Our Group was co-founded by Mr Law King Hui, our Managing Director, together with Mr Lee Swee Hang and Mr Lee Eng Sang, our Executive Directors, with the aim of publishing quality educational materials to students in Malaysia. Each of our founders has between 33 and 39 years of experience in the publishing industry. Over the years, each of them has contributed significantly to the development, growth and success of our Group.
The history of our business can be traced back to 1985 with the incorporation of Sasbadi Sdn Bhd (Sasbadi) where in the same year we commenced operations as a publisher of educational materials. Our first publication was a series of workbooks for primary six students, aimed at preparing these students for secondary levels of education.
In 1986, we published a series of Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM) workbooks, entitled 'Strategi'. This was our first series of workbook with a 3-in-1 packaging involving three (3) different books bound into one (1), where each of these books are detachable for independent use.
In 1987, we published our first textbook approved by the Ministry of Education, entitled 'Bahasa Malaysia KBSM Tingkatan 1'. Since then, we have published textbooks of various other subjects for both primary and secondary levels of education including, amongst others, English, Geography, Science, Principles of Accounting, Basic Economics and Mathematics.
In the same year, we extended our product range to include a series of Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah (KBSR) workbooks for various subjects such as Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mathematics for primary levels of education.
In line with our business growth, in 1989, we acquired a four (4)-storey shoplot in Damansara Utama, Selangor Darul Ehsan and moved into the building in 1990. Thereafter, we also rented two (2) other four (4)-storey shoplots in the same area to cater to our expanding business operations.
Subsequently in 1997, we began publishing Malay translated publications after securing the rights from Two-Can Publishing Limited, London and Dorling Kindersley Limited, London to publish their English science books namely 'Make It Work!' and 'Eyewitness Science' respectively. Since then, we have continued to secure rights from various foreign publishing houses where we reproduced translated publications for the Malaysian market. In the same year, we published our first teaching guide, 'Sumber Dalam Fail'.
In 2002, we began our collaboration with Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA) to publish English Language Teaching (ELT) materials. In the same year, in collaboration with MELTA we launched our first publication of ELT material, 'Developing Reading Skills'. MELTA's role in the collaboration included writing while our role was focused on editing, design and distribution. Since then, we have published a series of ELT materials through our collaboration with MELTA.
Maya Press Sdn Bhd (Maya Press) was incorporated in 2002 as an imprint for Sasbadi to publish general titles in support of Malaysian authors, who write in English. The first title published under the trade name of Maya Press, in 2003, was entitled 'Spirit of the Keris', an anthology by a number of Malaysian authors.
In 2002, we also acquired a piece of leasehold land in Kota Damansara, Selangor Darul Ehsan, for the construction of our office and warehouse. In 2004, we moved into our own purpose-built building with an approximate built-up area of 76,945 sq. ft. in Kota Damansara, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
In 2005, we ventured into supply of digital educational resources by developing and launching Total eDictionary, our first generation electronic dictionary targeted for use by students. Subsequently, in 2009, we launched eleksisPro, our second generation electronic dictionary. Our electronic dictionaries are manufactured by third party manufacturer under our specifications. As at 19 May 2014, we have ceased the production of our electronic dictionaries as we shift our focus from supply of digital educational resources towards online educational resources.
As part of management's intention to broaden our range of educational products, we secured the rights from LEGO Systems A/S to be the sole distributor of and exclusive partner in LEGO Education products for Brunei and Malaysia since 2005. LEGO Education offers a range of applied learning products for children. In 2005, we organised our first Malaysia Robot Olympiad (now known as National Robotics Competition). Since then, we have continued to champion the hands-on learning platform in schools in Malaysia which is supported by the Ministry of Education. To date, we have organised nine (9) consecutive years of the annual National Robotics Competition in Malaysia, which has grown from approximately 100 teams in 2005 to approximately 2,800 teams in 2013.
In 2009, we organised our first book fair namely Bazar Baca in Malaysia. In the same year, we organised a total of 112 book fairs throughout Malaysia. The Bazar Baca book fair has since been discontinued. During the same year in 2009, we were appointed as the exclusive distributor of Pitsco Inc for the sale and distribution of Pitsco products to early childhood institutions and schools in Malaysia. Pitsco products generally include a range of robotics products and devices. In addition, we were also granted non-exclusive right to market and sell Pitsco products to private users (home learning) in Malaysia. However, the non-exclusive right does not permit us to market and sell Pitsco products via retail outlets. To the best of our management's knowledge, we are not aware of any parties other than our Group which have been granted the non-exclusive right to market and sell Pitsco products to private users (home learning) in Malaysia.
Orbit Buku Sdn Bhd was incorporated in 2010 and commenced operation in 2011 to expand our range of supplementary educational materials. Some of these include children's books such as fiction and informational books. These books are mainly targeted at households with school going children and school libraries.
During 2010, Sasbadi, as the World Robot Olympiad national organiser of Malaysia, won the rights from the World Robot Olympiad Advisory Committee to co-organise the World Robot Olympiad 2012 in Malaysia.
Also, in 2010, we were appointed by Yayasan Guru Malaysia Berhad (YGMB) to reprint, distribute, market and sell past year examination papers for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM). Subsequently, over the years, we were awarded the licence by YGMB to reprint, distribute, market and sell past year examination papers for Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), STAM and SPM. However, the licence was not renewed upon its expiry on 14 September 2013, and we have ceased the reprinting, distributing, marketing and selling of the past year examination papers with effect from 15 September 2013.
During the same year in 2010, we recorded our first export sales to Indonesia for the translation rights of a range of Sasbadi's publications. However, this was on a small scale basis. We also acquired Malaysian Book Promotions Sdn Bhd (Malaysian Book Promotions), an event management company specialising in organising book fairs and conferences. After the acquisition, this company ceased operations as an event management company before resuming operations in September 2013 to distribute printed educational materials.
In 2011, Sasbadi Online Sdn Bhd (Sasbadi Online) was incorporated as part of our intention to expand into publishing of online educational resources targeting both teachers and students. During the same year, we launched our first online teaching product, namely Penjana Pentaksiran Instan, an instant assessment paper generator. Since then, we have launched various online educational resources including i-Teach, i-Learn and iPBS, which are cloud-based teaching and learning platforms based on subscription.
During the same year in 2011, National Instruments Singapore (Pte) Ltd appointed us as its exclusive Malaysian distributor for a range of applied learning products namely NI myDAQ and LabVIEW for Education to primary and secondary educational institutions for educational purposes. NI myDAQ is a portable data acquisition device used with a computer for measuring and analysing live signals including voltage, current, temperature, pressure and sound. LabVIEW for Education is a software that provides tools to create measurement and control systems.
In 2012, we co-organised with the Government of Malaysia, the World Robot Olympiad 2012 in Kuala Lumpur. As at 21 February 2013, the event was the largest in the history of World Robot Olympiad with a record participation of 403 teams from 30 countries.
Sasbadi Holdings Berhad was incorporated in Malaysia under the Companies Act, 1965 on 30 October 2012 and converted into a public limited company on 15 March 2013 to serve as an investment holding company and the listing vehicle of our Group.
On 2 April 2013, Sasbadi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with YGMB to offer and support an online tutorial programme with self-assessment for 20,000 candidates of UPSR and SPM for 2013 in selected schools in Perak Darul Ridzuan. This was undertaken under i-TR1M (Interaktif Tuisyen Rakyat 1Malaysia), a government education initiative. This involved the supply and implementation of our online educational resources, namely i-Learn. Based on the said MOU, our Group had billed YGMB on a quarterly basis based on a fixed schedule. The MOU was valid until end of 2013.
On 5 August 2013 and 30 September 2013, Sasbadi signed a letter of intent and an Intellectual Property Rights Assignment Agreement, respectively, to acquire from Pearson Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Pearson Malaysia) the publishing rights and production files for a list of titles consisting mainly of National School Curriculum based educational materials (i.e. revision guides, workbooks, assessment books and model test papers) for RM5.5 million. In conjunction with the acquisition of the publishing rights and production files, Sasbadi has also acquired stocks of educational materials for approximately RM1.6 million and paper for approximately RM0.6 million from Pearson Malaysia. Under the Intellectual Property Rights Assignment Agreement, Sasbadi is allowed until 31 March 2014 to reprint the titles acquired under the Pearson brand and to continue to sell the reprinted/ acquired Pearson branded stocks until 31 December 2014. All stocks printed after 31 March 2014 are to be branded under our Group. The acquisition of the publishing rights and production files for the list of titles was completed on 30 September 2013. The acquisition of Pearson Malaysia's publishing rights and production files, stocks of educational materials and paper were funded by internally generated funds. In September 2013, our subsidiary company, Malaysian Book Promotions resumed operations and started distributing the acquired stocks of National School Curriculum based educational materials from Pearson Malaysia. Subsequently in May 2014, Malaysian Book Promotions started publishing printed educational materials under the imprint of MBP Publications Sdn Bhd (MBP Publications).
In February 2014, Sasbadi Online was appointed by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia as the National Science Challenge ("NSC") preliminary level online system developer and smart partner for 2014 NSC. In this regard, the 2014 NSC preliminary level is administered based on the engines used in our online educational resources. This enables us to showcase our online educational capabilities on a national scale and helps create greater market awareness for our online educational resources.
MBP Publications was incorporated on 28 March 2014 and it is an imprint for Malaysian Book Promotions to publish printed educational materials. On 3 April 2014, Sasbadi Learning Solutions Sdn Bhd was incorporated and is currently dormant. Its intended activity is to undertake the distribution of applied learning products and operation of applied learning centres.
In April 2014, Sasbadi renewed its appointment as a distributor for National Instruments' applied learning products in Malaysia under a non-exclusive arrangement which is valid until 31 December 2014. In May 2014, Sasbadi won its most recent tender from the Ministry of Education to publish, print and supply textbooks for Design and Technology subject for Year 5 (Chinese) primary level of education. The letter of acceptance to publish, print and supply the textbooks for Design and Technology subject is valid from 2014 to 2016. Sasbadi Online had in May 2014, agreed in principle to grant a publishing house in Jakarta, Indonesia the rights to use and sell i-Learn in Indonesia under licence. This is pending the signing of the license and services agreement which is exclusive for the territory of Indonesia.
As at 19 May 2014, Sasbadi Online has finished developing and launched two (2) new products namely Mind-Map and Most Essential Exam Techniques (MEET). Mind-Map, which is an interactive system that allows users to build mind maps on computers, tablets or smart phones, can be used in a classroom environment either as individual or collaborative work among students. MEET is a collection of videos aimed at tackling difficult questions in Malaysian school exams.
Since we began our operations in 1985, we have established ourselves as a reputable publisher of educational materials in Malaysia. We currently publish under the brand names of 'Sasbadi', 'Sasbadi Online', 'Maya Press', 'Orbit Buku' and 'MBP Publications'.