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MAFI encourages farming community to sell produce online

— The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) is encouraging the farming community to use the latest technology such as e-commerce platform to market their produce online.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the move was important as the use of technology had been proven to increase sales.

Citing an example, he said MAFI recorded more than RM300 million in agricultural sales revenue through the three e-commerce platforms developed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country a year ago.

He said the platforms were Agro Bazaar Online, Nekmatbiz and e-peladang which were operated by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority, National Fishermen’s Association (NEKMAT), and Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP), respectively.

“So, we’ve seen online business during the COVID-19 pandemic as an effective sales and marketing tool or alternative.

“We hope such platform will continue to be used by consumers or organisations such as the Area Farmers’ Organisation to promote the purchase or sale of their agricultural products.

“At the same time, we also do not prevent the private sector (farming community) from developing their own e-commerce platform for the same purpose,” he said after officiating the national level Peladang Outlet at the Kluang Area Farmers’ Organisation’s Agricultural Product Collection Centre here today.

Ronald was commenting on whether MAFI plans to develop its own online application to facilitate the marketing and sale of agricultural products in the country.

Present were Johor Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Samsolbari Jamali, LPP chairman Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, and LPP director-general Datuk Azulita Salim.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Foldable kiosk for women petty traders in Perak

— The Perak government has launched a kiosk assistance programme for women small traders (Biznita) to enable them to operate their business from home, with the COVID-19 pandemic still not over.

State Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Datuk Dr Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin said the government had allocated RM350,000 for the programme this year, involving 215 Biznita kiosks.

“This kiosk is specially designed for women and the OKU traders. It is easy to be carried around and can be folded into the car, and this year we are giving it in time for Ramadan so that the women traders can continue to generate income to help their families from home,” she said.

She said this when met after the handing over of the kiosks by Menteri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad in conjunction with the Menteri Besar with the People’s Programme (MESRA) today.

The state government, she said, would also launch the BizBro programme after Ramadan for the male traders.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Muhyiddin visits traders at Medan Niaga Satok

— Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today visited traders at Medan Niaga Satok, one of the largest business complexes for small entrepreneurs in the country.

Accompanied by his wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and several federal and state ministers, the Prime Minister spent about 45 minutes talking to traders.

During the visit, he also presented the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) assistance to traders at the complex.

Medan Niaga Satok was officiated by Muhyiddin on Jan 28, 2013 when he was the Deputy Prime Minister and is a joint venture project between the Sarawak government and the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA).

The complex features open market concept retail space that includes wet and dry markets as well as wholesale markets.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

RTM Transformation Plan adds value to organisation, creative industry – Saifuddin

The RTM Transformation Plan which is being implemented can give added value to the organisation and the local creative industry, apart from enhancing services to ensure optimum use of all platforms, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said that consistent with developments in 5G technology, RTM would continue to break new ground and expand in line with consumer trends and demands.

“The use of big data, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud technology and the like plays a big role in facing RTM’s digital transformation.

“For sure, the combination of quality programme content and this latest technology usage will give the best services to all,” he added.

He said this at RTM’s 75th Anniversary and RTM Orchestra’s 60th Anniversary celebrations at Auditorium Perdana, Wisma Radio in Angkasapuri here today.

The celebrations were launched virtually by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“RTM will continue to adopt a wise approach in efforts to improve the people’s understanding of all government policies and initiatives, so that all strata of society can fully embrace their implementation,” he added.

Saifuddin also congratulated RTM for its role in helping to build a national identity for the country, which is made up of people of various races, cultures and religions.

He said the objective of uniting the ummah through clear and accurate communication by RTM had contributed to harmony and stability.

Saifuddin also welcomed RTM’s commitment in making communication with the Persons with Disabilities (PwD) group as a new core in the RTM Transformation Plan, including having more language sign interpreters for its main TV programmes.

“Thank you, RTM and also Bernama, for always being helpful towards this group by providing language sign interpreters especially when presenting news bulletins,” he said.

He said the digital and social media would become the third platform alongside radio and television as part of RTM’s transformation process, to fulfil current changes and needs.

In conjunction with RTM’s 75th anniversary celebration, all 34 RTM radio stations throughout the country, such as NASIONALfm, TRAXXfm and MINNALfm as well as regional and state stations, would be given a boost in their broadcasting appeal, and also image through the adoption of new logos.

“For television, the TV channel transformation plan kicks off with the broadcasting of RTM TV according to the characteristics of their respective channels and niche programmes,” he said.

He said the TV1 Channel would focus on programmes with a national agenda including inculcating noble and spiritual values while TV2 would screen films, dramas, and entertainment and reality shows.

Saifuddin said the Okey Channel would screen programmes that can enrich the mind, such as documentaries on culture and youths as well as travelogues.

At the ceremony, Saifuddin also launched the RTM Sports Channel, saying this niche channel would cater to the current needs of viewers.

“There is no activity other than sport which can get all the people including in Malaysia glued to the television at any one time.

“It is hoped that this channel will be a shot in the arm for RTM to attract more viewers,” he said.

He also said there were plans to place the RTM Orchestra on the international stage and various events were being worked out and would be announced later.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

PRISMA to benefit over 3,000 creative industry players

The Malaysian Creative Industry Stimulus Package (PRISMA) is expected to support more than 3,000 creative practitioners through various initiatives provided by MyCreative Ventures Sdn Bhd (MyCreative).

In a statement today, MyCreative said PRISMA programmes could also create employment opportunities in spaces, arts organisations, production houses, bands and theatre groups through various assistance in the form of grants, loans, digital platform establishment and upskilling initiatives.

It said that assistance under PRISMA includes the Music Streaming Equipment Grant which will assist 100 musicians to apply new norms and digital elements in their creative activities by providing access to music production and online broadcasting tools.

“Funding is up to RM10,000 per person and applications are now open until April 2,” the statement said.

Besides that, over 1,500 creative practitioners will be assisted through the RIUH initiatives comprising RIUH Talks, RIUH at Home and RIUH Directory which provide employment opportunities, platform development, network strengthening and knowledge sharing.

Other PRISMA programmes include the CENDANA Recovery Initiative, namely the implementation of 13 special assistance programmes for visual arts, performing arts, independent music and craft sectors via upskilling, developmental efforts, funding and the establishment of relevant platforms to showcase their works.

MyCreative in the statement also quoted Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah as saying that the PRISMA fund, channelled through MyCreative, CENDANA and RIUH would support creative industry players with the much-needed financial assistance, capacity building and upskilling to overcome the current challenges and address their survivability.

“A total of 32 programmes are carved out to support Malaysian workers namely in film, music, digital creative content, visual arts, performances and crafts,” he said in the statement.

Launched on Feb 5, PRISMA is an initiative under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry comprising several recovery initiatives for the creative industry, including the arts and culture industries.

Meanwhile, MyCreative chief executive officer Riza Saian in the same statement said their focus was to boost the national creative industry and assist creative practitioners with strategic relief plan.

MyCreative is a government investment arm set up to spur the local creative industry via strategic and innovative funding in the form of equity or financing.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

UTP ranks 62nd in the Emerging Economics University Rankings 2021

SERI ISKANDAR,– Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) has achieved a better position in the Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings 2021, by climbing 16 spots into the 62nd rank from the previous placing in the 78th.

Through this accomplishment, UTP has been placed among the top 100 best universities in the developing world.

Its vice-chancellor, Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib, in a statement today said with this result, UTP remains the best private institution in the nation and is ranked second among its Malaysian counterparts for the second consecutive years.

He said the recognition by THE is an accomplishment that UTP’s take pride in and will continue to strive to achieve a better ranking position.

“The rankings demonstrate our strong reputation globally in terms of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. It also reflects our continuous excellence despite the challenges we face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and as an institution in emerging economies.

“We will continue with our emphasis on strategies leading for excellence in academic, research and students’ experience in realising our vision and mission of becoming a leader in technology education and centre for creativity and innovation,” Mohamed Ibrahim said.

The THE Emerging Economies University Rankings consider 606 universities from 48 countries, classified by the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE Group as ‘advanced emerging’, ‘secondary emerging’ or ‘frontier’.

The rankings use the same methodology as THE World University Rankings, however, the methodology has been recalibrated to better reflect the characteristics and development priorities of universities in emerging economies.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Selangor’s economy expected to pick up by mid-May – MB

Selangor’s economy is expected to bounce back by mid-May or by the end of this year at the latest, says Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

He said the goal could be achieved with the anticipation that the country was able to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can get the economy going again after we finish dealing with COVID-19, and it (business activities) is expected to pick up ahead of Aidilfitri, or at the latest by the end of this year,” he told reporters after the opening ceremony of a Gloria Jean’s Coffees (GJC) branch at the Selangor State Secretary’s Office. here today.

Meanwhile, Amirudin said he would hold a meeting with Coordinating Minister for the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme Khairy Jamaluddin tomorrow to discuss efforts on getting more people in the state registered for the vaccine.

“In Selangor, we have 6.4 million people and about 1 million foreigners, but only 400,000 are registered,” he said.

“It is necessary for everyone to register themselves, regardless (of when they are scheduled to be vaccinated), they must be registered to know when they are scheduled to be vaccinated,” he said.

On a separate note, Amirudin said in the first three months of the year, the authorities had managed to avoid nine potential water pollution hazards that could have led to the stoppage of the state’s water treatment plants.

“We are also aware that this problem (of river pollution) is ongoing, not only from unregistered and illegal factories, even from some legal factories, while some are due to the weakness of our sewerage system, and some due to negligence or deliberate actions,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency