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Top Malaysian brands will be featured at the Best of Malaysia 2004, a showcase to be held in conjunction with the official opening of the Limkokwing University College of Creative Technology and Malaysia Design Innovation Centre, the professional arm of the university college, by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Oct 11.

Sixteen Malaysian companies will also receive the National Creativity & Innovation Award 2005 organised by MDI at the launch of the showcase. They will join other top Malaysian companies at the showcase that also features some previous winners of the award. The previous winners were among 37 brands awarded at the inaugural event officiated by Minister of International Trade & Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz earlier this year.

The brands at the showcase are recognised by MDI as having helped build a good image for the country because of their pioneering spirit and innovative ways. The showcase allows visitors to see the Malaysia’s best in creativity and innovation and encourages small and medium enterprises or SMEs to follow in the footsteps of the winning brands.

The goal of the National Creativity & Innovation Award is to encourage manufacturers and service providers to be creative and innovative to compete globally. The award comes with the seal of excellence, which is an endorsement of quality and innovation. Award recipients can use the seal in their packaging and promotional materials.

MDI encourages the use of the seal, which is valid of three years.

The combination of Limkokwing University College and MDI makes up Cyberjaya’s newest landmark and is set to change the design landscape and enhance the region’s competitiveness in the global market. It is the vision of Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing, president of both Limkokwing and MDI, to fuse academic excellence with industry innovation - through the concept of industry within university, so students could work with major companies on campus while they study.

As the professional arm of the university college, MDI will be where some major Malaysian companies are located. These companies, along with other incubation units set up by the university, are where students learn to create and manage products and services.

The Best of Malaysia is another effort by MDI to encourage Malaysian companies to focus on branding and to be creative and innovative.

The award winners this time round are the second group to receive the award. The inaugural event held earlier this year that saw 37 companies awarded was held in conjunction with the launch of the Creative People, Innovative Nation campaign.

The campaign is another brainchild of Tan Sri Lim who believes concerted efforts driven by creativity and innovative thinking must continue if Malaysia is to make its presence felt in the competitive global environment.

He says, “We must change the way we think. We must be global and be prepared to be competitive. It helps that we are a young economy and it’s easy to shape the country to become an innovative one.

“Creativity is an agent of change. Malaysians are naturally gifted with creative abilities and inclinations. What is needed is for us to put in place the right teaching and learning culture that will bring out the best in our young.”