Highlights:

  1. SAMENTA calls for 30 per cent share of government procurement
  2. WB: Budget 2019 to set economic tone beyond next fiscal year
  3. GMI, LVD team up to produce highly-skilled workforce
  4. Jakarta will be world´s most populated megacity by 2030
  5. European court rejects call for Batang Kali massacre probe

Give SME vendors 30 per cent share of government procurement
The Small and Medium Enterprises Association Malaysia (SAMENTA) wants the government to set a target of having 30 per cent of all procurement by government departments as well as government and government-linked agencies come from small and medium enterprise (SME) vendors. In a statement, Chairman for Policy and Government Relations Datuk William Ng said this would give the SMEs greater market access. Presenting the association’s wish list for Budget 2019, he also expressed hope that the government would retain the tax reduction scheme currently used in years of assessment 2017 and 2018 of between one and four per cent for any increase in chargeable income to stimulate greater growth among the SMEs. On manpower, Datuk Ng said the association wants the government to consider making a 1 per cent additional contribution to the Employees Provident Fund accounts of all SME employees. This, he explained, would counter the talent crunch that was inhibiting SME growth.

Budget 2019 to set economic tone beyond next fiscal year
In a related development, the World Bank Group said the 2019 Budget will set the tone for the country’s economic environment beyond the next fiscal year. Lead Economist in Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Richard Record said the budget, to be tabled was expected to unveil the government’s fiscal policy and direction, as well as, measures to balance the twin challenges of fiscal consolidation, namely growth and debt. “It will be an important chance to send the signal to investors and the private sector about the reform and growth opportunities that Malaysia has,” he told reporters during a briefing on the East Asia and Pacific Economic Update in Kuala Lumpur. According to the World Bank report, Malaysia’s economy growth is expected to moderate to 4.9 per cent, 4.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, from 5.9 per cent last year. It said the forecast was on the back of slower export and trade outlook, as well as lower public investment and consumption due to the cancellation of several large infrastructure projects. The 2019 Budget is scheduled to be presented at the Dewan Rakyat on 2 November 2018.

GMI, LVD team up to produce highly-skilled workforce
The German-Malaysian Institute (GMI) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LVD Malaysia to produce highly-skilled workers for the country’s metalwork industry. GMI managing director, Yusoff Md Sahir said the smart partnership for a period of three years until 2020 involved the provision of training programmes, consultancy and industrial training, as well as increasing employability of the trainees in order to meet the needs of this industry. “This collaboration also provides an opportunity for GMI students to have industrial training in 46 countries including Mexico and China where LVD plants are located,” he told Bernama. LVD Malaysia which has a technology centre located at its headquarters in Shah Alam, is part of the Belgium-based LVD Group, which is one of the world’s biggest producers and suppliers of sheet metalworking machinery.

Jakarta to become world´s most populated megacity by 2030
Jakarta – Indonesia’s capital city – will overtake Tokyo as the most populated megacity in the world by 2030 according to a report — “Megacities: Developing Country Domination’’ — released by Euromonitor International. Euromonitor International in a statement said this will mark a new era in urban history as Jakarta will be the first emerging city to hold the title of world’s largest megacity with 35.6 million inhabitants in 2030. Tokyo will lose the spot it had since the 1950s with a decrease of two million people as an outcome of the ageing phenomenon observed in developed regions. “Several other East-Asian cities are also affected by the ageing trend. Seoul, will add 2.5 million inhabitants aged over 65 years between 2017-2030, followed by Shanghai with 2.2 million and Beijing with 1.8 million,” said senior city analyst at Euromonitor International, Fransua Vytautas Razvadauskas. Euromonitor International’s data showed that 15 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to come from megacities as 60 per cent of the world population will become urban by 2030.

European court rejects call for Batang Kali massacre probe
Europe’s top rights court today rejected a call to probe the shooting deaths of 24 Malaysian rubber plantation workers by British troops in 1948, saying it came too late. Relatives of the workers (pic) have waged a decades-long fight for an enquiry into the “Batang Kali massacre”, which occurred on December 12, 1948 during what is known as the Malayan Emergency, when Commonwealth forces fought a communist-inspired revolt in what was then a British colony. But the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, eastern France, which hears complaints about alleged violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, rejected the petition as “inadmissible”. “The Court found it had no competence to examine the applicants’ complaint because it did not come within its temporal jurisdiction,” a panel of seven judges ruled. The court explained that it had no jurisdiction in the matter because the deaths occurred more than 10 years before Britain allowed individuals to bring cases directly to the European court. The judges also noted that complainants had far exceeded the six-month limit on bringing a case in the wake of significant new evidence, given that soldiers had admitted to being ordered to fire on the workers as far back as 1970. The court’s decision is final.