Kota Kinabalu is selected as the second champion city in Malaysia and third in Asia to launch the Greenback 2.0 project, with the aim to enable more people living and working in Sabah to remit money safely and at lower costs.
Project Greenback 2.0, a collaboration between Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the World Bank, aims to increase efficiency and transparency in the remittance market and, ultimately, reduce the cost of sending remittances.
Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid said, it was high time a more formal and stringent regulatory control over the remittance of money from the state was introduced in Sabah, which relied mostly on foreign workers in many of our workforce requirements.
She said the handing over of Greenback project from Johor Bahru, the first champion city in Asia, to Kota Kinabalu at the end of November last year marked an important chapter for Sabah as Greenback would be a catalyst in bringing forward the importance of the city in the financial landscape of Malaysia.
"The Greenback approach must be lauded as it will eventually shift the illegal channel of transferring money by means of education and awareness campaign. The need to register our foreign employees' needs to be emphasized upon and adhered to. Greenback will provide the mechanism for us to do so" she said, when launching the initiative at Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) grounds on Sunday, 4 March.
She said registration was not only beneficial to the State and employers but also to the employees as it would serve as the protection of having their salary paid and the benefit of using various financial products offered by financial institutions in Sabah.
In terms of technology application, Jainab believed that the Greenback initiative would be the game changer to create a conducive environment for technology development to encourage the use of digitized remittance products and services in Sabah.
"Greenback Kota Kinabalu 2.0 will also provide an avenue for us to set up a community of local and foreign technopreneurs, allowing seamless exchange of knowledge and experience. This is timely as Sabah is aiming at closing the digital gap through building high-skilled human capital in the field of technology" she said.
She urged all relevant sectors to support the Greenback 2.0 initiative and to participate in the possible business activities that come about as the result of the project.