Malaysia Airports (KLIA & KLIA2) to offer Alipay services for Chinese tourists

Posted on : 29-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR— Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has partnered China’s Ant Financial Services Group to offer the Alipay service for Chinese tourists travelling in the country.

Managing Director, Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, said Malaysia airports hoped to created awareness, boost interest and also strengthen its brand positioning among Chinese travellers through the partnership.

“We are continuously looking to enhance the airport experience for all our customers. Thus, to embark on the Alipay cashless payment platform is a major step taken by Malaysia Airports to embrace the future of retail and food and beverages transactions at the airports,” he said in a statement today.

To date, 55.8 per cent and 56.7 per cent of outlets at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) terminals respectively, are transacting via Alipay.

“So far, we have seen a 25 per cent increase in sales from overall Alipay transactions at both terminals and during shopping campaign periods, sales can increase further by 35 per cent to 40 per cent,” Badlisham said.

He said, through the Alipay in-store payment platform, customers can pay for their transactions in the Chinese yuan without having concerns on the exchange rate, and with all transactions performed in a highly secure manner.

MAHB is introducing the Chinese Traveller Welcome Pack as part of its Total Airport Experience initiatives, included information about special promotions, transit and baggage facilities, local city tours and fast track KUL VIP Access.

Chinese tourists need to present their passports to redeem the pack at the Chinese Helpdesk and Customer Experience counters at the KLIA and KLIA2 terminal, from mid-Oct 2017 till March 2018.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports recorded 4.9 million passenger traffic movement from China last year.

From January to July 2017, the numbers increased further by 22 per cent to 3.3 million compared to the same period of the previous year.

Currently, 470 flights per week connect Malaysia and China.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Industry players urged to adapt to rapidly changing global economy

Posted on : 29-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

SUNGAI PETANI— Industry players, especially those in the manufacturing sector, have been urged to adapt to the rapidly changing global economy, including keeping abreast of developments within the Industry 4.0 in Malaysia.

Second International Trade and Industry Minister (MITI) Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said it is important for companies to differentiate themselves and remain competitive in the global market, especially in exercising flexibility, towards the ability to customise their products to meet customer needs.

“Today, as we are all aware, the global economy is changing rapidly, including in the manufacturing sector. Technological disruptions are causing a paradigm shift, sparking a new industrial revolution which some are calling Industry 4.0 or the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“It is a big challenge for companies to shift into the new era of advanced manufacturing, but this is something that needs to be done to stay relevant and competitive.

“The disruptive technology of Industry 4.0 requires companies to change the way they operate and to drive the digital transformation of their business,” he added.

Ong was speaking at the opening of the Newton Research and Development Centre (Newton),  established by Thong Guan Industries Bhd, here today.

Also present was the Tunku Laksamana Kedah, Datuk Tengku Sarafudin Badlishah Sultan Sallehuddin and State Education, Transportation and NGOs Committee Chairman, Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain.

Ong said to prepare for fhe future of manufacturing, companies need to focus on building operational excellence by investing in technology and innovation, while taking on new manufacturing practices.

“As such, the establishment of a Research and Development (R&D) centre, is also in line with the government’s aspiration to encourage R&D activities and transition towards the Industry 4.0 initiatives,” he added.

He said the government had already embarked on several initiatives that would lead the country towards Industry 4.0, namely the National Strategic Plan on the Internet of Things (IoT), the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone and determining 2017, as the Year of the Internet Economy for Malaysia among many others in the pipeline.

Ong said the government led by MITI was also working on the formation of a national policy on Industry 4.0 and targeted for completion by year-end.

Newton was established to analyse, optimise, solve and innovate on load transportation safety concepts.

With its vast experience in film production and competencies in this field, Newton meets all local and foreign requirements to become a well-recognised and independent testing institute.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

NuEnergy collaborates with Pertamina Gas to investigate supply of CBM (Coal Bed Methane)

Posted on : 29-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Globaltec Formation Bhd’s (GFB) subsidiary NuEnergy Gas Ltd and Indonesia’s PT Pertamina Gas have inked an MoU to look into the supply of coal bed methane gas from the Tanjung Enim production sharing contract.

GFB told Bursa Malaysia on Thursday its Australian listed NuEnergy Gas and Pertamina Gas would study the feasibility of distribution to consumers in Sumatra.

It said the MoU was an important step for the negotiation of the gas sales and supply heads of agreement including supply period, supply volume and price.

To recap, NuEnergy had received the Indonesian Government’s approval to prepare the plan of development for the Tanjung Enim PSC.

GFB said the proposal was to develop two target areas, in the north and north-west of the PSC where NuEnergy has focused exploration, drilling and pilot production activities over the last eight years.
SOURCE:- THE STAR

Najib announces RM7m in grants or farmers, breeders, fishermen

Posted on : 29-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

SERDANG— Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced one-off grants of RM30,000 for every Area Farmers Organisation and Area Fishermen’s Organisation.

He said the grants, totalling RM7 million, would benefit one million farmers, breeders and fishermen who were members of these organisations.

The grant was provided in appreciation of the efforts of those who supplied the nation’s food, he said when launching the National Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen’s Day 2017 (HPPNK2017) and Malaysia Food Festival at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang here.

Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek were also present at the opening of the four-day HPPNK2017 which has the theme ‘Our Food, Our Future’.

“Toiling as farmers, breeders and fishermen to provide the people with food is a noble task and the contribution of these groups of people, who are dear to me, must be honoured,” Najib said.

The Prime Minister said the agriculture and agro-food sector contributed RM89.3 billion and RM36.5 billion, respectively, to the Gross Domestic Product in 2016.

He also said that the production of major food commodities such as paddy, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish registered an encouraging growth of 3.9 per cent per annum from 2011 to 2016.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the grants, which had been approved by the Finance Ministry, would revitalise the leadership of area farmers and fishermen’s organisations to bring further development to the respective sectors.

The country has 278 area farmers organisations and 88 area fishermen’s organisations.

The Prime Minister said agricultural industry players had to adopt a global view and create wealth through the sector instead of just remaining at the local level and regarding farming, breeding livestock and fishing as being enough just to survive.

Although the potential of the agricultural industry had yet to be fully realised, the seeds of success were evident due to the global demand for durian, bird nests, herbs and seaweed which had become the country’s premium products, he said.

Najib said his visits to China had opened up a new market for agricultural products, especially for the durian that had been allowed to be exported there, besides attracting investments to the tune of RM144 billion to Malaysia.

He said that during one of his visits, he personally asked Chinese leaders to allow Malaysia’s export of durian to China which, he added, resulted in traders of the ‘Musang King’ variety of durian harvesting huge profits when the export value exceeded RM100 per kg.

The success deflected the slander by the political opposition that he had sold off the country’s sovereignty when his visits had actually yielded benefits for the people, he said.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Smart wheelchair, food order app winners in PROJEX 15

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: A smart wheelchair and mobile application for placing food orders were amongst the winning innovations during the Kota Kinabalu Polytechnic innovation competition, PROJEX 15.

Aimed at facilitating wheelchair-bound individuals to move about more independently and conveniently, group members, Nina Nathrah Nain, Dyg Nuriffa Hanina and Fenisia Kenai Johnny equipped a regular wheelchair with the Arduino Uno hardware, which can be controlled using a smartphone with Bluetooth or even a PlayStation 2 (PS2).

They explained that when the Arduino hardware is connected to a smartphone or PS2, it will receive a signal which then allows it to send commands to the relay and get the wheelchair moving.         The wheelchair also features a sensor which detects obstacles as a safety measure, they said.

“We came up with the idea of innovating a regular wheelchair because a smart wheelchair is not yet available in the market and electric wheelchairs can be costly. By installing the hardware to a regular wheelchair, it will enable anyone with a smartphone to make use of this technology,” they added.

Andri Shafyian and Jedidiah David Herman, on the other hand, sought to increase efficiency in taking and placing orders, especially for food trucks.

“With the changing landscape in the food and beverage industry, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce a more efficient way in which orders are placed,” Jedidiah explained.

“Customers can place their orders through the mobile application we designed, and they will receive a notification once their order is complete.”

The duo also said that their mobile app could cut down on the usage of paper, in line with the theme of the competition, ‘Green Technology – Environmentally Sustainable’ (‘Teknologi Hijau – Lestari Persekitaran’).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who is also Minister of Industrial Development, commended the efforts of all participants in coming up with the ideas of their innovations, adding that they have the potential to be mass-produced and marketed.

“When this product can be taken by the industry, it can be commercialized to generate income. Industry players have to come in and support all these products and it is good if they are promoted so that these industry players can help in terms of commercialization.

“All the ideas here are very good. In fact, I will revisit Polytechnic and see how, going forward, we can commercialize some of these products,” he said.

The bi-annual competition saw 250 students vying for the top spot with their respective inventions, divided into Engineering and Non-engineering categories.

A winning team was also selected in an unprecedented Poster Competition as part of PROJEX 15.

Winners are now in the running to compete in inter-polytechnic innovation competitions, where selected products will be registered under the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) and Patent Utility Innovation (IU).

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Sabah to work with China in achieving win-win cooperation

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Uncategorized

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah State Government welcomes China’s Belt and Road Initiative and looks forward to working together with China in achieving win-win cooperation, enabling more projects to be realized in the State and in matching development strategies.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman said the relationship between China and Sabah had developed rapidly in recent years.

“We hope to welcome more tourists and investors from China for sightseeing and investment,” Musa said in his speech at the 68th anniversary reception of the founding of the People’s Republic of China here yesterday.

His speech was delivered by the Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

The event was graced by the Head of State Tun (Dr) Haji Juhar Bin Haji Mahiruddin and Toh Puan Hajah Norlidah binti Tan Sri Datuk RM Jasni.

In recent years, Musa said China’s economic development had grown rapidly and the country had become a role model for nations that were committed to realizing development within their own capabilities.

As the world’s second largest economy, he said China’s development model and path had brought the world’s attention.

“China has demonstrated to the world the image of a responsible big country, which proposes development in peace and adopts the principle of mutual benefit and win-win strategies which are welcomed by most countries.

“Such an approach is even more crucial in this day and age when the world is facing rampant unilateralism, extremism and national egoism.”

Musa said the friendship between China and Malaysia had a long history, tracing back to the establishment of a diplomatic relationship over 40 years ago.

He said the comprehensive strategic partnership between both countries had led to maintaining a good momentum of development, and was now in the best period of history.

“This has been achieved through various efforts and by focusing on similar visions such as in sustaining peace, harmony and development.

“Such efforts have led to logistic collaboration in various fields, thus setting a good example in the region of friendly cooperation between two nations which mutually benefits the people of both countries.”

Musa also acknowledged the good work done by the office of the Consulate General of China in Kota Kinabalu.

He said the consulate continued to facilitate efforts in relation to education, culture, tourism and trading.

“It has further strengthened the relationship between Sabah and China and ensured mutually beneficial collaboration.

“The State Government shall continue to provide support and assistance to your office on your future undertakings.”

Also present at the event were State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Syed Abas Bin Syed Ali, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minsiter Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah and Datin Mary Wong, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, Deputy Speakers of the State Legislative Assembly Datuk Johnny Mositun and Datuk Dr Johnson Tee, Pairin’s wife Puan Sri Genevieve Kitingan, Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide and Deputy Consul General, Zhang He, Senator Wilfred Yong, Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce (SUCCC) president Tan Sri Andrew Liew, SUCCC Superivsory Committee chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Chong Nyuk Yong, SUCCC deputy president Datuk Ling Tiong Chai, Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) vice president Datuk Lau Kok Sing, MCCC Sabah branch president Datuk Frankie Liew, Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) president Datuk Michael Lui,  Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw, Sabah Dong Zong chairman Datuk Jimmy Yong, Kota Kinabalu Hokkien Association president Datuk Clement Yeh, Asia Times proprietor Datuk Tiong Tan Hua and KTS Trading Sdn Bhd Sabah area operation manager Wong Kee Mee.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

MITI seeks budget increase for SMEs to deal with Industry 4.0

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

Kuala Lumpur: The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) has sought an increase in in the budgetary allocation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them deal with the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) and e-commerce.

Its Deputy Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan said this was one of the proposals Miti made when they took part in two dialogues on the 2018 Budget wish list chaired by Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

“Once finalised by early next month, we will submit the proposals, including the amount needed to empower about 907,000 SMEs, to the Finance Ministry,” he told a press conference following the Bumiputera SME Readiness Towards Megatrend and Industry 4.0 Dialogue here Wednesday.

Ahmad described the level of awareness on Industry 4.0 and e-commerce among SMEs as moderate, and he hoped with increased allocation, they would become more competitive, innovative and resilient.

He said industry 4.0 adoption in the SME business activities would help increase productivity and production of high quality products at a much lower cost through a more flexible and efficient process.

Meanwhile, SME Corp Chairman Tan Sri Mohamed Al Amin Abdul Majid said megatrend such as Industry 4.0 and big data analytics were global economic development which would give varying impact to the economy, industry, businesses and the society.

“With Industry 4.0, the rise of the new digital technology industry symbolises a paradigm shift in revolutionising manufacturing and production,” he said.

He called on SMEs to adapt their production processes with technological advancement and improve their workforce efficiency.

Under Budget 2017, RM5.87 billion has been allocated for SME development.

Of the amount, RM239.7 million has been set aside to boost and increase innovation and technology, especially among Bumiputera SMEs, through the implementation of 29 programmes, encompassing innovation enhancement, technology adoption, information and communication technology, research and development, and commercialisation.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Malaysia climbs two spots in rankings

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia climbed two spots to rank 23rd out of 137 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 (GCR) compared to last year where it was placed 25th out of 138 countries.

In the report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Malaysia has overtaken Ireland, Qatar and remained ahead of economies such as South Korea, China, Iceland and Estonia.

The study, which uses 70 per cent survey data and 30 per cent hard data from 137 countries, took into considerations 12 pillars of competitiveness to determine the country’s ranking.

Overall, Switzerland was ranked the most competitive economy in the world for the ninth consecutive year, ahead of the United States and Singapore, followed by The Netherlands and Germany.

Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC), which releases the data locally, said Malaysia’s performance remained strong and remarkably consistent as it retained its position in the top 25.

“Among emerging economy in East Asia and Pacific region, Malaysia maintains its position as the most competitive in the transition stage from efficiency-driven to innovation-driven,” MPC director-general, Datuk Mohd Razali Hussien, told a press conference.

He said the better ranking was due to improvements in the scores in 10 of the indicators in the 12 pillars which measured both macro and micro economic aspects of competitiveness.

The 12 pillars: Institutions, Infrastructure, Macroeconomic Environment, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education and Training, Goods Market Efficiency, Labour Market Efficiency, Financial Market Development, Technological Readiness, Market Size, Business Sophistication and Innovation.

“Malaysia performed most strongly in financial market development, followed by health and primary education, infrastructure and macroeconomic environment,” he said.

Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa  Mohamad, welcomed the improvements in this year’s GCR, saying that the latest ranking affirmed the strength made by the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals and that the economic policies were on the right track.

“Our exports are doing well and we continue to receive healthy inflows of direct foreign investments,” he said.

He said the country would continue to adopt strong economic policies while hoping to do well in the ranking with continuous improvements in soft and hard infrastructures.

“The country’s competitiveness can only be improved if there is a coordinated action by the government, private sector and civil society.

Mustapa said the WEF also highlighted that continuous benchmarking and monitoring were needed to ensure that public-private collaborations would result in more forward-looking

policies for the benefit of everyone.

“In this connection, the government has established a task force chaired by the Chief Secretary to the government comprising representatives from several ministries, agencies and the private sector to monitor our economic performance based on global competitiveness index to come up with better policy proposal,” he said.

“While the improvement should be welcomed, we must not get too overwhelmed and lose sight of future challenges.

“The landscape is rapidly changing and thus we must ramp up our efforts in fostering greater public-private collaborations and being on the forefront of future trends including the Industry 4.0,” he said.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

The world’s 30 most competitive economies – WEF

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International News

Switzerland is the world’s most competitive economy for a ninth straight year, the Geneva-based World Economic Forum said on Wednesday.

Since suffering a rare blip in 2008, when it was nudged into second place by the United States, the Swiss economy has maintained an efficient but unshakeable grip on the top spot in the WEF annual ranking .

WEF economist Thierry Geiger said Switzerland had a virtuous circle of infrastructure, institutions and education, but at the heart of its success was the way it created and used talent.

“That is really the secret of Switzerland, this ability to innovate, supported by a whole range of enabling factors,” he said.

However, after almost a decade at the top, Switzerland is at risk from complacency and populism. The ageing population could undermine the innovation miracle by shutting the door to foreign talent in one of the referendums that make Swiss law, he said.

“We see a proliferation of such referendums on everything, some of them are kind of dangerous, they could really endanger and jeopardise Switzerland’s prosperity,” Geiger said.

The World Economic Forum, the same organisation that runs the Davos meeting of global powerbrokers each January, bases its rankings on a dozen drivers of competitiveness and a survey of business leaders.

“Global competitiveness will be more and more defined by the innovative capacity of a country,” Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, said in a statement.

Besides Switzerland, the top 10 remained the same as a year ago, although there was some shuffling of the order. The United States climbed over Singapore into second place, and Hong Kong jumped three places to sixth, leapfrogging Japan in ninth spot

Britain slipped one place to eighth. It has not yet dropped in the rankings because of its Brexit negotiations with the European Union but it is expected to do so, the WEF said.

China inched up one place to 27th, well ahead of 38th-ranked Russia and India, which was in 40th position.

The wooden spoon went to Yemen, a poor country further devastated by civil war, economic collapse, cholera and near-famine conditions, which was in 137th place.

Following is a table showing the top 30 countries, according to the World Economic Forum.

1 Switzerland
2 United States
3 Singapore
4 Netherlands
5 Germany
6 Hong Kong
7 Sweden
8 United Kingdom
9 Japan
10 Finland
11 Norway
12 Denmark
13 New Zealand
14 Canada
15 Taiwan
16 Israel
17 United Arab Emirates
18 Austria
19 Luxembourg
20 Belgium
21 Australia
22 France
23 Malaysia
24 Ireland
25 Qatar
26 South Korea
27 China
28 Iceland
29 Estonia
30 Saudi Arabia

SOURCE:- MONEY WEB

Tenaga Nasional Bhd signs first multilateral energy exchange in ASEAN

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

Kuala Lumpur: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has signed the first multilateral energy exhange in Asean, the Energy Purchase and Wheeling Agreement (EPWA), to buy energy up to 100 MW from Electricite Du Laos (EDL), Laos.

The agreement was signed via existing transmission grid of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), Thailand.

“The EPWA governs the obligations of the parties to sell, wheel and purchase energy from EDL via EGAT to TNB for two years, beginning Jan 1, 2018 until Dec 31, 2019, in accordance with the agreed terms and conditions,” TNB said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia Wednesday.

The utility company said it was under no obligation to purchase any minimum amount of energy from EDL.

“The signing of the EPWA will not have any effect on the issued share capital and the substantial shareholdings of TNB’s shareholders and will impact neutrally on TNB’s earnings,” it added.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

PM outlines several initiatives for TVET transformation

Posted on : 28-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today outlined several initiatives to transform Technical and Vocational Education and Training in the country, which includes developing a TVET Masterplan.

He said the masterplan will be streamlined by the Ministry of Human Resources with other ministries involved in TVET like the Higher Education Ministry and Education Ministry.

Secondly, the prime minister said the government would allocate RM50 million from 30% of Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Bhd’s (PSMB) accumulated funds, for TVET.

“For the information of all, PSMB has set aside 30% of levies collected by the Human Resource Development Fund as a pool fund to implement strategic programmes as an effort to support achieving of national objectives in raising the level of skilled workers in Malaysia,” he said when launching TVET Malaysia at the Advanced Technology Training Centre (ADTEC) here today.

Also present were Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

Najib said that to transform TVET, special attention must also be given to Industrial Revolution 4.0 so as to create a workforce that is able to compete on the world stage.

He said that to support this revolution, collaboration was being forged with Skills Development Centres, polytechnics, universities and companies, entailing an allocation of RM75 million.

“Besides this, the government will also review the rate and charges related to filing of intellectual property as well as incentives that are suitable to encourage more innovation especially through the TVET institution,” he said.

The prime minister said human capital that was highly skilled was very important in transforming the national economy and function to narrow the the skills gap the country was facing, particularly by industry.

As such, he said that with Malaysia heading to become a high income nation, the government was committed to five core thrusts in transforming TVET including training 300,000 Malaysians from the lower income or B40 group from now until 2025.

The B40 group, Najib said, involved rural residents, urban poor, Orang Asli, school leavers and dropouts, single mothers and unemployed people.

“The government also plans to introduce TVET to tahfiz students as value add for them, whereby besides memorising the Quran they would also have skills in TVET.

“At the same time, from now till 2025, the government will make efforts to train and raise the number of teaching staff in TVET, whereby we are targeting 20,000 more Vocational Training Officers, thus contributing to training a higher number of people to have TVET qualifications.

“Besides that, the number of specialist trainers in TVET will also be increased by 4,000 people in various TVET fields by 2025,” he said.

As for the second thrust, Najib said the government was committed to strengthen and intensify strategic Public-Private Partnership cooperation or between TVET and industry to create synergy in developing quality human capital.

The strategic cooperation, he explained, could be realised in various forms like industry contributing expertise or machinery and equipment for training in certain fields where the industrial market badly needs such human capital.

“Thirdly, for TVET graduates, career opportunities are not only limited in the industry, TVET graduates can also venture into business, especially technopreneurship or become technopreneurs in technical fields.

“Fourthly, in the 2017 Budget, the government has allocated RM20 million for the purpose of matching grants, where the financial provision is given at the same value of contributions received from industry for high impact TVET programmes. Surely, this grant can be utilised in joint ventures between public agencies and the private sector to train and produce more skilled manpower.

“Fifth is to brand the TVET institutions in this country as TVET Malaysia, where all TVET institutions under various ministries are united as a great collaboration to train Malaysians, especially young people to become a highly skilled technical workforce,” he said.

The prime minister said TVET Malaysia should be used as an ongoing campaign to attract Malaysians to choose TVET as the main choice in their career path.

Indirectly, Najib said it would be able to change and correct the negative perceptions of the people who often thought that TVET was the second or last choice and was only ventured into by those who did not have good academic qualifications.

In conjunction with the launch of TVET Malaysia, the prime minister also attended a TN50 dialogue session with students from TVET institutions nationwide, which aimed at gaining their aspirations in the field of human capital development in the future.

The event also recognised seven TVET icons who are successful in their career and business.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Sabah Shell signs MoU to build workforce capability in Sabah

Posted on : 26-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Shell Petroleum Co Ltd reinforced its commitment to build a capable workforce in Sabah by signing a memorandum of agreement with TAS Institute of Oil and Gas yesterday.

In this signing ceremony, Sabah Shell is partnering with the institute in training operation technicians and the provision of on-job-training for high performing students to undergo their industrial internship at its facilities.

Its general manager, Ian Lim, said in April this year a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between TAS Institute of Oil and Gas and Sabah Shell aimed to leverage further on its commitment towards building capability to support Sabah’s future in the oil and gas industry.

The MoU was signed during the Sixth Sabah Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (SOGCE).

“During the SOGCE, I spoke about the need to nurture local capability for a competitive future, especially in the niche area of deep-water exploration and production.

“I mentioned about the three areas we are focusing on – Building the Sabah Content; Building Workforce Capability; and Enhancing Collaboration,” he said.

In the agreement signed after the Seventh TAS Institute graduation ceremony yesterday, Ian said it was to reinforce Sabah Shell commitment to one of the focused areas, which is building workforce capability.

Lim said Shell was very proud of its in-house development programme to nurture talents within Shell. Beyond that, the company also takes cognizant of the importance of capability building for the industry and the community.

“A unique feature of the Shell team in Sabah that we have a strong sub-surface team based here in Kota Kinabalu, and we will use this forte to provide awareness of the excitement and opportunities available in sub-surface careers.

“Shell will also do our part in promoting interest for an oil and gas based career via multiple channels. At primary school and secondary school levels, we will play an active role in promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and encourage school students to consider science stream and study engineering in secondary and tertiary education,” he said.

At university level, Lim said Shell was currently in the UMS Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) for a Master of Oil and Gas Engineering programme.

Shell, he said, is also studying other opportunities such as oil and gas safety training and specialized welding accreditation.

“At vocational skill level, we are doing more in collaborating with industry peers and vocational institutes to increase the interest level and number of Sabahans in oil and gas.

“And this brings us to where we are today, together with TAS Institute of Oil and Gas on an exciting new on-job-training initiative called Sabah Production Operator Technician (SPOT) Program,” he said.

Yesterday, eight TAS Institute students were announced to join the Shell Spot Program, namely Anderson Jerome Nelson, Chastian Oswald Roger Majanggol, Jim Chelary Satim, Nellson Enstein Ronny, Elias Augustine, Jeremy Willy Sikui, Myra Arriana J. Majanil and Sharon Arlene William.

Although the participation of female in oil and gas is less compared to male, Lim said Shell saw an improvement for the past few years, where more women were interested to work in the oil and gas industry.

“It is improving, especially from the younger generation.

“Previously we hardly see women working offshore but now more and more joining the team,” he added.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

Rubber product exports to hit RM20 bln target

Posted on : 26-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will have its first oleochemical/fatty acid plant using industrial grade palm oil (IGPO) to make stearic acid as the primary product and soap noodles as the secondary product.

The plant will be set up by Gamalux Oils Sdn Bhd at the Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu within two years.

Gamalux, which already has an existing factory at POIC Lahad Datu involving solvent extraction technologies from palm oil base and IGPO refinery plant, has recently purchased an additional 1.25ha for the proposed oleochemical plant.

POIC Lahad Datu is being developed by state-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, which is at the forefront of promoting palm oil and biomass downstream industries.

Welcoming the plan by Gamalux Oils, POIC Sabah senior manager (marketing) Rose Pun said the setting up of the plant was a breakthrough in terms of attracting investments to Sabah in the oleochemical industry.

“Sabah is the largest oil palm grower in Malaysia but none of the 20 existing oleochemical plants in the country are sited here. We hope this deal sends a message that investments in the downstream sector is really possible,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

Malaysia produced about 19 million tonnes of crude palm oil in 2016, out of which some six million tonnes were produced in Sabah where there are about 1.5 million ha of oil palm plantations.

POIC Lahad Datu was set up in 2005 to deepen the oil palm industry and add value to Sabah’s palm oil sector. POIC Sabah has so far attracted more than RM4bil in investments.

IGPO is so-called because it is not used as food. Such oil is usually recovered from slush washed out of palm oil mills, or extracted from spent bleaching earth through a solvent extraction process.

Meanwhile, Gamalux Oils director, Usman Ahmed, said the company’s vision was to keep growing and contribute to green technology.

Gamalux, which has its origin in Pakistan, has been operating at POIC Lahad Datu since 2010.

Its existing factory at the cluster employs green technology and produces refined IGPO, palm fatty acid distillate and high free fatty acid palm oil.

These materials are used in making biodiesel, chemicals and animal feed, and are currently exported to Spain, Switzerland, England, South Korea, Thailand and Pakistan.

SOURCE- BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR — The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities expects rubber and rubber product exports to hit this year’s RM20 billion target due to buying support mainly from the US, Europe, China and India.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, said between January and July 2017, rubber and rubber product exports rose by 38.5 per cent to RM19.1 billion from RM13.8 billion during the same period last year.

In 2016, exports of rubber and rubber products stood at RM18.1 billion.

He said this was partly due to the decision by some importing countries to switch to natural rubber (latex/nitrile-based) gloves from vinyl gloves, noting that the former were produced in Malaysia.

Mah said this to reporters after launching the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council (MREPC) Industry Linkage Fund (ILF), themed ‘Enhancing Competitiveness Through Research Collaboration’, here today.

He said the ILF was an effort to create a complete eco-system to support the development of the rubber products industry in terms of market promotion, research and development and human capital.

MREPC’s ILF started with an initial fund of RM3 million, to be awarded either as a full research fund or as a matching grant.

The full research grant would be awarded to projects which offer industry-wide solutions, while the matching grant would cater to specific projects that would benefit individual companies, especially small and medium enterprises.

Meanwhile, Mah said, for the coming budget, his ministry had sent a proposal to the government to extend the reinvestment allowance for manufacturers beyond 2018.

“We hope it will be extended as the manufacturers have long-term plans for their businesses, and they need some time to implement them,” he said.

Previously, under the 2016 Budget, the government had accorded reinvestment allowance of up to 60 per cent of the allowed capital expenditure for manufacturers for the 2016-2018 period.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Sabah to have its first oleochemical plant

Posted on : 26-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local Business

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will have its first oleochemical/fatty acid plant using industrial grade palm oil (IGPO) to make stearic acid as the primary product and soap noodles as the secondary product.

The plant will be set up by Gamalux Oils Sdn Bhd at the Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu within two years.

Gamalux, which already has an existing factory at POIC Lahad Datu involving solvent extraction technologies from palm oil base and IGPO refinery plant, has recently purchased an additional 1.25ha for the proposed oleochemical plant.

POIC Lahad Datu is being developed by state-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, which is at the forefront of promoting palm oil and biomass downstream industries.

Welcoming the plan by Gamalux Oils, POIC Sabah senior manager (marketing) Rose Pun said the setting up of the plant was a breakthrough in terms of attracting investments to Sabah in the oleochemical industry.

“Sabah is the largest oil palm grower in Malaysia but none of the 20 existing oleochemical plants in the country are sited here. We hope this deal sends a message that investments in the downstream sector is really possible,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

Malaysia produced about 19 million tonnes of crude palm oil in 2016, out of which some six million tonnes were produced in Sabah where there are about 1.5 million ha of oil palm plantations.

POIC Lahad Datu was set up in 2005 to deepen the oil palm industry and add value to Sabah’s palm oil sector. POIC Sabah has so far attracted more than RM4bil in investments.

IGPO is so-called because it is not used as food. Such oil is usually recovered from slush washed out of palm oil mills, or extracted from spent bleaching earth through a solvent extraction process.

Meanwhile, Gamalux Oils director, Usman Ahmed, said the company’s vision was to keep growing and contribute to green technology.

Gamalux, which has its origin in Pakistan, has been operating at POIC Lahad Datu since 2010.

Its existing factory at the cluster employs green technology and produces refined IGPO, palm fatty acid distillate and high free fatty acid palm oil.

These materials are used in making biodiesel, chemicals and animal feed, and are currently exported to Spain, Switzerland, England, South Korea, Thailand and Pakistan.

SOURCE- BERNAMA

Malaysia to have largest MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) venue in Southeast Asia by 2021

Posted on : 26-09-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will house South-East Asia’s largest meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) venue following the combination of the Malaysia Exposition and Convention Centre (MyExpo) and existing Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) by 2021.

When officiating the groundbreaking ceremony of MyExpo at Precint 5 in the nation’s administrative capital on Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the convention centre with  a total gross floor area of 1.5 million sq ft would be the largest exhibition centre in Malaysia on completion in 2020.

MyExpo, which features unique design and can accommodate 60,000 people at a time, had projected a total annual revenue of RM500mil, he said.

“As such, when MyExpo opens its doors in 2021, it will not only contribute to a rise in the number of visitors to our country but also create more jobs and strengthen Malaysia’s economic growth.

“This will help make Putrajaya a city that truly caters for both business and leisure, not only for local residents but also as the host to other nationals who are expected to live and work here,” he said.

MyExpo is the first phase development of the MyExpo City at the Diplomatic and Integrated Mixed Development enclave.  The new site of MyExpo City is located adjacent to PICC and the project is expected to complement and bring a new breath to PICC that caters mainly to conference, congress and convention since 2013.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said MyExpo City, which covers four million sq ft, would include parks and four- and five-star hotels.

He said the MICE sector was a rapidly growing part of the global tourism industry. Malaysia’s MICE industry attracted 111,298 delegates to 153 events and generated RM1.035bil in revenue last year.

By 2020, business tourism was forecast to contribute RM3.9bil to gross national income and generate 16,700 jobs, he said.

SOURCE- BERNAMA