Shabery: M’sia can become self sufficient in milk within five years

Posted on : 30-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

30th December, 2015
KENINGAU: A good production system and some investment is all that Malaysia needs to be self-sufficient in milk within five years, says Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“The target is within our reach but it requires a little investment by the government, the commitment of producers and suitable location,” he said this after visiting the Evergreen Livestock dairy farm in Kampung Bomboi near here yesterday.
Malaysia is dependent on New Zealand and Australia for its supply of fresh milk, and imports about 20 million litres of milk annually.
Ahmad Shabery said Malaysia could produce 30 million litres of milk per year if the number of dairy cows could be increased by 10,000 heads.
“This calls for the government to make an investment amounting to RM200 million, including infrastructure.
“What has been achieved here in Keningau is remarkable. It’s not about the money but about the experience and the commitment.”
Other than the need for more producers, he said the logistics system should be developed so that milk produced in Sabah could reach the peninsula in one day.
Shabery said the dairy farming model in Sabah, especially in Keningau, had been proven a success.
“The Sabah Government should also focus on the production of meat because dairy cows can also provide meat,” he added.
Local meat producers can only meet 30 per cent of the country’s demand for meat while the rest is imported.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
30th December, 2015
KENINGAU: A good production system and some investment is all that Malaysia needs to be self-sufficient in milk within five years, says Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

KKCCCI welcomes discussion on cabotage in council meeting

Posted on : 30-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 30, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce (KKCCCI) welcomes any discussion on implementation of the cabotage policy in the National Export Council meeting next month.
Its president Datuk Michael Lui said the cabotage policy issue must be resolved as soon as possible as it affected Sabah’s industrial development and expansion to overseas market.
Lui said this when commenting on Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek’s recent statement that the implementation of the cabotage policy, particularly involving export companies in Sabah, would be discussed at next month’s meeting of the National Export Council.
Lui said Ahmad Shabery’s description of the cabotage policy as impractical was contrary to Deputy Chief Minister cum Industrial Development Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah’s defence of the policy.
“I agree wholeheartedly with Ahmad Shabery that without the cabotage policy, export costs will be lower, thereby enabling companies to be more competitive in the overseas market.”
He said the cost and price of imported goods would also be reduced without
the cabotage policy, which in turn resolved the issue of pricier goods in Sabah compared to Peninsular Malaysia.
On a related note, Lui said, KKCCCI has resolved to urge the Transport Ministry to expedite the upgrade of Sepanggar Port to a transhipment hub for the Far East in its recent annual general meeting (AGM).
“The government should expedite the development so that goods from Sabah no longer have to go through other ports, such as that in Hong Kong, in order to export to the Far East region.”
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 30, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce (KKCCCI) welcomes any discussion on implementation of the cabotage policy in the National Export Council meeting next month.
Its president Datuk Michael Lui said the cabotage policy issue must be resolved as soon as possible as it affected Sabah’s industrial development and expansion to overseas market.

Cabotage policy issue to be discussed at National Export Council meeting

Posted on : 29-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

29th December, 2015
TUARAN: Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said implementation of the cabotage policy, particularly involving export companies in Sabah, will be discussed at next month’s meeting of the National Export Council.
He said he understood the challenges faced by the Sabah exporters in delivering their goods, in particular agro-food products to other countries, as they were forced to go through Port Klang first.
“This system, (cabotage policy) is no longer practical. It is an old system that needs to be reviewed, as foreign ships coming to Malaysia, have to unload at Port Klang. This pushes up costs.
“This is among the matters that I will bring up at the meeting,” he added.
He told reporters this after visiting the plant of QL Marine Product Sdn Bhd, a company involved in the manufacture of marine food products here on Monday.
Ahmad Shabery said without the cabotage policy, the companies concerned will have an opportunity to expand and compete in the overseas market, more so, when the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is implemented.
He also said Malaysia needs to enhance export activities as a move towards strengthening the ringgit and that the country experienced a RM17 billion deficit in the trade balance related to agro food.
According to Ahmad Shabery the value of agro food product imports in 2014 stood at RM42.6 billion, while the export value was RM25.6 billion.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
29th December, 2015
TUARAN: Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said implementation of the cabotage policy, particularly involving export companies in Sabah, will be discussed at next month’s meeting of the National Export Council.

Remain resilient, united – CM

Posted on : 25-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 25, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman has advised Sabahans to remain resilient in the face of efforts by certain quarters to undermine unity of the people.
In his Christmas greetings this year, he praised the people, who are diverse in terms of faith and culture, for being able to focus on common values and having the desire to see peace and harmony prevail.
“We must not succumb to narrow minded rhetoric aimed at sowing hatred and suspicion among the different races and cultures both in Sabah and in Malaysia. We cannot allow the sacrifices of those who struggled for independence and sovereignty to be in vain,” he said.
He also said that citizens should be proud of their ability to look beyond differences that come with diversity and focusing instead on similarities which was one of the reasons Sabah had progressed well over the years.
Therefore, Musa invited citizens to work towards bringing Sabah to new and greater heights together by creating better livelihoods for all while ensuring contribution to this state, the country and the region.
Musa urged the people not to allow hidden agendas or political motives to disrupt what Sabah and Malaysia are built on as there are some irresponsible quarters that would do anything to sow feelings of distrust with the aim of tearing the fabric that has held all the people together.
“The government of the day has continuously pushed for not just tolerance, but acceptance of diversity in race and religions. The government is taking care of the interests of every Malaysian. This is our commitment,” he affirmed.
Included in his greetings are for Malaysians, who are blessed with ability to celebrate their respective religious and cultural celebrations without fear, to have open houses continued to be held in their true spirit of fostering oneness.
“On behalf of my wife, Faridah Hj Tussin, and our family, I wish to extend Christmas greetings to Christians in Sabah, and in Malaysia. This is an occasion for friends and relatives to visit one another to exchange greetings and strengthen kinship.”
“In celebrating this joyous occasion, let us remember the less fortunate and do our bit by lending a hand. I am pleased to note that many continue to spread Christmas cheer at welfare homes, orphanages and centres for disabled. Kind-hearted people take time off their hectic schedules to share Christmas joy, in line with our pledge to be a society that cares for all,” he added.
He also thanked the security forces, who left their families for extended periods so that the people could continue to live in peace. Security measures such as Eastern Sabah Security Command and Eastern Sabah Security Zone provide confidence in ensuring further economic growth.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 25, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman has advised Sabahans to remain resilient in the face of efforts by certain quarters to undermine unity of the people.
In his Christmas greetings this year, he praised the people, who are diverse in terms of faith and culture, for being able to focus on common values and having the desire to see peace and harmony prevail.

PM: No Malaysian will be neglected in march towards advanced nation status

Posted on : 25-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 25, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday no Malaysian will be left behind as the country progresses towards becoming an advanced nation.
“And we remain steadfast in upholding the freedom of religion as enshrined in our constitution,” he said in the latest post on his blog www.najibrazak.com.
Najib also said that Malaysians were blessed and fortunate to be in a nation with different ethnic groups that lived together in peace and harmony.
“Let us celebrate this festive season and welcome the New Year with a brand new resolution and make it our personal mission to assume responsibility in bringing Malaysia to the pinnacle of success,” he added.
The Prime Minister wished all Malaysian Christians ‘Merry Christmas’ and all Malaysians ‘A Happy New Year’.
“We have much to look forward to in the new year, even amidst a time of global uncertainty,” he said. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 25, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday no Malaysian will be left behind as the country progresses towards becoming an advanced nation.
“And we remain steadfast in upholding the freedom of religion as enshrined in our constitution,” he said in the latest post on his blog www.najibrazak.com.

Merry Christmas!

Posted on : 25-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

Growing interests in biomass in Sabah

Posted on : 22-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

22nd December, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Biomass residue from palm oil industries are attractive renewable energy fuel in Southeast Asia whose member countries Indonesia and Malaysia produce about 85% of the world’s crude palm oil (CPO). But increasingly the biomass is being seen as feedstock for high-value bio-chemicals and ground-breaking nano products.
Malaysia, with about 5 million hectares of oil palm, is estimated to produce 100 million tons of biomass by 2020 and there is a national agenda to generate up to RM30 billion in Gross National Income (GNI). Among the policy instruments pushing for the development of biomass industries are the National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS2020), the Bioeconomy Transformation Plan and Nanotechnology Action Plan.
Sabah, which accounts for about 30% of the national CPO output is in the thick of the national plan since the NBS2020 (launched in 2011) designated the state as the national hub for the development of second generation biofuel (from non-oil feedstock) and high-value oleo derivative products. The Sabah Biomass Industry Development Plan, to be overseen by the Ministry of Industrial Development (MID) was launched in early December in Kuala Lumpur.
Interests are growing.
Oil palm biomass consists of residue from the field and mills. Oil palm fronds (OPF) and oil palm trunks (OPT) are from the field, while the mill wastes include mesocarp fibres, empty fruit bunches (EFB), palm kernel shells (PKS), palm kernel cake (PKC) and palm oil mill effluent (POME). Although these are considered valuable resources with proven technologies capable of realizing their waste-to-wealth potentials, the take-up pace has been slow despite valiant efforts by state agencies, including the MID and POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd.
At the palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu which is developed by POIC Sabah, a bio refinery cluster is taking shape with foreign companies investing in the billions to produce second generation biofuel and high-end bio chemicals and sugars suitable for varied industrial applications. Several oil palm mills are exploring, under the stewardship of NanoMalaysia Berhad, the production of graphene by extracting methane from POME.
Except for some uses in composting and animal feed, OPF produced in the process of harvesting oil palm fruits are mostly left in the field. OPF, available when old trees are felled for replanting, has potentials as timber substitute but most plantations opted to have chopped and sliced as part of the replanting process.
At the mills (there are about 140 in Sabah) the extraction of fruits from the fresh fruit bunches leaves behind EFB; the extraction of CPO produces mesocarp fibres; crushing of the oil palm kernel produces palm kernel oil, and leaves PKC and PKS as residues.
PKS are a fibrous material and can be easily handled in bulk directly from the product line to the end use. Large and small shell fractions are mixed with dust-like fractions and small fibres.
Moisture content in PKS is low compared to other biomass residues with different sources suggesting values between 11% and 13%. Palm kernel shells contain residues of palm oil, which accounts for its slightly higher heating value than average lignocellulosic biomass. Compared to other residues from the industry, it is a good quality biomass fuel with uniform size distribution, easy handling, easy crushing, and limited biological activity due to low moisture content.
Many oil palm mills in Sabah use PKS for their steam boilers. The steam generated is used to run turbines for electricity production. These two solid fuels alone are able to generate more than enough energy to meet the energy demands of a palm oil mill. Most palm oil mills in the region are self-sufficient in terms of energy by making use of kernel shells and mesocarp fibres in cogeneration.
The demand for palm kernel shells has increased considerably in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand resulting in price close to that of coal. At POIC Lahad Datu, a company is buying up PKS for export to Thailand and Japan. The same company is exploring the viability of importing PKS from neighbouring Kalimantan where massive oil palm expansion is underway.
As a raw material for fuel briquettes, PKS are reported to have the same calorific characteristics as coconut shells. The relatively smaller size makes it easier to carbonise for mass production, and its resulting palm shell charcoal can be pressed into a heat efficient biomass briquette. Technologies are also available to convert this resource into high-value activated carbon or bio char.
Although the literature on using PKS is not as extensive as EFB, common research directions of using shells, besides energy, are to use it as raw material for light-weight concrete, fillers, activated carbon, and other materials. However, none of the applications are currently done on a large-scale. Since shells are dry and suitable for thermal conversion, technologies that further improve the combustion characteristics and increase the energy density, such as torrefaction, could be relevant for oil palm shells.
According to Bioenergy Consult, a website dedicated to biomass, torrefaction is a pretreatment process which serves to improve the properties of biomass in relation to the thermochemical conversion technologies for more efficient energy generation. High lignin content for shells affects torrefaction characteristics positively (as the material is not easily degraded compared to EFB and fibres).
Furthermore, palm oil shells are studied as feedstock for fast pyrolysis. To what extent shells are a source of fermentable sugars is still not known, however the high lignin content in palm kernel shells indicates that shells are less suitable as raw material for fermentation, unlike EFB and PKC.
Leading palm oil producers like Sabah should consider limiting the export of palm-kernel shells (PKS) to ensure supplies of the biomass material for renewable energy projects, said Bioenergy Consult. This will cut dependency on fossil fuels. Investors in Indonesia have expressed an interest in building PKS-fired power plants.
However, they have their concerns over supplies, as many producers prefer to sell their shells overseas currently. Many existing plants are facing problems on account of inconsistent fuel quality and increasing competition from overseas PKS buyers. PKS market is well-established in provinces like Sumatra and export volumes to Europe and North Asia as a primary fuel for biomass power plants is steadily increasing.
The creation of a biomass supply chain in palm oil producing countries may be instrumental in discouraging palm mills to sell their PKS stocks to brokers for export to foreign countries. Establishment of a biomass exchange in leading countries, like Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria, will also be a deciding factor in tapping the unharnessed potential of palm kernel shells as biomass resource.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
22nd December, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Biomass residue from palm oil industries are attractive renewable energy fuel in Southeast Asia whose member countries Indonesia and Malaysia produce about 85% of the world’s crude palm oil (CPO). But increasingly the biomass is being seen as feedstock for high-value bio-chemicals and ground-breaking nano products.

World Bank revises Malaysia’s growth forecast upwards to 4.5%

Posted on : 19-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

19th December, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to record 4.5 per cent growth next year and 2017, a revision based on the country’s improved trade data.
World Bank Group, Southeast Asia, Regional Director, Dr Ulrich Zachau, said the revision from 4.2 per cent made earlier was in response to new data received that showed an improvement in Malaysia’s overall export performance recently, particularly in the electrical and electronics sector.
“Based on the data available, we now forecast a 4.5 per cent growth next year. This is still a robust strong growth performance if we consider the global growth environment that is not favourable”.
“As the data come out, we continually adapt and adjust. Possibly if the data come out again more stronger even, it may be adjusted further,” he told reporters after the launch of the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor report here yesterday.
The report projected Malaysia’s economic growth to remain at 4.7 per cent in 2015, and ease to 4.5 per cent in 2016, an outlook that reflected slowdown in domestic demand in the course of 2015 from tighter fiscal conditions, which were expected to continue in 2016-2017.
Overall, domestic demand was projected to grow, remaining the main driver of growth in a context of soft global demand, the report said.
At the 10th Asia Economic Summit earlier this month, World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and Pacific Region, Sudhir Shetty, had predicted Malaysia to record 4.2 per cent growth in 2016 before gradually rising again in 2017.
Shetty was reported as saying that while Malaysia’s current policies provided a good base, to navigate the global uncertainties, it needed to consider further improving public sector performance, accelerate human capital development and re-engineer economic growth. –Bernama
(Source: New Sabah Times)
19th December, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: The World Bank expects Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) to record 4.5 per cent growth next year and 2017, a revision based on the country’s improved trade data.

NAJIB: I’M MAGNANIMOUS FOR RECONCILIATION TO STRENGTHEN UMNO

Posted on : 13-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

13th December
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he is magnanimous in strengthening Umno’s unity through reconciliation.
The Umno president, who opened the door of friendship to his detractors on the last day of the Umno General Assembly 2015 here however stressed that if the offer was turned down, then they were not opposing him on a personal capacity but rejecting the party delegates’ wishes.
“I, Najib Razak as president of Umno, choose to be magnanimous to open the door of friendship to all so that we can be united and strengthen Umno ties,” he said, followed by cheers and applause from the delegates at Merdeka Hall, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) when delivering his winding up speech at the assembly.
“But I want to firmly state that if anyone continues to oppose and want to fight…this isn’t personal anymore.
“They are not just opposing me as Najib Razak, the party president, but they are also clearly opposing reconciliation and rejecting Umno’s decision,” he said.
Najib, who is also the Prime Minister, reminded the party members that internal disputes would certainly not benefit Umno.
“What’s the point of living in hostility, otherwise other people will benefit from the hostility,” he said.
The Prime Minister reiterated that there would be ‘no surrender, no retreat’ for him.
Before returning to his seat, Najib shook hands with the Umno leaders on the stage including with his critic, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin which had attracted attention of delegates and media.
Najib started his long-awaited winding-up speech by reminding the UMNO members about the importance of being loyal to leaders and courtesy in voicing views and advising leaders.
The Umno president also said the criticism must be based on two approaches, namely the Malay courtesy which was full of order and Islamic method which reminded them to investigate the information received in order to avoid defamation.
“The Malays are polite, orderly, if they want to talk bad they will do it in sarcasm.
“Our religion teaches us to trust each other and must have Islamic spirit and soul,” he said.
And, he added that according to Islam, any message could not be accepted with ready credibility, but needed to be researched, investigated and examined to avoid defamation, for example on the issue of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The danger of being defamatory was that it could lead to killing, he said.
Najib cited the fall of the Melaka Sultanate and Ottoman Empire which were caused by hostility and internal problems.
“Umno is a political institution where the Malays seek shelter, rely on and give protection to our grandchildren and will determine the glory of the Malays.
“That’s why, if (Umno members are) indisciplined and disloyal (to leaders) Umno could face destruction,” he said.
By quoting a great scholar of the Archipelago HAMKA, Najib reminded Umno members to choose the middle path in life.
HAMKA once said “life is in the middle between bitter and sweet. If it is always bitter, we will feel sad, If it is always sweet, the heart will feel bored.”
(Source: New Sabah Times)
13th December
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he is magnanimous in strengthening Umno’s unity through reconciliation.

BIMP-EAGA welcomes Vision 2025 formulation

Posted on : 11-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 11, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Ministers from the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have welcomed the ‘BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025’ formulation to develop a resilient, inclusive, sustainable and economically competitive sub-region.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said this would serve as the successor document to the Implementation Blueprint 2012-2016 that would support and complement the ‘Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together’ roadmap.
He said the ministers also endorsed the guiding framework for BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 and called upon all BIMP-EAGA stakeholders especially the private sector and local governments to take advantage of this opportunity.
“(This is) to bring views, inputs, and projects that will generate economic growth and development in the sub-region,” he told reporters after chairing the 19th BIMP-EAGA Ministerial Meetings and Related Meetings here yesterday.
Also present were Brunei’s Minister at the Prime Minister’s Department Pehin Datuk Lim Jock Seng, who is also Foreign and Trade II Minister; Philippine’s Mindanao Development Authority, Secretary Luwalhati R Antonino; Indonesia’s Deputy Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr Rizal Affandi Lukman; and Asean Deputy Secretary-General Dr AKP Mochtan.
Abdul Wahid said the ministers had directed their senior officials to finalise the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 in time for the 12th BIMP-EAGA Summit which will be held in the Philippines.
In a related development, Abdul Wahid said the BIMP-EAGA continued to recognise that improvement in connectivity was vital for the seamless movement of goods and people from the EAGA and for its integration into Asean and the rest of the world.
They also welcomed the decision of the Transport Ministers to sign ad referendum the protocol to amend the memorandum of understanding on the Expansion of Air Linkages.
He said the ministers were pleased with the completion of the West Kalimantan and Sarawak Power Interconnection project which is scheduled for full operation next year.
They also take note of the on-going study on the Investment Profiling in BIMP-EAGA Economic Corridors, which would identify investment opportunities and provide information to potential investors in the sub-region.
He said the ministers reiterated the need for greater synergies between the transport and tourism sectors to enhance the development of tourism destinations.
They also urged the BIMP-EAGA Business Council to be more proactive in attracting private sector individuals, groups
and industry associations to invest and support initiatives in BIMP-EAGA.
At the same event, Abdul Wahid said they also conducted the second BIMP-EAGA and Northern Territory Ministerial Meeting and hoped it would pave greater collaboration and relation between BIMP-EAGA and Australia’s Northern Territory.
Also present was Minister for Asian Engagement and Trade, Northern Territory Government, Peter Styles. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 11, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: Ministers from the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) have welcomed the ‘BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025’ formulation to develop a resilient, inclusive, sustainable and economically competitive sub-region.

Speedy yet effective decisions on trade, investment: Musa

Posted on : 10-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 10, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: The State government will continue in earnest to execute speedy yet effective decisions in regard to trade and investment proposal to show that it is serious in meeting the needs and aspirations of investors.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (pic) said competition will be exceedingly intense in the next few years and, therefore, in the increasingly seamless world, the government must act fast and effective, yet not compromise its integrity.
Addressing senior officials and delegates of the 19th Bimp-Eaga Ministerial Meetings and Related Meetings at a dinner here Wednesday, Musa said the government views the fact that Bimp-Eaga’s Economic Corridors investment profiling highlighted various investment opportunities in Sabah, with great optimism as it will positively impact the development of the State.
“Sabah’s economic development has seen rapid growth in recent years. This is proof that we are on the right track through our development agenda and other timely initiatives,” he said.
Musa’s speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister cum Industrial Development Minister Datuk Seri Raymond Tan. Musa urged the delegates to make the sub-region, which comprises Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, as the locomotive of growth by way of sincere, concerted and coordinated public-private-political partnership.
“In this regard, I call on all of you to seriously commit to undertake accelerated effort in ensuring Bimp-Eaga achieves its noble objectives,” he said.
Since its inception in 1994, Bimp-Eaga has evolved to become a strategic platform for sub-regional integration for member countries by facilitating freer movement of people, goods and services, while increasing investments in key infrastructure, promoting joint business opportunities and endeavouring to harmonise a conducive policy environment.
“It has been 21 years since Bimp-Eaga was founded as a strategy for dealing with development issues affecting remote and less advantaged areas of our sub-region.
“In the course of time, the development of our sub-region has been increasingly affected by regional and global dynamics.
“Bimp-Eaga’s activities today are increasingly converging with those of the region. Bimp-Eaga itself has become a testbed and a key building block for the realisation of the Asean community,” he said.
He added that there have been many achievements and successes of the Bimp-Eaga. However, like any sub-regional grouping, Bimp-Eaga has its own challenges and constraint.
The Bimp-Eaga Senior Officials and Ministers Meetings are aimed to discuss moving the grouping forward.
(Source: Daily Express)
December 10, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: The State government will continue in earnest to execute speedy yet effective decisions in regard to trade and investment proposal to show that it is serious in meeting the needs and aspirations of investors.

Sabah companies urged to apply for incentives

Posted on : 10-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 10, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: No Sabah companies have taken up incentives under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) since it was introduced in 2012 mainly because of unfamiliarity with such incentive as well as ineligibility.
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) Deputy Chief Executive Officer Datuk Phang Ah Tong said there should be more engagement between companies in the State and the Federal government, through Mida’s regional office here so that local companies can benefit from the various incentives made available by the government to assist businesses.
“We would like to see more Sabah companies apply for this incentive and get in touch with us. At least, explore with us the possibility of getting these incentives, even if you are not qualified.
“We have reinstated the Less Developed Areas incentives for areas which have higher unemployment rate and whose infrastructure are not as developed as in other states. You will also be qualified for pioneer status where tax holiday is given for companies for five years,” he said.
Phang said this during a press conference after the opening of Mida Seminar on Investment Opportunities in Sabah here, Wednesday.
Through the DISF under the 10th Malaysia Plan, he said out of the RM1billion allocation, the agency had approved RM718m worth of incentives which carried an investment approval value of more than RM8b.
Most of the incentives were given out to electronics, medical devices, aerospace, machinery and engineering, oil and gas and selected services sectors.
None however, he said, went to Sabah companies because industry in Sabah lagged so far behind others and is still considered a resource-based industry.
“There should be more engagement between the companies and the government. We have an office here and that should be your first point of contact that you should reach out. Then we can discuss in greater detail on how you can apply for some of these incentives,” he said.
He added that in Sabah, which is considered a less developed area, the agency would be more generous in approving the incentives.
“I know small and medium enterprises sometimes do not believe that there are so many incentives offered by the government mainly because they do not know how to apply for some of these incentives.
“Even the import duty exemption for machinery equipment, components and raw materials, which many companies are qualified to apply, many do not know how to go about it or they are not aware about it.
“As a consequences, they pay duty to the government which is absolutely unnecessary. Come to our office and get the import duty exemption,” he said.
Phang said he had travelled around the country and even after so many years of industrialisation, he still heard of companies that do not know the existence of such facilities.
He advised companies to come to Mida office instead of waiting around for the agency to approach them. “Tell us what you do and see if you’re eligible for any of the incentives and how to go about doing it,” he said.
Earlier in his speech Phang said that the government recognises that Sabah offers tremendous potential to wealth creation in the resource-based economy thanks to its rich biodiversity and natural resources.
He announced that last year, 731 manufacturing projects have been implemented in the State with total investments of RM17.9b.
“More than 85 per cent of these projects are in the resource-based industries such as petroleum products including petrochemicals, food manufacturing, paper, printing and publishing, wood and wood products, chemical and chemical products and non-metallic mineral products.
“These investments make up a total of RM16.0b and provided more than 76,000 job opportunities. Majority of these investments are from domestic sources whereas foreign investments, mainly from Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, have contributed about 24 per cent,” he said.
Phang also highlighted that while Malaysia continues to be a destination of choice for foreign multinational corporations seeking to invest here, the future of the country also relies on the growth of domestic direct investments.
The event featured presentations from Mida and Motac on ‘New Incentives under Budget 2015 and 2016′ and ‘Development and Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Industry’.
(Source: Daily Express)
December 10, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: No Sabah companies have taken up incentives under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF) since it was introduced in 2012 mainly because of unfamiliarity with such incentive as well as ineligibility.

MIDA urges Sabah companies to apply for DISF grants

Posted on : 10-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 10, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Investment Authority (MIDA) has urged Sabah companies to apply for grants under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF).
Its Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Phang Ah Tong, said to-date no company from Sabah has received any grant from DISF.
“I would like to urge them to apply for the grants as this can go a long way to help the companies to be more active in the global value chain and to upgrade themselves,” he said in his welcoming remarks at the “Seminar On Investment Opportunities in Sabah” here yesterday.
The seminar, organised by MIDA, was officiated by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.
Phang said the federal government had recently announced an additional allocation of RM1 billion for the DISF to help MIDA accelerate the transition of domestic companies to high value-added, high technology, knowledge-intensive and innovation-based enterprises.
“I am pleased to announce that as at September 2015, MIDA has approved RM756.4 million DISF grants for 184 projects worth a total of RM8.1 billion.
“These projects were mainly involved in advanced electronics, machinery and equipment, services and medical devices industries,” he said.
He said to further strenghten domestic industries and to be more competitive, the federal government had recently introduced six new incentives under the Budget 2016 for industry players in the country.
“On our part, we will continue to identify opportunities for reinvestments.
“We will also intensify collaborations with relevent agencies in the areas of human resources, infrastructure, utilities and research and development,” he said.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 10, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Investment Authority (MIDA) has urged Sabah companies to apply for grants under the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF).
Its Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Phang Ah Tong, said to-date no company from Sabah has received any grant from DISF.

MIDA highlights investment opportunities in Sabah

Posted on : 10-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 10, 2015
SABAH: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Development & Research (DIDR) organised the ‘Seminar on Investment Opportunities in Sabah’ yesterday in Kota Kinabalu.
The Investment Seminar, which brought together about 200 participants from Sabah, was graced by Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Industrial Development Sabah and Datuk Phang Ah Tong, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MIDA.
Speaking at the half-day seminar, Phang said Malaysia continues to be a preferred investment destination despite the challenging global economic environment.
Sabah has been one of the recipients of these investments.
“The close working relationship between the Federal Government with Sabah is key to developing and improving the state’s standing in the country,” he said yesterday.
“Reflecting the Government’s commitment to ensure the growth of Sabah’s economy, the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) was launched in January 2008.
“The Government recognises that Sabah offers tremendous potential to wealth creation in the resource-based economy thanks to its rich biodiversity and natural resources.”  As at December 2014, Phang said 731 manufacturing projects have been implemented in Sabah, with total investments of RM17.9 billion.
“More than 85 per cent of these projects are in resource based industries such as Petroleum products including petrochemicals, Food manufacturing, Paper, printing & publishing, Wood & wood products, Chemical & chemical products and Non-metallic mineral products,” he added.
“These investments make up a total of RM16 billion and provided more than 76,000 job opportunities.”  Among notable companies in Sabah are Behn Meyer & Co, CCM Agriculture, Felda Agriculture, Sabah Forest Industries, Mewah Datu, Petronas Chemicals Fertiliser Sabah, TSH Group, QL Resources and Green Edible Oil.
Majority of these investments are from domestic sources whereas foreign investments have contributed about 24 per cent.
These foreign sources are mainly from Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, Phang said.
He also highlighted that while Malaysia continues to be a destination of choice for foreign multinational corporations seeking to invest here, the future of the country also relies on the growth of domestic direct investments.
The Government has laid out several new strategies such as providing the necessary support to the identified potential companies, and encouraging outsourcing opportunities through the vendor development programme. — Bernama
The event featured presentations from MIDA and MOTAC on ‘New Incentives under Budget 2015 and 2016’, and ‘Development and Investment Opportunities in the Tourism Industry’, respectively. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 10, 2015
SABAH: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Development & Research (DIDR) organised the ‘Seminar on Investment Opportunities in Sabah’ yesterday in Kota Kinabalu.

Malaysia to produce 100 mln tonnes of solid biomass annually

Posted on : 09-12-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

December 9, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to produce around 100 million dry metric tonnes of solid biomass annually from the palm oil sector.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said apart from contributing an additional RM30 billion to the Gross National Income by 2020, the country is now focusing on value-added downstream activities such as bioenergy, biofuels, biochemical and its end products.
Following the introduction of the government’s National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS 2020), he said the initiative was also expected to generate RM25 billion in investment opportunities, create 66,000 jobs and reduce carbon emissions by 12 per cent by 2020.
Mustapa said Sabah and Sarawak had great potential to become key players in the industry as they account for more than 50 per cent of the oil-palm acreage in the country.
“Sabah and Sarawak are moving ahead to develop their own biomass industry development plan with the National Innovation Agency of Malaysia (AIM), as called for in the NBS 2020,” he said at the International Biomass Conference Malaysia 2015 here yesterday.
Later, speaking at a press conference, Malaysia Investment Development Authority Chief Executive Officer Datuk Azman Mahmud told a press conference that the total investment into the biomass industry from 2013 to mid-2015 was about RM1 billion.
“Moving forward, we expect the investment to reach about RM25 billion by 2020,” he said.
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer  Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud said currently, Malaysia was exporting biomass products to China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and demand was growing.
“Companies from South Korea and Japan are looking for a long-term biomass supply from Malaysia for their energy sector’s power plant usage,” he said, adding that Malaysia’s biomass industry had a bright future.
On biomass production, AIM Chief Executive Officer Mark Rozario said Malaysia produced about 18 million tonnes of solid palm oil biomass, annually, while production of liquid biomass amounted to 16 million tonnes yearly. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
December 9, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is expected to produce around 100 million dry metric tonnes of solid biomass annually from the palm oil sector.
Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said apart from contributing an additional RM30 billion to the Gross National Income by 2020, the country is now focusing on value-added downstream activities such as bioenergy, biofuels, biochemical and its end products.
Following the introduction of the government’s National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS 2020), he said the initiative was also expected to generate RM25 billion in investment opportunities, create 66,000 jobs and reduce carbon emissions by 12 per cent by 2020.