KUALA TERENGGANU, TERENGGANU, 3 MARCH 2018: The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is collaborating with the Malaysia Rail Link Sdn. Bhd. (MRL) to help enhance the English language proficiency of students in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), through an initiative that will benefit over 1,350 pupils in 49 schools located along the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) in 2018.
The English proficiency initiative will be conducted beginning March this year in primary schools which are currently participating in ECERDC’s empower ECER Academic Training programme. Under this collaboration, ECERDC and MRL will jointly organise various activities such as ‘English Boot Camps’ for the pupils to master the language in a fun and interactive manner, particularly those who are academically weak and come from poor family. The agencies will also support the efforts to upgrade the facilities in selected schools through the provision of LCD projectors and reading materials, as well as upgrading works of classrooms.
Terengganu will be the biggest beneficiaries of this partnership, with the involvement of 23 schools located nearby future ECRL stations in Kampung Raja, Telaga Papan, Kuala Terengganu, Pengkalan Berangan, Dungun, Kemasik and Chukai. Pahang and Kelantan will each have 13 schools participating in the programme.
Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John and the Chief Executive Officer of MRL, YBhg. Dato’ Sri Darwis Abdul Razak exchanged the MoU for this collaboration here today at Dataran Shahbandar during the closing ceremony of Ekspo Terengganu 2018. The event was witnessed by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd. Najib Tun Abdul Razak and Terengganu Menteri Besar, YAB Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s working visit to Terengganu today.
“Over the past decade, ECER has transformed remarkably through the implementation of high-impact InfraRakyat projects and inclusive human capital development programmes by the Federal Government via ECERDC in collaboration with the State Governments. However, as the Region further advances in line with technological and digital advancement, the local talent pool will need to adapt accordingly to the changing global trends and demands. In this regard, we have identified English proficiency as one of the important skills which can help improve their marketability and employability, particularly as the economy in ECER becomes more productivity-driven and knowledge-based,” said Datuk Seri Issace.
“Towards this goal, the strategic collaboration between ECERDC and MRL through the empower ECER Academic Training programme will enable the younger generation to be equipped with the necessary soft skills and confidence to seize the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities created through the ongoing and future developments in ECER such as the ECRL. This is in support of the Federal and State Governments’ commitment in ensuring that the Rakyat, including the youth, fully benefits from the socio-economic transformation that is taking place in the ECER,” he added.
The empower ECER Academic Training programme has been implemented by ECERDC in partnership with its strategic partners since 2010 across 29 locations within ECER. The human capital development initiative targets underperforming children from low-income families. It focuses on core academic subjects as well as motivational and leadership courses, and has benefited more than 51,400 students in ECER as at end-2017.
“MRL is proud to contribute to this programme as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility initiative. As a citizen of the ECER, we are keen to promote greater academic excellence and language skills among students in the East Coast states,” said Dato’ Sri Darwis.
He added that MRL is happy to work with ECERDC on this training programme as it would bring a wealth of experience and exposure in running similar programmes in the East Coast.
“We hope to create a group of students from the East Coast states who are highly proficient in the English language and would eventually be able to contribute significantly to the socio-economic growth of the nation,” Dato’ Sri Darwis added. MRL, a special purpose vehicle owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated, is the project owner of the ECRL that will link the Greater Klang Valley to the East Coast states when completed in mid-2024.
 Meanwhile at the same event, ECERDC handed over the Letter of Commitment to the Menteri Besar Incorporated (MB Inc.), the Master Developer of Silica Valley, to support the infrastructure works for the development of the eco-industrial park.
A total of 15 investors will be involved in the development of Silica Valley, a new growth area of 4,000 hectare in the district of Marang which will be focusing on mineral industries and renewable energy, as well as residential and commercial projects, that will further boost Terengganu’s economic growth.
“We are committed in supporting the Silica Valley project as we recognise it as a major new industrial initiative that will help spur Terengganu’s economy. Moreover, it is also an environment-friendly project and provides excellent value-added factor at the downstream segment of the industry. The Silica Valley is expected to be a significant contributor to our mission in prospering the people and improving their lives,” said Datuk Seri Issace.
ECER’s equal focus on Capital Economy and People Economy, as reflected through the surge of private investments and improvement in the Rakyat’s well-being, has served as a game-changer for the Region within the last 10 years. As a symbolic gesture to commemorate ECERDC’s 10th anniversary celebration this year, Dato’ Sri Najib took part in a ‘pulut kuning’ (yellow glutinous rice) cutting ceremony at the Ekspo Terengganu 2018 event here today.
ECERDC had been participating in the week-long Ekspo Terengganu 2018, organised by the Terengganu State Government, to showcase ECER projects and programmes over the past decade which include the Kuala Terengganu City Centre (KTCC) and Akuapolitan Kuala Nerus.
hrough the facilitation of ECER projects and programmes, Terengganu has successfully attracted private investments totalling RM33.7 billion by end-2017, that have created more than 41,777 job opportunities and 7,686 entrepreneurial opportunities for the Rakyat. Meanwhile, ECER’s Rakyat-centric and inclusive human capital development programmes comprising empower ECER, entrepreneur ECER, ECER Talent Enhancement Programme (ETEP), TERAJU@ECER and Agropolitan have benefited more than 13,341 Rakyat in the State.
At the Ekspo Terengganu 2018, the success stories of the empower ECER, entrepreneur ECER and TERAJU@ECER participants, as well as product showcase from food and beverage to handicraft, were also among the key highlights. Various other activities and pocket talks were also hosted by ECERDC’s strategic partners such as SIRIM, Maybank and Agrobank for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn more about the guidance and trainings provided, as well as financial and product development assistance offered through the entrepreneur ECER programmes. More than 10 local participants of ECERDC’s human capital development programmes had also set-up their booths and conducted various activities such as cooking and cake decorating demonstration.
– END –