Highlights:

 

  1. IGP says Jho Low’s arrest needs to be verified
  2. Malaysia to negotiate for deferment of HSR project
  3. FMM to bring concerns on SST with Customs
  4. Business optimism in Malaysia leaps 24 pp in Q2
  5. MIDA urges local firms to seize opportunities in F&B industry
  6. E-recruitment in Malaysia sees 11 pct decline in May
  7. LBS signs MOU with Tunku Abdul Rahman University College

Mahathir welcomes news of Jho Low’s arrest

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is unaware of but welcomed the news that businessman Low Taek Jhow, better known as Jho Low, sought by Malaysia has been arrested. A local newspaper had reported, citing the Hong Kong media, that Jho Low had been detained in China. Asked if Malaysia had an extradition treaty with China, Tun Dr Mahathir said Beijing could still hand over Jho Low to Malaysian authorities. Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said news of the arrest would need to be verified.  “I cannot confirm it yet and I will have to check,” he said. “Based on our intelligence, we believe that he has travelled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and China. That is the latest that we have. But we are not exactly sure of his current whereabouts. China Press and Sarawak Report, citing an unnamed Hong Kong radio station, reported that Low had fled to the mainland from Hong Kong.

Malaysia to negotiate for deferment of HSR project

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Malaysian government would negotiate with Singapore to defer the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project. He said Kuala Lumpur felt that it could not proceed with the project at the moment due to the country’s current financial situation, but the project could probably proceed at a later date with some cost reduction. He added that abandoning the project unilaterally could result in payment of a sizeable compensation to the affected parties. The Pakatan Harapan government has revealed that the actual cost of the 350km-long railway line linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore was RM110 billion, double the RM55 billion announced by the previous Barisan Nasional administration. Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said yesterday the fate of the project hinged on the meeting he was expected to have with Singapore by the end of the month.

FMM to bring concerns on SST with Customs

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers in concerned that if the range of taxable products is broadened under the Sales and Service Tax, the cost to manufacturers and importers will increase. FMM president Datuk Soh Thian Lai said the federation would bring up the matter when it meets the Royal Malaysian Customs today. “The scope and range of products to be covered under this newly-reintroduced SST could be enlarged compared to previous SST era, which was in place until the end of March 2015. “And this could increase cost burden especially to the selling price of the manufacturers and importers,” said Datuk Soh. “The Government needs to increase the threshold to a higher figure so that small companies can be relieved from SST registration.”

Business optimism in Malaysia leaps 24 pp in Q2

Business optimism in Malaysia leapt 24 percentage points (pp) to 52 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of this year, from 28 per cent in the first quarter (Q1), mainly due to the election of the Pakatan Harapan government. In a statement, Grant Thornton Malaysia, Country Managing Partner, Datuk NK Jasani said the International Business Report (IBR) revealed that the new-found business confidence was due to the government’s emphasis on accountability and transparency. “The government should now emphasise on business transparency and have a business-friendly budget to continue this positive momentum,” he added. The IBR revealed that business owners are confident about their performance over the next year, with many having positive outlooks for revenue, employment and also investments. It said 56 per cent of businesses are expecting an increase in revenue over the next 12 months, an increase of 22 pp from Q1, while 26 per cent of businesses owners are expecting to hire more employees, an increase of 12 pp from Q1.

MIDA urges local firms to seize opportunities in F&B industry

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has called on local companies to seize the huge growing opportunities in the food and beverage (F&B) industry, especially for food ingredients such as customised formulations required by food manufacturers, functional ingredients, natural food additives and flavours. In making the call, the Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Azman Mahmud encouraged more companies to work with technology solution providers and invest in technology. He also urged companies to upskill their talent as well as undertake research and development activities to create new growth opportunities alongside maintaining competitiveness. “As Malaysia moves towards the next phase of development to become a high-income nation, we hope to see more companies venturing into more complex activities,” he said. Datuk Azman said the future of the F&B industry remained resilient to external adversities and is recession-proof. “The industry will grow in tandem with the world population, which continues to rise and predicted to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 from 7.6 billion in 2016. “Hence, demand for food is expected to increase anywhere to between 59 per cent and 98 per cent by 2050,” he added. As of March 2018, MIDA had approved 2154 F&B manufacturing projects with investments of RM51.2 billion.

E-recruitment in Malaysia sees 11 pct decline in May

Online recruitment activity in Malaysia recorded a six per cent and 11 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) decline in April and May 2018 respectively, according to the latest Monster Employment Index (MEI) released today. The MEI is a gauge of online job posting activities compiled monthly by Monster.com which records the industries and occupations showing the highest and lowest growth in local recruitment activity. Monster.com said the oil and gas (O&G) sector had continually registered double-digit growth since April last year and this year, it was again up 11 per cent y-o-y in April and 14 per cent y-o-y in May. “However, in the short-term, the sector witnessed recessive growth, down two per cent month-on-month and four per cent on a three-month basis in May,” it said. Monster.com said the information technology, telecommunications and Internet services provider, and business process outsourcing and Internet-enabled services sectors ranked among the top growth industries for the second consecutive month, which was up eight per cent y-o-y in April and a marginal growth of one per cent y-o-y in May.

LBS signs MOU with Tunku Abdul Rahman University College

Township developer, LBS Bina Group Berhad has igned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), cementing a partnership focused on providing TAR UC students with a holistic learning environment. The MoU is for a three-year partnership between LBS and TAR UC which will include the cooperation, development and promotion of various activities intended to mutually benefit both parties. The MoU is intended to provide exposure to TAR UC students and educators, foster long term partnerships and explore innovative ideas involving business and academic collaborations. Citing examples of what to expect from the MoU, LBS explained possible collaborations could include internship opportunities, joint-campus events and CSR activities.  As part of its efforts to promote a conducive learning environment, LBS is exploring plans to create study spaces around M3 mall for the benefit of the public, particularly students.