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Sabah govt to submit MSC plan soon

KOTA KINABALU, 28 Jan 2009: The state government is expected to submit the Sabah Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Plan within the next three months, an initiative to spur the state’s information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said unlike in the peninsula, there were no major ICT programmes in Sabah and Sarawak although these had been requested by the state governments.

He said the Sarawak government had submitted its proposal for the MSC initiative, while the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of Sabah and Institute of Development Studies (IDS) were still working on Sabah’s version.

“We have a little bit of money still for the last two years, so I’m hoping they (Sabah government) can submit the MSC Plan within the next three months, in order to fit into the various economic packages by the government,” he told reporters after launching Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) research directory, here, today.

Ongkili said his ministry had plans to extend infrastructure to Sabah and Sarawak, and one of them was the Centre of Excellence for government-owned R&D unit, the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems or Mimos Berhad.

“A branch for the Mimos Centre of Excellence as a start, will be located in UMS….an agreement has been reached and we hope to commence on 1 March.

“And in the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP), we hope they can have their own building, linked to UMS,” he added.

Ongkili said Technology Park Malaysia was also waiting for land to be provided by the state government to open a branch here to assist young entrepreneurs involved in herbal and medicinal product innovations.

“A (state) science centre is next in line. It was proposed as early as the 8MP, but funding was not provided for.

“We are looking for a piece of land now. The size may be the same as the one in Kedah, and we will kick off the project with (an allocation of) RM30 million to RM40 million.”

On the national front, Ongkili said Malaysia had not reached the half-way mark of the target ratio of 50 research scientists and engineers (RSEs) for every 10,000 workforce by 2010.

“The current ratio is 22 RSEs for every 10,000 workforce, and this needs to be improved,” he said. — Bernama

 

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