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Old February 27th, 2012, 08:35 AM   #2301
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Malaya was never fully colonised, says historian
Posted on February 26, 2012, Sunday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/02...ays-historian/

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaya was never fully colonised by the British who instead, merely controlled its administration, said historian Datuk Prof Ramlah Adam.
She said, as proof, the institution of the monarchy was not abolished but played a role in Islamic affairs and Malay customs.

“Although the British administered Malaya before independence, they did not get rid of the role of the Malay kings because they recognised their role as an important element in the adminstration of the country…what they did away with were the chief minister (bendahara) and defence minister (temenggong).

“Some parties say Malaya was fully colonised by the British. But, if we refer to history, Malaya was never fully colonised because the Malays prevailed in certain matters,” she said in her speech as a panelist in the Malaysian Historical Colloquium at University Malaya here yesterday.

At the colloquium, Ramlah touched on the issue of the struggle for independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman’s struggles and independence, history of the Federation of Malaya and the struggle against the Malayan Union.

“All historians play a role in the struggle for independence in various aspects. So, in order to become a nation of a Malaysian race which thoroughly understands history, we need to refer to the original struggles of past figures.

“But, we must remember that among them were those who were successful and those who were not, as some were straight-forward while there were those who twisted and turned,” she noted.

At the first session of the colloquium, Ramlah also touched on Tunku Abdul Rahman’s struggle as the Father of Independence who was picked as the first leader by all communities.

She said the tradition of discussion and give-and-take was the main recipe for success in winning the trust and power to rule from the people.

“Actually, there is no difference between the past and present struggle. Violence is not the correct modus operandi to gain power in a country.

“In the past, we had the leftist and rightist party, now we have the government party and the opposition and, not excluding, in both cases, supporters who are subversive.

“There is no difference. So, I hope history will not be used for personal interests.”

Ramlah has written books, carried out historical researches and served as lecturer at the Universiti Malaya and Universiti Teknology Mara. — Bernama
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Old February 27th, 2012, 05:55 PM   #2302
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Govt to implement build-and-sell concept by 2015: Pemudah
Published: Monday February 27, 2012 MYT 10:26:00 PM
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...104&sec=nation

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is to implement the build-and-sell concept by 2015 to stem the problem pf abandoned housing projects, according to the 2012 annual report of the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah).

The report, which was issued Monday, said the concept would be implemented through the financing of houses based on Syariah to buyers.

The government also imposed tighter laws through an amendment to the Housing Development Act (Control and Licensing) 1966 (Act 118), it said.

Among others, the deposit was increased from RM200,000 to three percent of the cost of physical development, including professional fees for the Housing Development Account, and a maximum penalty of RM50,000 has been set, compared to RM20,000 previously for offences under any provision of Act 118.

The amendment, passed by Parliament, also gave buyers more rights on matters of house buying, including the choice to cancel the sale-and-purchase agreement if there is no progress at the site six months after the date of agreement.

The scope of the House Buyers Claims Tribunal was also expanded to enable buyers to seek compensation from unlicenced housing developers.

A list of developers who were blacklisted and problematic housing projects were also displayed on the website of the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

According to the report, 32 abandoned housing projects had been revived by the Special Task force for Revival of Abandoned Housing Projects last year.

"The remaining 62 abandoned projects with 26,486 units and 17,400 buyers, are at various stages of revival while 22 other projects are in the planning stage to be revived by developers identified by the government," said the report. - Bernama
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Old February 27th, 2012, 08:16 PM   #2303
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CIMB posts recordnet profit of RM4b
By: GOH THEAN EUPublished: 2012/02/28
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1nbiu0CFt



CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC: Lender expects profit growth to be slightly lower this year than the 15.1pc achieved recorded in 2011

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, the country's second largest bank by assets, reported a 29.8 per cent growth in its fourth quarter net profit, partly helped by improved cost control and lower credit charges.

It also confirmed that it is in talks with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to buy some of the latter's assets in Asia, as part of its plans to build a bigger presence in the region.

"We are in discussion with RBS on a potential acquisition of some of its Asia Pacific investment banking and securities businesses," said CIMB group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

It also hopes that talks with brewer San Miguel Corp for a stake in the Philippines' Bank of Commerce can be concluded by the end of the first quarter of the year.

CIMB posted a record full year net profit growth of 15.1 per cent at RM4.03 billion while revenue for the full year ended December 31 2011 rose by 2.1 per cent to RM12.12 billion. During the year, it posted a net return on equity (ROE) of 16.4 per cent.

The lender's full-year revenue and profits were within most analysts' expectations. Based on earnings and revenue estimates compiled by Bloomberg, the bank had been expected to post a net profit of RM3.94 billion and revenue of RM12.16 billion.

"We delivered record profits and ROE in a year when revenue growth was subdued due to the high 2010 non-interest income base and a more cautious approach to asset growth," said Nazir.

He is "cautiously optimistic" on the bank's outlook for this year, adding that 2012 could surprise on the upside as most of the downside risks were already quite visible and quantifiable.

"On our part, we believe recent changes to our business model and processes have made us more competitive in our regional wholesale business and our 2012 deal pipeline is very good.

"Despite the anticipated slower credit growth environment for retail loans in Malaysia, we believe we can build on the huge advances that we made in consumer banking.

"We expect CIMB Niaga to continue its high growth rates in line with robust Indonesia markets and CIMB Thai's transformation to pick up momentum following the commissioning of our new core banking system in March or April.

"We are cautiously optimistic and have set a ROE target of 16.4 per cent for the year," said Nazir.

He also expected net profit growth to be slightly lower than the 15.1 per cent growth it recorded in 2011.

An analyst said the ROE target set by CIMB was somewhat "conservative".

"If they are able to achieve 16.4 per cent on a challenging year, I don't see why they could not achieve that this year, especially when loans for the corporate and small- and medium-sized enterprises are expected to gain momentum," he said.

Currently, 10 analysts are recommending a "Buy" on CIMB stock, 12 recommending "Hold" and five placing a "Sell" call on the stock.

The bank also announced a second interim dividend of 10 sen amounting to a net payment of RM743 million. This brings the total 2011 dividends to RM1.6 billion, or 22 sen, translating to a dividend payout ratio of 40.6 per cent of 2011 profits.

Last year, the group's Malaysian Consumer Bank pre-tax profit increased by 86 per cent to RM1.33 billion, driven by lower credit charges and lower overhead costs.

CIMB Niaga was the largest contributor to the group's pre-tax profit at 29 per cent, compared with 34 per cent in 2010.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #2304
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KL a hot place for visitors
21/2/2012
By Syed Nadzri




ONE little known fact about Kuala Lumpur surfaced last week, about the same time it was reported that the city had dubiously sky-rocketed in the ranks of the most expensive in the world.

"Did you know that KL is the sixth most visited city by international visitors on the planet?" my friend Sam asked the other day.

I only stared blankly, half believing at first, but he being a big shot in the tourism industry, I gave Sam the benefit of the doubt. More so since he promised to refer me to certain authoritative websites to back what he had just told me.

True enough, upon checking the next day there was the humdinger that I'm sure would bring a big smile to Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen: Kuala Lumpur is indeed the sixth most visited city by "estimated number of international visitors" last year, according to the World Tourism Organisation.

The city recorded 8.9 million international visitors in that period, half a million more than Hong Kong (in seventh place) and 1.7 million more than even Bangkok (ninth).

And all these while, I thought for some specific reasons, no place else could beat Bangkok in terms of attracting visitors.

Top of that most-visited list is Paris with 15.2 million international visitors, followed by London (14.7 million), New York (9.7 million), Antalya, Turkey (9.2 million) and Singapore (9.2 million).

Apparently, the index is based on certain fixed criteria including airport arrivals and hotel guest registration. But one notable fact is that the Kuala Lumpur figure did not even have to include Singaporean visitors arriving by road.

If we were to include this, I thought, the "Singaporean brains and white collar troops" heading to Kuala Lumpur en route to their balik kampung destinations in the peninsula would definitely cause the figure to double.

And even discounting the question as to why Mecca is not in that list, I still find it very interesting that Kuala Lumpur is a hot place for visitors.

Could it be the F1 attraction? The lure of KLIA? Or the number of foreign students making their way to the universities and colleges (do they count as visitors in the first place)?

Or could it simply be the number of foreign workers we employ? You see them everywhere and especially when they take your orders in restaurants, from five-foot (way) to five-star.

But whatever it is, Kuala Lumpur is losing its attraction as a place offering competitive prices and cheap bargains for goods and services.

It has now plunged 12 notches in the world's most expensive city list to be on 74th place as against 86th in June last year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

On closer look, that's not much of a surprise actually, considering how steep costs have climbed of late that no other town in the country comes close in this respect.

For example, the price of a simple plate of pasembor is now RM4.50 as against RM1.20 in Kodiang which serves the best pasembor anywhere.

But seriously, even if Kuala Lumpur is still way behind the world's most expensive cities of Zurich, Tokyo, Osaka and Geneva, it is certainly fast catching up.

Maybe we should blame it on the road tolls and taxi drivers for contributing to Kuala Lumpur climbing the ranks.

The taxi drivers are charging ridiculous rates -- like RM30 from KLCC to Pavilion in Bukit Bintang? And nobody is seriously doing anything about it.

Even if they are seen to be acting -- like reviewing the coupon system -- the menace would always persist.

When it comes to taxi rogues and public transport, it is good to note that the city's mass rapid transit (MRT) will be in service in about four years.

A lot of effort and planning has gone into the project which would eventually solve Kuala Lumpur's traffic congestion and public transport woes. And drive the rogue cabbies out of business.

On the same note, hopefully Kuala Lumpur will not by then follow the path of Shah Alam and Bangi in disallowing cinemas to operate.

I only have one thing to say about the latest cinema prohibition in Bangi: it's stupid.

And the cinema actors association and local film producers are not doing anything about it.





Read more: KL a hot place for visitors - Columnist - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/column...#ixzz1nfYVbhVt
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Old February 29th, 2012, 08:07 AM   #2305
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we re lucky hv singapore as neighbor. most tourists yg lawat singapore akan singgah KL nk bergambar kat PTT..
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Old March 1st, 2012, 05:57 AM   #2306
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Found this in Malaysian statistics website



http://www.statistics.gov.my/portal/...rrent_Q411.pdf



http://www.statistics.gov.my/portal/...stant_Q411.pdf

Look at the yearly column, is that our total GPD in million..

For current price 2011 = RM 852,734 = USD 275,075
For constant price 2011 = RM 588,297 = USD 189,773

If this is really our GDP then our nomial GDP per capita will be more than USD 9000. And next year it will be possible to reach USD 10000

Last edited by Brown_Eastern; March 1st, 2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 08:42 AM   #2307
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Forbes: Malaysia’s 40 richest worth US$64.4b
Published: 2012/03/01
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1nqRZFIdT

INGAPORE: Malaysia’s 40 richest are worth a total of US$64.4 billion, up US$2.3 billion from the year before, according to the latest Forbes list.

Most of the country’s biggest fortunes didn’t change much over the past year.

Robert Kuok retains his title as Malaysia’s richest person with a net worth of US$12.4 billion, down slightly from US$12.5 billion the year before.

Kuok, 88, has held the top position since 2006 when Forbes Asia began ranking the 40 richest Malaysians, with his vast empire spanning sugar, palm oil, shipping and property.

In second place is Ananda Krishnan, 73, who saw his net worth rise US$400 million to US$9.9 billion.

He is shopping around his entire power portfolio in Malaysia, South Asia and the Middle East in a deal that could raise US$2 billion. His Maxis Communications, the country’s biggest cellphone service provider, recently inked a 10-year deal to share its 3G network with rival UMobile.

In third place is Lee Kim Hua, whose net worth fell just 1.5 per cent to US$6.5 billion.

The family behind the Genting gambling empire is making news with its high-profile attempts to expand operations in the US.
Lee’s son, Lim Kok Thay, who runs the Genting Group, saw his fortune slip nine per cent to US$605 million.

Lee Shin Cheng, who built IOI Group into one of the world’s biggest palm oil producers, retains his spot at No. 4 with a net worth of US$5.2 billion, up by US$200 million from last year.

Malaysia now has 11 billionaires, up from 10 last year, as brothers Lee Oi Han and Lee Hau Hian, who control palm oil and chemical company Batu Kawan, saw their net worth climb into the ten-figure ranks.

Their fortune jumped 22 per cent as shares in Batu Kawan rose on higher palm oil prices.

Three newcomers debuted on the list, notably Ninian Mogan Lourdenadin, a doctor turned retail magnate who is ranked at No. 22 with a US$500 million net worth.

He is Group CEO of MBF Holdings and runs a property, retail, leisure and medical services business empire that stretch from Malaysia to Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Another newcomer to the list is Gooi Seong Lim who heads Crescendo, a property development and construction company. He is ranked No. 34 with a net worth of US$220 million.

Ng Joo Siang, also made it to the list for the first time at No.
37 with a networth of US$185 million. The 52-year old took over Pacific Andes International Holdings, a family business from his father.

In addition to the three new entries, two members returned to the list: Kua Sian Kooi, Executive Chairman of auto insurer Kumia Asia with a net worth of US$160 million; and Khoo Kay Peng, Chairman of Malayan United Industries, with a net worth of US$155 million.

Overall, 21 of the tycoons on the list saw their fortune rise, while 12 suffered a drop and two remained even.

This year, a minimum net worth of US$155 million was needed to qualify for the list, up from US$125 million last year.

Unlike the billionaire rankings, the Malaysian list includes fortunes that are shared among extended families.

The list was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from the families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts and the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Net worths are based on stock prices and exchange rates as of Feb 14, 2012. -- Bernama
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Old March 1st, 2012, 02:46 PM   #2308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel Soliman View Post
This is real?
I hope so..you can check the link
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Old March 1st, 2012, 03:56 PM   #2309
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Innovation to drive nation forward
Bring research and development to the market, says Najib
By NANCY NAIS 01 March 2012 | last updated at 10:59am
http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/...#ixzz1nsCX99Qg



Nor Aleya Natasha Hisham, 8, receiving a Jalur Gemilang from Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Najib Razak after she sang the 1Malaysia song during the launch
of the Proton Green Challenge 2012 yesterday. With them are Proton Holdings
managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Mohamed Tahir (left) and
Proton Holdings chairman Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh (second from left).
Pic by Iswadi Ismail


PUTRAJAYA: RESEARCH and development (R&D) will have to be supported by innovations to move the country towards becoming an innovative economy, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of Proton Green Mobility Challenge 2012 (PGMC 2012), Najib said each organisation, be it private, university or government agency, needed to play more active roles.

He said the PGMC was a good example of how the three main components of advanced societies -- industry, academia and government -- could work closely together to achieve ambitious goals for the benefit of the nation.

"Innovation cannot happen in isolation. Each organisation has its strengths and weaknesses.

"If we as a nation were to accelerate innovation and be competitive in the global market, organisations need to find ways to collaborate closely towards a common goal."

He added that without R&D and creative innovation, the nation's oil palm and rubber industries would not have been as successful as they are now.

"Imagine the impact innovation has given to the people.

"Let us make sure that innovation will not stay in laboratories, but be brought to the market."

PGMC 2012 is organised in line with the national green technology policy and national automotive policy in promoting hybrid and electric vehicles.
The challenge is open to university students, with participating teams required to transform a regular Proton Saga into a full electric vehicle.

Each university is awarded a standard Proton Saga, a battery and other equipment, together with RM20,000 as development fund.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 03:58 PM   #2310
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Najib launches Proton Green Mobility Challenge 2012
29 February 2012 | last updated at 11:26am
http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/...e-2012-1.53651



Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak putting his hand on a panel when
launching the Proton Green Challenge 2012 at the Prime Minister's Office.
Looking on are Proton group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin
Mohamed Tahir (L) and Proton Holdings chairman Datuk Seri Nadzmi Mohd
Salleh (2nd L). NSTP/Fariz Iswadi Ismail.


PUTRAJAYA: Teams from 10 local universities will compete in the challenge to convert the conventional-engined Proton Saga car into a fully electric-powered car in the Proton Green Mobility Challenge (PGMC) 2012 organised by Proton Holding Bhd (Proton) and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who launched the challenge, said it represented the best example of how the industry, academia and the government cooperated to achieve various objectives in tackling major issues affecting the people.

He said the cooperation between the three major components forming the 'triple helix' under the AIM Innovation Developers programme was established to further speed up technological innovations in the country.

"With the addition of another component, namely the people, it will become Quadruple Helix," he said at the launching of the challenge at the Car Park Lobby of the Prime Minister's Office, here.

The 10 universities participating in the challenge are Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), Universiti Teknologi
Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (IIUM),
Universiti Kuala Lumpur Institut Malaysia Sepanyol (UNIKL MSI), Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Unimap), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and Universiti Selangor (Unisel).

During the challenge, each university is provided with a Proton Saga car, one unit of battery, one motor unit and its control, as well as a RM20,000 fund for purposes of modification according to the rules stipulated, and the final stage will be held from Oct 4 to 7.

The winner will be decided based on the capability of the vehicle to go through various tests including driving distance, the level of pick-up within a quarter-mile distance, the fastest time in a lap and the maximum speed achieved.

The Prime Minister said innovation in the field of research and development (R&D) was crucial in driving national development, and the country's most significant success could be seen in innovations in the country's main commodities namely rubber and palm oil.

He said the nation had achieved numerous successes in the development of these commodities, for example, a Malaysian company had become the first company to unlock the oil palm genetic code, thus recording the most significant achievement in the field of science.

He said the success enabled the output of every hectare of oil palm plantation to be raised through the introduction of new and better types of palm trees. - Bernama
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 08:52 AM   #2311
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'Invest Labuan' to promote island
Published: 2012/03/02
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...abooa/Article/

LABUAN: The government will soon form a committee called "Invest Labuan" to promote the duty-free island as an investment destination.

With a view to ensure Labuan continues to flourish, its focus will be on sectors deemed more important for the island's economy in the long run.

"We have liaised and discussed the matter with Labuan Corporation, and will study the matter thoroughly," Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin told Bernama yesterday.

He said the oil and gas sector was becoming more important to ignite the engines of Labuan's economy and open up job and business opportunities to the supporting industries that will augur well for the island's development.

"It (Invest Labuan) may not be on a large scale like Invest KL which is in progress now, but serious attention is needed.

Raja Nong Chik said Labuan was included in the Economic Transformation Programme for its oil and gas sector and a draft plan to boost the sector was being formulated.

"The RM3 billion Pulau Daat Petroleum Integrated Project is one of the projects identified that can create job opportunities and economic spin-offs," he said. Bernama
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 08:59 AM   #2312
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TCM services at selected govt clinics this year
By LIM WEY WEN Friday March 2, 2012
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...436&sec=nation



Widening scope: Liow (second from right) responding to Hospital Sungai Long
general manager Ric Lee Juin Sye (far left) during a tour of the new private
hospital after its opening yesterday. Joining the tour are (from right) Sin Heap
Lee Group executive director Datuk Yap Chong Lee, Deputy Higher Education
Minister Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, Utar Council chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Dr Chuah.


KAJANG: Traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) services will be made available at selected government clinics this year.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the ministry was compiling data and identifying locations for pilot projects.

“We initially plan to offer acupuncture treatment for patients with chronic pain as well as Malay traditional massage therapy for post-natal mothers,” he said at the opening ceremony of the private Hospital Sungai Long yesterday.

He first announced the ministry's plans to extend TCM services at the primary healthcare level in government clinics in January.

Currently, in the government sector, TCM units are only available at 10 major hospitals in 10 states.

“We will introduce it in big clinics first,” Liow said, adding that the ministry would likely introduce the service in cities where TCM units were available in nearby hospitals. “We may start in Johor Baru.”

Liow, who also launched the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) part-time Bachelor of Chinese Medicine (Hons) programme at the event, said such part-time programmes could allow more flexibility for traditional Chinese medicine practitioners to further their studies.

Utar president Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik explained that the five- to 10-year programme could help practitioners get the qualifications they may need when the TCM Bill is passed.

Liow said the ministry had already submitted the TCM Bill to the Attorney-General's chambers for review.

“We hope we can table it in Parliament for the first reading this month or in June,” said Liow.

The Bill, once passed, will outline minimum requirements for TCM practitioners to practise in the country.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 09:03 AM   #2313
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Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
CIMB posts recordnet profit of RM4b
By: GOH THEAN EUPublished: 2012/02/28
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1nbiu0CFt



CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC: Lender expects profit growth to be slightly lower this year than the 15.1pc achieved recorded in 2011

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, the country's second largest bank by assets, reported a 29.8 per cent growth in its fourth quarter net profit, partly helped by improved cost control and lower credit charges.

It also confirmed that it is in talks with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to buy some of the latter's assets in Asia, as part of its plans to build a bigger presence in the region.

"We are in discussion with RBS on a potential acquisition of some of its Asia Pacific investment banking and securities businesses," said CIMB group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

It also hopes that talks with brewer San Miguel Corp for a stake in the Philippines' Bank of Commerce can be concluded by the end of the first quarter of the year.

CIMB posted a record full year net profit growth of 15.1 per cent at RM4.03 billion while revenue for the full year ended December 31 2011 rose by 2.1 per cent to RM12.12 billion. During the year, it posted a net return on equity (ROE) of 16.4 per cent.

The lender's full-year revenue and profits were within most analysts' expectations. Based on earnings and revenue estimates compiled by Bloomberg, the bank had been expected to post a net profit of RM3.94 billion and revenue of RM12.16 billion.

"We delivered record profits and ROE in a year when revenue growth was subdued due to the high 2010 non-interest income base and a more cautious approach to asset growth," said Nazir.

He is "cautiously optimistic" on the bank's outlook for this year, adding that 2012 could surprise on the upside as most of the downside risks were already quite visible and quantifiable.

"On our part, we believe recent changes to our business model and processes have made us more competitive in our regional wholesale business and our 2012 deal pipeline is very good.

"Despite the anticipated slower credit growth environment for retail loans in Malaysia, we believe we can build on the huge advances that we made in consumer banking.

"We expect CIMB Niaga to continue its high growth rates in line with robust Indonesia markets and CIMB Thai's transformation to pick up momentum following the commissioning of our new core banking system in March or April.

"We are cautiously optimistic and have set a ROE target of 16.4 per cent for the year," said Nazir.

He also expected net profit growth to be slightly lower than the 15.1 per cent growth it recorded in 2011.

An analyst said the ROE target set by CIMB was somewhat "conservative".

"If they are able to achieve 16.4 per cent on a challenging year, I don't see why they could not achieve that this year, especially when loans for the corporate and small- and medium-sized enterprises are expected to gain momentum," he said.

Currently, 10 analysts are recommending a "Buy" on CIMB stock, 12 recommending "Hold" and five placing a "Sell" call on the stock.

The bank also announced a second interim dividend of 10 sen amounting to a net payment of RM743 million. This brings the total 2011 dividends to RM1.6 billion, or 22 sen, translating to a dividend payout ratio of 40.6 per cent of 2011 profits.

Last year, the group's Malaysian Consumer Bank pre-tax profit increased by 86 per cent to RM1.33 billion, driven by lower credit charges and lower overhead costs.

CIMB Niaga was the largest contributor to the group's pre-tax profit at 29 per cent, compared with 34 per cent in 2010.
CIMB signs MoU on purchase of RBS’ Asia-Pac ops
BY DALJIT DHESI Friday March 2, 2012
http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...0&sec=business

PETALING JAYA: The CIMB Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the proposed acquisition of certain cash equities, equity capital markets and corporate finance businesses of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBC) in the Asia-Pacific.

The MoU provides for the parties to negotiate exclusively with each other and finalise the scope and terms of a sale and purchase agreement. Further announcements on the proposed transaction would be made at the appropriate time, the group said in a statement.

The Australian newspaper had last month reported that CIMB would be buying Britain-based RBS Australia's equity operations. Other reports, citing sources, also speculated that CIMB had won the bid against China International Capital Corp to acquire the Australian equity operations for US$50mil (RM151mil).

A banking analyst with a foreign investment bank said he was neutral on CIMB's acquisition of RBS' regional assets as it would be duplication in operations unless there were areas that could add value to the group's business.

He said RBS equities and merger and acquisition (M&A) businesses were in Hong Kong, India and China and that CIMB already had some presence in those countries.

Another analyst with a bank-backed brokerage was quoted as saying he was doubtful whether RBS would be a right fit for CIMB, as the latter's key focus was on Asean while the former had an Asian presence, adding that the right pricing would be crucial to the acquisition.

CIMB was also in talks with brewer San Miguel Corp for a stake in the Philippines' Bank of Commerce and hoped to conclude discussions in the first quarter this year.

Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said recently the group would continue to have an outstanding application for a new banking licence in Vietnam, and was in the process of making a submission for a new banking licence in Laos.

“We have a representative office in Myanmar and are re-evaluating our options there, given the interesting developments in the country,'' he noted.

CIMB Group posted a record net profit of RM4.03bil, representing a 15.1% year-on-year rise, for the year ended Dec 31, 2011.
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 09:05 AM   #2314
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Two-tier control on political funding
Friday March 2, 2012
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...096&sec=nation

PETALING JAYA: Two tiers of control will be introduced on political funding to be voluntarily adopted by the parties, beginning with Barisan Nasional component members, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

Jala, who is also Pemandu CEO, said the controls would ensure funds meant for political parties were not misused by individual politicians.

“The first tier of internal control will be introduced by formulating a checklist of recommended actions for political parties to undertake to avoid the abuse of the funding process.

“A second tier of external control will be set up to facilitate better detection, prevention and enforcement by identified agencies in combating corruption.

“This includes a new requirement that all federal and state government entities and statutory authorities cannot include any party member, who is an office bearer, on their tender board.” he said.

On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that a new measure would be introduced under the GTP to regulate political financing for all parties to avoid politicians from abusing their organisation’s name to solicit or accept any contribution, which was later misused for personal interest.

Describing this as a major step towards in weeding out corruption, Jala said it was important for sources of political funds to be recorded and made available for public audit to ensure that sources were neither corrupt nor potentially corrupting.

“As Malaysia sets its sight on becoming a high-income nation, there is a great need for a system of checks and balances which promotes transparency and accountability,” he said.


Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com*mission chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the new initiative would make it easier for them to identify and prosecute offenders who did not comply with these requirements on political funding.

MACC, he said, would ensure seamless cooperation with agencies like Bank Negara, Inland Revenue Department and the Attorney-General’s Chambers to identify financial discrepancies and transactions, which they could then investigate.

“The new guidelines are part of the overhaul of the current system, which will result in improved accountability in the political funding process and increased transparency for parties,” he said.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 04:09 PM   #2315
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State needs highly skilled workforce — Fatimah
Posted on March 4, 2012, Sunday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/03...#ixzz1o9ncKJRx



IMPRESSIVE: Fatimah, BPIEF chairman Dorge Rajah and See Hua Marketing
area manager Wong Sing Seng (right) admire a portrait on display at a
participating booth of Alvin Leong Academy of Photography. l See Page 14 for
another story and more photos


KUCHING: The state is intensifying efforts to help the nation achieve its target of having 48 per cent highly skilled workforce to meet to the economic needs of the country’s developed nation status and high-income society by 2020.

With only 25 per cent highly skilled workers to date, the additional 23 per cent increase in eight years time is very much needed considering that the state is focusing intensively on meeting the workforce needed by Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score).

“One of the government’s main avenues in producing highly skilled workforce is through its education transformation in vocational and technical studies.

“To meet the developed nation status and produce workforce that meet the needs of a high income economy, the country needed to emphasis on producing highly educated, skilled, creative and innovative human capital.

“Malaysia only has 25 per cent highly skilled workforce when compared to Taiwan (33 per cent), South Korea (36 per cent) and Singapore, 49 per cent,” said Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah when officiating at the opening of the 2012 Borneo Post International Education Fair (BPIEF) at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here yesterday.

Also present at the ceremony was BPIEF chairman Dorge Rajah, KTS Group human resource development and planning manager Adeline Lau, who is also BPIEF advisor, and See Hua Marketing area manager Wong Sing Seng.

Fatimah, who is also BPIEF patron and Dalat assemblywoman, added that the main challenge now is to produce sufficient workforce for SCORE. By the year 2015, SCORE is expected to create some 290,880 jobs that would increase to 662,065 jobs by 2020.

In 2025, a total of 956,455 job openings would be available in the SCORE area and this figure would jump to a whopping 1,334,475 job vacancies by the year 2030.

“To meet to this challenge, we need to change public perception into absorbing the idea of having a career in the skilled sectors. School leavers and higher learning institute students should take technical education as their main subject in the certificate entry level, diploma or even degree studies,” she suggested.

Fatimah highlighted that good technical studies and vocational system would enable the country to produce a quality human resource development that inadvertently will propel the country in a high-income society.

She mentioned that student enrolment (between ages of 16 and 19) in apprenticeship in countries such as Germany was 74.8 per cent while Sweden recorded 47 per cent.

A Unesco (United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) study in 1999 in regards to ‘Enrolment in Vocational Education as a Proportion of Total Enrolments in Secondary Education in Asia’ revealed that countries such as South Korea has 20.6 per cent enrolment, Papua New Guinea 16.6 per cent, Thailand 15.5 per cent and Malaysia a mere 1.7 per cent.

Fatimah, who deemed the percentage as way too low, had stated that the main challenge for the state now was to change the perception of youths on technical education where it could become the main choice for students when pursuing their studies.

“The old mindset of parents was to encourage their children into pursuing government jobs. However, the civil service sector is limited when compared to the vast opportunity available when the state focuses on industrial development.

“That’s why the state emphasises on SCORE as it needs to diversify its job opportunities,” she advised.

Fatimah also urged parents, school principals and the Education Department to encourage students who are inclined to study in a ‘hands-on’ approach to take on vocational training in schools or higher learning institutes.
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Old March 5th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #2316
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Harvard don: Malaysia must move up the income chain
By Khaidir A MajidPublished: 2012/03/05
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...#ixzz1oDuEFlBo




Kuala Lumpur: A Harvard University professor said Malaysians must decide whether they want to be a “star” or be stuck at where they are now.

He said failing to decide meant the country would continue to be ranked among the middleincome group for the next 10 to 20 years and could eventually slide further.

“Your Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has come out with a clear strategy for Malaysia to move up the value chain. The question now is whether it can be carried out,” said Professor Richard H.K. Vietor of Harvard Business School.

Vietor, who is also an International Adviser and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s International Business School, said Malaysia had most of the ingredients to move up but it continued to be stuck in the middle, below countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea.

The problem for middle income country like Malaysia started in 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO), explained Vietor, the author of the 2007’s publication “How Countries Compete: Strategy, Structure, and Government in the Global Economy”.

“After that, China absolutely dominated lowcost manufacturing and India dominated lowcost services, both of which Malaysia could not compete with.”

At the same time, Malaysia could also not compete with the high-end, high-value added countries such as the United States and Singapore.

Singapore, he said, had the same problem in 1985 and 1986 when it realised it could not continue to be involved in low-cost manufacturing.

Then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew told the city state's 5,000 manufacturers to move up the value-added chain.

"He gave incentives and the manufacturers started producing high-value added goods," said Vietor, who included a chapter on Singapore Inc in his book.

Vietor, who will be giving a public lecture this afternoon on "How Countries Compete" at UTM's Jalan Semarak campus, here, said Malaysia could not hope to compete on cost with the likes of China, India, Vietnam and Indonesia.

"Even the US cannot compete with China in this respect. What Malaysia needs is to be different and more focused, such as producing branded or high-quality goods," he said,

Malaysia also needs to address one of its biggest problems, which is too much saving and too little investment. With investment and savings rate at 22 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, Malaysia has a macro-economic problem.

"How can you grow if you are not investing? Compare this with China and Singapore where their savings are high but their investments are high, too.

"I have asked Malaysians why they are not investing and many said they had nothing to invest in or there were not enough opportunities," he told Business Times yesterday.

However, this is expected to change with the new approaches developed under the New Economic Model, which was introduced in 2009 to improve productivity and encourage creativity.

In fact, many of the initiatives announced by Najib could "unstuck" Malaysia from the middle-income trap.

Among these are moving investment and exports up the value chain, stimulating domestic innovation and research and development, continuing investment in infrastructure, reducing regulatory barriers to doing business and enhancing labour skills in needed categories.

Malaysian firms, he said, should also be less risk adverse.

"In the US, individuals and firms take more risk. If they go bust, they will pick themselves up and start anew," said Vietor, who wants to see more venture capital initiatives to help individuals start up and grow their businesses.

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Old March 6th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #2317
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Petronas records RM55.6b profit
By Goh Thean Eu and Kamarul yunusPublished: 2012/03/06
http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_New...cle/index_html



Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) posted a 10.8 per cent growth in net profit for the nine months ended December 31 2011, helped by higher margins and favourable oil prices, but predicted a “difficult and challenging” 2012.

President and chief executive officer Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas said the difficult year ahead will mainly be due to the decline in global fuel demand, production as well as lower crude
oil prices.

“This is going to be a very difficult year,” Shamsul said at a media briefing yesterday. “We see massive demand destruction for oil and gas because of the impact of the (slower) world economic growth.”

However, he added that it does not necessarily mean that the company will post a decline in revenue or net profit.

“Basically, it means growth will not be as high as recorded in the past.”

For the nine-month period, the company posted a net profit of RM55.6 billion, while revenue increased by 26.9 per cent to RM222.8 billion. The higher revenue was mainly driven by the higher realised prices and improved liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales volume.

Higher net profit was mainly fuelled by its exploration and production (E&P) business as well as gas and power (G&P) division – which increased by 53 per cent and 24 per cent,
respectively.

The national oil corporation also announced that payments to the government amounted to RM58.4 billion during the ninemonth period last year, which is inclusive of the RM30 billion dividend. Subsidies for the power sector and non-power sector, meanwhile, was RM18.4 billion.

The company expects a dip in production this year, in the range of a single-digit percentage, and sees a flat output growth next year.

It expects production to regain momentum from 2014 onwards when the Malikai and Gumusut-Kakap deepwater fields offshore Sabah come onstream.

However, Petronas will continue to be affected by the shutdown in oil production in South Sudan, amid a deepening dispute between the newly-independent state with its northern neighbour Sudan. The shutdown has resulted in a production loss of up to 150,000 barrels a day for Petronas which owns a 40 per cent stake in Petrodar, a joint venture between the Malaysian firm, China National Petroleum Corp (40 per cent) and the South Sudan government (20 per cent).
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Old March 6th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #2318
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I’m ready for reasonable discourse, says Najib
Tuesday March 6, 2012
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...933&sec=nation



PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has expressed willingness to discuss political issues with any reasonable man or woman.

“As a politician in a democratic state, having some people say bad things about me is inevitable. If I can’t handle this, then I’ve made the wrong career choice.

“That much I accept. I am happy to have a discourse on politics with any reasonable man or woman and appreciate lively political discourse,” he said in his official blog in a post titled “The Truth About Malaysia” yesterday.

Meanwhile, Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research programmes director Ibrahim Suffian said young voters want “freshness” in politics through live debates rather than personal attacks.

“A debate would enable leaders to showcase their abilities, articulate complex ideas to the layman, propose solutions and persuade people on why their coalition is the best,” he said yesterday.

The centre released a survey yesterday showing 67% of young voters between the age of 21 and 30 supported the idea of a debate between Najib and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The peninsula-wide telephone survey of 1,022 randomly-selected voters was carried out between Feb 10 and 23.
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Old March 6th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #2319
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Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
‘Malaysia won’t go bankrupt’
Posted on January 31, 2012, Tuesday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/01...t-go-bankrupt/

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies, says it is misleading to conclude that Malaysia will go bankrupt based on the fact the government’s debt in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio has been rising in the last few years.

“If nothing is done to control the rising debt, then the matter is serious but any responsible government will take measures as the current government is doing so to reduce the debt, the debt-to-GDP ratio as well as the budget deficit,” he told Bernama yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the claims by various quarters, including the Opposition, that Malaysia would be bankrupt by 2019 and that the people should not vote for the current ruling government in the next general election.

The claims were made on assumptions based on a recent revelation by the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research that the ratio of government debt to GDP had been increasing each year. — Bernama
Economy will not collapse because of minimum wage
Posted on March 6, 2012, Tuesday
http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/03...-minimum-wage/

SERI KEMBANGAN: Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri Dr S Subramaniam said the minimum wage policy, when implemented would not cause Malaysia’s economy to collapse.

He also assured that the policy would not have any undue impact on the overall economy.

“You must realise that we are not the first country to introduce minimum wages. Countries like the United States and United Kingdom have been having it for a long, long time.

“All the economies did not collapse. So to say our economy will collapse is not true,” he told reporters after presenting certificates to Astro Broadcast Traineeship 2011 Programme trainees here yesterday.

He was asked to comment on the fear that implementation of the policy would have negative impact on productivity and the economy.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also quoted saying recently that the policy could cause the country to go bankrupt.

Subramaniam said as Malaysia shifted towards the goal of a high income enconomy, it should be competing with developed countries like Singapore or Taiwan, and not comparing itself with countries like Vietnam or Cambodia.

“Our wages at present are much lower. To me, we should be competing at the higher level, with countries like Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

“We want people to get wages above the minimum wage, not at the minimum wage,” he said.

As such he said the country still had the capacity to increase its wages and at the same time expand the economy.

On an issue of two Indonesian maids reportedly abused by their high ranking government officer and his wife, Subramaniam said his ministry had yet to get any report from the Indonesian Consulate here regarding the case.

Meanwhile, the Human Resource Minister said the government would also put in place policy to allow skills trainers to be trained in industry.He said this was to help equip and expose them with practical knowledge as many
skills trainers were more theory-based. He said under such partnership, professionals in the industry would be accredited as trainers. — Bernama
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Old March 7th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #2320
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M'sian total trade for Jan up 1.7% to RM101bil
Updated: Wednesday March 7, 2012 MYT 3:34:57 PM
http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story...0&sec=business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade for January rose by 1.7 per cent to RM101.39 billion vis-a-vis January last year, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said exports increased by 0.4 per cent to RM55.07 billion from that a year ago, while imports were higher by 3.3 per cent to RM46.32 billion.

The increased exports in January were largely contributed by higher exports of liquefied natural gas and refined petroleum products and higher prices of these products, he said.

In addition, he said, there were higher exports of iron, steel products, chemicals and chemical products. Mustapa said Japan, Singapore, China, the United States and Thailand were the top five export destinations in January.

Exports to Asean stood at RM13.97 billion, accounting for 25.4 per cent of Malaysia's total exports in January this year.

Total exports to the 10-member regional grouping registered a 1.2 per cent increase from January last year, due mainly to higher crude petroleum, refined petroleum products and palm oil exports.

Exports to Thailand improved 4.5 per cent than a year ago and 8.5 per cent in December last year.

Exports to Japan grew 26.6 per cent to RM7.8 billion while to the United States by one per cent to RM4.59 billion in January.

Exports to China was however 12.2 per cent lower at RM5.98 billion from a year ago, mainly attributed to the fall in exports of crude petroleum, rubber and electrical and electronics (E&E) products.

The decline in E&E products was due to the weak global demand, he said.

Mustapa said exports to the European Union also dwindled by 14.5 per cent to RM5 billion as a result of lower exports of palm oil, E&E products and manufactures of metal and crude rubber.

Other markets that showed exports growth were South Korea, which recorded 22.6 per cent rise to RM2.49 billion, and Australia, with 22.3 per cent increase to RM2.22 billion, he said.

Total imports from Asean member states amounted to RM12.6 billion or 27.2 per cent of Malaysia's total imports in January.

Meanwhile, trade balance for January stood at RM8.750 billion as compared with RM9.990 billion in January last year - Bernama

Quote:
For latest trade reports from the Statistics Department click here
http://www.statistics.gov.my/portal/...de_Jan12BI.pdf
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