PUTRAJAYA: The application of new technologies and innovations in projects and programmes implemented by statutory bodies under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKDW) will transform these agencies into high-income entities, and turning them from cost centres into profit centres.

KKDW secretary-general Datuk Seri Ramlan Harun has expressed confidence that this transformation can be achieved through the application of the latest technologies and innovations, and by harnessing the skills, expertise, financial resources, and human capital within each agency under the ministry.

“In the current pace of globalisation, innovation is not only a catalyst for problem-solving but creative ideas and innovations have the potential to elevate a country’s performance to remain competitive and relevant,” he told reporters after attending the KKDW Innovation Day 2023 celebration here today.

Regarding Malaysia’s achievements on the global stage, Ramlan said Malaysia has maintained its position at the 36th spot in the Global Innovation Index for 2022 and 2023, while the country’s standing in terms of knowledge creation improved from 67th spot in 2022 to 66th spot in 2023.

“This indicates that innovation exists in our country. Therefore, the culture of innovation needs to be significantly enhanced to ensure the country continues to be competitive and resilient through creative and innovative thinking,” he said.

The KKDW Innovation Day is held annually to recognise and inspire the ministry’s personnel to continue their efforts in innovation, enhancing excellence in service delivery in line with the government’s aspirations.

Ramlan said the active participation of KKDW and its agencies in the Innovation Day celebration demonstrates the thriving culture of innovation among the workforce and the hope that the innovative products are not only utilised by the department and ministry agencies but could also be commercialised in the future.

This year, seven categories of quality and innovation awards were contested among KKDW and its agencies. These included the Public Service Innovation Award in the MADANI Management category, the Public Service Innovation Award in the Technical category, and the New Horizon Award for Best Innovative and Creative Group (KIK).

Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) won the Public Service Innovation Award (MADANI Management) through its Business Premises Management System (MyPremis) innovation and received a trophy and a cash prize of RM5,000.

Noor Huda Mohamed from MARA’s Commercial Infrastructure Division explained that MyPremis is a system that provides convenience to the public to check vacancies and lease applications for premises and submit applications online.

She said that the system also facilitates accurate and fast reporting of tenancy of premises, covering project information under MARA by states.

“The application process through the MyPremis system is more transparent and quick as interested members of the public and entrepreneurs wishing to rent or lease MARA premises can apply online and the application will be accessed by MARA district officers.

“Before this, tenants had to come to MARA district offices and fill out forms manually,” she said.

Meanwhile, Hulu Terengganu Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) bagged the New Horizon Award for Best Innovative and Creative Group (KIK) through the polybag lifter tool innovation which can address seedling deaths after planting due to improper handling.

Team leader Muhamad Shairazi Supian said that the tool would ease planting without damaging the seedling, as the use of a hoe to place plants in polybags in planting holes can cause soil dispersion and root damage.

“With the polybag lifter tool, the fertility of the seedlings is guaranteed to be high. At Risda, smallholders need to replant about 500 rubber trees, and the tool helps save time.

“Smallholders used to take two to three days to replant 500 trees, but now it can be done in one day,” he said. - Bernama

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