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Kuala Lumpur ranked eighth globally and third in Asia as best city to live in

The federal capital has been ranked eighth globally and third in Asia for being the best city to live in by a recent global survey.

According to the InterNations’ annual Expat City Ranking, Kuala Lumpur stood out among the 49 cities worldwide covered in the report.

Globally, Kuala Lumpur came in eighth place, trailing four cities in Spain, Mexico City, and the two United Arab Emirates (UAE) cities mentioned earlier.

Kuala Lumpur holds the second position in Asia, trailing behind the leading cities of the UAE, namely Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.

The rankings were determined by assessing the experiences of expatriates in the past year, with InterNations conducting a survey of over 12,000 expats globally.

A thorough examination included 177 expat nationalities in 181 countries or territories, assessing factors such as the ease of adaptation, personal finances, quality of life, and other pertinent aspects.

Furthermore, Malaysia was ranked as the fourth-best country in the world for expats to live, behind Mexico, Spain, and Panama.

The study also highlighted Malaysia’s significant improvement in quality of life rankings, advancing from 44th out of 52 destinations in 2022 to 29th out of 53 this year.

Source: NST

Kuala Lumpur ranked eighth globally and third in Asia as best city to live in


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Malaysia ranks 42nd in the best performing upper-middle income group as a talent competitive country, just behind Brunei and China, according to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2023 released by INSEAD in collaboration with Descartes Institute for the Future and the Human Capital Leadership Institute.

The GTCI measures how countries and cities grow, attract and retain talent. It provides resources for decision makers to understand the global talent competitiveness scene and develop strategies to boost their economies. The 10th edition of the report covers 134 countries around the world across all income groups.  

Malaysia managed to make it into the top quartile, ranked at 34th, for Global Knowledge Skills, which is boosted by its 27th position for the Talent Impact of its export driven economy.

The country also ranked eighth in Digital Skills, third in High Value Exports and ninth in brain retention.

This chart illustrates the strong positive correlation between quality of life in a country and its talent performance before and after Covid-19. The trend resumed in 2022 and can be expected to continue, and possibly accelerate, in the following years.

The country is ranked 38th in the pool of Vocational and Technical Skills and ranked the lowest under Attract, when it involved tolerance towards immigrants and gender equality, at the 71st spot. This, in turn, affected, Internal Openness, which placed Malaysia in the 98th place.

Meanwhile, Singapore was placed within the top three, as the second of world’s most talent competitive countries in the GTCI 2023. Switzerland took the first spot and the US was placed third.

European countries continued to dominate the Top 25, with 17 of them ranked in that category. Beyond Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Israel joined The top 25. UAE moved up from 25th to 22nd while Japan dropped out to be replaced by South Korea (24th).  

Some notable examples of the best improvers over the past decade were China, having moved from being a talent mover to a talent champion, and Indonesia which possessed great strengths in talent competitiveness.

Talent inequalities persist

However, the report found that the global landscape for talent competitiveness remains fraught with inequalities.

“In other words, poorer economies do not perform as well on the talent scene as richer economies.

“Despite the significant progress of the demographic powerhouses, India and China, up the talent ladder, and India’s successful efforts to close the gap between its economy and that of China, the wealth/talent correlation remains strong,” stated the report.

Moreover, the report noted that in most parts of the world, women are paid less than men at comparable levels of training and qualifications. They also have fewer career development opportunities and less access to higher levels of responsibility.

“In many emerging and poorer economies, the gender divide is stronger still, with girls having fewer opportunities to attend school, not to mention higher education.

“The rapid expansion of new working practices, such as online collaboration, alongside the accelerating adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in various industries will undoubtedly have an impact on some of the fundamental parameters of the jobs/skills equation. Unqualified or low-qualified labour will bear much of the additional pressure, while new categories of workers, some with higher skills, will suffer from stronger competition from algorithms and specialised equipment,” it stated.

Talent ‘less’ attached to physical location

The report also found that talent is less tightly attached to a particular physical location post-Covid-19 and this is especially true for high-skilled workers.

“In such a renewed landscape, an increasing number of talents can make choices about where they want to live and where and how they wish to work. One of the resulting trends that GTCI identified is the growing value of quality of life in decisions made both by individuals and by recruiting organisations when considering physical location,” it stated.

Cities and regions too play increasingly important roles in talent initiatives. One of the findings of GCTCI was that second-tier cities increasingly became the places where the most successful talent policies were deployed.

“Such cities, often medium or modest sized, frequently demonstrated an ability to be more dynamic and more attractive than larger metropolises. Such a trend is only one facet of the complex set of phenomena by which cities have become prominent players on the global talent scene, and may be a harbinger of other possible changes.

“Cities could play a growing role by taking on some of the responsibilities that national governments have abandoned, or are unable to fulfil. This could occur in fields like international trade or investment, for example, through the adoption of exceptional fiscal or incentive regimes at the local level,” it added.

The GTC Index also noted that talent competitiveness has become a key vector of geopolitics. “Just as international tensions and rivalries have contributed to a decrease in multilateral cooperation and disciplines, the ability of enterprises and organisations, such as universities, to cooperate across national borders has been significantly reduced.”

The effects of limiting international travel, as initially required by pandemic concerns, have been partially offset by the rapid adoption of online collaboration tools and new work habits. “Yet, as the GTCI time series suggests, neither the recent period nor the one to come have created fertile ground for one of the most positive trends identified before Covid: that of ‘brain circulation’,” said the report.

“A proven ability to operate in different geographical and cultural contexts has become a major plus for large segments of the global workforce. By putting a sudden stop to international travel, Covid created a radically different environment for global brain circulation. To a large extent, this negative trend was offset by the growing tendency among organisations of all sizes to rely on a more systemic use of online collaboration tools.

“Although international travel resumed swiftly once health-related limitations were relaxed, persistent levels of geopolitical uncertainty, renewed nationalistic and protectionist tendencies, and the resulting decrease in international cooperation continue to hamper direct, face-to-face cooperation and, hence, the cross-fertilisation of talent,” it found.

The report added that the new generations are reshaping the world of work. “An increasing proportion of younger generations, especially among those with a higher level of education, were considering other priorities. This might include having a meaningful job by contributing positively to society or the environment, or enjoying a healthier work-life balance.

“As mentioned above, when considering the role of cities as talent hubs, quality of life has become a key factor in the choices made by younger cohorts about their working and living environment.

“The same phenomena have also led to the emergence of a new generation of workers for whom the traditional value of loyalty to their employer has quickly eroded. Gig-working and short-term contracts, often combined into parallel lines of work, have become the norm for a growing number of free agents on the global talent scene,” it added.

INSEAD’s 10th year edition of the report highlights outlooks for talent competitiveness in the next decade, which mentioned that quality of life and sustainability, along with new talent strategies and innovation will be critical assets for cities and regions aiming to become talent hubs.

As talent competitiveness grows fiercer and gains more importance, global talent-focused policies remain crucial in harnessing human and technological power. Moreover, education and skills will be vital tools in making meaningful contributions to the economy.

Challenging roads are ahead with talent inequalities remaining high amongst countries especially with the global talent landscape being significantly altered by Covid. Aside from gender gaps in equal pay and career growth, uncertainties and geopolitical tensions continue to hinder collaboration and talent cross-fertilisation.

Furthermore, new generations are prioritising meaningful jobs with work-life balance instead of high-demand skills. AI and new work practices have also disrupted the job landscape, affecting unskilled and highly-skilled workers.

The GTC Index has repeatedly emphasised how cities had been able to deploy original and effective talent strategies, and how “second-tier” cities were increasingly successful at deploying talent policies.

“It is now time to look at the future. Talent competition will be one of the pillars of the next age of globalisation. Our collective ability to make the world less unequal, and the planet more sustainable will depend heavily on our capacity to grow, attract and nurture the right talents,” said Bruno Lanvin, co-author of the report, distinguished fellow at INSEAD and founder and president of Descartes Institute for the Future.

While milestones should be celebrated, it is also important to make improvements in embracing new technologies and adapt to the changing talent landscape with the new generation coming into the workforce.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

Malaysia ranked 42nd in the global talent competitiveness index


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Malaysia has improved its standing as a financially inclusive market, rising two spots to 18th place out of 42 global markets in the 2023 Global Financial Inclusion Index by Principal Financial Group (Principal) and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

According to the World Bank, financial inclusion is defined as ‘individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance – delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.’

Consumer data showed a significant positive increase in perceptions of financial inclusion across Southeast Asia, wherein Malaysia jumped into the top half of the rankings for public perception, ranking 15th from 20th place previously.

According to the survey, the country saw improvements across two of the three pillars of financial inclusion, ranking 22nd (from 24th) for government support, 17th for financial system support (from 23rd), while maintaining its fifth place ranking for employer support.

Significant improvements in Malaysia’s digital economy contributed to its improved overall financial inclusion position, with improved rankings for the “volume of real-time transactions” (up 13 places to 14th) and “online connectivity’ (up three places to 24th) indicators.

Principal Malaysia country head and chief executive officer Munirah Khairuddin said the continued focus on digitalisation and other initiatives that eliminate barriers to people’s ability to save and invest will further improve financial inclusion across the country.

“Principal is proud to join in this effort through the embrace of e-wallet solutions, which allows Malaysians to build optimal portfolios to achieve their financial goals.

“We will continue to work across sectors to help broaden awareness and access to the financial tools needed to help reach financial security,” she added.

Source: NST

Malaysia now 18th most financially inclusive market


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Malaysia has been recognised as the best country in Southeast Asia in the Energy Transition Index by the World Economic Forum (WEF) recently.

The index takes into account the system performance and the country’s readiness to switch to more environmentally friendly energy sources.

According to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, this achievement shows that Malaysia is on the right track to manage a fast, safe and affordable energy transition.

“Malaysia also has various strategic advantages such as a strategic location, diverse renewable energy sources (RES) and a high level of skills to become a regional leader in the field of energy transition,” he said in a statement today.

According to him, Malaysia is expected to be able to seize the opportunity to attract global investments in the clean technology sector which has reached RM5 trillion in 2022.

This value is expected to continue to increase in the coming years, he said.

Meanwhile, on July 27, 2023, the Economy Ministry will launch the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) Phase 1 during the Invest Malaysia KL 2023 Special Series programme organised by Bursa Malaysia in collaboration with CLSA and Maybank in Kuala Lumpur.

The launch of NETR Phase 1 is the starting point in efforts to mainstream the energy transition of the national development narrative.

NETR will announce the implementation of 10 flagship pilot projects that are expected to generate investments amounting to RM25 billion, the creation of 23,000 high-quality job opportunities and the reduction of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by more than 10,000 gigagrammes per year cumulatively.

NETR is a comprehensive follow-up to the current policy reforms related to RES by the Economy Ministry and the Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, particularly the new target increase of renewable energy installed capacity from 40 per cent in 2035 to 70 per cent by 2050.

The Economy Ministry hopes that NETR can drive a strategic agenda to create new high-paying job opportunities, boost domestic and foreign investment participation, ensure the continuity of the country’s energy supply and make Malaysia a regional leader in the clean energy industry in the long term.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia ranked first place in S-E Asia in WEF energy transition index


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A new study has found that Malaysia ranks fourth among the most affordable places to live in from 29 countries surveyed.

Economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the Utility Bidder UK affordability index is based on the average cost of electricity, gas and housing benchmarked to income levels for cross-country comparisons.

“While it broadly indicates cross-country differences, it is important to note that the index does not cover other living costs as captured within a typical household consumption basket.

“It only takes into account the price of electricity, gas and housing against the gross national incomes per capita.”

Yeah said it found Malaysia ranked second in having the cheapest electricity prices, with household electricity sold at a rate of US$0.05 (RM0.23) per kWh used.

“Malaysia’s high score in electricity affordability is largely due to the producer and consumer subsidies provided by the government.

“Although it recently reduced electricity subsidies, especially for high-income groups based on the amount of power consumed, the electricity tariffs for general consumers remain low compared with other countries.

“It is the same for natural household gas prices. The household usage of natural gas is cheaper because of subsidies provided to independent power producers. The subsidies also help contribute to the low electricity prices for consumers,” said Yeah.

The study found that household natural gas usage was priced at US$0.026 (RM0.12) per kWh, which is ranked third after Argentina and Belarus.

Yeah, a member of the advisory body for the Finance Ministry, said relative affordability is based on the property price-to-income ratio.

“Many other countries had implemented a near-zero or low-interest rate environment after the 2008 global financial crisis.
Low-interest rates tend to increase demand for property, which will drive prices upwards. However, compared with the rising property prices in many other countries, those in Malaysia have been on a downward trend for many years, until it went up slightly recently.”

According to the National Property Information Centre, data from the second quarter of last year showed that average home prices stood at RM439,084 compared with RM444,230 in the first quarter of that year.

Yeah said while prices have been gradually decreasing, the distribution of average income per capita was still unequal.

He added that it is not surprising that Malaysia was ranked eighth in housing affordability with a score of 8.1. This is because while prices have been going down, low and middle-income Malaysians still find it beyond their reach.

He said although Malaysia has been ranked top four in the list of most affordable countries to live in, there is still more to be done to improve affordability and cost of living.

“The government should continue to foster market competition and help ease the costs of starting or doing business by minimising regulatory costs and helping to foster a business-friendly environment.

“Foreigners will want to participate in the Malaysian workforce if the cost of living in the country is cheap and affordable.

“Other measures can include encouraging entrepreneurship, adopting technology and value-adding activities through innovation that will raise the efficiency and productivity of the country’s production systems and supply chains.”

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysia ranked fourth most affordable country


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The Global AI Index which ranks the state of AI development in 62 countries has placed Malaysia at No 44, trailing behind Singapore which ranked in the top three.

Researchers measured the ranking based on analysis centered around three main pillars namely investment, innovation and implementation. The pillars are then broken down to score each country based on progress in seven aspects, such as talent, infrastructure and government strategy.

The United States, which came in first, achieved an overall score of 100 out of 100 where it has made significant strides towards generating talent, infrastructure, research, development and commercial investment for AI.

In second place is China with an overall score of 61.5 while Singapore is ranked third with an overall score of 50.

The report stated that Singapore scored highly on most relative indicators, where it achieved over 80 points for infrastructure and government strategy. It noted that Singapore has made “huge advancements” through government efforts aimed at boosting AI for research, innovation and human capital.

Malaysia achieved an overall score of 19.6 with the highest 72.2 points for operating environment and 65.3 points for infrastructure. However, Malaysia scored lowly for talent, research, development and commercial. In terms of government strategy, the Global AI Index gave Malaysia 48.1 points.

The Global AI Index was released on June 28 by Tortoise Media, a London-based journalism platform founded by former BBC News director James Harding.

The index comes from a range of 28 different data sources such as government reports, public databases from international organisations, think tanks and private companies to measure national ecosystems that determine capacity for AI.

Source: The Star

Global AI Index ranks Malaysia at 44, Singapore in top three with US and China


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Malaysia jumped from 32nd to 27th in the 2023 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR), reflecting investor confidence and reaffirming the country’s commitment to current economic policies and strategic direction as the preferred destination for investment and trade.

Sunway University economics professor Dr Yeah Kim Leng said the recent success underlined the country’s commitment to present economic policies and strategic orientation as the preferred location for investment and trade.

“It is also a recognition of the rising level of foreign direct investment as well as investor confidence in our economic performance.

“In addition, the consistent rise will encourage the government to focus on other areas that have been identified as needing more attention such as human capital development, digital and business regulatory reforms, and sustainable development,” he said.

According to the IMD, Malaysia ranked 27th in the world’s most competitive economies in 2023, up from 32nd in 2022, thanks to economic recovery, investment growth, and bright spots in exchange rate stability and the labour market.

While Malaysia’s strengths include prices, basic infrastructure, and tax policies, the IMD noted that the country fell short in the following sub-factor rankings: business legislation, education, and sociocultural framework.

On that point, Yeah stated that there is still room for improvement in terms of ease of doing business and regulatory burden reduction.

“The quality of education must also be improved to ensure a supply of talent that meets industry skill needs,” he said, adding that social cohesion should be further enhanced through inclusive policies and national efforts to promote unity.

Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd head of economics and social finance Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the current development in the IMD ranking showed that the government is on the correct route to steer the country towards becoming a developed nation.

“Being competitive would imply, among other things, ease of doing business, clarity and consistency in policy, and a credible legal framework that allows businesses to thrive.

“This, in turn, could lead to additional employment from our skill pool, particularly among graduates,” he said.

Putra Business School economic analyst Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff explained that the ranking is based on hard data as well as the perception of global managers.

“With political stability achieved last year, it improved the perception of managers in Malaysia’s economic prospects as well as its competitiveness.

“Last year also saw Malaysia’s gross domestic product growth soar to 8.7 per cent, which indicates the competitiveness as well,” he said.

Ahmed Razman further said that the improvement in prices was due to the country’s ability to keep the inflation rate low compared to other ASEAN countries.

The IMD World Competitiveness Report is based on 336 competitiveness criteria divided into four categories: economic performance, government efficiency, corporate efficiency, and infrastructure.

Malaysia, ranked 27th out of 64 economies, improved in all four competitiveness categories, indicating the country’s optimistic and resilient success in the face of global economic uncertainties and crises, as well as multifaceted domestic obstacles.

Denmark held on to its top spot in the list for the second year in a row, Ireland moved from seventh to second while Switzerland went down a rung to third.

Source: Bernama

Economists: Improvement in IMD WCR reflects investors confidence in Malaysia


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Malaysia continues to be the largest Islamic banking market in Asia-Pacific with 62.7 per cent of the region’s total Islamic banking assets and the country is likely to maintain its strong position in the next two years, according to S&P Global Ratings.

The rating agency said Islamic financing in Southeast Asia are expected to grow by eight per cent over the next two years, with Malaysia retaining its dominant market position.

“Islamic banks in core markets of Malaysia and Indonesia have healthy capitalisation and stable retail deposit bases,” it said in a report on Asia-Pacific Islamic banking sector.

Based on S&P Global’s estimates, Asia-Pacific holds a 20.7 per cent share of global Islamic banking assets (Iran is excluded due to the extreme volatility of the country’s currency) and Southeast Asia accounts for 80 per cent of Asia-Pacific’s Islamic banking assets.

On growth drivers for the region, it said they include the proposed merger of Malaysia Building Society Bhd and Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd, which will create a full-service Islamic bank in Malaysia, as well as increasing digitalisation of banking services in the region.

Another growth driver is the robust demand and significant untapped market potential in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, the agency said.

S&P Global forecast that Malaysian Islamic banks’ share of Islamic financing in Southeast Asia will increase to 45 per cent by 2026.

On profitability trend, it said profitability for Malaysian Islamic banks is expected to stay flattish in 2023.

“A decline in margins amid higher funding costs will be balanced by the normalisation of tax rate,” it said.

S&P Global said some small Islamic banks saw sharp rebound in profits due to lower provisions.

“(However,) over the next two years, large Malaysian banks will continue to outperform smaller ones due to diversified business profiles and operating efficiencies,” it added.

The rating firm also said Malaysia’s Islamic banks are leading the way on environmental, social and governance (ESG) practice.

It said 18 per cent of total financing goes to priority sectors, with small and medium enterprises being the largest recipient of responsible financing (61.8 per cent).

S&P Global reported that regulatory incentives will facilitate an increase in issuance of sustainability sukuk, and these include tax deductions until 2025 and grants to cover external review costs.

“Meanwhile, the issuance of international sustainability sukuk will diversify investor base and broaden the awareness of Islamic finance,” it added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia to remain region’s top Islamic banking market over next 2 years


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It was a major improvement from rankings of 41 in 2018 and 32 in 2016

Malaysia has jumped 15 ranks in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2023 to 26 ranks, emerging as the second-best performing Asean country after Singapore.

It was a major improvement from rankings of 41 in 2018 and 32 in 2016. The statement said the last edition of the report was published in 2018.

“The best ranking Malaysia has attained was 25 in the World Bank LPI 2014 report,” Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC) DG Datuk Abdul Latif Haji Abu Seman said in a statement.

The LPI report, the seventh edition of “Connecting to Compete”, comes after three years of supply chain disruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic and covers the latest view on trade logistics performance of 139 countries.

Abdul Latif said the LPI report is a benchmarking tool to help countries identify where improvements in international trade logistics can be made to increase competitiveness.

LPI measures the ease of establishing reliable and timely supply chain connections and the structural factors that make it possible, such as the quality of logistics services, trade and transport-related infrastructure, and border controls.

The latest LPI 2023 edition introduces a new set of key performance indicators, derived from a big data approach, measuring the speed of trade globally. The indicators are based on technological advances in tracking actual high-frequency international movements of maritime shipping, containers, air freight and postal parcels by trade lane and gateway, the statement added.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Malaysia jumps 15 ranks in World Bank Logistics Index


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Universiti Malaya (UM) is Malaysia’s strongest institution overall, and the country’s highest ranked, in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2023.

With 36 subjects ranked, including 15 in the world top 100 (a decrease of two subjects, compared with last year’s 17), UM also produced some of Malaysia’s highest quality research and is the country’s most collaborative university, in terms of international research.

Of UM’s ranked subjects, Library and Information Management, and Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies were ranked in the top 50.

Chemistry at UM was Malaysia’s most improved subject, climbing 33 ranks to place 104th.

The other two subjects at the varsity that made the most improvement were Medicine, up 16 spots to place 128th, and English Language and Literature, up eight spots to place 52nd.

Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor expressed confidence that the varsity would improve further.

The implementation of its strategic plan, he said, would lead UM to be a self-sustaining and dynamic university capable of producing leaders, imparting knowledge, and providing solutions that would impact the nation.

“I am pleased that our UM community continues to place Malaysia on the global stage through our dedication, commitment and hard work towards serving the nation and impacting the world.”

In terms of total subjects ranked, UM was followed by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which each had 24 subjects ranked.

Released at 6pm Wednesday (March 22), the rankings offered independent data on the performance of programmes at Malaysian universities.

Of the 210 programmes, 56 improved, 53 declined and 90 remained unchanged, while 11 programmes were ranked for the first time.

With an overall improvement of 82%, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) is the world’s most improved institution. None of its ranked subjects declined in this year’s rankings, making it one of only eight universities in the world with 10 or more entries to achieve this feat.

UTP vice-chancellor Prof Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said the rankings spoke volumes of its comprehensive strategy to be a sustainable, dynamic and digitalised university.

“We will continue to strive for excellence in academic, research and student experience.

“In research and innovation, we will support PETRONAS’ energy transition initiatives to move towards Net Zero Carbon Emission (NZCE) as one of our key areas in our quest towards sustainable global prominence,” Prof Mohamed Ibrahim added.

Taylor’s University improved by 42% in the rankings and was home to three top 100 programmes, namely Hospitality & Leisure Management, Art and Design, and Business and Management Studies. 

The varsity was also among the world’s 20 most improved institutions with 10 or more ranked subjects.

Attributing the institution’s success to its approach of curriculum innovation and adaptability to the changing landscape of education, Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll said the varsity was constantly evolving its programmes to ensure that graduates were equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s dynamic and ever-changing industries.

“We are committed to providing our students with the best possible education and opportunities to excel,” he said.

UCSI University, the fourth highest ranked local institution with its Performing Arts programme at 21st spot globally, retained its status as Malaysia’s top university for music and the performing arts.

UCSI vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said the latest edition of the annual subject rankings showed that the varsity was making an impact in both academia and the industry.

“Maintaining an upward trajectory year after year is not easy and I would like to thank all UCSI staff, students and stakeholders for their continuous efforts.

“While there are many encouraging takeaways, we remain focused on evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing economy. We don’t want our graduates to merely adapt to change – we want them to drive it.

“Moving forward, we will do more in the areas of research, international collaboration, industry partnership and thought leadership.”

The rankings, compiled by global higher education analyst QS, provide independent comparative analysis on the performance of more than 15,700 individual university programmes, taken by students at 1,594 universities which can be found in 93 locations across the world, across 54 academic disciplines and five broad faculty areas.

The faculty areas are Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

According to QS, the subject ranking is the largest ever and provides a deeper understanding of how global excellence and competitiveness in higher education is achieved.

Its senior vice-president Ben Sowter said Malaysian universities had experienced exponential growth and success, which had been reflected in QS’ Rankings portfolio in recent years.

“Malaysia now enjoys higher than average scores in all of QS’ indicators except for Academic Reputation.

“Therefore, further investment and internationalisation is needed to support the country’s next stage of development, alongside continued targeted investment in research infrastructure to ensure the international academic community recognises this progress.”

The full rankings can be found at https://www.TopUniversities.com/subject-rankings/2023.

Source: The Star

UM leads Malaysian varsities in QS World University Rankings


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Malaysia has retained its first place in the overall ranking of global Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) for the tenth consecutive year, said the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC).

In a statement, MIFC said according to the recently published Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)-Refinitiv IFDI Report 2022, Malaysia also ranked first in four sub-categories, namely financial performance, governance, awareness and sustainability.

The report also covers the industry’s growth prospects. The global Islamic finance industry has total assets worth US$4 trillion (US$1=RM4.43) in 2021. This is expected to reach US$5.9 trillion by 2026, the statement said.

According to the report, Malaysia ranked first with a total IFDI 2022 score of 113 points, ahead of Saudi Arabia in second place at 74 points, Indonesia (61 points), while Bahrain and Kuwait both shared 59 points.

The IFDI provides Islamic finance stakeholders such as governments and financial institutions a detailed analysis of the key factors driving the growth and development of the industry worldwide.

The global IFDI 2022 measures the performance of 136 countries in five categories, namely financial performance, governance, sustainability, knowledge and awareness.

“The average score for the 136 countries is nine; 38 countries scored above the average while the majority fell below nine.

“Due to the change in the IFDI methodology this year, the scores and rankings are not comparable with previous years,” said the report.

The report highlighted that Malaysia’s biggest Islamic finance ecosystem strengths are awareness, knowledge and sustainability. Saudi Arabia followed closely after Malaysia.

Indonesia showed a strong performance in knowledge and scored well in governance, it secured third place.

The other countries in the top 10 include Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Bangladesh.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia top of the chart in global Islamic finance ranking for 10th year


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Malaysia is ranked 49 out of 165 countries and territories included in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2022 Annual Report released by the Center for Market Education (CME) in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute.

The rating and rank refer to data on year 2020. The year before – in 2019 – Malaysia ranked 52. However, the improved ranking does not reflect a better score, but a relative deterioration in the ranking of other countries. In fact, while the overall Economic Freedom rating for Malaysia was 7.52 in 2019, it declined to 7.35 in 2020.

“When jurisdictions increase taxes and regulations, the people become less economically free, which means slower economic growth and less investment,” said Fred McMahon, Dr Michael A Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom with the Fraser Institute.

Hong Kong and Singapore again top the index, continuing their streak as first and second respectively, while Switzerland, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, US, Estonia, Mauritius and Ireland round out the top 10.

“The most recent comprehensive data are from 2020. Hong Kong is already showing a decline in freedom in 2020 and we expect the decline to continue going forward,” McMahon said.

The same may be recorded for Malaysia in 2021, added CME CEO Dr Carmelo Ferlito, as the country was among the strictest ones in terms of lockdowns and growing role of government control over the economy.

The report, launched in 1996, measures economic freedom — the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions — by analysing several indicators including regulation, size of government, property rights, government spending and taxation.

The year’s report, based on 2020 data (the most recent available), also captures the effect of Covid-related restrictions.

The 10 lowest-rated countries are Democratic Republic of Congo, Algeria, Republic of Congo, Iran, Libya, Argentina, Syrian Arab Republic, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Venezuela. Despotic countries such as North Korea and Cuba cannot be ranked due to lack of data.

The rankings of other major countries include Japan (12th), Canada (14th), Germany (24th), Italy (43rd), France (54th), Mexico (65th), India (90th), Russia (94th), Brazil (114th) and China (116th).

According to research in top peer-reviewed academic journals, people living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil liberties, and longer lives.

For example, countries in the top quartile of economic freedom had an average per-capita gross domestic product of US$48,251 (RM217,617) in 2020 compared to US$6,542 for bottom quartile countries. And poverty rates are lower. In the top quartile, 2.02% of the population experienced extreme poverty (US$1.90 a day) compared to 31.45% in the lowest quartile. Finally, life expectancy is 80.4 years in the top quartile of countries compared to 66.0 years in the bottom quartile.

“Where people are free to pursue their own opportunities and make their own choices, they lead more prosperous, happier and healthier lives,” McMahon said.

Malaysia scores in key components of economic freedom (from 1 to 10 where a higher value indicates a higher level of economic freedom):

– Size of government: changed to 7.12 from 7.04 in the last year’s report

– Legal system and property rights: changed to 5.88 from 5.83

– Access to sound money: changed to 8.32 from 8.41

– Freedom to trade internationally: changed to 6.97 from 7.63

– Regulation of credit, labour and business: changed to 8.47 from 8.67

“The figures show – like the general rating – a trend toward deterioration in economic freedom: in fact, despite improvements in the size of government and legal system, we observed deterioration in the access to sound money, in the freedom to trade internationally and in the regulation of credit, labour and business. We expect these figures to deteriorate further next year. At the same time, such figures indicate the road of action to put Malaysia back on track in the path toward economic freedom: we should not forget that in 1980 Malaysia ranked 22 (rather than the current 49) and in 1990 it improved to the 18th position,” explained Ferlito.

The Fraser Institute produces the annual Economic Freedom of the World report in cooperation with the Economic Freedom Network, a group of independent research and educational institutes in nearly 100 countries and territories. It is the world’s premier measurement of economic freedom, measuring and ranking countries in five areas — size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally and regulation of credit, labour and business.

Economic Freedom of the World measures how policies and institutions of countries support economic freedom. This year’s publication ranks 165 countries and territories. The report also updates data in earlier reports where data has been revised.

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysia ranks 49 among 165 jurisdictions in economic freedom


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The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK) have been listed as among the world’s best airports in the latest Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey for the second quarter of 2022.

Both airports achieved a perfect score of 5.00 in the global survey by the Airports Council International (ACI), which measures overall passenger satisfaction in terms of terminal safety, facilities, services and cleanliness. 

KLIA shared the achievement with seven other airports in the over-40 million passengers per annum (mppa) category; and LGK was the only airport which scored full points in the 2.0–5.0 mppa category.

“It is definitely more challenging to continuously maintain a great passenger experience, as we welcome more and more passengers at our airports, but we will not waver in our commitment to do so.

“The most recent ASQ results is a manifestation of this commitment, not just from Malaysia Airports but the entire airport community,” Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd Managing Director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said in a statement on Tuesday (Aug 16).

He said for KLIA, the top three compliments received through the ASQ survey were smooth processes at the touchpoints, courteous on-ground assistance and fast check-in at counters.

In July 2022, the Malaysia Airports Group registered a total of 7.8 million passenger movements — 4.8 million passenger movements at its network of local airports; and 3.0 million passengers at its Turkiye airport, the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.

The group recorded 3.1 million domestic and 1.6 million international movements in Malaysia last month, an encouraging 26% increase from the preceding month.

To date, both segments have shown an upward recovery trend, with domestic and international traffic reaching 66% and 18% of pre-Covid-19 volumes respectively.

Source: Bernama

Global survey names KLIA, LGK among world’s best airports for Q2, 2022


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Malaysia has been ranked as the world’s third most competitive Global Business Services (GBS) location, behind India and China, according to an index by global consulting firm Kearney.

The firm’s 2021 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) showed that Asian economies continued to take seven spots in the top 10, with India in first place with a score of 7.09, followed by China (6.80) and Malaysia (6.22).

This index, issued every two years, tracks the contours of the global landscape across 60 countries with four major categories — financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, business environment, and digital resonance. 

A GBS location allows large multinational corporations (MNCs) or organisations to centralise their business operations and activities, such as finance, human resource, information technology (IT) and procurement in certain countries to provide shared services, said business transformation consultant Joon Teoh. 

She noted that among the MNCs that have established GBS centres in Malaysia are Shell, AstraZeneca, British American Tobacco and Bash.

“For IGOs (intergovernmental international organisations), we have the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaysia’s biggest attraction is the diversity of talent, including the languages we speak, that is able to serve different countries,” Teoh told Bernama recently in an interview conducted virtually. 

She said GBS centres serve their own people in corporations or organisations around the world.

“For example, if any of their staff, no matter where they are, have to travel overseas, their air tickets, payments and so on will all be managed by the GBS centres set in Malaysia or other countries.

“How do they (GBS centres) do that? This is where technology comes in. Because you have to make it (happen) in a digital platform for people to put in their claims or to buy their air tickets, (and) for suppliers to send the invoices, etc,” Teoh explained.

Teoh, who is also the CEO of Agos Asia, said that the Malaysian government has always emphasised the development of GBS in the country, including underlining the importance of the sector in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

She said this is because when a GBS centre is set up, it can typically range between 150 to over thousands of employees, which will not only create vast job opportunities but also help boost our country’s digitalisation process.

“The government is trying to put us (the GBS sector) in a value curve trajectory because it would be impossible for us to compete with China and India in terms of volume and talent. 

“We could only do (this) by providing high skills to meet requirements, in line with the digital transformation,” said Teoh.

That will be the country’s value proposition, where GPS centres in Malaysia are evolving into centres of excellence, led by the local teams to conduct various research and development projects, among others, including robotic process automation and analytics, she said.

According to the 12MP, in the next five years, the focus will be placed on accelerating the development of strategic and high impact industries, including electrical and electronics, global services (GS) and aerospace.

GS, which comprises principal hubs, GBS and headquarters operations, is the main contributor of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the services sector. 

Approved investments in GS by multinational companies were recorded at RM46.1 billion, constituting 51.7% of total FDI in the services sector from 2016 to 2020.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia ranks world’s third most competitive GBS location, behind India and China


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Seven Malaysian companies made it to Forbes Asia’s Best Under A Billion list this year.

In terms of net income, disposable glove manufacturer UG Healthcare Corp Ltd tops the list at US$88 million (RM392 million). It posted a revenue (sales) of US$251 million last year. Headquartered in Seremban, the company is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange and has a market value of US$102 million.

ViTrox Corp Bhd, which develops and produces three-dimensional and line-scan vision systems for semiconductor integrated circuit inspection came second with a net income of US$41 million and US$164 million in revenue. It has a market value of US$1.68 billion, the highest in the list.

Automation equipment provider for solar photovoltaic, automotive, medical and battery industries Greatech Technology Bhd is third with a US$34 million net income and US$97 million in revenue last year. It traded on the local bourse at US$1.1 billion.

Palm oil company Kim Loong Resources Bhd recorded US$33 million in net income and raked in the highest sales last year at US$410 million. Its market value last year was US$425 million.

D&O Green Technologies Bhd, which makes surface mount technology light emitting diodes for automotive manufacturers, made US$27 million in net income and US$204 million in revenue. It has a market value of US$1.13 billion.

Steel product manufacturer Tashin Holdings Bhd (net income US$15 million) and glove maker CE Technology Bhd (net income US$9 million) recorded revenue of US$94 million and US$31 million respectively last year. Tashin has a market value of US$43 million while CE Technology US$87 million.

Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list tracks 200 from 20,000 top-performing publicly listed small and midsized companies in the Asia-Pacific region with sales above US$10 million and under US$1 billion.

“As Covid-19 restrictions ease across the Asia-Pacific and people adapt to the new normal, this year’s annual Best Under A Billion list highlights the shift to discretionary spending. The post-pandemic return to daily life has benefitted apparel makers, mall operators, restaurants, consumer electronics and entertainment companies, among others,” Forbes said.

Source: The Sun Daily

Seven M’sian firms make Forbes Asia Best Under A Billion list


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Source: The Edge Markets

Best and worst places for expats


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Malaysia has maintained its seventh position in the Digital Agility Index 2022 across the Asia-Pacific (Apac), according to a study commissioned by Workday, a global leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources.

The study revealed that 79% of organisations in the country are still lagging in digital agility, noting that most of the organisations are in the slow and tactical stages of digital agility maturity, despite the accelerated digital transformation and increased technology adoption during the pandemic.

“The study found that the lack of skills in talent acquisition and talent retention were the biggest challenges cited by organisations in Malaysia in pursuing digital transformation,“ it said in a statement yesterday.

According to the study, progress in digital agility has been uneven across the nine Apac markets surveyed, with organisations in Australia achieving the greatest progress in digital transformation efforts, taking the top spot this year.

Singapore, which ranked first in 2020, dropped to the second position, followed by New Zealand, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while Indonesia stood in the eighth position, followed by Thailand.

“From a regional perspective, only 38% of Apac organisations are in the advanced stages of digital agility.

“For the 62% lagging in digital agility, technology adoption is often driven by functional requirements and business needs such as for e-commerce, safety measures and remote work during the pandemic,“ it said.

The study involved over 800 senior human resource, information technology and finance leaders from across nine markets and 15 sectors in the Asia-Pacific.

Workday president for Asia, Sandeep Sharma said with agility now a key source of competitive advantage in today’s digital-first economy, organisations supported by data-driven processes and imbued with digital skills and work cultures are best positioned to thrive.

“While there is considerable progress with more organisations making the leap to become agility leaders, the fact that the majority of organisations within the Asia Pacific are still lagging creates an opportunity to help organisations digitally accelerate,“ he said.

Conducted in association with the International Data Corp (IDC), the IDC-Workday Digital Agility Index Asia Pacific 2022 study highlights the extent to which Apac organisations have progressed in digital agility since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia maintains 7th position in Apac Digital Agility Index 2022


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Malaysia is the world’s fifth fastest-growing real-time payments market, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9 per cent, according to ACI Worldwide’s third edition of Prime-Time for Real-Time 2022 report.

According to the report, Malaysia is exceptional in the speed with which it has implemented nationwide real-time payments and its rapid adoption by banks and non-bank participants.

The country recorded 1.1 billion real-time payments transactions in 2021, facilitating an estimated US$434 million cost savings for businesses and consumers, and unlocking US$364 million of additional economic output, equivalent to 1.11 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

“Malaysia continues to accelerate the adoption of its real-time payment as well as introduce a stream of modern services, making it one of the most sophisticated real-time markets in the world.

“Malaysia’s real-time payments journey has been fast, distinctive, and sophisticated, encompassing speedy adoption built on low-value transactions, rapid evolution towards more sophisticated and value-added services, and a government determined to assist in driving adoption,” ACI Worldwide said in a statement.

ACI Worldwide partnered leading data and analytics company GlobalData, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) for the report.

The report tracks real-time payments volumes and growth across 53 countries and includes an economic impact study for the first time, providing a comprehensive view of the economic benefits of real-time payments for consumers, businesses, and the broader economy across 30 countries.

The report covers the group of twenty (G20) nations, excluding Russia.

ACI Worldwide vice president and head of Asean Chee Cheng Ong said Malaysia is the perfect example for other Asean countries on how to establish, align and drive adoption of a modern real-time payments network.

“By opting to form its real-time network on ISO 20022, it has become one of the most harmonised and sophisticated real-time payment environments in the world and a perfect launchpad to provide a host of new and value-added services,” he said.

Malaysia’s real-time journey began in December 2018, with the arrival of a new real-time payment system, DuitNow, introduced by national payments network and central infrastructure provider, PayNet.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia 5th fastest growing real-time payment market globally


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Malaysia came on top among 15 global markets for the uplift in users’ average download speeds ratio using 5G over 4G with a staggering 25.7 fold increase, a United Kingdom-based mobile analytics company said.

Opensignal, in its latest definitive analysis of 5G worldwide leaders, said the number of 5G users in Malaysia, however, is small and the ratio would likely decrease as 5G adoption increases.

“It’s important to understand the different state of 5G rollouts across markets, 5G is still very new in Malaysia with relatively few 5G users,” it said.

To date, it said only two operators have signed up to deploy 5G on the single wholesale network.

“The real-world test for Malaysia will happen in the coming months when multiple Malaysian operators market 5G and we see real mass market uptake,” it said.

It said Malaysia’s 5G wholesale network only covers the access network, essentially the cell towers, and Malaysia’s operators continue to use their existing core networks and peering to enable the complete experience for users.

Nevertheless, it said Malaysia jumps in with high rankings in all three 5G speed categories — download speed, peak download speed and upload speed, as well as 5G games experience under the experience category.

In the experience category, it said Malaysia featured in the table highlighting the importance of end-to-end experience for video streaming, multiplayer mobile gaming and voice communications.

Meanwhile, Opensignal said South Korea held onto the global 5G speed crown ranking top for 5G download speed with six markets having surpassed the 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) mark compared to three in March 2022.

“South Korea, Sweden and the UAE have been joined by Bulgaria, Norway and Malaysia although Malaysia is something of an anomaly because of the limited 5G uptake to date and the 5G experience there will likely drop dramatically as more users and more operators embrace 5G,” it added.

Source: Bernama

Opensignal: Malaysia on top among 15 global markets in 5G vs 4G average download speed ratio


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Malaysia has been ranked 32nd in the 2022 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR), down by seven positions from the 25th spot in 2021.

In a statement, the centre said Thailand (33rd from 28th) and Indonesia (44th from 37th) also tumbled down their rankings respectively, driven by the slow re-opening of the economy post-Covid-19 compared with the European Union (EU) and the United States (US).

The Asia region also saw China drop one spot to 17 from 16, reversing China’s strong upward trend in recent years, signalling a poor economic recovery exacerbated by its zero-Covid strategy.

“Going forward, China needs to restructure the economy from manufacturing to high-value services and from investment to consumption.

“It also needs to build a unified national market to enhance long-term economic prosperity, and it will only achieve its socio-economic development goals by using a macroeconomic policy mix,” it said.

Nonetheless, China still tops the Asia-Pacific (APAC) economies along with Singapore (third), Hong Kong (fifth) and Taiwan (seventh).

Singapore reaches the third spot, up from fifth, enjoying its topmost position in the APAC region. Its recovery stemmed from substantial improvements in the domestic economy (first from 15th), employment (third from 18th), public finance (sixth from 12th) and productivity and efficiency (ninth from 14th).

However, it remained in relatively low positions in several sub-factors, including management practices (14th), scientific infrastructure (16th) and health and environment (25th).

Meanwhile, IMD WCC noted that India has the sharpest rise among the Asian economies, ranking to 37th from 43rd.

Its stellar performance saw a six-spot jump after four stagnant years. This was primarily due to gains in its economic performance and business efficiency.

IMD WCC chief economist Christos Cabolis said besides inflationary pressure affecting most economies, other global challenges affecting the competitiveness of countries include variants of Covid-19.

This includes the number of infected people around the world; differing national policies to address Covid (the ‘zero-tolerance Covid’ policy versus the ‘moving on from Covid’ policy); and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Meanwhile, Denmark, as the most digitally advanced country in the world, has reached the top spot for the first time in the ranking’s 34-year history.

“This is thanks to good policies, advantages afforded by being a European country, a clear focus on sustainability and a push from its agile corporate sector,“ said IMD WCC director Professor Arturo Bris.

Switzerland lost its global top spot, moving down to second, despite remaining strong in the overall ranking.

The 2022 WCR assessed 63 economies, via hard data, where 333 competitiveness criteria selected as a result of comprehensive research using economic literature, international, national and regional sources and feedback from the business community, government agencies and academics, and survey responses (100 executives per economy on average) from senior executives, collected from 56 local partner institutes.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia ranks 32nd in 2022 IMD World Competitiveness ranking


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Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur has been ranked 46th best city in the world for financial security and legacy management, according to a study released by Veolar.eu, a global leader in antioxidant production and distribution.

In a statement, it said the study to identify the best cities in the world for retirement showed that Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is the best city in the world for financial security and legacy management, followed by Singapore and Wellington, New Zealand.

The study, in partnership with Magmatic Research, also revealed that Tokyo retirees enjoy the best living standards, followed by Singapore and Wellington.

“As inflation and global instability soar, the study revealed the best cities in the world for retirees by analysing later life liveability, financial security, healthcare and wealth management.

“The results revealed where local retirees enjoy the highest quality of life as well as the best cities for legacy management,” it said.

According to the study, Oslo, Norway, is the best city in the world for financial security, a measurement of the economic stability and fiscal environment for retirees in each city, while Lisbon and Porto in Portugal ranked second and third.

“Retirees experience the lowest incidence of conflict and political instability in Wellington. Singapore and Auckland, New Zealand ranked second and third,” it added.

Source: Bernama

Kuala Lumpur ranks 46th best city in the world for financial security, legacy management – Veolar


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PETRONAS continues to be the top-ranked company from last year in the 2022 LinkedIn Top Companies list in Malaysia, which is the second annual ranking of the 15 best workplaces to grow one’s career.

In a statement, LinkedIn said the country’s fully integrated oil and gas company, which is committed to upskill its employees to adapt rapidly changing business environment, topped the list followed by Maybank, Bosch, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (TNB), and B. Braun Group.

It said of the seven local companies ranked in 2022, three were government-linked companied (GLCs) along with government-linked investment company (GLIC).

There were Petronas, Maybank, PNB and TNB (number 11).

“These government entities are among the biggest employers in the country and continue to hire talent ranging from entry-level to senior roles, as well as offering internships and trainee programme opportunities,” it said.

Offering flexible work scenario, Maybank introduced a hybrid work environment which enabled employees to have access to hot-desking and collaborative meeting rooms, while PNB started new flexible work arrangements, allowing 1,750 employees to work from home during the pandemic.

It also noted through global initiative 4Diversity, B. Braun Group was focusing on raising awareness and opportunities for equal career advancement.

The company is investing resources in increasing the number of female managers to reflect equal representation at all levels of management. Bosch has a reputation for a balnced working environment practising diversity and inclusion.

LinkedIn News senior managing editor Satoshi Ebitani said: “As we continue to navigate the challenging realities of today’s world, employee engagement and support is now more important than ever.

“Our Top Companies list celebrates companies who are invested in the growth and well-being of the most important resource in the workplace — people.

“With dedicated programmes and initiatives to support career progression and the growing need for work-life balance, these companies are leading the charge for long-term success in the workforce.”

Source: Bernama

Petronas named best company to work for in Malaysia for second year in a row


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The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Langkawi International Airport (LIA) have been named among the world’s best airports in their respective categories for 2021 in a global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey by Airports Council International (ACI).

KLIA and LIA achieved a perfect score of 5.00 in the airport categories serving over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) and two to five mppa respectively, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said in a statement.

ASQ benchmarks the world’s best airports in terms of overall passenger satisfaction for terminal safety, facilities, services, and cleanliness.

This recent industry accolade by a global body will give added impetus to MAHB to continue maintaining high service standards, especially in view of the expected increase in passenger movements after Malaysian borders reopen on April 1.

The group recorded a total of 4.66 million passenger movements in February 2022, out of which 2.54 million passenger movements or 55 per cent were contributed by its local network of airports and 2.12 million or 45 per cent were from its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG).

For Malaysia, domestic passenger traffic movements stood at 2.27 million and international at 0.28 million while ISG registered 1.09 million domestic and 1.03 million international.

As for cargo operations, the group recorded a 17.4 per cent increase in total tonnage last month which was about 86,768 metric tonnes for both cargo operations in Malaysia as well as Turkey, when compared to the same period last year.

Malaysia’s own Kargo Xpress has started a new Kuala Lumpur – Hong Kong route.

Kargo Xpress first started out in KLIA last June and operated two local cargo flights to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu respectively.

It now offers daily flights to Hong Kong as a result of growth in demand for air cargo driven by e-commerce, postal services, transshipment, and industries requiring high-value logistics services.

In a separate Bursa Malaysia filing, MAHB said traffic will likely recover steadily over the next few months as more countries reopen borders in line with higher vaccination rates in the region, gaining further traction from the second half of 2022.

The closure of Ukraine and Russia’s air space following their current conflict has temporarily disrupted flights between Istanbul’s ISG, Ukraine and Russia (Moscow and St Petersburg).

As for Asia Pacific, the air space closure has propelled airlines to reroute flights to Europe, adding flight time and increasing fuel consumption and cost.

The group is monitoring the developments in Ukraine along with the rising jet fuel prices, and would continue assessing the impact to the group’s international traffic. 

Source: Bernama

KLIA, LIA named among world’s best airports in 2021


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The Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) is confident that Malaysia will be able to be in the Global Digital Competitiveness Index’s top 10 ranking in terms of digital infrastructure by 2025.

This can be achieved by addressing the issue of digital infrastructure construction through enhancing the cooperation  between the relevant ministries and agencies, said MPC director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman.

In a statement today, he said that such cooperation is crucial to coordinate infrastructure data in order to design the appropriate interventions in digital infrastructure construction.

He also noted that under the 12th Malaysia Plan, there are differences in relevant policies and regulations with regards to the provision of digital infrastructure in each state.

“As such, one of the steps that can be taken to improve Malaysia’s standing is accelerating the construction of digital infrastructure through continuous engagement sessions.

“This is to increase the industry’s understanding of the government’s efforts in improving the business environment, especially in relation to the construction of digital infrastructure along the highways,” he said.

Abdul Latif said MPC has been focusing on change management, together with MyDIGITAL Corporation in collaboration with the Business Facilitation Special Task Force (PEMUDAH), Productivity Nexus, ministries and agencies to support the country’s digital competitiveness.

He added that technology and digitalisation are important factors to boost productivity, which contributes to the people’s well-being.

“MPC had also conducted a deep-dive on competitiveness indicators to identify specific issues which pose a challenge to the country’s competitiveness in terms of the implementation of improvements.

“This is jointly conducted by the public and private sectors through the ‘collaborative innovation’ approach,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia heading towards top 10 Global Digital Competitiveness Index


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Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) has bagged the world’s number one spot in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey for the fourth quarter (Q4) 2021.

This placement is achieved alongside nine other international airports in the same category of over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) that have all received a perfect score of 5.00 in the global survey, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) said in a statement.

MAHB managing director Datuk Iskandar Mizal Mahmood said KLIA had consistently achieved a perfect score of 5.00 for ASQ element of “feeling safe and secure” in 2021.

“The previous lull had enabled us to implement many improvement initiatives, and the perfect ASQ score is a validation of the effort put in by the entire airport community.

“To be placed first alongside other global airports is also an honour for the country,” he said.

The ASQ results were recently made known by Airports Council International (ACI) which is responsible for benchmarking the world’s best airports in terms of overall passenger satisfaction for terminal safety, facilities, services, and cleanliness.

Iskandar said the outlook for Malaysia’s aviation industry remains positive as January 2022 witnessed the arrival of a new airline and also saw the addition of several new flight routes.

MAHB welcomed inaugural flights by SKS Airways at its Pangkor and Redang STOLports (short take-off and landing airports).

Both STOLports now receive daily flights using the Twin Otter aircraft from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang.

In addition, four new flight routes were also introduced by AirAsia in the same month to enhance the connectivity between East and West Malaysia.

The new routes included Kuching ― Langkawi, Penang ― Sibu, Johor Baru ― Bintulu, and Kota Kinabalu ― Kuala Terengganu (TGG).

“With international travel still restricted, the group’s passenger traffic performance in Malaysia is driven by domestic travel.

“For Malaysia, domestic traffic was recorded at 2.5 million passengers last month, making up 90 per cent of Malaysia’s total passenger movements,” he noted.

In January, 8,700 daily average passenger movements were recorded, a much higher daily average than November 2021 by two-fold but slightly lower than December 2021 by 2,000 daily average passengers.

He noted that December has consistently remained a peak month with the highest passenger movements in a year, pre-pandemic as well as during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The resumption of ticket sales for the Vaccinated Travel Lane programme late last month and umrah travel on February 8 is also a positive development for recovery in international travel.

The airports operator registered a total of 4.7 million passenger movements in January 2022 for both its operations in Malaysia and Turkey, a decrease of 11 per cent compared to the preceding month’s record of 5.3 million passengers. 

Source: Bernama

KLIA ranked No.1 in airport service quality survey for Q4 2021


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