Malaysia-Laos Trade To Continue Growing In Two Digits – MITI

Posted on : 10-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR- The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is confident that trade between Malaysia and Laos will continue to grow in two digits this year despite the challenging economic landscape.

Its Minister, Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia-Laos trade in 2016 increased 76 per cent to US$30.9 million from US$17.7 in 2015.

Malaysia had invested US$570 million in Laos between 2011 and 2015, making it the fourth largest investor in Laos, he told reporters after attending the Malaysia-Laos Business Forum here today.

The forum was officiated by Lao Prime Minister Dr Thongloun Sisoulith who is on a two-day official visit to Malaysia.

Mustapa said Malaysian companies should leverage this opportunity to explore Laos extensive market potential, especially in the tourism, infrastructure, agriculture and private healthcare sectors.

“Laos is one of ASEAN countries that has been forecast to grow beyond seven per cent per annum over the next few years. This speaks volumes on the huge potential that this resource-rich country could bring.

“Among key areas in which we are targeting to boost our exports to Laos are building materials, machines, consumer products and medical disposable items,” he said.

Mustapa said 25 Malaysian companies were actively operating in Laos in key areas such as hydropower, mining, and developing economic zones and infrastructure projects, especially railway.

“Both Malaysia and Laos are currently undertaking economic liberalisation initiatives at national and regional levels, and we need to continue promoting bilateral trade cooperation for the benefit of our economies,” he said.


Najib Encourages Malaysians To Take Up Entrepreneurship, Be Versatile

Posted on : 10-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Uncategorized

KUALA LUMPUR– Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has encouraged Malaysians to take up entrepreneurship as it can not only generate income, but also create job opportunities for others.

He said the government wanted Malaysia to continue progressing, particularly from the social and economic aspects.

“In reaching this goal, we want to see a community comprising people who are versatile or ‘all rounders’, he said his speech at the launch of the Njoi Now Application here today.

The text of his speech was read by Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

Najib said the youth represent the biggest digital users, as they are of a generation that prioritises information that can be obtained from their electronic devices.

According to the Prime Minister, statistics showed that subscriptions through gadgets recorded an increase to 44.5 million throughout Malaysia and supported by the high penetration of smartphones that reached 16.4 million last year.

This development as well as the availability of stable broadband and Internet services, resulted in users having the latest information, as well as entertainment, immediately at their finger tips, he said.

He also urged the youth to take advantage of the digital economy which the government is aggressively promoting such as the recent Digital Free Trade Zone.

At the same time, Najib said the broadcasting field can also play an important role as an agent to mould the minds of viewers.

“With entrepreneurship programmes leading towards the digital realm, those interested can obtain guidance as well as tips to undertake business as well as learn the intricacies of trading online.

“Programmes as such also have content where traders can share experiences. This will certainly assist those just starting out in business to avoid past mistakes and continue to be mentored until they receive good returns,” he added.

Meanwhile, the launch of the Njoi Now application, organised by Astro, covers programmes in various languages with content including news, entertainment, sports and education.

It is hoped that that use of the application will contribute towards an increase in the number of Malaysians with digital access, and subsequently enhance awareness towards being digital savvy.


Month-long Kaamatan festival begins

Posted on : 10-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Uncategorized

KOTA KINABALU: As Sabah celebrates a month-long Kaamatan, the city‘s harvest festival celebration is set to be a joyous, vibrant and grand affair with numerous exciting cultural events for all to enjoy.

Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai said the Kaamatan festive celebration will be held in the state capital from May 18-May 20, starting at the main venue at the Padang Merdeka which will host a galore of festivities beginning from 6pm until 11pm.

“This year’s city level Kaamatan will be celebrated with the theme ‘Kaamatan: The foundation for unity’, and will culminate with a grand ceremony by Huguon Siou (Paramount Leader) of the Kadazandusunmurut (KDM) community, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan,” he said.

In announcing the Kaamatan celebration at the press conference on Monday, Yeo said the opening ceremony will be followed by the hotly-awaited Lilundus Unduk Ngadau (beauty contest) as well as Sugandoi (singing competition), Magavau ritual and choir.

“There will also be other exciting events in store for everyone to enjoy, including a bicycle decoration gala, Unduk Ngadau Creative Traditional Dress competition, karaoke contests, as well as prize presentation for all the winners,“ said Yeo.

Furthermore, he noted the Kaamatan Cycling Challenge will also be held in conjunction of the Kaamatan which will witness 100 cyclists taking on the 22KM route starting from Padang Merdeka along Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman, Jalan Penampang until KDCA Cultural Village before returning to the starting point.

“The closing ceremony of the Kaamatan on May 20 will be officiated by federal Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Tun Said Keruak,” said Yeo, adding that the finale of the festival will culminate with the Unduk Ngadau finals for Kota Kinabalu and Likas, and state-level competitions which will be held at the KDCA Cultural Village.

The venue for the qualifying round and semi-finals of this the coveted Sugandoi crown is contributed by Oceanus Waterfront Mall. Kupi-kupi fm is the official radio station for the festival.

Meanwhile, the finalists for this year’s Sugandoi Kota Kinabalu include Chrispine Joseph, Michelle Kasianus, Brenda Folsera Jasli, Nurbilin Abdul Jalil and Rushdy Rapheal Mantui.

During the cheque presentation ceremony, Yeo also received a sum of RM50,000 from main sponsors YTL Communications for the Kaamatan, while other sponsors allocated a total of RM71,500 for the annual festive celebration.

Almacrest International College also allocated RM10,000 scholarship for this year’s champion of the Unduk Ngadau 2017, including second place winner to help them pursue diploma studies.

Among those who attended the press conference include YTL Communications Sdn Bhd assistant sales manager Kelvin Siew, Pembinaan Kekal Mewah Sdn Bhd operation manager Jikain Kadis and Almacrest International College CEO Stephanie Yen, among others.


Madius: Younger generations should understand the true meaning of Kaamatan

Posted on : 10-05-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

TENGHILAN: The younger generation should understand the true meaning of Kaamatan, said Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Seri Madius Tangau.

According to him, the level of understanding of the significance of Kaamatan among the younger Kadazandusun is low and therefore they should take the initiative to learn more about the celebration.

He said that the younger people should understand the traditional beliefs and customs behind the Harvest Festival.

“Food sustains us and for the Kadazandusun people, our staple food is rice. Therefore the legend of the origin of paddy and the taboos (pantang larang) associated with how it is cultivated and farmed are very important.

“This traditional belief is a form of discipline for our people. That is why there are dos and don’ts in how we cultivate paddy, harvest it, keep it and even eat it.

“According to our traditional customs, uprooting paddy is an offence and can be penalised with ‘sogit’. When we harvest the paddy, we must minimise wastage and when scooping rice from its storage ‘tangkob’, there are certain rituals to be performed.

“When eating, our elders will tell us off if we don’t finish the rice because they believe that this will upset the rice spirit or ‘bambarayon’.

“So these beliefs and rituals are there to discipline us not to be wasteful, which in turn ensure that we do not starve,” he told a press conference after officiating UPKO Kaamatan celebration at Tenghilan Community Hall here yesterday.

Tangau who is also Tuaran Member of Parliament and UPKO acting president said traditionally, the Kadazandusun have been living peacefully without law enforcers such as the police because the customs and beliefs help to maintain peace.

At the same event, Tangau also launched the Nano Smart Community, a partnership between Nano Malaysia Berhad and SMK Tenghilan.

Under the partnership, Nano Malaysia Berhad will introduce nanotechnology which enables the manipulation of materials such that stockings made of nano textile can be worn for up to two weeks without having to be washed.

Also present were UPKO vice president, Datuk Ewon Ebin, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Assistant, Datuk Masiung Banah, Kiulu Assemblyman, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Tuaran Community Development Leader, Datuk Jahid Jahim.