Highlights:

  1. Japanese business sentiment highest in five years
  2. Substantial reduction of government debt in next few months – PM Mahathir
  3. Internet connectivity limitation leads to slow progress towards Vision 2020
  4. Colony to Invest RM4.5 Million in Luxurious New Centre at KL Sentral
  5. 64% of corporate givers have integrated giving into their business
  6. Tasting Kitchen Magazine Honored at the 2018 SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence

Japanese business sentiment highest in five years
Japanese business sentiment in Malaysia, which has been at its peak for five years, is expected to improve further in the second half of 2018 and in the future. This is according to the findings of an online survey conducted by the Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry Malaysia (JACTIM) and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on the first half of this year. 184 Japanese companies, which represented 33 per cent of JACTIM’s members responded to the three-month survey, which revealed an increasing trend in business sentiment since the second half of 2015. Diffusion Index (DI), the leading indicator of business climate for the first half of 2018, recorded 7.1 points, the highest in the last five years. The survey is conducted twice a year to grasp the problems faced by JACTIM members in their business operations every year. In a joint statement, they said many Japanese companies cited the stable economic growth in the country as the main reason for future expansion.

Substantial reduction of government debt in next few months – PM Mahathir
Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government’s debt should be substantially reduced within the next few months. He said since taking over as prime minister, his government had cancelled a number of costly projects which contributed to the overall debt reduction. “Trying to reduce debt is a tough job, but we have cancelled a number of costly projects,” he said at the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Kuala Lumpur. He said the government’s efforts at improving the financial situation and economy of the country, however, was not being taken positively by foreign investors, leading to a capital outflow. “Sometimes, I feel the market prefers to be told lies on how good we are, rather than the truth,” he added.

Internet connectivity limitation leads to slow progress towards Vision 2020
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has identified Internet connectivity limitation as one of the key factors that is slowing down the progress towards achieving vision 2020. IDC Asia Pacific Research Director of Internet of Things (IoT) and Telecommunication Companies (Telco) Randy Roberts said based on their study, 53 per cent of its respondents said the key barriers for Internet access was high prices, poor coverage and slow bandwidth. Meanwhile, 63 per cent said that the wireless speed in their coverage area was too slow for most applications. “The increase in Internet connectivity will be a significant contributor in connecting remote citizen populations to online markets, increasing their access to healthcare and government services, and expanding exposure to news and media,” he said in a statement today. IDC also urged the expansion of wired and wireless networks to provide improved Internet access for consumers as well as local enterprises, which will benefit from the growth in online services such as e-commerce, online banking and real-time news and information.

Colony to Invest RM4.5 Million in Luxurious New Centre at KL Sentral
Luxurious serviced office and co-working space provider Colony said it is set to open its 3rd location in Malaysia at KL Sentral by the end of the year. Colony’s new KL Sentral location will have MSC Status and accommodate over 200 guests in private offices and fixed desks. The Company has been known to invest heavily into luxurious fittings for its workspaces and has committed a RM4.5 million investment on this new location. Since its inception a year ago, Colony has flourished in its prime KL city centre location, accomplishing successful growth and raking in impressive profits. In April, the one year old company sold a stake to Cornerstone Partners at a RM64-80 million valuation and in May announced its largest coworking anchor tenant for its KL Eco City location that will bring in RM5.6 million in revenues.

64% of corporate givers have integrated giving into their business
Companies that engage in philanthropy and volunteerism are finding ways to incorporate their giving into key business functions. The Corporate Giving Survey (CGS) 2017, is a national study conducted by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) that examines philanthropy, volunteerism and other ways of giving amongst businesses. Melissa Kwee, Chief Executive Officer of NVPC, said, “Companies are a vital part of building a caring and inclusive City of Good. We embarked on this survey to find out the state of giving amongst companies and identify opportunities to support their businesses. Through this survey, we have discovered that many businesses in Singapore adopt a pragmatic approach to corporate giving by finding ways to strategically align profit and purpose. It’s good news that that many businesses have embraced corporate giving with an entrepreneurial spirit that fuels both profit and purpose. This people-centric and purposeful approach will help ensure that corporate giving is more impactful and sustainable.”

Tasting Kitchen Magazine Honored at the 2018 SOPA Awards for Editorial Excellence
Tasting Kitchen (TK), Asia’s leading epicurean lifestyle and travel magazine, received double honors, for Excellence in Magazine Design and Excellence in Photography, from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) 2018 Editorial Awards. This marks the fourth year in which TK has been recognized, with a total of eight awards, by the region’s most highly regarded publishing prize. TK Art Director Alicia Beebe, helped launch Tasting Kitchen and continues to be the creative force behind the publication’s distinctive design ethos of bold simplicity, clean lines, and elegant understatement. The SOPA judges also recognized the journalistic interplay between the magazine’s design and photography, commenting on the issue’s “gorgeous, stunning photos that pop with color and add a layer of old-world sophistication to the magazine.”