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

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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Malaysia ranked top among countries in Southeast Asia in the latest annual democracy report released by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), with an overall score of 7.24.

The Democracy Index 2021 report by the research and analysis division of The Economist Group ranked Malaysia higher than Timor Leste (7.06), Indonesia (6.71), the Philippines (6.62), Singapore (6.23), Thailand (6.04), Vietnam (2.94), Cambodia (2.90) and Myanmar (1.02).

Malaysia also ranked sixth in the Asia and Australasia region, and 39th globally.

According to data from 2006-2021, Malaysia’s score in 2021 showed much improvement from the previous year (7.19) and the best for the country in the period.

The Democracy Index, which began in 2006, provides a snapshot of the state of democracy worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories based on the ratings for 60 indicators grouped into five categories — electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

In the Democracy Index 2021, Malaysia scored 9.58 for electoral process and pluralism; the functioning of government (7.86), political participation (7.22), political culture (6.25) and civil liberties (5.29).

Norway leads the index globally with a 9.75 score, followed by New Zealand (9.37) and Finland (9.27), while North Korea (1.08), Myanmar (1.02) and Afghanistan (0.32) are at the bottom of the list.

“The results reflect the continuing negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on democracy and freedom around the world for a second successive year,” the report stated.

It further said that the pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented withdrawal of civil liberties among developed democracies and authoritarian regimes alike, among others, by requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19 for participation in public life.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia tops EIU’s democracy index among ASEAN countries


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Malaysia ranks No. 1 in emerging Southeast Asia as the country with the most potential to attract foreign investors, according to the 2022 Milken Institute Global Opportunity Index.

The annual assessment, created to help inform investor and policymaker global investment decisions, evaluates an economy’s investment landscape using variables such as the macroeconomic outlook, access to financial services, the potential for future innovation and development, and more.

“In this year’s report, we identified several policies that will help emerging Southeast Asia remain competitive when it comes to investment opportunities,” said Claude Lopez, the head of the Research Department of the Milken Institute.

“Governments in the region must strengthen their institutional frameworks, deepen regional integration to take advantage of each country’s unique resources and opportunities, and maximise social impact by leveraging global capital flows to advance development.”

The 2022 Global Opportunity Index includes a report focusing on emerging Southeast Asia, a region where an influx of capital could lead to increased innovation, job creation and competitiveness, according to a statement.

Emerging Southeast Asia scored well compared to other emerging and developing economies in three key areas: i) having a strong economic performance; ii) offering a highly qualified workforce; and iii) being firmly integrated with the global economy.

Key findings from the 2022 Global Opportunity Index include Sweden maintaining its No. 1 rank from 2021 as the country with the most potential to attract foreign investment, followed by the UK at No. 2 and Denmark at No. 3.

Meanwhile, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia took the top spots in emerging Southeast Asia. Malaysia received the highest ranking in the region due to its strong performance across all categories measured. Vietnam and the Philippines rounded out the top five countries in emerging Southeast Asia — in that order.

To create the index, the Milken Institute evaluated investment opportunities through 100 variables organised into five categories and 14 subcategories. The five major categories included business perception, financial services, international standards and policy, economic fundamentals and institutional frameworks. 

Source: Bernama

Malaysia tops emerging Southeast Asia for foreign investment in 2022 — Milken Institute


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Malaysia has been ranked 39th out of 113 countries in the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for 2021, according to Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.

He said Malaysia was listed in the top eight among Asia Pacific countries and placed second after Singapore in Southeast Asia.

“Nevertheless, strengthening the country’s food security is an ongoing process and we must continue to work to improve our position in the GFSI in line with the government’s intention to continue to empower the agro-food sector under the 12th Malaysia Plan,” he said when delivering his 2022 New Year message today.

Therefore, he said the National Food Policy Action Plan 2021-2025 (DSMN Action Plan) which would be launched soon, was a strategy to support the implementation of the National Agro-Food Policy 2021-2030 (DAN 2.0).

He said the initial phase of the implementation of DAN 2.0 which is a comprehensive policy to ensure the country’s food security is competitive and sustainable based on key government policies including the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, was among the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries’ (Mafi) key achievements last year.

He said DAN 2.0 was not just a policy document but must be used as a guide and reference in all initiatives implemented by the ministry.

“In this regard, I am confident that Mafi will implement all the strategies and initiatives that have been outlined under DAN 2.0 and the DSMN Action Plan according to the implementation period to achieve the set targets,” he said.

He said DAN 2.0 had set modernisation and smart agriculture as key game changers and the main policy thrust that would be focused on to create successful transformation in the agro-food sector.

Ronald said the sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product was expected to increase to five per cent by 2030 in contrast to 2.3 per cent in 2020.

Meanwhile, he said that the National Ruminant Board would be established and operate in phases starting this year to further boost the industry’s growth, especially in enhancing the country’s beef and dairy production.

He said Mafi had launched the National Beef Industry Development Strategic Plan (BIF  Plan 2021-2025) and the National Dairy Industry Development Strategic Plan 2021-2025 (Dairy Plan 2021-2025) to develop the country’s ruminant industry.

“Through these plans, the local fresh beef and milk production target can be increased to 50 per cent of the self-sufficiency level (SSL) for beef production and 100 per cent SSL for fresh milk by 2025,” he said.

On the new date for the National Farmers, Breeders and Fishermen’s Day (HPPNK) 2021 Ronald said it would be set after taking into account the date for the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA) 2022 exhibition, adding that he hoped both programmes could be carried out this year.

HPPNK 2021 was initially scheduled to take place from Dec 21 to 23 last year but was postponed due to massive floods hitting several states in the country.

Source: Bernama

Minister: Malaysia ranks 39th in Global Food Security Index


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The success of Malaysia’s National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) has been instrumental in Malaysia being ranked 13th in the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index after nearly two years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said Malaysia’s success in the fight against Covid-19 was due to the involvement and quick collaboration between public, private and armed forces military healthcare.

“The well-organised vaccination process helped our country. The number of anti-vaccination groups in the country is not as high as other countries and we also managed to convert some of them and got them vaccinated,” he said when contacted by Bernama, today.

Besides that, Dr Kuljit noted that the robust MySejahtera app also contributed significantly in the country’s success against the pandemic.

According to the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index as of December 31, 2021, Malaysia is ranked 13th with a total score of 66.5, with the top three countries being Bahrain with a total score of 82.0, Chile with 76.5 and Taiwan with at 75.5.

The Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index ranks about 120 countries or regions on infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility.

A higher ranking indicates a country or region is closer to recovery with low numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases, better vaccination rates and less stringent social distancing measures; and the index’s data sources include Our World in Data, Google Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports, Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker Cirium, and Nikkei Asia.

Meanwhile, Universiti Putra Malaysia epidemiologist Assoc Prof Dr Malina Osman, said the efforts of the Health Ministry (MOH), led by Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, using effective political strategy and epidemic management as well as the support of all agencies involved including community individuals are the main reasons behind the success.

She stressed that in public health, collective effort is most important and success cannot be achieved through individual achievement alone.

“I think that it is a great achievement, where the commitment of all parties ensured an optimum management of the Covid-19 pandemic, which enabled to the country to successfully implement its recovery plan.

“This is comparable with most other Asian countries. This commitment must be continued to curb cases and clusters and not hinder the recovery strategy,” she said.

Public health medicine specialist Dr Sanjay Rampal concurred, saying Malaysia was currently doing well with the daily reported cases being relatively lower and having a lower incidence rate than many other countries.

“We have been having lower baseline incidence rates over the past few weeks. This may be due to seasonal variation and the community immunity is still high from the past vaccination programme,” he added.

Dr Sanjay, who is also Professor of Epidemiology at Universiti Malaya, said the numbers in the coming months may continue to be low or it may increase due to a few factors such as the establishment of the Omicron strain as the predominant strain that is more transmissible than the Delta variant.

However, he was confident that it was unlikely for hospital services to be overwhelmed if the country proactively planned its Covid-19 services and worked together to include the whole society in combating Covid-19.

Dr Noor Hisham posted on Facebook last night that the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index highlights a divide between Asia and the West, with many countries having a surge of cases involving the Omicron variant in a short period of time.

He also said Malaysia is now ranked sixth in the Global Covid Index (GCI), which was developed with input from various international bodies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Source: Bernama

Malaysia’s 13th ranking in Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index due to strong public-private teamwork, says private hospital group


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Kuala Lumpur leapt 11 places to number 15 of the Top 20 Asia Fintech Hubs, according to Asia Pacific Fintech Rankings: Bridging Divides report.

The report by global research and analytics firm Findexable and powered by Mambu, a global software as a service (Saas) banking platform, has ranked Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney in Australia as the top three fintech hubs.

It said Asian countries were among the first to launch specialist digital banking licenses to encourage neobanks as a part of broader economic inclusion strategies.

“Malaysia and Singapore also have regulatory sandboxes that allow digital banks to extend some services to pilot customers without passing daily regulatory tests,” it said.

Findexable chief executive officer and co-founder Simon Hardie said the rankings of Asia Pacific fintech hubs were testament to the region’s diversity, ingenuity and commitment to innovation.

“With 45 hubs across the region, with one third more than in 2020, fintech firms across Asia Pacific are proving fintech is the engine of the digital economy.

“More importantly, as this report shows, fintechs are showing that building successful businesses should go hand in hand with contributing to wider financial inclusion and development goals,” he said in a statement today.

Mambu managing director Myles Bertrand said the Saas cloud banking platform has seen an astounding acceleration in the rate of fintech innovation across the region over the past year and the adoption of new financial technologies is now being driven primarily by consumer demand as a direct result of the pandemic.

“Consumers across Asia Pacific have experienced how digital banking technologies can make their lives easier with a huge range of faster, more convenient and much less expensive ways to manage their money,” he said.

He said Asia has been home to nearly half of the Top 20 global fintech hubs identified in the report but the differing regulations from country to country could be a real hindrance to multinational growth in the region.

“Each country’s central bank or government has its own agenda, so it’s incredibly important for fintechs to work collaboratively with the regulators in each country to understand their concerns and to help support the creation of mutually beneficial ecosystems that support innovation,” he added. 

The report highlights the vital role fintech innovation has in closing the gaps between the “banked”, “underserved” and “unbanked”, particularly in countries that may have low levels of formal financial inclusion but high levels of smartphone ownership and internet penetration. 

Source: Bernama

Kuala Lumpur leaps to 15th place of Top 20 Asia Fintech Hubs


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Malaysia’s e-commerce was ranked first in term of growth among the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) member countries in the latest Deloitte’s Technology-empowered Digital Trade in Asia Pacific report.

In a statement today, Deloitte said the total size of Malaysia’s e-commerce market stood at US$6.297 billion (RM26  million) this year, representing 61.4 per cent of the e-commerce market size in China and ranked among developing markets after Indonesia and Thailand.

The audit, consulting, tax and advisory services provider said the nation also has the highest penetration rate for sales digitalisation for cross-border e-commerce at 65.7 per cent.

However, it said overall cross-border e-commerce Malaysia has been limited by factors such as cross-border logistics infrastructure and technical operations, impacting its development.

“At present, cross-border consumption only accounts for 42 per cent of the market size of the internet economy in Malaysia, which is much lower compared to mature markets among RCEP members,” it said.

Deloitte said it categorised Malaysia, together with Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, as developing markets after China, South Korea, Singapore and Japan, which were among mature markets.

Early-stage markets were Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

It said the region is expected to enter a golden age for digital trade over the next three years.

“The continuous improvement of digital infrastructure will effectively resolve the two major constraints affecting cross-border trade —  logistics and payments.

“Blockchain technology is also creating a new space of imagination for digital trade,” it said.

Additionally, it said critical infrastructure such as 5G would help build data distribution platforms and new network architectures and facilitate the Internet of Everything.

“The vast accumulation of big data coupled with artificial intelligence will also play a key role in intelligent decision-making,” it said.

Meanwhile, it said the rise of micro-multinational enterprises (mMNEs) has become the main drivers behind the transformation of digital trade in Asia Pacific.

It said the mMNEs provided diversified “locally-made products” and light customisation services for global buyers while contributing to over 85 per cent of Asia Pacific’s cross-border e-commerce activities.

WorldFirst head for China Frankie Fan said the company reckoned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to play a crucial role in the economic recovery in the region.

“With the support of cross-border online sales and payment infrastructures and the RCEP starting to take into effect next year, SMEs of the region will increasingly gain foothold in the cross-border trade,” he added.

WorldFirst is a leading international payments business with over 40 per cent market share in China, Japan and Korea.

Source: Bernama

Deloitte: Malaysia ranks first in e-commerce’s growth among RCEP members


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Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) has emerged as the top-ranking private university and second among universities in Malaysia, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies Rankings 2022.

UTP vice-chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Ibrahim Abdul Mutalib said the university is now ranked 60th, jumping two places from its previous 62nd position.

The university has stood out by scoring the highest for research in the nation and has improved significantly for citation and international outlook scores.

 He said the university is proud of this achievement and would continue to improve its rankings.

“We have solidified our position among the best universities in the emerging economies countries.  

“This achievement bears testimony of our hard work and diligence in delivering our commitment towards all our stakeholders, especially our parent company Petronas, students, parents, sponsors and collaborators,” he said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 4).

The 2022 edition of the THE Emerging Economies Rankings includes 698 universities from countries classified by the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE Group as “advanced emerging”, “secondary emerging” or “frontier”.

The rankings use the same 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators used in all THE rankings.

On another note, UTP is ranked 72nd in the QS Asia University Rankings 2022 with increased scores in academic reputation, citations per paper, papers per faculty, international research network, as well as inbound and outbound exchange students.

Source: Bernama

Universiti Teknologi Petronas is Malaysia’s top private university in the Emerging Economies Rankings 2022


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Twenty-two universities in Malaysia improved their rankings in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS): Asia University Ranking (QS-AUR) 2022, four universities retained their positions while 10 others dropped in ranking.

The Higher Education Ministry (MoHE) in a statement today said Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia were among the universities that improved their rankings.

“The four universities that retained their positions are Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan,” the statement read.

The ministry said the QS-AUR 2022 rankings showed 36 local universities participated this year compared to 35 previously.

UM announced in a statement on Tuesday that they had been ranked eighth in QS-AUR 2022, one rung up from last year, the first time the university was placed in the ten best-ranked universities since the rankings were published in 2009.

According to the ministry, the improvement in rankings by local universities meant that Malaysian universities could compete with universities in other Asian countries even with the various challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This success shows that Malaysia can be a premier higher education hub in the Asian region,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings research director Ben Sowter said universities in Malaysia continue to improve in rankings even with stiff competition.

Overall, 687 universities from 18 countries, including 40 new entrants, participated in the QS-AUR 2022, which is the largest ever comparison conducted in the Asian region.

The QS-AUR 2022 is based on 11 main performance indicators, including academic reputation, graduate marketability, quality of research and productivity, international faculty ratio and international collaborations with various institutions.

Source: Bernama

QS-AUR 2022: 22 local universities improved their rankings this year -MoHE


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Nation’s oldest university climbs one step higher from previous year

Universiti Malaya (UM) has climbed a step higher and is now ranked eighth in the Quacquarelli-symonds (QS) World University Rankings: Asia 2022.

Malaysia’s oldest university is followed by the other four research universities in the country – Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) at 27th, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) at 33rd, Universiti Sains Malaysia at 35th and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia at 38th.

Meanwhile, Taylor’s University and UCSI University are in the top 100, at the 53rd and 77th place respectively together with Universiti Utara Malaysia at 98th.

Others in the top 200 are Universiti Teknologi Mara (105), International Islamic University Malaysia (123), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (167), Management and Science University (147), Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (167), and Multimedia University (189).

Sunway University is in the top 150, after climbing 51 spots to be ranked at 121st.

UM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor said the university’s improvement is an unprecedented achievement and they are looking to explore other global options for research collaboration that will contribute to stronger global impact.

“We are planning to venture to the African and Latin America region where there are many opportunities for research collaboration (in areas) such as infectious disease, poverty and development studies as well as capacity building,” he said in a statement yesterday.

UPM deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Dr M. Iqbal Saripan said the university’s improvement in the rankings is good news and plans to focus on its teaching, research and professional services.

UKM pro-vice-chancellor (Strategy and Corporate Development) Prof Dr Wan Kamal Mujani said the university is proud and honoured with the achievement, which is the result of their strategic plans which focus on students, covering aspects such as teaching, skills enhancement and employability, and improving their research, collaboration and sustainability.

Describing the varsity’s rise as encouraging, UCSI University vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said that being in Asia’s top 80 universities vindicates their long-standing emphasis on quality education, high impact research and graduate outcomes, as the university climbed 28 spots from last year.

Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll said the varsity has “far exceeded” their initial target of breaking into the top 100 in Asia by 2022.

Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU), which ranks in the 271-280 band, attained the QS Five Stars Plus university rating, the first and only in Malaysia according to QS Intelligence Unit Evaluation head Leigh Kamolins during an announcement on Monday.

APU chief executive officer Datuk Parmjit Singh said that this is a testimony of APU’S strengths and a reflection of their commitment to produce highly employable and future-proof professionals.

Thirty-six universities from Malaysia were ranked in the QS Asian University Rankings 2022, competing against a total of 687 universities in the region, with 24 of them improving their ranking.

QS director of research Ben Sowter said Malaysia’s higher education continues to evolve and rise.

“Last year, UM broke into the region’s top 10 for the first time, and this year rises one more spot, to the eighth place – the highest ever achieved since the rankings’ inception.

“In addition, 68% of the Malaysian universities improved their positions; the best performance of all the 18 locations represented in this edition,” he added.

The National University of Singapore was named the continent’s best university for the fourth consecutive year.

The QS report ranks the continent’s 687 best institutions through 11 key indicators, with the full rankings found at www.topuniversities. com

Source: The Star

UM placed eighth in ranking in Asia


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Malaysia has climbed 10 places in the digital quality of life (DQL) ranking globally to 31 among 110 countries surveyed.

A global research covering 90% of the global population released on Friday showed that Malaysia lacks Internet affordability — it is around 60% worse than the global average and ranks 69th globally.

In the survey released by British Virgin Islands-based virtual private network service provider Surfshark, it said Malaysia’s e-security (21st) and e-government (24th) are among the top 30 in the world, but the country displays comparatively lower results in e-infrastructure (31st), Internet affordability (69th) and Internet quality (47th).

Surfshark said that overall, Malaysia does similar or slightly better than the global average in all DQL pillars, except Internet affordability.

It said people in Malaysia would have to work almost five hours to afford the cheapest broadband Internet package and one minute and 48 seconds for the cheapest 1GB of mobile Internet.

Even so, Malaysia has better Internet affordability than neighbouring Indonesia and the Philippines.

The study also showed room for improvement for Malaysia’s Internet quality — it is similar to the global average but barely makes it to the top 50 and is surpassed by New Zealand and the Philippines.

Malaysia ranks 74th globally in the mobile speed index (24.8Mbps) and 34th in broadband connectivity (90.86Mbps).

Despite good broadband internet speeds, its growth year-on-year is relatively low, ranking only 87th.

Surfshark chief executive officer Vytautas Kaziukonis said digital opportunities proved to be more important than ever during the Covid-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,

“The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made,” said Kaziukonis.

Regionally, the US stands out as a country with the highest digital quality of life in the Americas, while South Korea takes the leading position in Asia.

Among countries in Africa, people in South Africa enjoy the highest quality of digital lives, whereas Australia leads in Oceania, outperforming New Zealand in various digital areas.

Source: The Edge Markets

Malaysia ranks 31st worldwide for digital quality of life


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Kuala Lumpur is ranked the ninth top city in the Asia Pacific and outside of Silicon Valley/San Francisco as a leading technology innovation hub over the next four years, according to the latest survey by KPMG.

In its global Technology Industry Survey 2021 involving more than 800 industry leaders, KPMG said this was based on several factors both at a local level such as infrastructure and demographics and at a macro level such as the regulatory environment and potential national tax incentives.

Guy Edwards, head of technology, media and telecommunications sector at KPMG in Malaysia, opined that this is not all that surprising considering several studies have already recognised and identified factors that make Malaysia an attractive investment opportunity.

“There is definitely continued global confidence in the country’s potential as a development hotbed, thanks to the Malaysian government’s dedication to advance the country’s technology infrastructure with the introduction of initiatives such as the National Fourth Industrial Revolution policy.

“While government impetus could be just the thing to amplify Malaysia’s potential as a tech hub, more is needed beyond simply introducing newer policies,” it said in a statement today.

The survey showed that 61% of industry insiders believed the pandemic has changed their opinions of which cities would become leading technology innovation hubs.

Only one third feel that Silicon Valley will maintain its innovation leadership position, while an equal number feel it will not.

Source: Bernama

Kuala Lumpur among top 10 cities in Asia Pacific seen as leading technology innovation hub — KPMG


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Malaysia has maintained its position as the best destination for Muslim travellers even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The country once again came first in the list of best Muslim-friendly holiday destinations, according to the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2021.

Malaysia has remained in the top destination since the launch of the index in 2015. The GMTI monitors the overall performance of the Muslim travel market.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said Malaysia is committed to continue developing the Muslim-friendly travel segment, sometimes referred to as halal travel.

“We have developed Malaysia to be a Muslim-friendly tourism and hospitality destination, offering unique and meaningful experiences,” she said during her keynote speech at the Halal In Travel Global Summit 2021.

Nancy added that Malaysia is a place where Muslim travellers will feel comfortable in as the country caters to their basic faith needs.

“Malaysia, being a Muslim majority country offers many eateries that are certified halal, and feature many tourism related activities that does not contradict with Islamic principles.

“This has contributed towards making Malaysia being recognised as the top Muslim friendly destination,” she said.

Nancy also highlighted the contributions of the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC), an agency under the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry in charge of Islamic tourism-related affairs, towards the recognition.

Keeping travel halal amid pandemic

The GMTI 2021 ranked 140 destinations that account for more than 95% of Muslim visitor arrivals.

Malaysia is followed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia in second and third place respectively. Indonesia and United Arab Emirates rounded off the top five destinations.

Meanwhile, Singapore remains the only non-OIC destination in the top 20 GMTI 2021 ranking.

CrescentRating founder and chief executive officer Fazal Bahardeen said GMTI 2021 will help the destinations prepare post-pandemic tourism recovery.

“The pandemic has had a colossal impact on the travel sector. Muslim (tourist) arrivals dropped to 42 million in 2020 from an all-time high of an estimated 160 million in 2019.

“As we start this recovery journey, we project that the Muslim travel market will return to the 2019 levels by 2023,” he said.

According to Fazal, the latest index took into consideration the evolving concept of travel bubbles and corridors.

Contactless travel

The GMTI 2021 also noted some shift in travel preferences due to the pandemic. One such change is the rise of “contactless travel”.

It’s a trend that is here to stay moving forward in a post-pandemic environment, said Mastercard division president (Southeast Asia Emerging Markets) Safdar Khan.

“The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of the airline industry. Developing a digital-first, low-touch, contactless customer experience will be a pivotal driver in the travel industry’s recovery roadmap,” he said.

According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 94% of consumers in Asia Pacific will consider using at least one new payment method, such as QR codes, digital or mobile wallets, cryptocurrencies, biometrics, and others in the coming year.

Safdar said digital payments will be instrumental in helping the travel industry recover once restrictions are lifted.

“Asia Pacific is renowned for its popularity with Muslim travelers. As the world begins to open again, understanding how best to meet the needs of this important demographic will be crucial to ensuring that the travel sector’s recovery is both sustainable and inclusive,” he said.

Source: The Star

Malaysia ranks first again in global Muslim travel index despite pandemic


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The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021 has ranked Malaysia’s global competitiveness at 25th place from out of 64 economies, an improvement from the 27th position in 2020.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, Malaysia held second position among 190 economies in dealing with construction permits.

“Nevertheless, while this shows that reform initiatives are working, there is still more to be done to ensure that our regulations are agile enough to respond to changes,” he said in his speech during the virtual official launch of “Productivity Report 2021 ― Boosting Productivity: Reset, Reform, Rebound”.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) director general Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman said Productivity Report 2021 takes a different approach this year, focusing directly on the issues and challenges which impede productivity growth against the worst health and economic crisis and spotlighting the recommended solutions to manage these barriers.

“In addressing the pronounced challenges to productivity and in the effort to boost its growth, this year’s theme for the report summarises the journey ― reset and reform, which eventually leads to productivity rebound.

“The recommendations presented in the report align with the government agenda through its various economic stimulus packages and recovery plans. Aptly implemented, the solutions are expected to escalate productivity growth, and subsequently enhance business revival and recovery,” he said in his welcoming speech.

Within the business environment, Abdul Latif said, regulations play an important role to enhance the ease of doing business.

“Managing the regulatory concerns from the industry, especially from businesses affected by the pandemic, is more urgent now to facilitate their recovery.

“Regulatory reform is a must to reduce the unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses and formulate policies which are more conducive to business efficiency. Pemudah or the Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business, working with MPC as the secretariat, has been steadfast in regulatory reforms,” he said.

Meanwhile, in his message in the report, Mohamed Azmin said the outlook is positive for Malaysia, underpinned by the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, which is progressing well to reach as many citizens as possible and as quickly as possible.

“The government has also launched and implemented several stimulus packages to ease the burden of the business community and the rakyat in general. Incentives and programmes are implemented to address issues on employment, loss of revenue, and business environment.

“Great attention will continue to be given to digitalisation and technology adoption as tools to accelerate economic recovery. With these synergistic efforts in place, there is certainly an air of optimism for 2021 to be an inflection point for both holistic health and economic recovery,” he said.

The minister said that Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented health and economic crisis which has affected the lives and livelihoods of the people, resulting in a huge decline in productivity growth by -5.5 per cent last year due to the jarring disruptions.

“We have striven to overcome the various obstacles by setting in motion opportunities that have changed the trajectory of our lives for the better,” he said.

According to Mohamed Azmin, Bank Negara Malaysia, in its first quarter performance report published in May 2021, has forecast that Malaysia’s economy is to remain on track to achieve the projected growth of 6.0-7.5 per cent in 2021.

This, he said, denotes a rebound in labour and capital productivity being underpinned by broad-based economic recovery across most sectors.

“While 2020 saw the execution of brave but necessary measures to flatten the curve of infections, the government, armed with valuable virological data, implemented more prudent measures in 2021 to curb the virus from spreading exponentially, pivoted on the overarching objective to protect the lives of the rakyat and to simultaneously ensure the revival of the country’s economic growth,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia rises to 25th place in World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021


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Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021 has given Sunway University the highest ranked private university in Malaysia.

For the first time, the university has entered the THE Impact Rankings 2021, which measures universities’ commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sunway University is now credited to be within the Top 200 for SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities – making it one of the world’s leading institutions in this category dedicated to creating career and business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, and building resilient societies and economies.

SDG 11 highlights Sunway University as a state-of-the-art modern campus that is connected to a wide range of social and community amenities by safe walkways at treetop level (the “canopy walk”) – giving a unique sustainable study, work and social environment for its students and staff within and around the campus.

Sunway City is a prime example of the new global movement of sustainable “15-minute cities” with hyper-connectivity and all amenities accessible within 15 minutes by walking.

Realising the need for health and safety, Sunway University strives to focus on pedestrian priority on campus with covered walkways that run between buildings and provide students and staff convenient access to all facilities within the campus.

The university was also one of just two universities that won a National Energy Award last year in recognition of its efforts on energy efficiency.

​“We are delighted now to be recognised as one of the world’s leading institutions for sustainability,” said Sunway University vice-chancellor Prof Graeme Wilkinson.

“We are a signatory institution to the SDG Accord and absolutely committed to aligning our educational and research efforts with the SDGs and this ranking demonstrates that our efforts are yielding results.

“We know that our students are very concerned about the future of the planet and sustainability issues, and we take very seriously our responsibility to educate them on these issues and to undertake research on policies and technologies that can make an impact in relation to the SDGs.”

The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are the only global performance tables that assess universities against the UN SDGs. The rankings use carefully calibrated indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparison across four broad areas – research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.

The Impact Rankings was first launched by Times Higher Education in 2019 and now has almost triple the number of international premiere universities participating from nearly 100 countries/regions across the world – sharing invaluable data and presenting insights into the growing commitment to address global challenges and societal impacts.

“The education sector is a key driver in the whole-of-nation approach towards achieving the SDGs and I congratulate Sunway University for the well-deserved recognition by Times Higher Education,” said Stefan Priesner, UN resident coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

“Academia has a crucial role to play in nurturing future SDG champions and developing thought leadership for a more sustainable world. As an organisation, universities can also contribute by walking the talk and being SDG compliant in their business operations as demonstrated by Sunway.”

Sunway University is dedicated to championing sustainability efforts within and around the campus by instilling sustainable practices into the various aspects of the university experience such as ensuring high standards in sustainability research, sustainable work practices and sustainable consumption.

Its “Last Straw” campaign to reduce single use plastic on campus was a major success and helped launch the #CampusWithAConscience – a theme very much close to heart of all Sunwayians.

In recognition of Sunway’s embrace of the sustainability agenda and commitment to advancing the SDGs in Asia, Sunway University recently joined New York City and Paris as the three UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) centres in the world to coordinate continent-wide sustainability initiatives in Asia, the Americas and Europe/Africa, respectively.

Source: The Star

Sunway University ranked Malaysia’s top private university


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KL International Airport (KLIA) has improved its ranking further to be the world’s ninth best airport in terms of service quality in the first quarter of 2021 for the category of over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa), according to a survey.

In the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey by Airports Council International, KLIA achieved a score of 4.99 over 5.00, up from 4.98 in 2020. Last year, it was ranked one of the world’s top 10 airports in the same poll.

In a statement today, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said apart from KLIA, the group’s efforts to improve service levels saw Langkawi International Airport (LGK) named as the world’s third best airport in the two to five mppa category, scoring 4.97 over 5.00 in the ASQ survey during the same period.

He said the group continues to leverage on the lull period caused by international and domestic travel restrictions to carry out various initiatives to heighten passenger experience and ensure airport readiness when passenger traffic picks up again.

“Although we are facing an extreme contraction of traffic, we are not complacent when it comes to ensuring our services and facilities at the highest level.

“The encouraging results borne by the airport community’s efforts at both KLIA and LGK in upholding exceptional services and safety measures in the new travel norm will certainly help restore passenger confidence,” he said.

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

Last month, the total number of passenger movements for Malaysia Airports was about two million for its local network of airports as well as its Turkish asset, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG).

Mohd Shukrie said the country’s border remains closed and movement control orders continue to be imposed as daily COVID-19 cases have been on the rise again recently.

Nevertheless, total passenger movements for the local network of airports in April was registered at 630,000, which was close to 8.0 per cent increase compared to the preceding month.

This was borne by the pickup on airline operations for the domestic sector with an increase of 161 weekly flights or 19 per cent growth compared to March 2021, sustaining an average load factor above 57.0 per cent, he said, adding that AirAsia registered the highest average load factor of 60 per cent in April.

“(A total of) 1.89 million people in Malaysia have been vaccinated under the COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme so far with the majority being front-liners and senior citizens.

“The vaccine rollout planned for the year may help pave the way for gradual recovery,” he said.

As for Turkey, the country has recently announced lockdown relaxation allowing interstate travel during non-curfew hours.

In April, due to the previous partial border closure, ISG recorded 1.4 million passengers which was a 20 per cent drop from the preceding month.

“Despite the decrease, local airlines such as Pegasus and AnadoluJet remain optimistic with the former adding Shymkent, Kazakhstan, to its network of operations with a weekly flight that is expected to launch this month,” MAHB said.

To date, they are operating a total of 56 domestic and 79 international routes in 48 countries, the airport operator said.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

KLIA moves up to be world’s top 9 airport in Q1 2021


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GEORGE TOWN: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has been ranked 39th in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021 on sustainability out of over 1,200 institutions across 98 countries around the world.

USM, in a statement, said the position, which is the highest in the country, represented a huge jump from last year’s rankings (65).

“This latest achievement further cements USM’s position as among the world’s best institutions when it comes to solving humanity’s greatest challenges,” it said.

The ranking puts USM above such renowned universities sa King Abdulaziz University (46), Trinity College Dublin (57), University of Liverpool (72), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (76) and Deakin University (79).

It is also the second highest institution to be ranked overall in Asean (behind Chulalongkorn University in Thailand at 23rd), while in Asia it is placed fifth highest.

USM said, in addition to being placed in the top 50 positions in the overall rankings, it was also ranked ninth in the world for SDG16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

SDG refers to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

As for other individual SDGs, USM is also the highest ranked university in Malaysia in the following: SDG1 (No Poverty) at 21st in the world, SDG2 (Zero Hunger) at 29th, SDG3 (Good Health and Well-being) tied at 40th, SDG7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) at 50th and SDG14 (Life Below Water) at 58th.

“This is the third year running that USM has participated in the THE Impact Rankings, that assesses actions relating to sustainability that are undertaken by universities around the world based on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” it added.

The University of Manchester is ranked top in the overall rankings, but the Top 10 rankings are dominated by universities from Australia.

Source: NST

USM among top 50 institutions in world sustainability rankings 2021


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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has become a more attractive destination for foreigners to relocate for work, reaching 19th position as a desired country in 2020 based on a study conducted jointly by the Boston Consulting Group, global recruitment firm The Network and JobStreet’s owner SEEK Asia.

Malaysia’s attractiveness to global workers jumped from 33rd spot in 2018 and 42nd position in 2014, JobStreet said in a statement today.

Kuala Lumpur’s ranking had also improved, rising to 18th place last year from 52nd in 2014 and 42nd in 2018, the online employment portal said.

Of those who preferred to work in Malaysia, JobStreet said the top 10 countries where they were from were Indonesia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Yemen, Thailand, China, Syria, Nigeria and Qatar.

The survey also revealed that fewer Malaysians were willing to work abroad now compared with in the previous years.

“Only 40 per cent of Malaysian respondents expressed willingness to work abroad in 2020, down from 65 per cent in 2018 and 67 per cent in 2014,” JobStreet said.

It said those who were willing to relocate to another country for work purposes comprised of students (61 per cent), Malaysians involved in digitisation and automation (56 per cent), and media and information (52 per cent).

It added that Singapore ranked as the top destination for Malaysians who wished to work abroad, followed by Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.

SEEK Asia chief marketing officer Ramesh Rajandran said while most Asian destinations improved their rankings last year in terms of their attractiveness for employment, Malaysia was a clear success story as an employment destination.

“The pandemic has proven to be a key factor that has drastically changed the way global talent think about employment preferences,” he said.

Titled “Decoding Global Talent”, the study was one of the world’s largest surveys, covering 208,805 respondents in more than 190 countries, including 5,649 respondents in Malaysia.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia among Top 20 countries for foreigners to relocate for work: Study


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The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, Selangor has been ranked among the top 10 in the world for the category of over 40 million passengers per annum (mppa) in 2020.

This is according to the latest Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, which benchmarks the world’s best airports in terms of overall passenger satisfaction for terminal safety, facilities, services, and cleanliness.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said with the latest achievement, the company was further encouraged to continue with its pursuit for excellence.

He said as a global airport operator, MAHB was driven by the passengers’ confidence and satisfaction in its facilities and services.

“This year, passengers can look forward to an improved journey including shorter wait times and facial recognition technology that are part of our Airports 4.0 digital transformation.

“In fact, we recently announced that we will be introducing private health safety screening services for passengers to enjoy faster clearance upon arrival. We hope to restore passenger confidence with the Covid-19 swab test swiftly done within comfortable surroundings,” he said.

MAHB said the announcement made by Airports Council International (ACI) early this month was borne out by the airport’s continuous efforts in carrying out improvement initiatives despite being severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said the passenger traffic remained low due to prolonged domestic and international travel restrictions with only 1.6 million passenger traffic recorded in February.

Nevertheless the airport operator had still forged ahead with mission critical projects, it added.

“Among them were the washroom refurbishment, formation of the Operational Excellence teams that diligently identified and designed improvement initiatives and the introduction of the Exceptional People Practice Playbook, a dual language manual to guide our front liners in their interaction with passengers.

“This had resulted in KLIA improving its score significantly and achieving an annual score of 4.98 over 5.00 in 2020. In the previous year KLIA ranked 17th with a score of 4.76,” it said.

Last month, Malaysia received the first batch of vaccines for the immediate roll out of the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme targeted at front liners.

MAHB said while borders remained close, local passenger movements for its network of 39 airports continued to be impacted by the re-imposition of travel restrictions and movement control orders due to the resurgence of cases.

As for Turkey, the country received its first batch of vaccine in January and more than 2.8 million population has received the first dose to-date with health care workers receiving the second dose in February.

“However, despite the restricted curfew over there, our Turkish operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) has managed to sustain 1.3 million passenger movements for two consecutive months.

“ISG continues to be the majority contributor to the total 1.6 million passenger movements for the group in February,” it said.

Shukrie said MAHB remained optimistic on the resiliency of the demand in air travel.

“We have seen strong revival when travel restrictions were lifted in previous times, and for that, we will continue to enhance our offerings. Staying cognisant with the evolving demands of passengers and the aviation industry will help us stay ahead of the competition as we aim to be in the top five airports this year,” he added.

Source: NST

KLIA among world’s top 10 airports


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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 10): Malaysia has been named among the top ten attractive nations to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.

In a statement yesterday, freight forwarding and contract logistics provider Agility said Asia-Pacific nations led all emerging market regions with China, India and Indonesia being the world’s top emerging markets in the 12th annual Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, a broad gauge of competitiveness based on logistics strength and business fundamentals.

It said the Index ranks 50 countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers and distributors.

Agility said that among ASEAN countries, Vietnam climbed three spots to No. 8 overall. Indonesia (3), Malaysia (5) and Thailand (11); the Philippines rose one spot to No. 21.

Agility said China and Vietnam were virtually alone in the world in 2020, posting positive gross domestic product growth for the year after being hit early by economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm said early 2020 supply disruptions in China prompted some to question whether the country would experience an exodus of manufacturing by multi-nationals seeking to diversify sourcing and production.

But the 1,200 logistics industry executives surveyed for Agility’s Index indicate little desire to uproot from China or other markets, preferring by a two-to-one margin to protect their supply chains by accelerating adoption of digital tools and technology (41.3%) as opposed to pursuing multi-shoring, near-shoring or reshoring strategies (21.9%).

Of those who would consider moving out of China, more respondents chose Vietnam as a preferred production hub than any other country (19.6%).

Other Asian markets – India (17.4%), Indonesia (12.4%), Thailand (10.3%) and Malaysia – are the next leading choices.

Only 7.8% of industry executives say relocating production from China would mean reshoring to their home countries.

Asia-Pacific is the region that more respondents believe will recover from the global pandemic by the end of 2021. Of those surveyed, 55.9% predict an Asia-Pacific economic recovery in 2021; 53.1% believe Europe will rebound.

Agility Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Asia Pacific, Andy Vargoczky said Asia Pacific experienced great turmoil in the beginning of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, but it has rebounded strongly, led by the powerful performance of China and Vietnam.

He said the region is on track for a full recovery this year.

“India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam continue to improve their supply chain infrastructure and capabilities, showing why they are leaders in domestic and international logistics,” he said.

Agility said across 50 countries, China, India and Indonesia rank highest in the Index for domestic logistics.

It said China, India and Mexico are on top for international logistics with Vietnam 4th, Indonesia 5th, and Malaysia 7th.

UAE, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have the best business fundamentals, it said.

Source: The Edge Markets

Malaysia listed among top ten in global logistics ranking


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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s status as Asia’s preferred destination for business events has been recognised at the 13th China MICE Industry Golden Chair Awards, as the country was named as the Fourth Most Expected MICE Destination for 2020.

MICE is an acronym for the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions tourism segment.

In a statement today, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) said the award marked the fifth consecutive year that Malaysia has won the title.

“This award is a strong testament of MyCEB’s strong performance and its branding efforts in promoting Malaysia as a preferred business events destination while highlighting Malaysia’s diverse offerings in terms of connectivity, state-of-the-art facilities, first-class infrastructures and great hospitality,“ said MyCEB chief executive officer Datuk Seri Abdul Khani Daud.

The Golden Chair Award was initiated and established in 2007 by the China MICE Magazine, a leading high-end tourism and conference and exhibition publication representing China.

It aimed to recognise teams and individuals who made outstanding contributions to China’s MICE industry and set pioneering examples for the development of China’s MICE industry.

“The year 2020 has been very challenging for Malaysia’s business events industry due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Nevertheless, MyCEB has worked closely with the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) and Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) to formulate MICE standard operating procedures endorsed by the Malaysian government,“ he said.

Abdul Khani said MyCEB has also launched the Meet in Malaysia campaign to further boost the business events industry and entice more international stakeholders.  

Source: Bernama

Malaysia named as 4th most expected M.I.C.E destination in 2020


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