Potential RM200 billion if downstream oil palm value-adding fully developed

Posted on : 31-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

31st July, 2015
LAHAD DATU: Sabah’s oil palm industry has a potential economic value of RM200 billion if downstream value-adding is fully developed.
The figure, which is about five times larger than the state’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), was mentioned by Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, the Assistant Minister of Industrial Development, here on Thursday.
Bolkiah was delivering a speech on behalf of Minister Datuk Raymond Tan at the opening of the 3-day Palmex 2015 at Dewan Perdana.
He said the state government has ambitious plans to tap the potential and one of the enablers is the palm oil industrial clusters (POIC) here and in Sandakan. The POIC here in particular has been identified as the main driver of Sabah’s oil palm development under the 11th Malaysia Plan from next year.
More than 40 exhibitors are taking part in the exhibition, the 6th in the series but the first in Lahad Datu.
On security, Bolkiah said that the infamous 2013 incursion by a group of Sulu terrorists at a village here has not had much long-term impact on public sentiments.
He based his assessment on the largely interrupted five daily flights operated by MASwings between here and Kota Kinabalu since terrorists were repelled from their occupation of Kg Tanduo, about 150 km from here, in March two years ago.
Since the incursion, the government has set up the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom), combining the resources of the military, police and Maritime Enforcement Agency.
ESSCom has continually expanded its operations and strengthened its hardware assets to keep the border secured. One preventive feature is a dusk to dawn curfew along the sensitive coastal region of what has come to be known as Eastern Sabah Security Zone, or ESSZone, stretching for over 1,000km from Kudat in the north to Tawau in the south.
Bolkiah urged businesses to consult and work with the ESSCom and “make them your partners in your security planning and implementation”.
Describing Lahad Datu as the place ‘where big things in oil palm happen’, the Assistant Minister said there is presently already a multi-national presence in POIC Lahad Datu and this is set to grow as more advance infrastructure is built.
He referred to the RM450 million container port under construction. Due for completion in 2017, this port will complement the existing dry bulk, liquid and barge jetties in POUC Lahad Datu, and provide arguably the most comprehensive port infrastructure-in-one-place in the entire BIMP-EAGA region.
Lahad Datu will grow to become a major regional hub port, he predicted.
Meanwhile, Lahad Datu district officer Iman Ali said in his welcome speech that his office is complementing the efforts of ESSCom to continually improve security in the district.
Welcoming Palmex participants and visitors, Iman extolled on the tourist attractions in Lahad Datu from mud volcanoes (Tabin Wildlife Reserves) to natural beauty, and pledged to make safety, cleanliness and comfort synonymous to the town.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
31st July, 2015
LAHAD DATU: Sabah’s oil palm industry has a potential economic value of RM200 billion if downstream value-adding is fully developed.
The figure, which is about five times larger than the state’s annual gross domestic product (GDP), was mentioned by Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, the Assistant Minister of Industrial Development, here on Thursday.

Sabah and Sarawak likely to get more for telecommunications and broadcasting

Posted on : 31-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

31 July 2015
EVEN before Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak can warm up his seat as the new Communications and Multimedia Minister, the buzz is that both Sabah and Sarawak are likely to get more in capital expenditure (capex) to improve the level of telecommunications and broadcasting services there.
Coming from Sabah, Salleh should know that a lot needs to be done to improve the reach and level of service there. Eventually, it needs to match the levels in Peninsular Malaysia.
To do that, a lot more investments will have to be pumped in. And the funding can easily come from the Universal Service Provision (USP) fund – the fund that has been set up to finance capex to provide infrastructure in areas where the services are not sufficiently available to the community at large.
Over RM8bil sits in the fund, as every year telecoms players fork out 6% of their earnings towards the fund.
From the statistics listed on the regulator’s website, clearly, the level of access in the two states needs to be widened.
As at end-2014, there were only 934 and 1,889 hotspots in Sabah and Sarawak, respectively, versus 4,709 in Wilayah Persekutuan (WP), 4,895 in Selangor, 4,494 in Penang, and 3,048 in Johor.
Similarly, cellular penetration is highest in WP at 231%, Selangor (164%), Penang (162%) and Johor (140%), compared with 120% and 111% in Sabah and Sarawak, respectively.
Salleh takes over from Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek next week as the new minister of the communications industry.
During his time, Ahmad Shabery did quite a bit for the industry. He managed to bring down call and broadband rates, something which had been impossible in the past.
So, what will Salleh do differently for the industry?
Two days after his appointment, he says he will consider fresh approaches that are good for the industry, but there may not be many changes in terms of policies.
Salleh says he is a “leader who listens to views and opinions of all quarters, because I feel that we must evaluate new methods of implementation to ensure that policies and any amendments are carried out well”.
But still, the industry has its own wish list.
Top of the list is that the management and usage of the USP fund is transparent so that the players themselves know where their monies are going.
To be fair, the players have been investing, but the need for common infrastructure in remote areas can help over-building and over-investing by all parties. The weaker ringgit is affecting capital spending. So, new ways of investing needs to be looked into so that the wider population still gets the service.
In the past, the monies from the USP fund were used to enhance telecommunications services in rural areas. But with some level of failure and lack of enforcement, the deliverables were not up to the mark.
There is an RM600mil contract coming out soon to widen the reach by the industry regulator using the USP fund as part of the timeline 3 expansion. But the new minister has to ensure that the deliverables are up to the mark this time around.
It is really time to show tangible results and the USP fund cannot be used to simply dish out computers in areas where there are no Internet services in the first place.
Stiffer penalties and tougher enforcement are in store for the telecoms and broadcasting industries once the existing Communications and Multimedia Act is amended, and the hope is that he pushes for the amendments to be carried out.
Salleh, a blogger himself since 2008, should know why the Act of the old era needs to be changed to cater to the new one.
There had been too many licences issued in the past, with spectrum left unused. Some may not be viable and the minister may need to take stock and do something about it.
Too many contracts have also gone to a few parties – something that creates monopolies. That should stop and more players should get involved in the provision of common infrastructure.
As to pricing, that can be lowered further. He should talk to the telcos to help the rakyat, as telecoms services are now a necessity and not a luxury.
Prices of calls and broadband should come down further.
(Source: The Star)
31 July 2015
EVEN before Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak can warm up his seat as the new Communications and Multimedia Minister, the buzz is that both Sabah and Sarawak are likely to get more in capital expenditure (capex) to improve the level of telecommunications and broadcasting services there.

74,198 illegals deported since 2011, says Dept

Posted on : 30-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 30, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: A total of 74,198 illegal immigrants have been deported by the Immigration Department since 2011 till now. Since January this year, a total of 12,595 people, comprising 9,543 Filipinos and 3,052 Indonesians have been deported via sea.
A total of 150 people were deported via air over the same period, comprising 28 Filipinos, four Indonesians, 81 Pakistanis, ten Indians, nine Chinese, one Swedish, 13 Bangladeshis, one Korean and three Vietnamese.
State Immigration Department Director Noor Alam Khan on Tuesday said the latest deportation was done last Friday, involving 500 Filipinos.
The operation which began at about 7.30am involved 52 immigration officers and personnel led by the Immigration Department Deputy Assistant Director Thien Vun Fui who oversaw the deportation of the illegal immigrants to the Philippines via Sandakan Port.
“Their belongings were returned to them after documentation process was completed and after that they boarded twelve 42-seater buses which then proceeded to the deportation point at about 11am,” said Noor Alam.
He said four buses escorted by two immigration vehicles took off from the Papar Temporary Detention Centre, while 12 buses escorted by two immigration vehicles took off from the Menggatal Temporary Detention Centre.
“The journey from Kota Kinabalu took about nine hours including the time taken for meal stops,” he said, adding that all the illegal immigrants’ seating had to be rearranged when one of the 12 buses started to stall.
“The 11 buses continued their journey and arrived at the Sandakan Port at about 8.30pm, before all the illegal immigrants boarded the ferry to Philippines at about 9.15pm,” he said, adding that the deportation operation ended at about 9.30pm after a briefing from the Operations Chief.
(Source: Daily Express)
July 30, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: A total of 74,198 illegal immigrants have been deported by the Immigration Department since 2011 till now. Since January this year, a total of 12,595 people, comprising 9,543 Filipinos and 3,052 Indonesians have been deported via sea.

Exploit Asean chair advantage: Musa

Posted on : 30-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : Uncategorized

July 30, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia should take advantage of its role as Chair of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to boost exports within the region.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that by so doing, Malaysian firms would be able to penetrate around 620 million consumers.
He urged Sabah small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to also get “aggressively” involved in this goal.
“Sabah entrepreneurs have the potential for exports given that assistance is provided by the Government in addition to the abundance of resources that could be turned into value-added products.
“Firms here are also supported by the demands of services generated from the plantation, commerce and oil and gas sectors,” he said.
Musa’s speech was read by Industrial Development Assistant Minister Datuk Bolkiah Ismail during the launching of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Exporters Forum, here.
At present, Sabah has 41,000 SMEs, a huge number considering the State is the sixth largest contributor to the national economy, and account for 16.9 per cent of the country’s exports.
Musa’s urging would not have come at a better time as several of Malaysia’s important trading partners such as China and Singapore are slashing Malaysian imports, despite the lower value of the Ringgit at present.
In confirming this, Matrade said exports to China slipped 4.5 per cent between January and May this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
Singapore, meanwhile, slipped 4.7 per cent over the same period.
Matrade Senior Director Wan Latif Wan Musa said the declining figures have been largely caused by the impacts of the global economic outlook, ‘not so much on the Ringgit.’
He said Malaysian exports should have increased if the value of the country’s currency had been lower, but instead the importing nations decided to enter into a ‘comparative’ mode in seeking products from elsewhere.
“These developments have impacted the performance of the national exports,” he said.
Hence, it is in Malaysia’s best interest to tap into the South East Asian mart.
To do so, Musa stressed firms must have a firm grip on the use of ICT technologies to grab the mass market, as well as groomed to be export ready.
According to him, the State government wanted Sabah firms to hit a 25 per cent contribution to national exports by 2020, adding that more firms are needed to break the export barrier.
He said Matrade has several programmes to develop entrepreneurs and exporters to compete in the international arena.
They include Going Export (Go-Ex), which was established to explore new markets and the oil and gas, food and beverage, lifestyle, electric and electronics, ICT and health care and the Mid-Tier programme to assist companies to penetrate new markets and access to financial support, technologies and services advice by international consultants.
Musa noted the programme is dedicated to intermediate manufacturing companies with an annual sales of RM50 million to RM500 million.
Matrade hoped that more Sabah firms would register with them to take part in these programmes.
Its Chairwoman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said of 15,235 registered companies in the country, only 203 Sabah firms are registered with them, barely 1.3 per cent.
She noted that Sabah firms are far behind in terms of assistance and facilities provided by the government compared to their peninsula counterparts.
(Source: Daily Express)
July 30, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia should take advantage of its role as Chair of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to boost exports within the region.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that by so doing, Malaysian firms would be able to penetrate around 620 million consumers.

Sabah’s total export drops 7.3 per cent — Matrade

Posted on : 30-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 30, 2015
Statistics provided by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) shows that the overall export of our State has decreased from RM15,582 million in 2014 to RM14,437 million in 2015.
Nonetheless, Matrade chairman Dato’ Noraini Ahmad said the export value exceeded the import value for Malaysia, despite the minor drop of 7.3 per cent of export value for Sabah.
Noraini said entrepreneurs should take advantage of Malaysia being the ASEAN chair and promote their products in the region.
She said the transactions did not necessarily have to be conducted in US dollar (USD), as entrepreneurs could also use the Chinese currency in China.
Noraini said this in a press conference after the opening ceremony of Exporters Forum 2015 organised by Matrade.
The event was officiated by the Assistant Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, who represented the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
On the other hand, Matrade’s Management Services Division senior director Wan Latiff Wan Musa said the global economic slowdown has a much bigger impact than the ringgit’s plunge in value.
China, Malaysia’s largest trading partner, was experiencing a less favourable economic growth and has a larger influence on our export performance compared to the drop of ringgit value, he said.
In general, Wan Latiff said the drop in Malaysian currency was an advantage to exporters and a disadvantage to importers.
“Hence, the government encourages local companies to use local input to reduce the impact caused by foreign currency exchange, especially in USD.”
Meanwhile, Bolkiah added that entrepreneurs would be at a disadvantage if they manufacture products based on imported components because the purchase was made in USD.
However, Bolkiah said if entrepreneurs could source raw materials locally at a cheaper cost, they could subsequently sell their products at a higher price to overseas market, provided the goods were of good quality.
“Quality means survival if you want to venture into the international market,” he said.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
July 30, 2015
Statistics provided by Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) shows that the overall export of our State has decreased from RM15,582 million in 2014 to RM14,437 million in 2015.
Nonetheless, Matrade chairman Dato’ Noraini Ahmad said the export value exceeded the import value for Malaysia, despite the minor drop of 7.3 per cent of export value for Sabah.

Exploit Asean chair advantage: Musa

Posted on : 30-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 30, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia should take advantage of its role as Chair of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to boost exports within the region.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that by so doing, Malaysian firms would be able to penetrate around 620 million consumers.
He urged Sabah small-medium enterprises (SMEs) to also get “aggressively” involved in this goal.
“Sabah entrepreneurs have the potential for exports given that assistance is provided by the Government in addition to the abundance of resources that could be turned into value-added products.
“Firms here are also supported by the demands of services generated from the plantation, commerce and oil and gas sectors,” he said.
Musa’s speech was read by Industrial Development Assistant Minister Datuk Bolkiah Ismail during the launching of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) Exporters Forum, here.
At present, Sabah has 41,000 SMEs, a huge number considering the State is the sixth largest contributor to the national economy, and account for 16.9 per cent of the country’s exports.
Musa’s urging would not have come at a better time as several of Malaysia’s important trading partners such as China and Singapore are slashing Malaysian imports, despite the lower value of the Ringgit at present.
In confirming this, Matrade said exports to China slipped 4.5 per cent between January and May this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
Singapore, meanwhile, slipped 4.7 per cent over the same period.
Matrade Senior Director Wan Latif Wan Musa said the declining figures have been largely caused by the impacts of the global economic outlook, ‘not so much on the Ringgit.’
He said Malaysian exports should have increased if the value of the country’s currency had been lower, but instead the importing nations decided to enter into a ‘comparative’ mode in seeking products from elsewhere.
“These developments have impacted the performance of the national exports,” he said.
Hence, it is in Malaysia’s best interest to tap into the South East Asian mart.
To do so, Musa stressed firms must have a firm grip on the use of ICT technologies to grab the mass market, as well as groomed to be export ready.
According to him, the State government wanted Sabah firms to hit a 25 per cent contribution to national exports by 2020, adding that more firms are needed to break the export barrier.
He said Matrade has several programmes to develop entrepreneurs and exporters to compete in the international arena.
They include Going Export (Go-Ex), which was established to explore new markets and the oil and gas, food and beverage, lifestyle, electric and electronics, ICT and health care and the Mid-Tier programme to assist companies to penetrate new markets and access to financial support, technologies and services advice by international consultants.
Musa noted the programme is dedicated to intermediate manufacturing companies with an annual sales of RM50 million to RM500 million.
Matrade hoped that more Sabah firms would register with them to take part in these programmes.
Its Chairwoman Datuk Noraini Ahmad said of 15,235 registered companies in the country, only 203 Sabah firms are registered with them, barely 1.3 per cent.
She noted that Sabah firms are far behind in terms of assistance and facilities provided by the government compared to their peninsula counterparts.
(Source: Daily Express)
July 30, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: Malaysia should take advantage of its role as Chair of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to boost exports within the region.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said that by so doing, Malaysian firms would be able to penetrate around 620 million consumers.

UMS proposes simulation platform for O&G training

Posted on : 29-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

29th July, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has proposed to build a simulation platform to provide skills training programme in the oil & gas sector.
Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (pictured) said the UMS Faculty of Engineering has entered a smart partnership with Sitegroup International Ltd (SGI) to build a world class training facility to feature a Safe Live Process Plant (SLPP).
“The project costing USD$4.5 million will be constructed within the UMS campus,” said Raymond recently when unveiling the Sabah Industry Quarterly (SIQ) magazine for April-June 2015 issue at his ministry office in Wisma Tun Fuad.
The feasibility study conducted since April 2015 is completed and approved, and the construction is expected to take nine months, and its first intake are expected in the last quarter of 2015, he said.
“They will build an actual platform of what you will see when you go out to sea. The workers are trained just like how they would work when they go to work in the oil platform,” said Raymond.
“This is the first of its kind training platform to be built in Sabah. So, this is how seriously we look at the oil & gas industry,” he added.
He said the construction of the simulation platform was among the steps taken to address the lack of skilled workforce in Sabah.
The SIQ started its publication six years ago, and since then 70,000 copies had been printed, according to Raymond.
The magazine distributed free of charge is produced by Sabah Today who works closely with the Ministry of Industrial Development.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
29th July, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has proposed to build a simulation platform to provide skills training programme in the oil & gas sector.
Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (pictured) said the UMS Faculty of Engineering has entered a smart partnership with Sitegroup International Ltd (SGI) to build a world class training facility to feature a Safe Live Process Plant (SLPP).

Know your loan options when buying a home

Posted on : 28-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

28th July, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will probably make during their lifetime, given that the repayment period can last up to 30 years, and consumes a good portion of their monthly earnings.
Whilst there are many eager borrowers for either their first home or a second or third property as investments, banks are stringent in their approval. The Sabah Housing And Real Estate Developers Association (SHAREDA) recently revealed that as much as one in three applications for loans to buy affordable housing (priced below RM350,000) were rejected.
SHAREDA president Datuk Francis Goh had said that stringent loan requirements were the main cause of the rejections and the phenomenon was running counter to the government’s determination to help first-time home buyers.
SHAREDA has pledged to build 10,000 units of affordable houses in Sabah in the next five years and Goh is calling on the government to compel banks to guarantee loan approvals for first-time buyers.
A Bank Negara spokesman said recently that the loan rejections had a lot to do with applicants failing to adhere to application procedures and document requirements rather than banks imposing unusually stringent criteria for lending.
From feedback in a random survey by New Sabah Times Business, it was evident that many disappointed borrowers had indeed failed to heed expert advice on how to ensure, or improve the chances of getting a housing loan.
loanstreet.com.my, an online loan advisor, recommended borrowers to consult with experts and to consider the following questions before applying for a housing loan:
Which banks offer the best loan rates
Is it true to say that the lower the interest rate, the lower your payment?
What’s a flexi loan, semi-flexi and a non-flexi loan?
What is a ‘lock-in’ period?
How long should your application wait?
On loan interest rates, loanstreet.com.my said that there is no absolute because interest rates vary with numerous factors such as the loan amount, loan tenure, a borrower’s credit history and so on.
“Generally, yes. Nevertheless, solely looking at the interest rate alone may lead you to making a sub-optimal decision. Be reminded that you should also pay attention to the terms and conditions (T&C) on paper because they affect your loan instalment amount as much as the interest rate does,” it said on its website.
For example, it explained, a loan agreement may state that the loan is bundled with 5 years’ lock-in period (early termination) and 5% penalty fee. It means that without paying a 5% penalty based on the borrower’s outstanding balance, he cannot pay off the outstanding balance or refinance the loan within the first 5 years.
The statement above is not meant to question the importance of interest rates in a loan agreement because interest rates do play a crucial role in a borrower’s monthly instalment and the compounding effect could scale up a borrower’s total payment.
On flexi, semi-flexi and non-flexi loan options, loanstreet.com.my explains: a flexi option allows you to put withdrawable additional money in your loan account. A full flexi loan allows you to withdraw without incurring any charges whilst a semi-flexi loan charges you when withdrawing money from the account; a full flexi loan is recommended when a borrower has additional money to make advance payment as this could reduce his outstanding balance; furthermore, the cash balance in the account will be excluded from the outstanding balance during interest calculation. This gives borrowers more flexibility and save on interests.
Nonetheless, you might have different needs and there is nothing wrong with applying for a non-flexi loan because the interest rate could be lower still.
Lock-in period is another factor that a borrower should consider. As the name implies, the lock-in period is the time range when penalty fees are imposed if a borrower intends to pay off the loan early.
The penalty fees also applied to any changes in T&C of the contract as well as cancellation and conversion of the loan agreement.
In general, penalty fees range from 2-5% of the outstanding loan balance. Should the loan packages in comparison consist of lock-in period, it is always wiser to choose the shortest lock-in period with low penalty.
However, some banks do not charge a penalty if advance notice is given. Moreover, for loan packages with zero lock-in periods, it might have higher interest rate as compared with loan packages with lock-in period.
On waiting period for loan approval, loanstreet.com.my said this differs between banks, but most up to two weeks waiting time is normal when an application is well supported by all necessary documents.
Benny, a first-time home buyer in Kota Kinabalu, said he naively thought that all banks offer housing loans the same way.
“Most of my peers think like me, and they applied for housing loans from a particular bank simply because they are familiar with it and missed out on some loans that, for example, offer flexi conditions and some fringe benefits, like insurance,” he told NST Business.
Stephen Wong, a real estate negotiator here, said he agreed with loanstreet’s recommendations on seeking expert advice.
“It’s silly to think that banks will lend simply because you think you qualify,” he said. “Many rejections I know happen to people who are financially able, but not aware of their lack of credit-worthiness due to oversight, for example having stood guarantee for a bad loan, or neglecting in settling their earlier loans or credit card debts on time.”
(Source: New Sabah Times)
28th July, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will probably make during their lifetime, given that the repayment period can last up to 30 years, and consumes a good portion of their monthly earnings.

Cabinet reshuffle: Who’s in, who’s out

Posted on : 28-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 28, 2015
The following is the list of new ministerial appointments:
New ministers
1. Deputy Prime Minister – Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
2. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister – Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau
3. Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister – Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin
4. Natural Resources and Environmental Minister – Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
5. Education Minister – Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid
6. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
7. International Trade and Industry Minister II – Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan
8. Communication and Multimedia Minister –  Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Keruak
Ministers with new portfolios
1. Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister –  Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Former Communications and Multimedia Minister)
2. Higher Education Minister – Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (Former Education Minister II)
3. The Rural and Regional Development Ministry – Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Former Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister)
New Deputy Ministers and new portfolios
1. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister –  Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican
2. Deputy Home Minister – Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed
3. Deputy Home Minister – Tuan Masir Anak Kujat
4. Deputy Tourism Minister – Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin
5. Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister (Miti) – Datuk Ahmad Maslan (Former Deputy Finance Minister)
6. Deputy Higher Education Minister – Datuk Mary Yap (Former Deputy Education Minister)
7. Deputy Education Minister – Chong Sin Woon
8. Deputy Natural Resources and Environmental Minister – Datuk Hamim Samuri
9. Deputy Defence Minister – Mohd Johari Baharum
10. Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs – Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki
11. Deputy Finance Minister – Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani
Ministers dropped
1. Deputy Prime Minister & Education Minister – Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
2. Natural Resources and Environment Minister – Datuk Seri Palanivel Govindasamy
3. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister – Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin
4. Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister – Datuk Seri Hasan Malek
5. Rural and Regional Development – Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal
(Source: The Star)
July 28, 2015
The following is the list of new ministerial appointments:
New ministers

New ministers in Najib’s Cabinet

Posted on : 28-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 28, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: The following is the list of new ministerial appointments:
In
1. Science, Technology and Innovation Minister – Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau
2. Domestic Trade Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister – Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin
3. Natural Resources and Environmental Minister – Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
4. Education Minister – Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid
5. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
6. International Trade and Industry Minister II – Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan
7. Communication and Multimedia Minister –  Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Keruak
Ministers with new portfolio
1. Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister –  Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek (Former Communications and Multimedia Minister)
2. Higher Education Minister – Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (Former Education Minister II)
3. The Rural and Regional Development Ministry – Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Former Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister)
(Source: The Star)
July 28, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: The following is the list of new ministerial appointments:

Oil and gas training centre in UMS plan

Posted on : 25-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 25, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: A million-ringgit oil and gas simulation facility to train roughnecks is currently being constructed at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
This comes amid the university’s move to establish its own Oil and Gas Training and Certification Centre, here. The construction of the facility is made possible through an industry-university partnership said to have cost around USD4.5 million (RM17.15 million).

Sabah commits to producing quality workforce

Posted on : 24-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 24, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Industrial Development Ministry is committed to produce skilled workers to fill quality jobs generated from various industries in the state.
Its minister, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, said over 50 per cent of the state’s workforce had primary or secondary education and this was worrying the government.
“This shall become our state government’s industrial agenda.
There is no point in generating more quality jobs if our children do not have the skills,” he said at a media conference on the ministry’s 2015 Sabah Industry Quarterly (SIQ) here yesterday.
Tan urged university undergraduates to decide on their preferred career before graduating by getting familiar with the demands of the industries in the state.
He also encouraged schools, particularly in the rural areas, to organise visits to university campuses in order to spark interest and excitement among its pupils to pursue their eduction until the tertiary level.
Tan said the second quarter issue of the SIQ was dedicated to generating more quality jobs by five major sectors in Sabah – tourism; agriculture; palm oil; oil and gas; and, manufacturing and logistics.
He said the quarterly review also highlighted key skills and competencies required by each sector.
Meanwhile, Tan welcomed entrepreneurs from China to invest in Malaysia’s ports including the Sepanggar Port near here.
“I am excited if China is interested to invest in our ports. We actually have seven state-owned ports,” he said.
Recently, in Beijing, Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, welcomed the China entrepreneurs’ interest and said the ports were still at the development stage and the government hoped to upgrade them to the international level in which foreign investments were much needed. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
July 24, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Industrial Development Ministry is committed to produce skilled workers to fill quality jobs generated from various industries in the state.

Full support for 40% study

Posted on : 19-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 19, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: State ministers and leaders have voiced their support for the setting up of a special committee to study the state’s 40 per cent entitlement to the net revenue collected by the Federal Government from the State.
Deputy Chief Ministers Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who were met at the Istana Negeri during Head of State Tun Haji Juhar Mahiruddin’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house yesterday, voiced their support when asked to comment on the setting up of the committee.
Pairin, who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president, said that the committee would look into what was left out in the calculation of revenue for the state.
“What is important is that the Prime Minister has accepted and said that a committee would be set up to look into this matter. When such a decision is made, it reflects a positive attitude and acceptance of what was submitted by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman in the memorandum,” he said.
The Infrastructure Development Minister expressed hope that the acceptance would continue towards the direction which everyone wants.
Last week Anifah announced that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had agreed to form a special committee to study Sabah’s 40 per cent entitlement to the net revenue collected by the Federal Government from the State.
Raymond said that the entitlement was based on the Constitution.
“This is the best development that we can see. This is not just about us making a ‘claim’ but the fact that both the state and federal leaders including the Prime Minister have just looked over this matter and decided to see the provisions of the entitlement.
“This is about what is really the entitlement for the state and both the state and federal are seriously looking into it. I could not say anything much about the details (and) it does not matter what is the figure, so long as the Federal Government honours and makes provisions for what Sabah is entitled to,” the Industrial Development Minister stressed.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, in welcoming the setting up of the committee, said that it would be discussing in detail the proposal by Sabah leaders for the revenue percentage to be reviewed.
To him, it is a reflection of a smarter way of doing work where things are done without the need to be shouting slogans.
“It must be remembered that Sabah and the State Government are a part of the federal government so the way we address each and every request must be according to our position as part of the federal government,” the Karanaan assemblyman said.
Masidi added that this was Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman’s way of dealing with state and federal relations, by working hard quietly toward finding a concrete solution to (whatever) problems.
“I welcome the setting up of the committee and hope that its decision can be made as soon as possible so that we can convince the rakyat of the fact that the federal government is concerned about Sabah and that all assistance as well as allocations are given based on the Constitution itself and not merely political rethoric.
For Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor, the committee is apt as it looks into the interest of the state.
“We hope that through the committee, Sabah will be able to get more necessary allocations from the federal government,” he said.
Assistant Youth and Sport Minister Datuk Masiung Banah is of the opinion that the setting up of the committee is a good approach and opportunity for the state.
The Kuamut assemblyman pointed out that this is what has been on the minds of Sabahans and the state’s leaders all this while.
“We were just looking for the best method to express our views to the federal government so that it is accepted well. This is done by the state’s leaders who have good relationship with the federal government and for sure will give the latter a good opportunity to delve deeper into the feelings of Sabahans,” he stressed.
“We are grateful that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib is not only ready to listen, but he is ready to set up a special committee to look into the ideas and resolutions made by the rakyat and state government,” Masiung said.
Meanwhile Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin is of the opinion that the decision by the federal government was a good one and he believes that majority of the rakyat in Sabah support the initiative by the Prime Minister.
The decision also reflects the Prime Minister’s openness to the requests from Sabah and Sarawak, he said, adding “it goes to show that allegations of the federal government not listening to Sabah and Sarawak are not true”.
The Ranau Member of Parliament thanked Najib and Anifah for the initiative, saying that it is something Sabahans can be proud of.
For PBRS secretary general Datuk Johnson Tee in welcoming the annoucment said that it was high time that the matter would be looked into.
The Deputy State Assembly Speaker thanked the federal government on behalf of the people of Sabah.
“I cannot comment further because we have not seen the Terms of Reference but we know fully well after Raya they will tell us. The Government will do this in the best way possible,” he said.
UPKO acting president Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said the party fully supports the setting up of the committee to review the revenue due to Sabah.
It is UPKO’s hope that the committee on the state and federal level will be able to carry out their duties well and will take the necessary steps to have a meeting soon.
“If we look at what has been proposed, it has basis because of what was mentioned in the formation of Malaysia. UPKO has, from the beginning, supported the move to review the matter so that it can be streamlined,” he said.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
July 19, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: State ministers and leaders have voiced their support for the setting up of a special committee to study the state’s 40 per cent entitlement to the net revenue collected by the Federal Government from the State.

Selamat Hari Raya

Posted on : 16-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : Greeting

M’sia ranked 6th in global foreign investors’ destination attractiveness index

Posted on : 14-07-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

14th July, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is in sixth position in this year’s Baseline Profitability Index (BPI), climbing five spots from 11th place achieved in 2014.
The BPI is a ranking of destinations of attractiveness for foreign investors, published by the Foreign Policy Magazine.
Among ASEAN countries, only Malaysia and Singapore featured in the top 10, while Indonesia was ranked 12th, Vietnam (23), the Philippines (30) and Thailand at the 38th position.
In a statement on Monday, Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said the ranking, which covered 110 countries across six continents, reaffirmed that Malaysia was an attractive profit centre in this region for investors. “The index sends a clear message that Malaysia provides a friendly business environment that makes it an attractive place to invest.
“This ranking is based not only on historical conditions but also on expectations about conditions prevailing over the next five years,” it said.
Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Azman Mahmud, said this endorsement dissolved lingering misperceptions and attested the country’s improving economic fundamentals and the government’s prudent, proactive and pragmatic policies to restructure and diversify the economy.
“The ranking is a reflection of the continuous improvement in the delivery of public services and overall efficiency of the government machinery,” he said.
The BPI uses a holistic approach based on eight factors that will affect the ultimate success of a foreign investment. These factors cover economic growth, financial stability, physical security, corruption, expropriation by government, exploitation by local partners, capital controls, and exchange rates.
It also incorporates changes made by the World Bank in its measurement of gross domestic product such as the revised method to compare living standards across countries. –Bernama
(Source: New Sabah Times)
14th July, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is in sixth position in this year’s Baseline Profitability Index (BPI), climbing five spots from 11th place achieved in 2014.
The BPI is a ranking of destinations of attractiveness for foreign investors, published by the Foreign Policy Magazine.