Sabah’s economy on strong footing despite tragic events – CM

Posted on : 20-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 20, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has remained economically strong despite having a year marred with tragedies, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
He said the string of kidnappings for ransom in the State’s east coast and the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and the downing of MH17 had undeniably brought Sabah and Malaysia bad publicity.
However, despite an eventful 2014, Musa said Sabah still registered favourable trade and investment figures with major sectors showing healthy growth.
“Trade figures from January to June this year show an increase in both exports (5.0 %) and imports (11.4%) compared with the same period last year, resulting in a trade surplus of RM4.9 billion,” he said in his speech at the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce (MICC) luncheon held here yesterday.
The text of his speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister cum Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.
Musa, who is also Minister of Finance, informed that 13 manufacturing projects valued at over RM1.0 billion have also been approved by MIDA between January and May, most of them in chemical and chemical products, followed by food, non-metallic, wood and plastic products.
Even in tourism, the sector expected to be affected the most, an increase of 8.7 per cent was recorded in the first five months of this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
A moderate growth was however anticipated for the second half of the year due to the events that happened in the first half.
He said the Chinese market was expected to be specially affected in the short term but things were expected bounce to normal in the medium to long term.
“City and corridor projects falling under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) are also progressing well in 2014. As at March, 30% or RM38.4 billion of all pledged investments totalling over RM128 billion have been realised, with close to 25,000 jobs created.
“Close to 60% of 337 projects planned have taken off and in various stages of implementation. These projects are starting to transform Sabah’s economy in a positive manner, and I am hopeful that the state will achieve its development aspirations and goals as set out in the SDC blueprint,”he said.
MICC Sabah Branch chairman, Brig. Gen (R) Datuk A Arulpragasam, said the issue of the Cabotage Policy cannot be left hanging forever and it was the desire of the association to see the government granting a full-liberalization of the policy.
Arulpragasam, in his welcoming remarks, reiterated that the Cabotage Policy, which contributes to the high cost of doing business in Sabah, has remained one of the key issues affecting the industries in the State.
He said giving large subsidies to shipowners to keep the shipping and logistic costs down was wishful thinking and will not solve the major part of the problem.
Alternatively, he suggested for the government to designate Sepanggar as the second transhipment hub-port after Port Klang as a long-term solution.
He said Sepanggar is ideally situated to serve the potential market of more than 70 million population in BIMP-EAGA.
MICC also appealed to the government to implement the “one country one price” policy before introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April next year.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 20, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has remained economically strong despite having a year marred with tragedies, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Sabah CM: State and federal govts working to address cabotage issue

Posted on : 20-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 20, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the state and federal governments are working closely to address the cabotage issue that is a cause for concern among various groups, including the business community.
He said as the matter was under the federal government’s jurisdiction, the state government had persuaded the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, to undertake a comprehensive study on the matter.
The state government was recently informed that an interim report, “Development of Logistics and Trade Facilitation Masterplan”, had been completed.
“It is our understanding that all relevant stakeholders will be engaged at some point in the study.
“As such, I expect that some of you will be called to give your input into it,” he added is his speech at the Malaysia International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) annual luncheon here yesterday.
The text of his speech was delivered by his deputy cum State Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.
Also present at the luncheon was the chairman of the MICCI Sabah branch, Brig Gen (R) Datuk A.Arulprasagasam who had earlier in his speech raised the cabotage issue.
He said the current cabotage policy was a key issue faced by the business community in Sabah as it had in one way or another, contributed to the high cost of doing business in the state.
He asked that the issue not be left “hanging forever” and wanted to see the federal government grant a full liberalisation of the cabotage policy, though ship owners might not be agreeable.
“It is wishful thinking that giving large subsidies to ship owners to keep the shipping and logistics costs down will solve the major part of the problem.
“Looking far ahead, the solution is for both the federal and state governments to designate Sepangar (port) as the second transhipment hub-port after Port Klang,” Arulprasagasam said.
He added that by doing so, the high cost of shipping and logistics can be tackled and at the same time, serve and tap the potential Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) market with its existing population of more than 70 million.
In Arulprasagasam’s opinion, Sepangar was ideally located to tap the vast economic potential in the BIMP-EAGA region, and if Malaysia waited any longer, the country would lose out to its neighbours.
On a request by MICCI Sabah to the government for the deferment of the first revision to a higher quantum of the minimum wage of RM800 next year, Musa hoped that the business sector would appreciate its necessity.
He said he believed that the answer to poor work quality and productivity among workers lay more on skills and productivity enhancement than wage suppression.
He said in Malaysia there are a number of incentives available to firms undertaking human resource training and development, productivity improvements and research and development, with the incentives normally taking the form of tax deductible expenditure or investment tax allowances.
“These incentives are designed specifically to address the problem of poor work quality and productivity.
I urge all businesses in Sabah to make good use of it,” he added.
At the same event, Raymond also witnessed 12 companies, including Petronas, presenting their respective sponsorship for the 8th Sabah International Expo 2014 or SIE2014.
The organising committee is chaired by Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau, the president of the Federation of the Sabah Industries (FSI).- Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 20, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the state and federal governments are working closely to address the cabotage issue that is a cause for concern among various groups, including the business community.
He said as the matter was under the federal government’s jurisdiction, the state government had persuaded the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department, to undertake a comprehensive study on the matter.
The state government was recently informed that an interim report, “Development of Logistics and Trade Facilitation Masterplan”, had been completed.
“It is our understanding that all relevant stakeholders will be engaged at some point in the study.
“As such, I expect that some of you will be called to give your input into it,” he added is his speech at the Malaysia International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) annual luncheon here yesterday.
The text of his speech was delivered by his deputy cum State Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.
Also present at the luncheon was the chairman of the MICCI Sabah branch, Brig Gen (R) Datuk A.Arulprasagasam who had earlier in his speech raised the cabotage issue.
He said the current cabotage policy was a key issue faced by the business community in Sabah as it had in one way or another, contributed to the high cost of doing business in the state.
He asked that the issue not be left “hanging forever” and wanted to see the federal government grant a full liberalisation of the cabotage policy, though ship owners might not be agreeable.
“It is wishful thinking that giving large subsidies to ship owners to keep the shipping and logistics costs down will solve the major part of the problem.
“Looking far ahead, the solution is for both the federal and state governments to designate Sepangar (port) as the second transhipment hub-port after Port Klang,” Arulprasagasam said.
He added that by doing so, the high cost of shipping and logistics can be tackled and at the same time, serve and tap the potential Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) market with its existing population of more than 70 million.
In Arulprasagasam’s opinion, Sepangar was ideally located to tap the vast economic potential in the BIMP-EAGA region, and if Malaysia waited any longer, the country would lose out to its neighbours.
On a request by MICCI Sabah to the government for the deferment of the first revision to a higher quantum of the minimum wage of RM800 next year, Musa hoped that the business sector would appreciate its necessity.
He said he believed that the answer to poor work quality and productivity among workers lay more on skills and productivity enhancement than wage suppression.
He said in Malaysia there are a number of incentives available to firms undertaking human resource training and development, productivity improvements and research and development, with the incentives normally taking the form of tax deductible expenditure or investment tax allowances.
“These incentives are designed specifically to address the problem of poor work quality and productivity.
I urge all businesses in Sabah to make good use of it,” he added.
At the same event, Raymond also witnessed 12 companies, including Petronas, presenting their respective sponsorship for the 8th Sabah International Expo 2014 or SIE2014.
The organising committee is chaired by Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau, the president of the Federation of the Sabah Industries (FSI).- Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)

PM: Commitment to promote spirit of patriotism must go on

Posted on : 19-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 19, 2014
PUTRAJAYA: Despite the tragedies involving  the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 and the shooting down of  another MAS flight MH17, the commitment to translate and promote the spirit of patriotism and defend the sovereignty of Malaysia must go on.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this commitment had contributed to the greatness of the nation which was always united in facing whatever challenges and obstacles that cropped up whether in sadness or happiness.
“The event that we are launching today has great meaning and significance because besides marking the start of the ‘Merdeka Month’ celebration which is most meaningful, it also demonstrates that as citizens we are proud to raise the national flag, Jalur Gemilang.
“The act of raising and flying the Jalur Gemilang becomes even more meaningful because the spirit of patriotism cannot be kept deep within our soul but must be exposed to show the strong sentiments of the Malaysian people,” he said at the launching of the Merdeka Month celebration and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign, here yesterday.
Also present at the launching were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and other cabinet ministers.
Najib said the spirit of flying the Jalur Gemilang must be nurtured as the flag was a symbol of the country’s pride and soul besides demonstrating the national identity that united the people.
He added that the Jalur Gemilang also represented the sovereignty and independence of the nation besides a symbol of respect and pride of the people.
“Jalur Gemilang is also a sign of the people’s solidarity and unity and their eagerness to fly the flag that is the pride of the nation.
“The Jalur Gemilang is not merely a piece of cloth but carries a most meaningful and deep aspiration,” he said.
At the event, the prime minister also flagged off the ‘Jalur Gemilang Merdeka Tour Convoy’ which will travel throughout the country to encourage the people to raise the flag and promote the spirit of patriotism among Malaysians.
A giant board was also put up opposite the Putrajaya Corporation building for the people to sign their name to record their condolences to the next-of-kin of victims of the MH17 and MH370 incidents.
Najib said that flying the Jalur Gemilang showed the appreciation of the people for the struggles of the nationalists who had placed the foundation for the successful development of an independent and sovereign nation.
He said that the act of flying the Jalur Gemilang must be embraced by all strata of society with a deep sense of patriotism and determination to uphold peace and harmony for a bright future.
“When deep in our heart is imbued this spirit of patriotism, then we will do whatever is necessary for the good of the people, religion and country.
“The flying of the Jalur Gemilang also instils the feeling of love for the nation and the celebration of the country’s independence also signifies that the nation has achieved success and not a country that has failed, as well as having undergone the process of transformation, poverty eradication and infrastructural development,” he said.
He said that the theme for this year, ‘Malaysia: Here Lies a Love’ was most appropriate because this feeling could become the basis in achieving the status of a developed nation in future.
The prime minister concluded his speech by calling on the people to raise the Malaysian flag whether at home, on office buildings or their vehicles to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the country’s independence.  — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 19, 2014
PUTRAJAYA: Despite the tragedies involving  the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 and the shooting down of  another MAS flight MH17, the commitment to translate and promote the spirit of patriotism and defend the sovereignty of Malaysia must go on.

Local engineers urged to continue pushing for role in state O&G sector

Posted on : 18-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

18th August, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The outgoing chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) Sabah Branch, Fung Yin Khun has urged the association’s new leadership to continue efforts in ensuring local engineers have a major part in the state’s oil and gas sector.
He said the association had requested the government to give special consideration to local Sabah-based engineering firms to enable them to have involvement in the oil and gas sector for the past two years.
“If there is any participation by local consulting Engineering firms, it is kept to the minimum, and we are still nowhere near penetrating into the oil and gas sector in the shores of Sabah as this is still a very closely guarded Petronas fortress,” he said at the ACEM Sabah Branch 21st celebration, biennial dinner 2014 here, on Saturday night.
Fung was succeeded by the ACEM Sabah Branch 2014/2015 incoming chairman, Paul Yap Kok Wai.
Meanwhile, Minister of Industrial Development, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, who attended the event responded by saying that ACEM Sabah should instead focus on the spillover from the oil and gas sector in the state instead of getting involved directly in the industry.
According to him, the state government is serious about developing the sector but engineers should not overlook the lucrative opportunities created from the spillover such as infrastructure development in Sipitang and Kimanis where the oil and gas operations are located.
“The government is not sitting still but it is continuing to drive the economy which will benefit everyone in the state,” he said.
(Source: New sabah Times)
18th August, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The outgoing chairman of the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) Sabah Branch, Fung Yin Khun has urged the association’s new leadership to continue efforts in ensuring local engineers have a major part in the state’s oil and gas sector.

Engineers told to grab business opportunities

Posted on : 18-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 18, 2014
Datuk Raymond Tan (seated centre) and Ir. Paul Yap Kok Wai (left to Raymond) with the new executive committee of ACEM.
KOTA KINABALU: Engineers in Sabah should not be waiting for jobs in the oil and gas sector from Petronas, but act as entrepreneurs and grab opportunities available, said Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.
He said that to wait for Petronas to provide jobs for local engineers is a long wait, however, the oil and gas activities in Sabah have generated many opportunites for the local engineers to grab.
“I am telling the engineers that they are good businessmen, and they should grab the opportunities created from the development resulting from the oil and gas industry in the State to make money and grow,” he said at a press conference during the Association of Consulting Engineers Malaysia (ACEM) Sabah Branch 2014 biennial dinner.
“I take the opportunity to address the engineers because I think that they are very good businessmen. If we look at the national agenda, what the State Government is trying to do, other than to get involved with the oil and gas activities, is for the locals to seize the opportunities from the ‘spill over’ (opportunities) that are created from the oil and gas industry here,” he explained.
Tan then gave examples that engineers could be or have been making money out of the development in Sipitang where the Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park is being developed.
“A lot of infrastructure and buildings as well as water plant and electricity will need to be developed, and all these jobs are opportunities for the engineers,” he added.
Tan was responding to the statement from the outgoing ACEM Sabah Branch chairman, Ir. Fung Yin Khun, who said in his speech that the door of oil and gas sector has remain closed and is still out of bounds to Sabahan consulting engineers even after two years of requesting for consideration for local Sabah-based engineering firms to be involved in the sector.
“If there is any participation by local consulting engineering firms, it is kept to the minimum. We are still nowhere near penetrating into the oil and gas sector in the shores of Sabah as this is still a very closely guarded Petronas’ fortress,” Fung lamented.
“I pray that the future chairman will persist and continue to make presentations through the relevent channels until the local engineers have a major part in the oil and gas sector which rightly belong to us,” he said in his opening speech.
Meanwhile, Tan explained further to the engineers that the State Government is serious in driving economic growth and generating opportunities for Sabahans.
“We are not just waiting for the cash payment or royalty, we are more interested in the business. Do not wait for the door to be opened, as the government has created the opportunities for you to grab. Engineers, as good entrepreneurs, should look for opportunities,” he added.
Also in his opening speech, Tan urged engineering firms to increase the salary of fresh graduate engineers.
“Young graduates need to be paid more. I understand that they are paid quite less and I hope that they will be paid more,” he said while pointing out that the increase of wages of young graduates will prevent loss of human capital as they may seek opportunities outside Malaysia to get better pay.
During the dinner, Ir. Paul Yap Kok Wai was appointed as the new ACEM Sabah branch chairman and a new executive committee was formed.
(Source: New sabah Times)
August 18, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Engineers in Sabah should not be waiting for jobs in the oil and gas sector from Petronas, but act as entrepreneurs and grab opportunities available, said Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

Merdeka Month a platform to show gratitude – CM

Posted on : 15-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 15, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The ‘Merdeka’ month celebration is a platform that allows citizens to show their gratitude to the country and for the opportunity to enjoy the meaning of true independence, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
Launching the Sutera Harbour Resort 2014 National Day celebration at the Sutera Harbour Marina and Country Club near here yesterday, he said the National Day theme, ‘Malaysia, here begins love’ invites us to strengthen the spirit of patriotism and love for the country.
Musa who was represented by Deputy Chief Minister cum Industrial Development Minister, Datuk Raymond Tan stressed the importance of continually sowing the seeds of patriotism, unity, togetherness and cooperation among all Malaysians while driving the development of the country.
He commended the effort made by the management of the Sutera Harbour Resort to celebrate the National Day month and said that the corporate and private sector, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism industry had an important role to uphold the country’s image to the outside world.
“The citizens of the organisation must demonstrate a strong patriotism spirit, are courteous and polite to look after the good image of the country and contribute to the rapid development in the tourism industry as well as the country’s economy,” he said.
During the event yesterday, there was also a march past by members from the Kota KInabalu City Hall, Police Volunteer Reserve Corporation, RELA and the 507 Territorial Army Regiment of Kota Kinabalu.
Carrying the flags into the covered tennis court was the security team of Sutera Harbour Resort accompanied by the Police Band from the Sabah Police Headquarters.
The spirit of Merdeka was caputured in the singing of the ”Negaraku” and the ”Sabah Tanah Airku” during the raising of the Jalur GEmilang and Sabah flag.
This was followed with the declaration of the Merdeka led by Tan.
After that, Tan performed the flag topping ceremony together with Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, City Hall director general Datuk Yeoh Boon Hai and the resort’s chief executive officer Gilbert Ee.
About 600 members of the resort gathered to witness the launch. This was the 13th time the resort organised such an event in conjunction with the Malaysia Independence Day.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 15, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: The ‘Merdeka’ month celebration is a platform that allows citizens to show their gratitude to the country and for the opportunity to enjoy the meaning of true independence, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.

Malaysia’s economy expands 6.4% in second quarter

Posted on : 15-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 15, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy expanded at a faster pace of 6.4% in the second quarter April to June 2014, underpinned by strong growth in the services and manufacturing sectors – exceeding forecasts of 5.8%.
Bank Negara Malaysia said on Friday the economic growth was underpinned by higher exports and continued strength in private domestic demand.
“On the supply side, growth in the major economic sectors remained firm, supported by trade and domestic activity. On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.8% (1Q 2014: 0.8%),” it said.
For the first half of 2014, Malaysia’s GDP strengthened to 6.3% from 4.4% a year ago.
GDP in current prices amounted to RM262.8bil in Q2 2014, an increase of RM25.3bil versus Q2, 2013.  In constant 2005 prices, GDP registered a value of RM205.6bil.
Economists polled by Reuters expected GDP to rise 5.8% from a year earlier, down from 6.2% in the first quarter. The forecasts ranged from 5.0% to 6.3%.
BNM said exports and private sector activity remained the key drivers of growth in Q2 2014.
Private investment expanded 12.1% (Q1, 2014: 14.1%), reflecting investments in the services and manufacturing sectors.
Private consumption increased 6.5% (Q1, 2014: 7.1%), supported by stable employment conditions and continued wage growth.
However, public sector expenditure declined 2.1% (Q1, 2014: 2.7%). Public consumption declined marginally by 1.3% (Q1, 2014: 11.2%), reflecting lower Government spending on emoluments, and supplies and services.
Public investment declined by of 3.3% (Q1, 2014: -6.4%), due to lower spending on fixed assets by both the Federal Government and public enterprises.
BNM said on the supply side, growth in the major economic sectors remained strong.
The services sector recorded sustained growth of 6%, faster than the 5% a year ago, supported mainly by the trade-related sub-sectors. However, it was slower from the 6.6% growth in Q1, 2014.
The manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace of 7.3% from the 3.8% a year ago (Q1 2014: 6.8%) underpinned by the electronics and electrical cluster, particularly semiconductors.
The construction sector expanded at a more moderate pace of 9.9% from 10% a year ago (Q1 2014: 18.9%), driven mainly by the residential and non-residential sub-sectors.
Meanwhile, the agriculture sector registered strong growth of 7.1% from 0.3% a year ago (Q1, 2014: 2.3%), reflecting higher production of palm oil.
The mining sector recorded growth of 2.1% from 4.4% a year ago (Q1, 2014: contraction of 0.8%), due mainly to higher production of both natural gas and crude oil.
BNM said growth of exports is expected to moderate slightly in the second half of the year, partly reflecting the significant base effect in the corresponding period in 2013.
“Nevertheless, leading indicators suggest that private sector activity will remain as the key driver of growth. Exports will continue to benefit from the recovery in the advanced economies and from regional demand.
“Going forward, the Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path,” it said.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 15, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy expanded at a faster pace of 6.4% in the second quarter April to June 2014, underpinned by strong growth in the services and manufacturing sectors – exceeding forecasts of 5.8%.

Malaysia booms as Najib beats growth goal with investment

Posted on : 14-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 14, 2014
TAN Sri Chua Ma Yu, a Malaysian billionaire who made his fortune in the stock market, had big ambitions in 2008, when his CMY Capital Sdn Bhd agreed with partners to build the 48-story St Regis Kuala Lumpur.
The country’s first six-star hotel would feature 208 rooms and 160 apartments with housekeepers, butler service and a chef-in-residence. Two years later, the tycoon was still struggling with paperwork to start construction, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its September issue.
Chua met with Datuk Seri Idris Jala, the man in charge of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s plan to lift Malaysia into the ranks of Asia’s wealthiest nations. Jala says he saw the St Regis as a way to spark spending in tourism, one of 12 areas Najib, 61, was targeting for growth with tax incentives and expedited reviews. Jala helped streamline the paperwork, and Chua, 61, got approvals two weeks later. The government went on to create a one-stop center to handle development applications.
“Investment is a precursor to economic growth,” said Jala, who heads the government’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit, or Pemandu, which oversees Najib’s economic transformation program. “If there is no investment, there are no new jobs and no growth.”
While Najib’s government has already attained some goals since launching the economic program in 2010, others are more far-reaching.
In the first quarter of 2014, gross domestic product increased 6.2 per cent, surpassing the average of six per cent annual growth Najib wants to register through 2020. Per capita gross national income rose to US$10,060 last year, crossing the US$10,000 threshold for the first time.
That’s still a long way from US$12,746, the latest World Bank definition of high income, and the US$15,000 the prime minister wants to achieve by 2020.
Najib’s plan involves diversifying Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy beyond oil and gas. He wants to foster skilled workers with improved education and increase investment to US$444 billion in the 12 areas his economic plan focuses on to add 3.3 million jobs by his self-imposed 2020 deadline. So far, RM219.3 billion (US$69 billion) has poured in, 84 percent from private companies.
The country is heading in the right direction, says Frederico Gil Sander, World Bank senior country economist for Malaysia.
The nation moved to No 6 in the organization’s “Doing Business 2014” report on business-friendly nations, up from No 12 in 2013 and No 25 in 2007. The index, measuring 189 countries, covers everything from starting a company to dealing with permits.
“With the new economic model, there is now a road map for needed reform,” Gil Sander says.
Malaysia’s improving outlook is helping investors overcome perceptions that the country can be a difficult place to find talent, says Zainal Amanshah, CEO of InvestKL, a government agency created to lure global companies.
InvestKL has induced 38 multinational firms to set up regional headquarters around Kuala Lumpur – more than a third of his goal of 100 by 2020. International Business Machines Corp, the world’s biggest computer services company, announced a plan to invest RM1 billion in 2011 in a technology center outside the capital. IBM debated whether it would find the right workers and transportation.
“The shortcomings are no longer in play,” says Paul Moung, managing director of IBM Malaysia, who is satisfied with the decision.
Najib wants to lessen Malaysia’s dependence on oil and gas — even as state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd is expanding amid a five-year, 300 billion ringgit capital-spending effort. Petronas, as the company is known, has awarded contracts to Petrofac Ltd and others to develop marginal fields.
CMY Capital’s Chua says he’s seen progress, too. Since he got his approvals, Chua’s St Regis is adding its silvery profile to Kuala Lumpur’s skyline and will open in November 2015.
“A lot of bottlenecks have been removed,” Chua says. “People find it easier to invest.” — Bloomberg
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 14, 2014
TAN Sri Chua Ma Yu, a Malaysian billionaire who made his fortune in the stock market, had big ambitions in 2008, when his CMY Capital Sdn Bhd agreed with partners to build the 48-story St Regis Kuala Lumpur.

India Visa Service Centre to open in KK

Posted on : 07-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

7th August, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: India is to start a Visa Service Centre (VSC) here by end of this month to cater for the people in this part of the region to apply for visas to visit India.
High Commissioner of India to Malaysia TS Tirumurti said as India has introduced the bio-metric system, it is compulsory for everyone to follow the system.
On April 1, the Indian government introduced the biometric visa for all Malaysians planning to visit the subcontinent.
Under the new system, visa applicants will be identified using fingerprints, iris scan and photograph.
“What we are trying to do is to decrease the inconvenience for Malaysians, including people from Sabah and the office here will have the bio-metric facilities. The visa applications can be submitted directly here and it will be processed in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
He said the High Commission has opened similar centres in Penang, Johore, Ipoh and Malacca apart from the office in the High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.
Tirumurti was speaking to the official media after paying a courtesy call on the Head of State Tun Haji Juhar Mahiruddin at the Istana Negeri here yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, he added that an Indian Naval Ship INS Ranvijay arrived in Sabah yesterday.
“This is a goodwill visit and as Sabah is an extremely important naval base for Malaysia, the presence of the Indian ship here is a sign of solidarity with Sabah and Malaysia,” he added.
Tirumurti said besides the significant investment in the paper & pulp sector with Sabah Forest Industry (or SFI), many Indian companies are also looking actively to invest in oil & gas industries in Sabah.
“We have a new government in New Delhi now and the priorities of the government are not only to attract countries like Malaysia but also to see how we can engage with Malaysia and Sabah,” he said.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
7th August, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: India is to start a Visa Service Centre (VSC) here by end of this month to cater for the people in this part of the region to apply for visas to visit India.
High Commissioner of India to Malaysia TS Tirumurti said as India has introduced the bio-metric system, it is compulsory for everyone to follow the system.

Borneo has much to teach the world

Posted on : 06-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 06, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is very important because of its geographical location, the flora and fauna and its diverse and dynamic communities.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said because of its diversity, Borneo is an example for the world.
“For many of us here, it is home, either by birthright or by choice. I firmly believe that Borneo societies have much to teach the world about gender equality, the rights of children and above all, respect and peace among peoples,” he said.
Musa said this during the opening of the 12th Borneo Research Conference held at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), here, Tuesday. His speech was read by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
Musa said in Borneo, the people respect each other’s differences and one family often has members of different faiths mainly through marriage.
“Women are highly respected in traditional Borneo societies, and in Sabah, gifted women were often priestesses in traditional religions. Children regardless of gender are greatly loved and valued above all in all traditional Borneo societies,” he said.
Other than that, Musa also pointed out that the forests on the island are home to many species of plants and animals while the seas surrounding it are rich in marine species, some of which are endemic to this part of the world.
“Researches conducted in Borneo have revealed so much, including in terms of genetic research. For example, we now know that people who carry genes that cause thalassaemia are resistant to malaria,” he said.
He expressed hope that the conference will result in better understanding of Borneo and the problems and issues it faces in today’s world.
More than 100 scholars and researchers will be participating in the three-day conference.
It is the fourth time that such biennial conference is being held in Sabah.
The conference provides opportunities for researchers, students, government servants, village leaders and the general public to update their knowledge and exchange experiences to enhance understanding of issues related to Borneo.
Earlier, Musa called for a minute of silence to remember the victims of the MH17 tragedy which also claimed the life of UMS lecturer, Ng Shi Ing, who was travelling with her baby and her sister.
“This tragedy has shocked us all beyond comprehension, and we strongly condemn the act of shooting down a civilian commercial plane and demand that the culprits be punished,” he said.
Also present during the event were Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Nyuk Ming and UMS Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr Shahril Yusof.
Meanwhile, Sabahans are advised not to fall into the trap of those who are bent on creating tension and hatred among the people by playing up racial and religious sentiments.
Masidi said those who posted provocative statements on social media and forums should not be entertained and Sabahans should be wise to avoid taking part in such discussions.
“We are Sabahans, we are different. We love our State. We are different from others because the relationship between race and religion here is tight.
“Do not make ourselves spokespersons to those who just want to plant the seed of hatred and disunity towards one another.
“Let’s remain Sabahans while aspiring to be better Malaysians,” he said during the press conference after officiating the Borneo Research Conference.
Masidi added that it is normal for a Sabahan to have relatives from both sides of the racial and religious divide and hating one group of people for their beliefs means hating their own relatives.
Branding the provocateurs ‘lunatics’, Masidi called for more wisdom from Sabahans to take all those highly inflamed racial and religious slurs with a pinch of salt.
“I myself personally have also been ‘tagged’ with a lot of provocative statements which I refused to get involved in. Why must I help make a lunatic famous by responding to his provocative statement?
“And why must I involve myself in a discussion which leads us nowhere except hatred?” he asked.
Some people, he said, asked him how to respond to the provocations, to which he told them to just let it go.
“These people thirst for attention. There are people like this, you know.
They did this because they are lonely. And when people replied to their provocation, they’ll think they are great because they got 2,000 ‘likes’ but did not see the 10,000 ‘dislikes’ for their posts!” he said.
Engaging the lunatics is akin to lowering oneself to the lunatics’ level and Masidi advised Sabahans not to participate in the game played by what he branded as mentally ill people.
The people, he added, should have the wisdom to differentiate between legitimate postings that communicate truth and those that were simply put there to create tension and hatred among the people.
“There are also a few organisations that have been spewing provocative statements, from both sides.
But I think Sabah must remain Sabahan because we are different,” he said.
Meanwhile, Masidi also called for better cooperation between leaders regardless of their political affiliations since whatever leaders said or do, will determine the future of the country.
“I’m sure we will not allow ourselves to be used as spokespersons for hatred in our country.
Politics is just once in five years. We only haggle about politics when election comes.
“There is so much work to do in Sabah. I think we should spend more time making Sabah great rather than making ourselves great,” he said.
(Source: Daily Express)
August 06, 2014
Kota Kinabalu: Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is very important because of its geographical location, the flora and fauna and its diverse and dynamic communities.

Sabah in the midst of turning biomass to wealth

Posted on : 05-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 5, 2014

Biomass resources include plant and animal material such as wood from forests, material left over from agriculture and forestry processes, and organic industrial, human and animal wastes. In Sabah, biomass is synonymous to wastes from the oil palm industry. The state is producing an estimate of over 20 million tons of biomass per year and much of it remains to be fully utilized.

Cutting down time wastage crucial for SMEs growth

Posted on : 03-08-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 3,2014
BY definition SMEs, are business that have a minimum trade turnover of 10 million a year and are registered following prevailing regulations to obtain licenses and permits.
Many operators especially at district level would not be able to fit into the definition at all. Business operating from homes in the villages like preparing food products and handicrafts are many.
The State Government encourages these operators by providing appropriate market places and those able to produce bigger volumes are able to sell Expositions or become suppliers. Only when they have grown to considerable size, they will need assistance to expand and especially access to finance.
At the same time, they see the need to subscribe to rules and regulations that could properly record the activities of their business.
There is no lack of creativity, looking at the range of products they have on display. Efforts should be made to identify which ones can be taken to “grow big”. Many Stage agencies are already tasked to provide the assistance and at the same time the agencies themselves are successful SMEs. There are opportunities for the private sector to be involved in many ways.
They can help to improve products quality and do better packaging for export markets. There is urgency for us to encourage business set-ups especially since people here are not lacking in entrepreneurial skills.
SMEs contribution to GDP has been increasing, albeit gradually.
There is a target for SMEs in the nation to contribute 41pc to GDP by 2020. SMEs have been growing at a rate of 6.2pc a year but need a new growth path of 9.3pc a year to achieve our target. For this reason, Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak announced some “high impact programmes” starting 2015. Sabah and Sarawak are identified as strategies areas of growth.
Breakout strategies for microenterprises in Sabah would be of significant importance.
Sound business regulations are important for a thriving private sector and a thriving private sector is important for overall development. In the developing world, the private sector is the largest employer, providing an estimated 90pc of jobs. Having the right business regulations and related institutions is, therefore, essential for the health of the economy. The Government has a fundamental role in private sector development. A key premise is economic activity requires good rules. The objective is to have regulations designed to be efficient, accessible to all who use them and simple in their implementation.
Where regulation is burdensome and competition limited, success tends to depend on whom one knows.
But where regulation is transparent, efficient and implemented in a simple way, it becomes easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to complete on equal footing and to innovate and expand.
Enabling growth – and ensuring that all people, regardless of income level, can participate in its benefits – requires an environment where new entrants with drive and good ideas can get started in business and where good firms can invest and grow, thereby creating more jobs.
Starting a business in Malaysia has improved significantly over the years.
Table 2. Malaysia rank #6 overall and #16 Starting a business over 189 economies in the World, World Bank Doing Business Report 2014.
The number of steps needed to start business and the time take approve and issue the licence or permit will reflect on the efficiency of the State delivery system. If the procedures are set by law, the submission of the applications are to record the details. Many could be done online where the system can ensure accurate information is provided. World Bank Report shows as follow.
(Source: Daily express)
August 3,2014
BY definition SMEs, are business that have a minimum trade turnover of 10 million a year and are registered following prevailing regulations to obtain licenses and permits.

Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2014 message

Posted on : 30-07-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

30th July, 2014
Assalamualaikumwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh,
1. All praises to Allah SubhanahuWataala because with His grace, today we welcome Hari Raya Aidilfitri. On behalf of my wife Faridah Haji Tussin and our family, I extend Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings to Muslims in Sabah, and in the rest of Malaysia. In this blessed and peaceful nation, we are able to welcome and celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri without worrying about our safety, and that of our relatives and friends. In our prayers, let us remember those who are unable to freely celebrate the arrival of 1 Syawal due to war or oppression, and who observed the fast with great challenges. Let us also say a prayer for those who are working tirelessly in areas of strife to bring food packages, medical relief and other needs.
2. Muslims worldwide have spent Ramadan fasting, fulfilling one of the five pillars of Islam. During the holy month, we were given the opportunity to increase our good deeds and to enhance our piety, with many choosing to say their prayers in congregation. Ramadan is a time to reflect on the virtues of patience and abstinence, and to think of the blessings that have been given to us. For Muslims, the dawn of Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a special time to seek forgiveness from family and to strengthen ties not only among Muslims, but also with Malaysians from all walks of life through the practice of exchanging greetings at open houses.
3. In Sabah, we are determined to strive for excellence. The fact that we are a melting pot of diverse cultures, backgrounds and faiths has led us to emerge as a state that is able to effectively contribute to Malaysia’s growth. We must strengthen unity, work with one another, and respect each other even when we differ in opinion over certain matters. Let us find common platforms to seek solutions whenever there is a need to discuss difficult issues.
4. Sabah as a state, and Malaysia as a nation, have each gone through decades of change. Those who came and led before us made many sacrifices, and it was their wish to see Malaysia stay strong and stay united. It is troubling that there are certain quarters that are bent on destroying what has been built over the years. In a multi-racial society, we must respect and support one another, and we cannot allow any group or individual to undermine the deep bonds that we have. Unity and harmony must not be sacrificed to meet the agendas of a few.
5. Sabah is seeing continued growth through the effective implementation of programmes that also benefit the people by increasing income levels, including in rural areas. The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) remain on track, with the focus on some key areas such as oil and gas, and the downstream processing of palm oil starting to show results. The focus on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing as stated in our Halatuju or State Development Agenda are serving as the backbone of Federal Government-led programmes, and are proof that we made the right decision when these target sectors were identified over a decade ago. In tandem with economic growth, we are focusing efforts on improving infrastructure, reducing poverty, and in ensuring that every qualified school leaver has access to higher education through the introduction of training centres and relevant places of learning statewide. Skilled and knowledgeable workers will assist Sabah in becoming a state that is competitive within Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region.
6. The issue of security is one that has been widely debated, more so in the past year. The government understands concerns and frustrations raised by the people, as security is something that cannot be compromised in order for the state to function effectively. Let me assure you that we are working hard to find solutions and to come up with strategies to improve security in Sabah, especially on the east coast. I wish to seek the cooperation of Malaysians in Sabah to not harbour those who have bad intentions, and to immediately inform security forces if there are individuals or groups that behave in a suspicious manner. Security is a serious matter, and it should not be used by certain groups to gain political mileage either. At a time like this, we must band together and offer solutions, instead of hurling criticisms. I also wish to thank the Armed Forces, Police and other security related agencies including the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) for your challenging work in keeping Sabah as safe as possible. I am aware that many of you are working during this festive season, and I hope you will soon have a chance to meet your families, and enjoy a belated celebration.
7. While we rejoice during this celebration, we must also remember the less fortunate. I am pleased that various groups and individuals continue to bring cheer to those who are disadvantaged. Through Berbuka Puasa events, and presentation of Duit Raya or gifts in the form of hampers and clothing, you have kept the spirit of giving, alive.
Once again, on behalf of my wife and family, I wish the people in Sabah “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf Zahir dan Batin.”
Thank you.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
30th July, 2014
Assalamualaikumwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh,
1. All praises to Allah SubhanahuWataala because with His grace, today we welcome Hari Raya Aidilfitri. On behalf of my wife Faridah Haji Tussin and our family, I extend Hari Raya Aidilfitri greetings to Muslims in Sabah, and in the rest of Malaysia. In this blessed and peaceful nation, we are able to welcome and celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri without worrying about our safety, and that of our relatives and friends. In our prayers, let us remember those who are unable to freely celebrate the arrival of 1 Syawal due to war or oppression, and who observed the fast with great challenges. Let us also say a prayer for those who are working tirelessly in areas of strife to bring food packages, medical relief and other needs.

Govt striving to improve security, says Musa

Posted on : 28-07-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 28, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Security, especially that affecting the state, is a serious matter, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said.
“It should, however, not be used by certain groups to gain political mileage either. At a time like this, we must band together and offer solutions, instead of hurling criticisms,” Musa said in his message to Malaysians in Sabah in conjunction with the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration which starts today.
Musa pointed out that the issue of security is one that has been widely debated, more so in the past years, and the government understands the concerns and frustrations raised by the people, as security is something that cannot be compromised in order for the state to function effectively.
“Let me assure you that we are working hard to find solutions and to come up with strategies to improve security in Sabah, especially in the east coast. I wish to seek the cooperation of Malaysians in Sabah to not harbor those who have bad intentions and to immediately inform security forces if there are individuals or groups that behave in a suspicious manner.
“I also wish to thank the Armed Forces, Police and other security agencies, including the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) for your challenging work in keeping Sabah as safe as possible. I am aware that many of you are working during this festive season, and I hope you will soon have a chance to meet your families, and enjoy a belated celebration,” he said.
Musa also pointed out that in Sabah, the people are determined to strive for excellence and the fact that the state is a melting pot of diverse cultures, backgrounds and faiths has led it to emerge as a state that is able to effectively contribute to Malaysia’s growth.
“We must strengthen unity, work with another, and respect each other even when we differ in opinion over certain matters. Let us find common platforms to seek solutions whenever there is a need to discuss difficult issues,” he said.
Sabah, as a state, and Malaysia, as a nation, have each gone through decades of change, Musa said, adding that those who came and led before us have made many sacrifices, and it was their wish to see Malaysia stay strong and stay united.
He lamented that it is troubling that there are certain quarters that are bent on destroying what has been built over the years.
“In a multi-racial society, we must respect and support one another, and we cannot allow any group or individual to undermine those deep bonds that we have. Unity and harmony must not be sacrificed to meet the agendas of a few,” he said.
According to the Chief Minister, Sabah is seeing continued growth through the effective implementation of programmes that also benefit the people by increasing income levels, including in the rural areas. The Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) remain on track, with the focus on some key areas such as oil and gas, and the downstream processing of palm oil is starting to show results.
The focus on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing as stated in our Halatuju or State Development Agenda are serving as the backbone of Federal Government-led programmes, and are proof that the state government has made the right decision when these target sectors were identified over a decade ago.
In tandem with economic growth, the state government, he said, is focusing efforts on improving infrastructure, reducing poverty, and in ensuring that every qualified school leaver has access to higher education through the introduction of training centres and relevant places of learning statewide.
“Skilled and knowledgeable workers will assist Sabah in becoming a state that is competitive within Malaysia and the Southeast Asian region,” he said.
“While we rejoice during this celebration, we must also remember the less fortunate. I am pleased that various groups and individuals continue to bring cheer to those who are disadvantaged. Through Berbuka Puasa events, and presentation of Duit Raya or gifts in the form of hampers and clothing, you have kept the spirit of giving alive.
“Once again, on behalf of my wife and family, I wish the people in Sabah ‘Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Maaf Zahir dan Batin’,” said Musa.
(Source:The Borneo Post)
July 28, 2014
KOTA KINABALU: Security, especially that affecting the state, is a serious matter, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said.

18 years of laying the foundation for KKIP

Posted on : 27-07-2014 | By : sabah today | In : News

July 27, 2014
CHAIRMAN of KKIP Sdn Bhd, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, credits former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Chong Hon Len for having done a good job in laying the foundation for the industrial park to move forward despite various constraints. “His long services on record deserves respect and recognitions.” He said.
All in all, Chong had served 18 years, first as General Manager when KKIP Sdn Bhd was incorporated as a fully-owned subsidiary of the Sabah Economic Development Corporation (Sedco) in 1994, and later as CEO until his retirement in November 2011. Three phases of Ready-Built Factories (RBFs) in the industrial zone, the Salut Commercial Centre and early development of the residential component were initiated during his tenure. Beginning 2009, the focus was on housing development to meet the need for accommodation facilities for the company’s growing workforce of executives, managers, administrative staff and workers.
By 2011, the idea of developing a biotech park was conceived – hence the proposed 60-acre Biotech Park at KKIP to promote the biotechnology industry. “The biotech park is considered as one of our Entry Point Project (EPPs) to drive economic activity under the Government’s Economic Transformation Programme(ETP) to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by 2020,” he said. Chong recalled that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who was the first Chairman of KKIP, held the fort in the infant years. “He had a vision for the Park’s future growth and development and guided us along the way. During his stewardship, he often emphasised the need to cut costing,” he said.
(Source: Daily Express)
July 27, 2014
CHAIRMAN of KKIP Sdn Bhd, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, credits former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Chong Hon Len for having done a good job in laying the foundation for the industrial park to move forward despite various constraints. “His long services on record deserves respect and recognitions.” He said.