KUALA LUMPUR: Mathematics teacher Muhammad Hafiz Ismail walked away with top honours at this year’s edition of the MSC Malaysia Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (Apicta) Awards for his blog, “Through My Eyes.”
Awarded the coveted Prime Minister Best of the Best Award in addition to being named winner in the e-Learning category, the blog (apistakkisah.blogspot.com) uses information and communications technology (ICT) in creative and innovative ways as an e-learning tool for teachers and educators.
This also marks the first time in APICTA’s 13-year history that a social entrepreneur has won the award.
Addressing the crowd after receiving the award, Hafiz, who teaches at an orang asli school in Perak, thanked the judging committee for the award.
“This means so much for me and my pupils, for a blog I started to express my experiences as a newcomer in teaching and how ICT fits into the picture,” he said.
Themed “Stimulating Creativity, Innovation and Excellence in IT,” this year’s edition saw 246 Malaysian companies, individuals and students competing across a total of 19 categories, including the all-new Sustainability and Green IT category.
From that total, 35 submissions were selected for recognition as either Winner or Merits in their respective categories.
The occasion was officiated by Science, Technology & Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, who lauded the importance of ICT in driving the creative and innovative spark in the country.
“The MSC Malaysia Apicta Awards is one of the platforms that underline the Government’s ambitions to drive creativity and innovation in the new economy, which inherently leads to greater wealth creation, quality of life and societal well-being for the country,” he said.
Maximus added that the World Bank Report 2010 listed innovation as one of the three reforms necessary to drive the Malaysian GDP forward by 5% or more, year-on-year.
In line with the Government’s goal to build an ecosystem that promotes the pervasive use of ICT, Maximus said the Digital Economy blueprint is currently being finalised to create a Digital Malaysia framework.
He added that the first wave of Economic Transformation Programmes under this framework is due to be rolled out within the next 60 days, under the stewardship of The Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu).
Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali, chairman of Multimedia Development Corporation echoed that sentiment, noting that both the local and international versions of the Apicta Awards have so far proven to be effective stepping stones for top local companies.
“They are able to fully realise their potential and to be recognised for their innovation, creativity and all-round quality to make it on the world stage,” he said.
Judging committee chairman Stan Singh-Jit said this year’s submissions, while not as high in terms of numbers, were of the highest quality and standards to date.
“It is a testament to the innovation happening in the country, I was astounded by the ideas presented and this certainly proves we are on the right track,” he said.
Notable winners include the IRIS AXESS P5000 by Iris Corporation Bhd (Best of E-Government), which authenticates ePassports; and working capital management solution Digital Transaction Banker by eBworx Bhd (Best of Financial Applications).
Open Dynamics Sdn Bhd won Best of Start-Up Companies for Joget Workflow, a people-driven and form-based workflow management system.
In the student categories, UCTI team Cyber Knightz took the Best of Tertiary Student Software/Hardware Projects for Health3, which is a monitoring system for cancer patients.
The Best of Tertiary Student Project – Creative Multimedia went to a Multimedia University team for an animated story called Altitude Alto, about a boy aspiring to be a pilot.
This year also saw the addition of the Sustainability and Green IT category, which yielded only two Merit recipients, with no winner for the category.
All Winner and Merit recipients this year will be representing the country at the International Apicta event, which will be held in Pattaya, Thailand later this year.
For the full list of winners, visit www.mscapicta.com.my.
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