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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Three Economic Concepts to Propel Malaysia - Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) - Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has outlined three economic concepts in an effort to lay a stronger foundation for the country in facing the faltering economy.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister said the concepts -- high value, innovation based economy, and productivity and creativity -- would propel the economy to greater heights.

"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has always stressed the importance of adding value, but I feel that adding value should be matched with high value economy," he said in his winding-up speech at the Umno general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.

He said among the high value economy which could be taken up by entrepreneurs were the lucrative bird nest, seaweed and ornamental fish enterprises.

Najib said the bird nest enterprise could be carried out on idle land especially in the east coast of the peninsular while the seaweed harvest could be exported to Japan and other countries.

FELDA to venture into Seaweed

KOTA KINABALU: Felda, which is known for its vast palm oil and rubber development programmes, is now looking to the sea in its new venture.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan said Felda would be embarking on its first seaweed cultivation project in Sabah as part of its efforts to reduce poverty in the state.

“This project is also part of the Prime Minister’s vision to make Felda one of the country’s food production centres,” he said after meeting senior state Felda officials here Saturday.

Ahmad said the seaweed cultivation project would kick off in the east coast Semporna district in January with an area covering some 200ha.

“Our target is to eventually cultivate some 2,000ha of seaweed by the year 2020 and by then, this project would have benefited 1,876 hardcore poor, who will be known as sea settlers,” added Ahmad.

He said Sabah was chosen as a pioneer site for the project as some 60,000ha of coastal land in Semporna and three other districts - Lahad Datu, Kudat and Kunak - had been deemed suitable for seaweed cultivation.

Ahmad said some RM7.27mil would be invested in the project for the first year, with funds sourced from Felda’s annual contribution to the state, which was 30% of the profits generated from its 108,000ha commercial oil palm plantation in Sabah.

An advisory committee, comprising representatives from the state government, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, the Fisheries Department, the Fisheries Development Authority and Felda, would be set up to provide input for the project.

Ahmad said since 2004, Felda has contributed more than RM253mil for poverty eradication efforts in Sabah from its profits.

“About half of the amount or RM119.86mil was channeled directly to the state’s coffers while the other half was allocated to the Sabah Development Office.

“Among the poverty eradication projects carried out so far were repairs on 524 houses belonging the poor in the Kalabakan and Beaufort districts costing more than RM7mil,” he said.

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