In 2019, MARii established its first centre outside of Peninsular Malaysia, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The objective was to develop and enhance the participation of East Malaysians in the areas of advanced technology applications derived from the automotive, robotics and IoT (Internet of Things) industries.

These applications can be commonly utilized to benefit and modernize other sectors that are most relevant to East Malaysia, for instance in the areas of furniture manufacturing, agriculture, plantation, tourism, oil & gas and fisheries. At the same time, the Satellite facility also acts as a big data management and telematics centre to enhance information and data analytics, allowing for better insights and decision making for businesses.

Among the key programs run by the Satellite facility is the Industry-Led Professional Certification Programme (IPC) designed to integrate Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) school leavers into the semi-skilled and highly-skilled automotive industry workforce. 

To date, close to 800 individuals have been trained with 50% of the graduates successfully placed for on-the-job training in various automotive companies for the duration of five months in Peninsular Malaysia. In consultation with players in the automotive industry, the IPC program ensures that modules are tailor-made to the rapidly evolving requirements of the industry, enabling candidates to be trained and become certified in critical areas of importance, as well as exposing them to industry-leading standards, processes, requirements and methodologies. 

Moving forward, the Satellite facility is targeting to enroll 500 Sabahans into the program per year. Also being proposed is the introduction of a Sabah Industrial-Led Professional Certification (SIPC) which will immediately target and fulfill the needs of the local community and industries.

The Satellite facility also runs an Adopted School Program whereby the various training programs available from MARii are promoted to secondary school students in Forms 4 and 5, ahead of their SPM examinations. To date, MARii collaborates with six schools in Kota Kinabalu and the initiatives undertaken include motivational talks and an introduction to the many programs the student can opt for while waiting to pursue their tertiary education.

With the threat of the COVID19 pandemic and compounded by challenges linked to transportation in Sabah, the majority of MARii’s programs today are also conducted online with limited physical classroom sessions for the convenience of trainees.