• 12 Jul 2018 5:07 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    The Malaysian government’s stand on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be finalised by the Cabinet soon.

    Minister of International Trade and Industry ( MITI) Ignatius Darell Leiking said Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad had been looking into the matter.

    “He has given his thoughts when he was in Japan. Give us some time to grasp the agreement, the Prime Minister would certainly make a decision on the matter soon,” he said, referring to Dr Mahathir’s call for a review of the CPTPP as the current agreement could prove to be a disadvantage for smaller economies.

    Darell told reporters this after receiving courtesy calls by delegates from Singapore, South Korea, Australia and the United Kingdom here today.

    Darrel said Malaysia has not opted out from the pact but the new government would need some time to ensure that it would benefit the nation.

    MITI Secretary-General, Datuk Isham Ishak said after signing the pact in March this year, there would be a ratification process which required Malaysia to undertake some changes in laws and regulations pertaining to the enforcement of the agreement in February next year.

    “Malaysia might miss the enforcement date, as we still have to make some amendments on laws and regulations during the upcoming parliamentary session, but we can still join the pact once the ratification is done,” he said.

    He added countries which opted out of the pact after signing the agreement would not be slapped with any penalty under its exit clause but need to give proper notification.

    Meanwhile, Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Andrew Goledzinowski, said Malaysia and Australia were looking forward to strengthening cooperation between the two countries within the established bilateral framework.

    Both countries also discussed regional relationships, including the CPTPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

    “We are optimistic of a positive outcome on the ratification,” he said.

    Goledzinowski said Australia was confident of the new government and was optimistic on the Malaysian government’s move to review mega projects.

    Citing the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) – which has a high rate of involvement by Australian companies – as an example, he believed that there was no fear of government scrutiny despite having to go through an audit.

    On investments, he said Malaysia had a lot to offer, including ease of doing business, a highly skilled workforce and low cost base.

    Apart from the financial sector, Goledzinowski said Australia also saw opportunities to strengthen its trade and investment relations with Malaysia in the tourism, hospitality, construction, energy and education sectors.

    Source: New Straits Times

  • 06 Jul 2018 9:46 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    KUALA LUMPUR: Australian-listed AI Group Ltd has identified a few target companies with high growth potential to invest in Asia Pacific including Malaysia.

    Chairman James Huey said the board will be reviewing the companies in the next four to six weeks before making a firm deal.

    "We will be looking at making an investment in one of more target companies this year. The sectors we are focusing on is new age business. Malaysia is one of our dominant targets because of our familiarity with the market.

    "We will also be active in the Australian market. We will be over time, identifying prospects in our regional economics that are of interest where the countries are stable or in growing situation and that will include China and Vietnam," Huey told NST Business here recently.

    AI Group, an investment holding company was listed on the National Stock Exchange of Australia (NSX) recently and it raised about A$1.8 million.

    Huey said it will use the fund for its daily operation and for investment in the targeted companies.

    "We want to buy good quality business and increase the valuation. The target will be companies that have a bright future and delivering sustainable business with a lot of upside.

    "The objective is to increase their valuation. We will not just be a passive investor like sitting back and waiting for that company to deliver good results. We will be actively helping them to grow their business and build their profits, and underneath all that increase the value of the company, which means the value of our investment," he said.

    AI Group's biggest shareholder Datuk Dr. Sherwin Chew said the group will grow the investee companies and seek for additional fund in the near future.

    "We plan to raise more capital after making a few successful investments in the next one to two years. If we can show our shareholders and the rest of the market that we can add value to companies, then we have a track record and that will make it much easier for us to raise more funds," Chew said.

    AI Group is aiming to move to the main board of the Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) in no less than two years.

    "It depends on whether we can achieve significant size. Going on to the main board of ASX requires AI Group to be larger and again have a good track record to sustain market interest in it," he said.

    Chew is also not ruling out a dual listing in another country to raise more funds, as well as to build the company's profile and market confidence.

    Source: News Straits Times

  • 27 Jun 2018 2:56 PM | Philip (Administrator)
    1. Malaysian Minister of Defence H.E Mohamad bin Sabu and Australian Minister for Defence Senator The Honourable Marise Payne, have convened the inaugural Malaysia – Australia High Level Committee on Defence Cooperation (HLC) meeting at Butterworth, Penang, on 25 June 2018.


    1. The Ministers were updated on the progress of the cooperation under the Malaysia-Australia Joint Defence Program (MAJDP) which affirmed the importance of working together to strengthen the bilateral defence relationship, and meet the challenges of the rapidly evolving regional security environment. 


    1. Both Ministers agreed that the threat of terrorism is a key regional concern for both nations, including the return of foreign terrorist fighters from overseas conflicts. They unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and expressed their condolences to the victims of terrorism across the region.


    1. They reiterated the commitment to work together, bilaterally and multilaterally, to enhance defence cooperation to counter terrorism and identify ways to strengthen counter terrorism cooperation through bilateral and multilateral means, and acknowledged the Perth Meeting as an important forum for this critical undertaking.


    1. The Ministers affirmed their commitment to the FPDA, as an integral part of the region’s security architecture. The FPDA has built trust and enhanced interoperability among the militaries of member-nations. It has continuously promoted respect for international law, and contributed to peace and security in the region. The Ministers noted that the 10th FPDA Defence Ministers’ Meeting agreed to continually strengthen counter terrorism activities and enhance the operational value of the exercises including incorporating newer capabilities for the mutual benefit of all member-nations.


    1. The inaugural HLC occurred during the 60th anniversary celebration of Australia’s presence at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Butterworth Airbase. Both Ministers acknowledged this presence as a key part of the relationship, and unique to the region. In particular, the longevity of this arrangement testifies to it serving the interests of both Australia and Malaysia. The people-to-people links created have been particularly strong, as demonstrated by the commitment given by former military personnel attending the celebrations.


    1. Both Ministers agreed that the bilateral relationship was strong, with a comprehensive range of engagement activities including secondment of  officers, training and education exchanges, joint exercises and sharing lessons learned. Ministers agreed to explore ways to further strengthen the relationship.


    1. Both Ministers were pleased with the development of initiatives which include the upgrading of facilities used by the Australia Defence Force in Butterworth, the development of urban operations training facility at Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat (PULADA), Kota Tinggi, Johor, increased defence scholarships to study in Australia from 5 to 8 positions and provision of F/A-18 spare parts for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.


    1. Noting the value of this meeting, both Ministers agreed that the HLC would, in principle become an annual event. Australia would host the next meeting.

  • 20 Jun 2018 2:35 PM | Philip (Administrator)

    THE depth of the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Australia was among the topics discussed during a meeting between Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Australian Ambassador to Malaysia Andrew Goledzinowski here today.

    Both officials also identified areas of potential collaboration between the Finance Ministry (MoF) and the Australian government in areas of mutual interest including structural reform and fiscal management.

    “We look forward to continuing our close and productive relationship with the MoF as it implements its important priorities, including through a potential senior officials’ policy dialogue,” Goledzinowski said in a statement today.

    Goledzinowski today met with Lim and alumni of Monash University in Melbourne.

    Australia first established a diplomatic presence in Kuala Lumpur in 1955.

    Both countries shared a longstanding partnership economic policy, reform and trade, including regular secondments and exchanges between agencies with responsibility for financial sector regulation, taxation, competition and anti-corruption.

    The relationship is anchored by close defence and security cooperation, as well as strong people-to-people links through education, business, migration and tourism.

    In 2015, the relationship was elevated to a strategic partnership, reflecting the enduring nature of Australia-Malaysia bilateral ties.

    Source: The Malaysian Insight

  • 06 Jun 2018 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    MALAYSIA Airlines will tonight return to Brisbane for the first time in three years in a $100 million boost to the Queensland economy.

    After the tragedies of MH17 and MH370, Malaysia Airlines suspended Brisbane services in 2015, but the carrier is back with flights to the Queensland capital four times a week in a move which could deliver an extra 60,000 visitors a year to the Sunshine State.

    Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the new flights would be a big boost to the state’s economy.

    “Welcoming this international airline back to Queensland is a major coup for our state’s tourism industry, injecting millions into the economy and supporting up to 240 jobs annually,” she said.

    “This route gives travellers the opportunity to pick Queensland as their gateway to Australia.

    “These flights will help us grow our share of key Asian and European markets by tapping into Malaysia Airlines’ extensive network.”

    Malaysia Airlines Chief Commercial Officer Arved von zur Muehlen said Australia was one of the airline’s biggest markets and Brisbane was an important destination.

    “We are excited to be returning to Brisbane to offer passengers better connectivity with our four times weekly direct flights into the city. At the same time, this is to also encourage passengers to explore Malaysia, which is famous for its rich attractions,” he said.

    Source: The Courier Mail

  • 25 May 2018 4:11 PM | Anonymous

    Malaysia has improved in terms of competitiveness, moving up two spots in IMD’s 2018 World Competitiveness Rankings to take 22nd place globally.

    In Asia Pacific, Hong Kong (2nd globally) and Singapore (3rd globally) took the top spots, followed by Mainland China (13th globally) and Taiwan (17th globally), while Australia (19th globally) rounded up the top five.

    The 10 most competitive countries in Asia Pacific were:

    #1 Hong Kong
    Global rank: 2nd

    #2 Singapore
    Global rank: 3rd

    #3 China Mainland 
    Global rank: 13th

    #4 Taiwan 
    Global rank: 17th

    #5 Australia 
    Global rank: 19th

    #6 Malaysia
    Global rank: 22nd

    #7 New Zealand
    Global rank: 23rd

    #8 Japan
    Global rank: 25th

    #9 Republic of Korea
    Global rank: 27th

    #10 Thailand
    Global rank: 30th

    The report noted the region saw mixed results. While Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea, and India (44th globally) all saw slight improvements, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia (43rd globally) dropped a few places. It observed countries from the region that experienced declines this year, with the exception of Taiwan, all showed signs of a need to improve their tangible and scientific infrastructure.

    Globally, despite a change in order, the top five most competitive economies in the world remained the same as in the previous year.

    The United States improved three positions to return to the top spot, followed by Hong Kong (dropping a spot to 2nd), and Singapore which remained 3rd.

    The top five was rounded up by the Netherlands (which moved up one place), and Switzerland (which dropped a place).

    The remaining places in the top 10 were occupied largely by Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden rank 6th, 8th and 9th respectively. While the UAE (7th) and Canada (10th) close the top of the rankings.

    Arturo Bris noted: “This year’s results reinforce a crucial trait of the competitiveness landscape. Countries undertake different paths towards competitiveness transformation.”

    He added: “Countries at the top of the rankings share an above the average performance across all competitiveness factors, but their competitiveness mix varies. One economy, for example, may build its competitiveness strategy around a particular aspect such as its tangible and intangible infrastructure; another may approach competitiveness through their governmental efficiency.”

    The rankings are compiled by the IMD World Competitiveness Center, a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland, using 258 indicators. ‘Hard’ data such as national employment and trade statistics are weighted twice as much as the ‘soft’ data from an Executive Opinion Survey that measures the business perception of issues such as corruption, environmental concerns and quality of life. This year 63 countries are ranked.

    Source: Human Resources

  • 23 May 2018 8:39 AM | Anonymous

    KUALA LUMPUR: The government will review several trade agreements such as Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to see if its viable to be part of the trade partnerships.

    Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary-general Datuk Seri J. Jayasiri said as there is no trade minister yet, the review exercise is something definite to be undertaken by the new government.

    Jayasiri said the decision will be reviewed by the new minister to ratify, citing that it requires some legislation to be amended.

    He was speaking to reporters after the launching ceremony of the SEMICON Southeast Asia 2018 here today.

    He added the trade agreements negotiations are currently still on going, and believed that the new government will be supportive of RCEP and CPTPP.

    “Although 11 countries have negotiated for the CP-TPP, while six countries need to ratify the trade agreement to enter into force,” he said.

    CPTPP's 11 members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

    RCEP is a free trade agreement between 10 Asean countries involving Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

    Further, Jayasiri said Malaysia's trade performance has been good for the last two years, better than expected.

    “This year we project Malaysia's trade to hit around 5.9 per cent growth for 2018. Based on the first-quarter result, we are going on the right track.

    “Our trade performance is also conditional on what happened to the external environment. But it seems to show positive sign and augurs well for the Malaysian export,” he said.

    Jayasiri pointed out the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector has been the main player for the Malaysian manufacturing, contributing about 36.7 per cent of the total exports.

    “We are generally optimistic that the E&E sector would contribute a large portion to our export,” he said.

    Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said the agency garnered about RM485 million approved investments in the first-quarter 2018.

    “The semiconductor investments are largely in Penang, both from local and foreign investors,” he said.

    Azman said the agency intends to use the same incentive scheme under the Promotion of Investment Act.

    “As the industry gears for higher technology, certainly we will improve the incentive to attract more high-technology project in the future,” he added.

    Jayasiri said more importantly Malaysia should have more business friendly environment and supportive ecosystem with other essential for potential investors.

    SEMICON is the region's premier gathering of the global electronics manufacturing supply chain with over 400 booths and 300 exhibitors participation throughout the three-dat event.

    The event is also expected to attract more than 8,000 visitors at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), featuring three theme pavilions, four global pavilions and technology forums to address key issues in the electronics manufacturing supply chain.

    SEMI Southeast Asia president Ng Kai Fai said the global semiconductor growth is expected to grow significantly for the next few years. Last year, the sector's revenue surpassed US$400 billion, a 21 per cent increase year-on-year.

    “We believe the sector going to grow in this momentum to 2018, probably at US$450 billion and we project to surpass US$500 billion in 2019,” he said, adding that it was a huge potential for electronic sector in Southeast Asia.

    Ng said it foresees the catalyst for the semiconductor to grow with the utilisation in Internet of Things (IoTs), artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle and cloud computing.

    Source: New Straits Times

  • 27 Apr 2018 10:01 AM | Philip (Administrator)

    Giant Malaysian developer UEM Sunrise has all but sold out a $330 million residential skyscraper in the Melbourne CBD, its first project to "top out" in the Australian market so far.

    The success at the Conservatory – it is 95 per cent pre-sold – follows on the heels of the sell-out of UEM Sunrise's much bigger Aurora tower, a 92-storey apartment tower in the centre of the city.

    However, the smaller Conservatory project, with 446 one, two and three-bed apartments, will be finished first after the physical structure was completed earlier this month.

    "It is certainly a big deal for us," managing director Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib told The Australian Financial Review. "It tells the industry that we deliver."

    Around 70 per cent of the apartments have been sold to offshore buyers. Prices ranged from $485,000 for a one-bed apartment to $875,00 for a two-bed, two-bath unit.

    On a per square metre rate, apartments in Conservatory sold at around $11,500.

    Settlement is coming up in September. It is a process UEM Sunrise is monitoring closely, in some cases helping connect investors with buyers in a secondary market.

    "We're also getting in touch with all foreign banks for the foreign buyers," Mr Anwar said.

    "In the case of Malaysia we've been talking to Maybank. Maybank is going to help us provide facilities for the respective Malaysian buyers. We're trying to basically match them together."

    Maybank has also stumped up construction finance for Conservatory, while a club of lenders – Westpac, along with Asian banks OCBC and DBS – backed Aurora.

    Not yet profitable

    The 42-storey Conservatory is at the northern end of the CBD overlooking the Carlton Gardens.

    The $770 million Aurora tower is rising opposite Melbourne Central. It has 941 apartments and a component of 252 serviced apartments, which were bought by Singapore's Ascendas Hospitality Trust for $120 million.

    A third project will be under way by the end of the year, after the Malaysian developer took over the Victoria Police complex on St Kilda Road and engaged architect Zaha Hadid to design a luxury apartment complex.

    Not all offshore players in Melbourne have enjoyed the success UEM Sunrise has to date. Singapore's Fragrance is struggling to find buyers for more than one-quarter of the apartments in the so-called Beyonce tower.

    A $154 million South Yarra project by Malaysia's Gamuda Land has sold 70 per cent of its units and is not yet profitable.

    Mr Anwar will assess further opportunities to develop on their merits but is clearly bullish on the city's prospects as a population boom gathers pace.

    "I like the buzz, the vibe the city has," he said, listing Melbourne's strengths in business culture, leisure activities, and education and healthcare.

    "That's why people are very attracted to Melbourne.

    "You can see by the number of flights coming in and how busy the airport is. It shows there is still a long way to go in terms of the potential of Melbourne."

    Source: Financial Review

  • 05 Apr 2018 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    MONASH University Malaysia kicked off its 20th year celebration with a heart-thumping, groovy party recently.

    The event began with fun-filled activities in the afternoon for its 800 academic and professional staff and their families.

    There were balloons, party hats, face-painting and henna art, as well as food served by local chefs. Satay-in-a-cup was a hit among the adults, while the children satisfied their sweets craving with fluffy cotton candy. The kids also got to watch movies on the big screen and mingle with heroes like Iron Man and Captain America.

    The 1Malaysia Drum Symphony set the mood for the evening with its amazing fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian drums.

    In welcoming guests to the celebration, Monash Malaysia president and pro vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Walker thanked everyone who had contributed to the Malaysian campus.

    “Happy birthday, Monash! It’s been a wonderful 20 years and we are going to have a wonderful next 20 years. Happy birthday to everyone who has contributed to Monash University here in Malaysia,” he said.

    Keeping up the beat was the main highlight of the night, popular homegrown singer-songwriter and rapper SonaOne got the crowd screaming and bopping along to his tunes.

    Spinning foot-tapping and dance-inducing hits was DJ Bate, who had everyone grooving late into the evening.

    Established in 1998, Monash Malaysia is the third-largest campus of Australia’s largest university and the first foreign university campus in Malaysia that operates in partnership with the Sunway Education Group.

    Source: New Straits Times

  • 30 Mar 2018 7:38 PM | Anonymous

    What do Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur have in common with London, Tokyo and Melbourne? All are smart cities, designed to enhance their citizens’ quality of life.

    London and New York integrate and connect the internet of things better than the rest. Smart cities are evolving. A citizen that lives in a smart city wins back up to 60 hours per year thanks to technological advancements.

    In Malaysia, smart cities offer significant growth potential, but challenges remain

    Malaysia’s smart cities are some way behind as they are still new. That is not a bad thing as Malaysia has avoided the pitfalls of being an early adopter. Authorities can apply advanced technology and systems that already work.

    It means there is significant potential for growth and improvement in these cities. By working with other nations, Malaysia can move forward. It is making progress towards an integrated rail system. It is working with the UK to develop a manageable and sustainable strategy.

    At the same time, there are challenges to overcome. Analysts question whether these cities will do enough to help reduce crime. They also query whether the poor will benefit. Malaysia’s energy efficiency awareness is currently weak. The country lags behind other nations in adopting green technology. It will take time to catch up.

    However, the commitment to the use of electric buses is a step in the right direction. Insufficient infrastructure and resources could also hold Malaysia back. The government must budget for the work required for smart cities to thrive.

    Smart cities in Malaysia focused on addressing congestion first

    Authorities must address rapid population growth in urban areas. Traditional techniques and management are inadequate. Malaysia needs to overcome traffic congestion and overcrowding. Other challenges include the lack of affordable housing and damage to the environment.

    Source: ASEAN Today

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