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HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT IN BIMP-EAGA:
THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH (UMS)

Prof. Dato Dr. Abu Hassan Othman,
Vice Chancellor,
UMS Wong Hock Tsen,
Lecturer, School of Business and Economics, UMS

INTRODUCTION

Malaysia has experienced significant economic growth in the past years with inflation kept at a very low level and capita income increased at nominal terms. The high economic growth during the period was accompanied by a tremendous structural transformation of Malaysian economy which resulted from a shift on primary economy to a more modern industrial one. The manufacturing industry itself has shown significant changes, from mainly low-technology to high-technology industries. The rapid expansion of the economy has tightened the labor market, resulting in higher wages and a higher inflation rate. Malaysia’s current account of balance of payment has traditionally been characterized by surpluses in the merchandise account but persistently by deficits in the services account. Recently, however, the deficits in the services account has increased, overcoming the surpluses in the merchandise account and bringing the overall balance of payment at a deficit level. Hence, exports from Malaysia should be increased and at the same time, imports need to be reduced to improve the deficit in the balance of payment.

Given these changes in the Malaysian economy and considering that the world economy is becoming more competitive, more global, and dominated by information and communication technologies, steps must be taken towards greater automation, capital-intensive, and knowledge-based industries to sustain a high and rapid economic growth to increase the competitiveness of Malaysian products and services in the world market. These could be achieved through strengthening science and technology (S&T), increasing research and development (R&D) and innovation activities and most importantly, developing and providing a huge and highly skilled manpower, particularly in the areas of engineering, and S & T, among others. This has brought new challenges to institutions of higher education and other public sectors training institutions in particular, to produce more of such kind of manpower and to continuously upgrade the technical competence and skills of the nation’s existing work force. A pool of highly qualified and dexterous engineering, technical, scientific, and managerial manpower, is crucial to ensuring the successful transition from labor-intensive and low-wage activities to higher-technology and capital-based industries.

There is a general consensus that the human resource is one of the crucial factors for economic development. Romer (1986, 1990), among others, has shown the importance of the human capital’s contribution in shifting the production frontier forward; an indication that economic growth has occurred. The experiences of countries with newly industrialized economies (NIEs) such as Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore have shown that their high and rapid economic progress in the past few decades could be partly explained by their past policies which emphasized the importance of human resource development (HRD). Hence, HRD should be one of the key policies in developing countries’ economic development agenda. This is also recommended by international organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

THE MALAYSIAN ECONOMY TRANSFORMATION

Malaysia has experienced significant economic growth since 1970, about two and a half decades ago. The gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an average rate of 6.7 percent per annum from 1971 to 1990 and 8.7 percent during the implementation of the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-1995). Since 1988, the Malaysian economy’s growth became more impressive, with a sustained 8.9 per cent yearly growth (Malaysia 1996). From 1975 to 1994, the inflation rate was kept at less than 4 percent, in accordance with the rapid and high economic growth rate. In 1995, inflation went down to only 3.4 percent and was projected about 4 percent in 1996. In 1995, the per capita income in nominal terms increased significantly, from US$ 308 in 1972 to US$ 4,027 (Table 1). This implies that in general, the standard of living in Malaysia improved through time. The momentum of rapid economic growth and low inflation are necessary conditions to achieve Malaysia’s Vision 2020, which is about 24 years from now.

The high economic growth during the period was accompanied by a tremendous structural transformation of Malaysian economy, resulting in a shift from mainly production and export of primary commodities to a more modern industrial economy. In 1970, the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, and fishing) accounted for 32.1 per cent of the GDP. However, after the industrial policy aimed at export diversification was implemented in the 1960s and 1970s, the Malaysian economy’s structure underwent significant changes in 1987. Those changes entailed for the manufacturing sector to play a more dominant role in leading the economic growth, surpassing the primary sector for the first time. The contribution of the manufacturing sector to the GDP became more significant after 1987. In 1995, the manufacturing sector accounted for 33.1 percent of GDP compared with only 12.2 percent in 1970. On the other hand, the contributions of the primary sector to the GDP was reduced to 13.9 percent for the same period (Table 2). Besides this, the manufacturing sector also played a significant role in terms of employment generation and exports. The manufacturing sector itself showed significant changes from being mainly resource-based processing and labor intensive industries in the earlier state of industrial development in Malaysia during the late 1960s and 1970s, to that of higher-technology, capital intensive, and knowledge-based industries in 1980s and early 1990s. In the future, emphasis will be given on promoting automated manufacturing, materials production, electronics, biotechnology, and information technologies, to further enhance the industrial base and to sustain the role of the manufacturing sector as an engine of growth for the country’s economy.

The rapid expansion of the economy has led to a situation of virtual full employment, with the unemployment rate declining from 7.5 percent in 1970 to 2.8 percent in 1995 (Table 1). In turn, labor market’s tightening resulted in an increased pressure on wage levels. If left unchecked, this could push the economy’s general price level upward. This will not only increase the cost of living in Malaysia but could also reduce the competitiveness of Malaysian products and services in the world market in terms of prices. This implies that Malaysia’s economic growth can no longer depend heavily on input growth, particularly cheap labor. Focus should shift to growth based on Total Productivity Factor (TFP), that is growth based on productivity and quality. From 1977 to 1990, the TFP accounted only for about 1.2 percent of GDP growth. The TFP contribution to the GDP growth is projected to increase by 3.3 percent in 1996-2000 period (Table 4).

Malaysia’s current balance of payment account (or BOP) has traditionally been characterized by surpluses in the merchandize account but persistently by deficits in services account. However, in the early 1990s, the deficits in the services account has increased, overcoming the surpluses in merchandize account and bringing shortfall to BOP. A big portion of deficit in the services account was mainly due to a large net outflow of investment income and freight and insurance. The deficits in investment income and freight and insurance dramatically rose from RM 335 million and RM 325 million, respectively, in 1970 to RM 11,266 million and RM 8,532 million in 1995 (Table 3). The large net outflow from freight and insurance was chiefly due to lack of domestic capacity to meet the increasing demand for these services. Besides, import of goods (capital, intermediate, and consumer) also increased owing to expansion of the economy. Hence, there is a need to enhance exports from Malaysia but at the same time, imports should be reduced to improve the BOP deficit by producing higher value-added and competitive products and services for local and global markets.

Thus, to sustain a high and rapid economic growth in the future, Malaysia’s economy should put emphasis on TFP growth in general, which was adversely affected by lack of input, particularly cheap labor. Likewise, there is a need to shift the dependency on labor and low-wage intensive industries toward greater automation, capital-intensive and knowledge-based industries to produce more value- added and competitive products and services for domestic and world market. This brings new challenges for higher education institutions and other public sector training institutions, in particular, to produce technically competent and skilled manpower as needed by the new industries. A pool of highly qualified and dexterous engineering, technical, scientific, and managerial manpower is crucial to ensuring the successful transition from labor-intensive and low-wage activities to higher-technology and capital- and knowledge-based industries.

GLOBALIZATION CHALLENGES

The world economy is becoming more competitive, more global, and increasingly dominated by information and communication technologies. This has made human capital more important, as technical knowledge and the capacity to respond quickly to change is an even more crucial input to the production process (Carroy 1995).

Globalization of the world economy and liberalization in recent years has resulted in the situation where competition in various aspects became unavoidable. Furthermore, with the revolution of biotechnology and information technology, the mode of production and technology will change frequently while competitiveness will increase. The product’s life cycles will be shortened and skill demands will shift rapidly and less predictably. The ability to adapt and respond to changing internal and external environments will constitute a nation cutting edge. Besides this, the free flow of labor across boundaries has brought new issues and dimensions on human resource planning and development. The traditional manpower planning, that is macro-oriented and targeting approaches will no longer be adequate. In addition, the existing approaches will require to be used in line with the micro-level cluster-based approach to HRD. This will afford a more focused and hence more responsive strategy at the levels where labor markets, industries, and supporting networks operate and where decisions are made.

Based on is easy access to information and technology, the mode of production will change as well as the nature of work itself. There will be an increasing need for flexible and multi-skilled manpower. Some experts have projected that the professionals of the next century would require depth not only in their own specific disciplines but familiarity with at least one or more other disciplines. Their intellectual capacity must be supplemented with skills to operate information technology (IT) equipment. Also, there is a need to train and retrain our human resources. Inflexible human resource planning may produce workers with skills already made obsolete by technical or market changes.

In particular, the higher education institutions and training institutions in developing countries will no longer act as individual organizations, as was traditionally practiced. In a global and liberalized world, greater co-operation among organizations is needed as well as the demand for excellence in teaching, research, and publishing.

Malaysia’s metamorphosing industries would face the new challenges of an emerging competitor, particularly in 1997 when the United States withdraw the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) from the country. This requires adding monetary worth along the value chain (Porter 1985, 1990) and a new international industry structure. To ensure the success of this transformation, Malaysia will need to increase and create a pool of highly skilled and human resource, especially in the high-skilled product development and marketing, to strengthen its S&T and R&D capabilities. The percentage of unskilled labor in assembly jobs has to be reduced through capital incentives and automation. The nature of work itself will change in many important ways in the years to come. To brace for a future where change will be the only constant factor, it is prudent to review the critical emerging issues and challenges confronting future technical human resource planning and development in Malaysia and adapt and adjust accordingly.

HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA

A pool of highly qualified and dexterous technical manpower is crucial to ensuring the successful transition from labor-intensive, low-wage activities to those of higher-technology and capital-based industries. HRD is no longer considered or planned within an implicitly closed system. Both supply and demand for labor are increasingly shaped not only by internal socio-economic factors but also by a large number of external factors as well. These include labor market changes resulting from the integration of international production networks: the emerging global and regional trade arrangements as a result of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/TWO) and ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA); rapid technological change including the information, aerospace, and biotechnology revolution; increased competition for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and output markets; and increased access to information and technology.

The transformation of an economy to high and advanced industries requires alternatives in HRD as well. The success of such transformation requires more human resource with expertise in the science, engineering, and technical fields. In the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1990-1995), it was projected that 47.9 percent of university graduates (degree, diploma, and technical) will come from the field of arts while 52.1 percent will emerge from science/technical fields. Generally, the percentage of human resource with science/technical background output may not be able to fulfill the need of a progressive and rapid economic industrialization in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia recently faced a crucial shortage of engineering and technical human resource needed by its industries. Hence, in the Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000), emphasis was given on increasing the science/technical manpower output ratio. Within this period, the science/technical graduates of universities is expected to increase up to 55.8 percent of the total, while 44.2 percent will be coming from the fields of arts. It is hoped that Malaysia will be able to cope with the needs to achieve its Vision 2020. Mismatch of HRD will jeopardize the development process required.

Within the Seventh Malaysia Plan (7MP), the thrust of HRD efforts will be the preparation of a strong human resource base for long-term economic growth and global competitiveness. Given the shift toward a productivity-driven economy, the emphasis will be on increasing the efficiency of labor use and greater capital and technology intensity in production. A productivity-driven economy will require a higher level of professional and skilled manpower as well as administrative and managerial expertise. The government will continue to play a major role in HRD. Education and skills training institutions will be expanded, upgraded, and restructured, where necessary, to increase skill formation in the country and make training more responsive to industry needs.

Greater private sector participation and cooperation with the public sector will be encouraged in tertiary education and skills training. The amendments to the private Higher Educational Institution Act of 1996 will enable the private sector to play a greater role in the provision of tertiary education. Education and skills training are accorded high priority in nation-building to provide a sufficient pool of well-educated, highly-skilled, and a strongly-motivated labor force. Also given emphasis was the accessibility and participation of the low-income group in education and training.

Training institutions will conduct more advanced skill courses in line with the changing economic structure of the country as it moves toward high technology and higher value-added activities. To meet the manpower requirement of the rapidly growing economy, tertiary education in the Sixth Malaysian Plan was directed at increasing enrolment at the degree, diploma, and certificate levels, particularly in science, medicine, engineering, and technical-related courses.

The expansion of industrial and economic activities toward a direction of high technology and knowledge-based future requires a strong education system. This should be based on multi-skills, versatility and adaptability to enable our manpower to adapt and respond quickly to the rapidly changing technological and work environments. Besides this, the education system must be able to stimulate and provide a conducive environment to adapt and innovate new processes and products.

THE ECONOMY OF SABAH

The economic growth of Sabah in recent years was less impressive compared with the country as a whole. The average annual economic growth rate for Sabah in 1981-1990 and 1991-1995 were 5.2 and 6.2 percent, respectively. These performances were far behind the overall national achievement, which was more than 8 percent per annum. For 1996-2000, the average annual growth rate of Sabah is projected to be considerably low -- 5.4 percent only (Malaysia 1996). Sabah’s economic growth is not only slow but unstable as well, mainly because its economy depends heavily on the primary sector while the prices of commodities in the world market fluctuates dramatically most of the time. The sluggish growth of Sabah’s economy brought about a relatively languid demand for labor and as a consequence it continues to experience a high level of unemployment. The number of jobs created by the primary sector was still insufficient to cater to the large pool of labor supply.

The unemployment rate of Sabah is much higher than the national figure. In 1990, its unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, compared to the national rate of 5.1 percent. In 1995, Sabah still yielded a high unemployment rate of 5.6 percent whereas the national rate was only about 2.8 percent. In year 2000, unemployment rate in Sabah is projected at 5.7 percent compared with the national rate which has been projected to remain at 2.8 percent (Malaysia 1996). The worse part of this scenario is that unemployment in Sabah was concentrated among the group of young people.

Sabah’s economy is still dominated by the primary sector which includes forestry, agriculture, livestock, and fishery. Structural changes in the manufacturing and services sectors for the past few decades were neither significant nor consistent. No serious and significant policies or plans for an industrial economy were carried out. Recently, however, the structure of the state economies underwent transformation, with the primary sector contributing less to the total state value-added to the secondary and tertiary sectors which are composed of utilities, wholesale and retail trades, hotels and restaurants, transport, storage and communication, finance, real estate and business services, and government services, among others. The contribution of the two main sectors to the total state value-added increased from 43.5 percent in 1990 to 55.4 percent in 1995 (Malaysia 1996). More efforts need to be exerted to make such transformation significant.

Traditionally, economic progress and development in Sabah has been achieved mainly through exports of primary commodities, which are short-lived and low value-added. Furthermore, it generated only a few employment opportunities with low income. In terms of trade, although exports value exceeded that of imports, the gap has been narrowed down. In general, Sabah’s performance has deteriorated relative to its own past achievements and compared to the country as a whole (Ministry of Industrial Development 1996).

For the past few years, nearly half of the growth in manufacturing outputs came from the wood and wood products industry. The contribution of other manufacturing industries was not significant at all. This was because the manufacturing industry in Sabah was very narrowly-based and dominated by the timber industry products. Moreover, most industries have dual structures where the size and capital-intensiveness of operations vary consistently between each industry.

Within Malaysia, Sabah registered the highest population growth rate of 5.2 percent per annum. This high population growth rate was mainly due to the huge inflow of external immigrants. According to the 1991 census, out of a total 300,000 external immigrants who entered Malaysia during the period 1986-1991, about 40.8 percent entered Sabah. For 1991-1995, Sabah’s population continued to register the highest growth at 6.2 percent per annum owing to high fertility rate and high external immigration (Malaysia 1996). The high growth of population will result in a large labor force which will require the economy to produce more employment opportunities in the future to reduce high unemployment and to improve the standard of living of the people in Sabah.

In general, the standard of living of the people of Sabah is poor, ranking lowest in the whole country. In 1989, the average monthly household income in Sabah was RM 1,148 compared to RM 1,167 for the whole of Malaysia. In 1995, the mean monthly household income of Sabah was projected to increase up to RM 1,444 but at the same time, Malaysia’s mean monthly household income was projected to reach RM 2,007 (Malaysia 1996). This means that in general, the standard of living in Sabah was still far behind the whole nation and greater efforts should be carried out to improve this situation.

Therefore, industrialization in Sabah is important. Sabah should produce products which are not only resource-based but also high-technology and knowledge-intensive based so as to cope with the high population growth. Hence, a skilled labor force needs to be produced by higher education institutions so that the people of Sabah can produce innovative products through R&D activities. This will sustain the competitiveness of future products from Sabah and could also increase the economic growth and reduce unemployment rates thereby improving the standard of living in Sabah. In addition, more innovative entrepreneurs who would set-up new business and economic activities should be produced.

UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH (UMS)

The Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) was established on 24 November, 1994, under section 18, article 3(1) of the UMS Incorporation Act and is categorized under universities offering broad disciplines. Its founding was an effort towards producing qualified and trained experts in the areas of science, technology, and management in order to achieve Malaysia’s goal of becoming a fully industrialized nation by the year 2020. The philosophy of UMS is based on the principle of the belief in God and in the development of students who are progressive, disciplined, integrated, and balanced in their intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual outlook and who will contribute toward the well-being of society and the nation.

UMS strives to achieve academic excellence in various fields to gain international recognition through learning and teaching, research and publication, social services, and a balanced specialization of knowledge and development of personality of students resulting in high productivity and quality work in the context of the environment and the aspirations of society and the nation.

In order to achieve the university mission, UMS suggested in its development planning to set up 11 schools, 6 academic centers and institutes, and 3 academic support centers within the period 1995-2005. In Phase I (1995-2000), six schools, six centers and institutes, and three centers will be established. This will be followed with the establishment of five more schools under phase II (2001-2005) to fulfill the various needs and aspirations of the nation, state, and BIMP-EAGA region (see tabulation below and Appendix A).

Phase 1: 1995-2000

Academic Programme

Year

School of Science and Technology 1995
School of Social Sciences 1995
School of Business and Economics 1995
School of Postgraduate Studies 1995
School of Engineering and Information Technology 1996
School of Education and Social Development 1996

Academic Center and Institute

Year
Center of General Knowledge and Language Learning

1995

Institute of Tropical Biology and Conservation 1995
Institute of Borneo Marine Research 1995
Institute of Ethnography and Development 1995
Institute of Psychology and Social Health 1996
Center of Instrumentation and Measurement 1997

Center of Academic Support Year
Computer Center 1995
Matriculation Center 1995
Center of Media and Long-distance Learning 1998

Phase II: 2001-2005

Academic Programme

Year
School of Food and Nutrition 2001
School of Psychology and Social Work 2001
School of Communication and Arts 2001
School of Industry Management 2001
School of Medicine and Health Management 2004

UMS plans to offer a liberal education for its undergraduate students but at the same time fulfill the academic requirements of every discipline. Students are required to follow and pass the courses with at least 129 credit hours (for four-year course students) and 120 credit hours (for three-year course students). The allocation of credit hours are for university courses (consisting of general knowledge and English language), school core, programme core, minor, and co-curriculum. Students are also allowed to take in as many combination courses as possible such as Science with Education, International Business with Japanese Language, Economics with Psychology, Consumerism and Community Development, among others. With this option, the students will become more open-minded and knowledgeable in their chosen field and be adaptable to other fields. This kind of capability is required by Malaysia’s HRD planning to achieve its Vision 2020.

To date, UMS has 1,423 students, ranging from Matriculation to Doctorate types (Table 6). The number of students enrolled is expected to increase through time. By the year 2005, the intake, enrolment, and output of students are projected to reach about 2,950, 10,470, and 1,960 persons, respectively (Table 7). At present, UMS has 270 staff, 50 of whom are academic staff and the rest are tutors, management, and supporting staff (Table 8). UMS encourages its academic staff to excel in teaching, conducting R&D activities, and publishing worthwhile endeavors. UMS currently publishes the Journal of Science and Technology, Kinabalu Journal of Social Science and Business, and Sepangar News. The two journals aim to promote and stimulate exchange of new ideas and findings in the areas of science and technology, and arts (including business and economics), respectively.

THE ROLE OF UMS

In line with the government’s effort to achieve Vision 2020, UMS was tasked to produce a pool of highly qualified and well- trained human resource in various disciplines for the nation as a whole and particularly for the state of Sabah. The emphasis will be given to ensure the success of Sabah in industrializing its economy and diversifying its economic base -- from agriculture to high technology and knowledge intensive industries for both the manufacturing and services sectors. This could be achieved through properly directing the R&D and innovation activities in priority areas, which are stated in the Sabah Industrial Master Plan. Besides this, UMS will focus on maximizing the use of rich untapped resources and harnessing the economic potential through increased R&D activities. UMS will also forge close linkages with the industry and private sector in terms of training and R&D activities. A successful industrialization of Sabah will improve and stabilize its economic growth and generate various kinds of higher return and employment opportunities thereby reducing the poverty rate and improving the quality of life of the people of Sabah.

In addition, UMS was also tasked to develop and upgrade the socio-economic status of Sabah, which was far behind the overall national level. A better development for Sabah will bring a more balanced regional development in Malaysia, one of the policies that should be achieved under the National Development Policy (DPN) stated in the Second Perspective Plan Outline (OPP2) 1990-2000, and also to sustain high and rapid economic growth momentum for the whole nation. In this regard, establishment of UMS itself will provide better employment opportunities in a wider spectrum for the people of Sabah and generate other economic activities for the areas near its site , such as retailing and restaurants. Furthermore, USM will give better chances for the people of Sabah to pursue postgraduate studies (entrance to the local university for the first degree in Malaysia includes UMS which is controlled by UPU; entrance is based on merit).

BIMP-EAGA AND UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA SABAH (UMS)

Brunei Darussalam/Indonesia/Malaysia/Philippines East-ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) was established in March 1994. Specifically, it covers the areas of Brunei; East and West Kalimantan and North Sulawesi in Indonesia; Sabah, Labuan, and Sarawak in Malaysia; and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines. BIMP-EAGA aims to increase trade, tourism, and investment to enhance and increase economic activities in the region. This is important owing to a limited intra-trade within BIMP-EAGA compared to trade between the world’s countries with the sub-component of BIMP-EAGA countries.

The objectives of BIMP-EAGA are to mobilize people, goods, services, and capital; sharing infrastructure, potential market, and natural resources; and increase subregional economic activities through maximizing complementation rather than competition of industries. To realize and institutionalize BIMP-EAGA, 13 working groups were established. Each group was lead by a country with specific terms of appointments. The 13 working groups include concerns such as telecommunications; air linkages; sea linkages; transport and shipping services; joint tourism development; fisheries cooperation; agro-industry; forestry; human resources development; people mobility; capital formation and financial services; construction and construction materials; and energy and environmental; and protection and management. The working groups report various issues and problems and gives suggestions to ministry meetings charged with policy implementations to achieve the targets and objectives of BIMP-EAGA.

THE ROLE OF UMS IN BIMP-EAGA

UMS could play an important role in assisting BIMP-EAGA to achieve its target and objectives in numerous ways, such as to produce a pool of quality and well- trained human resources in various disciplines which have emerged. UMS will offer and conduct postgraduate studies and short-term courses for the people in the region who want to pursue higher studies. UMS may assist the working groups of BIMP-EAGA in conducting research or giving policy recommendations, through provision of the necessary expertise.

In addition, UMS would cooperate with other higher education and training institutions in BIMP-EAGA region through staff/student exchange, conducting research, publication exchange, and sharing expertise. For the time being, UMS will focus on research areas related to tropical biology and conservation, marine science, fisheries and moriculture, pollution and their impacts, marine resource management, biotechnology, and tourism and recreation (see Appendix A).

In the future, UMS hopes to be one of the excellent centers of reference for major topics and issues in the BIMP-EAGA region, particularly in relation to Sabah and Borneo, in the areas of biology and conservation, marine, business and economics, psychology and social health, environmental science, industrial science and technology, education development, value and culture, and the culture system in Borneo.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

Given the scenario of the shortage of cheap labor and the deficit in balance of payment in the Malaysian economy and the world economy moving toward more globalization and trade liberalization, the competition in various aspects will tend to intensify. With the revolution of information and communication technology and biotechnology, the mode of production will change rapidly. In order to sustain the high and rapid economic growth, Malaysia need to focus and move onto high and advanced technology, and capital- and knowledge- intensive industries. This could be achieved through, among other things, strengthening the indigenous S&T capability, increasing market-driven R&D and innovation activities, and creating a pool of multi and highly-qualified skilled human resource in various disciplines, particularly in technical, engineering, science, and managerial areas. The multi and highly-qualified skilled human resource should also be able to adapt, innovate, invent, and be well-equipped with IT knowledge.

In this regard, the higher education institutions could play an important role, not only in producing a pool of well-trained human resources and expertise but also in providing advanced and short-term training courses to retrain and upgrade the existing work force in the market to enable them to keep up-to-date with the latest technology. Besides this, higher education institutions should also link and closely cooperate with the private sector and industries in conducting market-driven R&D and innovation activities, to enable them to produce high value- added and competitive products and services in the world market. UMS, in particular, will link and cooperate closely with other higher education institutions in the BIMP-EAGA through various activities such as staff/student exchange, conducting research, and sharing expertise to achieve the target and objectives of BIMP-EAGA.

REFERENCES

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Malaysia. 1995. Malaysia Incorporated. Kuala Lumpur: Limkokwing Integrated Sdn. Bhd.

Malaysia. 1996. Seventh Malaysia Plan 1996-2000. Kuala Lumpur: Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad.

Ministry of Finance Malaysia. 1995. Economic Report 1995/96. Kuala Lumpur: Percetakan National Malaysia Berhad.

Ministry of Industrial Development. 1996. Sabah Industrial Master Plan: Main Report.

Porter, M. E. 1985. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. New York: The Free Press.

Porter, M. E. 1990. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. London: Macmillan.

Romer, P. 1986. Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth. Journal of Political Economy, 1002-1037.
Romer, P. 1990. Endogenous Technological Change. Journal of Political Economy, 98(2), S71-S102.
Universiti Malaysia Sabah. 1995. Pelan Akademik 1995-2000. Unpublished.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah. 1995. Pelan Akademik 2000-2005. Unpublished.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah. 1995. Postgraduate Prospectus.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah. 1996. Postgraduate Prospectus.

 

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