KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is a suitable location for sweet sorghum plantation to produce bio-fuel.
Minister of Special Tasks Datuk Teo Chee Kang has recently met with Shi-Zhong Li, the executive director of MOST-USDA Joint Research Centre for Biofuels and deputy director of the Institute of New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University, in which Li shared the potential of producing biofuel from sweet sorghum.
Teo subsequently introduced Li to a Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) lecturer for further discussion, with the hope that the discourse would result in a partnership in sweet sorghum plantation between Sabah and China.
Teo, who also oversees the State Economic Planning Unit (EPU), said that during a courtesy call by Chen Peijie, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Deputy Consul General Sun Xiaowu and Vice Consul Chen Xin here on Monday.
He said Sabah and China has maintained close relations all this while. The local Chinese community, trade, educational and cultural associations frequently conduct working visits to various provinces in China, which in turn, fostered good rapport with the local governments in China.
In addition, Teo informed Chen that he has led a working visit to Tsinghua University, Peking University and Zhejiang University in China last year.
“We hope that the working visit could open doors for Sabahan students to pursue their tertiary education in China,” he said.
Although many Malaysian and Chinese universities are mutually recognized by both countries, not many Sabahans are currently studying in China, he said.
In comparison, more local students pursue their higher education in Taiwan than China, Teo pointed out, adding that there are many excellent universities in China that were good options for Chinese independent school students.
Teo said Chinese universities could also provide training for local teachers in Chinese schools, given that Chinese independent secondary schools and primary schools in Sabah still faced a shortage of Chinese teachers.
Moreover, he said the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has expressed his wish for our Chinese counterparts to assist Malaysia in training our teachers during his visit to China last year.
On another note, Teo said the arrival of Chinese travelers to Sabah was affected by the MH370 and MH17 incidents and abduction cases in the State.
However, Teo assured that Sabah was safe to visit as the Malaysian Government has established the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) to beef up security in the east coast of the State.
Meanwhile, Chen pledged to promote Sabah to her people in order to attract more Chinese tourists to Sabah.
At the same time, Chen hoped that the security in Sabah could be enhanced to ensure the safety of Chinese tourists as it was the responsibility of the Chinese consulate to keep their citizens safe.
Since arriving in Kota Kinabalu a few days ago, Chen said she has been meeting State Government and community leaders, including Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
Also present at the courtesy call were Likas Community Development Leader (PPM) Chin Shu Ying and liaison secretary to the Minister of Special Tasks Albert Kok. – Sayangsabah