Headlines:

  1. Latheefa chairs her first MACC meeti
  2. Approved investments in Malaysia up 3.1% to RM53.9bil in Q1
  3. Proton records highest monthly sales figure in almost 4 years
  4. Gold looks headed toward six-year high as global markets outlook dims
  5. Malaysia to host first international special education exhibition

Latheefa chairs her first MACC meeting
Newly-appointed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya (pic) today chaired her first meeting with the Commission. Latheefa’s appointment was announced on June 4. She replaced Datuk Seri Shukri Abdull, who quit before his tenure was to have ended in 2020. “With the support of the rakyat and my officers in the MACC, we can transform Malaysia into a corruption averse and corruption-free society,” Latheefa said in a statement on Friday following her appointment. She added that she would be looking into long term measures, including education, to create “a culture of intolerance to corruption”. “It is the fundamental right of everything Malaysian to live, work, and prosper in a corruption-free society.”

Approved investments in Malaysia up 3.1% to RM53.9bil in Q1
Malaysia has successfully attracted RM53.9 billion in approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 3.1 per cent from RM52.3 billion recorded in the same period last year. The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said the positive investment growth in Q1 2019 was mainly driven by the robust performance of the manufacturing sector which soared by 126.8 per cent compared with Q1 2018. “Foreign investments increased by 73.4 per cent to RM29.3 billion from RM16.9 billion in Q1 2018. Domestic investments approved in Q1 2019 amounted to RM24.6 billion, contributing 45.6 per cent to the total,” it said in a statement today. It added that the investments approved in January to March 2019 period were from 1,678 projects, and were expected to generate more than 41,200 job opportunities for the country. “The manufacturing sector accounted for the largest share of total potential employment in the economy with 22,970 job opportunities or 55.7 per cent, followed by the services sector with 18,000 job opportunities (43.7 per cent) and primary sector with 240 employment opportunities (0.6 per cent),” it said. MIDA said the jobs created included 1,590 electrical and electronics engineers, 710 mechanical engineers and 180 chemical engineers. In addition, the approved manufacturing projects will also require about 1,710 skilled craftsmen such as plant maintenance supervisors, tools and die makers, machinists, information technology personnel, quality controllers, electricians and welders. Two notable investments from the United States were projects from Micron Technology and Jabil Circuit, which will be expanding their manufacturing operations in Penang, while an investment from China was by XSD International Paper, which is projected to drive the development of all related papermaking in the region with its proposed investment of RM2.3 billion. “These approved projects are expected to generate strong multiplier effects, which include the growth of domestic companies or engineering supporting industries, cluster development, local sourcing, strengthening of research and development activities and human capital development,” it said. As for country breakdown for approved foreign investment in the manufacturing sector, the US contributed RM11.5 billion, China (RM4.4 billion), Singapore (RM2.2 billion), Japan (0.6 billion), and the British Virgin Islands (RM0.5 billion).

Proton records highest monthly sales figure in almost 4 years
Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) sold 10,611 cars in May — its highest sales figure in 46 months. The carmaker said the number of units sold during the month was 51.3 per cent higher compared with April — thus boosting overall sales growth for the first five months of 2019 to over 70 per cent year-on-year. “Market share for the month is estimated to be at 17.2 per cent, marking another high point for the company since January 2016,” it said in a statement today. Proton attributed the strong sales growth to the Proton X70, the company’s first sport utility vehicle (SUV), with 2,439 units sold in May, bringing the total units delivered in the first five months of the year to 13,572. “As such, the Proton X70 remains as the SUV market leader in terms of overall sales,” it said. Meanwhile, the automotive company said the cumulative sales figure for recently launched models accounted for 36 per cent of its overall sales, adding that it had also received over 10,000 bookings to-date. Chief executive officer Li Chunrong said Proton aimed to continue its sales growth by introducing improvements to its current model range and improving brand experience by opening more 3S/4S outlets.

Gold looks headed toward six-year high as global markets outlook dims
Gold is gaining the traction needed to boost prices to a level not seen since 2013 as concern mounts over increased trade war tensions and the global growth outlook. Bullion may touch $1,400 an ounce this year as investors hedge risk, according to Rhona O’Connell, head of market analysis for EMEA and Asia regions at INTL FCStone Inc.  Spot gold was at about $1,326 an ounce on Monday after jumping to a 13-month high of $1,348.31 on Friday on the back of a weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs report for May. Gold is seeing a revival after a lackluster few months as investors weigh the prospects for slowing global growth and increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates.

Malaysia to host first international special education exhibition
For the first time, Malaysia will host an International Special Education Exhibition 2019 (ISEE 2019) with the support of the Ministry of Education that seeks to bring together leaders from both industry and academia to benefit and empower people with special needs. The four-day ISEE 2019 in August is set to create a benchmark for special needs education with the participation of various ministries, universities, exhibitors, sponsors, international and local researchers, speakers, care-givers, parents and people with special needs themselves. ISEE 2019 is co-organised by the National Special Education Association (PPKK) and Special Education Association of Kuala Lumpur (PPKKL) in collaboration with Universiti Malaya. Founder and Managing Director of GR8 Dreams Sdn Bhd, Datin Lorela Chia, is the chairman of the organising committee. As at January this year, 83,039 special needs children were registered in government schools nationwide.