Monday, 12 November 2012

RM107mln spent to help Sabah Bumis this year – MARA

KOTA KINABALU: Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) has spent RM107.76 million for developing Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah as of October this year, according to its council member Datuk Dr Yosuf Yacob.

He said that of the amount, RM100.61 million was used for assisting Bumiputera contractors in various sectors under the Express Contract Funding Scheme (SPiKE) while the remaining RM7.15 mil was utilized under the Business Development Scheme (SPPP).

Entrepreneurship development needs to be implemented aggressively to help narrow economic gap between the Bumiputeras and other races, Yosuf said when officiating at the closing of “Graduates Transformation: Road to Millionaire” Seminar at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here yesterday.

He said the Bumiputeras are still lagging far behind in terms of economic achievement despite being the majority group, controlling only about 19 per cent of country’s economic activities.

In terms of asset ownership, he said the group fares even worse at only about 14 per cent.

“The Bumiputeras represent about 60 per cent of the population but in business, we are the minority.

“It begs the question why can’t we do better, and traditional wisdom says unlevel field is to be blamed for our slow progress,” he said.

Yosuf said that while there may be some truth to this, it is also a convincing argument that despite ample opportunities, Bumiputeras are still lagging behind, because they do not have the necessary skills and mindset to exploit these opportunities.

In view of this, entrepreneurship development programmes are vital in equipping the Bumiputeras with the right knowledge and motivation to succeed in business, he said.

In the same period of ten months this year, Yosuf said MARA has trained and groomed 2,327 Bumiputera entrepreneurs in various sectors.

However, he said only 192 of them were university graduates, indicating that university leavers in Sabah were more inclined to seek employment than to venture into business.

He added this also highlighted the need for reviewing existing education approach at the higher learning institutes, to better promote and develop entrepreneurship spirit among students.

He also informed that MARA has provided 329 business premises for local Bumiputera entrepreneurs in Sabah.

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