KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman yesterday announced a Pan Borneo Highway Contractor Financing Facility specifically for bumiputera contractors in Sabah.
Musa said eligible Sabahan bumiputera contractors could receive financing facility and financial guarantee worth RM500 million to carry out sub-contract work packages under the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway project.
He said the federal and state governments were aware of the challenges faced by local bumiputera construction companies, particularly in obtaining financing.
The special funds would be provided by RHB Islamic Bank Berhad and Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank) for contract financing, while a special loan guarantee facility would be provided by Credit Guarantee Corporation and Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Berhad (SJPP).
“This will help bumiputera contractors of class G1 to G4. More than 50 bumiputera contractor companies in Sabah will benefit as this programme could boost their eligibility or ‘bankability’ to obtain financing from the financial institutions,” he said after chairing the first Sabah Bumiputera Economic Council (MEB) meeting for year 2018 here yesterday.
Musa also announced that the Sabah MEB has unanimously approved a special fund of RM100 million for bumiputera entrepreneurs who venture into agriculture and agro-tourism based investment projects, under the strategic cooperation between Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) and Agrobank Berhad.
He said agro-tourism had great potential and would open up wider business opportunities for bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah.
“It is my hope that the agro-tourism industry in Sabah will be the benchmark for the nation.”
Meanwhile, Teraju has approved a total of RM169.96 million in Facilitation Fund for 69 projects involving 65 bumiputera companies in Sabah.
Musa said these projects would generate private investment value of up to RM1.25 billion which would support efforts to boost the economic development of the State.
“These achievements include many sectors and is expected to create more than 3,000 new job opportunities in Sabah in the field of administration and management, electrical and engineering, technician, tourism, supporting staff and others.”
Musa also presented the Facilitation Fund to eight Sabahan bumiputera companies that have completed their projects. Another nine bumiputera companies in the State with newly-approved projects were given approval letters of the Facilitation Fund amounting to RM38 million.
The projects implemented by the companies involved various private investments in property development, infrastructure development, energy and solar, manufacturing, agriculture, eco-tourism and tourism.
In addition, Musa said 106 bumiputera entrepreneurs have benefited from the Bumiputera Entrepreneur Development Fund (DPUB) under the collaboration between Teraju and Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA).
He said 38 Sabahan entrepreneurs would soon receive between RM50,000 to RM100,000 per person under DPUB for the purchase of machineries and expansion of business premises. At the same time, he said, another five bumiputera entrepreneurs from Sabah would soon receive DPUB amounting to RM500,000 through the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN) for projects to upgrade their business premises.
In realizing the importance of capacity building to entrepreneurs, Musa said Teraju had signed an agreement with SEDIA to collaborate with four local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to maximize assistance in the development of Sabahan bumiputera entrepreneurs.
The NGOs are Kadazan Dusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Federation of Sabah Industries (FSI), Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia, Sabah (DPMM-Sabah), and Sabah Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Chamber (DUBS).
Among the initiatives to be carried out by the NGOs include halal certification and accreditation programmes, vendor development for automotive entrepreneurs and accounting system programmes.
He said Teraju had also inked a cooperation agreement with Yayasan Sabah to upgrade the craft gallery at the Sabah State Government Administration Centre building which involved a cost of RM2 million.
Upon completion, he said the gallery would exhibit handicraft products and the best art collections from Sabah.
“The craft gallery is expected to be one of the new tourist attractions in Kota Kinabalu.”
He said Yayasan Sabah had also established collaboration with INSKEN to provide training and specific assistance to bumiputera companies and entrepreneurs that were scaling up. The training will focus on product innovation, intellectual property, packaging, branding and skills on export market.
Also present at the event were Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun and Teraju chief executive officer Dato’ Husni bin Salleh.