Highlights:

  1. Government to formulate gender equality bill for women
  2. National cyber security policy to be introduced next year
  3. Malaysia to have first overseas branch campus of Japanese university
  4. MIM to launch Dr Mahathir Mohamad Leadership Series
  5. Malaysia-UAE trade up 15 per cent
  6. Singapore to start trial for on-demand public buses

Government to formulate gender equality bill for women
Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the government is working towards formulating a gender equality bill as an investment for the country at several levels. “The commitment towards increasing women’s leadership representation in the government is clearly evidenced by the number of senior cabinet ministerial appointments. “Currently, we have five women ministers (17.86%) out of 28 ministers and 4 women deputy ministers (14.81%) out of 27 deputy ministers,” she said in her speech when officiating The Big Tulip Summit – Women in Business, Industry and Government Programme in Kuala Lumpur. Dr Wan Azizah said presently, in Malaysia there are 32 women (14.41%) out of 222 members in the House of Representatives and 13 women (19.4%) out of 67 in the Senate. The increase in percentage of women in the field of politics would ensure more women’s voices could be heard at the highest level of decision making in the country, she added. She said the National Policy on Women and its Action Plan is also a reflection of the government’s commitment to ensure the participation of women in achieving their full potential in the country’s planning and development.

National cyber security policy to be introduced next year
A national cyber security policy will be introduced in the first quarter of next year to curb cyber attacks said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. He said that the policy aimed to curb cyber attacks from within and outside the country, including to protect personal information of Internet users. “The policy is being drafted by the ministry and we expect it to be announced in March next year. It will support our cybersecurity industry growth which include enhanced cybersecurity incident response and digital forensics with data analytic capabilities,” he told a media conference in Kuala Lumpur. He added that the ministry was also in talks with several other ministries to amend or introduce new laws relating to cybercrime and cyberbullying.

Malaysia to have first overseas branch campus of Japanese university
The first ever overseas branch campus of a Japanese university is highly likely to be set up in Malaysia, Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Makio Miyagawa disclosed today. He said as a policy, Japanese universities had never established any overseas branch campuses, but Japan’s Ministry of Education recently changed the policy, inspired by a request from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “Our Ministry of Education decided to meet the request from Tun Dr Mahathir and has already amended its regulations to allow Japanese universities to seek establishment overseas,” he told Bernama in an interview. Dr Miyagawa said the ministry had been approaching various universities inside Japan and the response so far had been fairly positive and the most positive was from Tsukuba University. “There are a couple of others, but Tsukuba University is now standing in a front row. This state-owned university is one of Japan’s oldest and it expanded its horizon to cover most of the research areas inside Japan, which has also produced Nobel Prize laureates,” he added. Dr Miyagawa said one issue that had to be tackled before this could become a reality concerned the university’s status as an institution which is run with substantial subsidies by the government. Another issue is the uncertainty over how many Malaysian or Southeast Asian students will enter the university and whether any scholarship may be provided if the fees are to rise.  The university to create the first branch campus overseas should overcome such concerns. According to Dr Miyagawa, under the Look East Policy, at least 16,000 Malaysians had studied in Japan with Malaysian government scholarships, but there were far more Malaysian students who had studied in Japan on their own budget as well, adding that he had met many of the alumni who had been expanding their wings and contributing diligently to nation-building in Malaysia.

MIM to launch Dr Mahathir Mohamad Leadership Series
The Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) will launch the Dr Mahathir Mohamad Leadership Series on 19 December. MIM President, Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar said the event is the first in a series of lectures that will bring together distinguished national and international personalities from government, industry, education and civil society to share ideas and insights and spark fresh thinking on global challenges and nation building. “We recognise that the world is changing at an incredible speed and the old models of leadership no longer apply. Given the magnitude, pace and complexity of change, MIM is committed to providing thought-leadership around some of the most topical and crucial issues affecting us today,” Tun Hanif said. “MIM believes there is a great opportunity now to ensure the emergence of a generation of talented leaders to guide the country’s progress and spur economic growth and shared prosperity,” he added.

Malaysia-UAE trade up 15 per cent
Bilateral trade between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia last year amounted to US$6.1 billion worth, a 15 per cent increase from the previous year, said the Gulf country’s Ambassador to Malaysia Khalid Ghanim AlGhaith. From this, the UAE re-exported US$ 3.5 billion worth of Malaysian products to the global market, he said at a reception hosted by the UAE embassy to celebrate the country’s 47th national day in Kuala Lumpur. Highlighting the growing ties between the two countries, AlGhaith said UAE-Malaysia ties were based on the principles of cooperation and mutual respect and have reached the level of strategic partnership between the two and its peoples in recent years.

Singapore to start six-month trial for on-demand public buses
Singapore’s Land Transport Authority will soon trial its on-demand public bus (ODPB) services, which allow commuters to request pick-ups and drop-offs at any bus stop within defined areas using mobile applications. The first part of the trial will kick off on 17 December. It allows commuters in the Joo Koon and Marina-Downtown areas to request the on-demand services on weekdays from 11am to 3pm. They can also arrange for pick-ups and drop-offs on weeknights, from 8.30pm to 11.30pm within Joo Koon and until 11.45pm within Marina-Downtown. These day services will be operated by SBS Transit and are available until Jun 15. Commuters may download the mobile applications BusGo for the weekday ODPB in Joo Koon and BusNow for the weekday service in Marina-Downtown, as well as the weekend night services serving the CBD to Bedok and Tampines route. App features include the ability to key in a landmark or drag and drop location pins, walking direction to the boarding bus stop, real-time updates on bus location and arrival time, option to make group bookings, as well as the ability to indicate if passengers need wheelchair space.