Headlines:

  1. Malaysia studying ways to cut red tape to boost business-friendly environment
  2. Bumiputera SMEs urged to join GEB programme
  3. Health Ministry to propose hiking private clinic fees by year-end
  4. HK police to flood streets with 5,000 officers as city braces for second wave of protests against extradition bill
  5. Young entrepreneurs take to the Main Stage at Techsauce Global Summit

Malaysia studying ways to cut red tape to boost business-friendly environment
Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government is looking into ways to reduce the regulatory cost and number of processes to conduct business in the country. He noted that investors and businesses were finding it difficult to get permission to invest and help contribute to the growth of the country’s economy. “In the construction industry, for example, there are at least 60 processes that must be undergone, so we are doing an assessment on this to help ease the process of doing business here.” “The Chief Secretary to the Government has now been instructed to reduce the number of processes and agencies to reduce the time to give approval for investments,” he told a press conference after chairing the Economic Action Council (EAC) meeting in Putrajaya today.

Bumiputera SMEs urged to join GEB programme
Bumiputera small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to join the Galakan Eksport Bumiputera (GEB) programme to enable them to expand into global markets. SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp) chief executive officer Noor Azmi Mat Said said of the country’s one million SME entrepreneurs, only 20 per cent are Bumiputeras, who are mostly focused on the local food and beverage market. Speaking at a media conference in Melaka, he said under the export promotion scheme, eligible Bumiputera SME entrepreneurs may obtain financing of up to RM500,000 for rental of premises, advertising, marketing and foreign certification. He said SME Corp is also encouraging Bumiputrera SME entrepreneurs to explore new businesses such as in the digital sector in line with the rising popularity of e-sports games. He added that RM16.7 million has been allocated for the Program Peningkatan Perusahaan Bumiputera (BEEP) in Melaka involving 116 SMEs, with 165 projects approved since its implementation in 2013. This year alone, RM250,046 in BEEP grants has been approved for 18 SMEs in the state, he noted.

Health Ministry to propose hiking private clinic fees by year-end
Consultation fees of private clinics in Malaysia may increase by year-end, as the government is mulling an increase in general practitioners’ (GPs) fees. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said his ministry will present the proposed fee hike to the National Cost of Living Action Council (NACCOL) during its upcoming meeting. Addressing the grouses of GPs that the consultation fees has not been increased in the past 27 years, Datuk Seri Dzulkefly said the Cabinet had not dismissed the proposal to hike the fee but had suggested that the matter be presented to the action council beforehand. The current GP fees are set at a minimum RM10 to RM35 under the 7th Schedule of the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services (Private Medical Clinics and Private Dental Clinics) Regulations 2006.

Hong Kong police to flood streets with 5,000 officers as city braces for second wave of protests against extradition bill
Hong Kong police are planning to flood the streets with 5,000 officers in response to calls for a second wave of protests (pic) outside the city’s legislature and administrative headquarters on Tuesday night. The deployment from a total force of 30,000 will see officers drafted in from all over Hong Kong, and comes in response to the running battles that took place between police and protesters in the early hours of Monday morning. Personnel from various formations, such as the Police Tactical Unit and Emergency Unit, have been told to report for duty at 6pm. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has urged schools, businesses and unions to think twice before going on strike in protest against her extradition bill, saying it would put the future of young people on the line. She made the appeal a day after more than 100 restaurants, stores and businesses vowed to shut up shop for a day to allow workers to join the demonstration planned outside the legislature on Wednesday, when the unpopular bill resumes its second reading. Student leaders at various universities on Tuesday were set to announce their plan for a school boycott, after Sunday’s historic march, which organisers said drew over 1 million people. Lam has refused to budge on the plan which, if passed, would allow the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions which the city lacks an extradition deal with, including mainland China.

Young entrepreneurs take to the Main Stage at Techsauce Global Summit
Day one of this year’s Techsauce Global Summit in Bangkok will feature some very young entrepreneurs on the main stage. Entitled, Preparing Our New Generation for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet, this special session will ask how we are preparing the next generation to survive and thrive in our rapidly-evolving world. Dr Linda Liukas, author of the Hello Ruby book series, will host the special panel which features three young business talents; Kaede Takenaka, founder of KIDLetCoin, Irawadee Thawornbut, founder of SandeeForGood.com, and Akshat Mittal, founder of ChangeMyIndia. Together they will explore the education system and attempt to answer the question as to whether the government is doing enough to ensure a prosperous future for the next generations. The inspirational young contributors will present and discuss their daily challenges as entrepreneurs.