KOTA KINABALU: The State Cabinet has decided to establish the Centre for Creative and Economic Innovation Sabah early next year – modelled on a similar outfit in South Korea – for all local innovators including youths in the State. 


Deputy Chief Minister cum Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (pic), who announced this, said in South Korea, a similar organisation has been set up in all its 17 provinces and over the years have produced thousands of innovations and also new companies. 


At the national level, it is like the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) which has also established a similar branch in Sarawak but not in Sabah. 


“So we have decided to set up one. It is going to be in a collaboration with Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP). We are set to do that. 

“The State Government has set a certain fund to do this. We will be working together with other ministries, including the Youth and Sport Ministry, Education and Innovation Ministry, as well as the talent institutions especially those in and around KKIP. 


“So we hope to be able to launch this early next year,” he told reporters after launching of Platinum Business Awards (PBA) 2019 Sabah Roadshow at the Ming Garden Hotel & Residences, Thursday. 


Tangau said the purpose of the said centre is to produce innovations and as many as possible. 


“What is important is that we can develop a culture of innovation, and to leverage on the challenges we are facing so we will be able to think and innovate how we can overcome it. If a person/organisation can come up with a tangible product that can overcome the challenge, it will certainly have a value because it helps resolve a particular problem and the product can be marketed,” he said. 


Asked if there be an incentive provided the developer of the innovation, he said there is no such thing as an incentive. 


“Just like in Korea, there the people can come to the centre to innovate or just come to state a problem which will be put in the centre for all to see and may innovate something to resolve that problem.  


“Of course, we will make the place as conducive as that youths will be attracted to come in. It will be open to anyone in Sabah,” he said. 


In another development, Tangau said the State Government has set to make sure that Sabah will be able to produce a scalable small and medium enterprises (SMEs), at least about 100 a year, beginning this year. 

“And we have set a criteria for this kind of SMEs, which include that their certified products are registered with Matrade and their company is a Sendirian Berhad. 


“This, we will begin this year. We will be giving awards and we are hoping to get the Chief Minister or the Head of State (TYT) to give away these awards because the target was actually set early this year by the TYT himself. This is one of the things we want to do, to spur the development of SMEs especially those involved in processing and manufacturing in Sabah,” he said.


Earlier, Tangau also encouraged SMEs in Sabah to take part in the PBA, one of the pioneering awards of SMEs, which has gained pre-eminent status among the SMEs community, industry leaders, and high-level government agencies, as the result of the PBA organising committee’s continuous efforts to rebrand, innovate, and transform the Award. 


“I understand that the organising committee has been taking bold steps to increase the global presence of the awards by engaging Asean SMEs and established foreign enterprises in Malaysia to take part in the awards. 


“Indeed, this is a timely move amid the fast changing business dynamics at both regional and global levels. As Malaysia domestic demand is shrinking, SMEs should now look outward for growth. 

“We should explore new platforms to promote our products and services, as well as the opportunities to be integrated in the regional or global value chains,” he said. 



Delighted to learn that the theme for PBA 2019 is “The Next SME Revolution”, he said this is a timely message for the SMEs, as the age of Industry 4.0 has disrupted the conventional ways of doing businesses. 


“In the face of evolving challenges in the economic environment, SMEs are required to consider re-modelling their business and find new markets and avenues of growth. I would like to urge the SMEs in Sabah to embark on the Industry 4.0 journey either on their own or with the assistance of the government and other strategic partners. 


“I believe that we will be able to overcome these challenges when the Government and SMEs community come together and work hand-in-hand to transform SMEs into a competent, innovative, and technological driven enterprise. 


“The State Government is willing to assist you in this journey. We want to let SME owners know that the State Government are able to work with you in adopting new technologies, exploring new markets, providing financial assistance, and many other ways wherever possible,” said Tangau. 


Encouraging the PBA nominees to take up the challenge to embark on the path of transformation, he has confidence in the PBA as an excellent platform for benchmarking of SMEs that are exceptional visionary drive, enterprising spirit, and outstanding performance.


“The State Government may give priority to assist SMEs who are PBA winners in the areas that are beneficial to the development of industrialization and entrepreneurship in Sabah,” he said.

Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah Chairman, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, SME Association of Malaysia National President, Datuk Michael Kang Hua Keong, and PBA 2019 Organising Chairman, Alan Tan, among others, were also present.