Highlights:

  1. Recruitment of foreign workers via agents to be abolished soon
  2. Malaysia exploring new markets for all commodity exports
  3. Malaysia’s economic fundamentals strong, capable of withstanding external crisis
  4. 1 in 2 Malaysian Businesses Believe They’ll Struggle to Meet Changing Customer Demands Within 5 Years

Recruitment of foreign workers via agents to be abolished soon
The system of recruiting foreign workers through agents or companies will be abolished soon. Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the task which is now outsourced by the ministry to more than 100 companies, would be taken over by the Human Resource Ministry via Private Employment Agencies (APS). According to him, APS are subject to a special act to ensure the intake of foreign workers is better managed according to existing regulations and laws. He added that negotiations with the companies involved had been held and the government agreed to give more time to these companies to place workers under their responsibility to selected  employers. “Our objective in taking the measure is to avoid several undesirable matters such as human trafficking and various issues relating to foreign workers,” he said.

Malaysia exploring new markets for all commodity exports
Malaysia is exploring new markets for all commodities including rubber and palm oil, said Primary Industries. Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said the move was to ensure the growth in revenue from the export of all commodities and their continuous contributions to the country and the people. “The new markets for palm oil include North Africa, besides maintaining the traditional markets which are the major buyers of Malaysian palm oil. “We are also looking for new markets to introduce a new product by the Malaysian Rubber Board, that is, seismic glass (building material) which absorbs shocks such as tsunami…buildings which use this glass can absorb this kind of shocks (tsunami),” he said.

Malaysia’s economic fundamentals strong, capable of withstanding external crisis
Malaysia’s relatively strong and firm economic fundamentals is capable of withstanding external-driven crisis, said MIDF Amanah Investment Bank (MIDF). While saying that the economy was driven by domestic spending and lesser exposure to external trade, the research house added that the steady pick-up in global energy prices provided additional support for private investment and employment, particularly in the mining sector. After the global financial crisis in 2009, Malaysia gradually shifted from being export-dependent to domestic-driven economy. “The share of exports to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) trimmed to 70.4 per cent in 2017 from 98.2 per cent in 2007, while imports’ share fell to 62.1 per cent from 76.5 per cent over the 10-year period,” it said in a research note today. The latest exports share was at a 23-year low and imports at a 17-year low as net exports’ contribution to GDP nosedived to a 21-year low at 8.4 per cent in 2017 while private consumption stood above 50 per cent for five-consecutive years since 2013.

1 in 2 Malaysian Businesses Believe They’ll Struggle to Meet Changing Customer Demands Within Five Years
Just 3% of Malaysian businesses are Digital Leaders, according to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index (the DT Index). The DT Index, which was completed in collaboration with Intel, maps digital transformation progress of mid to large-sized companies and examines the digital hopes and fears of business leaders. The study reveals that 51% of Malaysian business leaders believe their organisation will struggle to meet changing customer demands and 48% fear they’ll be left behind within just five years. The DT Index’s calculations are based on companies’ perceived performance in the following areas: delivering against the core attributes of a digital business, their existing IT strategy, workforce transformation strategy and planned investments. Two years after the DT Index’s initial launch in 2016, Dell Technologies and Intel have more than doubled the scope of the research, from 16 countries to 42 and benchmarked 4,600 businesses. According to the DT Index, only 18% of Malaysian businesses are categorised as Digital Adopters. These companies have advanced digital plans and innovations in place to power their transformation. According to the research, the top five barriers to digital transformation are lack of budget and resources; data privacy and cybersecurity concerns; lack of the right in-house skill sets and expertise; lack of senior support and sponsorship and immature digital culture; lack of alignment and collaboration across the company