MoU to foster future innovators

KOTA KINABALU (May 10): Forest Interactive Foundation on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jawala Plantation Industries and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (KSTI) Sabah.

At the strategic and working level, this collaboration focuses on education enrichment in the field of technology while providing skillsets primed for high-demand technology careers.

Yakub (third from left) witnessing the MoU signing on Tuesday.

The hackathon program aims to incite the excitement of Sabah’s future innovators surrounding the myriad opportunities available in the technology industry. The goal is to increase their employability and address community issues derived from systemic problems such as poverty and high unemployment rate, through the lens of technology.

“We continue to strive to provide inclusive upskilling and learning programs in the areas of tech, as our initiatives to develop future innovators and help bridge the digital divide chiefly aim to accelerate Malaysia’s digital economy,” said Johary Mustapha, founder and CEO of Forest Interactive.

“Through this partnership, we hope to efficiently drive our nation as a regional leader in the digital economy for a longer term. I welcome Jawala Plantation Industries and KSTI’s continued commitment to foster digital skills among young talents in Sabah.”

Participants will gain immersive experience in career profiling, pitching, networking and soft skills development through resume-building and grooming workshops, as well as industry sharing sessions. At the end of this program, participants are expected to shape and recommend proactive solutions that can address local community issues. Additionally, participants also stand to gain cash prizes through challenges presented throughout this hackathon.

The Foundation organizes the hackathon program to also highlight how having equal access to quality education will help the state maximize its resources in sustainable ways, while increasing the employability rate among youth in Sabah.

“The signing of this MoU with KSTI and Forest Interactive Foundation demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the enhancement of skills and educational programs for Sabahans,” said Abdul Rahman Khan, Group CEO & Executive Director of Jawala Inc.

“Research and development, as well as community development are a part of our sustainability efforts, and we are more than happy to support this initiative for the future of our youth and the betterment of the country. We are confident that Forest Interactive Foundation, with its pool of talents and experience, coupled with the commitment by KSTI, will ensure that the Bayu Hackathon will be a major success.”

Jawala Plantation Industries, a subsidiary company of Jawala Inc. and the founder for this program, is a forest resource company focusing on industrial tree plantations in Sabah. The MoU ensures the manifestation of a high-quality education enrichment program that aligns with the goals shared between the three parties.

Meanwhile, Sabah Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Yakub Khan, said: “The ministry’s main objective is to foster creative and innovative culture in all walks of life. This is in line with our main vision to develop an intellectual and innovative generation through the advancement of science and technology, as well as a highly skilled human capital by 2030. We hope that this collaboration will be a catalyst for more programs in the future to contribute toward building a digital and technology-driven society, especially in servicing the communities in Sabah.”

The MoU was signed by the state’s KSTI Permanent Secretary Zainudin Aman, Jawala Inc. Abdul Rahman, and Johary at the ministry office. Also present at the signing ceremony were Yakub and Jawala Inc. chairman Datuk Jema Khan.

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