• About SAHDEA / Mengenai SAHDEA

    "A strong economy begins with a strong, well-educated workforce." - Bill Owens


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    Sabah Human Development and Empowerment Association

    Persatuan Pembangunan dan Pemerkasaan Insan Sabah

    The Sabah Human Development and Empowerment Association aims to promote sustainable regional development in the state of Sabah especially in the growth of its people in various industries through capacity building activities, inclusion and solidarity in general and to improve the quality of life especially people in rural areas, as well as to create prospects for the youth and disadvantaged groups in society.


    An idea that dates back to 2008, SAHDEA was formed by a group of professionals from different backgrounds. It is their belief that the various communities of Sabah needs better representation and assistance. SAHDEA hopes to become that medium, so that solutions to problems can be achieved.

  • Activities / Aktiviti - Aktiviti

    "For the only way in which a durable peace can be created is by world-wide restoration of economic activity and international trade." - James Forrestal

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    Suasana Mural Project

    9th May 2022

    A 50 foot long mural painted by local community artists, at Maimunah Maju, Jalan Pahlawan, Kepayan, launched on 9 May 2022.

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    JAM Art & Culture Talk: "Semangat Together: Celebrating Sabahan Identity Amidst Peninsular-Centric Commercialism"

    7th May 2022

    A talk by Jared Abdul Rahman and Iffah Hazirah about their recent project with a commercial client, to design and paint a Sabahan mural coinciding with Kaamatan, discussing the design process, the significance of the design, and the effort involved in maintaining the cultural authenticity of the design.

    (pic taken from Breeze's Facebook)

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    Sabah Jazz 2022

    30 April 2022

    An annual International Jazz Day celebration held in Kota Kinabalu Sabah. This time around, the celebrations took place at D'Atas Explorers Tavern on 30th April 2022 with stage performances from Malaysia's finest jazz ensembles, Blue Note Band and Swag Combo Band. 200 people were in attendance. Partners includes Daily Express, Kupi Kupi FM and Place Borneo.

    (pic by Revery)

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    Artists As Ambassadors: Representation and Misrepresentation of Sabahan Identity in Art

    28th April 2022 & 8th May 2022

    A talk presented at Sabah Society (28 April 2022) and Jesselton Artisan Market (8 May 2022) discussing elements of Sabahan identity and how these are represented, and sometimes misrepresented, in art.

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    Pagar Terakhir - A Documentary Film Project

    January 2022 - 2023

    Pagar Terakhir" documentary film project

    A feature length documentary capturing the journey and final SEA Games performance of Sabahan national athlete Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian. Estimated release date: Early 2023.

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    Sabahan Buskers at Aeropod Christmas Lights 2021

    24 - 26 December 2021

    Sabahan Buskers at a Christmas Lights Program on Christmas weekend by Aeropod.

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    Charity Online Jam with Abang Anaz & Friends, Santiani Ramli and Appy Tots

    21 - 22 December 2021

    An online concert aimed at fundraising food baskets for the needy in Kundasang. Program partners includes Hidden Hill Resort, Persatuan Keselamatan, Kesihatan dan Alam Sekitar Sabah (SOSHEA) and Eureka Drinks.

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    Community Aid (Food Basket) to Kg Kinandusan, Kundasang

    21 December 2021

    A collaboration with the 'Sepetang di Hidden Hill Online Charity Jam' program, 30 food baskets were distributed to 30 recipients at Kg Kinandusan, Kundasang.

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    Football Friendly Match

    11 December 2021

    A friendly football match between SAHDEA Invited Team vs Kementerian Pendidikan Kota Kinabalu Team. The SAHDEA Invited Team comprised of individuals from Tuaran, Tamparuli, Kota Marudu, Penampang and Kota Kinabalu. Final result was SAHDEA Invited Team (1) v Kementerian Pendidikan Kota Kinabalu Team (6).

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    Female Warriors - Empower yourself through Yoga

    16 November 2021

    Free yoga session for mothers, career driven women and students, to reclaim their personal time from the burnout faced during the multiple lockdowns and changes to normality. This program was supported by AP Yoga Studio.

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    Community Aid (Barang Dapur)

    July 2021

    A collaboration with PBRS Tambunan, 50 barangan dapur was distributed to 50 recipients (including single mothers, orphans and families who has lost their income during the covid19 pandemic) at Kg Pomotodon Tambunan.

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    Community Aid (Food Basket)

    26th - 29th July 2021

    A collaboration between Kupi-Kupi Fm, Heineken Malaysia and SAHDEA, 400 food basket was raised to aid the community of Sabah especially those in the Music and Entertainment sectors. Locations of distribution includes Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Ranau, Keningau, Tambunan.

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    Used Laptops Drive

    January to October 2021

    SAHDEA assisted Borneo Spirit on The Helping Hands Project, a drive where we request donations of used laptops and distribute them to students of B40 family backgrounds in Pitas.

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    Pillars of Sabah 2020

    December 2020 - January 2021

    A key partner for the Pillars of Sabah 2020 project, SAHDEA hopes to be the mediator between Sabah's visual artists and the authorities. In Pillars of Sabah, local artists shows that the arts is vital in stimulating the state's economy especially during this pandemic period.

    (pic taken from Pillars of Sabah's Instagram)

  • Projects / Projek - Projek

    “There are two fatal errors that keep great projects from coming to life:

    1) Not finishing, 2) Not starting” - Buddha Gautama

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    Visit the official website for Sabah Jazz

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    The ElectriKK Project

    Coming Soon

  • Board of Directors / Ahli Jawatankuasa

    "Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others' success, and then standing back and letting them shine." - Chris Hadfield

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    Arthur Erik Lee


    Arthur brings over a decade of experience in entrepreneurship, community works and government advisory, through his roles as founder/co-founder, board director and board member of numerous organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit in Malaysia. Graduated from The University of Southern Queensland, Australia, his experience has been in the fields of organizational leadership, project management and special events.


    - Regional Manager, Kumpulan Syed Kechik Group of Companies (APMSB)
    - Organizing Chairman, The Sabah Jazz Project

    - Former Vice President, JCI Penampang Sabah
    - Former Manager, Corporate Communications Division, Yayasan Sabah Group
    - Former Head, M.I.C.E. Division, Sabah International Convention Centre, Yayasan Sabah Group

    - Former Creative Cluster Advisory Member, Institute Development Studies Sabah
    - Past President 2018 - 2019, Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah

    - Past Vice President 2014 - 2018, Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu Sabah


    Arthur's LinkedIn

    Arthur's Instagram

    Arthur's Twitter

    Arthur's Facebook

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    Jessel Yansalang

    Vice President

    Jessel is an established all-rounder expert for various industries ranging from education, entrepreneurship, commercial trainings, project managements, creative arts and design, performing arts and entertainment business, agriculture, tourism and hospitality as well as youth motivational development.

    A qualified Train The Trainer (TTT) certified by HRDF and a highly reputable expert in the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) Academic program and Syllabus developer, Jessel is also a MyQuest Institution star rating expert and an MDEC trained E-Commerce Professional. He was formerly a participant in the making of Rancangan Malaysia Ke-11 (RMK 11).

    He has over 16 years of lecturing experience in academic division, both in full time and part time capacity for various institution and universities, namely Sabah Institute of Art (SIA), University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Open University Malaysia (OUM). Jessel is also a former special strategic partner and Director of Commercial programmes to Asia e University (AeU) and University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS Kota Kinabalu).

    - Executive Director, Sabah Institute of Art
    - CEO, S.I. Art Group Sdn Bhd
    - Director (Strategic Partner Programmes), Asia e University (AeU)
    - Director (Strategic Partner Programmes), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS Kota Kinabalu)
    - TTT, Train The Trainer HRDF
    - Co-Founder, Music Monster Academy
    - Founder, Borneo Edu Promotion (DHS Hospitality Academy)
    - Professional Level 4, eUsahawan MDEC
    - Director, VIP Dimension
    - Vice President, JCI Penampang 2020
    - Former Executive Member, Persatuan IPTS Sabah

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    Adelina Adna

    Board Secretary

    Adelina is a self-trained Jane of All Trades. She is a creative, writer, microbusiness branding and social media strategist, trainer, event organizer, and make up artist. She is passionate about supporting local creatives, freelancers and microbusinesses through knowledge sharing and resources, evangelizing Canva as a tool to enable and empower designing for non-designers, helping microbusinesses with branding and social media strategy on a budget, and enriching youths through public speaking, presentation skills, confidence and leadership building.

    She has been online actively since 1995 dabbling in web and graphic design including being part of the GeoCities South Beach Community Leaders – an international community of volunteers helping webmasters with website-related technical challenges -- in the late 90s. She now shares her expertise in optimizing free and low cost solutions for microbusinesses, helping them reduce unnecessary virtual overhead costs. She has also added virtual event manager, using her expertise in Zoom and learned event management skills, to her vast portfolio.

    Her work with youths include creating modules and conducting effective training in public speaking, presentation skills, resume writing, and interview skills for secondary school and college students. Other works include branding and packaging training for aspiring youth entrepreneurs in Sabah for the Sabah Youth and Sports Ministry.

    - Co-Founder, Creative and Trainer, Passion8 Creative Space
    - Chief Creatives and Trainer, MinistryOfMarketing.Asia
    - Womentum Taskforce and Clubhouse Moderator, Womentum
    - Co-Founder and Trainer, Be Smart Co.
    - Make Up Artist, Make Up By Adelina
    - Feature, Restaurant Review & Beauty Writer, Breeze Magazine
    - Youth Service Director, Past Secretary and Charter Member, Rotary Club of Kota
    Kinabalu Pearl (RCKK Pearl)
    - District and Rotary Leadership Institute Facilitator & Tech, Rotary District 3310
    - District Governor Newsletter Editor, Rotary District 3310
    - 2019/20 District Speech Evaluation Contest 1st Runner Up, Toastmasters District 87
    - 2020/21 President, Heritage Toastmasters Club
    - 2021/22 Area K2 Director and Past Division K PR Manager, Toastmasters District 87
    - 2020-2022 Assistant Secretary, Persatuan Milenial Usahawan Wanita Maju Sabah (MUMS)

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    Joan Jim

    Board Treasurer

    Joan Jim is a Sabah Borneo-born educator, singer, arranger, composer and guitarist. An alumni of the National Arts Academy (now known as ASWARA), she is best known for her Latin Jazz singing style including Bossa Nova, Samba, Afro Cuban and Salsa. She has performed in many countries including the likes of Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Maldives and more.


    Joan is the Principal for Joan's Music Centre based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. She is also the leader for Borneo Big Band, Blue Note Band and Grupo Da Bossa. She has worked with Disney Malaysia, RTM Malaysia's TV and Radio, Jabatan Kesenian dan Kebudayaan Negara Malaysia. Steve Thornton, Idang Rasjidi and Lewis Pragasam are among icons in the region whom she has worked with.


    Joan is also a member of Kelab Tamparuli Sabah, a 20 year old NGO that serves the community of the sub-district of Tamparuli.

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    Iffah Hazirah

    Board Assistant Secretary

    Iffah is a key player in the calligraphy, illustration and watercolour scene in Kota Kinabalu since 2016 with her public presence, LukisTulis. A self-taught calligrapher and illustrator, her influence sparked from her humble workshop beginnings in Asylum Art Space, Gaya Street to being a panel speaker during Jesselton Artisan Market, Drinkentrepreneur and Masked!.

    Her passion in drawing an art led her to graduating with a Diploma in Multimedia Design from The One Academy of Communication Design majoring in Game Art and Planning & Film Making as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Visual Arts Technology from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) majoring in Game & Animation.

    She is also a social media microinfluencer, travel and food vlogger as Merata.Borneo, muralist, writer for Breeze Magazine, video editor, designer, entrepreneur, and trainer. She was one of the artists involved in the Pillars Of Sabah 2.0 with her pillar on horseshoe crabs and her mural art can also be seen at T1 Bundusan for Property Hub, Outskirts Eatery, and Solid Ground Café.


    Iffah is also a co-founder of Passion8 Creative Space as a creative, artist, and trainer. She has also worked with companies like The Body Shop Malaysia, Booking.com, and Furla as an event portrait illustrator artist. Her book cover art can be seen on poet Zack Shah’s “More Than Words” as well as Karangkraf’s “Hey, Dania Dah Berubah”

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    Moses DeSilva

    Committee Board Member

    A passionate educator and a gifted musician, Moses was the Music Department Head at RTM Sabah where he manages a number of units namely the RTM Combo. He has and still lectures at numerous colleges including Sabah Institute of Arts, Eastern College, University Malaysia Sabah.

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    Lester C. Miol

    Committee Board Member

    An alumni of University Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Lester graduated with a Bachelors Degree (Hon) in Music Studies. He is currently the General Manager of Sabah’s Premier Community Radio Station, Kupi Kupi FM. He has over 15 years of experience in the music industry as well in talent and event management. Lester has a decade of experience in the radio industry landscape having being attached with Suria FM before this.


    A respectable reputation in commercial advertisements and client outreach for branding, he frequently organizes Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives around Sabah (Pulau Bangi, Pagalungan, Tambunan, Keningau, Ranau to name a few) and has organized four major community music concerts that garnered over 8,000 concert goers each time. Most of the concerts had International headliners such as Indonesia’s mega rockstars Repvblik, D’Masiv and Kotak.


    Lester is also the founder of Kota Kinabalu’s premier contemporary music school, Music Monster Academy giving him over 10 years experience in music education and performance.


    - Co-Founder, Music Monster Academy
    - Director, Borneo Edu Promotion (DHS Hospitality Academy)

    - Former Board of Directors, JCI Penampang 2020

  • Divisions / Bahagian

    "We talk a lot about hope, helping, and teamwork. Our whole message is that we are more powerful together." - Victoria Osteen

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    Joan Jim


    Joan heads SAHDEA's Women's Development and Empowerment Division.


    Its task is to promote equality of economic opportunities for the Women of Sabah and to eliminate barriers to their participation in state contracts as well as the private sector. It supplement Sabah's economic leadership with information and resources that increase access to information and opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the state.

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    Adelina Adna



    Adelina heads SAHDEA's Youth Development & Empowerment Division.


    The division's role is to deliver high quality, large scale skills development programmes for young people from predominantly disadvantaged backgrounds all over Sabah. From outdoor learning to money management, we reach and engage young people who don’t traditionally have access to personal development opportunities.

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    Jessel Yansalang



    Jessel is currently the acting head for SAHDEA's Entrepreneur Division.


    It provides entrepreneurial and business development through education and membership networking around the state of Sabah. SAHDEA wants to help people from any industry and different level of their career with quality qualifications, professional networking opportunities and international recognitions in entrepreneurship.

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    Moses DeSilva



    Moses heads SAHDEA's Performing Arts Development & Empowerment Division.


    SAHDEA supports the Sabah professional performing arts sector. This division's role seeks to promote and encourage a sustainable performing arts touring network, and to facilitate and develop communications networks within the professional performing arts community.


    Its aim is to support the state of Sabah as a plate for talent and to reinforce it as a region of confident identities. The ultimate hope is that SAHDEA would be able to support the performing arts players and ensure their career moves towards a viable and stable path.

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    Lester C. Miol



    Lester heads SAHDEA's Rural Development & Empowerment Division.


    This division was created to dedicate itself for the cause of sustainable development of the marginalized segments of communities in Sabah and SAHDEA believes that rural Sabah is an integral part of our society with their contribution in socio-economic development and as main contributor in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Malaysia as well as a major source of employment in rural economy of the country.

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    Jared Abdul Rahman



    Jared heads SAHDEA's Visual Arts Development & Empowerment Division. The division's role is to ensure that there is continuous growth in the Sabah's visual arts sector and to spur its presence regionally.


    As a community arts facilitator, Jared Abdul Rahman focuses his efforts towards championing the local arts scene, and the artists that comprise it. Through the various art projects and development opportunities he has organized, Jared endeavors to highlight and to promote the arts as an essential component of Sabah's rich cultural diversity.


    Jared's community art projects include #MASKED: Making Peace with our Limitations (2020) and Pillars of Sabah (2018; 2019; 2020). His capacity building programs include Exhibition-Making Toolkit Workshop Series (2020-21), ArtSmart Talk Series (2019) and Articulate (2021).


    In addition to being an industry creative, Jared is an educator and political ecologist.

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    Richado Tawith


    Richado is primarily in the education sector. He is a teacher based in Kota Marudu. He is also a certified football coach and he manages a local football team in Kota Marudu where it has produced state players in the past.


    Richado heads SAHDEA's Sports Development & Empowerment Division. The division's role is to ensure that there is support for young people, particularly those that don’t feel sport and being physically active is for them. We help get them active in their community, in the way that best works for them and their peers.


    Through the efforts from this division, we hope to achieve capacity building and connectivity into the Sabah sports infrastructure as well as have a broad range of competitions and experience days experiences.

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    Dwen Celestial



    A Visual Arts Technology Bachelor’s degree graduate from University Malaysia Sabah, Ridzwan (or more commonly known as Dwen) is a known contributor towards the local creative and content production industry in Sabah. Always pushing and providing at the grassroots level, he is always on the get go for any projects that promotes the local creative industry further.


    He is currently the Faculty Dean (Faculty of Arts and Creative Multimedia) at University College Sabah Foundation.


    Dwen heads SAHDEA's The electriKK Project which is dedicated in spurring the growth and establish a viable industry for the music sector in Sabah.

  • Partnerships

    SAHDEA works with numerous community leaders, press, ngos, grassroots organizations including the following:

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  • News / Penerbitan

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    SAHDEA's President Mr Arthur Erik Lee, Vice President Mr Jessel Yansalang and Visual Arts Head Mr...
    SAHDEA's President Mr Arthur Erik Lee met up with Tanjung Aru Eco Development Sdn Bhd's CEO,...
    SAHDEA Annual General Meeting for 2022 was held on Saturday, 14th January 2023, and among the...
    SAHDEA's President Mr Arthur Erik Lee met up with Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd's General Manager...
    SAHDEA's President Mr Arthur Erik Lee and Vice President Mr Jessel Yansalang met up with Sabah...
    SAHDEA's President Mr Arthur Erik Lee and Performing Arts Development and Empowerment Head Mr...
    SAHDEA's Performing Arts Development and Empowerment Division Head, Mr Moses DeSilva, had a...
    SAHDEA Board of Directors Meeting was held on Thursday, 26th November 2020, and among the items...
  • Let's Be Friends / Kawan - Kawan Bah Kita

    We're pretty active. Want to see some pictures of what we do?
    Then head on over to any of our social media accounts.

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  • Become A Member / Mari Jadi Ahli

    Click on the icon below to be redirected to our membership form corner.

    Click Here For Our Membership Form

    Alternatively, you may click the following link:
    SAHDEA Membership Form

  • Membership Benefits / Faedah Keahlian

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    Information and Advice
    We provide members with information, industry insight, business advice and expert knowledge.

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    Connecting and Exchanging
    With an extensive contact base, we can help you with connections, introductions, share ideas and knowledge.


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    Stay informed

    Access vital news, trends, insights and information, specific to your profession/business, helping you to increase your knowledge.

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    Planning and Mentoring

    The more we know about you and your profession/business the more we can help plan and give you the mentoring you need to succeed.

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    We welcome everyone from any industry sectors.

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    SAHDEA acts as a bridge between the people and the authorities, with a single mission in mind which is to solve problems.

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    Joining SAHDEA gives members credibility and a competitive edge.