Extra focus on Sabah, Sarawak without affecting focus on KUSKOP - Ewon
23 December 2022
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KUALA LUMPUR: Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Minister Datuk Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said he will give additional focus to Sabah and Sarawak on developing the micro, small and medium enterprises sector without affecting his existing focus on his ministry.
He said this is crucial as not only both the states are lagging behind in terms of entrepreneurial programmes but also lacking support in terms of facilities, such as telecommunication coverage.
“For example, in my area which is Penampang. Even though it is nearby to the Kota Kinabalu city, many villages still do not have internet coverage,” he said during the Bicara Naratif Khas RTM programme recently.
The programme was broadcast live through TV1 with the title ‘Keusahawanan Solusi Kestabilan Negara’ (Entrepreneurship a Solution to National Stability).
The Kadamaian State Assemblyman and Penampang MP also mentioned that internet coverage needs to be upgraded to empower digital-based enterprises.
"How do we empower enterprises in rural and rural areas if areas adjacent to the city are also facing problems with internet coverage?
"That's why I said that additional focus needs to be given to Sabah in terms of funding support programmes and providing the best internet coverage," he asserted.
According to Ewon, it is among the ministry’s vision and focus to empower micro, small and medium enterprises through digitalised technology as it is a new dimension in business.
“It is undeniable that the Covid-19 pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) have encouraged us to adapt with new business culture.
“The pandemic has also forced us to think of new methods in business and administration as most of us were at home with restricted movement.
“This gave entrepreneurs opportunities to continue their business digitally and it proved to bear fruit for many such as Grab,” he added.
Ewon also pointed out problems in terms of packaging and marketing when asked about challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the country.
Hence, he said the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INSKEN) is among the agencies under his ministry that offers trainings to entrepreneurs.
“Before they were trained by INSKEN, the participants faced various challenges including difficulty to build their products in terms of packaging, online marketing and building business network.
“I am very proud and happy because some of the participants managed to increase their sales by more than 200 per cent after joining the training conducted by INSKEN,” he said.
Ewon said there are 10 agencies under the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative Ministry, namely Malaysian Cooperative Commission (SKM), Bank Rakyat, Tekun Nasional, SME Corp, INSKEN, Malaysian Cooperative Institute (IKMa), UDA Holdings Berhad, Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PERNAS), SME Bank and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM).