ECER HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES HAVING AN IMPACT IN MERSING Bright future for participants as income levels have improved and more entrepreneurship opportunities have been created

MERSING, JOHOR, (6 FEBRUARY): The human capital development programmes implemented by the Federal Government through the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) in partnership with the Johor State Government, are empowering the rakyat in ECER to benefit from and contribute to the Region’s continued economic transformation.

ECERDC’s inclusive human capital development programmes, such as empower ECER and entrepreneur ECER, help boost employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the rakyat by providing them marketable skills. They include academic enrichment programmes, industry-driven up-skilling programmes and comprehensive skills training courses aimed to uplift the income-earning capability of the rakyat. These programmes are closely aligned with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030), which seeks to enable equitable, inclusive and sustainable growth across Malaysia.

Since the empower ECER programme was launched in Mersing in 2013, to date 3,100 participants largely from the B40 group have benefited. In 2019, 177 participants of empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training programme became entrepreneurs with the majority earning an average of RM1,000 to RM5,000 per month. They in turn created more than 160 job opportunities for the locals.

Meanwhile, the entrepreneur ECER programme focuses on enhancing the performance of existing entrepreneurs through a collaboration with SIRIM for product development, packaging, labelling, branding, MeSTI and Halal certifications; while the collaboration with Maybank and Agrobank as strategic partners allow for soft loan financing with ECER providing (topping up) 50% of the interest rate. To date, ECERDC has developed 388 micro and SME entrepreneurs, of which 60% are now earning between RM5,000 to RM10,000, 38% are earning RM10,000 to RM100,000 while the top 2% are recording average monthly sales exceeding RM100,000.

“In 2019, the empower ECER Academic Training programme assisted 200 underperforming students in Mersing improve their academic performance, with a Minimum Level Achievement of 72% (Mencapai Tahap Minimum – MTM). Before the students participated in the empower ECER Academic Training programme, the MTM achieved was only 16%. This is a significant achievement, therefore, I hope this programme will be continued for the benefit of the people in the ECER, especially in Mersing,” said Johor Menteri Besar, YAB Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal during Majlis Konvokesyen dan Anugerah Usahawan empower ECER Mersing at Dewan Jubli Intan Sultan Ibrahim today.

The convocation was held for participants who have completed the empower ECER programme while the award ceremony was held to recognize the most successful empower ECER participants in Mersing and participants who excelled in UPSR 2019.

At the event, three (3) entrepreneurs received the empower ECER Entrepreneur Awards and four (4) participants received the Juara empower ECER Award for their 2019 UPSR achievement. The certificates and awards were presented by YAB Menteri Besar.

One of the participants and recipient of top honours; the Anugerah Usahawan Gemilang empower ECER, Mursina Binti Zainuddin, has experienced a tremendous change in her life. She now runs a successful frozen satay and catering business. Through the Bijak Niaga @ MyBusiness course under the empower ECER programme, she has learned entrepreneurship skills and restarted her family’s satay business armed only with the family recipe. The satay business was making around RM2,000 a month during her father’s time and is now bringing in more than RM12,000 a month after applying skills from the empower ECER programme. Besides uplifting the fortunes of her family, Mursina’s success has a ripple effect to the local community as she now employs five workers to help run her business.

“I am very thankful for the empower ECER programme. Not only am I able to improve my family’s living standards, I can also help other people in the community by giving job opportunities,” said the former clerk.

Another Award recipient, Muhammad Farid Izzudin Bin Malikhazulkifli runs a canteen at Politeknik Mersing after participating in an empower ECER course. Before participating in the programme, he was working as a night market food trader. Today, he is earning up to RM10,000 per month from his business and employs eight workers.

“I am very happy to receive my award today. I have always wanted to be in business and this course has taught me so many things about how to run a successful business. I have hope for the future and I am excited to further expand my business. I wish to thank ECERDC for the help and guidance they have given me,” said Muhammad Farid, who received the Anugerah Usahawan Muda empower ECER.

To date, more than 100,000 rakyat in the ECER have benefited from ECERDC’s human capital development programmes. Almost 95% of them are from the B40 communities, of which 70% are youth and 70% are female participants, reflecting ECERDC’s inclusive approach towards empowering the rakyat.

“Enhancing the well-being of the rakyat in ECER has always been the focus of all ECERDC projects and programmes. We will continue to collaborate with the Johor State Government and all relevant agencies to implement human capital development programmes as outlined in the ECER Master Plan 2.0 (EMP 2.0) to empower the rakyat in order to ensure sustainable and equitable growth in ECER. The achievements of these participants reinforce our commitment to continue delivering on our high-impact human capital development programmes. We want to ensure that no one will be left behind in the Region’s socio-economic transformation,” said Encik Baidzawi Che Mat, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC. 

The event was held after the ECER Implementation and Coordination Committee (ICC) Johor meeting here, earlier today. The meeting was chaired by YAB Menteri Besar.

ECER is now in its next leap of growth with the implementation of the EMP2.0, which aims to transform the region into a productivity-driven, high value-added economy by year 2025. In order to enhance the socio-economic development in the area, ECERDC’s human capital development programmes are tailored to support Mersing’s tourism activities thus enabling the Rakyat, especially the lower income groups, to participate in the economic spill-over activities in Mersing.

Under the EMP2.0, the Next Leap for Mersing’s tourism sector is to continue with the preservation and conservation of its natural endowments by capitalising on ECER’s “Rainforest to Reef” (R2R) ecotourism concept. Key projects that are set to impact the Rakyat in Mersing is the development Pusat Informasi dan Perkhidmatan Taman Laut Sultan Iskandar (PIPTLSI) at Pulau Besar and the Air Papan Kampungstay Tourism Development. The construction of PIPTLSI is expected to be complete in Quarter three this year while the Air Papan Kampungstay Tourism Development is in the design phase with construction expected to commence also in Quarter three.

PIPTLSI will function as a one-stop centre for Mersing’s group of islands, offering a variety of services and facilities under one roof such as an information counter, exhibition centre, surau, clinic, police station and a cafeteria overlooking clear blue waters while the Air Papan                  Kampungstay will transform traditional homestays into Community Based Tourism in line with the findings of a study by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

Other projects in the pipeline are Endau Mersing Fish Processing Park (EMFPP) which will provide a platform for fish-based Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) to upgrade their businesses and Jemaluang Dairy Valley, an integrated dairy industry development which will is expected to contribute 11% to the national milk production. This project is expected to bring in RM30 million in investment, create 200 job opportunities and develop 30 agropreneurs.

“The improvement of the people’s livelihood through jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities has been a core feature of ECERDC’s development projects and programmes in Mersing. Leveraging on the solid foundation built over the last ten years, we will continue building up the Rakyat’s ability to participate in and contribute to the prosperity of the region, consistent with the EMP2.0 and the Government’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030,” concluded Encik Baidzawi.

– END –


The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is a statutory body established to spearhead the execution and implementation of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) Master Plan.  ECERDC plays a lead role in setting the directions, policies and strategies for the socio-economic development of ECER by promoting and facilitating investments into the Region. 

ECER, which covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing in Johor, is a rapidly transforming region that is steadily positioning itself as a distinctive, dynamic and competitive destination for investments.

Geographically, it covers a total area of over 66,000 sq km or 51% of Peninsular Malaysia. It is home to some 4.3 million people, or about 15% of the total national population. The economic growth in the Region is driven by six key economic clusters; namely Tourism, Oil, Gas & Petrochemical, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Human Capital and Entrepreneurship Development as well as Logistics and Services. These clusters are supported by developments in Transportation, Infrastructure, Property and Environment to make the Region an ideal destination for business, investment and quality living.

For media inquiries, kindly contact:

Tengku Mazlinda Tengku Mahmood

Manager, Media Relations

East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC)

Tel: 03-2035 0182 / 010-408 1085