Falling crude prices blessing in disguise
Published on: Sunday, January 10, 2016
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Penampang: The plummeting price of petroleum in the global market is a blessing in disguise as it would challenge innovators to come up with new approaches to improve the economy and sustain the market instead of just sitting on their laurels.Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (pic) said people tend to wake up only when faced with challenges and it is, therefore, the right tonic for the Ministry this year to hope to see more innovations coming out from Malaysians.

"This year being the Malaysian Commercialisation Year, would be a year where the Ministry would be identifying alternative technology, either from the grassroots or the results of researches done through the various funds given by the ministry.

"This year also, we will impose the standard operating procedure that grants will only be given to applicants with commercialisation ideas in mind. That means they need to have commercialising partners," he said, after a walkabout at the International Technology and Commercial Centre (ITCC) Penampang, here, Saturday.

He said the Innovation Walk (Jejak Inovasi) conducted under the Malaysian Innovation Foundation will continue to go to the ground, especially in the rural areas and villages, to look for innovations done by the people at the grassroots level.

Over the years, he said, more than 1,700 innovations by villagers have been identified including a number of innovations from Sabah that have been commercialised.

"This year, we will transform this further. We will continue with the Innovation Walk but at the same time, we are coming out with a digital platform by way of a website where ordinary Malaysians can submit their innovative ideas.

"If I could have only 10,000 Malaysians coming forward with their innovations, I think Malaysia will be able to overcome a lot of the challenges it is facing this year," he said.

Commenting on the establishment of Sabah's very own National Science Centre, Tangau said the project is on the way and it will be established despite the lack of allocation for the specific purpose.

"But again, it is another opportunity for innovation! To think how we can do that, without allocation. It is on the way," he assured.

Madius also congratulated Datuk Seri Clarence Bongkos Malakun and his family for the ITCC Penampang idea which would certainly transform the face of Penampang as well as the whole of Greater Kota Kinabalu.

"This is exactly what we want. I will look at how the Ministry can facilitate to make sure that the vision of the builder can really turn this building into an international technology centre," he promised.

The ITCC Penampang is one of several projects listed as "Private Sector Initiative Project" by the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia) under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).

Upon completion, it will consist of a 330-room Premier hotel, 295 units of ITCC suites, 16-storey Office Tower, a modern four-storey shopping mall, a multi-purpose commercial centre including a 170-table banquet hall and a modern convention centre.

ITCC Penampang provides a huge space for tourism and exhibition activities and especially those of Information Technology related innovative products. It can also provide incubator business facilities for both local and overseas entrepreneurs to enhance value added products.

According to Goodhelp Enterprise (M) Sdn Bhd Group General Manager Ceasar Mandela Malakun, the first phase of the building which is the shopping mall complex is expected to complete in the second quarter of this year while the second phase, which is the three tower blocks, will be finished by end of this year.


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