Thursday, May 1, 2008

Creating entrepreneurs - The Star

May 1, 2008 By LIM CHIA YING

THE Selangor Government has launched a programme to encourage young people to start and operate their own businesses.

According to State Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman Yaakob Sapari, entrepreneurs are the movers and shakers of a country’s economic life.

Yaakob: We are working hard to change the job pattern.
He said for a country to progress, it must be built upon the foundation of entrepreneurs who were progressive thinkers.

“We are working hard to change the job pattern in the state so that one moves from being just an income earner to becoming an entrepreneur,” he said.

Yaakob said this at the launch of the health and safety induction course organised by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) at the Quality Hotel at Plaza Perangsang, Shah Alam.

During the ceremony, 113 workers who had participated in the induction course held on April 8 this year were presented certificates and green cards of the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB).

Yaakob advised the contractors and workers in the audience to continually seek to expand their knowledge, enhance their creativity and boost their competitiveness to improve their entrepreneurship skills.

“Try to find other opportunities and think out of the box. Do not rely solely on government projects because the size of this pie is small,” he said.

The CIDB green card programme is an initiative to create a safe management system at construction sites, making it compulsory for all construction workers to wear the card to promote safety at the site.

The green card is an acknowledgement that a worker has completed the health and safety induction course and has understood the instructions set by CIDB.

A speech by Syabas chief executive officer Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, who was unable to attend, was read out by company human resource and administration executive director Zainuddin Othman.

In his speech, Rozali said the company had always been about ensuring the output of its staff and contractors are on top level, not only in work quality but also in terms of safety and comfort.

“We feel that this programme is something important not only to protect the interests of Syabas and its appointed contractors, but also to safeguard the public,” he said.

“For example, like our pipe installation works, it is done in many public places and so a good understanding about safety will help contribute a safer environment for all,” Rozali said.

He said action could be taken against workers at construction sites, who did not wear the green card which could result in the contractor’s registration being cancelled, suspended, or withdrawn.

“After action is taken, the contractor may face a problem in getting construction tenders,” he added.

According to Rozali, the green card holders are entitled to round-the-clock insurance protection through the Takaful protection scheme.

This applies to workers aged between 16 and 65 years.

Rozali said Syabas would enforce the use of the green card among all its appointed contractors and workers, including sub-contractors and workers, in stages through project site visits and monitoring or through the monthly contractors meeting at each of the 10 Syabas districts.

Yaakob commended Syabas for its active involvement in the programme.

“I noticed that most of the piping works are usually done at night.

“With this programme, it will increase understanding of workers about safety so that hopefully, accidents can be avoided,” he said.

“However, the green card should not be misused for the sake of claiming insurance,” Yaakob said.

On the state government programme to encourage more people to become entrepreneurs, Yaakob said for a start, relevant courses would be conducted.

“For those who have not started any business, we have programmes with Mara where people could register for training.

“For those who already have business inclination, we are looking to upgrade their skills,” Yaakob said.

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