RM1.027b Sepangar Port expansion – Rahman Dahlan

Posted on : 15-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan announced several measures to boost Sabah’s infrastructure development, including a road expansion leading to the city and upgrading of Tawau port to position itself into a regional hub.

A dual three-lane carriageway costing RM495 million, spanning seven kilometres from Yayasan Sabah to Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) site, will be placed under the coming 2018 Budget.

Speaking to reporters at a working visit to Sepanggar today, Rahman, who is in charge of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), said the road upgrading project via Tanjung Lipat was requested by Sabah government as the number one priority.

“This is an extension to the Indah Permai – Yayasan Sabah road upgrading project (8km) which involved three flyovers also costing over RM400 million, that I announced previously where contractors have been appointed and works to start anytime soon.

“We are able to get both due to good relations with federal and it is hoped to reduce the traffic congestion at that area, also in anticipation of SICC when it is completed in future,” he said after the closed-door briefing with Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (Sedia) and Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB) at the SPSB office at the Sapangar Bay Container Port here.

He said the proposal to turn Tawau port into a regional one to cater northern Kalimantan will also include the development of road link to connect Serudong in Tawau to Simanggaris, Indonesia.

“I was informed by the state government that the Sabah National Security Council (MKN) has agreed as they did not find security issues with this. The proposal will be brought to the national level for approval.

“This road link will allow Tawau port to be used by the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) region for exports-import especially for North Kalimantan,” he said further.

On a question if the road link will connect to Pan Borneo Highway as well as Trans Kalimantan Highway, he said they were still looking into this.

He also touched on federal funding of RM1.02 billion for the upgrading of the Container Port which was announced previously, where physical works expected to commence next year.

Besides catering to bigger container handling capacity to serve the BIMP-EAGA region, the expansion is also hoped to reduce the cost of living here by reducing prices of goods through more efficient port service, he reasoned.

Rahman also announced an allocation of RM13.5 million to build a bridge at Jalan Mawilla here which connect the Sepanggar naval base to the main road.

At present a temporary bridge was installed to replace the original bridge which was damaged, but it was only one lane and not sufficient.

“This few years will therefore be interesting for Sabah as a lot will be going on and the vision of Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman is gaining momentum.” said Rahman.

SOURCE:- NST

Securities Commission: Malaysians should start planning and investing for the future

Posted on : 15-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: With the growing sophistication of the capital market, and the increasing number of financial and investment decisions, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) urged Malaysians to be more mindful of their financial planning by improving their financial and investment literacy.

SC chairman Tan Sri Ranjit Ajit Singh highlighted this during the InvestSmart Fest 2017, which is an initiative by SC.

Officiated by Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia Khairy Jamaluddin at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the three-day InvestSmart Fest aims to promote financial and investment literacy in order to enhance investor empowerment.

Themed ‘Invest For Your Future’, InvestSmart Fest 2017 is in line with SC’s efforts in promoting long term savings and investments, and retirement planning.

“With the growing sophistication of the capital market, the number of financial and investment decisions that consumers have to make is increasing. Longer life expectancy also means there is a need to ensure that accumulated savings are enough to cover longer period of retirement.

“Consumers are also responsible for the financial products they decide to purchase and will have to face the consequences of their choice.

“Equipping consumers with financial and investment literacy is crucial to enable them to protect themselves, cope with unexpected events, and ensure their financial well-being,” said Ranjit.

He added, “In order to achieve financial well-being, Malaysians need to possess the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively manage their financial resources. This includes the ability to make sound investment decisions, build and manage wealth, and adequately prepare for retirement.

“As TN50’s 5 key themes are centred on drawing upon the aspirations of our youth for nation building, financial literacy amongst our future leaders cannot be overly emphasized.”

Since the launch of InvestSmart in 2014, the SC has reached out to over one million Malaysians through seminars, roadshows, and engagement with community leaders (SC-In-The-Community Programme) nationwide. The use of digital channels such as websites, Facebook page and mobile app has allowed SC to also reach out to the tech-savvy and younger Malaysian demography.

“Improving financial and investment literacy involves long term behavioural change – change that is inspired through multifaceted and coordinated initiatives sustained over a period of time.

“Therefore, the SC has enhanced its structure by setting up a behavioral analysis unit under our Consumer and Investor Office (CIO) to integrate greater appreciation for investor behavior.

“Additionally, in order to ensure the cohesive development of Malaysia’s financial and investment literacy programmes, SC and Bank Negara Malaysia are co-chairing the Financial Education Network to develop Malaysia’s National Strategy for Financial Literacy,” Ranjit said.

As the National Strategy is geared to address financial and investment literacy needs within all segments of society, he noted that key agencies including Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Employees’ Provident Fund, Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia and Kementerian Pendidikan Tinggi are also involved in the formulation of the strategic priorities and action plans.

The National Strategy for Financial Literacy is targeted to be launched in the first quarter of 2018.

SOURCE:- THE BORNEO POST

KL’17 Startup Forum gets encouraging response

Posted on : 15-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR– The KL’17 Startup Forum, which brought together 500 technology entrepreneurs, received encouraging response and was still getting visitors even towards the close of the programme, said organiser, Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC).

The forum, which featured several programmes, including session on mentor ’speed dating’, confessions of entrepreneurs and knowledge mini marathons, was aimed at promoting the use of technology by start-ups through incubation, entrepreneurship and financing programmes.

It was held on Oct 14, 2017 and was organised in conjunction with the National Innovation and Creative Economy Expo 2017 which was in line with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s effort to take the technology sector to the next state.

Arsyadul Ibad Ab Karim, 26, one of the ’speed dating’ mentors working in agricultural business, said the mentoring sessions with entrepreneurs in various fields provided exposure on ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ about business.

“I learnt a lot especially how to launch a start-up, how to struggle from stress to become successful in your business and how to dress up accordingly.

“They taught me how to manage financial especially when it comes to big company,” he told Bernama.

He said that advisory services, training guidance and spiritual injection to those who want to venture into entrepreneurship needed to be an important factor to remain in the world.

Meanwhile, one of University Agriculture Malaysia’s Molecular and Molecular Biology students attending the ‘knowledge mini marathon’ programme, Nur Fatjiah Tahir, 21, said it aimed at providing exposure to the business world to the students.

It helped to provide understanding and knowledge as well as boosting confidence to deal with outsiders, she said.

“Throughout the programme I was able to meet some of the most successful and successful entrepreneurs and they shared the experience and knowledge of how to start a business.

“I’m really interested in doing business,” she said.

For Nur Fathiah, it was important for someone who wanted to start a business to have the knowledge and to know the intricacies of the business sector that they wanted to venture into.

Earlier, MTDC Technology Exploration Division Director, Mohammad Hazani Hassan, said the corporation received RM925 million from the government to be channelled through its six funds to help local firms improve their technology, capacity, capabilities and competitiveness.

He said so far RM240 million has been given out, while the remaining RM230 million has been approved for 14 major sectors including green technology, electronics and electricity as well as biotechnology.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Robotics competition” Platform to produce science, tech experts

Posted on : 15-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Combat Robotics Competition 2017 will be able to promote innovative science engineering and technology among students thereby producing more experts in the field said Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah.

He said the competition was an important platform in ensuring continuous succession of experts in the field as they are among the key drivers of growth for the nation.

“Previously the robotics field was probably not important but students must be encouraged to love science if we want to produce more scientists,” he told reporters after the prize presentation ceremony here yesterday.

A total of 25 public and private higher learning institutions participated in the robotics competition which required participants to produce custom-built machines to battle one another in a special arena.

‘Adtec B’ team from Advance Technology Training Centre (ADTEC) emerged champion while ‘KKTMPJ’  from Mara Advanced Technology College in Petaling Jaya and ‘Adtec A’ won second and third placing respectively.

Abu Bakar said the competition was also aimed at raising positive perception among the community and to make students more optimistic in choosing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as career fields.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Vincent Tan appointed Czech Honorary Consul

Posted on : 15-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The Czech Republic has opened an Honorary Consulate in Sabah, which is expected to facilitate business ventures between companies of both parties.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman said sectors in which both sides can collaborate include green technology, alternative energy sources, water and waste management, as well as advanced technologies for agriculture and food processing – which is a strong suit of the Republic.

Speaking at the launch ceremony here last night, Musa said the two parties are also looking at more opportunities for cultural exchanges.

“The opening is timely, as it will strengthen the relationship and interaction between Czechs and Sabahans, and the state government fully supports the setting up of the Honorary Consulate in Kota Kinabalu.

“You have found a good candidate in Vincent Tan as the Czech Honorary Consul here. I have known him for years and I know he is capable of discharging his duties as expected,” he said.

Musa’s speech was read by his deputy, Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah.

Also present was the Czech Republic’s Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Martin Tlapa.

In his address, Tlapa said they view Sabah as a prospective economic partner, as the state’s economy has diversified towards technological industries.

“Sabah is already a favourite destination for Czech tourists visiting Malaysia and the region.

“Our new honorary consul (Tan) is a businessman by profession. As such, he will be instrumental in promoting business ties with the support of the Czech Republic’s Embassy in Kuala Lumpur,” Tlapa added.

SOURCE:- NST

Easing migration policies can boost workers’ welfare

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

Kuala Lumpur: Easing curbs on labour migration policies can boost workers’ welfare and economic growth in Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean), said a World Bank report.

In a statement Monday, it said, intra-regional migration in Asean increased significantly between 1995 and 2015, turning Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand into regional migration hubs with 6.5 million migrants.

“The figure represents 96 per cent of the total number of migrant workers in Asean, as stated by the ‘Migrating to Opportunity’ report,” it said.

World Bank Chief Economist for the East Asia and Pacific region, Sudhir Shetty, said the Asean Economic Community had taken steps to facilitate the migrant’s mobility, but the regulations only covered certain skilled professions, such as doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, accountants and tourism professionals, or just five per cent of jobs in the region.

“With the right policy choices, the home countries can reap the economic benefits from the out-migration, while protecting their migrating citizens.

“Foreign workers can fill labour shortages and promote sustained economic growth in receiving countries, if migration policies are aligned with their economic needs. Inappropriate policies and ineffective institutions mean that the region is missing opportunities to gain fully from migration,” he said.

The report said barriers such as costly and lengthy recruitment processes, restrictive quotas on the number of foreign workers allowed in a country, and rigid employment policies restricts workers’ employment options and impacts their welfare.

These restrictive policies were partly influenced by the perception that an influx of migrants would have negative impacts on receiving economies, it said.

“However, there is evidence to the contrary. In Malaysia, simulations find that a 10 per cent net increase in low-skilled immigrant workers increases real gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.1 per cent, while Thailand’s GDP would fall by 0.75 per cent without migrants in the labour force,” it said.

The World Bank said that a range of policies could be implemented to enhance workers’ mobility, adding that there should be more supervision of recruitment agencies across the region.

It said Malaysia could adjust its migration policies to the country’s economic needs, including revising its current levy system and deepening coordination with sending countries.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

UK’s FDI into Malaysia in tech sector to grow stronger -

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has the potential to receive more than RM270mil in investments in the technology sector from the United Kingdom (UK) over the next 15 months.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell expressed confidence that the inflows of UK’s foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia, particularly in the technology sector, could be maintained or grow stronger than that of last year.

“With all the works that we are doing with the UK’s Mega Tech Mission here, the next 15 months must surely deliver as much if not not more,” she told a press conference on the sidelines of the UK’s Mega Tech Mission Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Treadell said 800 business-to-business (B2B) meetings between 42 visiting British companies and Malaysian institutions and organisations that were keen to meet them had already been lined-up.

Up to 1,000 B2B meetings have been scheduled over the three-day visit in the capital, as well as in Johor.

She added that the technology sector is one of the key components of the ongoing free-trade agreement (FTA) negotiations that was submitted to Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the guidelines were expected to be ready by year-end.

Two strategic partnerships were announced today upon the arrival of the UK Mega Tech Mission, comprising 42 UK tech companies – the largest UK tech delegation ever to visit Malaysia.

The first of the two strategic partnerships announced was formed by UK’s Action Starter and CAS Analytics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to integrate both companies’ platforms to deliver digital solutions, enabling job seekers, policymakers and educators to address employment, training and development issues.

The second partnership was formed by UK’s Kino-mo and People n Rich Holdings Sdn Bhd, to promote the adoption of new advertising tech innovations through the introduction and distribution of ‘Hypervsn’ in Malaysia. The award-winning ‘Hypervsn’ is a media planning solution for creating, displaying and managing 3D content.

The Mega Tech Mission is led by the UK Department for International Trade, in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and the Johor State Investment Centre and Global Business Services Iskandar, a programme managed by i2M Ventures Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

UK National Technology Adviser Liam Maxwell, who is leading the mission, said he was confident of the UK tech offering and bullish about the potential for collaborative partnerships.

“The Mega Tech Mission to Malaysia allows participating companies to showcase UK technology expertise across various technologies ranging from cyber, fintech, data analytics, smart technologies, cloud, virtual reality through to artificial intelligence.

“It also provides an equally unique opportunity to develop long-term collaborative partnerships with Malaysian businesses,” he added.

Meanwhile, MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood described the prospects for private sector investment is good as Malaysia’s location in the heart of Asean is pragmatic and prudent.

“Malaysia’s business-friendly policies and unwavering focus on enhancing the country’s digital economy are positive factors that will offer UK investors plenty of opportunities to tap into its information and communication technology ecosystem.

“Certainly, they can look at Malaysia as the gateway to other emerging markets in the Asean region,” she added.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Thailand, M’sia top destinations for Asean migrants

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

WASHINGTON: Workers in Southeast Asia are on the move, and they don’t always go far.

Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, have become the region’s migration hubs and are now home to 6.5 million migrants from the Asean region, the World Bank said.

Myanmar and Indonesia are the top sources of migrants, the Washington-based lender said in a report on Monday.

Southeast Asian nations have taken steps to reduce barriers to labour mobility to boost integration, but most efforts have focused on high-skilled workers such as doctors and engineers.

They account for only about 5% of employment in the region, the World Bank said, as most migrants are low-skilled and often undocumented.

There is a huge gap in wages in the region. Average wages in high-income Singapore are at least five times those of any other Asean country, while a Cambodian migrant can earn three times more by moving for work in Thailand, the World Bank said.

SOURCE:- FREE MALAYSIA TODAY

Fiji seeks greater cooperation in renewable energy with M’sia

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Sir Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Special Envoy for the Prime Minister of Fiji, said the South Pacific country sought greater cooperation with Malaysia, especially in the renewable energy sector.

Noting Malaysia’s experience in renewable energy, as something Fiji could learn from, he said cooperation in this sector could help the country overcome depleting sources of energy in the future.

“Our oil imports are very high too, although there has been a lot of talk that there are many potential oil sources to be discovered in Fiji.

“So, we need to concentrate on developing renewable energy such as solar energy and educating the people of Fiji on the importance of using solar energy,” he told Bernama after paying a courtesy call on Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) general manager, Datuk Zulkefli Salleh at his office in Wisma Bernama, here.

Ratu Epeli, formerly the President of Fiji from 2009-2015, was also a guest of Bernama News Channel’s (BNC) talk show during his visit, to talk about a documentary, ‘Back to Batu Pahat‘, which will be aired on Oct 10.

The documentary, produced by BNC, is about Malaysia and Fiji military relations between 1952 and 1956, where the soldiers of both countries fought side by side during the Malayan Emergency.

Ratu Epeli also invited Malaysian businesses to carry out feasibility studies in Fiji, as the country has a lot more opportunities to offer on the business front, adding that both countries had a good long-standing relationship even before Fiji’s independence in 1970.

According to Ratu Epeli, among the areas that would be attractive to Malaysian businesses are mining, fisheries, education and agriculture.

Meanwhile, Zulkefli described his meeting with Ratu Epeli as very informative and enlightening, as the latter shared Fiji’s untapped opportunities as well as the media’s role in the country.

He said both sides agreed that news accuracy was of great importance in maintaining peace and security in a country.

“Both of us also agreed that countering fake or inaccurate news must be carried out immediately to avoid prolonged misconception,” he added.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Postal,courier services provide strategic input for digital, e-commerce economy

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

TELUK INTAN: The postal and courier services provide strategic input for the development of digital and e-commerce economy in the country, said State Tourism, Arts, Culture, Communications and Multimedia Committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi here today.

Nolee said the growth of the parcel delivery segment was expected to continue in tandem with rapid growth of digital economy which required new investment to enhance operational capacity and thus create quality job opportunities.

She said the postal service landscape had changed with the emergence of competition from courier companies and rapid growth of digital communications, creating an impact on the way people communicate.

Apart from that e-commerce development had also opened up new opportunities for the postal service to sustain growth and remain relevant in the country, she said.

“The National e-Commerce Strategic Roadmap and Digital-Free Trade Zone announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak recently requires the postal and courier industry to come under the purview of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“This is aimed at implementing transformation initiatives to become ‘best in class’ and to increase the productivity level of every employee through continuous capacity building to achieve e-commerce targets,” she said in her speech in conjunction with the 143rd World Postal Day Celebration at the Teluk Intan Post Office which was also attended by Perak MCMC chief Hanita Izam Abdul Rahman, here today.

DPM proposes creation of Msia psychological well-being index

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has suggested that a Malaysia psychological well-being index be created to measure the people’s levels of mental and emotional well-being.

He said this was important to ensure that the manpower contributing to the country’s development comprised individuals with positive thinking, were mature, able to think creatively and innovatively, and resilient in facing the prevailing global challenges.

“World-class human capital can be attained if each employee has the mind and desire to achieve excellence, possess noble ethics and practise the culture of high achievement,” he said in his speech when opening the Human Capital Psychology Conference 2017, here, today.

Ahmad Zahid said he wanted the psychological services in managing the country’s human capital to continue to be boosted to ensure balance in the physical, emotional, behavioural and spiritual aspects of employees was always at the optimum level in order for them to give their best to the country.

“Each worker must be ensured to be always in their best condition so that they can together ride the wave of the nation’s success towards 2050,” he said.

In the public service sector, he said, a support system as well as prevention of psychological problems had been in place to assist public servants through the Public Service Peer Counselling Programme (AKRAB).

Since introduced in 2005, the programme had been successfully functioning in assisting public servants deal with life and job issues, he added.

Ahmad Zahid said the government, through the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), had also launched the Return to Work (RTW) programme in 2007 to assist incapacitated contributors to undergo counselling sessions, physical rehabilitation intervention, vocational rehabilitation and job training, and then return to work.

He said since this programme was introduced in 2007 until August this year, 17,183 workers had been successfully rehabilitated and returned to work.

At the conference attended by some 7,000 participants from the public and private sectors, Ahmad Zahid also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between SOCSO and JobStreet.com for the RTW programme.

SOURCE-BERNAMA

Pre-2018 Budget study shows people’s hopes, aspirations

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The outcome of the study entitled ‘Public Perception Towards the 2018 Budget’, to be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Oct 27, indicates the people are looking forward to effective measures and more benefits to keep up with the rising cost of living.

The nationwide study conducted by KAJIDATA reveals the benefits outlined in the budget will help them tide over the rising cost of living and help the country forge ahead.

The benefits are seen as crucial with 37.7 per cent of the respondents saying the assistance provided in the previous budget (2017 Budget) has certainly helped them cope with the cost of living.

Professor Syed Arabi Aidid, KAJIDATA’s advisor, said the study noted that the respondents from the B40 segment, those earning below RM3,000, wanted the government to continue looking into their plight in the 2018 Budget.

“The findings note that 90 per cent of the respondents want the government to continue giving emphasis on comprehensive healthcare, employment opportunities, and help senior citizens above 65 and single mothers to sustain themselves.

“They also hope that the people’s cash aid scheme BR1M will continue in 2018, with 69.6 percent of the respondents saying the BR1M announced in the 2017 Budget has achieved its objectives in helping the deserving group,” said Syed Arabi, who is also the former rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia.

In their 2018 Budget wish list they also want to see the government doing more to enhance the quality of education (89.6 per cent), reduce the cost of living (88.8 per cent), improve public transportation (87 per cent), spend more on development and infrastructure (82.4 per cent) and continue to subsidise selected items (80 per cent).

Of the respondents, 84.9 per cent want to see the government providing more affordable houses as they feel the affordable housing provision under the 2017 Budget is inadequate in helping them to own a house.

In the study, the Chinese (65.1 per cent) and Indian respondents (69.7 per cent) want the 2018 Budget to give equal emphasis on the interest of city and rural dwellers.

According to Syed Arabi, the findings showed that despite the better amenities and opportunities in the cities, there were many shortcomings that needed to be addressed.

The study also found that at least 50 per cent of Malaysians are aware that the prime minister will be tabling the 2018 Budget by the end of the month. Almost 70 per cent agree that civil servants deserve a bonus.

The study was conducted to gauge public awareness on the tabling of the 2018 Budget and to evaluate public perception on the measures introduced in the 2017 Budget.

KAJIDATA’s computer-aided telephone interview study was carried out from July 26 to Aug 4, 2017 using random stratified sampling with 1,039 respondents from all levels of the society.

Established in 2015, KAJIDATA’s mission is to effectively acquire and see beyond data and unearth actionable insights.

SOURCE– BERNAMA

Proton’s reset to go international begins in earnest

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The significant management changes announced about a week ago by Proton is undoubtedly a turning point in the national car manufacturer’s long-term quest to emerge as a successful international brand.

Dr Li Chunrong (pix), who takes over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Proton Holdings Bhd’s manufacturing arm, comes armed with global automotive credentials that makes the best man for the job to turn around Proton and penetrate Asean in a big way.

With 30 years experience in the auto sector and having worked for major automakers such as Honda Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and China Dongfeng Motor Group, he will be well-placed to bolster operations at Proton.

The changes at Proton will be positive by way of protecting the jobs for the locals, facilitate transfer of technology, introducing new models, injecting cash, as well as improving sentiment in the local supply chain, among other things.

Responsible for the entire operations of Proton, Li spelt out a 10-year plan to revitalise the national carmaker and vowed to make Proton among Southeast Asia’s top vehicle brands.

In a way, Sept 29 may well go down as the date when Proton got its act together, bit the bullet and started thinking like an international class auto corporation.

Although DRB-Hicom Bhd – which owns 50.1% in Proton, and Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group 49.9% – did not announce a new car model, the choice of a new Proton CEO and management line up was seen as more crucial in resuscitating the national car manufacturer.

In an instant, Proton switched roles from a standalone, domestic car manufacturer with only one primary market – Malaysia – to become part of an international auto group whose stable includes several well-regarded auto marques – Geely in China, The London Taxi Company of Great Britain and Volvo of Sweden.

This instant transformation vaulted Proton into its long-awaited role to become an international auto player within a stable of globally known brands which share technology, design, parts, platforms and marketing know-how.

Belonging to a stable of several marques that specialise in specific market segments, geographic territories and pricing points, is an automotive business model well proven by the likes of Volkswagen, Peugeot-Citroen, Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi, Mercedes and BMW.

Together with Li as CEO, the announcement included a high-profile auto personality joining the board of Proton.

That man is auto veteran Winfried Vahland, who was Chairman of the board and CEO at Škoda Auto, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

Vahland is credited with turning Czech Republic’s auto brand, Skoda, into a respected global marque.

So, not only is Proton manufacturing now led by a CEO from Honda, Li is being helped at the board level by an ex-CEO from Volkswagen Group whose turnaround experience with Skoda is almost a mirror image to what needs to be done with Proton.

So obviously, the leadership is in place not just to make Proton the number one car manufacturer in Malaysia but beyond domestic shores as well.

As Li clearly said in his first media announcement, he was squarely looking at the promising Asean market of 600 million people for Proton to become among the top three regional brands and then move on to make Proton a full-fledged international player.

With this move, Geely with its 49.9% stake will begin the transformation of Proton by pouring in technology, European Union Euro 6 compliant engines, a boost in parts quality and the just-in-time injection of an entire model transfer-the Boyue sports utility vehicle, which is missing from the Proton model line-up.

Both bankers and auto analysts are united in their assessment that DRB-Hicom and majority shareholder, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, did the right thing to search for right strategic partner, an idea backed by the highest levels of the Malaysian government.

Geely’s injection of cash is not what matters most.

Instead, what is of value will be Geely’s contribution of managers, technology, new models, global marketing network and platform sharing, which saves Proton from spending billions to uplift it from local to global player in one swift move.

DRB-Hicom made a good deal on many levels, for instance, protecting jobs by taking on a global partner rather than going it alone and inevitably sinking under year-on-year mounting losses in the billions of ringgit.

The supplier network is kept intact, now ready for its own quality improvement makeover to meet the most stringent international standards and gaining inroads into a global network of brands that include Geely, Lynk & Co, The London Taxi Company, Volvo and the latest to join this stable, Proton.

Looking ahead, Proton’s staff, suppliers and Malaysians in general now can see that Proton is going international at last, a move that has been a long time in coming and one that will lift Malaysia’s automotive sector to new heights.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Govt to give RM1bil for BRT project in Iskandar

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The federal government will contribute RM1 billion towards the development of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) while the rest, amounting to RM1.56 billion, would be financed via a Private Public Partnership.

Announcing this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the BRT project, under the concept of inclusiveness and sustainability, worth RM2.56 billion, would be developed by the federal government via Iskandar Regional Development authority (IRDA) and the Johor state government.

“BRT will be the public transportation infrastructure backbone in the Iskandar Region Malaysia in the next two decades.

“BRT is a high quality bus-based transit system which will give a reliable, comfortable and cost effective service,” he said, The Prime Minister said this in his speech when launching the 2017 Progressive Johor Expo at Kota Iskandar here yesterday.

Najib said that he was made to understand that BRT contained the same features as the Light Rail Transit or metro, which is faster compared to normal bus services.

He said BRT was expected to be operational in 2021 covering 90 per cent of Iskandar Malaysia with a 51 km route through 39 stations.

“It will be ensured that the development of the BRT system will have smooth links to Rail Transit System (RTS), High Speed Rail, KTM Commuter and inter-town bus terminals.

“With the expectations of increase in populace and economic growth to simultaneously boost job opportunities, I am confident that BRT would become a catalyst to spur Iskandar Malaysia to a more competitive level globally on par with other developed nations,” said the Prime Minister who is also Finance Minister.

BRT is one of the four initiatives of the state government he launched yesterday.

Touching on the Johor Skills Development Master Plan, Najib said the plan would ensure that workers in the state were equipped with the right skills.

He said the aspiration of the state government to spur skills development based on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Johor youths would be interpreted via the master plan.

“I am confident, the Johor TVET Master Plan is a good start and reference for a more comprehensive TVET Master Plan,” he said.

SOURCE— BERNAMA

Proton’s reset to go International begins in earnest

Posted on : 10-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: The significant management changes announced about a week ago by Proton is undoubtedly a turning point in the national car manufacturer’s long-term quest to emerge as a successful international brand.

Dr Li Chunrong (pix), who takes over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Proton Holdings Bhd’s manufacturing arm, comes armed with global automotive credentials that makes the best man for the job to turn around Proton and penetrate Asean in a big way.

With 30 years experience in the auto sector and having worked for major automakers such as Honda Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp. and China Dongfeng Motor Group, he will be well-placed to bolster operations at Proton.

The changes at Proton will be positive by way of protecting the jobs for the locals, facilitate transfer of technology, introducing new models, injecting cash, as well as improving sentiment in the local supply chain, among other things.

Responsible for the entire operations of Proton, Li spelt out a 10-year plan to revitalise the national carmaker and vowed to make Proton among Southeast Asia’s top vehicle brands.

In a way, Sept 29 may well go down as the date when Proton got its act together, bit the bullet and started thinking like an international class auto corporation.

Although DRB-Hicom Bhd – which owns 50.1% in Proton, and Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group 49.9% – did not announce a new car model, the choice of a new Proton CEO and management line up was seen as more crucial in resuscitating the national car manufacturer.

In an instant, Proton switched roles from a standalone, domestic car manufacturer with only one primary market – Malaysia – to become part of an international auto group whose stable includes several well-regarded auto marques – Geely in China, The London Taxi Company of Great Britain and Volvo of Sweden.

This instant transformation vaulted Proton into its long-awaited role to become an international auto player within a stable of globally known brands which share technology, design, parts, platforms and marketing know-how.

Belonging to a stable of several marques that specialise in specific market segments, geographic territories and pricing points, is an automotive business model well proven by the likes of Volkswagen, Peugeot-Citroen, Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi, Mercedes and BMW.

Together with Li as CEO, the announcement included a high-profile auto personality joining the board of Proton.

That man is auto veteran Winfried Vahland, who was Chairman of the board and CEO at Škoda Auto, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.

Vahland is credited with turning Czech Republic’s auto brand, Skoda, into a respected global marque.

So, not only is Proton manufacturing now led by a CEO from Honda, Li is being helped at the board level by an ex-CEO from Volkswagen Group whose turnaround experience with Skoda is almost a mirror image to what needs to be done with Proton.

So obviously, the leadership is in place not just to make Proton the number one car manufacturer in Malaysia but beyond domestic shores as well.

As Li clearly said in his first media announcement, he was squarely looking at the promising Asean market of 600 million people for Proton to become among the top three regional brands and then move on to make Proton a full-fledged international player.

With this move, Geely with its 49.9% stake will begin the transformation of Proton by pouring in technology, European Union Euro 6 compliant engines, a boost in parts quality and the just-in-time injection of an entire model transfer-the Boyue sports utility vehicle, which is missing from the Proton model line-up.

Both bankers and auto analysts are united in their assessment that DRB-Hicom and majority shareholder, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary, did the right thing to search for right strategic partner, an idea backed by the highest levels of the Malaysian government.

Geely’s injection of cash is not what matters most.

Instead, what is of value will be Geely’s contribution of managers, technology, new models, global marketing network and platform sharing, which saves Proton from spending billions to uplift it from local to global player in one swift move.

DRB-Hicom made a good deal on many levels, for instance, protecting jobs by taking on a global partner rather than going it alone and inevitably sinking under year-on-year mounting losses in the billions of ringgit.

The supplier network is kept intact, now ready for its own quality improvement makeover to meet the most stringent international standards and gaining inroads into a global network of brands that include Geely, Lynk & Co, The London Taxi Company, Volvo and the latest to join this stable, Proton.

Looking ahead, Proton’s staff, suppliers and Malaysians in general now can see that Proton is going international at last, a move that has been a long time in coming and one that will lift Malaysia’s automotive sector to new heights.

SOURCE— BERNAMA