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Old April 30th, 2009, 06:46 AM   #641
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Malaysia to adopt accounting standards by 2012
By Adeline Paul RajPublished: 2009/04/30

SOME 150 countries will be using the international financial reporting standards (IFRS) by the time Malaysia fully adopts them in 2012, says the chief of the body that sets those standards.

This means that Malaysia's accounting standards will be comparable with that of most countries, making it easier to attract foreign investments, said Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board.

Currently, 113 countries use those accounting standards.

"You're more likely to get overseas investors investing in Malaysia if they understand what you're doing and what your companies are doing (when they read the accounts). So that's the big pressure for countries, to make sure that the accounting is the same as everywhere else," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

This is what has led the EU and China to adopt those standards in the last two years, and Japan, India and South Korea are among countries that will come on board in the next few.

Malaysia plans to bring its financial reporting standards to full convergence with IFRS by January 1 2012.

"We want to do it because we want to attract foreign direct investments," said chairman of the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board Datuk Zainal Abidin Putih.

The US will decide whether to adopt IFRS by 2011 and if it does, it will likely be compliant by 2014, said Tweedie.

"By the time Malaysia changes, there'll only be about 50 or 60 countries that will not be using IFRS and these are the countries that will find it very difficult to get investments from outside. People will wonder: what are they hiding? Why aren't they doing what everybody else is doing?," he commented.

Malaysia, which has been moving closer to IFRS standards over the last few years, is already well-placed to adopt the standards.

"It's not going to be a massive change for you," Tweedie noted. It is understood that standards on financial instruments and agriculture will be among the few big changes.

Malaysian companies will have to make investments to set up up the systems to bring in the new standards, he said.

Datuk Johan Raslan, chairman of the Financial Reporting Foundation, said most accounting firms here have already invested a lot of money on IFRS training.

But Malaysian companies need to catch up on making these investments, he said, pointing out that this is not something they can leave to the last minute.

"It's a small price to pay for being competitive," he remarked.

According to Tweedie, of the 500 top companies in the world, most (or 194) use IFRS while 153 use US accounts. The rest use a variety of national standards, but most will be changing to IFRS, he said.
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Old April 30th, 2009, 06:53 AM   #642
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Selling Malaysian brands
Thursday April 30, 2009

Fruitful talks: Mustapa (left) discussing the promotion of Malaysian products
with Al- Fayed in London on Monday. — Picture courtesy of Matrade.

LONDON: Efforts are being taken to push the world market to accept that Malaysian brands have achieved high standards.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said one way of doing this was to increase the value and volume of products to be supplied to high-end markets such as Harrods and Tesco.

“We want to upgrade the image of Malaysian products and services worldwide,” he said after addressing the two-day Global Emerging Markets Summit here on Tuesday.

Former Pakistani premier Shaukat Aziz and Vietnamese Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh also spoke at the opening session “The Global Financial Crisis: Reforming Governance, Rebuilding Economies.”

On Monday, Mustapa held discussions with Harrods chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed and its director (advertising sales and sponsorship) Guy Cheston as well as Tesco plc director Lucy Neville-Rolfe and its international and internal communications director Greg Sage.

The minister described the two meetings as successful, saying Al-Fayed was supportive of Malaysian products and had pledged to help promote them at his store.

“We hope to extend to other areas like tourism, sports and products by small and medium enterprises,” he said, referring to the month-long Malaysian Craft Promotion at Harrods which ended recently.

Mustapa said the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) would submit a proposal on the major promotion for approval by the Cabinet.

He hoped Tesco would import more Malaysian products not just for its over 2,100 UK stores but those worldwide.

It is learnt the new food products included fruits like papaya and star fruits as well as vegetables while the non-food items covered furniture, plastics, rubber, household products, IT parts and accessories.

More than £11mil (RM58.3mil) worth of Malaysian products are sold in Tesco’s UK stores. In addition, another £60mil (RM318mil) worth of the stores’ plastic carrier bags are sourced from Malaysia.

Matrade CEO Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said customers were willing to pay a lot of money for branded products in Harrods but Malaysia had not achieved that branding status yet.

“I was in Milan and saw high quality shirts made in Malaysia but labelled as foreign brands,” he said.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 06:53 AM   #643
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Software AG to grow workforce for KL hub
Saturday May 2, 2009

IN less than two years in Malaysia, business infrastructure software specialist Software AG is expanding its Asia-Pacific regional customer centre in Kuala Lumpur.

“We started with seven staff members and now, we have about 25. We plan to expand it to 35 in the next seven months,” says senior vice-president of Asia Paul Henaghan.

The other two support centres are in the United States and Germany, where the group is headquartered.

Regionally, it has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan and Australia with a total staff force of 400 servicing 570 customers.

Henaghan says Malaysia is a suitable base to service its Asian customers as employees are keen to learn and develop new skills, while having a high level of language proficiencies in Malay, English, Chinese and even Japanese.

“Japan is the largest market for us in Asia with over 200 customers, hence the ability to speak Japanese is important,” he told StarBizWeek in a recent interview.

Its four key markets in Asia are Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. “These markets are mature and our customers there understood and valued our business,” he adds.

The financial sector in Indonesia, in particular, is moving up the value chain and demands new technology, strong processes and automated solutions.

China and India, meanwhile, are high growth markets where Software AG intends to have a significant market share, Henaghan says.

Its clientele include Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd, Bossini, Ping Ann Insurance, Institute of Technical Education Singapore, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Dongfeng Yueda Kia Motors Co Ltd, and STATS ChipPAC.

In Malaysia, its customers include Maxis Communications Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and Perodua. A number of MNCs have centralised their IT infrastructure in Malaysia such as DHL.

Software AG’s research and development teams are based in the United States, Germany, India and Czech Republic. Its business infrastructure software offers data management, developing and modernising applications, enabling service-oriented architecture and improving business processes.

For the current financial year, Software AG expects to achieve 4% to 8% growth in revenue on the back of double-digit growth expected from the maintenance operations, which is recurring and comprise 60% of sales.

“Our target is to achieve 1 billion euros in sales by 2011. Malaysia will be part of that growth,” Henaghan says.

In the present crisis, the group’s services are able to help clients to leverage on their existing infrastructure, without adding additional cost, to develop new business capabilities.

He says there are certain sectors seen as “sweet spots” to the group such as telecommunications and financial services.

Besides corporate clients, Software AG also services various government agencies in Asia including Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, South Korea and the Philippines.

Its biggest competitors in the segment are IBM and Oracle but Henaghan believes Software AG differentiates itself by being an independent provider.

“There will always be those that do not want to work with a single vendor, like Disney, Apple, Maxis and Maybank. We’re a vendor that is neutral to any other technologies,” he says.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 09:19 AM   #644
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Hovid: A Malaysian biotech success story
By Presenna NambiarPublished: 2009/05/07

Starting out as a single product company in 1945, Hovid today has 12 global patents and a presence in 40 countries

HOVID Bhd (7213) may not be a household name in Malaysia, but for the local biotechnology industry it is a success story many want to emulate.

Starting out as a single product company in 1945, Hovid today has 12 global patents and a presence in 40 countries worldwide.

That one product - Ho Yan Hor Herbal Tea - was also the very reason behind the company's success so far.

"In the 1980s there were hardly any venture capitalists around. Luckily we had the herbal tea business, so whatever profit we got from there we ploughed into developing Hovid into a pharmaceutical company.
"The development was a bit slow because of this," Hovid managing director David Ho said.

Progress may have been slow, but Hovid became enough of a success for the founder to set up another unit, Carotech Bhd.

Carotech commenced production in 1995 and has since successfully carved a niche and become the leading and largest supplier of phytonutrients throughout the world, with the US, Europe, Japan and Australia making up the main markets.

While initial plans to get plantation companies to invest in Carotech did not bear fruit, Ho managed to convince a bank to loan the money it needed after many rounds of talks with investors.

"This (getting a loan from a bank) was quite unusual then. At the end of 1990s, venture capitalists started funding commerce assets and that was really how Carotech was able to grow in 2000," Ho said.

So far Hovid has obtained between RM1 million and RM2 million of grants from the government.

On plans to grow the company further, Ho said it is not on the look-out for further acquisitions, preferring to digest the Indian company it bought into last year.

In January 2008, Hovid bought a controlling stake in Biodeal Pharmaceuticals.

"That said, there are alliance opportunities, in which we can come up with an unique arrangement so that it is a win-win scenario for both parties," Ho said.

For example, the company is talking to a few Indian parties on the possibility of using their extra manufacturing capacity to churn out Hovid's products.

"While we would be able to give these companies market access to over 40 countries, the local companies would help us penetrate their home market," Ho said.

For the financial year ended June 30 last year, the company recorded RM214.7 million revenue and RM15.3 million net profit.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 10:18 AM   #645
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Europe firms keen to invest RM3b in Malaysia
By Marina EmmanuelPublished: 2009/05/08

COMPANIES in the UK, Italy and Germany have expressed interest to invest some RM3.3 billion in Malaysia, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said.

This arose from a trade mission to three European cities, he added.

"The areas for investment include sectors like aerospace, high technology, electronics, automotive components and machinery," he told reporters after a briefing by the operators of the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah.

It will take at least two years for the investments to materialise, Mustapa said.

He also said that out of the RM7.5 billion projects approved in January-March this year, RM3.3 billion comprised foreign investments.

"Although the investment climate here looks good, we have to be realistic in what to expect this year."
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Old May 14th, 2009, 07:25 AM   #646
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Sirim Plans To Set Up Battery Laboratory
May 13, 2009 19:52 PM

ALOR SETAR, May 13 (Bernama) -- Sirim Bhd is planning to set up a battery laboratory in Malaysia going forward, says its senior general manager for marketing and business development, Dr Abd Rahim Saad.

He said the laboratory would have a full range of battery testing facilities to assist producers with testing and certification.

"We are now in the process of collecting input from the industry players on their specific requirements," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the Northern Region Investment and Trade Workshop on the Manufacturing and Services Sectors here today.

Abd Rahim said Sirim is currently preparing a proposal for the government on the funding for establishing the laboratory.

"We will request the allocation from the government under the 10th Malaysia Plan," he added.

Asked as to the cost of the laboratory, Abd Rahim said based on the feedback of industry players, it would involve a few hundred million ringgit.

Sirim is a wholly-owned company of the Malaysian government under the Minister of Finance Incorporated.

It is also the leading organisation in industrial research, fulfilling the industry needs by blending new innovations with quality and standards.

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Old May 14th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #647
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Malaysia to be base for Asean’s Interpol HQ
Thursday May 14, 2009

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will be the base for an Interpol-type agency to facilitate wider cooperation between security and enforcement agencies in Asean member countries.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the Cabinet had given the green light for the Aseanapol permanent secretariat to be set up here to help in efforts to curb crime, especially the trafficking of drugs and humans.

He said although there was already cooperation between the agencies, it was limited to bilateral treaties between countries.

He said the idea to set up Aseanapol was mooted during the Asean chiefs of police meeting in May last year, and Malaysia was proposed as the most suitable base.

“Aseanapol will, for a start, see cooperation between the police from the various countries, but I hope to eventually see cooperation in other areas including immigration, prisons and national registration,” he told a press conference after chairing the ministry’s weekly post-Cabinet meeting here yesterday.

He said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who attended the Asean-level meeting in Brunei last year, would oversee the setting up of the permanent secretariat here and later announce its exact role and scope of work.

On another matter, Hishammuddin said he would be chairing a committee that would bring together legal experts from various departments under the ministry in an effort to look at outdated laws, including those related to the Internal Security Act .

“The review of the ISA involves looking at possible amendments to many Acts that I myself see as being no longer suitable,” he said.

He added that he also wanted laws created for the Rela movement as it was currently operating based on regulations created after the May 13, 1969 riots.

On the problems in Terengganu Umno, Hishammuddin, who is the state Umno chief, said he would meet all eight division chiefs and the 24 assemblymen in the state to hear their views and find an amicable solution.
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Old May 21st, 2009, 08:22 AM   #648
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Specialized Vascular Tech to invest in Malaysia centre
Published: 2009/05/21

ATLANTA: The US-based Specialized Vascular Technologies Inc (SVTI), which develops technologies to improve the safety and efficacy of drug eluting stent (DES), plans to set up a centre of excellence in Malaysia.

It will invest US$2.7 million (RM9.6 million).

DES is a coronary scaffold placed into narrowed, diseased coronary arteries that slowly releases a drug to block cell proliferation.

This prevents fibrosis that, together with clots (thrombus), could block the stented artery, a process called restenosis.

SVTI expects to eventually set up its global distribution and manufacturing centre in Malaysia.

This, however, will depend on the clearance for its first commercial pro-duct, expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2011.

"We have a pretty aggressive business plan, with expectations of the technology going to market 18-20 months down the road," SVTI chief executive officer Todd D. Campbell told reporters here yesterday.

SVTI anticipates that revenue for the Asian distribution could exceed US$100 million (RM355 million) once the product is sold commercially.

"This goes to show that Malaysia's value proposition in biotechnology remains fundamentally strong even in the current challenging times. Investors continue to take a very positive view of Malaysia as a rapidly developing biotech hub," Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Fadillah Yusof said.

SVTI plans to engage 10-15 researchers initially. It has yet to identify the location for the centre.
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Old June 17th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #649
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Italian To Continue Investing In Malaysia
June 17, 2009 18:32 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 (Bernama) -- Italy, Malaysia's fifth largest trading partner in the European Union (EU), will continue to invest here amid the global economic slowdown.

"The investment will not be stopped although we are facing economic turmoil. We will be looking at the opportunities particularly in the new growth corridors," Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Adolfo Urso, told a media briefing here Wednesday.

Urso said this after meeting with Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, to discuss ways to further expand bilateral trade and economic relations.

For the first four months of 2009, bilateral trade between Malaysia and Italy amounted to RM2.033 billion with exports totalling RM875.3 million and imports RM1.158 billion.

In terms of investments, as at end-March, a total of 96 manufacturing projects with Italian participation had been approved, involving investments of RM871.9 million.

Urso said the potential sectors the Italians were interested in were electrical and electronic (E&E), medical, biotechnology, plastic, pharmaceutical and manufacturing.

Earlier, at the bilateral meeting, both deputy ministers adopted the Terms of Reference for the Malaysia-Italy Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and signed the Joint Communique on the bilateral meeting.

The Malaysia-Italy JEC was established following the signing of the Joint Declaration on Economic Cooperation between Malaysia and Italy in 2007.

With the adoption of the Terms of Reference, both sides would work towards a mutually-agreeable date to convene the first meeting of the JEC.

The meeting also saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the establishment of the Italy-Malaysia Business Steering Committee between Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers and the Confederation of the Italian Industry.

Mukhriz said the MOU would help both parties further enhance business relationship and bilateral trade.

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and Italy for the last five years has been on upward trend.

Total trade in 2003 was RM4.8 billion and rose to RM7.69 billion in 2008.

Last year, Italy accounted for 5.8 percent of Malaysia's total trade with the EU.

Major imports from Italy were E&E products (RM1.721 billion); machinery, appliances and parts (RM1.449 billion); chemicals and chemical products (RM511.1 million); iron and steel products (RM232.4 million); and, manufacture of metal (RM192.2 million).

Major exports to Italy were E&E products (RM633.0 million); palm oil (RM483.6 million); rubber products (RM338.7 million); machinery, appliances & parts (RM299.8 million); and, crude rubber (RM158.4 million.

Italian companies are participating in the manufacturing-related services (MRS) activities. For the period 2006-2008, two Italian companies were granted MRS establishments (one regional distribution centre and one representative office).

They are also participating in Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) whereby to date three Italian companies have been given MSC-status undertaking activities realted to telecommunications, software for aviation systems and software for publishing industry.

Major Malaysian companies operating in Italy include Petroliam Nasional Bhd (product retailing and marketing) and OYL Industries Bhd.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #650
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Next national census is in 2010
Published: Tuesday June 16, 2009 MYT 1:02:00 PM

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s next national census will be held in 2010.

The findings will provide the government with important input to formulate the country’s future development plans, including the 10th Malaysia Plan and the new economic model, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

He said statistics collected from the census would be the most up-to-date and comprehensive, adding it would be useful in helping the government outline the country’s future economic path.

The national census programme, carried out once every 10 years will be conducted throughout next year.

“The census is timely because the 10th Malaysia Plan will begin in 2011 and we are currently drawing up the new economic model.

“By then, we will have all these figures and statistics which will become a major input to our plans,” he told reporters after launching the Statistics department 60th anniversary Tuesday.

Nor Mohamed said some 29,000 temporary workers, mainly fresh graduates, would be employed to help with the census and the government had approved RM212mil for the purpose.

Among questions to be asked include education, age, profession, the number of family members and those working and type of facilities provided for the house occupants.

On the new economic model, Nor Mohamed said the formulating process had already begun, including appointing Tan Sri Amirsham Aziz as the chairman of the National Economic Advisory Council.

“In the process (of formulating), many of the building blocks are clear and we are also clear about the basic framework of the model which is creating an economy based on innovation, creativity and higher value-added.

“This means we have to move towards the services sector where it should reach a level experienced by developed countries of about 70%,” he said.

Nor Mohamed Yakcop gave the assurance that the manufacturing sector would remain important but would have to move up “to the higher part of the curve”.

He, however, declined to reveal when the new model would be ready, saying it would be the Prime Minister’s call to announce it.

The new economic model, initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is aimed at boosting the nation’s economic status from middle to high income and towards a developed nation status by 2020.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 02:59 AM   #651
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Malaysia wants to be region's green energy hub
By Rupa Damodaran
Published: 2009/06/19

Malaysia is keen to become the regional centre for green energy, especially solar energy, a move which has attracted small and medium enterprises (SMEs), says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.

So far more than RM9.5 billion investments have been approved, including by major global names in the solar industry such as First Solar from the US and Q-Cells from Germany.

"These large manufacturers would need a lot of vendors to supply the inputs and components," Mustapa said at a media briefing following the launch of the two-day Asia-Invest PEACE programme in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The programme was set up by the European Union (EU) to develop and strengthen mutual trade and investment flows between Europe and Asia. It will be participated by more than 100 companies from the construction industry of Germany, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, and China, and 60 companies from Malaysia.

The EU, Malaysia's fourth largest trading partner, recorded RM136.6 billion in bilateral trade last year. For the first four months of 2009, total bilateral trade dropped to RM32.3 billion. EU investments in the manufacturing sector amounted to RM12.2 billion in 2008.

Mustapa said the two areas of focus of the PEACE project, namely SMEs and green technology, are important.

"Given the extent of SME involvement in the economies of most countries, it makes sense to engage them in the process of increasing energy efficiency in production and delivery, and of services," he added.

The Malaysian German Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Alexander Stedtfeld said the expansion plans of companies like Q-Cells into the second and third phase would need SMEs to help develop the technology.

He said growth potential of the renewable energy sector is large, as in the case of Germany where the number of people working totalled 1.3 million compared with 700,000 in automotive sector.

EU ambassador Vincent Piket said the EU climate and energy package has legally binding 20:20:20 targets for 2020, with 20 per cent greenhouse gas savings, 20 per cent share for renewable energy and 20 per cent increase in energy efficiency.

"Investment in green growth will not just take our economy out of the slump, it will take it to a new level of sustainable growth in economic, social and environment terms," Piket said.

The Asia-Invest project, which focuses on the construction industry, brought together 25 European companies, five Chinese companies in 220 business matching meetings with 60 Malaysian companies for the second part of the business matching event. The first was held in Xian, China.

The two-day business matching programme ends today.
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Old June 19th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #652
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New industrialisation vision
By Abdul Hadi Othman
Published: 2009/06/19

A VISION is a targeted future state of reality. By implication, it will be a better state of reality than the present. All achievements, big or small, can be traced, at the outset, to a vision or a dream.

As one progresses in reaching and fulfilling visions or dreams of lower or less challenging dimensions, one is thus encouraged to aspire to greater heights. Just like a high jumper, the bar is raised successively as the jumper becomes more confident, experienced and skillful.

A similar progression in vision configuration can be observed in industrial evolution. Visions change and become more challenging as the process of industrialisation gathers momentum.

When Malaysia started to industrialise more than four decades ago, the vision was configured within the context of addressing economic issues being faced then - dependence on the production and export of primary commodities, namely tin and rubber; and unemployment. The vision was utilitarian, and to change the economic landscape through labour-intensive import substitution.

The vision was realised without undue strain on resources and capabilities. And it was tenable, for a while. The limits of import substitution were quickly reached. The domestic market and purchasing power were limited. There was nowhere to expand but outwards.

The vision then shifted to export-led industrialisation. This vision was more challenging. The economic base was narrow. Domestic firms were operating on a small scale. Diversification had to be initiated by bigger foreign companies. A new industrial infrastructure had to be emplaced - industrial estates, legislation, incentives. In institution building, the role of the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida) in promoting inflows of investments became pivotal.

As the country progressed in its industrialisation drive, with heavy dependence on multinational corporations (MNCs), a national-centric dimension of industrialisation took shape. While attracting MNCs, domestic industrial capabilities needed to be developed as well.

The rationale was simple. It was a balancing act. Malaysian firms and interests should also be more directly involved in the industrialisation process and gain from the experience. While they may grow to become MNCs themselves, their industrial roots will remain in the country.

This vision required a lot more effort, costs and perseverance to make it happen. The most ambitious aspect of this vision was the national car. Starting from scratch, after more than two decades, the saga of this vision is still unfolding. Today, Proton is a reality. Proton cars are running on the roads. Nevertheless, more bending and welding are required before Proton becomes a fulfilled and enduring vision.

It can thus be observed that while the core vision of industrialisation, that of transforming Malaysia into a major producer of industrial products, remained, the nature of the transformation, and dimensions of the vision, underwent evolution with each phase of industrialisation. The dimensions are captured in the Industrial Master Plans which had been formulated to steer the course of industrialisation.

The focus of the vision for the First Industrial Master Plan (IMP1), 1986-1995, was on laying the foundation for the manufacturing sector to become the leading growth sector of the economy. This was largely realised.

At the end of the plan period, the share of the sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 15.7 per cent in 1986 to 27.1 per cent in 1995, while the share of manufactured exports to total exports increased from 43 per cent in 1986 to 77.5 per cent in 1995.

The focus of the vision for the Second Industrial Master Plan (IMP2), 1996-2005, was on the further development of the manufacturing sector, by strengthening industrial linkages, increasing value-added activities and enhancing productivity. Generally, progress was being achieved in these areas:

* In respect of industrial linkages, an increasing number of MNCs were beginning to source their requirements for parts and components from domestic suppliers and input providers. In the case of the electrical and electronics industry, a semiconductor cluster took shape in Penang.

In research and development, collaboration within the cluster involved the industry, the government and academia through the formation of the Collaborative Research and Resource Centre, based in Universiti Sains Malaysia.

* During the IMP2 period, there was a shift towards higher technology and capital-intensive activities in the manufacturing sector. In investments, high technology projects undertaken included wafer fabrication, with investments valued at RM15.9 billion, and photonics (RM452.1 million).

* Productivity in the manufacturing sector improved. In terms of labour productivity, in 2005 the sector recorded an improvement in labour cost competitiveness. There was an increase of 13.9 per cent in productivity (measured by sales value per employee), compared with the increase of labour cost per employee of 4.1 per cent.

Taking into consideration the industrialisation progress achieved during the period of the two Industrial Master Plans, the focus of the vision for the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3), 2006-2020, has been set higher still.

The vision is for Malaysia to achieve global competitiveness. Extremely challenging, no doubt, but not unreachable. This is like the high jumper who has gained experience and excelled in national and regional competitions now going for the Olympics.

The vision is to be realised through the innovation and transformation of not only the manufacturing sector, but the non-government services sector as well. It is anticipated that while the manufacturing sector will continue to grow, its contribution to the GDP, at the end of the IMP3 period, will be relatively smaller, at 28.5 per cent, compared with 31.4 per cent in 2005. A bigger potential is envisaged for the non-government services sector, which is expected to grow and contribute 59.7 per cent to the GDP by 2020.

Recently, a new dimension has been added to the vision of Malaysia becoming globally competitive. This has to do with the international trading aspect of a globally competitive industrialised nation. The potential for Malaysia to be involved in such activities in a big way needs to be explored and exploited.

Under one of the ten strategic thrusts of the IMP3, Malaysia's position as a major trading nation will be enhanced. This thrust will now be strengthened. Enhancement will need to be measurable.

The total trade rankings of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will be used as the benchmark. The vision is for Malaysia to become the top 10 global trading nation by 2020. In the past, the highest position reached was 17th.

Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
Malaysia maintains world competitive ranking
Tuesday May 5, 2009

KUCHING: Malaysia has done well to maintain its 21st position in the World Economic Forum’s la**test global competitiveness report despite an increase in participating countries, said a senior director of the Malaysia Productivity Cor**poration.

Lee Saw Hoon said Malaysia was the sixth most competitive Asian country after Singapore, Ja**pan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

The top five countries are the United States, Switzerland, Den*mark, Sweden and Singapore.

Lee said the forum noted that Malay*sia benefited from excellent functioning of its goods, labour and financial markets.

For instance, Malaysia’s financial market was ranked 16th for its sophistication backed by a sound banking sector and easy access to funds, she said.

“In the current eco***nomic climate all sectors should act collectively and with coordination to minimise and better manage the impact of the downturn,” she said when opening a seminar on “Sus*taining Malaysia’s Competitive*ness” here yesterday.

The forum’s senior economist and director Jennifer Blanke said Malaysia’s competitive strengths included its excellent health and primary education, well-developed infrastructure and sophisticated and innovative companies.
Originally Posted by nazrey View Post
The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009
8. Singapore
21. Malaysia
34. Thailand
39. Brunei Darussalam
55. Indonesia
73. Vietnam
74. Philippines
Malaysia ups competitiveness
By Rupa DamodaranPublished: 2009/05/21

Malaysia has moved up a notch to 18th place in an international competitiveness ranking of 57 countries, ahead of major economies like the UK and China.

The country had its best-ever overall score of 77.162 for the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009, a global index compiled by Switzerland's Institute for Management Development (IMD).

"The challenge this year is to maintain this position. We have done a lot to arrive at this position and it will be increasingly difficult to sustain the momentum," International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

In 2007, Malaysia started a drive to improve its ranking on major competitiveness benchmarks like the IMD's and the World Bank's Doing Business survey.

The Special Task Force to Facilitate Business, or Pemudah, was set up that year to improve the government's service delivery as Malaysia strove to attract more local and foreign investments.

The better IMD ranking, announced yesterday, was credited to improvements in the private sector.

Mustapa said there were improvements in the four main competitiveness input factors: business efficiency, government efficiency, economic and infrastructure.

In terms of business efficiency, Malaysia ranked 13th (from 14th). It maintained its 19th position for government efficiency.

It placed 9th (from 8th) and 26th (from 25th) in economic and infrastructure competitiveness.Malaysia showed improvement in real productivity, compensation levels, credit availability and venture capital.

Large corporations were also judged more efficient by international standards.

Malaysia was ranked the most competitive among 29 economies with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of less than US$20,000 (RM71,000), just ahead of China, Taiwan and Chile.

In terms of government efficiency, Malaysia was ahead of the US, Germany, the UK and France.

The IMD said that Malaysia needed to enhance efficiency and productivity through public-private sector collaboration to reduce the cost of doing business.

It also needed to raise the innovative and creative capacity of small- and medium-sized enterprises to be more resilient and market-driven.

Apart from ensuring the employability of its workforce, Malaysia should also strengthen its growth through innovation, investment and new avenues.

Infrastructure must be improved, and green technology developed for future sustainability.

Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC) director-general Datuk Nik Zainiah Nik Abdul Rahman said that Malaysia together with the IMD planned to have similar rankings for all the states.

The MPC has completed studies in Sabah, Selangor, Kedah, Johor, Terengganu and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

"We hope to complete studies on the rest of the states by end-2010," he said.
In 2008, Malaysia was at the 27th position, with total trade valued at US$356.4 billion (RM1.26 trillion), one-tenth of the total trade of the top ranked trading nation, the US (US$3,466.5 billion, or RM12.27 trillion), and two-fifths of the 10th trading nation, Canada (US$874.8 billion, or RM3.1 trillion).

It is obvious that massive efforts in a broad front are required in the pursuit of the vision. They may involve realignment, in certain aspects, even overhaul, in the ways international trade is now being handled by Malaysia.

The areas include logistics system and infrastructure, port and airport operations, and trade facilitation and related services. There is also a need to nurture a dynamic merchanting community.

Like the high jumper aiming for the Olympics, Malaysia's aim for the top 10 global trading nation requires relentless determination and dedication. Within a decade, putting efforts together, as a nation, the vision can be turned into reality.

Datuk Abdul Hadi is the adviser to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 11:00 AM   #653
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RM45b ()in biotech revenue by 2013: Report
Published: 2009/06/23

THE Malaysian biotechnology industry is expected to generate RM45 billion in revenue by 2013, according to global research house Frost & Sullivan.

"Frost & Sullivan predicts that the biotechnology industry in Malaysia will grow by revenue at an average rate of 15 per cent annually," the firm said in its "Human Capital Development Report 2009".

The highest growth will be experienced by the healthcare sector with compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent due to the trends in healthcare industry and the demand for biotechnology therapeuticals (medicines and vaccines) and diagnostics, the report said.

This will followed by agriculture with 15 per cent and industrial with 10 per cent based on the rapid growth that will experienced by agriculture sector in the next five years as well as growing demand for biofuel, processing and materials.

The report was presented today by Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific's senior consultant of healthcare practice, Dr Pawel Suwinski, and launched by Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp)'s chief executive officer Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood.

"Whether in boom or challenging times, the capacity and capability of Malaysian talent in biotechnology will determine the growth and progress of this sector," Iskandar Mizal told reporters after the launch.

The report is the joint effort of the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, BiotechCorp and Frost & Sullivan in assessing Malaysia's competitive edge in human capital development. -- Bernama
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Old June 26th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #654
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Ministry's Strategic Action Plan For Human Capital Development
June 26, 2009 16:04 PM

BANGI, June 26 (Bernama) -- The Strategic Action Plan 2010-2020 of the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry which is being drawn up now, is set to take the country's human capital development in science, technology and innovation (STI) to a high level.

Deputy Minister Fadillah Yusof said realistically, the target of the plan which was based on seven main thrusts might not be fully achieved by 2020, but would at least bring the STI attainment to a higher level.

He said the lack of specialists and the highly intelligent in the country's STI sector had been identified as the reason for its STI performance be at a moderate level.

"Because of this, we want to forge close cooperation with the higher learning institutions and see how this cooperation can produce more experts in the STI sector.

"We will study all aspects, including the scholarships which might have been too small and thus failed to attract people to further their studies in the field," he told reporters after presenting the National Science Fellowship (NSF) scholarships to the recipients at Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), here, today.

Fadillah also did not dismiss the possibility that many Malaysian STI experts preferred to work in other countries because of the high salary.

"We would like them to return but we have to look at several factors. For instance, can we offer them the same salary and perks?" he said.

Fadillah said the ministry realised this shortcoming and had no intention of making it compulsory for Malaysian STI experts now working abroad to return and serve the country.

"If their services are required, we may give them a special assignment that will require them to be in this country for one or two years," he said.

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Old June 28th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #655
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Plantation: Dependency On Foreign Workers To Be Tackled By 2020
June 28, 2009 20:27 PM

TAIPING, June 28 (Bernama) -- The plantation industry's dependency on foreign workers is expected to be tackled by 2020, Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said today.

He said this was because the government was in the midst of intensifying efforts to lure young people to fill the vacancies in the industry.

"It's not like we don't need foreign workers, but we want to reduce their number in the country from over 500,000 now to about 100,000," he told reporters after opening a plantation career talk and exhibition at the Rakan Muda complex in Kamunting, near here, today.

He said young people in the country should not think that working in the plantation sector "will not make anybody rich" because through effective strategies, assistance and expertise provided by the government and the private sector, they could achieve tremendous success in this sector.

Hamzah said the ministry was also willing to help any individual interested in venturing into the commodities sector like the cocoa, rubber and palm oil sectors.

"They can write to me directly and tell me their problems and the kind of assistance they want. If it will do them good, I will help," he said.

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Old June 29th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #656
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1 Malaysia: Diantara realiti dan fantasi
Monday June 29 2009

JUN 29 — Sebaik sahaja diangkat menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang ke-enam, Datuk Seri Najib Razak melancarkan gagasan “Satu Malaysia” atau dalam Bahasa Inggeris di panggil “1 Malaysia”.

Selain daripada itu, Najib turut melancarkan slogan "rakyat didahulukan, pencapaian diutamakan", mengingatkan kita slogan-slogan di zaman Perdana Menteri terdahulu seperti "Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah" dan "Cemerlang, Gemilang dan Terbilang".

Diantara komponen terpenting dalam gagasan 1 Malaysia yang dibawakan Perdana Menteri ialah rakyat Malaysia tidak kira Melayu, Cina, India, Iban, Kadazan, Murut, Melanau dan lain-lain bersatu sebagai bangsa Malaysia.

Najib mengakui bahawa konsep 1 Malaysia ini bukanlah satu konsep baru. Ia adalah kesinambungan daripada kepimpinan negara yang terdahulu dan bercita-cita untuk menyatupadukan rakyat Malaysia dari pelbagai latarbelakang kaum dan agama.

Dalam Wawasan 2020 yang dicadangkan semasa era pemerintahan Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, turut mensasarkan pada tahun 2020, rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang kaum dan agama akan hidup sebagai bangsa Malaysia.

Malaysia hanya tinggal 11 tahun sebelum tahun 2020. Jika dilihat keadaan semasa dan politik hari ini, bangsa Malaysia sukar diwujudkan menjelang tahun 2020 nanti.

Setelah lebih 50 tahun Malaysia merdeka, negara masih lagi membicarakan tentang rancangan untuk menyatupadukan rakyat sebagai satu bangsa walaupun itulah perkara yang harus ditekankan dan dilaksanakan diawal penubuhan Malaya dan Malaysia dahulu.

Negara jiran kita Indonesia yang merdeka 12 tahun sebelum kita telahpun menyelesaikan permasalahan yang ingin diselesaikan oleh Malaysia pada ketika ini di era Presiden pertama mereka, Sukarno.

Di Indonesia, semua rakyat yang terdiri daripada pelbagai latarbelakang etnik dan agama bersatu sebagai bangsa Indonesia. Mereka bercakap dalam satu bahasa yakni bahasa Indonesia. Mereka sudah selesai dengan isu pokok tersebut dikala jirannya Malaysia masih lagi terkial-kial mencari hala tuju untuk mewujudkan “bangsa Malaysia”.

Penulis bersekolah disebuah sekolah yang terletak ditengah-tengah bandar Kuala Lumpur. Najib dikatakan pernah bersekolah disekolah ini sebelum beliau melanjutkan pelajarannya ke luar negara.

Semenjak berada di bangku sekolah rendah lagi, kami telah diajar untuk menghormati kawan-kawan dari pelbagai kaum dan agama. Pihak sekolah akan mengadakan sambutan perayaan-perayaan seperti Hari Raya, Tahun Baru Cina dan Deepavali untuk mendidik anak-anak agar mengenali dan menghormati sesama sendiri. Saya percaya, jika di sekolah tersebut mempunyai pelajar-pelajar Iban dan Kadazan, Hari Gawai dan Tadau Kaamatan pasti akan turut disambut oleh pihak sekolah!

Pada ketika itu, tidak pernah terlintas di hati penulis untuk melihat kawan-kawan lain sebagai orang Cina atau orang India sehinggalah kami mula mendapat kad pengenalan. Ini adalah kerana dalam kad pengenalan, kami mula dibeza-bezakan mengikut agama.

Semasa dalam Tingkatan Dua, penulis berpindah ke sekolah lain yang terletak di kawasan pinggir bandar di kawasan bekas perlombongan bijih timah. Masih lagi bersekolah di sekolah kebangsaan yang terdiri daripada pelbagai bangsa dan agama.

Apabila di sekolah menengah, jurang diantara kaum sudah mula melebar sedikit demi sedikit. Tambahan lagi dalam usia-usia sebegitu “sifat memberontak” dan melawan begitu tinggi di dalam sanubari pelajar-pelajar.

“Sifat memberontak” ini amat mudah diterjemahkan untuk mencari “pasal” dengan kawan-kawan daripada bangsa-bangsa lain. Telah kelihatan polarisasi mula berlaku dimana pelajar-pelajar Melayu bercampur gaul dengan sesama mereka. Begitu juga dengan pelajar-pelajar Cina dan India.

Interaksi diantara kaum yang berbeza hanyalah dalam program-program yang formal dan hanya apabila disuruh oleh guru. Setelah selesai program atau aktiviti yang melibatkan percampuran antara pelajar pelbagai kaum, pelajar-pelajar akan mula mencari kaum masing-masing untuk berbual dan melakukan aktiviti-aktiviti.

Selepas mendapat keputusan SPM, perpisahan antara kaum mula berlaku lagi. Pelajar-pelajar Melayu yang mendapat keputusan cemerlang dapat masuk terus ke IPTA sedangkan teman-teman daripada bangsa lain terpaksa menghabiskan masa dua tahun dalam Tingkatan Enam sebelum diterima masuk ke IPTA awam.

Bagi pelajar-pelajar Cina dan India yang datang dari keluarga berada, meraka dapat terus memasuki kolej-kolej swasta atau keluar negara.

Di universiti, polarisasi diantara kaum semakin parah. Jelas kelihatan mahasiswa-mahasiswa terpecah-pecah mengikut kaum dan agama mereka. Di kolej-kolej kediaman juga, mahasiswa-mahasiswa dipisah-pisahkan mengikut kaum dan agama.

Pernah ada cadangan daripada sebuah kelompok mahasiswa agar mahasiswa dari pelbagai bangsa dan agama dicampur adukkan didalam setiap bilik di kolej-kolej kediaman.

Cadangan ini mendapat bantahan hebat daripada Majlis Perwakilan Mahasiswa Universiti dengan alasan sukar bagi mahasiswa untuk bersembahyang jika mahasiswa dari pelbagai bangsa dan agama tinggal sebilik.

Sedangkan di kolej kediaman tersebut telah mempunyai surau dan daripada apa yang saya perhatikan di kolej kediaman tersebut, hanya lebih kurang 5 peratus sahaja mahasiswa di kolej tersebut yang terdiri daripada golongan beribadat.

Jika pensyarah tidak mewajibkan sesebuah “kumpulan tugasan” agar bersifat Malaysia, kemungkinan besar, penulis sendiri juga tidak mungkin mempunyai kawan-kawan bangsa lain.

Persatuan-persatuan mahasiswa dalam universiti pada ketika itu juga didominasi oleh persatuan-persatuan yang berasaskan kaum dan agama. Agak kurang sekali persatuan-persatuan yang mempunyai ahli yang berbilang bangsa dan agama.

Ertinya, sejak mula mengenali politik, mahasiswa telah diajar dengan persatuan-persatuan yang berasaskan kaum dan agama. Tidak kelihatan usaha yang serius daripada pihak pentadbir universiti untuk mencegah perkara ini daripada terus membarah.

Lebih tenat lagi apabila persatuan-persatuan mahasiswa yang berasaskan negeri-negeri turut popular dikalangan mahasiswa. Sudahlah dipisahkan mengikut kaum dan agama, mahasiswa kini turut dipisahkan berdasarkan negeri asal mereka!

Begitulah parahnya polarisasi antara kaum yang berlaku di universiti ketika penulis dibangku universiti pada akhir 90an sehinggalah diawal-awal abad millenium.

Penulis kadangkala terfikir apakah masa depan Malaysia pada masa akan datang?

Jika mahasiswa-mahasiswa universiti yang bakal menjadi pemimpin negara pada masa akan datang hidup dengan keadaan polarisasi antara kaum yang serius, apa lagi rakyat diluar sana yang tidak berpeluang untuk mendapat pendidikan tinggi?

Menurut Yunus Ali, salah seorang aktivis mahasiswa tahun 70an, di zaman beliau menuntut di universiti, majoriti mahasiswa universiti yang berbilang kaum dan agama pada ketika itu hidup dalam keadaan harmoni.

Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya (PMUM) pada ketika itu terdiri daripada pimpinan yang pelbagai bangsa dan agama. Diantara dasar PMUM pada ketika itu adalah mewajibkan setiap mahasiswa yang tinggal dikolej-kolej kediaman agar tinggal bersama bangsa yang berbeza.

Dasar ini telah terbukti merapatkan jurang diantara mahasiswa-mahasiswa pelbagai kaum dan agama. Jika Perdana Menteri serius dengan usahanya untuk mewujudkan bangsa Malaysia, mengapa tidak dilaksanakan kembali dasar ini sekurang-kurangnya di IPTA-IPTA seluruh negara?

Selagi rakyat tidak dilatih untuk hidup bersama-sama tanpa mengira bangsa dan agama, tidak mungkin 1 Malaysia, bangsa Malaysia atau Malaysian Malaysia akan berjaya. Retorik tersebut akan terus dikitar sepanjang zaman sehinggalah bumi ini berakhir.

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Old June 30th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #657
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Malaysia Can Start Small With Nuclear Power Programme
June 29, 2009 14:53 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's nuclear power programme can start with a small nuclear power plant as a power demonstrator reactor before larger and more cost-competitive plants are built, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry said Monday.

"This was the approach taken by Japan, which started with a power demonstration reactor generating only 13 megawatts of electricity from 1963 to 1982 before building 53 larger plants with capacities of between 340 and 1,300 megawatts," said deputy minister Fadillah Yusof.

"Despite being the only country in the world that has suffered the devastating effects of nuclear radiation, nuclear energy now supplies almost 30 percent of Japan's total electricity requirements," Fadillah said.

He represented the minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili in delivering the opening keynote address at International Nuclear Conference 2009, which is being held at the Putra World Trade Centre here from today until July 1.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia was keen to emulate South Korea in developing a small-scale nuclear reactor for power generation as it was more economical.

This, he said, was because South Korea had an edge over other countries in terms of technology for small-scale nuclear reactors with 40 percent of the country's power needs coming from various types of nuclear reactors.

Najib said the small-scale nuclear reactor was considered safe and could be built next to an urban area that needed electric power.

It could generate between 200,000 and 300,000 kilowatts of energy, he said during his first official visit to South Korea as prime minister.

Fadillah said efforts to support nuclear technology applications, especially for nuclear electricity generation, required the relevant legal framework and regulatory provisions to be further developed, including the streamlining of licensing processes involving various regulatory agencies.

"Human capital development efforts should also be enhanced through the establishment of appropriate academic and training programmes at the university level as well as professional and sub-professional levels," he said.

International, regional and bilateral cooperation should also be expanded to support these development initiatives, he added.

Another critical component is the research and development infrastructure required to support the nuclear power programme, according to Fadillah.

For this, the infrastructure that has been developed by the Malaysian Nuclear Agency should be expanded and used by all relevant agencies, including academic institutions and industries, so as to avoid duplication of efforts, he said.

"Even though nuclear technology is not indigenous to Malaysia, the necessary capabilities can be developed, just as how the country once became the world's leading producer of rubber and palm oil even though these commodities were not indigenous our country," Fadillah said.

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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #658
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Originally Posted by cooltemper6 View Post
1Malaysia? I think most of the people still don't understand this concept.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:20 AM   #659
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Najib launches reforms to spur investment
Tuesday June 30 2009

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak delivers his keynote address during
Invest Malaysia 2009 in Kuala Lumpur today. Najib has cut Bumiputera equity
quotas and reduced the FIC’s role. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today unveiled new measures to boost investment in the country’s slumping economy which has been hit hard by a global economic downturn that has sapped demand for its exports.

Najib told an investment conference today that it will end a ruling requiring that the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC), a government authority, approves investments in non-strategic sectors.

He also said property deals not involving companies owned by the majority Malays, who are seen as “sons of the soil” or Bumiputera, will no longer require FIC approval.

“We have become a successful middle income economy. But we cannot and will not be caught in the middle income country trap. We need to make the shift to a high income economy or we risk losing growth momentum in our economies and vibrancy in our markets,” Najib said.

Najib also plans to raise foreign ownership in investment funds and stock brokerages as well as address the issue of increasing the liquidity in the stock market.

Malaysia, once one of Asia’s leading economic reformers, has seen its business model of low value electronics exports and commodities exports hit hard by the rise of China and investment flows have dried up as other countries have liberalised faster.

At the same time, strict government controls that reserve a certain proportion of the economy for ethnic Malays, the so-called Bumiputera policy, has hurt growth and fostered corruption, critics charge.

“There is a sense that the liberalisation measures fail to excite the markets but it all boils down to the need for the government to toe the line between attracting foreign investment inflows and keeping the pro-Bumiputeras part of the population satisfied,” said Joanna Tan, economist with Forecast Pte Ltd.

“Stocks which are already buoyed by today’s improved sentiment and possible window dressing should also find support on the news. Further pressure on the USD/RM is expected.”

The ringgit gained 0.6 percent to 3.517 per dollar after the announcement. The benchmark KL Composite index inched up 0.4 percent to 1,080.23 points

This is the third reform announcement since Najib took office in April.

Earlier, he announced measures to liberalise some sectors of the service economy as well as banks and insurers, although both of those previous announcements were measures that had already been promised already but not implemented.

Even though investors have recovered from jitters caused by the global financial crisis, foreign portfolio investment is still pulling out of Malaysia.

In 2008 there was an outflow of RM92.3 billion in portfolio investment, starting in the second quarter of the year when shock electoral losses for the National Front coalition that has ruled Malaysia for 51 years coincided with the build up of the current global financial crisis.

Those flows still haven’t returned and investment bank HSBC is forecasting there will have been another outflow of portfolio capital to the tune of RM50 billion when first-quarter current account data is published later today. — Reuters
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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:24 AM   #660
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TNB To Develop Solar Energy As Alternative Source Of Power
June 29, 2009 20:50 PM

KUANTAN, June 29 (Bernama) -- Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), through its subsidiary TNB Research Sdn Bhd, has started research on developing solar energy power that will be produced competitively cheaper so as not to burden users.

TNB president and chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh said, solar energy power is seen as an alternative source that will be more relevant for the country's need.

"Wind energy electricity production is expensive due to the equipment used and Malaysia's geographical position which is not favourable. It is not viable to depend on wind energy, as such, solar energy is considered very relevant but cost of operating solar energy is very high.

"As such, TNB, together with a number of agencies, are conducting studies to identify a technology that will enable the production of solar energy at a lower cost and one that will not burden the end users," he told reporters after launching a business journal published by Uniten, here Monday.

He added that TNB together with the government was also developing nuclear power as another alternative source of power.

Che Khalib said TNB allocates between RM700 million to RM800 million a year for the maintenance of cables, TNB stations and sub-stations throughout the country.
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