Export value of palm oil, palm products to China rises to RM4.56 billion

Posted on : 01-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

SHAH ALAM— The export value of Malaysia’s palm oil and palm-based products to China has increased 19 per cent to RM4.56 billion in the first seven months of this year compared with RM3.83 billion in the same period last year.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, said during the period, the export value of rubber and rubber-based products to the republic had also increased to RM4.89 billion, more than doubled the RM2.43 billion recorded in the same period in 2016.

“The ministry expects China to continue to be an important driver of export growth in the commodity sector, especially when consumers nowadays are getting more and more environmentally conscious and health conscious,” he said to reporters after attending the ‘Celebrating 35 years of Achievement in the People’s Republic of China’ event at the interactive wax museum, Red Carpet 2@i-City here, today.

Present was I-Berhad Executive Chairman, Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong. Mah said his ministry was also confident that the close relations between Malaysia and China in various aspects currently will continue to give a positive impact on the economy including growth in commodity export revenue to China in the future.

“These strong trade links between China and Malaysia are the result of our persistence for bilateral negotiations, by both the Malaysian Government and private sector…there’s no limit to our relations and we will also broaden to other areas like tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mah said his ministry had outlined several proposals, as well as, allocation application for Budget 2018 which will be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament on October 27.

“Indeed, we have voiced out a few proposals for this budget, aimed to further develop the related industries…however, it’s up to the prime minister to approve (them) or not,” he said.

Earlier during his visit to the wax museum, Mah was given a briefing on how high-technology rubber was used in parts of the construction of the wax museum which features 100 characters including US President Donald Trump.


Eco bag project a great leap towards plastic free city – Mayor

Posted on : 01-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The Kota Kinabalu City Hall’s (DBKK) Eco Bag Sewing Community Project is a great community leap towards a plastic free city, said Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

Yeo said the local authority’s pioneering program, a reboot of its past no plastic campaign, aims to promote the community’s involvement in the formation of a clean, green and livable city.

“This is not about recycling but about participation, about the indirect awareness of the people who contributed towards the reduction of plastic usage,” he said when visiting the event at the DBKK Building grounds here yesterday.

Yeo elaborated that the project, initiated by DBKK deputy director general (Operations) Nooraliza Awang Alip and Datin Mary Wong, wife of minister-in-charge of DBKK, Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah, is an extension of the ‘Bawa Beg Bah’ (bring your own bag) call.

“A very small step by our ladies but a very big step for the whole community towards the future reduction of plastic,” said Yeo.

“This one step is a great leap for the community, a project that needs very little effort but makes a very big impact,” he added.

According to Nooraliza, DBKK aims to produce 1,000 eco bags through this initiative by October 20.

The deputy director general said all companies are also welcomed to donate their banners and billboards to expand the 2,000 used banners and billboards from the city in DBKK’s possession thus far.

She added 122 eco bags were produced from the banner and billboard canvasses by 100 participants in its pilot project on September 17.

All members of the public are welcomed to participate in the future programs at no charge on October 8 and 15 at the DBKK Building grounds.


Rubberised roads may help stabilise rubber price – MRB (Malaysian Rubber Board)

Posted on : 01-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR— The Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) is striving to make it compulsory for rubber bitumen to be used in new road construction through a policy starting the middle of next year, its Research and Innovation Deputy Director-General Dr Zairossani Mohd Nor said.

He said if rubberised roads were to be implemented on a large scale, it would definitely help stabilise rubber prices that had fallen over the years.

“If our roads are rubberised, the demand for rubber will increase drastically as for every kilometre (km), four tonnes of cuplump is used,” he said in an interview with Bernama.

Currently, the pilot project for rubberised roads has been conducted in five states, namely Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor, Kedah, and Negeri Sembilan.

Teluk Intan, Perak will be added into the list this month where a three-km rubberised road will be built and followed by a 20-km stretch in Segamat, Johor which is expected to be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“In Malaysia, we have more than 200,000 km of roads with 10 per cent to 20 per cent of the roads are re-tarred every year. The life span of normal tarred roads is shorter than that of rubberised roads.

“Rubberised road is formulated using cuplump, which is a freshly coagulated rubber, where the coagulation process takes place in the cup at the (rubber) trees with no manufacturing process being involved; and Cuplump Modified Asphalt (CMA) for road construction or resurfacing works.

CMA is a mixture of bituminous cuplump and asphalt, which is a composite material that is mainly used for the paving of road surfaces.

The rubberised road could last for eight years before the need to redo it arises, compared with normal tar that requires to be re-tarred three to four years once.

Besides that, MRB also conducts vertical integration where small-time rubber entrepreneurs can process their own rubber to be sold at a higher price.

Plans are also afoot to encourage more youths to be part of the rubber industry as the government is planning to increase the rubber plantation hectarage nationwide to 1.2 million by 2020.

“Our main challenge is that we have aging smallholders. The youngsters are not interested as they see the income is not lucrative and has the notion that the rubber industry will soon die due to technology advancement.

“It is a wrong impression to think that rubber is a sunset industry. This is because, natural rubber is a commodity that could not be replaced by anything despite the evolution of synthetic rubber,” he said.

Citing that nothing could substitute the quality and advantages of natural rubber, especially in the tyre and medical glove industries, Zairossani said that as long as the population keeps growing, natural rubber would be a main commodity.

Currently, the natural price of natural rubber (SMR 20) is in the range of RM5.90 to RM6.40 per kilogramme (kg) which is considered mediocre.

“The comfortable price will be RM7.00 to RM 8.00 per kg for SMR 20 as rubber smallholders will be able to obtain more than RM1,000 per hectare. At the current rate, they will have to toil harder and tap about 1.2 hectares to get RM1,000,” he said.

However, the government has put a safety net by allocating aid to rubber smallholders should the benchmark of SMR 20 decreases below the benchmark of RM5.50 as the price for unprocessed rubber will drop to only RM2.20 per kg.