Held for the first time in Sabah, they were (in alphabetical order):
(1) Airworld Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd; C & F Enterprise Sdn Bhd; Hap Seng Properties Development Sdn Bhd; (4) Kina Roof Industries (Sabah) Sdn Bhd and Pembinaan D.G.E. Sdn Bhd.
They were picked from 31 East Malaysian SMEs at the event, officiated by Minister of Special Task in the Sabah Chief Minister's Department, Datuk Teo Chee Kang.
"SMEs form the bedrock of the private sector in the country. About 98.5 per cent of the total businesses in Malaysia comprise SMEs contributing to one third or 32 per cent of the nation's Gross Domestic Products or GDP, about 60 per cent of the total employment and one fifth of the total exports or 19 per cent of exports.
"The fastest growing SMEs accounted for about 70 per cent of the additional GDP and about 46 per cent to the additional employment in the country," Teo said.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, in his printed message for the occasion, assured that the Sabah Government would continue to focus on helping SMEs in Sabah to grow and prosper further.
"Small and medium enterprises play an important role in driving the economic growth and contributes significantly to boost socio-economic development by providing jobs and the set-up of businesses to generate more income and, hence, more successful entrepreneurs.
The growing number of SMEs and businesses also attracts investment into the country and therefore, creates more opportunities for our citizens.
"The State Government will help SMEs under the various programmes planned and implemented by the federal and state agencies involved.
With the support laid out by the government, I urge SMEs to take the opportunity and grow your businesses to compete not just within the country, but globally as well," Musa said.
The SME 100 Awards is in its seventh year and this inaugural event for Sabah and Sarawak SMEs was organised by SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine under Business Media International with Kota Kinabalu's G&A Corporate Services and Small & Medium Enterprise Association of Malaysia (Samenta).
The other 26 companies awarded were also qualified from a record number of 212 hopeful SMEs vying for the 2014 honours.
They were (in alphabetical order): Tour & Adventure Sdn Bhd; Aalon Trading (Sabah) Sdn Bhd; Alex Comm; (4) Allunique (EM) Sdn Bhd of Kuching; Biotech Alliance International Sdn Bhd of Kuching; BW Yee Seng (Sabah) Sdn Bhd; DTS Hygiene Sdn Bhd; Epsilon Synergy Sdn Bhd of Kuching; Green Summit Development Sdn Bhd of Miri; Harum Bidang Sdn Bhd of Kuching; Hycrete Mecure Sdn Bhd of Likas; Infinity Management Consultants of Kuching; Instarmac Development Sdn Bhd of Kuching; IQuest Systems Sdn Bhd; Kinabalu Food Industries Sdn Bhd; Mega United Resources Sdn Bhd; Misarma Enterprise Sdn Bhd of Miri; Perfect Vacation Sdn Bhd of Beverly Hills; Rich Inspirations Sdn Bhd of Tawau; Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd; SM Health Care Sdn Bhd; (22) Temasek Regal Capital Sdn Bhd of Kuching; (23) TIMPLAS Industries (M) Sdn Bhd of Ulink Ascot Sdn Bhd; Wilti-Jos Music Production Sdn Bhd and WTWY Real Estate Sdn Bhd of Kuching.
Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr Adenan Satem in his message said the Sarawak Government supports the development of SMEs in the country and is actively involved in investing on their growth.
"The Government has always given its full support to help SMEs expand their businesses locally and internationally through its series of programmes and incentives.
"The SME industry in Sarawak has grown tremendously in numbers and in total worth of investment. The positive growth of SMEs in Sarawak has attracted many investors into the state and indirectly created more job opportunities for Sarawakians."
The SME 100 Award Fast Moving Companies is open to small and medium enterprises in Malaysia.
To be eligible, a company needs to fulfil the following criteria: a home-grown, locally incorporated company with at least 30 per cent local equity; annual turnover of between RM1 million and RM50 million, or full time employees between 20 and 200 for manufacturing, manufacturing related, and agro-based industries, and annual turnover of between RM300,000 and RM20 million or full time employees between 10 to 75 for services, primary agriculture and ICT industries; either be a holding company or a subsidiary.
If the holding company participates, all subsidiaries will not be eligible; and have audited financial statements for the year ending 2012 and 2013.
The judging benchmarks for the SME 100 scorecard comprise 60 per cent quantitative criteria and 40 per cent qualitative criteria.
The quantitative criteria include: (1) Net Operating Profit Before Tax; (2) Annual Turnover; (3) Growth in Operating Profit; (4) Growth in Turnover; (5) Return on Assets; (6) Export Revenue/Turnover, and (7) Investments in Capital / Training and Research & Development.
The qualitative criteria are based on: (1) Management Outlook; (2) Major Innovations; (3) Market Presence and Share; (4) Information Technology Usage; (5) Corporate Social Responsibility Activities; (6) Export Activities.
The SME 100 Award is given in 20 selected industry groupings, and is ranked across all groupings in 1 to 100 order, with no more than 20 winners from any of the industry groupings: (1) Agriculture, Livestock, Plantations & Commodities; (2) Automotive; (3) Chemical and Plastics; (4) Construction, Property Development & Building Materials; (5) Consumer Goods; (6) Education and Training; (7) Electrical and Electronics; (8) Financial Services; (9) Food & Beverages; (10) Furniture and Wood based Manufacturing; (11) Healthcare, Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology; (12) Hospitality, Food Service & Tourism; (13) Industrial and Commercial Products; (14) Oil & Gas, Mining and Energy; (15) Personal Services; (16) Professional and Business Services; (17) Retail; (18) Telecommunications and ICT; (19) Trading and Wholesaling; and (20) Transportation and Logistics.
Independently researched and ranked after intricate compilation and analysis, the finalists are determined by the highest weighted average score with heavy weightage on growth (turnover, profit and market share) and resilience (best practices, sustainability and vision), as Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak exhorts that Malaysians move towards becoming a nation of innovators rather than recipients of technology, to look beyond producing generic goods to mobilise resources and reputation to move up the value chain to build world class brands.
"A record number of 212 SMEs submitted their nominations this year, which is a clear indication of the desire of SMEs in East Malaysia to grow beyond this region and to become national and international successes," Dato' William Ng, group publisher and editor-in-chief of Business Media International, the parent company of SME Magazine, said.
On how the SME 100 started, he said: "For years we have asked for and tried various ways to cajole for information on SMEs in this country.
"We wanted simple statistics, some reports maybe, on questions we ask routinely: who are the best SMEs in the country?
What do SMEs think about the New Economic Model?
What makes the more successful ones tick? What constitutes excellence among SMEs?
"We initiated a 100 per cent site audit process with visits by representatives so that prior to judging, the panel has much real data to make their decision.
"SME 100 has gone from a single annual award for the whole of Malaysia to include the North Malaysian edition for SMEs in the Northern Corridor, the East Malaysian edition for SMEs in Sabah and Sarawak, and the Indonesian, Thai and Singapore editions to identify the top SMEs in these countries. The result is the identification of the true crme de la crme of SMEs, not just in Malaysia, but also regionally.
"This contrasts greatly with other business awards, which often rely entirely on participant's submission as the sole basis of their decisions.
"Ultimately, the SME100 is more than a list. It is a living testament of the tenacity of men and women who believed in this notion to prosper, nothing beats pure sweat and diligence.
"More importantly, we hope to have raised the bar for all SMEs in the country.
The exacting standards applied and the final recipients who withstood this baptism of fire, are a testament that we can achieve more if we set our minds to it.
"It also means that the SME 100 Awards' recipients will come to understand that they are now benchmarked against the best in the country and region - and the SME 100 continues to get even tougher and more stringent each year."
Teo who presented the awards advised SMEs to be prepared for the coming GST which will be implemented on April 1, 2015.
"My advice to all SMEs is to prepare for GST by understanding the general mechanism of the system, be aware of the requirements, and know what changes you have to make," Teo said.
Also present during the awards presentation were Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir and Datuk Seri Panglima Wong Khen Thau, President of Federation of Sabah Industries.