The week at a glance 5 November 2017

Sabah & Sarawak

Sarawak Pay goes live

Sarawakians will soon be able to go cashless when they pay for their utility bills as Sarawak Pay is expected to be rolled out this month. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is optimistic that the state’s digital payment system will be initiated from November onwards, making it convenient for citizens to settle transactions with the government.

 

New route helps Scoot’s branding in East Malaysia

The newly-launched route connecting Kuching with Singapore will help Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd (Scoot) expand its reach into Malaysia as it repositions itself within the global low cost airline industry. Its chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan was optimistic of this new route which connects Singapore – a hub of modern amenities full of cultural heritage – with Kuching, also another unique cultural hub.

 

‘Automation the way forward for commodity industry’

Smallholders should take advantage of the incentives announced in the 2018 Budget to adopt mechanisation, in a move forward  to enhance production and reduce reliance on foreign workers in the commodity industry, says Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong. In the long-run, he said embracing automation was key to solving smallholders’ problems.

 

64 pct of Sabahan borrowers repay Tekun Nasional loans

Sixty-four per cent of Sabahans, who benefitted from National Entrepreneurial Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) financing, have made repayments, making them the second highest number of borrowers who have repaid their loans in the country. Sabah Tekun Nasional Manager Salim Abidin said this achievement proved that Sabahans were able to repay loans and the excellent record was a guarantee for new borrowers who wanted to start a business in Sabah.

 

AirAsia expands Kuching’s international reach with new Kuching-Shenzhen route

AirAsia Bhd (AirAsia) has once again expanded Kuching’s international flight network by introducing its latest Kuching-Shenzhen daily direct flights. The new route marks the third international route from Kuching and the third new route launched from Kuching International Airport this year; besides Pontianak and Langkawi as AirAsia continues to expand its East Malaysia hub.

 

AirAsia launches first international route from Bintulu to Singapore

AirAsia on Friday launched the first international route from Bintulu to Singapore. The new route will commence on 27 December 2017 with four times weekly direct flights. The introduction of the new unique route is in line with the airline’s continuous expansion plan in Sarawak.

 

Inaugural ministerial meeting of palm oil producing countries in Bali

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong led the Malaysian Delegation to co-chair the Inaugural Ministerial Meeting of Palm Oil Producing Countries (IMMPOPC) on Thursday in Bali, Indonesia. Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong described the meeting as historic and the first of its kind, where major oil palm producing countries, led by Malaysia and Indonesia, officially congregated to address the unprecedented challenges that the industry faces.

 

National

Malaysia to consider FTA with US If TPPA does not materialise, says Najib

Malaysia will consider a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US if the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPPA) fails to materilaise. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said at present, Malaysia and the US are committed to continuing with the dialogue in discussing trade and investment issues, via the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.

 

Malaysia remains in top 25 among 190 world economies

Malaysia remained in the top 25 among 190 global economies this year in the latest World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report, with a favourable business climate, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

 

Malaysia’s 2018 fiscal deficit target of 2.8 pct achievable – Moody’s

International rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service expects Malaysia to achieve its target of reducing the fiscal deficit to 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 from three per cent this year, given the supportive economic growth and commodity price environment.

 

Maximum interest rate on credit sales to be enforced on January 1, 2018

The maximum fixed interest rate of 15 per cent per annum that can be imposed by companies providing credit facilities will be enforced on January 1, 2018, the Dewan Rakyat was told. Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said this followed the adoption of the Consumer Protection (Credit Sale) Regulations 2017 passed before the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara in April to address the problem of high interest rates charged on credit sale transactions.

 

Multiplier effect of high dividend payout

Dividend payment by big cap companies like Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) goes beyond rewarding shareholders and the depositors or unit trust holders of institutions with holdings in the listed entity. It has a multiplier effect that benefits the nation, as a whole.

Listed on Bursa Malaysia in 1990, TNB started paying its first dividend in 1994. Since then, it has been rewarding its shareholders with cash returns on a regular basis through the declaration of interim and final dividends each financial year.

 

Najib, Jack Ma flag off 1,972 export-ready SMEs onboarD DFTZ

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and founder/ executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma brought-to-live Malaysia’s Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) by flagging off more than 1,972 export-ready small and medium enterprises (SMEs) onboard.

The world’s first DFTZ is a key component in driving Malaysia’s digital economy, facilitating SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border trade.

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