World Bank revises Malaysia’s 2017 GDP –

Posted on : 05-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR:– The World Bank has revised up Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for this year to 5.2% from 4.9% in June, on the back of a much stronger-than-expected growth of 5.7% in the first half of 2017.

The World Bank had previously forecast Malaysia’s economy to grow by 4.3%

World Bank Malaysia country manager Faris Hadad-Zervos said the Bank expected Malaysia to continue its growth trajectory route on high level growth.

“Upward estimates reflect Malaysia as an open economy, so the favourable external environment has helped fuel Malaysia’s continued growth.
“Also policies within the country have helped spur domestic demand and public investments.

“These are all very positive things,” Faris said at a press conference to unveil the World Bank’s October 2017 edition of the East Asia and Pacific Economic Update in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.


Pledge to boost Malaysia-China ties

Posted on : 05-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : Local

KOTA KINABALU: The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu will work with the State Government to further enhance the Malaysia-China friendship, facilitate trade cooperation and promote exchanges between Sabah and China.

Its Consul General, Liang Caide said he was pleased to serve in Sabah, especially when the bilateral relation between Malaysia and China was currently at its best in history.

“To serve as the Consul General in Kota Kinabalu as the cooperation in various fields between Sabah and China has entered the fast lane is an honour and a heavy responsibility.

“There are so much that we can do,” Liang said in a press release issued on his courtesy call on the Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman here on Tuesday.

Both Musa and Liang discussed about cooperation projects, tourism industry and establishing sister city ties in the meeting.

The Chinese consulate in its press release said Musa acknowledged the contributions of the consulate in promoting exchanges and cooperation in various sectors between Sabah and China and would continue to render his support to the consulate.

The Chinese consulate said Musa also welcomed Chinese corporations to invest in Sabah and hoped that the consulate would facilitate in bringing in more Chinese tourists to the State.

Musa also told Liang about his recent meeting with the chairman of a tourism travel national corporation in Beijing who would bring one million Chinese tourists to Sabah in the future.

Liang said the target could be easily achieved and therefore, he hoped that Sabah would further step up its tourism-related facilities and services and to ensure better security for tourists.

He added that Kota Kinabalu would soon sign an official agreement to establish sister city ties with Hangzhou.


Microsoft launches new products for Malaysian businesses

Posted on : 05-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

  • Announces the launch of Azure Stack, Microsoft 365 and SQL Server 2017 for Malaysian market that will accelerate transition to become a digital business
  • The launch underscores Microsoft’s commitment in empowering organizations to make the leap to embrace hybrid cloud environment and enable their digital transformation journey

KUALA LUMPUR– As businesses in Malaysia look for better and faster ways to leverage on the fourth industrial revolution and transform themselves, modern technologies such as cloud computing have a crucial role to play. To better equip businesses, Microsoft today announced the enhancing of its cloud portfolio with the launch of Azure Stack, Microsoft 365 and SQL Server 2017. Together, these solutions will add flavour to Microsoft’s existing array of cloud & hybrid platform, that has been at the helm of driving digital transformation for businesses over the past 25 years in Malaysia.

These solutions are the perfect tools for organizations to boost their hybrid cloud strategy to take advantage of modern cloud computing capabilities. In its recent survey of 1200 IT leaders across Asia on hybrid cloud, the cloud usage in Malaysia will be Hybrid cloud (50%), private cloud (31% and public cloud (19%.)

Celebrating the launch, K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia said, “For Malaysian businesses today, hybrid cloud is a natural progression regardless of size and budgets, to reach their digital ambitions. Many in the industry who have adopted these solutions include UEM Edgenta, Genting Plantations, Malaysian Airlines, Nando’s Doctor2U amongst others. With a firm ear on the ground, we believe in evolving ourselves to meet their new and evolving requirements of enterprises. As such, we have expanded our suite of products and created customisable solutions to enable businesses in Malaysian businesses today to embrace digital transformation – engage with customers, empower their employees, optimize operations and transform their products.

SQL Server and Azure are already trusted by millions for their data and business-related needs. The extension of Azure Stack, SQL Server 2017 offer rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency but to also innovate and enable faster time to market for businesses.”

Details of these new cloud offerings are as follows:

  • Azure Stack extends the Azure ecosystem opportunity by helping enterprises grow their Azure business and reach a larger addressable market through hybrid cloud scenarios. It is an extension of Azure that brings the agility and fast-paced innovation of cloud computing to on-premises environments and enables entirely new hybrid cloud scenarios. It offers consistent hybrid cloud platform, providing an ideal fit for organizations that want flexibility without having to build applications in a different way.
  • Microsoft 365 brings together Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, delivering a complete, intelligent and secure solution to empower employees. It is tailored to address the commercial needs from the largest enterprise to the smallest business, in form of Microsoft 365 Enterpriseand Microsoft 365 Business They help companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers, protect company data across devices with always-on security and simplify the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single IT console. They also empower mobility among employees – to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
  • SQL Server 2017 provides intelligence, on a trusted industry-leading, most secure data platform, and enables innovation for all the data of a company. It enables companies to engage market leading solutions for every workload including Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and OLTP. SQL Server is the most intelligent, fastest and most secure database, and the most intelligent data warehouse that enterprises can rely on for operational analytics.

The launch was done in the presence of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). Wan Murdani Mohamad, Director, Enabling Ecosystem, MDEC, noted how cloud providers are now seen as critical platforms that empower businesses, adding that, “These on-demand facilities, which are designed to help store all sorts of data on the cloud, are now made more affordable, easier to access, very space efficient, and progressively secure. This further strengthens the ecosystem, enabling it to upgrade itself.  As cloud is one of the digital ecosystem focus areas for MDEC, we work very closely with all related service providers and relevant stakeholders to advocate and facilitate the delivery of competitive and sustainable ecosystems in promoting and accelerating the adoption such services. Services that Microsoft is rolling out today engages all three pillars of innovation – Infrastructure and Apps; Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI); and Modern Workplaces. These ongoing efforts are crucial in enabling digital transformation and proper migration to the cloud.”

Peering One is the first Azure Stack service provider in Malaysia. With this collaboration, customers who have hybrid cloud requirement due to latency, connectivity and regulatory have an option now to extend their Azure services to Peering One datacenters. With consistent cloud platform with Azure and Azure Stack, customer can now build and deploy modern application across hybrid cloud environments based on business requirement rather than on technology.

“There are four areas in which IT Leaders need to step up to enable digital transformation – first, they need to get up to speed with the modern tools of managing increasing security and complexity. Second, gain control of their infrastructure with software management tools spanning across public, private, and multiple branded clouds. Third, move quickly to an integrated hybrid cloud which will allow them to benefit from the best of both worlds. Lastly, they need to drive more sophisticated workloads in the cloud to innovate, shorten time to market and maximize the potential which new digital technologies offer. Our modern cloud applications will continue to be are customizable basis needs of the organizations, compliant with regulatory requirements and secure to ensure peace of mind to our customers,” concluded Raman.

The launch took place at the event themed “Enabling Digital Transformation with Microsoft Cloud” that had participation from industry leaders and decision makers from various sectors. It was supported by platinum sponsors such as Cisco Systems (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Citrix, DXC Technology Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo Global Technology Sdn Bhd in addition to other gold sponsors and exhibitors.

As part of the launch, Microsoft has a host of offers. Users who sign up for Azure would receive $200 worth of credit to explore services for 30 days, 12 months of popular free services and 25+ services free of cost. Microsoft 365’s Fast Track customer service is available as part the subscription – delivered by Microsoft engineers to enable the move to cloud at your own pace. It helps migrate email, content, and light up Microsoft 365 services for new users, deploy and securely manage devices including Microsoft 365 powered devices. There is also a discount of upto 30% to run SQL Server on Linux. Additionally, migrating to SQL Server would entitle businesses to receive free licenses, free training and subsidized assessment and support services un June 2018.


Shopee’s East Malaysia Entrepreneurs Challenge winner bags RM3,000

Posted on : 05-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUCHING: Shopee, the leading eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan announced Janet Wong Yew Yiin as the Grand Prize winner of Shopee’s first ever East Malaysia Entrepreneurs Challenge which was held from September 25 to 30, 2017.

The seller whose online shop specialises in home and living category bagged an RM3,000 cash prize after placing first among 30 other selected entrepreneurs from Sabah and Sarawak.

“This is Shopee’s first time organizing an entrepreneurs challenge targeting East Malaysia, as we see great potential and growth for eCommerce in both Sabah and Sarawak which are important markets for us.

“Our aim is to encourage and enable entrepreneurs in East Malaysia to embrace the digital economy,” said Ian Ho, Shopee’s regional managing director in a statement yesterday.

For the East Malaysia Entrepreneurs Challenge, sellers were selected from over 60 participants who attended Shopee University, a series of in-depth tutorial modules crafted by Shopee to aid local entrepreneurs and businesses in setting up their online businesses.

This free entrepreneurial workshop series has been organized in 10 states across Malaysia, training more than 4,000 sellers to date. The judging criteria was based on several variables which included total sales, buyers rating as well as chat response rate on the Shopee App.

“I was very excited when I heard of the Entrepreneurs Challenge and I took it up because I wanted to expand my business not only in Sabah and Sarawak, but also across the whole of Malaysia,” said Wong.

Shopee has become the go-to platform for both buyers and sellers with its Free Shipping Programme across Malaysia and zero commissions incentives which provide cost savings to approximately four million users throughout Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Nur Farhidda Asmadi placed second with an RM1,500 cash prize while Judy Hii Lu King placed third with an RM500 cash prize.

The winners were announced at the Shopee’s Day Out Carnival which took place at Mango Tree Bistro, Kuching. During the event, more than 60 lucky Shopeeholics from Sabah and Sarawak were invited to enjoy Shopee’s first ever carnival organized in East Malaysia.

Earlier in March 2017, Shopee also organized its first ever Shopee Sellers Awards where a full-time housewife, Te Mei Hong, aged 39, was awarded the Seller of Year.

She sold baby products and had a sales record of close to RM1 million within the span of less than 2 years.

Shopee is the leading eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support.


Malaysia moves to 65th (moves up 7 places) spot in economic freedom report – published by Fraser Institute in Canada)

Posted on : 05-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has edged up seven places to rank 65 among 159 countries in 2015, according to the recently-published Economic Freedom of The World Report 2017 (EFW), compared to 72nd placing in 2014.

The report, which ranks countries upon the consistency of their institutions and policies in promoting economic freedom, is published by the Fraser Institute in Canada.

The 2017 edition was calculated based on the data for the index gathered in 2015.

The ranking also revealed that regionally, Malaysia was ranked fourth among Asean countries after Singapore, the Philippines and Cambodia, followed closely by Indonesia and Laos in the fifth and sixth spot.

In a statement today, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) said, Malaysia scored an overall 7.19, an improvement in 0.19 point year on year, driven by an improved “Size of Government” score which reflected the scale of government intervention in a country.

“The improved outlook is indicative of a greater sense of individual economic freedom afforded to the populace,” it said.

Ideas said Malaysia also saw improvements in the “Regulation” and “Access to Sound Money” scores respectively.

“The latter category is judged by how effectively the country adopted policies that generate low inflation.

“The improvement in Malaysia’s ‘Regulation’ score was testament to easing restrictions on businesses,” it said.

It said Malaysia’s scores in key components of EFW are: Size of government (increased to 6.93 from 6.63); Legal system and property rights (fell to 5.76 from 5.87); Access to sound money (improved to 7.01 from 6.85); Freedom to trade internationally (dropped to 7.51 from 7.56); and, Regulation of credit, labour and business (increased to 8.72 from 8.62 ).


Prince Charles and Camilla to visit Malaysia (Nov 3, Gala Dinner celebrating 60 years diplomatic ties between the UK and Malaysia)

Posted on : 05-10-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National

PETALING JAYA: Britain’s Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will be travelling to Penang, Perak and Sarawak during their maiden visit to Malaysia next month.

Their first official visit here is part of an 11-day tour of South-East Asia that will include Singapore and India.

“On Nov 3, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will start their visit to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

“Key events in the programme include a gala dinner celebrating 60 years of diplomatic ties between Britain and Malaysia, attended by senior dignitaries as well as key figures from business, arts, culture and media,” said the British High Commission in a statement yesterday.

The programme includes a celebration of the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Summits to be held in Britain next year and in Malaysia in 2020.

The Prince and Duchess will then head to Sarawak and Perak, where they will see firsthand the work being done to promote wildlife conservation and the protection of biodiversity.

“Their Royal Highnesses will also meet members of Sarawak’s diverse indigenous communities.

“Also, the Duchess will meet with representatives of Purple Lily, an NGO committed to inspiring and empowering disadvantaged women and young girls by providing life skills training and financial education,” the statement said.

The visit will end in Penang, which was originally named Prince of Wales Island.

“The Prince and Duchess will have the opportunity to meet members of different religious and ethnic communities who live side by side in the Unesco World Heritage site and to experience the rich cultural heritage,” said the High Commission.

British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell said the visit would undoubtedly be the highlight of the celebration of 60 years of diplomatic ties.

“We are also very pleased that their Royal Highnesses will have the opportunity to meet Malaysians and experience the rich cultural diversity and heritage here,” she said.