KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is the only state in the country that has no takers for the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISC) that was launched in 2012.
The fund was introduced to attract domestic investments, encourage research and development, provide training in new and emerging technologies and to accelerate Malaysian industries into the global supply chain.
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) deputy chief executive officer Datuk Phang Ah Tong said it was a shock that there had been no approvals for Sabah since the DISC was launched three years ago.
â€œWe need more engagement between the small and medium entrepreneurs in Sabah and the Federal Government,â€ he said at a seminar on Tuesday.
â€œOur doors are always open, so please come and we can discuss where and how to help.â€
Phang said there were many types of incentives available for the people wanting to expand or improve their businesses, and that it was up to the individuals or companies to make use of the chance.
MIDA would continue to identify opportunities for reinvestments and have a provision of special incentives based on productivity, he added.
Sabah Industrial Development minister Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah urged businesses to use technology and advanced skills in their daily operations.
â€œWe have resources in Sabah and most of our revenues are resource-based but yet we have been listed as the bottom three in terms of salary and income,â€ he said.
â€œHow can we change this? What do we do from here? Personally, I think we need to apply advanced technology to catch up with lost times in order to achieve vision 2020.â€
Tan also said it was the growth of an industry that can help strengthen the economy and subsequently help in bringing about peace and prosperity in a country.
Some of the new incentives introduced for industries include extension of the incentive for tourism projects and food production, research and development initiatives to spur commercialisation of research and development products, and an improved Goods and Services Tax (GST) treatment for companies involved in maintenance, repair and overhaul activities in the aerospace industry as well as companies in the oil and gas industry.