In a noteworthy gathering aimed at fostering stronger ties between the public and private sectors, SHAREDA recently hosted a fellowship dinner with the Minister of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship Sabah, YB Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe. The event, held at the prestigious BMW Regas Premium Sabah showroom, provided a platform for industry players to engage with the government sector. During the dinner, Datuk Phoong articulated his commitment to collaborate closely with private sector representatives and addressed several critical issues facing Sabah's development.
A Politician's Pledge to Industry Collaboration
Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe, known for his unwavering dedication to public service, shared his transition from a career in politics to serving the people of Sabah. He expressed his eagerness to work closely with industry players to elevate Sabah to greater heights. His monthly meetings with key industry figures, such as Datuk Chua, demonstrate his dedication to understanding the nuances of Sabah's development.
Economic Security and Supply Chain Resilience
One of the key issues discussed was economic security, a matter of paramount importance in an increasingly interconnected world. Datuk Phoong highlighted the global events that have disrupted supply chains, including the Ukraine War, the China trade war, and the Palestinian-Israel conflict. These disruptions have had ripple effects, particularly impacting the construction sector. The minister assured the audience that he would bring this concern to the cabinet, emphasizing the necessity of safeguarding the supply chain for raw materials, given its significant impact on the construction industry.
He pointed out that post-COVID, steel prices had surged by 30-40%, while cement prices had risen due to a single factory producing cement in Sabah. Such challenges necessitate immediate attention to secure the state's economic stability.
Green Initiatives and GHG Compliance
Datuk Phoong also spoke about the global commitment to zero emissions by 2050, emphasizing the need for GHG (Greenhouse Gas) compliance. He urged SHAREDA to take the lead in adopting green building practices to align with international standards. The construction sector, being a major contributor to carbon emissions, must adapt to these evolving regulations to reduce its environmental footprint.
Sabah faces the challenge of aging commercial buildings and public housing in need of renewal. Datuk Phoong urged SHAREDA to take a lead in proposing constructive agendas for the government to rejuvenate these structures. Collaborative efforts can enhance the overall quality of the state's infrastructure.
Prospects for Economic Growth
During the fellowship dinner with Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe, SHAREDA President Datuk Chua Soon Ping played a pivotal role in presenting the association's vision for the development of Sabah. His insights and plans for Sabah's various development sectors underscored the collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors to overcome challenges and promote progress.
Diverse Development Sectors
Datuk Chua emphasized that Sabah's development could be classified into four core sectors: tourism, industrial, commercial, and residential. Each sector has its unique challenges and opportunities, making it vital to work closely with both government agencies and industry players to create a thriving and sustainable environment.
Industrial Development and Foreign Investments
For industrial development, Datuk Chua revealed SHAREDA's plans to venture into international territories, particularly China. Collaborating with Chief Minister YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji bin Haji Noor, SHAREDA intends to attract foreign direct investments into Sabah. Such investments can bolster the industrial sector and contribute significantly to the state's economic growth.
Green Initiatives and Electric Vehicle Hub
Datuk Chua echoed Datuk Phoong's call for GHG compliance and green building practices. SHAREDA recognizes the importance of embracing sustainable and environmentally responsible development practices, and as such, they expressed a keen interest in starting an Electric Vehicle (EV) hub. The potential to bring in BYD, a renowned electric vehicle manufacturer, to establish an industry in Sabah holds promise for the state's future in sustainable transportation.
Harnessing Solar Energy
One of the most promising initiatives discussed during the dinner was the harnessing of solar energy. Datuk Chua shared the association's plans to utilize local resources, such as the high-purity silica sand from Kudat, to produce tempered glass for solar panels. This endeavor could not only promote the use of clean and renewable energy but also provide employment opportunities for the local workforce.
Overcoming Energy Challenges
To facilitate the transition to solar energy, SHAREDA sought to address the challenges associated with the local energy provider, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB), which previously discouraged solar panel installation due to potential financial losses. However, with the introduction of a new energy commission by the Sabah State Government, SESB would be required to adapt to these changes. This shift opens up opportunities for developing solar panels and generating clean energy, not only for self-consumption but also for supplying surplus energy back to the main grid, contributing to the overall energy security of Sabah.
The fellowship dinner between SHAREDA and Minister Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe has opened the doors for increased collaboration between the public and private sectors in Sabah. The commitment to addressing economic security, embracing green building practices, renewing urban infrastructure, and promoting sustainable energy solutions highlights the shared vision to make Sabah a more prosperous and environmentally responsible state. As stakeholders from various sectors come together, Sabah's future shines even brighter. Datuk Phoong's pledge to work closely with industry players demonstrates a renewed spirit of cooperation that bodes well for the state's development and growth.
The 45th Anniversary of SHAREDA Nite 2023: The Art of Music - A Night of Harmony is the upcoming camaraderie and excellence award dinner event. It will be held on 3rd November from 6:30 pm, at Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort. Mr. Raymond Xavier Chan, Vice President of SHAREDA, serves as the Organising Chairman for this event, which will feature captivating performances by talented Sabahan artists.
President Datuk Sr Chua expressed his gratitude and extended his thanks to Council Member Datuk Matthew Tan, along with Datuk Aloysius Tan, Ms. Theresa Tan, Ms. Elizabeth Tan, and Mr. Joseph Tan from TBMC Sdn Bhd. He appreciated their gracious hospitality for organizing an exquisite dinner in the delightful office surroundings at BMW Regas Premium Sabah, which will be remembered as a memorable and heartwarming fellowship event.
Datuk Chua remarked “what a delightful evening with YB Datuk Phoong amongst the stakeholders and captains of the various industries and consultants; from SHAREDA are Datuk Johnny Wong, Datuk Quek Siew Hau, Mr Wesley Chai, Mr Raymond Xavier Chan, Mr Benny Ng, Ms Joanne Chung, Ms Jen Kah, Mr Roland Ling, Mr Jonathan Wong, Mr James Bong, Mr Wilson Loke, Ms Amelia Jaafar, Mr John Tan, Ms Kelly Ngu, Mr Anthony Dumpangol, Mr Kenson Voo, Mr Richard Chong, Ms Salina Abdullah & Mr Alex Lo: SLS President Datuk Roger Chin, PAM Sabah Chapter Chairman Ar. Mok Yuang Yu, MGBC State Chairman Ar. Sim Sie Hong, RISM IPC Sr David Chok, ACEM Secretary Ir. Wah Kah Hen, Mr Daniel Yong (General Manager, Nippon Paint), PUMM Chairman Mr Patrick Chiam, Ms Chua Chinn Harn, Property Hunter Ms Rebecca Michelle, Mr Rayner Ricky Sedomon, Mr Henry Shim, Mr Lian Yu Zhi and Mr Caritoh Ho.