Wahid to lead special panel

Posted on : 26-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 27, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar has been appointed chairman of the 10-man Special Economic Committee formed by the Government to ensure the country’s economic prosperity in light of the global financial and economic uncertainties.
Abdul Wahid is the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department overseeing the economy.
The setting up of the committee was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Tuesday.
Also in the committee are Khazanah Nasional Bhd deputy chairman Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Khazanah Nasional managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, chief adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission Tan Sri Andrew Sheng and CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.
Others in the committee are Tan Sri Mohamed Azman Yahya, Datuk Seri Dr K. Govindan, Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias and Datuk Seri Saw Choo Boon.
Mohamed Azman is Symphony Life Bhd executive chairman, Dr Govindan is Group CEO RAM Holdings Bhd, Prof Dr Noor Azlan is Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia vice-chancellor, Abdul Farid is chairman of Association of Banks in Malaysia and Saw is president of Federation of Malaysian Manu­facturers.
Najib, who announced the names of the committee members yesterday, said the committee would report directly to him.
“They are to meet on a weekly basis but they could also meet more often when needed.
“Their first meeting is next week,” he said, adding that the committee could also invite individuals who they feel could provide valuable input.
Najib said the committee would consider and make recommendations for immediate and mid-term planning to further strengthen Malaysia’s economic fundamentals.
“This includes issues on the value of the ringgit, ensuring financial market stability and strengthening confidence in the capital market.
“They have to act fast to address the situation,” he said.
Najib said the present economic council, chaired by him, would continue to function as it was overseeing the economic situation in totality.
(Source: The Star)
August 27, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar has been appointed chairman of the 10-man Special Economic Committee formed by the Government to ensure the country’s economic prosperity in light of the global financial and economic uncertainties.

Economic reforms boost finances, ease people’s burden — Najib August 26, 2015

Posted on : 26-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

PUTRAJAYA: The government’s economic reforms have strengthened the nation’s finances besides easing the burden on the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the reforms, although unpopular with some people, had to be taken to make the economy stronger than during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, from which the government has learnt its lessons.
The reforms included introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit and oil subsidies, he said at the 2014 excellence awards for Treasury staff here yesterday.
“Reforms must be taken consistently although painful and unpopular.
“Sooner or later, the people will realise that the reforms have given us the latitude to face the current uncertainties.
“We started the ETP in order to lower the fiscal deficit from 6.7 per cent in 2009. We are expecting 3.2 per cent by year-end,” he said, adding the petrol subsidies have saved the government RM20 billion a year.
Najib said although the GST introduced on April 1 has been unpopular, it has helped to bolster the nation’s finances amid falling oil prices.
“I have pledged the extra revenue from the GST will be returned to the people, and this will be done in Budget 2016,” he said.
He said Malaysia is faced with a global economic scenario that is facing pressure from factors beyond our control, with no country immune to the effects.
Najib said the government will set up a special committee that will meet every day if necessary to monitor and propose additional steps that need to be taken to stabilise the country’s economy.
“The government will try its best, we hope the situation can be resolved soon. While external factors are beyond our control, the government will try to ensure that the people are not burdened by what is happening,” he said.
Meanwhile, Treasury Chief Secretary Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who heads the sepcial committee set up by the Finance Ministry, said the committee will monitor the economy and propose the measures that need to be taken.
He said he and his deputies will meet representatives of Bank Negara Malaysia, the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC), Bursa Malaysia and the Economic Planing Unit (EPU) to get their views and proposals. — Bernama
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 26, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: The government’s economic reforms have strengthened the nation’s finances besides easing the burden on the people, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the reforms, although unpopular with some people, had to be taken to make the economy stronger than during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, from which the government has learnt its lessons.
The reforms included introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit and oil subsidies, he said at the 2014 excellence awards for Treasury staff here yesterday.

Three elements to ensure Sabah’s rapid progress

Posted on : 24-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

24th August, 2015
KOTA BELUD: The future of Sabah’s rapid progress under the Barisan Nasional(BN) rests on the leadership in ensuring political stability, economic development and strengthening security, said UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.
“The BN leadership must give utmost attention towards addressing these three elements, namely ensuring political stability, economic development and security, which serves as a vital platform in defining Sabah’s continued prosperity, harmony and strength under the BN Government,” he said.
In his officiating speech at the UMNO delegates meeting at Kota Belud yesterday, Zahid underlined the importance for BN members to step forward and work together towards resolving the three issues which are being targeted by irresponsible groups in the country and overseas to further their own agendas.
“Giving greater priority and vigilance in addressing these elements and interrelated issues is vitally important, given that there are groups out there who are prejudiced and jealous of Sabah’s harmony and prosperity,” he told over 200 delegates who attended the occasion, yesterday.
Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by Sabah UMNO Liaison Chairman Datuk Salleh Tun Said during his two-day whirlwind visit to the UMNO stronghold in Kota Belud.
Elaborating on Sabah’s security, Zahid recounted his experience while he was Defence Minister during the Lahad Datu and Tanduo intrusion, noting security forces sacrificed their lives in defending Sabah’s honour and sovereignty in the Malaysian Federation.
“I could never allow even a square inch of Sabah’s land to be seized by outsiders who claimed to be part of a defunct Sultanate which no longer exists even in their own country of origin,” he said, adding the nation is prepared to stand together in defending Sabah against all enemies, whether foreign or domestic.
Elaborating further, he warned irresponsible groups are spreading malicious lies and instilling a culture of hatred among the people, noting that such rumours that are often repeated regularly might replace the truth in people’s minds.
“Once such perceptions become entrenched in the minds of the people, then we would find ourselves in an unstable position,” he said and advised UMNO grassroots members not to believe lies against the current leadership.
“It is highly important for leaders to step forward and go to the ground in meeting the people to hear their concerns and grouses; it is time to an all-time leader and not merely a seasonal leader during election season,” he noted to a thunderous reception by UMNO members who attended the event recently.
Among those who attended the event were Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, Datuk Yahya Hussin and Kota Belud Deputy UMNO Division Chief, Datuk Musbah Jamli.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
24th August, 2015
KOTA BELUD: The future of Sabah’s rapid progress under the Barisan Nasional(BN) rests on the leadership in ensuring political stability, economic development and strengthening security, said UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.

‘Malaysia’s success in financial inclusion a model for others’

Posted on : 21-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 21, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s success in financial inclusion is a model for developing countries worldwide, says World Bank Group Senior Financial Economist, Finance and Markets Global Practice, Dr Jose de Luna Martinez.
“Malaysia is a success story in terms of its financial sys-tem, financial system development plan and carving itself to specialised in Islamic finance.
“Its development success is much due to its innovative, resilient and inclusive financial sector,” he said at the launch of the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database 2014 Report and conference here yesterday.
The Global Findex database, launched by the World Bank in 2011, provides comparable indicators showing how individuals in 143 countries save, borrow, make payments and manage risk.
The 2014 edition of the database revealed that 62 per cent of adults worldwide had an account at a bank or another type of financial institution or with a mobile money provider.
The report showed that Malaysia has higher level of bank account ownership compared with the global’s rate of 62 per cent in 2014 and the second highest level of bank account ownership for adults among South-East Asian countries after Singa-pore.
It said 81 per cent of adults in Malaysia were exposed to financial services in 2014 compared with 66 per cent in 2011.
“Account ownership for adults from the poorest 40 per cent households in Malaysia increased to 76 per cent from 50 per cent,” it said.
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, said the Global Findex was one of the most comprehensive and authoritative sources of fi-nancial inclusion data.
She said the Global Findex offered valuable insights into the state of financial inclu-sion in the world today.
“We are most honoured that the World Bank Group has selected our cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur to host the Asian regional launch of the Global Findex,” she said in her address at the conference.
Zeti said since BNM’s in-ception in 1959, financial inclusion has been its important agenda.
“The financial inclusion is recognised as central to supporting the aspirations for a balanced and sustainable growth of our economy,” she said. — Bernama
(Source: New Straits Times)
August 21, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s success in financial inclusion is a model for developing countries worldwide, says World Bank Group Senior Financial Economist, Finance and Markets Global Practice, Dr Jose de Luna Martinez.

MUSA: SABAH WANTS GREATER CONTROL ON RURAL DEVT PROJECTS

Posted on : 20-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

20th August, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government wants greater control over rural development projects to expedite planning and implementation.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the state government had previously requested the federal government to give Sabah greater control in the planning and implementation of rural projects such as roads, electricity and water supply as well as household assistance programmes.
“The Sabah government wants autonomy in terms of planning, funding and implementation of rural development projects so that they can be completed and delivered on time,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
He said too many federal agencies were involved in the implementation stage and this contributed to delay of projects.
“Previously, there had been many cases of development of rural areas being hampered due to delay in channelling of funds, bureaucracy and politicking,” the Chief Minister said.
And, he also said billions were channelled by the federal government for development projects involving rural roads, rural electricity, and water supply and household assistance programme.
Musa who is also Finance Minister said however hiccups in the channelling of funds had resulted in delay of crucial projects, which consequently affected the welfare of the people in the rural areas.
“When road projects are delayed or when projects involving water and electricity supply are not implemented on time, the rakyat blamed and even cursed the government. They called us liars for not keeping our promises.” He said with greater control of development funds by the state government, the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects would be more structured, streamlined and aligned with the state’s overall development objective.
And, Musa also said speedier implementation would also dispel accusations by the opposition that the federal government was not granting enough allocations for development of rural projects.
“By giving more autonomy, the state can plan and implement projects in a more holistic manner. And, the state government is more than able to manage federal funds,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister said the state government has a good track record in managing its finances. Sabah has the best financial management record in Malaysia for two consecutive years and was awarded a ‘Clean Bill’ by the Auditor General for 14 consecutive years.
The state was also given ‘AAA’ rating by RAM Rating Services Berhad for six years in a row.
“However, it is important for us not to be complacent. Instead we should strive harder and have greater cooperation in our administrative duties and to carry out the job entrusted upon us and this includes implementing projects in an efficient manner,” he said.
(Source: New Sabah Times)
20th August, 2015
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government wants greater control over rural development projects to expedite planning and implementation.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman said the state government had previously requested the federal government to give Sabah greater control in the planning and implementation of rural projects such as roads, electricity and water supply as well as household assistance programmes.

Rural growth priority

Posted on : 20-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 20, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah State government is seeking greater autonomy for rural development projects.
Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said Wednesday that more control over rural development projects – like road infrastructure, electricity and water supply as well as household assistance programmes – would help expedite planning and implementation.
“The Sabah government wants autonomy in terms of planning, funding and implementation of rural development projects so that they can be completed and delivered on time,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
He said there were too many agencies involved at the Federal level at the implementation stage that contributed to the delay of projects.
“Previously, there have been many cases that development of rural areas has been hampered due to delay in channelling of funds, bureaucracy and politicking,” he said.
He said billions of ringgit were channelled by the Federal Government for development projects involving rural roads, rural electricity, rural water supply and household assistance programme.
Musa, who is also Finance Minister, said nonetheless hiccups in the channelling of funds have resulted in delay of such crucial projects, which consequently were affecting the welfare of the people in the rural areas.
“When road projects are delayed or when projects involving water and electricity supply are not implemented on time, the rakyat blames and even curse the Government. They call us liars and not keeping our promises.”
He said with greater control of development funds by the State Government, the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects would be more structured, streamlined and aligned with State’s overall development objective.
He said faster implementation would also dispel accusations by the opposition that the Federal Government was not granting enough allocations for the development of rural projects.
“By giving more autonomy, the State can plan and implement projects in a more holistic manner.”
“The State Government was more than able to manage funds from Federal.”
Musa said the State Government has a track record in managing its finance proven by Sabah having the best record of financial management in Malaysia for two consecutive years and awarded a ‘clean bill’ by the Auditor-General for 14 consecutive years as well as given ‘AAA’ rating by RAM Rating Services Berhad for six years in a row.
“However, it is important is for us not to be easily complacent. Instead we should strive harder and exercise greater cooperation in our administrative duties and carrying out the job entrusted upon us and this includes implementing projects in an efficient manner,” he said.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 20, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah State government is seeking greater autonomy for rural development projects.
Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said Wednesday that more control over rural development projects – like road infrastructure, electricity and water supply as well as household assistance programmes – would help expedite planning and implementation.

A failed state we are not, says Najib

Posted on : 19-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 19, 2015
Putra Jaya: Malaysia is not a failed state as claimed by certain quarters, as several international benchmark surveys have placed Malaysia as among the top in many fields, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
While admitting that the ruling government was not perfect, he stressed that Malaysia did not qualify to be called a failed state or rogue nation based on its commitment to upholding maqasid syariah (objectives of Islamic law) in its administration.
Najib said the label and stigma were deliberately created by some media with vested interest, as though wanting to simply tarnish Malaysia’s name. “I seek the protection of Allah SWT from such an attitude of conceit and arrogance, as we are the best country, (but) we are not perfect, and in front of our young people here, I dare say we are not a perfect government.
“In fact, I also realise that if I don’t champion new norms desired by our young generation, I could fail as a leader but I should also stress here that Malaysia is not a failed state.”
Najib said this in his keynote address titled, “Wasatiyyah Sebagai Manhaj Generasi Muda Masa Kini” (Moderation as a Way for Today’s Young Generation) at the International Wasatiyyah Seminar 2015 themed, “Islam and the Young Generation: Challenges and Hopes”, organised by Institut Wasatiyyah Malaysia (IWM), here, Tuesday.
He said that besides upholding maqasid syariah, namely protection of religion, life, offspring, intellect and wealth or property, Malaysia also did not deserve to be called a failed state as a study conducted by an independent body showed that Malaysia was top in ‘The Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI 2014-2015) among 70 Muslim countries. The study also found that Malaysia was ahead by a big margin in the aspect of Islamic economic ecosystem, whereby its Islamic economy was the most mature while its Islamic finance was also well ahead of other countries, he said.
“Are we a failed state when Malaysia was almost at the very top, such as in The Global Competitiveness Report or The World Bank Report of Doing Business?” he asked.
In this regard, Najib hoped that the country’s young generation would not thoughtlessly become the carrier of news stories that the country was purportedly heading towards economic or political instability.
He regretted that some among the young generation believed more in the propaganda and bad labels that might have been purposely created by the enemies of Islam through the social media.
As a leader, Najib said, he was always willing to hear from and appreciated the young generation, and had never closed any space to criticise or disagree with him but hoped that they would be fair in their evaluation and criticism.
“Differences of opinion is a normal thing but what is important is not to sacrifice the country’s peace for short-term political gains.” The Prime Minister hence suggested that the young generation be balanced in their views or criticism against the Government and leaders.
(Source: Daily Express)
August 19, 2015
Putra Jaya: Malaysia is not a failed state as claimed by certain quarters, as several international benchmark surveys have placed Malaysia as among the top in many fields, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

11th MP: Sarawak’s economic growth may be between 6 and 7 pct

Posted on : 18-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 18, 2015
KUCHING: Sarawak is projected to achieve economic growth of between six and seven per cent per annum during the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).
During this period, the government aims to raise the income level and reduce the income disparity of Sarawakians, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem yesterday.
He told the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) that the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to increase from RM122.5 billion in 2015 to RM171.3 billion in 2020.
“During the same period, the nominal GDP per capita is also expected to increase from RM46,489 to RM61,406. Under the 11th Plan, all sectors are expected to register positive growth.
“The key drivers of growth are construction, services and manufacturing sectors,” he said when tabling the state’s 11MP during the one-day DUN sitting here.
Adenan said the services sector, which would be driven by the growth of finance, insurance, real estate and business services at 11.1 per cent and wholesale, retail, accommodation and restaurant at 10.4 per cent, was expected to contribute about 41.3 per cent to the state GDP.
The manufacturing sector was expected to contribute about 28.8 per cent to the state GDP, he said, adding that this growth would be driven by both external and domestic demands, especially by industries in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) areas.
“The construction sector is projected to contribute about 4.8 per cent as more funding from both public and private sectors are expected to be injected into the state economy.
“This will be contributed by the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway, manufacturing plants in the SCORE areas and several power plant projects.”
He said the agriculture sector was expected to grow at 5.5 per cent with higher production of palm oil due to higher yields and the increase in matured areas.
The mining and quarrying sector was projected to perform better at 1.4 per cent due to enhanced oil recovery that would increase the production of crude oil and natural gas, he added.
Adenan pointed out that the state economy was expected to be driven by both private investment and consumption.
“The private investment is expected to experience a robust growth at 11.1 per cent. This is due to the improved investment eco-system that will attract more new investment into the state especially into the SCORE areas.
“Similarly, private consumption is expected to grow at 6.9 per cent, to be underpinned by the steady growth in household spending and favourable labour market. For this reason, the unemployment rate is expected to remain below four per cent.”
Public investment, he said, was expected to grow at 6.2 per cent, while public consumption was projected to grow at 5.9 per cent.
“The external trade is expected to remain positive as the global market condition improved. Our real export is expected to grow at six per cent and import will grow at 5.7 per cent. The increase in import will be supported by the expansion from both domestic and foreign investments in the state.”
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 18, 2015
KUCHING: Sarawak is projected to achieve economic growth of between six and seven per cent per annum during the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP).

PM: Report tells real story of Malaysia’s economy

Posted on : 18-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 18, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: A report on the competitiveness of nations, which ranks Malaysia 14th out of 61 countries, tells the real story of the country’s economy, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said the Institute for Management Develop­ment’s (IMD) annual World Competitiveness Yearbook 2015 had ranked Malaysia ahead of the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Britain, South Korea and Japan.
“Despite some naysayers who wish to talk Malaysia down, this is the real story of our economy – years of record investments, sound fundamentals, diversification, reform, sustainability and inclusivity.
“These credible and influential reports highlighting Malaysia’s attractiveness as a preferred destination are testament to the private-public partnership, epitomised by Pemudah,” he said when launching the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) Annual Report 2014 yesterday.
Najib added that as Malaysia begins the last lap of its journey towards becoming a high-income nation by 2020, the challenges had grown even larger in a globalised and hyper-connected world.
He said no country could insulate itself if it was to progress and prosper.
“The volatile price of commodities, the crisis within the Euro zone, shifting international balances of power, the spread of terrorism and climate change are just some of the threats we face today.
“Clearly, there is no room for complacency if we are to deliver on our promise of a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Malaysia for the generations yet to come, but I am equally confident that we, as Malaysians all, are up for this challenge.
“Our track record demonstrates that we can, and will, overcome whatever hurdles that are placed in our path,” he said.
Najib also highlighted several recent achievements by Pemudah, including initiatives to make it even easier to start a business.
He said name search and applications for registration process for a business could be done online – all within a day.
“Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has reformed the processes involved in dealing with construction permits by reducing the number of processes from 15 to nine.
“The launching of the Kuala Lumpur Integrated Submission Be Efficient, Systematic & Transparent system by DBKL is a significant step in simplifying the obtaining of development approvals from DBKL.
“It provides benefits such as faster approvals, less holding costs, a single window and simplified procedures,” he added.
(Source: The Star)
August 18, 2015
PUTRAJAYA: A report on the competitiveness of nations, which ranks Malaysia 14th out of 61 countries, tells the real story of the country’s economy, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Property developers, buyers face stringent outlook

Posted on : 17-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 17, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: The ringgit performance vis-a-vis other currencies takes centre stage, but our export volume declined, not increased, and foreigners are not making a beeline to buy eligible Malaysian property or assets. Imported building material costs are going up.
Foreign ownership of Sabah’s real estate property is less than five per cent. Some developers say three per cent. The latest Bank Negara report that shows gross exports declined by 3.7 per cent in the second quarter 2015 (1Q2015: -2.5 per cent) despite the ringgit depreciating throughout the period which supposedly should help to boost exports and arrest declining tourism receipts.
Not only many Malaysian property buyers who need bank loans face difficulty in securing their ideal end financing loan amount to buy real estate property at this point in time, but some property developers also face stringent requirements in getting bridging financing for kicking off real estate development projects from financial institutions asking for additional supportive document or collateral.
It is opportune for the Sabah and Sarawak State Governments to see how the Borneo Housing Mortgage Finance Berhad (BHMFB) or others like Sabah Credit Corporation can be directed to provide meaningful loan assistance to borrowers to buy their homes, after all the BHMFB as an agency is set up by both state governments.
The clamour for the Bank of China to be set up in Kota Kinabalu is hoped by some developers unable to get any meaningful financing elsewhere due to various reasons or due to their records, to be able to be of financial assistance to their business.
Looking at China’s real estate market cooling measures by the government and the example of Singapore where more China’s banks have a strong business presence; it is unlikely that banks from China would want exposure in the local property market without good reasons.
Banks from China are aware of the presence of China workers and construction firms in Sabah and some of their builders did not have good experiences due to various payment woes and employers’ treatment.
Currently there are various professionals from architects to contractors who face non-payment woes for services rendered including for major big projects, not only delayed or slow payments.
In Singapore, banks from China like the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) depends on deposits from Singaporeans and foreigners to get funds to lend besides their other banking services.
Currently in Singapore, foreigners are likely to have to pay in full for property purchase as banks are reluctant to lend while Singaporeans face the total debt servicing ratio hurdle to getting bank loans, akin to Malaysia’s responsible lending guidelines stipulated by Bank Negara.
The prospects from the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative of the China Government focus more on infrastructural developments that facilitate trade and commerce of spearhead China’s sphere of influence in regional and world geopolitics and economics.
Chinese manufacturing is under strain due to falling demand from the West. Under the circumstances, the Central Asian and other countries are an attractive export destination.
This explains Beijing’s motivation for launching its US$40 billion New Silk Road initiative. The plan also gives the country a chance to hedge against the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, which it sees as a strategy to contain its economic rise.
It is not going to solve Malaysia’s woes as since the 1997 Asian economic crisis, Malaysia has been heavily dependent on unskilled foreign labour with very little general improvement and upgrade in income, productivity, skills and technology, according to an MP.
Inflated asset prices throughout Asia between 2009 and 2014 as a consequence of QE would have to face difficult adjustments as massive structural change to the Malaysian economy is needed to reduce the number of unskilled foreign labour and to push for mechanisation and automation so that Malaysian construction workers are paid better with more skills in jobs.
Malaysia’s very high household debt ratio and property speculation are likely to make adjustments more painful. The next shock to the Malaysian economy would come if the US Federal Reserve hikes its rates in September. Exports are not going to improve too much in the short term (due to Malaysia’s limited export capacity).
Financial institutions operating in Singapore are involved in financing 60 per cent of Asia’s infrastructure projects. Looking to tap into the heavy demand for roads, bridges and power plants, Japanese banks are also expanding their operations in Singapore. In contrast, Labuan as an IOFC has not meaningfully attracted any substantive financial institution’s operation.
The primary factor behind Singapore’s property development success is its unique industrial structure. With a population of just 5.3 million, Singapore seems an unlikely hub for multinational corporations looking to tap a huge Asian market. But by leveraging its long history as an entreport, it managed to position itself as a nerve centre for information and investment, offering a wide range of specialized services.
Leading Singapore property developer Far East Organisation, the only developer in the world to win 8 FIABCI Prix d’Excellence awards, the highest honour in international real estate told Daily Express in Singapore August 10 that more investors are looking at investing in industrial property in Sembawang with prices from S$200 a square foot compared to S$1,700 to S$4,000 a square foot for condominiums. Far East Organisation and other Singapore firms used to exhibit their projects in Sabah but were not seen this year.
In 2014, Singapore’s per capita gross domestic product reached $56,000, the world’s ninth-highest. In terms of purchasing power parity, the country is No. 3.
Another advantage the city-state offers is free trade agreements with major countries and regions around the world. This makes Singapore an attractive regional headquarters for big companies from Japan, the U.S. and Europe. It has also established itself as a locus for petroleum products. It is vying with Japan to be Asia’s leader in currency trading.
Since the Gulf War in 2003, which triggered manifold increase in oil and commodity prices, Malaysia has been heavily depended on oil revenue to sustain the broader economy, as well as to sustain lavish government spending.
With the cheap credit that came with quantitative easing introduced by the US Federal Reserve in response to the 2008 global financial crisis, the Malaysian economy has been heavily dependent on debt-fuelled consumption and property speculation.
For home buyers, the affordability level, bank loan amount approval, location and price have to be considered in proper details before making a commitment.
Keep in mind additional payments for stamp duty, insurance, loan agreement, legal fees where payable not absorbed by developers.
In Sabah property market, there is no freehold property unless it is on Native Title lands meant for qualified Sabahan natives, hence, it is important to ask how many years are left in the lease for secondary market homes, shops or industrial property. Banks would not want to lend for property with only a few years left.
Other considerations are age of the property, land area and built-up area, number of rooms and bathrooms, quality of fittings, why is the owner selling? How long has it been on the market? Is the price negotiable?
Who is or was the most recent occupant? It is important to see the condition of the home property personally and determine what the sale price include or exclude, like are there any built-ins and kitchen cabinets? This may not be possible for foreclosure property on auction sale and is it with vacant possession?
Arrange for a viewing, making sure that it’s scheduled during the day or when there is natural lighting and see where the orientation of the sun rise and sunset direction, during raining to observe the water discharge flow, note the traffic flow in the morning and evening peak hours.
Observe for leaks, flood marks if not freshly painted over and any broken items. Observe the window and door frames for termite infestation as unlike say Australia where sellers are to produce vermin free certification from pest control firms before selling their home property.
Local valuers and property experts disclaim liability for all these faults as they do not personally inspect but depend on their (sometimes school leaver) assistants to do so. Mistakes did happened, even wrong photograph taken. Lawsuit cases were settled out of court in the past.
If there are major renovations, check whether approvals were obtained. How recently were changes made to the wiring and plumbing for homes over 20 years, including how recently was the roof changed if ever.
It is important to choose a location near your lifestyle like place of work, schools for children, leisure choices, amenities and accessibility to public transport in case if your private vehicle is under repair with no spare vehicle.
If you buy an affordable property, say in Tuaran, but you work in Putatan, beware of your fuel and vehicle maintenance costs in the long-run, considering the road condition and conjestion.
In real life, ideal choices are hard to come by, including the choice between strata property or landed property as the later category is likely beyond the means of many. In theory, it is easy to advise people to choose landed property if they are keen on gardening or rear pets or condominium or guarded and gated community housing if they want privacy and security.
(Source: Daily Express)
August 17, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: The ringgit performance vis-a-vis other currencies takes centre stage, but our export volume declined, not increased, and foreigners are not making a beeline to buy eligible Malaysian property or assets. Imported building material costs are going up.

Yanmar paid courtesy call on Raymond

Posted on : 17-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 17, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: A delegation from Yanmar Kota Kinabalu R&D Center (YKRC), led by Takashi Saeki, paid a courtesy call on Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah at the Minister’s office.
Saeki, the Managing Director of the company was accompanied by two of his colleagues, Christine Chiew and Rusli Majuma during the visit.
In his briefing, Saeki informed Tan, who is also the Chairman of KKIP on the operationalization of YANMAR Kota Kinabalu R&D Centre Sdn Bhd in KKIP.
Yanmar Co. Ltd, Osaka, Japan has just celebrated its 100 years anniversary of its founding on March 22 2012.
Today, YKRC takes this opportunity to extend a copy of the English edition of Yanmar’s 100 years history book to Raymond.
Yanmar was the first company to develop practical small size diesel engines.
Yanmar Group which has been established for 103 years has formulated its new Mission Statement, “To provide sustainable solutions” and “Enriching people’s lives for all our tomorrow.”
With this, YKRC understudies the biomass gasification research in Malaysia.
“This technology can lead to costs reduction and provides better wastes disposal management by utilizing the abundant biomass to produce alternative source of sustainable energy,” said Saeki.
Raymond took the opportunity to explain to Saeki on the Palm Oil Industry Cluster (POIC) developed by the government in Lahad Datu and one of the activity being given emphasize is the down streaming of palm biomass.
Raymond also proposed to Saeki to make a visit to POIC in Lahad Datu.
Saeki told Raymond that they are looking forward to the next 100 years with lot of commitment as they aspires to create a sustainable society with the current biomass resources available.
(Source: Daily Express)
August 17, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: A delegation from Yanmar Kota Kinabalu R&D Center (YKRC), led by Takashi Saeki, paid a courtesy call on Deputy Chief Minister cum Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah at the Minister’s office.

A war we can never forget

Posted on : 16-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 16, 2015
SANDAKAN: The friendship between Malaysia and Australia has in part been shaped by the common and bitter experience of war, said Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove.
He said that what happened at the Sandakan prisoners’ camp site in the last months of World War II would continue to matter.
“It is a war we can never forget, a war we will never forget” Cosgrove said, here yesterday.
Between 1942 and 1943, the Japanese shipped approximately 2,700 Australia and British prisoners of war from Singapore to Sandakan to build a military airstrip.
In 1945, the Japanese were concerned that Allied troops might land in the Sandakan and decided to move their prisoners, most of whom were sick and injured to Ranau which is 260 kilometres away.
“Almost 2,500 Australian and British PoW were forced to march more than 250 kilometers inland to Ranau. Those too ill to walk were killed by their captors or left to die; those who fell during the march were killed. Only six survived the Death March” he said.
During that time, brave locals established a resistance named North Borneo Volunteer Force and helped the prisoners.
Six of the prisoners survived as they hid and were looked after by local villagers.
“Australia is forever grateful to them for the support showed to those in captivity. At great personal risk, these brave men and women participated in the resistance, aided those in captivity and sheltered the few who managed to escape.
“Their example of courage and humanity is a story to tell our children and we remember them as just as we remember our own,” he said during the 70th Sandakan Memorial Day, yesterday morning.
Sandakan Memorial Day is held annually on August 15 at the original Sandakan World War II prisoners’ camp site, which is now the Sandakan Memorial Park, to remember and honour the 2434 Australian and British prisoners, and locals who helped them.
“This is why we are here today. To remember, to honor and to pay our respects to those who sacrificed their all,” Cosgrove said.
Each year, families of fallen heroes travel to this park to observe and participate in the memorial service.
This year’s Sandakan Day memorial service was attended by relatives of the veterans, local community groups, and local and foreign dignitaries.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman was represented by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan at the ceremony.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 16, 2015
SANDAKAN: The friendship between Malaysia and Australia has in part been shaped by the common and bitter experience of war, said Governor-General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove.
He said that what happened at the Sandakan prisoners’ camp site in the last months of World War II would continue to matter.

Bank Negara governor says economy expected to be resilient

Posted on : 14-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

14 August 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy surprised in the second quarter by growing 4.9%, above the consensus figure of 4.5%. But economists warned that the next six months would be challenging.
Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the economy was expected to be resilient and remain on a steady growth path, buoyed by domestic demand.
However, global growth had become more vulnerable to increased downside risks, she said.
In the second quarter, private consumption slowed down, growing by 6.4% compared with 8.8% in the first quarter, as households adjusted to the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) which kicked in in April, while private investment growth came down to 3.9% from 11.7% earlier.
Gross exports declined by 3.7% compared with 2.5% the quarter before, mainly due to less export of commodities and resource-based manufactured products.
“Despite the sentiment, growth in consumption has still been favourable. We actually expected it to be lower because there was a lot of front loading in the first quarter,” Zeti told a packed press conference yesterday.
She said wage growth and stable labour market conditions would provide support to household spending, while investment activity would be supported by capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors.
“In the case of investment activity, based on approval numbers, these have not declined. In fact, they have increased and, therefore, our anticipation is that investment activity will recover from current levels,” Zeti added.
“The second half is something we need to watch, it will be more challenging,” independent economist Lee Heng Guie said.
On the external front, a lot of it would depend on exports and at the moment, visibility was still quite low amid weak crude and palm oil prices, Lee said.
Citing the private consumption and private investment figures, which showed declines, Lee said such numbers were likely to continue into the third quarter, given that the current sentiment was being affected by the sliding ringgit and ongoing political uncertainties.
“Hopefully, there will be some rebound by the fourth quarter,” Lee said.
Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd chief economist Nor Zahidi Alias said going forward, the anaemic global trade performance would likely pose a challenge to Malaysia’s overall export performance.
“Declining commodity prices will likely bite into Malaysia’s net trade while consumer spending will likely continue to soften.”
After growing 5.6% in the first quarter, the economy expanded by 4.9% in the second quarter, supported by a turnaround in agricultural production, which grew by 4.6% compared with a contraction of 4.7% previously amid higher production of palm oil.
The services, manufacturing, mining and construction sectors all registered declines.
Headline inflation was higher in the second quarter, up by 2.2% compared with 0.7% earlier due to the implementation of the GST.
Zeti said that at the current level of overnight policy rate, monetary conditions remained supportive of economic activity.
The Monetary Policy Committee left its key lending rate unchanged at 3.25% at its last meeting in July.
As at July 31, the central bank’s international reserves had dipped below US$100bil – the first time since 2010, according to Bloomberg – to US$96.7bil.
“We will build it up again,” Zeti said.
The current level was sufficient to finance 7.6 months of retained imports, significantly higher than the three-month international threshold, she said.
(Source: The Star)
14 August 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy surprised in the second quarter by growing 4.9%, above the consensus figure of 4.5%. But economists warned that the next six months would be challenging.
Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the economy was expected to be resilient and remain on a steady growth path, buoyed by domestic demand.

Malaysia’s economy grew 4.9 pct in Q2, outlook steady

Posted on : 14-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 14, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy expanded moderately by 4.9 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015 as compared with 5.6 per cent in the first quarter (Q1), driven mainly by private sector demand.
Malaysia is on the same page with the global economy, which also saw a moderate pace expansion, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said.
“The global economy expanded at a moderate pace in the second quarter of 2015. Growth in most Asian economies moderated in the second quarter. Domestic demand continued to support growth in an environment of weak exports,” she said.
The Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path, with domestic demand continuing to be the key driver of growth, the Governor said at a press conference held to announce the Q2 growth here yesterday.
“Private consumption is expected to continue to adjust to the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), although wage growth and stable labour market conditions would provide support to household spending,” she said.
In Q2, private consumption expanded at a more moderate rate of 6.4 per cent as compared with 8.8 per cent in Q1 as households adjusted to the GST.
Zeti said private investment grew more moderately by 3.9 per cent (1Q 2015: 11.7 per cent), due to a decline in spending on machinery and equipment, especially in the transportation segment, and slower investment in dwelling services.
Growth in public investment, however, turned negative in the second quarter (-8 per cent) as compared with 0.5 per cent in Q1, attributed mainly to the near completion of a few projects by public enterprises, which more than offset the positive growth of capital expenditure by the federal government.
Meanwhile, public consumption recorded a higher growth of 6.8 per cent (1Q 2015: 4.1 per cent) following the stronger expansion in supplies and services expenditure amid a sustained growth in emoluments.
On the supply side, the major economic sectors registered more moderate growth during the quarter, said Zeti.
The lower growth in the services sector was the outcome of a slower expansion in most sub-sectors, while the moderation in the manufacturing sector was due to the more modest performance in export-oriented industries, she said.
“Growth in the mining sector was affected mainly by the lower production of natural gas. The construction sector also recorded lower growth due to a moderation in real activity in the residential, non-­residential and civil engineering sub-­sectors,” she said.
The agriculture sector turned around to record positive growth amid higher production of palm oil.
Zeti said inflation, as measured by the annual change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased to 2.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2015 (1Q 2015: 0.7 per cent) reflecting mainly the impact of the implementation of the GST.
“The price increases were broad-­based, with all 12 categories of the CPI basket registering higher inflation in the second quarter compared to the first quarter,” she said.
(Source: The Borneo Post)
August 14, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy expanded moderately by 4.9 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015 as compared with 5.6 per cent in the first quarter (Q1), driven mainly by private sector demand.

Ringgit falls to a new low

Posted on : 13-08-2015 | By : sabah today | In : News

August 13, 2015
PETALING JAYA: China’s central bank adjusted the yuan downwards for the second consecutive day, sending markets and currencies reeling.
The ringgit continued its fall against the US dollar, hitting a new low of RM4.0275, largely due to the devaluation of the yuan.
All currencies in the region also continued with their decline against the US dollar.
On a year-to-date basis, the ringgit is the worst performer among its Asian peers, and is down 13.33%. This is followed by the Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won and Thai baht at 9.88%, 8.35% and 6.99%, respectively.
Comparatively, the yuan is now down approximately 4.61%.
The impact on the ringgit is worse compared to other countries because Malaysia is viewed as a net exporter of energy and prices are depressed now – hovering below the US$50 per barrel mark.
Stock markets across the region fell with the Jakarta Composite Index leading the pack by falling 3.1% followed by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index which dropped 2.38%.
There was a “bloodbath” on Bursa Malaysia where about 90% of the 1,000-odd stocks listed closed lower.
The benchmark KLCI fell for the fifth consecutive day, shedding 26.8 points yesterday to close at 1609 points. Since last Thursday, the index has been down by 116 points.
On Tuesday, the People Bank of China (PBOC) moved the guiding rate for the yuan 2% downwards and yesterday it set it at 1.6% lower. The guiding rate is the band within which the yuan is allowed to trade.
The downward movement is viewed as a devaluation of the yuan and the biggest currency movement for the world’s second largest economy since 1994. Although China abandoned its currency peg in 2005, the central bank manages the yuan in a tight range.
The devaluation of the yuan has sparked concerns that China’s economic slowdown was more severe than anticipated and the central bank had to devalue the currency to export its way out of the situation.
Independent economist Lee Heng Guie said that the devaluation that has sparked a global currency war may end up with no winners.
The impact on depreciating ringgit is likely to be felt most by companies which import their raw materials, consumers and parents with children studying overseas.
(Source: The Star)
August 13, 2015
PETALING JAYA: China’s central bank adjusted the yuan downwards for the second consecutive day, sending markets and currencies reeling.
The ringgit continued its fall against the US dollar, hitting a new low of RM4.0275, largely due to the devaluation of the yuan.