Sultan visits manufacturing companies
Izah Azahari

HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday consented to visit two manufacturing companies following the house key presentation ceremony to recipients from the Tanah Jambu and Meragang National Housing Scheme.

The first company that His Majesty visited was the long-established Asli-KTM Sdn Bhd in Lambak Kanan Industrial Park, Brunei’s largest manufacturer of various Halal dried and fresh noodles. The company opened its first factory in 1982 on a small scale with only three employees. Since December 1, 2012, it has continued to operate at the current location, and now has a total of seven workers – five of which are locals.

The monarch consented to officially launch the company’s new building by signing the launching plaque following the introduction of the company’s Board of Directors. His Majesty then proceeded to view the company’s products. Accompanying His Majesty and providing explanations on the company details during the tour was Hj Rani @ Hj Abdul Malik bin Hj Mohammad, Managing Director of Asli-KTM Sdn Bhd.

Also present during His Majesty’s visit to Asli-KTM Sdn Bhd was Koh Teck Mong, Chairman of Asli-KTM Sdn Bhd, along with his family members.

Another manufacturing company that His Majesty consented to visit was Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd situated at the Salambigar Industrial Park. The company is the first of its kind in Brunei that manufactures a number of Halal pharmaceutical products, health supplements and cosmetics, which began operation in September 2013. The company has a total of 38 employees of which 36 are locals.

Upon His Majesty’s arrival at the pharmaceutical manufacturing company, he consented to sign a plaque. This was followed by the recitation of a Doa and presentation of a ‘pesambah’. His Majesty was then brought on an exhibition tour by Edward Ko, Managing Director of Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd, as well as a tour to the production plant.

Also present were officials from the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB).

A total of US$26 million was invested by BEDB in Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd, which is committed to continue developing science-based health products with the highest quality, improve international marketing networks and product distribution capacities, advance drug formulation technology with the latest engineering techniques for manufacturing, developing products and technology for improving human health, as well as improving profitability and create rewarding financial opportunities for stakeholders and employees.

It is forecasted that by the end of 2014, the company will have a total of 80 to 100 employees, whereas by the end of 2015, there will be an estimated number of 150 to 200 employees working for the company.

The export value of the company is US$5 to 9 million in the first year of operation where the first export of soft gels is targetted for Canada. Other targetted export destinations include North America, Middle East, Asean countries as well as Europe with its production capacity of 40 million soft gel capsules and 50 million tablets per day.

Meanwhile, the company also offers contract manufacturing of soft gels, tablets and bulk products, accommodating custom requests and private labels. Other services that the company offers are colour coating, logo printing, product packaging and labelling. In addition, Simpor Pharma also offers laboratory testing which includes chemical, microbiological and research and development whereby the laboratories follow strict rules for complying with government requlations, PIC/S GMP and contractual obligations.

The company’s facilities include a Softgels Encapsulating Machine, High Shear Granulator, Fluid Bed Granulator, Bin Blender, Tablet Press Machine with Metal Detector, Coating Machines, Cream Filling Machine and Fully Automatic Bottle Packaging lines among others. Meanwhile, future developments for the company include antibiotics and vaccines production in their second and third phase respectively.

His Majesty’s visit ended with a group photo session with Simpor Pharma Sdn Bhd’s Board of Directors and staff. - Borneo Bulletin (9 April 2014)