KOTA KINABALU (Nov 29): The 2023 State Budget and development allocation amounting to RM1.5 million under 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) in 2021 for science infrastructure development will be fully utilised.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Yakub Khan said this during the winding-up of his ministry at the State Assembly sitting on Tuesday.
“The first Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Center is at the Sabah State Library Keningau Branch and is currently under construction. This centre is expected to be operational in 2023.
“In addition, two Science Centers and Makerspaces will be built at PNS Tawau and Sandakan at a cost of RM10.2 million fully borne by Petronas.
“In order to create a conducive STI learning environment, the ministry will continue the High School Science Laboratory Upgrade Program, the Science Corner Construction Program and the Innovation Center Construction Program. My ministry has upgraded 16 science laboratories and built 16 science corners in schools,” he said when updating on the ministry’s plans for 2023.
In order to ensure that the rate of student involvement in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field can be improved, the ministry will continue various STI cultural programs such as Sabah Science Carnival, Astronomy Tour, 24 series STEM Fiesta, STEM outreach program in collaboration with KSTI’s strategic partners.
In 2023, Yakub said the ministry will hold a Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) KSTI Tour to six selected districts.
All departments and agencies, he said, will provide direct services to the community according to their respective functions and roles.
“To produce technology-based entrepreneurs, the ministry will continue and improve annual programs such as Pitch Borneo, SE Summit, Borneo Tech Summit, MyHackathon and My Starts-Up. In addition, we will also increase the involvement of social entrepreneurs to gain experience in programs such as Buy For Impact and Borneo Native Festival.
“In order to attract people to the creative industry, we will also continue the Sabah Screen Fest program and Short Video Animation Competition related to STI. More youth will be trained at the Toon Boom Training Animation Center at SCENIC,” he added.
To recognize and encourage the culture of science, technology and innovation, Yakub also said that the ministry will organise the first ever Sabah Science Awards Ceremony.
For the development of human capital, he further explained that in 2023, the Department of Human Resource Development (JPSM) will implement 130 sponsored skills and entrepreneurship course programs, SSTC will implement 25 courses based on digital, technical and entrepreneurship technology, AMC College will continue 153 ICT and language courses, while SCENIC will intensify its social entrepreneur empowerment program.
“Ten series of Career Carnival Program will continue in selected districts to deal with the problem of unemployment,” he added.
As for the State 2023 Budget, Yakub said it would help the ministry in carrying out its function and role in ensuring internet connectivity programs, the cultivation of Science, Technology and Innovation as well as human capital development are carried out in a sustainable manner.