– by Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Oct 11: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has challenged the state civil service to become global innovators by producing products and services that can be marketed worldwide.
The chief minister said the annual ‘Kumpulan Inovatif dan Kreatif (KIK)’ competition could be used as a platform to create projects not only to improve service delivery of the public sector but also to come out with products and innovations that could benefit the global community.
Promising innovations can be used as startup projects that can be developed further to meet niche markets globally.
“The state government is serious in improving its service, and we are embracing digital technology.
“We are rolling out our big data, converging towards better, systematic storage, where all these data can be retrieved to improve service delivery,” he said at the closing of the 2018 state-level KIK Convention here on Wednesday.
Abang Johari even suggested joint ventures between the KIK teams with incubator Plug and Play, a global startup ecosystem and venture fund that specialises in the development of technology startup.
The organisation, with an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, has helped over 3,000 startups raise over US$3.5 billion in funding.
Its Singapore office has collaborated with more than 30 startups and various agencies of the Singapore and Indonesia governments as well as partnering multinational and regional corporations to run industry-specific accelerator programmes and other innovation initiatives.
The company’s focus area for Southeast Asia in 2018 included IoT and mobility, Fintech and Insurtech, travel and hospitality/retail, supply chain and logistics.
“Think PayPal, UberCloud, which have benefitted from their partnership with Plug and Play. Our KIK teams can connect with Plug and Play to promote their products globally.
“This is not a dream. It can be a reality. We must have high ambitions and continue to inculcate innovations,” he said.
He added that Malaysia, despite leading its Southeast Asia counterparts in the technology race when it set up the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in 1996, is now behind countries such as Singapore in embracing digital technology.
State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, in his speech earlier, said the KIK competition this year attracted 97 KIK groups from the state and federal agencies, involving 785 civil servants.
Since its inception in 2010, Sarawak has produced 233 KIK groups, introducing some 560 products and service innovations. Many of these projects have won Gold Awards at the national and international levels including in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.
Simunjan Fire and Rescue Department won the Chief Minister Innovation Award this year under the Federal Agencies category. Its team ‘Cooltech’ grabbed the top prize with their Water Rescue Bodies Bag project.
Under the Local Government category, Kuching North City Hall’s team ‘Emco’ bagged the award for its project named MDL EZ-Slot.
Sibu Divisional Administration won the Residence and District Offices category through its project Sibu Connection Apps, developed by team ‘Sesika 3.0’.
Limbang Land and Survey Department, through its KIK entry ‘Lands Tahai Q Junior’, won the State Agencies category for their project MOTRESS (Monitoring of TOL for Resettlement and Extension Scheme System). — DayakDaily