UiTM provides free education to less fortunate children

Posted on : 16-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KOTA KINABALU: The Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sabah launched its Anjung Pendidikan Asnaf programme yesterday, a programme that aims to provide less fortunate children with free education.

Its Deputy Rector (Research, Industrial Linkages, Community and Alumni Network Division) Dr Rozita @ Uji Mohammed disclosed that the programme was the brainchild of UiTM and Pusat Zakat Sabah (PZS).

UiTM had chosen SK Malawa of Telipok as its partnering school for this year’s installment of the programme.

“On top of that, the primary six students of SK Malawa will be the first cohort of students who will be undergoing the Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) Tuition initiative under the Anjung Pendidikan Asnaf programme.

“We appointed teachers from the school itself and we have given them incentives, albeit a small one,” Rozita told reporters at the launch of the programme ceremony yesterday.

She added that the programme was not limited to students alone, as adults who wish to take up religious classes would also be eligible for it, with terms and conditions applied.

Yesterday’s event also witnessed the launching of two other programmes, namely, the Selangkah Ke Menara Gading programme (Semega @ UiTM) and UiTM’s month-long Merdeka/Malaysia Day celebration.

“Previously, SK Malawa had only been working with other institutions. This is the school’s first ever visit to UiTM…I had always been pushing the school to come and visit UiTM.

“Although these students are still at the primary school level, it is never too early to introduce them to UiTM.

“We want these students to understand that UiTM will always serve as platform for them to further their studies, regardless of their financial limitations,” Rozita said when commenting on the Semega @ UiTM programme.

On why SK Malawa was chosen for this programme, Rozita said that the decision was made after a careful discussion between the management.

“The decision was made in line with UiTM’s theme, which is to make the university more community-based.

“Apart from that, SK Malawa is also conveniently located within five kilometers of UiTM’s radius. This is also in line with our vision to help our neighbouring schools the best way we can,” she asserted.

Farhana Ateekah, who is one of the primary six students from SK Malawa, expressed her gratitude to UiTM for being given an opportunity to participate in the programme.

“Through this programme, I was given the chance to expand my knowledge and to build my confidence in furthering my studies to UiTM.

“This programme had also prepared me well for the upcoming UPSR,” said the youngest among three siblings.

Farhana aims to obtain at least four As for the upcoming exams.

Rozita stressed that UiTM would continue to work with the other schools within its radius in the future.

Yesterday’s event was attended by over 100 students and it was officiated by Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Zamboanga-Sandakan flight launched

Posted on : 16-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

SANDAKAN — The Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Business Council welcomes the launch of Cebu Pacific Air’s direct Zamboanga-Sandakan flights starting this October.

BIMP-EAGA Business Council chairman, Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed in a statement today said this new direct air link connecting Mindanao and Sabah as focus areas of the EAGA, demonstrated the viability of enhancing closer and stronger socio-economic ties in the sub-region.

He said concrete initiatives such as this would definitely buoy up the dynamism of the private sector in playing its role as the EAGA’s engine of growth.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Malaysia’s economy to be on uptrend over next few years

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy is expected to be on an uptrend for the next three to five years, supported by strong local and foreign investments, increase in exports as well as consistent government support for the companies.

This, according to a report, will help the country’s gross domestic product to touch US$1.3 trillion (US$1 = RM4.28) by 2030 and overtake neighbour, Singapore.

Chief economist at IQI Global, Shan Saeed, said thanks to the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), massive investments would continue to come to Malaysia.

“The initiative will be a game changer to Malaysia and besides this country, BRI would also be relevant to the other two ASEAN countries – Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Soon, Singapore will join the other two countries, to benefit from the initiative,” he told Bernama.

The BRI is a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries.

In May this year, nine business agreements were signed between Malaysian and Chinese companies, with proposed investments estimated at RM31.3 billion.

These were in addition to 14 memorandums of understanding relating to the defence, agriculture, education, finance and construction sectors worth RM143.6 billion signed on Nov 2, 2016.

He said Malaysia would become the trade corridor between Asean and China.

“The country will be getting a lot of investments, not only from China but also from global investors because of BRI,” he said.

Shan said once the investors saw the economic and political stability they would have more confidence to come to the country and hence further help improve the local currency, now at the range of 4.15 and 4.30.

“Moving forward I see the US dollar to weaken further in the second half of 2017, causing other currencies to appreciate including the ringgit. I won’t be surprised if the ringgit touches 4.15 by year-end,” he said, adding, Malaysia would be able to sustain its economy.

SOURCE: BERNAMA

China kids shooting reality show in Sabah

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: China’s reality show entitled ‘Youth of China 3 – Nanyang Classroom’ has arrived in Sabah to shoot four episodes featuring the local tourism and culture here.

A group of eight children from China visited Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) yesterday, where they joined the students in writing Chinese calligraphy as well as cycling with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

The children just returned from their trip to Keningau and Tenom on August 12.

A total of 32 selected children from different provinces in China are coming to Sabah to shoot the reality show, coproduced by China Central Television (CCTV) and Dino Brandwork.

The Chinese youths will be shooting a total of eight episodes – four in West Malaysia and four in Sabah in the month of August. Each episode features a different group of eight children.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said four episodes would be filmed in Sabah for more than 10 days.

Liaw said CCTV originally wanted to spend three days to film in Kota Kinabalu, but he had recommended the film crew to visit Keningau, Tenom and Sandakan as well.

“Many of our travel agencies in Sandakan have requested Satta to promote the area more.

“Hopefully more Chinese tourists will start going to Sandakan in 2018 after the reality show is broadcasted in December this year in China, as well as other rural towns as the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has undertaken efforts to promote rural tourism.”

He said the filming not only promoted our rural tourism, but also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the local and Chinese participants.

Liaw said Yeo was included in the filming of the reality show to promote cycling as a leisure activity for tourists given that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) has 120 bicycles for tourists to utilize free of charge.

SOURCE: THE BORNEO POST SABAH

Bavaria and MIDA will be launching a series of Industry 4.0 workshops with German industry experts

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) together with Bavaria International (Germany) and TAPiO Management Advisory as well as Invest Selangor, Johor State Investment Centre (JSIC) and Invest Penang is launching a series of Industry 4.0 workshops in Selangor (21 Aug), Johor (23 Aug) and Penang (25 Aug) of this year. This initiative seeks to revolutionise the industrial ecosystems in Malaysia by familiarising local industry players with Industry 4.0 concepts and practices.

Through the workshops, industry players will have an opportunity to streamline their operations with innovative German companies. Industry 4.0, which involves the use of automated robotics and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, will increase the quality of production. This in turn yield greater profits, reduce unskilled labour, increase productivity and give rise to more quality jobs for locals. By partnering with the participating companies, local companies can take advantage of having a high quality German branding added to their products and services, thus further increasing Malaysia’s position in the global market.

The wealthiest state of Germany and Europe, Bavaria, is looking to collaborate with small and medium enterprises(SMEs) with the intention of integrating Industry 4.0 into the manufacturing sector, such as the aerospace, automotive, biotechnologies, petrochemical and electrical industries. With any partnership formed, Bavaria assures that the Malaysian partner will still have full control of their products, and have a wider opportunity in a world class production market with German quality branding.

For the upcoming events, the Bavarian Government will be sending their highly trained industry professionals to familiarise local industries with the Industry 4.0 standards. Two world class leaders who will be presenting at these workshops are Daniel Gottschald, Managing Director of TUM International, an Expert on Industry 4.0 from the Technical University Munich and Mr Hans-Joachim Heusler, the Chief Executive Officer of Bavaria International.

For more information, or if you would like to be involved in this global movement, please feel free to contact us at info@germany.my or Mr Vinothan Tulisinathzan of MIDA’s Foreign Direct Investment Division at 03-2267 3410, vinothan@mida.gov.my.

SOURCE : Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)

SOURCE–BERNAMA

Malaysia’s economy to be on uptrend over next few years

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy is expected to be on an uptrend for the next three to five years, supported by strong local and foreign investments, increase in exports as well as consistent government support for the companies.

This, according to a report, will help the country’s gross domestic product to touch US$1.3 trillion (RM5.6 trillion) by 2030 and overtake neighbour, Singapore.

Chief Economist at IQI Global, Shan Saeed, said thanks to the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), massive investments would continue to come to Malaysia.

“The initiative will be a game changer to Malaysia and besides this country, BRI would also be relevant to the other two Asean countries — Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Soon, Singapore will join the other two countries, to benefit from the initiative,” he told Bernama.

The BRI is a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries.

In May this year, nine business agreements were signed between Malaysian and Chinese companies, with proposed investments estimated at RM31.3 billion.

These were in addition to 14 memorandums of understanding relating to the defence, agriculture, education, finance and construction sectors worth RM143.6 billion signed on Nov 2, 2016.

He said Malaysia would become the trade corridor between Asean and China.

“The country will be getting a lot of investments, not only from China but also from global investors because of BRI,” he said.

Shan said once the investors saw the economic and political stability they would have more confidence to come to the country and hence further help improve the local currency, now at the range of 4.15 and 4.30.

“Moving forward I see the US dollar to weaken further in the second half of 2017, causing other currencies to appreciate including the ringgit. I won’t be surprised if the ringgit touches 4.15 by year-end,” he said, adding, Malaysia would be able to sustain its economy.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Malaysia SMEs attribute growth in international trade to online tools

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR : Online tools play a role in small and medium enterprises (SMEs)’ ability to trade internationally and consequently to grow, according to Facebook’s new Future of Business Survey report.

However, SMEs in Malaysia that trade internationally are less positive about their business outlooks, compared with non-traders, Facebook said in a statement today.

In a statement today, Facebook said the report found for export-based SMEs in Malaysia, trade is at the core of their business models and success, which among exporting SMEs, 4 in 10 (41%) reported more than 25% of their revenue came from international trade.

“SMEs attribute growth — in revenue, resources, and employees — to their use of online tools to trade internationally. More than half of exporting SMEs (54%) report that more than 75% of their international sales depend on online tools. 65% of exporters agree that using online tools for selling internationally has increased their revenue,” the report said.

However, Malaysian SMEs that trade internationally are less confident about their business outlook, with only 48% of traders in comparison to 56% of non-traders being positive about their current business state, said Facebook.

On the other hand, more traders than non-traders (23% versus 16%) have created jobs in the past six months, but about as many traders as non-traders plan to create jobs in the future six months (50% versus 45%), said Facebook.

Facebook said the report revealed international trade is a challenge to SMEs, and only a minority of SMEs trade internationally (17%). Furthermore, nearly half of exporters (45%) identified “selling to foreign countries” as a challenge.

“In our digitised global economy, the use of online tools such as online shops and communicating with suppliers online is a matter of course. Access to online tools has the potential to streamline business processes, provide access to new markets and customers, or make it easier to deal with authorities and thus can help businesses grow,” said Facebook.

For instance, 29% of businesses report that poor online payment alternatives make it difficult to do business online across borders, said Facebook.

Facebook added policy makers and the corporate sector could work to build online payment tools that facilitate cross-border financial transactions in a seamless and risk-free way.

In addition, Facebook said policy makers should work to encourage regulatory frameworks that further facilitate SME trade, including standardising trade regulations across countries to allow SMEs to maneuver multiple markets, without being hindered by costly certification procedures; reducing burdensome customs regulation and encouraging e-commerce.

When businesses have the tools they need to reach new markets and overcome regulatory barriers, business revenue and economies grow — it’s a win-win for all, Facebook said.

Developed in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, the Future of Business report is an initiative to deliver timely insights and trends on online SMEs, based on an ongoing online survey of more than 60 million SMEs from 42 countries that have an active Facebook business Page and includes both newer and longer-standing businesses, spanning a variety of sectors, Facebook said.

First launched in February 2016 in 22 countries, the Future of Business Survey is part of Facebook’s commitment to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) capitalise on insights and digital tools to increase growth, Facebook added.

The report now represents 42 economies, accounting for 40% of the world’s population and 73% of global gross domestic product (GDP), the report added.

SOURCE:- THE EDGE MARKETS

Malaysia needs more investments in E & E (Electrical & Electronic) industry

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia needs to focus on increasing investments in the Electrical and Electronics (E&E) industry to transform into a high-income economy under the Industry 4.0 revolution.

SME Association Malaysia National Deputy President, Ong Chee Tat said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country had a lot of catching up to do, to be on par with the bigger players, as well as be atop the latest trends in automation and technologies.

He said in terms of the Industry 4.0 revolution, local SMEs do not have the economies of scale compared to other countries, and are thus, unable to get a faster return on their investments.

“The big boys can spend first and earn later. But, the smaller players, can only spend what they earn. It is a matter of capital investment,” he told Bernama.

Ong said the association had put forth suggestions to the government on the funds needed to spur SMEs to advance into the Industry 4.0.

He said local SME’s need to change their mindset, from one of reliance on foreign labour, to automating their businesses processes via the adoption of technologies such as robotics, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

“This requires upskilling the workforce and talent,” he added.

Citing the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in Penang and other industrial zones as an example, Ong said the companies producing for big global factories were well into Industry 4.0.

“We are encouraging SMEs not to become OEMs, but to produce their own brands and export it to the world,” he said.

He said game-changing innovations had caused a paradigm shift in the E&E industry, and SMEs, especially the smaller players, required financial assistance to be able to advance in Industry 4.0.

According to earlier reports, Khazanah Nasional Bhd subsidiary, Malaysian Technology Development Corporation, plans to approve RM170 million in loans to technology-based firms this year.

Globally, Industry 4.0 has spurred demands for energy efficient products, such as LED lamps and energy-efficient refrigerators, air-conditioners and other electrical gadgets, while stimulating interest among industry players in the E&E sector.

On the local front, leading multinational E&E company, Infineon Technologies Malaysia, recently announced the opening of a new building at the Batu Berendam Free Trade Zone to support Industry 4.0 operations.

The new building is designed to Industry 4.0 standards, incorporating automation, the Internet of Things and cyber-physical systems.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

China kids shooting reality show in Sabah

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: China’s reality show entitled ‘Youth of China 3 – Nanyang Classroom’ has arrived in Sabah to shoot four episodes featuring the local tourism and culture here.

A group of eight children from China visited Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) yesterday, where they joined the students in writing Chinese calligraphy as well as cycling with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

The children just returned from their trip to Keningau and Tenom on August 12.

A total of 32 selected children from different provinces in China are coming to Sabah to shoot the reality show, co-produced by China Central Television (CCTV) and Dino Brandwork.

The Chinese youths will be shooting a total of eight episodes – four in West Malaysia and four in Sabah in the month of August. Each episode features a different group of eight children.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said four episodes would be filmed in Sabah for more than 10 days.

Liaw said CCTV orginally wanted to spend three days to film in Kota Kinabalu, but he had recommended the film crew to visit Keningau, Tenom and Sandakan as well.

“Many of our travel agencies in Sandakan have requested Satta to promote the area more.

“Hopefully more Chinese tourists will start going to Sandakan in 2018 after the reality show is broadcasted in December this year in China, as well as other rural towns as the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has undertaken efforts to promote rural tourism.”

He said the filming not only promoted our rural tourism, but also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the local and Chinese participants.

Liaw said Yeo was included in the filming of the reality show to promote cycling as a leisure activity for tourists given that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) has 120 bicycles for tourists to utilize free of charge.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

USS American calls at Sepanggar base

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The USS America (LHA-6), an amphibious assault ship of the United States navy, along with the US’s 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit called at the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base in Teluk Sepanggar near here today.

Its commanding officer, Captain Joseph R. Olson, who leads a 2,500-member crew, said the visit was to learn about Malaysia and RMN as part of operations to build ties in the Pacific for regional stability.

“Our visit is to learn more about each other and have mutual exchanges with the Malaysian navy on peace and security,” he told reporters here.

He said they were glad to be back at sea and working shoulder-to-shoulder with the Marines of the 15th MEU in continuing to refine all aspects of amphibious capability and engage with partner nations in the Pacific.

Olson said during the visit, they would be hosting tours of the ship, as well as enjoying the sites of the city.

“The crew will also share experiences to develop closer ties among the two navies,” he said.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by USS America public affairs unit said it is an aviation-centric amphibious ship that provides forward presence and power projection as an integral part of joint, inter-agency and multinational maritime expeditionary force.

“As the next generation ‘big deck’, USS America is optimised for Marine Corps aviation, capable of supporting current future aircraft such as MV-22 Osprey and F-35B Joint Strike Fighter,” it said.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Bulgaris’s tobacco industry is going up in smoke

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International Business

Five decades later, Fatmagul and her husband Fahim are still hard at work in their small field in the southern Rhodope mountains, close to the Greek border.

The couple are already bent low over the plants well before dawn, their hands tarred from plucking the sticky leaves in the glow of their head torches.

Row after row, they will spend hours repeating the same gesture before returning to their nearby village of Karchovkso, in the Muslim-majority Kirkovo region, to hang the leaves to dry.

And yet these efforts will barely yield enough for survival.

“When you take into account the expenses, we’ll make only a couple of euros today,” Fahim, 57, shrugged.

The fall of communism led to the disbanding of cooperative farms and a decline in tobacco production, slowly smoking out what was once Bulgaria’s most valuable asset.

With a kilo of dried tobacco leaves costing around 2.50 euros ($2.95), the Alis will make only about 2,300 euros gross this year. They’ve taken up second jobs to make ends meet.

“We’re thinking about abandoning tobacco, there’s no point to it anymore,” Fahim said.

Although the Kirkovo region still boasts the European Union’s largest number of tobacco growers per capita, the output is a far cry from the days when Bulgaria’s so-called “golden leaf” was an international mark of quality.

Days of glory

Tobacco was first introduced in Bulgaria under Ottoman rule, with production surging by the 19th century.

“It was a real currency, allowing Bulgaria to take out international bank loans,” Sofia-based economist Nikolay Valkanov told AFP.

Of the four grown varieties, the oriental type was by far the most valued thanks to its highly aromatic flavour.

Demand exploded during and after both World Wars as an increasing number of soldiers and female factory workers took up smoking.

Under Soviet rule, Bulgaria became Europe’s leading tobacco producer and, at its peak, exported some 100,000 tonnes in the 1970s and 1980s.

Today this has shrivelled to 16,250 tonnes, according to official data.

And while Bulgaria is still in the EU’s top five growers, it cannot compete with the number one producer Italy, which churns out close to 55,000 tonnes of dried tobacco leaves per year.

“The drop has been drastic”, said Tsvetan Filev, chairman of Bulgaria’s National Tobacco Growers’ Association.

“We haven’t been able to rebuild a competitive system after the dismantling of the planned economy,” he told AFP.

Dying trade

With the collapse of communism, large-scale irrigation systems stopped working while skilled labour dropped in rural areas as people migrated to cities and abroad.

The restitution of expropriated lands saw the huge tobacco fields broken up into numerous small parcels and handed back to the original owners.

EU data from 2014 showed that Italy only had tenth of Bulgaria’s 23,700 tobacco growers, but produced five times as much.

“The way that the Bulgarian sector is organised now — with numerous tiny farms, low yields, insufficient know-how, low education — leaves it without a future,” said Valkanov.

There’s added pressure from neighbouring Turkey, Greece and Macedonia which have boosted their production and are threatening to push Bulgaria out of the market.

Many Bulgarians now head across the border to pick leaves in Greece to earn a decent wage.

“Once upon a time there were tobacco fields everywhere and look at what’s left now,” lamented Hasansabri Mehmed, the regional chief of the national growers’ association, pointing to the vast bushy planes around him.

There’s also a political dimension to the issue.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) party that controls Kirkovo and its Muslim population has resisted government plans to convince people to turn to other crops.

“Growers are politically highly dependent on the MRF. Anything tobacco-related has to go through them,” said Valkanov.

Either way, observers say the shallow and infertile fields of the Rhodope mountains are suited to little else other than tobacco, leaving growers hinged on a dying trade.

SOURCE: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

Risda urged to help entrepreneurs market products online in Sabah

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

KOTA KINABALU– Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin, has urged the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) to help entrepreneurs under its guidance in Sabah to market their products via online.

Yahya, who is also Sabah’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, said this would allow the products of these entrepreneurs penetrate the foreign markets and further increase their sales and incomes.

“The effective online businesses will be able to boost marketing and at the same time widen their businesses,” he said when opening the Risda\’s Sabah Entrepreneurs’ Carnival 2017 here today.

The three-day carnival, starting Friday, is aimed at promoting products of Sabah entrepreneurs under Risda’s guidance and creating a more quality business network.

Yahya said all Risda entrepreneurs in the state should always equipped themselves with knowledge on the latest marketing methods including packaging and labelling which could raise the standards and quality of their products.

“Producing quality products and low production costs will help the entrepreneurs be competitive both domestically and internationally,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said, Risda has allocated RM27 million for entrepreneurship activities including the additional economic activities, product development, business premises development, marketing activities, exhibitions, promoting and building strategic networks with related agencies.

“In this regard, Risda’s entrepreneurs should take advantage of every entrepreneurial development programme and economic activities designed by the agency to improve the quality of life and not rely on on rubber and palm commodities only,” he said.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

RISDA (Rubber Industry Smallholders’ Development Authority) enters SME market

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Uncategorized

KOTA KINABALU: The Rubber Industry Smallholders’ Development Authority or better known as RISDA, is rebranding itself as it enters the SME market.

Introducing Risda Smallholders Mart (RisSMart), the outlet will be a rural business center to enable small entrepreneurs to further market their products.

State Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin said the mart is one of efforts from RISDA to help entrepreneurs to boost their products.

“RisSMart serves as a hub for promoting small-scale products and also to help them to expand the business network.

“We are expecting RisSMart to be developed in each district around Sabah, but for starters we will only open one RisSMart here in Alam Mesra,” he said in his speech at the opening of Sabah RISDAEntrepreneurs Carnival at Lintasan Deasoka, here yesterday.

Also present were Risda’s deputy director-general (development) Nasarudin Malek and Sabah RISDA director Maizal Hakiman Nawawi.

A total of 35 RISDA entrepreneurs around Sabah came to the carnival to promote their products. Yahya said the program is a platform for entrepreneurs to hear and know the government’s latest initiatives and assistance towards the business community.

Since its establishment in 1973, RISDA has worked on raising the rubber yields of smallholders. It has also undertaken programmes for the benefit of smallholders.

“We know that RISDA is among the government agencies which are close to villagers. Now they have been given a greater responsibility to assist the villagers and smallholders by providing various facilities and provisions,” he said. RISDA has allocated RM27 million for entrepreneurial activities which encompasses the Additional Economic Activity (AET), product development, business premises development, marketing activities, exhibitions, promotion and building of strategic networks with relevant agencies.

“In ensuring RISDA entrepreneurs remain competitive, it’s helping entrepreneurs to increase the value of their products by increasing their ability to compete in local or international markets.”

Yahya also reminded that Sabah RISDA entrepreneurs should always take advantage of the programs offered, such as Groom Big Program and One District One Industry Program.

The Groom Big program will create more potential entrepreneurs by achieving annual sales revenue of more than RM 200,000.

As for One-District Program (SDSI), the program aims to strengthen local communities with viable socio-economic activities and service that has economic and competitive values.

Yahya also suggested that RISDA develops an online application so that all entrepreneurs can market their products under one online application.

Meanwhile, Nasarudin said the agency has allocated RM1.5m for its Entrepreneurship Activity that benefits 70 entrepreneurs in various fields of services, food, manufacturing and agriculture and the Usahawan Development Program.

“Entrepreneurship development and economic activities are RISDA’s efforts to improve the lives of smallholders not to rely solely on rubber and palm commodities.

“Hence, hopefully with this kind of carnival, it will help small scale entrepreneurs to market their products directly to the public as well as to create a wider market and business network for them,” he said.

During the event, RISDA also presented Sabah RISDA Entrepreneur Award to Sipitang entrepreneur, Ahmad Supin Abit.

SOURCE:- NEW SABAH TIMES

Sabah encourages staging of tribal events – CM

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

Paitan, Beluran: The staging of tribal events is very much encouraged as it reflects Sabah’s wealth of cultures, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.

He said the richness of a culture comes from the customs and inheritance practiced and passed on by the forebears of a native community.

“And it is the present generation who must continue practicing and passing on to the next generation so that their culture will not be lost.

“When outsiders see this is being done, we can all be proud of our diversities of life and culture,” he said adding that Sabah has such uniqueness.

Musa said that if there is a culture-related festival being held, other people would want to find out and know more about it.

The Chief Minister was speaking at the launching of Pesta Tagunggu Paitan, an event to promote the culture of the Orang Sungai, at Paitan here yesterday.

Musa said that such event would also help to promote goodwill among the people from various races and cultures.

“One of Sabah’s unique characters is that we all can live in peace and harmony despite our cultural background and outsiders are amazed by it.

“We are continuing the work of our ancestors, who lived in peace and they protected and preserved their culture. And now, we are doing the same, living peacefully and harmoniously,” he said.

With such understanding, he said Sabah will continuously remain stable coupled with the development and progress enjoyed by the people.

On Beluran, he said the excellent relationship between the state and federal governments has seen the district being developed even though it is at the edge of the State.

Speaking to reporters later, Musa said that the presence of two Barisan Nasional elected representatives in Beluran MP Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee and Sugut assemblyman, Datuk James Ratib made a strong team as they know the needs of the people in Beluran.

“They met me often and also the Prime Minister requesting for development projects for the people including in Paitan,” said Musa who is also the State Finance Minister.

“They are effective and strong leaders, who are working hard for the people.”

SOURCE:- NEW SABAH TIMES

Dying art of beduk drumming to be revived

Posted on : 14-08-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

MEMBAKUT: Beduk or bedug drumming competition will be expanded to Borneo level to ensure younger generations continue to learn the dying art.

Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Mohd Arifin Arif said that he will be providing special allocation to have it organised in the future.

Speaking at the Membakut-level beduk drumming competition in Kampung Binsulok, he said that he will also be providing allocation to equip all mosques in the district with a beduk this year, which will be expanded to cover all suraus next year.

“This art is dying out with the passing of the older generations, so I hope having teenagers category in this competition could encourage more youths to learn it,” he said.

Unlike the more frequently-used kendang, the beduk is suspended from a rack and played with a padded mallet. Its sound is generally deeper and duller than that of the kendang.

Arifin who is also Membakut Assemblyman, also reminded parents to ensure their children are able to recite the Quran as it is compulsory for every Muslims.

According to him, the lack of teachers is no longer an issue as there are more qualified teachers in the district now. “It is compulsory for our children to be able to recite the Quran even if they do not understand it because it will strengthen their faith especially in facing the modern world.

“Children nowadays have distanced themselves from religion and this has caused many social problems,” he added.

SOURCE:- NEW SABAH TIMES