Highlights:

  1. Osman Sapian Resigns as MB Johor
  2. Malaysia, Singapore agree to find amicable solution to water supply issue
  3. Touch ‘N Go to collaborate with Singapore’s EZ to develop dual currency card
  4. Malaysia and Indonesia Take the Top Positions in the Muslim Travel Market
  5. McDonald’s Malaysia receives Halal CSR Excellence Award at the World Halal Conference 2019
  6. BNM Sandbox Participant Moneymatch Granted Approval in Principle
  7. RSA Conference 2019 APJ Announces Innovation Program for Regional Cybersecurity Entrepreneurs Ecosystem

Osman Sapian has resigned as Johor MB
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that Datuk Osman Sapian has officially resigned as Johor Mentri Besar. Asked if there was any potential candidates to take over the position, Tun Dr Mahathir said there are three to four. He added that the new Menteri Besar would be chosen from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Malaysia, Singapore agree to find amicable solution to water supply issue
Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed said Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to find an amicable solution to the issue over the supply of water between the two countries. He said such efforts would include the possibility of dispute resolution through arbitration on a mutually agreed basis. Tun Dr Mahathir announced this at a joint media conference with his Singapore counterpart, Mr Lee Hsien Loong after the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat in Putrajaya. The water agreement between the two countries was among the issues discussed by the two leaders. Mr Lee said it was in the interest of the two countries to work together to ensure sustainable water supply for both sides, which would reduce the potential for further conflict in the future.

Touch ‘N Go to collaborate with Singapore’s EZ to develop dual currency card
Touch ‘N Go Sdn Bhd (TNG) is collaborating with its Singaporean counterpart EZ-Link Pte Ltd to create a public transport card that will work in both countries. The two companies have announced that they will co-develop the dual currency Combi Card, which is targeted to launch in the fourth quarter of this year. The Combi Card will securely host electronic wallets from both EZ-Link and Touch ‘N Go, and enable users to pay for their public transportation trips on both sides of the causeway without having to switch cards, according to a statement issued by both companies. EZ-Link CEO Nicholas Lee says the card will also allow users to conveniently pay for the contactless toll gates known as electronic road pricing in Singapore, highway tolls in Malaysia, plus parking or shopping at participating retail outlets in both countries. Currently Touch ‘N Go has more than 23 million active cards in circulation, while EZ-Link has issued about 30 million cards.

Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019: Malaysia and Indonesia Take the Top Positions in the Fast Growing Muslim Travel Market
For the first time, Malaysia and Indonesia share the top spot in the Mastercard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019. The report includes 130 destinations globally, within and outside the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Singapore continues to be the top Muslim-friendly travel destination among non-OIC destinations, followed by Thailand, the United Kingdom, Japan and Taiwan. The GMTI tracks the health and growth of Muslim-friendly travel destinations in four strategic areas – access, communications, environment and services. The GMTI is now the leading study providing insights and data to help countries, the travel industry and investors gauge the development of travel sectors while benchmarking a country’s progress in catering to Muslim travellers. The Muslim travel market is one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world, but despite its huge potential, remains relatively untapped. By 2026, the Halal travel sector’s contribution to the global economy is expected to jump 35% to US$300 billion, up from US$220 billion in 2020. By that time, Muslim visitors globally are forecast to grow to 230 million visitors, to represent more than 10 percent of tourists worldwide. Indonesia has reached the top spot on the Index through the sustained efforts by the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism to invest in its tourism and travel industry, and develop Muslim-tourist friendly infrastructure. Climbing up from number two, Indonesia now shares the top spot with Malaysia, with a score of 78 on the Index.

McDonald’s Malaysia receives Halal CSR Excellence Award at the World Halal Conference 2019
McDonald’s Malaysia was the recipient of the Halal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Excellence Award (pic) last week at the World Halal Conference 2019. The award is an initiative by the Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) to recognise companies that have demonstrated an on-going commitment in incorporating ethical values, compliance with legal requirements, and respect for individuals, communities, and the environment in the way they do business. With a strong sense of community, McDonald’s Malaysia is committed to making a positive impact in the community. In 2018 alone, the company carried out over 10,000 community engagement activities. These include zakat contribution, recruitment of asnaf youths for McDonald’s apprenticeship programme under the Ministry of Human Resources’ National Dual Training System, and the “Back-to-School” programme – in which 17,000 primary school children from urban poor families received school packs.

BNM Sandbox Participant Moneymatch Granted Approval in Principle
FinTech Startup MoneyMatch announced they have been granted an approval in principle for a Class B remittance license from Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) to conduct digital remittance services for businesses and individuals, including among the first approved to conduct eKYC (electronic know-your-customer onboarding technology) via their mobile app enabling branchless and seamless customer experience. MoneyMatch was part of the first batch of approved participants in BNM’s Regulatory Sandbox back in May 2017 and is vying to become the first FinTech startup to successfully graduate from the Sandbox by the middle of this year. MoneyMatch was the first startup approved by BNM’s Financial Technology Enabler Group (FTEG) to offer a complete digital experience from customer onboarding (eKYC) to executing transactions online. Since beginning operations in June 2017, MoneyMatch has successfully transacted over MYR 450 million in transaction value servicing thousands of individuals and business customers. Recently, MoneyMatch was awarded as one of the top ASEAN FinTechs at the Singapore FinTech Festival 2018. They are targeting to expand to Australia as they have recently obtained license from Australia Securities and Investments Commission to provide remittance services. This will transform MoneyMatch into a multi-national FinTech startup with Malaysian origins. Today, MoneyMatch employs over 50 full-time staff growing from just 3 co-founders and they have claimed to have raised over RM 7 million to date with their most recent investor being Cradle Seed Ventures investing over RM 2 million. MoneyMatch is now looking to raise more investments to fund their aggressive expansion plans around APAC region.

RSA Conference 2019 APJ Announces Innovation Program for Regional Cybersecurity Entrepreneurs Ecosystem
RSA Conference, the world’s leading information security conferences and expositions, has today announced its new innovation program in the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region to help cybersecurity startups move from pilot or stealth to proof of concept and scale. The RSA Conference (RSAC) innovation program in the USA has proven success, enabling startups like NuID, Spherical Defence and Styra to take the next step in growth. RSAC is now working to make this program a reality in the APJ region. The innovation program will be a new and integral part of RSAC 2019 APJ, which begins on Tuesday, 16 July, and runs through Thursday, 18 July in Singapore. Into its seventh year, RSAC 2019 APJ will support Singapore’s endeavor to develop early and growth-stage cybersecurity entrepreneurs and startups, whether homegrown or from across the world. These programs will reach entrepreneurs at all stages in their careers and at different levels of product development. The RSAC 2019 APJ innovation program will include RSAC Launch Pad, which is designed to give burgeoning cybersecurity talent a platform to pitch their new businesses and industry solutions to high-profile venture capitalists (VCs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in a live, Shark Tank®-style format. If the judging panel believe in a company’s solution, the startup could receive VC funding, mentorship support or be invited to exhibit at RSAC 2020 USA to propel its business to the next level.