KUCHING: The state government recognised the talents of teenage smartphone app developer Ahmad Zulfadzli Khamidi by allocating RM20,000 to his family to aid his tutoring and talent development.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg handed over the financial assistance to 13-year-old Zulfadzli at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
Also present were Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas) chairman Datu Len Talif Saleh, Zulfadzli’s mother Norhasyimah Ahmad Merrican and his two siblings, and his tutor Hazwan Razak.
During their brief meeting, Abang Johari congratulated Zulfadzli for his digital textbook app which won first place at the Junior category of the recent Hack Weekend Kuching and encouraged the teenager to come up with more apps that can positively impact society.
Met by reporters after the ceremony, Zulfadzli expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for the assistance and he pledged to come up with more apps which benefit society in future.
He also thanked Tegas and Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre (MaGIC) for their guidance, particularly when he came to learn coding and developed the digital textbook app.
“The idea to develop the digital textbook app came after I noticed that many youngsters nowadays easily get bored and sleepy when revising subjects using textbooks. Hopefully, this app will lead to better and fun learning environment in the classroom.
“In the future, I want to come up with apps that help with schooling as well as apps which help local entrepreneurs in Sarawak market their products and services. My mother herself is an entrepreneur and I want to help develop her business.” he said.
His mother said it was the assistance from Tegas Digital Innovation Hub and MaGIC that helped to realise the potential in her eldest son Zulfadzli.
“When Zulfadzli told me his idea of an app for textbooks, I went around looking for a place where he can develop the idea. Thankfully, I found Tegas Digital Innovation Hub and MaGIC which provided the platform for him to do so at a minimal cost,” she said.
Norhasyimah who is a single mother also revealed that Zulfadzli and his two siblings are currently home-schooled.
Meanwhile, Hazwan said the app developed by Zulfadzli outscored other entries at the Hack Weekend Kuching Junior category two weeks ago.
“We just helped him with how to develop the app. The rest came from his idea,” said Hazwan.
Zulfadzli developed the app within two weeks before submitting the entry for the competition where he had to do pitching in front of a panel of jury.
He became a local sensation after the achievement was featured in the print, electronic and social media.
Source : The Borneo Post Online