ambassador of China to Malaysia, Dr Huang Huikang, the consul general of China in Kota Kinabalu, Chen Peijie,  Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang and Ma Zhong Friendship Association Sabah president Dr Oh Ei Sun.
Musa later handed over a RM100,000 mock cheque to Dr Oh which is a contribution from the state government to the Ma Zhong Friendship Association.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 14, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is looking forward to strengthening cooperation on finance, infrastructure and inter-connectivity with China.
Disclosing this yesterday, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the  State Government hoped that more capable Chinese companies will invest in Sabah.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Posted on : 07-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : Greeting

Yeo first Chinese mayor of KK

Posted on : 01-02-2016 | By : sabah today | In : News

February 1, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Yeo Boon Hai will officially be the first Chinese mayor of Kota Kinabalu City tomorrow, February 2.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman said Yeo, the current City Hall director general, will replace the city’s third mayor, Datuk Abidin Madingkir, whose term of service expires today, February 1.
The first Kota Kinabalu City Mayor was Datuk Abdul Ghani Rashid, who served from 2002 to 2006. Abidin, succeeded the city’s second mayor, Datuk Illyas Ibrahim, in February 2011.
Yeo, will be the city’s fourth and the first Chinese mayor.
“The Sabah government expresses its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Datuk Abidin Madingkir for his dedication and outstanding service as Mayor of the City,” Musa announced through a statement here yesterday.
“During his career, he has managed to bring many changes and advancements, in particular to City Hall and the citizens, thus making Kota Kinabalu an attractive, beautiful and prosperous natural resort city.
“The Sabah government congratulates the new mayor and looks forward to him carrying out his duties and responsibilities with commitment and dedication,” added Musa.
Yeo entered the civil service in 1980 as an officer in the Resource Development Ministry before moving on to the Tourism and Environment Ministry. He has held several important positions throughout his service with the state government, among which are as the district officer for Beaufort and Kudat, as well as the chief assistant director for the Sabah State Civil Service Department.
He was born in Sipitang and has a Bachelor of Science degree with Second Class honours in environmental biology from the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, political and business leaders welcomed Yeo’s appointment as the fourth Mayor of Kota Kinabalu City.
Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president Datuk Seri Panglima Dr T.C. Goh said the appointment reflects Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman’s support for the Chinese community and his determination to develop the city.
“As we usher in the Year of the Monkey, we are very honored to welcome the first Chinese Mayor of Kota Kinabalu. FCAS welcomes and will fully support Yeo as the fourth Mayor of the city.”
Goh also urged the city folks to back Yeo in his new appointment and work together to achieve progress and prosperity for Kota Kinabalu.
He added that the federation looked forward to Yeo’s performance as a people-centric Mayor.
Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) president Datuk Michael Lui also welcomes the appointment of Yeo.
Lui said Yeo is the first Chinese mayor since Kota Kinabalu was upgraded to city status 16 years ago in the year 2000.
“This is indeed good news for the community to celebrate and cheer about,” he said.
In fact, Lui described the appointment of a Chinese Mayor as the biggest lunar New Year angpow given by the Chief Minister to the Chinese community.
He is grateful that the Chief Minister is concerned and had listened to the wishes and appeals from the Chinese community, especially from KKCCCI.
“KKCCCI’s stand to fully support the government is clear and obvious. We will continue to give our strong support to the government especially the state government led by Musa,”he said in a press statement yesterday.
On behalf of KKCCCI members and the Chinese community, Lui congratulated Yeo on his appointment.
He hoped that the new Mayor would further improve and upgrade the basic facilities and infrastructure in and around Kota Kinabalu, particularly pertaining to traffic congestion in the city.
“In line with the rapid development in Kota Kinabalu in recent years, the infrastructure in the city has to be upgraded to meet the needs of the people,” he said.
Lui also requested Yeo to focus more on developing Kota Kinabalu as a tourism paradise to lure Chinese tourists in order to stimulate the economy of the state capital.
He added that KKCCCI would arrange a courtesy call on the new mayor in the near future to build better rapport, and would continue to jointly organize events such as My Rubbish My Responsibility and Safe City Campaign with City Hall.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also welcomes the appointment of Yeo as the new Mayor of Kota Kinabalu City.
LDP chief publicity officer Albert Kok said Yeo’s vast administrative experience as a civil servant and district officer would help to make him a competent mayor.
He added that Yeo, who is the first Chinese to hold the post since Kota Kinabalu, was elevated to city status in 2000, showed that the mayoral appointment transcended race.
Kok believed that city folks, irrespective of their race and religion, would benefit when Yeo assumes office.
“Yeo is an approachable and helpful person. During his tenure as the Director-General of City Hall, Yeo had rendered much assistance in resolving issues faced by the people in Kota Kinabalu. I believe he will be a very dedicated and responsible Mayor,” Kok said in a press statement yesterday.
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Api Api assemblywoman Christina Liew said Yeo would have lots of work to do to improve the image of KK city.
“First and foremost is cleanliness,”she said.
“Congratulations and welcome his (Yeo) appointment. I hope he will be a people’s mayor, serving the people without fear or favour. I look forward to working with him as the wakil rakyat of KK,”she added.
In the past, Liew expressed difficulty in getting government officials’ cooperation when trying to address the concerns of the people in her constituency.
The state assemblywoman expressed this to the media around a year ago in February 2015, during her Chinese New Year walkabout at the Sunday Gaya Street Market here.
One of the persons singled out during that time was Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir, whom she thought could possibly be busy with other tasks when trying to get in touch with him.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
February 1, 2016
KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Yeo Boon Hai will officially be the first Chinese mayor of Kota Kinabalu City tomorrow, February 2.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman said Yeo, the current City Hall director general, will replace the city’s third mayor, Datuk Abidin Madingkir, whose term of service expires today, February 1.