RM600m shot-in-the-arm for Bumis

Daily Express

28 February 2018


Kota Kinabalu: Bumiputera development in Sabah received a further boost with over RM600 million allocated by the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) and the State Government for various programmes and initiatives.

This was announced by Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman after chairing the first Bumiputera Economic Council Meeting for this year, here, Tuesday.

He said strong collaboration with Federal Government and various ministries has enabled numerous initiatives to continue to be introduced to empower Bumiputera involvement especially in the business sector.

Musa, who is State Finance Minister, also announced two new special funds, namely RM100 million for Sabah Bumiputera entrepreneurs to invest in agriculture and agro-tourism projects, and financing facilities and guarantee worth RM500 million for Bumiputera contractors involved in the Pan Borneo Highway project.

He went on to say that as a State renowned for its rich natural resources, it is his hope that Sabah's agro tourism industry will lead and become a "benchmark" for agro-tourism development in the country.

The initiative is a strategic partnership between Teraju and Agrobank Berhad and is expected to open more business opportunities for Sabah entrepreneurs to venture into the industry identified to have great potential and going through rapid development.

While the special funds for the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway is expected to help 50 Bumiputera-owned contractor companies from Class G1 to G4. 

The funds for this is provided by RHB Islamic Bank Berhad and Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank) for contract financing, while the special loan guarantee facility is provided by the Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC) and the Business Financing Guarantee Company (SJPP). 

"The Federal and State Government are sensitive to the many challenges faced by Bumiputera-owned construction companies, which is mainly in terms of obtaining financing facilities from financial institutions," said Musa.

He said because of that, the facility can increase the company's bankability in obtaining financial facilities from financial institutions that has been identified. 

Meanwhile, a handing over ceremony of offer letters and replica cheques was also initiated by Teraju in addition to the meeting, with Musa presenting Dana Mudahcara to eight Bumiputera companies who have completed their projects. 

Another nine companies also received approval letters for new projects which has just been approved and will soon be implemented. 

All these projects involve the approval of RM38 million and covers a variety of private investments from property development sector, to infrastructure construction, energy and solar, manufacturing, agriculture, eco-tourism based development and tourism. 

Overall, a total of RM169.96 million under the Dana Mudahcara has been approved for 69 projects in Sabah, with all these projects succeeding in generating RM1.25 billion worth of private investments. 

To date, a total of 65 Bumiputera companies in Sabah has successfully expanded and increased their business capacity through these funding and has created over 3,000 new job opportunities in Sabah which also supports efforts to spur State economic development. 

A total of 38 Sabah entrepreneurs also received a fund injection of between RM50,000 and up to RM100,000 each for business development purposes to buy machine tools and expand their business premises under the Dana Pembangunan Usahawan Bumiputera (DPUB). 

This programme is following collaboration between Teraju and the Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia) of which 106 Bumiputera entrepreneurs has benefitted from this initiative since it was introduced in 2015. 

In addition, five Sabah Bumiputera entrepreneurs also received DPUB funds thanks to collaboration between Yayasan Sabah Group and the National Institute of Entrepreneurship amounting to RM500,000 for projects linked to upgrading their business premises. 

The event also saw the signing of agreement between Teraju and several State Government agencies focused on capacity building of Sabah Bumiputera entrepreneurs. 

The agreement with Sedia involve collaboration with four local non-governmental organisations for halal certification and accreditation programme, vendor development for automotive entrepreneurs as well as accounting system consolidation programme. 

The NGOs involved are the Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sabah Industry Federation, Malaysia Malay Chamber of Commerce and the Sabah Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS). 

The second agreement was signed with Yayasan Sabah to upgrade the Art Gallery with a cost of RM2 million which upon completion will not only be a tourist attraction but will also highlight local artwork and handicraft. 

Through the Institute Keusahawanan Negara, the agreement with Yayasan Sabah also provides specialised training and assistance for Bumiputera entrepreneurs and companies who are just climbing up the ladder. 

Training will focus on product innovation, intellectual property, packaging, branding and skills on the export market. - Sherell Jeffrey 

Web source: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=123086