Forest Interactive Foundation, Jawala Plantation Industries, and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Sabah Sign a Memorandum of Understanding to Foster Future Innovators

May 10, 2022

KOTA KINABALU: Forest Interactive Foundation today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jawala Plantation Industries and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (KSTI) Sabah at the ministry’s Wisma Bandaraya in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The MoU marks the beginning of a joint collaboration among the three parties to foster future innovators through a nation-building program called Bayu Hackathon, formalized through an agreement to ensure smoothness of the program.

At the strategic and working level, this collaboration focuses on education enrichment in the field of technology while providing skillsets primed for high-demand technology careers.

Yakub (third from left) witnessing the MoU signing on Tuesday.

The hackathon program aims to incite the excitement of Sabah’s future innovators surrounding the myriad opportunities available in the technology industry. The goal is to increase their employability and address community issues derived from systemic problems such as poverty and high unemployment rate, through the lens of technology.

“We continue to strive to provide inclusive upskilling and learning programs in the areas of tech, as our initiatives to develop future innovators and help bridge the digital divide chiefly aim to accelerate Malaysia’s digital economy,” said Johary Mustapha, Founder & CEO of Forest Interactive. “Through this partnership, we hope to efficiently drive our nation as a regional leader in the digital economy for a longer term. I welcome Jawala Plantation Industries and KSTI's continued commitment to foster digital skills among young talents in Sabah.”

Participants will gain immersive experience in career profiling, pitching, networking, and soft skills development through resume-building and grooming workshops, as well as industry sharing sessions. At the end of this program, participants are expected to shape and recommend proactive solutions that can address local community issues. Additionally, participants also stand to gain cash prizes through challenges presented throughout this hackathon.

The Foundation organizes the hackathon program to also highlight how having equal access to quality education will help the state maximize its resources in sustainable ways, while increasing the employability rate among youth in Sabah.

“The signing of this MoU with KSTI and Forest Interactive Foundation demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the enhancement of skills and educational programs for Sabahans,” said Abdul Rahman Khan, Group CEO & Executive Director of Jawala Inc.  
“Research and development, as well as community development are a part of our sustainability efforts, and we are more than happy to support this initiative for the future of our youth and the betterment of the country. As Sabah natives, our slogan REPLANTING SABAH’S FORESTS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS is a testament to our commitment to a sustainable future for generations to come in Sabah. We are confident that Forest Interactive Foundation, with its pool of talents and experience, coupled with the commitment by KSTI, will ensure that the Bayu Hackathon will be a major success.”  

Jawala Plantation Industries, a subsidiary company of Jawala Inc. and the funder for this program, is a forest resource company focusing on industrial tree plantations in Malaysia's Sabah state. The MoU ensures the manifestation of a high-quality education enrichment program that aligns with the goals shared between the three parties.

Meanwhile, Sabah Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Yakub Khan, said: “The ministry's main objective is to foster creative and innovative culture in all walks of life. This is in line with our main vision to develop an intellectual and innovative generation through the advancement of science and technology, as well as a highly skilled human capital by 2030. We hope that this collaboration will be a catalyst for more programs in the future to contribute toward building a digital and technology-driven society, especially in servicing the communities in Sabah.”

The MoU was signed by the state’s KSTI Permanent Secretary Zainudin Aman, Jawala Inc. Group CEO & Executive Director Abdul Rahman Khan, and Forest Interactive Founder & CEO Johary Mustapha. Also present at the signing ceremony were Sabah Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Yakub Khan and Jawala Inc. Chairman Datuk Jema Khan.  

Registration for Bayu Hackathon will be opened soon! To stay updated with the latest information on the program, visit our official website at or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About Forest Interactive Foundation

Founded in 2021, Forest Interactive Foundation aims to nurture and develop talents through sustainable initiatives and programs, establishing empowered communities and upholding sustainable environments for our own people and the world’s future innovators in tech. As the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Forest Interactive and a UN Global Compact member, we are committed to accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the following areas:

  • Future Innovators

With the goal of developing future innovators in a fast-changing world, we shape initiatives that can help students prepare for a future where they can thrive with technology, one of it being the #seKODlah program.

  • People

We strive to bring our company’s culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion to the broader community. By harnessing our strengths for social good, we are able to empower marginalized communities in our increasingly connected world.

  • Community and Environment
  1. We are committed to sustainable actions and best practices:
  2. Demonstrate empathy and sensitivity to the needs of others.
  3. Aim for responsible material inputs that are renewable, recyclable, or reusable.
  4. Bridge public and private partnerships in support of SDG 17.
  5. Be a part of the climate accelerator program by implementing SBTi in line with the 1.5°C pathway.

Prior to its establishment, Forest Interactive Foundation, through Forest Interactive, has empowered more than 3500 students and 2,000 people in the communities through more than 38 initiatives. Visit to learn more.

About Jawala Plantation Industries

Jawala Plantation Industries Sdn Bhd (JPISB) is a subsidiary company of Jawala Inc., a company listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) specialising in sustainable forest management with a focus on the development of industrial tree plantations (ITP) in Malaysia’s Sabah state. JPISB currently manages a concession area measuring 11,043 hectares situated at Sapulut, Tibow, Sabah.

Sustainability is at the heart of JPISB’s business model. Its sustainability initiatives cover conservation, environmental, research and development, and community development. These initiatives and activities are reported annually to the SGX and the public. JPISB has carried out several corporate social responsibility programmes within Sapulut, Pitas, and across Sabah, including the recent contribution of Personal Protective Equipment to the Sabah Government’s efforts in battling Covid-19.

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