Highlights:

  1. Nor Shamsiah named new Bank Negara Governor
  2. Sarawak welcomes Federal Court decision over Petronas legal challenge
  3. HR Minister: Only local cooks allowed in restaurants
  4. HRDF CEO resigns
  5. Hiring of MBA graduates remains strong
  6. Singapore Food Festival returns next month

Nor Shamsiah named new Bank Negara Governor
Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, who led the investigation into the trail of money that flowed out of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has been appointed as the new Bank Negara Malaysia Governor. She left Bank Negara in November 2016 amidst a clampdown by the previous government on people who probed into the 1MDB. Datuk Nor Shamsiah worked with the central bank for 30 years before she left in November 2016. She takes over from Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim who resigned on June 15. Nomura Global Markets Research said Nor Shamsiah’s appointment implies continuity in the direction and conduct of monetary policy. She had served as deputy governor under Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and she was a member of the monetary policy committee, it said. “We maintain our forecast of the policy rate being left unchanged through the rest of this year, as we forecast GDP growth slowing to 5.1% in 2018 from 5.9% in 2017, below Bank Negara’s 5.5%-6.0% forecast.” After leaving Bank Negara, Nor Shamsiah joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April last year where she was based in Washington DC. She was the assistant director of Monetary and Capital Markets Department there.

Sarawak welcomes Federal Court decision over Petronas legal challenge
Sarawak has welcomed the Federal Court’s decision tdenying Petronas leave to commence a legal challenge against the state government over the national oil company´s right to regulate the state´s oil and gas upstream activities. “Sarawakians have just won in court today. Thank you so much to our legal team and let us all pray for the best in moving forward,” Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said in his official Facebook post. Earlier in Putrajaya, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop dismissed the Petronas application for leave to commence proceedings against the Sarawak government and ordered the national oil company to pay RM50,000 in costs to the state government. Petronas had filed an application on June 6 for leave to commence proceedings under Article 4 (4) of the Federal Constitution to seek a declaration that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) applied in respect of the regulation of upstream activities in Sarawak. It sought the court´s declaration that the PDA was duly enacted by Parliament, and it states that Petronas is the exclusive regulatory authority for the upstream industry throughout Malaysia, including in Sarawak. The company had also sought a declaration that the OMO was impliedly repealed by the PDA.

HR Minister: Only local cooks allowed in restaurants
The Human Resource Ministry wants all restaurants in the country to only recruit locals as cooks from July 1. In making the announcement, Human Resource Minister, M. Kulasegaran however said all operators would be given up to the end of the year to ensure only local cooks work in their restaurants. He said the regulation only permit locals as cooks in all restaurants effective January 1 2019. “There will be no compromise…we are giving you notice to do it by December 31.” Earlier, Kulasegaran met with the Indian Restaurant Operators Association (Prisma) in Petaling Jaya. He said the ministry would be holding more meetings with Prisma as well as the Indian Muslim Restaurant Operators Association (Presma) soon on the implementation of local cooks in restaurants. Kulasegaran said the move would be able to reduce dependence of local restaurants on foreign labour and ensure the quality of the local food. Commenting on the statement, Prisma president P. Muthusamy said the decision was quite shocking and would have major implications on operators. “In the past few years, we have been facing problems of manpower. In fact more than 500 restaurants had closed during the period due to the shortage of workers,” he said. Presma president Ayub Khan said the problem of workers in restaurants was getting more serious as no locals want to work in restaurants.

HRDF CEO resigns
Chief Executive Officer of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) Datuk Vignaesvaran Jeyandran has tendered his resignation effective yesterday. HRDF said in a statement today that deputy CEO Lim Kah Cheng would take over as the acting CEO immediately. The statement said Human Resource Minister, M. Kulasegaran has directed HRDF to establish a Governance Oversight Committee with a mandate to assist the HRDF board of directors to fulfill its oversight responsibilities. “The committee shall review all aspects of the board´s governance framework to ensure the board functions in an effective and efficient manner, to support the operations of the HRDF, ” it said in the statement.

Hiring of MBA graduates remains strong
Eighty one per cent of companies planned to hire MBA graduates this year. This is according to the findings from Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) 2018 Corporate Recruiters Survey, a world wide report which also indicated that MBA hiring remains strong. GMAC recently released its 17th annual survey report which said that 52 per cent of the responding companies around the world also plan to increase MBA starting base salaries this year, a statement said. Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and chief executive officer said they have tracked positive trends in hiring of MBA and business master’s graduates over the past several years as the overall analysis shows MBA hiring is still strong. MBA graduates continue to command a salary premium relative to direct-from-industry hires and bachelor’s degree hires as the projected median base starting salary for recent MBA graduates in the United States in 2018 is US$105,000 (RM 421,575). GMAC is a non-profit association of leading graduate business schools conducted the survey in February and March 2018. GMAC is based in the United States.

Singapore Food Festival returns next month
The Singapore Food Festival (SFF) is making its annual return from 13 to 29 July 2018, with a medley of over 20 gastronomic experiences featuring traditional and contemporary flavours of Singapore. In conjunction with the SFF’s 25th anniversary, there will be a series of culinary offerings that are charmingly whimsical, inventive, and yet familiar, as the festival continues to stay true to its roots by shining the spotlight on authentic local flavours and culinary talents taking centre stage during this period. Themed “Savour Singapore in Every Bite”, the festival not only emphasises familiar Singaporean flavours and dishes. With partner events held across three weekends, the SFF also aims to present Singapore’s rich culture and history through creative offerings such as craft workshops, cooking demos, and theatrical experiences.