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Khairy: Malaysia must position itself as startup hub to attract global talents

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 — Malaysia must position itself as a hub for startups to attract the best global entrepreneurial talents to be based in the country, said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Its minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, said the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem was on par with the world’s best, but Malaysia must brand itself better to get noticed.

“We don’t brand ourselves enough. We have to do more about positioning ourselves. Many countries are attracting the same limited amount of talent. If you don’t shout above the noise, you’re going to be bypassed,” he said in a statement today.

Khairy was speaking at a panel discussion titled ‘Reflect, Reset and Reform – Thriving in the New World’ at the eNation technology conference organised by the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) today.

He said Malaysia had the advantage of being an English-speaking country, multicultural, with high-level tertiary education enrolment, relatively high-skilled workforce, and is ranked high in global indices in terms of competitiveness and ease of doing business.

“The incentives we offer are just as competitive as any in the region. It is really about branding this environment,” he added.

He emphasised the importance of a sustainable holistic ecosystem, highlighting that it is more than just establishing trade offices and offering tax incentives.

To attract the best talents, the country needs to have a mission and demonstrate a sense of purpose, such as lowering carbon footprint or ensuring wealth or income equality.

Khairy also said that Malaysia has to position itself as an open economy, given that the domestic market is relatively small.

“Our startup companies have to fill the void and not be afraid to take on big international technology companies to offer personalised, localised services. At the same time, they must not be afraid to take on big regulatory issues as well,” he said.

Khairy urged all ecosystem stakeholders, from government bodies to businesses, to embrace change that is forced upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It presents us with the opportunity to accelerate change that a lot of governments have put off in terms of structural changes to the economy, changes that the corporate world should have done a long time ago in terms of digitisation, digitalisation, automation, and robotics.” 

He said even small and medium enterprises, many of whom previously resisted the need to invest in digitisation and digitalisation, had no choice but to embrace change to keep their businesses going.

Khairy also explored the possibility of collecting digital tax from big international technology companies as they are monetising sovereign data.

“We need to have this conversation on a multilateral level on monetisation by big tech companies as they are getting away with it,” he added.

He also emphasised the value of compassion and empathy to businesses as the lockdowns have varying levels of impact on the individual companies or sectors.

“Don’t underestimate the value of compassion or empathy in business. It is important we see this coming through in terms of investments as well,” he said. — Bernama

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Virtual Hackathon Provides Affordable Inventions For SMEs Of The Electronic And Electrical (E&E) Sub-sector

Leveraging on Industry 4.0 in age of technologies, Electrical & Electronics Productivity Nexus (EEPN) supported by the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) has organised Virtual Hackathon (East Malaysia) to encourage universities students to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Machine Vision System to be used by businesses.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports in The Cabinet of Sarawak, Yang Berhormat Datuk Snowdan Anak Donald Lawan said besides providing the opportunities for universities students to be exposed to the real issues that the industry is facing based on the real case studies, Virtual Hackathon (East Malaysia) also helps to shape the students skills in problem solving and project management which indirectly nurture the universities students to be entrepreneur via business matching between SMEs and students.

Across the economic sector, talent has been identified as a challenge that impeding productivity growth and required urgent action. More cohesive efforts needed to meet the demand of the future economy, by building a strong pipeline of skilled workers and gradually reducing reliance on low-skilled workers.

The E&E subsector especially are facing with lack of manpower planning between industry and universities that led to shortage of engineers. There is a need to strengthen collaboration between industry, government and universities to ensure supply of industry-ready engineers.

Moving forward, the time is now for our country to embrace and adopt digitalisation in order to fulfil our national aspiration to be an advanced economy. We need highly skilled and well-trained human capital that are motivated towards higher-value and knowledge-based activities, he said.

According to Yang Berhormat Datuk Snowdan Anak Donald Lawan, Sarawak has spearheaded the Digital Economy Transformation through its five-year Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy (2018-2022).

The strategy sets out the possible directions Sarawak can take in order to leapfrog into the digital economy to be at the forefront of the digital world. By building, develop and head hunt a workforce that is agile, digital savvy and industry-ready will assist in developing the human resources for Sarawak’s Digital Economy.

The Electrical and Electronics Productivity Nexus (EEPN), established under Malaysia Productivity Blueprint (MPB), is chartered to improve productivity of the E&E sector. Four key strategies were identified under the EEPN, namely, to enhance higher value-added activities, nurture talent development, create value towards the Industry 4.0 ecosystem and strengthen SMEs development.

One of the EEPN I4.0 initiatives is to organise I4.0 Hackathons, which features an AI-based Machine Vision System, where participants are using Intel’s OpenVINO toolkit as part of their software suite.

In conjunction with the event, Champion of Electronic & Electrical Productivity Nexus (EEPN), YBhg. Dato Seri Wong Siew Hai also shared on Electrical & Electronics Industry in Malaysia to create awareness among industries on Industry4.0 approach.

Meanwhile, Director General of MPC, YBhg. Dato Abdul Latif Haji Abu Seman said the program which held virtually was also aimed to improve the productivity of the companies by providing affordable invention to SMEs and to enhance the competitiveness of the industry; particularly in increasing productivity, capability, and competency of the Electronic and Electrical (E&E) subsector.

The program was held in collaboration with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Curtin University, Misi 4.0 and Serba Dinamik.

“Today’s event serves as the platform of opportunity for all the students to present their projects since our kick-off event on 24th September 2020. The past 3 weeks saw all participants working hard and smart as teams, developing their proof of concept (POC) projects, and submitting these projects to the panel of judges for evaluation. This morning, we will listen and watch final pitching presentations from all participating teams. I was made to understand that this Hackathon event has attracted a total of 14 teams from 5 universities. There are many attractive awards to be won; with a total cash prizes of RM 11,500.00 for today’s Hackathon. We hope that this program will further engage between universities and industries as well as to create job opportunities for universities students in the AI, digital and industry in his speech yesterday.

Also attended the program were Non-Independent Non-Executive Director Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad, YBhg. Datuk Haji Abdul Kadier Sahib and Director of MPC Sarawak, Yang Berusaha Hajah Sarimah Misman.

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Inisiatif baik promosi AI

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Hackathon Maya pertama di Malaysia yang dianjurkan oleh Perbadanan Produktiviti Malaysia (MPC) dan Nexus Produktiviti Elektrik & Elektronik (ESPN) adalah satu inisiatif yang baik untuk mempromosikan kecerdasan buatan (AI) yang berasaskan kepada Sistem Penglihatan Mesin kepada pelajar universiti di negara ini.

Menteri Muda Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Snowdan Lawan berkata, ini adalah salah satu daripada usaha kerajaan untuk menggalakan penglibatan pelajar dari universiti bagi membangunkan penyelesaian Bukti Konsep (POC) mesin yang berasaskan AI kepada syarikat tempatan terutamanya Syarikat Perusahaan Industri Kecil dan Sederhana (PKS).

Katanya, objektif program tersebut adalah untuk meningkatkan produktiviti syarikat dengan menyediakan penemuan yang berpatutan kepada PKS.

“Dengan adanya usaha seperti ini, ia dapat meningkatkan daya saing dalam industri tersebut.

“Selain daripada itu, ia juga boleh meningkatkan produktiviti, keupayaan, dan kecekapan sub sektor elektrik dan elektronik,” katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada majlis penutupan Hackathon Maya yang dianjurkan oleh Perbadanan Produktiviti Malaysia (MPC) dan Nexus Produktiviti Elektrik & Elektronik (EEPN) yang diadakan di D-Virtual Park, Kota Samarahan, di sini, semalam.

Hadir sama, Lembaga Pengarah Perbadanan Produktiviti Malaysia (MPC), Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Abang Openg dan Pengarah MPC, Sarimah Misman.

Jelas beliau, adalah sangat penting untuk sub sektor elektrik dan elektronik untuk memperkukuhkan kerjasama di antara industri, kerajaan dan Universiti untuk memastikan bekalan jurutera yang sudah ada di industri sentiasa mencukupi.

“Menurut laporan dari Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia (DOSM) mengatakan bahawa kadar pengganguran graduan adalah 3.9 peratus adalah dari tahun 2019. Manakala di Sarawak mencatatkan sebanyak 5.3 peratus kadar pengangguran di kalangan graduan.

“Kekurangan tenaga mahir dalam industri seperti ini akan memberi impak yang besar terhadap produktiviti syarikat di negara kita.

Beliau berkata, program seperti ini adalah satu platform yang baik kepada pelajar universiti supaya mereka (pelajar) didedahkan dengan kajian kes yang sebenar.

“Ini akan membentuk kemahiran pelajar dalam menyelesaikan masalah dalam pengurusan projek disamping itu secara tidak langsung juga akan memupuk pelajar university kita untuk menjadi usahawan melalui padanan perniagaan di antara PKS dan pelajar.

“Oleh itu, saya menggesa agar lebih banyak pelajar universiti dan Industri di negara ini untuk terus bekerjasama di dalam mengumpulkan kumpulan sumber daya manusia yang berbakat, menjadi strategi berimpak tinggi untuk memberi pendekatan yang lebih inovatif di semua sektor dalam menjana semula ekonomi,” ujarnya.

Terdahulu seramai 13 peserta telah mengambil bahagian dalam pertandingan Hackathon Maya 2020 yang diadakan baru-baru ini.

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UMS group wins Virtual Hackathon

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS)’s HappyGoLucky group emerged champion of the Industry 4.0 (I4.0) Virtual Hackathon East Malaysia 2020.

The group participated in the hackathon with their project titled ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI) Defective Global Tracker’ and went home with RM5,000.

The prize was presented by Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan at the Hackathon’s closing ceremony held at D-Virtual Park in Jalan Meranek here on Sunday (Oct 18).

Meanwhile, first runner-up was Hozatech group from University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) who won RM3,000 for their project titled ‘AI-SCAN4GUD’.

The second runner-up was WILL group, also from UCTS, who secured RM2,000 with their project titled ‘Glove Detection’.

Consolation prizes worth RM300 each were also given to five groups namely, Centexs (Centre of Technical Excellence), D.O.T.S (UCTS), as well as three groups from Curtin University Malaysia — Prometheus, Fantastic Five and Geekology.

In total, 13 teams from local universities in East Malaysia participated in the programme with a total of RM11,500 cash rewards and prizes up for grabs.

The Hackathon kicked off on Sept 24 and the participating groups had to work for the past three weeks to develop their proof of concept (POC) projects.

The objective of the Hackathon was to promote AI-based Machine Vision System among university students and to encourage them to develop affordable AI-based Machine Vision Proof of Concepts solutions for local companies in order to improve the productivity of the companies through digitalisation.

The programme was jointly organised by Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) Sarawak and Electrical & Electronics Productivity Nexus (EEPN) with the support of organising partners particularly Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Curtin University, Misi4.0 and Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad (SDHB).

Amongst those present at the closing ceremony were Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) board of directors member Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Datuk Abang Openg; MPC Sarawak director Sarimah Misman; Serba Dinamik IT Solutions Sdn Bhd general manager (Operations Department) Abdul Qaiyum Alidin; and Serba Dinamik Sdn Bhd Kuching branch group manager Muliawadi Imran.

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KBS rancang 9 Kejohanan e-Sukan

KBS merancang 9 Kejohanan e-Sukan dengan kerjasama Jabatan Belia dan Sukan (JBS) negara merancang untuk menganjurkan sembilan kejohanan sukan elektronik (e-Sukan), mengikut zon di seluruh negara.

Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican berkata, kesemua kejohanan berkenaan diharap dapat membantu menyediakan pemain-pemain amatur e-sukan dari negara ini untuk bersaing pada kejohanan-kejohanan di peringkat kebangsaan dan antarabangsa.

Justeru menurut Reezal Merican, kesemua pemain-pemain amatur ini perlu melalui pengalaman bersaing dengan pemain-pemain e-sukan dari negara lagi bagi membantu penyediaan berkenaan.

“Bersaing dalam kejohanan di peringkat antarabangsa adalah medan pertandingan yang diimpikan oleh kesemua pemain e-sukan ini.

“Namun bagi mencapai matlamat itu mereka (pemain amatur) di peringkat akar umbi perlu mengekalkan prestasi yang sempurna dengan menyertai apa juga platform pertandingan sebagai latihan berterusan.

“Oleh itu melalui inisiatif kejohanan MyBorneo ini secara tidak langsung ia memberikan peluang kepada pemain-pemain amatur dari negara ini untuk bersaing dengan pemain-pemain dari negara Brunei Darussalam dan Indonesia yang sekali gus membantu memperluaskan ‘talent pool’ pemain-pemain e-Sukan di negera ini,” katanya menerusi satu kenyataan media, semalam.

Rizal Merican berkata demikian ketika berucap bagi menyempurnakan majlis pelancaran Kejohanan MyBorneo E-Force Invitational 2020 di Kota Samarahan, Sarawak yang dilaksanakan secara virtual di Menara KBS, hari ini.

Kejohanan yang bermula mulai 16 Oktober hingga 8 November 2020 itu turut menyediakan empat kategori ‘game title’ seperti Pubg Mobile, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Dota 2 dan Moto GP PC.

Seramai 3,000 peserta dari kepulauan Borneo seperti Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam dan Kalimantan Indonesia dijangka disasarkan menyertai kejohanan berkenaan.

Sementara itu Reezal Merican berkata, KBS telah melancarkan projek khas e-Sukan Bersepadu (ESI) mulai 1 Oktober 2020 dalam usaha memastikan pembangunan e-Sukan di negara ini secara inklusif.

Katanya, ESI akan bekerjasama dengan pemegang taruh utama dalam industri e-Sukan ini dengan memberikan penekanan terhadap enam perkara teras melibatkan penubuhan sebuah liga dan kejohanan e-sukan, menganjurkan persidangan e-Sukan, meyokong pembinaan dan pengawal seliaan e-Sukan yang efektif melalui advokasi, menyediakan program pembinaan kapasiti, mewujudkan hub e-Sukan dan membangunkan platform e-Sukan.

“Tumpuan kepada enam perkara teras ini akan membolehkan ESI dapat menaik taraf industri e-Sukan ke tahap yang lebih tinggi.

“Seterusnya ia akan dapat pula memangkinkan ekosistem yang rancak, mapan dan inklusif,” katanya.

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KBS Peruntuk RM250,000 Untuk Sarawak Esports Association

SIBU: Menteri Belia dan Sukan Datuk Seri Reezal Naina Merican mengumumkan peruntukan sebanyak RM250,000 kepada Sarawak Esports Association untuk pembangunan umum serta penganjuran kejohanan Esport Borneo.

Sementara itu, sebanyak RM20,000 akan disalurkan kepada Sibu District Esports Club sebagai persiapan penganjuran sukan itu pada awal tahun depan.

“Dengan kejohanan-kejohanan esports yang telah berjaya dianjurkan sewaktu PKP berkuatkuasa, saya cukup yakin akan industri e-sports di Malaysia yang terus membangun.

“Semoga industri sukan elektronik di Malaysia akan sentiasa berkembang dan terus maju ke arena antarabangsa,” katanya ketika merasmikan Program Malaysia Day E-Sports Challenge 2020, disini, pada Rabu.

Turut hadir Menteri Belia dan Sukan Sarawak Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Menteri Muda Belia dan Sukan Sarawak Datuk Snowdan Lawan serta Pemangku Setiausaha Tetap Kementerian Belia dan Sukan Negeri Sarawak, Pn Nancy Jolhi dan Pengarah Jabatan Belia dan Sukan Negeri Sarawak,Pn Azura Hj Sabrin.

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Go digital to expand overseas, CM tells Sarawak companies

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg today told businesses to embrace digitalisation and technology to expand internationally.

He said with a population of only 2.8 million, Sarawak is not a potential market for every product.

“Companies must step up their efforts to attract new customers in other countries, otherwise their markets will be limited,” he said.

Abang Johari was speaking at the launch of D’Virtual Park, the state’s first virtual reality theme park.

He said one of his top priorities when he became the chief minister three years ago was the state’s digital transformation.

“Instead of waiting for allocation from the federal government, which may take some time, I have decided to invest RM1 billion to upgrade the digital infrastructure in Sarawak,” he said.

“I am confident that the state is on the right path as contactless services have become the new normal due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He said Sarawak has many products suitable for the global market, hence, entrepreneurs should embrace digitalisation in order to grow their businesses.

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CM: State-owned station to promote Sarawak worldwide

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak will be able to reach out to a global audience via its newly-launched television station, TVS, in the future, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Chief Minister said the launch of the state-owned station last Sunday was part and parcel of Sarawak’s transformation into a digital economy.

“I think in five to 10 years’ time we will reach out to the world through satellite communication and TVS can become a medium of communication worldwide.

“That is our aspiration. TVS can promote Sarawak worldwide and Sarawakians can become global citizens, ” he said when opening D-Virtual Park, Borneo’s first virtual reality theme park, here on Monday.

TVS, which is currently on a trial run on Astro channel 122, aims to be a platform for Sarawak content creators besides airing news bulletins, current affairs programmes and talk shows.

Abang Johari also said the state government was now in the midst of upgrading infrastructure as part of its digital economy strategy, besides establishing links with the outside world to facilitate business opportunities.

He said the state had allocated RM1bil for upgrading infrastructure, including constructing telecommunication towers, throughout the state.

“We have set up the Sarawak Multimedia Authority to coordinate all this development. We also have to prepare our manpower resources and create awareness on the importance of technology in terms of our economic management.

“In line with this, we are promoting commercial agriculture based on technology including fertigation and the Internet of Things (IoT), ” he said.

On D-Virtual Park, Abang Johari said it could be used as a lab by students from nearby universities.

“This is an opportunity for our students to become familiar with technology, ” he said.

Developed by Sarawak-based company Serba Dinamik Group Bhd, the RM13mil park has an innovation lab, virtual games and e-sports facilities.

It also provides a platform for startups to connect to Serba Dinamik’s strategic partners at the India Institute of Technology, Stanford University’s AI lab and Shenzhen.

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D-Virtual Park is Kota Samarahan’s latest landmark

KOTA SAMARAHAN: The establishment of D-Virtual Park in Jalan Meranek here is a new addition to Samarahan division’s landmarks, said Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) chairman Datuk Peter Minos.

He noted that most Sarawakians know Samarahan division because of well-known universities Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

“But now we have something brand new and out of the usual and ordinary — the virtual reality park (VRP) — the first ever in Borneo and Malaysia in general,” he said.

He said this in a statement after attending the launching ceremony of D-Virtual Park officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Monday (Oct 12).

He explained that the VRP initiated by Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad, is a centre of the digital new world which embodies digital economy and modern digital life.

“It is more than a place of digital amusement as it also provides training in the digital world, a platform where anyone can learn and start businesses related to digital ways and methods, marketing and connecting with the rest of the world,” he added.

He also mentioned that the D-Virtual Park is opening doors for Sarawakians and the ways to new technologies, ideas and innovations to the revolutionise the economy.

“The VRP is the very first key step in really pushing the chief minister’s vision to transform digital economy in Sarawak.

“We in MPKS are happy that Serba Dinamik had chosen Kota Samarahan as its first VRP centre in Malaysia and subsequently making Samarahan more known and famous,” he continued.

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State can emulate Estonia

KOTA SAMARAHAN:  Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Monday (Oct 12) reiterated Sarawak’s hopes to emulate Estonia for model for digital economy.

“I believe we can be on the same par with the rest of the world by emulating Estonia. 

“Estonia, as you know, is in north-eastern Europe. It was under Russia. It developed very fast and has now become a star in Europe in terms of digital economy. We can achieve what Estonia has achieved,” he added when officiating at the launch of D-Virtual Park at Jalan Meranek here on Monday (Oct 12),

Abang Johari explained that Sarawak had to leapfrog from semi-mechanical to digital economy to avoid being left behind in development.

“Some asked we skipped the third level to go to the fourth level. If you were to follow the steps, you will be always be left behind. So, we have to leapfrog — that is what we are doing,” he said.

To push digital economy, the chief minister said the state government would continuously upgrade and improve digital connectivity and infrastructure. 

“We are promoting commercial farming and agriculture including fertigation and IoT.  

“Agriculture encompasses everybody including the farmers and fishermen and the basic commodities that we produce.

“Having said that, we have to upgrade our infrastructure. That’s why I allocated RM1 billion from our own fund to upgrade our infrastructure including communication towers,” he said.

Abang Johari added, “We have set up the Sarawak Multimedia Authority to coordinate all these developments.”

In the meantime, the state, he said, was working hard to prepare its manpower resources and creating awareness on the importance of technology.