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E-commerce: The digital heart of Malaysia’s economy

E-commerce is the great equaliser. Via e-commerce, a single person can run as a global entity thanks to the availability of inexpensive and accessible tools that allow them to source, ship, deliver, pay, collect and digitalise other key aspects of business operations.

E-commerce is an essential aspect in the development of the digital economy and a crucial enabler in catalysing the growth of businesses, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are the backbone of the nation’s economy.

Malaysia’s e-commerce has grown tremendously in the past couple of years. The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported that the total income for e-commerce transactions in 2021 was RM1.09 trillion, a growth of 21.8% as compared to RM896 billion in 2020.

This is the first time that income from e-commerce transactions breached the RM1 trillion mark, and is on track toward realising Malaysia’s aspiration of having an e-commerce market size of RM1.65 trillion by 2025 – a vision propelled by the National E-Commerce Strategic Roadmap (NESR).

This new economy presents both opportunities and challenges. For one, businesses and individuals can now expand their reach beyond local shores, tapping into an increasingly globalised and borderless market. However, this also means that entrepreneurs who fail to embrace e-commerce run the risk of being left behind.

The government has extensive initiatives and programmes to help MSMEs begin their e-commerce journey. Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, has led the execution of Go-eCommerce Onboarding and Shop Malaysia Online campaigns under Belanjawan 2021 to encourage the adoption of e-commerce and e-payments.

As of Dec 31, 2021, both campaigns have successfully benefited more than 830,000 MSMEs, with 365,900 new MSMEs onboarded last year. Through collaboration between the 32 e-commerce and e-payment partners with MDEC, these MSMEs have collectively generated RM7.39 billion in income.

Laying the foundation with the NESR

Recognising the critical role of e-commerce in accelerating the growth of the digital economy in Malaysia, the NESR has been driven by the government as a whole-of-nation collaborative approach between the public and private sector, since 2016.

Building on the foundation of the first NESR, NESR 2.0 – which has been endorsed by the National Council of Digital Economy and 4IR (MED4IR) – aims for e-commerce to be the engine for catalytic growth for businesses in Malaysia from 2021 to 2025.

The NESR is meant to take Malaysia’s e-commerce to the next level, and it has succeeded in many ways. From 2016 till the end of 2021, through collaboration between various ministries, agencies, and the industry under the NESR, the number of MSMEs adopting e-commerce has reached 890,000, surpassing the initial 2025 target of 875,000 under the NESR and the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL).

With the 2025 target exceeded, the NESR Taskforce has revised the initial target from 875,000 to 1,148,000.

This achievement is made possible with the targeted interventions taken by the government under the Penjana 2020 and Belanjawan 2021 initiatives, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While Covid-19 has brought about unprecedented challenges, the foundation laid by NESR in 2016 and the collaborative effort of the ministries, agencies and the private sector have helped MSMEs to leverage e-commerce in mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

The roadmap also seeks to boost the number of businesses exporting via e-commerce to reach 84,000 by 2025.

Taking e-commerce to the next level with the RCEP

On March 18 this year, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement came force, paving the way for the country to integrate into the world’s largest free trade agreement (FTA) – one that involves 15 countries with a total population of more than 2.2 billion.

Being part of the RCEP will have a tremendous effect on Malaysia’s e-commerce growth. One of the 20 chapters under the RCEP centres on e-commerce. It aims to promote e-commerce among the 15 countries as well as wider usage of e-commerce globally and to enhance cooperation on e-commerce among the parties.

Among others, the RCEP e-commerce chapter includes key provisions relating to the domestic regulatory framework, paperless trading, transparency and electronic authentication. Additionally, it serves to create an environment of trust and confidence through online consumer protection and protection of personal information, and cooperation in cybersecurity.

Essentially, the RCEP seeks to create an environment that encourages e-commerce, protects consumers and fosters cross-border trade – ultimately benefiting businesses.

It’s worth noting that the RCEP isn’t just the largest FTA in the world, but it’s also the first FTA between China, Japan and South Korea, three of Asia’s largest economies.

With Malaysia being a party to RCEP, local businesses now have greater opportunities in the largest trading bloc in the world, through reduced or removal of barriers to trade, as well as greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches. In short, this brings us closer to economic integration.

Malaysia Digital, and the future of e-commerce

Moving forward, the government will be driving further development of e-commerce with initiatives announced under Budget 2022. With the success of the Go-eCommerce and Shop Malaysia Online campaigns in 2020 and 2021, the government will continue and enhance these programmes with the RM250 million allocation under Budget 2022.

As our economy and borders reopen, the approach for Budget 2022’s e-commerce initiative will be more targeted, focusing on key sectors such as tourism, export of our local products and leveraging on e-commerce to drive more footfall to physical outlets.

2022’s focus is no longer on mass onboarding, but to give attention to sectors that require intervention.

With e-commerce as a critical component and pillar of the digital economy, the government, together with MDEC, has announced the Malaysia Digital initiative to succeed MSC Malaysia and to galvanise public-private partnerships to accelerate Malaysia’s transformation into a digital nation, ultimately benefiting the country as a whole.

Malaysia Digital will be driven through catalytic high-impact initiatives, strategic and sustainable investments and inclusive policies.

One of the catalytic initiatives announced under Malaysia Digital is Malaysia Digital Trade, which is to drive e-commerce to be the springboard for businesses to embrace digital trade, drive interoperability and greater harmonisation of standards and regulatory approaches, as well as facilitate trade within and across borders.

The various programmes under the Malaysia Digital Trade initiative are intended to equip all types of businesses to better respond to emerging challenges and optimise the opportunities arising from digitalisation, such as the NESR.

Underpinning Malaysia Digital Trade is the seamless and end-to-end movement of data between businesses to enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and reliability of transactions across sectors and industries. One of the key programmes being pursued is the e-invoicing initiative.

With Digital Trade as one of the catalytic initiatives under Malaysia Digital and combined with the RCEP, Malaysian businesses including entrepreneurs from the rural parts of the country now have the greater access to promote and offer their products and services to the rest of the world.

It will be the inclusive, progressive and sustainable economy that we have envisioned under the 12th Malaysian Plan – an economy that is equitable for all. It will be a future that is better and brighter.

Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek is the secretary general of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia

Source: The Edge Markets

E-commerce: The digital heart of Malaysia’s economy


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Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to begin discussions on frameworks of cooperation related to the digital and green economy with a view to concluding them this year.

Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong met in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (June 30) and agreed that the recently launched Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) has strategic and economic significance towards strengthening the region’s trade ecosystem and to provide the impetus to optimise the multi-fold benefits.

Azmin Ali said in a joint press release that the digital and green aspects are rapidly becoming the fundamental form of the economy.

Therefore, embarking on a conscientious collaboration in these two areas will bring about a wider range of benefits to businesses in both countries, namely, in entrepreneurship, industrialisation, investment and trade aspects, the statement said.

The frameworks of cooperation are also for both countries to bring about implementable and targeted programmes to contribute towards sustainable global economic linkages, including those being fostered through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the statement said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital connectivity between countries besides accelerating the digital transformation of traditional business models. Therefore, to prepare for the next phase of growth in the digital economy, it is important for Singapore and Malaysia to foster greater interoperability and collaboration, the statement said.

Meanwhile, Gan said the digital and green economy are key drivers of economic growth and discussions on cooperation frameworks would bring about tangible benefits to both economies.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia, Singapore to develop cooperation framework on digital & green economy


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Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, has broken into the global top 30 best student cities to live in.

According to the latest QS Best Student Cities Ranking 2023, Kuala Lumpur is now placed 28th globally.

The capital moved up by three places in the 10th edition of the global ranking, beating cities like Beijing, Los Angeles, Adelaide and Taipei.

For the fourth consecutive year, London, United Kingdom, took the top spot.

Coming in sixth in Asia, Kuala Lumpur is also ranked as Asia’s most affordable study destination.

In Asia, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong bagged the top three spots respectively while Singapore was fourth.

Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) chief executive officer Mohd Radzlan Jalaludin said this showed that Malaysia was on the right track to achieving the government’s target of having 250,000 international students in the country by 2025.

“It’s a positive outlook. With KL ranked as Asia’s most affordable study destination, the country will become a more attractive destination for families planning their children’s future tertiary education pathway.

“We are targeting to have 50,000 international students apply to study in Malaysian higher education institutions by the end of this year,” he said, adding that last year, there were 40,000 applications.

The number of students coming in had been steadily increasing, said Mohd Radzlan, adding that Malaysia experienced a 6% increase in enrolment between January and May this year compared to the same period in 2019.

Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) Master of Business Administration student Justin Louis Halim first came to pursue his undergraduate programme at the private university.The Indonesian student is now staying on to complete his masters.

The 22-year-old said Malaysia was his main choice due to the affordability of the tuition fees, cost of living and for its quality programmes.

“Price wise, tuition fees and cost of living does not differ that much from Indonesia but the programmes offered here are very different and specialised which I couldn’t find back home.

“Malaysia’s culture, liveability and internationalisation are also plus points for us international students,” he added.

APU Master of Philosophy in Management student Khyaati Ramlalsing, 23, enjoys the togetherness among local and international students, the affordability of food prices and APU’s facilities were some of her main factors for choosing Malaysia as her tertiary education destination.

Like Justin, the Mauritian too stayed on after completing her undergraduate programme.

Bangladeshi student Faizaan Rabib Islam, 22, first moved to Malaysia nine years ago with his family in support of his older siblings who came to pursue their degrees.

Soon, the Taylor’s University student followed suit and is currently pursuing the American degree programme.

“The day-to-day living in the Klang Valley is reasonable and the cost of university programmes here aren’t as exorbitant as it is in other countries. Also, most higher education institutions here offer a great education,” he said.

During the EMGS’ 10th anniversary dinner on Monday, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad said Malaysia remained as the preferred choice of destination for international students to further their studies.

She said although the number of applications to further studies in Malaysia slightly declined following the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the situation improved in 2021 with the number rising by some 32%.

“This was further strengthened when KL was ranked second in the QS Top Universities ‘Most Affordable City for Students’ for 2018 and 2019. In other words, the tuition costs are affordable,” she said.

QS senior vice-president Ben Sowter said five of the world’s top 10 cities in the metrics for quality of universities were based in Asia, highlighting the continent as a bastion of higher education excellence.

“Combine this with outstanding career opportunities in its metropolitan hubs and we see an exceptional region to study and live in,” he said, adding that Asia was home to some of the most outstanding student experiences in the world.

Factors such as affordability, quality of life, university standard and the views of previous students who have studied in these destinations were taken into account.

A total of 140 cities worldwide with a population of at least 250,000 are ranked annually.

Source: The Star

KL, Asia’s most affordable study hub


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The declaration of the Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC Lahad Datu) Port’s full operation as a public port can further boost Sabah’s industrial and economic development.

Deputy chief minister Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam said the declaration of POIC Lahad Datu Port, in accordance with Section 3 Sabah Ports Authority Enactment 1981, is expected to attract more investors and have a significant impact on the industrial development of the east coast of the state.

He said the declaration of POIC Lahad Datu Port as a public port would also further strengthen its capability to play an important role as a logistics hub in Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

“The POIC Lahad Datu Port was built in 2013 but can’t operate as a real port as no declaration has been made in accordance with the law,” he told reporters after the port’s official declaration ceremony here today.

The ceremony was officiated by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, who is also the state Works Minister.

He said with today’s declaration, POIC Lahad Datu Port is ready to conduct its business operations like other existing ports.

“Many industry players use the port because of its good condition and strategic area.

“We hope that the volume of cargo and container imports into Sabah can be increased, thus giving significance to the state’s economic development, apart from reducing the price of goods,” he said.

Joachim, who is also the state Industrial Development Minister, said POIC Lahad Datu played an important role in the context of Sabah’s development and industry, including in the sectors promoted under the Sabah Industrial Master Plan.

He said these included oil palm downstream activities, logs and cocoa, food processing industry, electrical and electronics industry, petrochemical and gas industries, non-metallic mineral products industry and the machinery and mould industry.

“POIC Lahad Datu will not only bring in direct investment in cluster sites but also stimulate greater economic activity in Lahad Datu and nearby areas including in the services, industry, agriculture and construction sectors,” he said.

He said with the availability of container, dry and liquid bulk terminals as well as barge landing facilities, POIC Lahad Datu is able to meet the needs of consumers to conduct their business.

“Ports play an important role in the overall logistics chain to enable the development of trade and economy of the state. Of course, the official declaration of this port will directly attract new investors to POIC Lahad Datu,” he said.

POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Fredian Gan said POIC Lahad Datu Industrial Park has attracted about RM3.5 billion in investments so far and the value of investments is expected to increase further with the declaration of the port.

“With the availability of several infrastructure facilities, POIC Sabah is beginning to plan the direction going forward, including making Lahad Datu a hub for logistic, manufacturing, processing, transfer and consolidation of superior goods in the BIMP-EAGA region,” he said.

He said POIC Sabah also supported the plan to build a new international airport in Lahad Datu, which is seen as a catalyst for the initiative to establish a centralised transport hub in POIC Lahad Datu, as well as an international marine hub and the establishment of a free zone area

At the ceremony, Bung Moktar and Joachim also witnessed the signing of a port operation concession agreement between the Sabah Ports Authority with POIC Sabah and POIC Logistics Sdn Bhd.

Source: Bernama

Declaration of POIC Lahad Datu Port to boost Sabah’s economy — Joachim


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Catalysed by Covid-19, the globalisation of digitisation means there is an increasingly urgent need to address the various obstacles we face to harness the forces of technology for the well-being of Malaysian households, firms and workers, said Bursa Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar. 

He said the digital economy and digitisation have certainly become somewhat of a buzzword in policy circles over the past decades.

“Yet, we cannot lose sight of the importance of digitalisation to the economic development and livelihoods of people.

“We live in a world where we either innovate or perish,” he said at the World Digital Economy and Technology Summit (WDETS) gala dinner here on Tuesday (June 28). 

Abdul Wahid said while digitalisation could have substantial positive effects on the overall macroeconomic performance, there could also be labour market implications, as automation and artificial intelligence would potentially replace workers.

He also said ensuring a sufficient level of internet infrastructure development and digital education, as well as reducing the digital divide were other factors driving the potential of digitalisation, as an input to economic progress.

“Policymakers, therefore, face challenges in order to harness the maximum benefits of digitalisation for the competitiveness of their economies, including through appropriate education and labour market reforms, as well as digital infrastructure investment,” he said. 

Abdul Wahid further pointed out that Malaysia has among the highest number of digital users and a good infrastructure for the digital economy, with almost one million small and medium enterprises adopting e-commerce.

“We have over 5,000 innovative start-ups and three unicorn start-ups. Malaysia’s digital economy contributes to a quarter of our economy.

“We have emerging digital industries such as smart cities, manufacturing, fintech and agro-food tech. Our country may be small relative to our neighbours but we have many innovation clusters such as Penang, Cyberjaya and Kuching,” he noted. 

Besides that, he also said that the multi-stakeholder approach will be critical to ensuring that the benefits of the digital economy are distributed and shared equitably with the people.

Source: Bernama

Urgent need to harness tech forces in digital globalisation, says Bursa Malaysia chairman


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Malaysia is still the preferred choice for international students to further their studies, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad.

She said although the number of applications to further studies in Malaysia has declined slightly following the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation improved in 2021 as the number rose again to up to 32 per cent.

“The situation was strengthened when Kuala Lumpur was ranked second in the QS Top Universities ‘Most Affordable City for Students’ for the year 2018 and 2019. In other words, the tuition costs are affordable,“ she said at Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) 10th anniversary dinner here tonight.

Noraini added that there were several factors that could attract and encourage more foreign students to study in the country, such as the quality of education which is recognised as world-class.

“QS World University Rankings in its report a few weeks ago recorded that four of our universities are listed in the top 200 in the world, and one of them, namely Universiti Malaya is in the top 100 .

“In fact, for the first time, 24 institutions of higher learning (IPT) in Malaysia have been listed in this ranking. This will definitely increase outsiders’ confidence in the quality of higher education in our country,“ she said.

As such, she called on entities such as EMGS to be more active in promoting the Malaysian education brand at the international level.

Meanwhile, EMGS chief executive officer Radzlan Jalaludin said the company was committed to achieving greater success in its efforts to promote Malaysia as the higher education hub of choice globally.

He said since its inception in 2012 until today, EMGS has advanced aggressively to improve its services as the main body managing the movement of international students in Malaysia, including facilitating the visa management process.

“The achievement can be seen by the number of applications which has surpassed the target for 2021 where a total of 40,000 applications were received from international students to further their studies at Malaysian IPTs.

“This is indeed a great success for EMGS and we will continue to support the government’s aspiration to meet the target of 250,000 international students by 2025,” he said. 

Source: Bernama

Malaysia continues to be the preferred choice for international students


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US chip giant Intel has been a household name and leader in the local tech industry since setting up camp in Malaysia 50 years ago. Eric Chan, vice-president of Internet of Things Group (IoTG) at Intel Corp in Penang, says the company grew as a steward of Moore’s law, which was the primary driving force for the company to continue to progressively develop its semiconductor technology.

Moore’s law states that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles about every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. In 1965, Gordon E Moore, a co-founder of Intel, made this observation that became known as Moore’s Law.

Last year, Intel CEO Patrick Paul Gelsinger unveiled IDM 2.0, a major evolution of Intel’s integrated device manufacturing (IDM) model. Shweta Khurana, Intel senior director for Asia-Pacific and Japan, government partnerships and initiatives, global government affairs, says this allows the company to have the depth and breadth of everything tech, including software, silicon, platforms, packaging and process at scale.

Today, there are four technology superpowers — artificial intelligence (AI), ubiquitous computing, pervasive connectivity and cloud-to-edge infrastructure. More importantly, there is a focus on digital-readiness, which means these superpowers need superheroes, says Shweta.

“We are trying to develop human capital according to Intel’s Digital Readiness programme portfolio and delimit everybody’s imagination and empower them with skills on these superpowers,” she explains.

Over the past 50 years, Intel has continually invested in Malaysia and recently announced an additional RM30 billion investment. In addition to developing its manufacturing and research capabilities, Intel has also been particularly focused on enhancing Malaysia’s digital talent pool.

The rapid development and adoption of technology has made technology quotient as important as intelligence quotient (IQ), as technological processes have been seamlessly woven into our lives. This means digital-readiness is important for everyone, from senior citizens to digital natives.

Intel has programmes running in nine countries, says Shweta, where it collaborates with governments to launch and drive large-scale digital-readiness initiatives. These initiatives focus mainly on developing human capital on new age technologies and emerging technologies like AI.

“We get talents ready for jobs of the future. We work with the current workforce, future workforce and children in schools as young as 13, just to ensure that we make technology more inclusive. The idea is not to get everybody ready to be a developer but to learn how to live and navigate in a world fuelled by emerging technologies like AI,” she explains.

“We’re surrounded by AI, and Intel announced a global goal to expand digital-readiness and really make technology inclusive for 30 million people by 2030 to help nations achieve their SDG (sustainable development goals).”

Lack of talent still a challenge

On a local level, Chan says, most companies say talent is never enough, which he believes is a good thing, as it is an indication that the economy is growing and there is still demand for technical skills. He adds that this is something seen around the world as well.

“This is exactly why we’re having outreach programmes and working closely with universities, where we share our curriculum. We have a challenge, not just in the industry but in universities as well, to create graduates that are ready to embark on their career and enter the workforce.

“On top of making requests to the government, we ourselves have to lean in to make sure that we are helping prepare graduates to be ready for this huge demand.”

Shweta concurs, adding that there is a global digital skills crisis. The primary reason is that countries or governments today recognise that AI is going to add value to their gross domestic product (GDP). 

But the transformational value of AI for any economy can only be realised when the human capital of that country not only understands but also trusts the technology, she adds.

“Otherwise, technology will be there just for the sake of having technology in large-scale projects, which would not make sense. So, keeping that in mind, what Intel has decided to do is develop human capital on emerging technologies,” says Shweta.

Intel has built an end-to-end digital-readiness portfolio, tackling many sectors of society. It starts with programmes like AI for citizens, which is basic public awareness of how to get citizens to learn digital skills and trust them, navigate in a digital world and how to use these skills responsibly.

Shweta says there are three verticals for digital-readiness — learning and trusting skills, trusting the emerging technology space in entirety and learning how to use it responsibly. She adds that the programme covers topics and issues such as ethics, inclusivity and access to technology.

“We also have programmes like AI for youth, which is to allow youth in high school to learn and apply skills to start community projects, and AI for the future workforce, which is for youth who are just about to join the workforce. The most recent programme we launched was digital-readiness for government leaders, because they are the ones who really drive AI for good governance in any given country. So, they need to understand not just the advantages, but also the potential pitfalls,” she explains.

According to Oxford Insights’ 2021 AI Readiness Index, which ranks 160 countries by how prepared their governments are to use AI in public services, Malaysia ranked 36th. The index’s researchers also found that nearly 40% of countries included in the index either have published or are drafting national AI strategies, and that East Asian countries showed particular strength in AI, making up one-quarter of the top 20 ranked countries.

Collaborating with schools and universities

Chan says Intel’s programmes are open to all and they have been receiving a lot of interest from third or final year students. He adds that Intel also offers development kits and mentorship for students to do their final-year projects on Intel’s platform.

Intel has a collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education for the Innovate Malaysia Design competition, where university students submit their final-year projects to be judged by industry experts. Chan says this provides students with real-world project experience beyond the classroom.

“Intel and a lot of other companies over here are leaning in to extend ourselves because while universities have done a good job, when graduates enter the real world, they need a bit of hands-on training. So, we’re bridging the gap and getting them prepared for the real job market.”

Intel has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Collaborative Research and Engineering Science and Technology Centre (CREST) — a research institute in Bayan Lepas, Penang — to launch Intel’s AI for Youth in Malaysia. Shweta says the programme is designed to empower non-technical youth with appropriate AI skill sets, mindsets and toolsets. 

“We give them enough knowledge and access to tools, where they can identify the challenges they see around them, their schools and communities and come up with solutions using what they learnt.”

Shweta says that when the company shares knowledge with students who possibly do not have any prior coding experience, it works because, today, technology has evolved to a stage where people are working with low code or no code applications for AI. The understanding, creativity and ability to be very empathetic towards a problem these students see around them is enough of a starter for them to think of how to use an emerging technology to adapt, adopt and apply.

“Last year, at Intel’s AI Global Impact Festival, a global winner came from Malaysia. His idea was to build an AI system, which is embedded in an automobile to monitor the carbon dioxide emissions and send alert messages in case there’s a rise in the level. His aim was noble, which is to reduce one’s carbon footprint by effective monitoring, tracking and contributing to a larger goal of building an eco-friendly system.

“What we are now working on is how we do IoT as one of the components. We realise that the projects are coming from youths who are future developers and they need an element of IoT, as many of them are using AI and blockchain, among others. And these ideas come from the ground and we will then help them navigate the learning journey of how to develop those skills and take it further.”

What is important here, says Shweta, is to gear the current generation to become technically confident to apply the skills they learn. And while a mobile phone may be enough for students to learn new skills via videos, a device with higher computing power is preferred.

She says: “We need people who can create algorithms. We don’t want a generation that only knows how to use technology but want one that also knows how to create new technology. Here, we’re talking about learning technical confidence in AI and enhancing employability, which means it involves social skills where ethics comes into play.

“Most importantly, we need to learn how to produce evidence of those skills for employability. For that, they work on capstone projects, like trade applications, insurance fraud detection, predictive maintenance, and that’s not possible on a handphone, unfortunately.”

Source: The Edge Markets

Talent: Making Malaysia future ready for AI


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The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is expected to be a game changer by offering a more modern, safe, and efficient transport network to the East Coast, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said the ECRL project was an important element to improve the country’s transport sector and will provide better services to Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family).

“This ECRL (passenger) service which has a (maximum) speed of 160kph is expected to reduce travel time from Kota Baru to Gombak to under four hours compared to the average seven hours by road, or up to 12 hours during festive periods,” he said in speech at the launch of the first tunnel boring machine (TBM) for the ECRL here yesterday.

The project implementation, which costs about RM50.27bil, has reached a progress mark of 30% as of May this year, with full completion expected by 2026.

“ECRL and KTM services will also form an integrated rail line connecting the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) and Penang Port, the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) and Kuantan Port, as well as Iskandar Malaysia and the Tanjung Pelepas port in the south,” he said.

The government, he added, was informed by project owner Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd that a 50:50 joint-venture (JV) company was being planned to undertake ECRL operations to cover operating costs as well as the repayment of the ECRL construction loan from China’s EXIM Bank.

“This JV will provide technical assistance and boost rail technological exchange as well as maintenance of the ECRL project in the long term,” he said, adding that the project will also see the involvement of some 1,500 local companies consisting of contractors, suppliers and consultants.

“This is in line with the agreement made between MRL and CCCC (China Communications Construction Company) to appoint at least 40% local subcontractors and suppliers for the civil works of this project, estimated to be worth about RM10bil,” said the Prime Minister.

“As of April this year, more than RM7bil worth of civil works contracts had been offered to local subcontractors and suppliers for the ECRL project in East Coast states,” he said.

“CCCC also agreed to give special attention to the appointment of small contractors in Grade G1 to G3 in order to directly benefit them,” he said, adding that a special committee has been formed to monitor the participation of locals and bumiputra in the project to ensure the effectiveness of qualified companies.

Ismail Sabri also pointed out that the ECRL project has the potential to produce more local experts and skilled individuals in the rail industry through the dedicated skills training programme (PLKI-ECRL).

“We urge local players to grab this opportunity to participate in the PLKI-ECRL training programme, which is expected to generate 5,000 new job opportunities for the youth in the East Coast,” he said.

A total of 1,800 trainees will be absorbed during the construction phase of the ECRL, and the rest of the 3,200 trainees will be absorbed during the operations phase of the railway, added Ismail Sabri.

The Federal Government is confident that the PLKI-ECRL programme, which is implemented together with its partners such as Institut Kemahiran Belia Negara, Akademi Binaan Malaysia (Malaysian Construction Academy) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang, will produce more experts in the rail industry.

Source: The Star

PM: ECRL significant in improving country’s transport sector


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Penang’s tourism sector continues to attract global hospitality players, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years.

Penang state executive councillor for tourism and creative economy (PETACE), Yeoh Soon Hin said the latest signing of Intercontinental Penang Resort by United Kingdom-based IHG Hotels and Resort (IHG), one of the world’s largest luxury hotel chains, signifies international investor’s confidence in Penang’s tourism industry.

He said the collaboration between IHG and THR Hotel (Penang) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Tradewinds Corp Bhd, would transform the former Penang Mutiara Beach Resort in Teluk Bahang, here, into an IHG-branded luxury beach resort.

“It shows that Penang garners investors’ confidence and trust in the tourism sector despite being clouded by the impact of the pandemic for the past two years.

“Penang has shown resilience for tourism sustainability and the ability to bounce back better or even thrive,” he said at a press conference, here, today.

He said the former Penang Mutiara Beach Resort was a five-star luxury resort but it closed down on March 27, 2006, for “renovation until further notice”.

Yeoh said the destiny of the hotel continued to be a topic of discussion among the locals and industry players for 16 years, and this partnership is set to revitalise the hotel.

To be opened in 2025, the new luxury resort would feature 355 rooms and suites, a private enclave of six villas, a holistic wellness village with 10 treatment villas, and a relaxation pavilion.

With the Teluk Bahang Fishing Village, Penang National Park, and the Penang Tropical Spice Garden as its neighbours, guests would enjoy unobstructed views of the Malacca Straits’ white sand beaches, clear emerald waters and mountainous forests.

Facilities include three swimming pools, five restaurants and bars, as well as 1,000 square metres of meeting and event space which includes a glass marquee and private lawn for garden weddings and special occasions.

It would also feature the brand’s world-renowned Club InterContinental Lounge offering views of the Straits of Malacca.

Meanwhile, Yeoh said the country’s transition to the endemic phase of COVID-19 also helped Penang to be more attractive to international investors, on top of the state’s matured tourism ecosystem.

“The investment from Marriot International (Courtyard by Marriot Penang at Macalister Road) and ONYX Hospitality Group (AMARI Spice Penang) during the pandemic, clearly highlights Penang’s indelible impression to the international investor.

“PETACE will overarch our strategy together with several agencies to explore new opportunities which in the long run, will add value to our ecosystem by bringing the whole industry in Penang to a greater height,” he said.

Source: Bernama

PETACE: Penang’s tourism sector continues to attract global hospitality players


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Malaysia is  focusing on creating smart cities based on the trend of increasing population in the urban areas.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the creation of smart cities was one the approaches being taken in solving urbanisation issues to improve the residents’ quality of life, spur economic growth, provide a safe environment, and encourage efficient urban management technology application.

“According to the Second National Urbanisation Policy report, Malaysia’s urban population is expected to increase from 20.29 million in 2010 to 27.3 million by 2025. Sponsored Content

“It is estimated that over 70% of the country’s population live in the urban areas,” he said in his speech when launching the sustainable smart city sandbox pioneer programme between National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) and Sunway Innovation Labs (iLabs) here on Tuesday (June 21). 

Dr Adham said that having smart cities in this country would enable the use of technology developed by local talents through the initiatives of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) such as the NTIS to assist the authorities in tackling urbanisation issues and raise the quality of life.

At the ceremony, MOSTI through an agency under the Malaysia Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI) also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sunway Innovation Labs for the smart city sandbox through NTIS. 

The NTIS is a platform to accelerate the process of changing the country as a user of technology to producer.

Through this collaboration, the innovations developed by start-up company, Sunway iLabs Super Accelerator, could be channelled to NTIS for testing in an actual urban setting developed by Sunway and for monitoring and sponsorship before taking the technological solutions to the market and implemented across the  country.

This effort could make Bandar Sunway a living lab, bring in young talents, intellectuals, research experts, innovative labs and commercial activities to generate actual solutions for the urban areas in future.

Dr Adham said among the benefits of the sustainable smart city sandbox pioneer programme would be achieving Malaysia’s commitment to becoming a carbon neutral nation towards zero carbon emissions by 2050 and make Malaysia a greener country, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Besides that, the Sunway urbanisation action plan can be adapted nationwide for the safety, comfort, well-being and improving the quality of life of the residents, while also protecting and conserving the environment.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia focusing on creating smart cities, says Adham Baba


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Sarawak’s Digital Economy Blueprint will set out the roadmap for the state to secure its future as a modern and leading digital economy and society by 2030, said state premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The blueprint, the foundation to the state’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030, builds on Sarawak’s existing Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022 and will be underpinned by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, he said.

The Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022, which was launched in December 2017, is coming to an end this year.

Speaking at the 5th International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2022 in Kuching on Tuesday (June 21), Abang Johari said the digital blueprint will focus on nurturing an integrated ecosystem to foster inclusive digital society, building the right foundations to grow the digital economy, as well as fostering business growth and a vibrant technology sector.

It will also centre on capitalising on digital technologies to maximise digital value, and delivering simple, secure and trusted service, he said.

“It will align with the national and global blueprints and recognises that the government plays an enabling role with focus on developing both public and private sector economies. The public-private and community partnership will provide a platform to bring about successful economic transformation,” added Abang Johari.

Former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint in March last year to drive the country’s high-income nation aspirations.

Abang Johari said data centre infrastructure will be the force in the growth of the digital economy in Sarawak.

“This was very apparent during the Covid-19 pandemic when cloud computing technology enabled us to persevere and adapt to the new normal. Businesses, governments and end-users all depend on data centres to host, process, analyse and access their data.

“The Sarawak government together with the private sector is actively planning to develop and adopt green data centres in the state. These data centres will become our primary repository for the Sarawak government data storage, management and dissemination,” he said.

The premier noted that Sarawak embarked on a digital economy in 2018 to shift its dependence on a non-renewable resources economy.

Source: The Edge Markets

Sarawak to launch blueprint to becoming leading digital economy by 2030


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The MEASAT-3d satellite, which will be launched on Thursday (June 23), will significantly improve the country’s internet services and speeds, especially in rural areas.

MEASAT Satellite Systems Sdn Bhd (MEASAT) chief operating officer Yau Chyong Lim said the launch will enable his company to help create an inclusive digital society, and support high-speed broadband applications such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), Internet of Things (IoT) and telemedicine.

“Through MEASAT-3d and the CONNECTme NOW services, we aim to fill the broadband gap in locations that do not have mobile 4G, 5G or fibre network coverage in Malaysia, to provide internet access to marginalised populations,” he told Bernama.

Yau said that MEASAT-3d will be launched from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, and the Malaysian government will be represented by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek.

He also said that in the capital, a special event will be organised to enable the guests to watch the launch live and is expected to be attended by guests of honour including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

Yau said the launch of MEASAT-3d was made possible with the support of K-KOMM, as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

According to him, MEASAT fully supports the government’s aspirations to achieve the target of 100 per cent internet access by 2025 through the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) and also the National Digital Network (JENDELA) initiative for connecting and digitalising the nation.

“In the long run, it promises to improve the quality of life of all Malaysians, including those living in the most remote areas of the country,” he said.

Yau also said that MEASAT-3d will ensure continued growth and continuity of service for the world’s leading broadcasters, as well as Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite television to over 20 million households across Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

He added that the satellite is owned by MEASAT, a local company wholly owned by Malaysians, but MEASAT-3d’s service capabilities are vast, covering Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, Africa and Southern Europe.

Yau said that MEASAT-3d, which is MEASAT’s newest and most advanced satellite, is estimated to cost RM1.2 billion.

“MEASAT-3d will complement MEASAT-3a and MEASAT-3b at 91.5 ° E hotslot, which provides increased and excess capacity for Astro’s DTH services, as well as broadcasting, telecommunications, and broadband internet services. The MEASAT-3d satellite has a lifespan of 18 years,” he said.

MEASAT-3d uses the Eurostar E3000 geostationary satellite model, built by Airbus Defence and Space. Airbus is a global pioneer in the aerospace industry, operating in the commercial aircraft, helicopters, defence and space sectors.

Yau said by using High Throughput Satellite capacity on MEASAT-3d, MEASAT is able to increase broadband processing capacity 10-fold to 30 gigabits per second (Gbps), thus enabling access to high-speed broadband even in limited areas or with no land connection.

“High-speed internet will be improved from the current download speed of 30 megabits per second (Mbps) to 100 Mbps, allowing users to stream heavy-data content such as 4K or 8K videos.

“MEASAT-3d will be able to bridge the digital divide in areas not covered by 4G or 5G or fibre technology in Malaysia,” he said.

He added that MEASAT-3d could be leveraged to offer data, voice, and video services to three to five per cent of the population (about two million people) who still do not have fibre or wireless broadband connection.

Source: Bernama

MEASAT-3d to boost country’s internet services


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Titijaya Land Bhd’s indirect wholly-owned unit, Aman Duta Sdn Bhd, is expected to invest about RM200 million to construct and let a logistics commercial complex on part of land measuring 26,688 square metres in Penang for DHL Properties (M) Sdn Bhd.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Titijaya said this followed a build-and-let agreement signed between Aman Duta and DHL on June 15, 2022.

The property developer said the construction of the facility is expected to commence upon obtaining all necessary approvals, and the project is slated for completion in July 2023.

Titijaya said the tenure of the agreement is 10 years, and the rent of tenure for the property and its assets are estimated at RM160 million to RM 210 million.

On March 26, 2022, Titijaya announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, City Meridian Development Sdn Bhd (CMD), and DHL would develop an 8.09-hectare ultra-modern logistics commercial complex in Bayan Lepas, Penang, primarily to provide semiconductor logistics solution for the electrical and electronics sector.

In its filing today, Titijaya said CMD would retain its role as the property developer, while the build and lease exercises would be carried out by Aman Duta.

“The agreement is not expected to have any effect on the earnings per share, net assets per share, gearing, share capital and substantial shareholders’ shareholdings of the company for the financial year ending June 30, 2022.

“The tenancy of the facility is expected to contribute positively to the group’s earnings over the duration of the tenancy,” it said.

Source: Bernama

Titijaya’s indirect unit to invest RM200 mln to build, let logistics commercial complex for DHL


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OWING to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) of unpredictable global events, there is now more than ever a critical need to future-proof citizens’ skills for the world of complexity, whereby automation, AI and robotics concurrently take hold in the era of IR 4.0.

Quoting the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) national Industry4WRD policy, “Industry Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) is blurring the distinction among physical, digital and biological spaces.”

Digital skills in demand

The current dynamic and disruptive environment require those involved to be equipped with the know-how, knowledge and skills to implement and manage the relevant, as it embodies advanced knowledge on integration of data, artificial intelligence, machines and communication.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future Of Jobs report, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. Therefore, it is anticipated that reskilling and upskilling budgets of enterprises and organisations are likely to increase to meet the skills gap.

In addition, future graduates will need to be equipped with a qualification that incorporates future-proof, employable skills that will serve them competently within their organisations and also contribute to society and the nation as the need arises.

The new ManpowerGroup survey shows that IT and Data is the most sought-after profession globally.

Adding to this, the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint 2021 highlighted that the digital economy will become the foundation of the modern economy, thus requiring skilled manpower to fulfil this national mandate.

Path to acquiring digital skills

APU developed its own IR4.0 strategy to nurture the world’s future innovators and uphold its vision as a university of technology and innovation.APU developed its own IR4.0 strategy to nurture the world’s future innovators and uphold its vision as a university of technology and innovation.

Taking a lead in digital transformation for higher education, all academic programmes offered by Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) are technology-driven in all fields, tapping into the Internet of Things (IoT), Data Science, Cybersecurity, Cloud Engineering, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Mechatronics, E-business, Digital Marketing, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Digital Leadership, Finance Technology (FinTech) and Mobile Technology.

For working professionals and organisations, customised reskilling and upskilling programmes are offered.

This strategy is very much in response to the greater demand for technology and innovation, driven by new challenges under the new normal in Covid-19 times. It encompasses innovative teaching and learning using state-of-the-art infrastructure, revolutionary programmes for the future, industry-academic partnership and professional development with a global outlook.

To provide students hands-on experiences, APU is equipped with world-class infrastructure from the US, France, Singapore, Germany and the UK. APU’s industry on-campus exposes students, staff and training participants to a simulated working environment, real-time data and scenarios, and real-time challenges.

Some of APU’s significant industry partners include TechForte, Ministry XR, IBM, SAS, TIBCO, and Microsoft.

One such industry-on-campus facility is the CyberSecurity Talent Zone (CSTZ) – the first integrated cyber security talent zone in Malaysia.

CSTZ houses a military-grade real-time cyber security monitoring software at the full-fledged Cyber Threats Simulation and Response Centre (Cyber Range) and Security Operation Centre (SOC), where students can embrace and experience an industry or professional working setting to hone their skills to identify, recognise and mitigate cyber security risks.

APU is equipped with world-class infrastructure, such as the CSTZ – the first integrated cyber security talent zone in Malaysia. APU is equipped with world-class infrastructure, such as the CSTZ – the first integrated cyber security talent zone in Malaysia.

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the industry, APU established the first unique XR Studio in Asia and among Malaysian universities in collaboration with Ministry XR.

The state-of-the-art studio comprises technologies, hardware and software capable of developing AR, VR and MR (Mixed Reality) applications. Students get hands-on experience developing industry-related projects.

Global outlook graduates for success

APU employs a unique blend of authentic learning and an innovative industry-driven curriculum to prime graduates for success in embarking on a career that demands continuous personal development.APU employs a unique blend of authentic learning and an innovative industry-driven curriculum to prime graduates for success in embarking on a career that demands continuous personal development.

The futuristic technology infrastructure, industry-on-campus and industry-experienced lecturers and professionals have formed a successful ecosystem that has helped develop future-proof, employable professionals.

“In the age of IR 4.0 when technology continuously transforms our society, graduates will be embarking on a career that demands continuous personal development.

“APU employs a unique blend of authentic learning and an innovative industry-driven curriculum to prime our graduates for success.

“Our student-centric approach to learning ensures APU graduates are creative, lifelong learners who will contribute to humanity,” said APU vice-chancellor Prof Dr Ho Chin Kuan.

According to the latest Annual Graduate Tracer Study by the Higher Education Ministry, 100% of APU graduates were employed upon graduation.

APU is on the right path in nurturing highly sought-after graduates with readily employable digital skills and providing opportunities for upskilling and reskilling for working professionals.

APU students will also have the option to opt-in for the APU-DMU dual degree scheme, where they will receive two sets of degree certificates and transcripts upon graduation – one from APU (Malaysia) and another from De Montfort University (UK).

With over 150 years of history in providing higher education to students from around the globe, the APU-DMU collaboration is providing students a global outlook and forming global citizens of IR 4.0 and beyond.

To find out more, visit www.apu.edu.my

Source: The Star

Digital skills for the era of IR 4.0 in facing the VUCA world


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The 4G Availability in Malaysia is heading toward 100% as of the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22), according to Seattle headquartered Internet access performance metrics provider Ookla.

In a survey report released on Thursday (June 16), the firm said that in Malaysia, while Digi had the fastest 4G download speeds, Maxis won on upload in 1Q22.

Meanwhile, Putrajaya leads 4G Availability performance for Malaysia’s regions.

However, the firm said the 5G rollout in Malaysia is still facing challenges.

Commenting on the region, Ookla said the fastest 4G speeds were in Singapore, while the fastest LTE upload speeds were in Vietnam.

It said 4G availability was above 80% across Southeast Asia.

Singapore is the leader with 94.5% availability, with Malaysia second at 92.3% and Indonesia third with 90.5%.

Among the service providers in Malaysia, Maxis was the leader for 4G at 94.6%, U Mobile second at 94.5%, Unifi third at 92%. Celcom fourth at 91.1% and Digi fifth with 89.9%.

Ookla however said Digi has the fastest 4G download speeds, while Maxis wins on upload.

Digi topped the download list with 28.08 Mbps while Maxis led the upload list with 10.59 Mbps.

Source: The Edge Markets

4G availability in Malaysia heading towards 100% as of 1Q22 — survey


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Graphene Synergy Sdn Bhd (GSSB) has successfully developed its first graphene-enhanced super battery energy solutions and has attracted the interests of China’s leading battery manufacturer, Dongying Cospower Technology Co Ltd.

GSSB is a research & development (R&D) company with new-age materials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes as the core.

Despite having a strong and established research team working on original research and development technology and leading in the fields of nanomaterials, the company lacks expertise in commercialising its technology.

The interest from China’s leading battery manufacturer signals the potential of its super battery energy solutions by leveraging graphene material.

GSSB co-founder Mok Chiun Chek said the success of the company’s research in graphene-enhanced super battery energy solutions would help enhance the push towards renewable energy.

“Our focus is on the practical solutions that we can introduce with this new technology, and from our research, we found that the applications in ports will bring value to our customers,” Mok said in a statement today.

Mok is an entrepreneur and business leader with a strong track record over the last two decades.

He ventured into business in 2008 and was appointed as the managing director of Everest Group of Companies, one of Malaysia’s renowned groups with diverse expertise in several business areas.

Mok further said that the technology’s commercial success would help accelerate the research work and enhance the usage of graphene in the battery.

GSSB lead scientist and chief technology officer Dr Looi Ming Hoong said the solutions could potentially disrupt the battery industry.

“As the person responsible for conceptualising graphene-enhanced battery and its deployment in various sectors, I look forward to the deployment of the solution in port applications,” Dr Looi said.

Graphene-enhanced super battery energy offers an ideal solution to address the electrification of port equipment such as gantry cranes, rubber gantry cranes, automated guided vehicles, prime overs and others.

According to Dr Looi, the battery solution can convert the kinetic movement of these types of equipment and capture the energy recovered, which would otherwise be wasted, much more efficiently.

This will realise the potential for energy savings.

A case study on the pilot application of RTGC at Hong Kong Terminals Ltd, which has been conducted in collaboration since 2012, shows fuel savings of more than 60 per cent using graphene-enhanced super battery energy solutions.

With the interests of China’s pioneer and leading battery manufacturer, this could help to accelerate the commercialisation of GSSB’s works on the battery.

The commercialisation phase is also in line with the National Graphene Action Plan 2020 and will drive sustainable recurring income for the company.

Source: NST

Malaysia’s R&D firm, Graphene Synergy rolls out super battery


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 The Sabah Health and Wellness Tourism Council (SHWTC) plans to promote the state as a destination for medical tourism.

The council’s pro-tem chairman Dr Anil Kumar said they hoped to work with Sabah Tourism Board to promote the state as a medical tourism hub.

“We have the infrastructure and facilities. It will be a new market as far as tourism is concerned for Sabah, bringing high revenue.

“We want to collaborate with the Sabah Tourism Board on how we can effectively advertise this area and attract people from neighbouring countries, particularly the BIMP-EAGA region, to seek health and wellness treatment in Sabah,” said Dr Anil, who is Medisinar managing director.

Dr Anil said the council also invited Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, who chairs the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), to be its advisor.

Bangkuai assured that STB would work closely with members of the local medical community to make Sabah a destination for healthcare tourism.

“Other states, like Penang and Melaka, already have their state healthcare tourism councils, so the move is timely. This is also in line with STB’s efforts to attract high-end travellers.

“We’ve had success in other sectors of tourism, such as rural tourism, and there’s no reason why Sabah can’t do the same in medical tourism.

“We must work closely together to develop strategic plans to promote healthcare services here, and look at prospective target markets, especially when Nusantara is set to become Indonesia’s new capital,” he said.

STB chief executive officer Noredah Othman said the Sabah Tourism Board has started promoting its medical tourism through the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council.

“Sabah Tourism Board will be happy to collaborate with SHWTC to conduct a workshop for tourism players to increase their awareness on the offerings for medical tourism in the state,” she added.

Source: The Star

Sabah eyeing medical tourism sector


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Ericsson has commissioned a new facility at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) that will expand its regional distribution capacity as well as create employment opportunities for Malaysians both directly and indirectly.

The Ericsson Distribution Centre will enhance Ericsson’s distribution capability for faster maintenance and support with minimal downtime for customers and end-users, the telecom giant said in a statement today.

It said the facility, located at KLIA’s cargo village, would enhance the strategic role of Malaysia in the company’s ability to support the smooth operations of customer networks in the Asia Pacific region.

Ericsson said catering to more than 20 countries, the Ericsson Distribution Centre in Malaysia is responsible for the management of hardware inventory and spare parts in the Asia Pacific region.

It said the centre manages the inventory of new and serviced equipment as well as inventory replenishment, receiving equipment from other countries and delivering serviced equipment.

“The new distribution facility will complement the Maintenance and Support Centre in Malaysia, allowing Ericsson to improve delivery of support services to customers in the Asia Pacific region,” it said.

David Hagerbro, head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said: “Malaysia is a very strategic location for Ericsson and the new distribution facility strengthens our commitment here while creating both direct and indirect employment opportunities for Malaysians.”

He said the capability to respond, deliver quickly and ensure minimal downtime for mobile network operators and end-users placed Malaysia in a very strategic position to serve the telecommunications industry.

“This is especially critical as countries in the region begin accelerating their 5G commercial rollouts while also strengthening their 4G deployment,” he said.

The approximately 6,317.40 square metres distribution centre is located at the Cainiao Aeropolis Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) Hub at KLIA’s Cargo Village and operated by CEVA Logistics, one of the world’s largest supply chain management companies.

The distribution centre in Malaysia complements Ericsson’s five distribution centers for global hardware inventory management located in Dallas, Dubai, Netherlands and Taiwan.

It also ensures smooth running and maintenance of telecom networks, including 5G networks, with quick access to hardware inventory and spare parts.

Source: Bernama

Ericsson commissions new regional distribution centre at KLIA


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Aurelius Healthcare Group has finalised a partnership with Intan Medical Centre Sdn Bhd to be the majority shareholder and operator of a private hospital in Alor Setar to be renamed Aurelius Hospital Alor Setar.

Aurelius Hospital Alor Setar chief executive officer TJ Randhawa said the six-storey private hospital located in Mergong, will be the largest private medical facility in Kedah.

It is currently under construction and expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2023.

“We are pleased to build a comprehensive healthcare facility, which will provide patients with diagnostic and medical procedures, and we hope it will attract the top expertise in the disciplines of endocrinology, nephrology, urology, gastroenterology, and other specialties.

“We also strive to provide the highest level of services and care to our patients, physicians, employees and partners in providing convenience to the community, including Penang, Perlis and other surrounding states,” Randhawa said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Aurelius Healthcare group managing director and chairman Datuk Amir Firdaus Abdullah said this is Aurelius’ second venture in Malaysia, and it exemplifies the company’s objective of transforming healthcare delivery and extending medical access to all Malaysians.

He noted that the first venture, Aurelius Hospital Nilai, was acquired in September 2021, and with Aurelius Alor Setar, it is on track to further transform the private healthcare industry.

“We will strive to continuously improve our facilities and services and bring in the best healthcare talent and medical experts to make quality healthcare accessible to all our fellow Malaysians across the country,” he added.

Aurelius Healthcare was created in Malaysia by a group of industry professionals with extensive worldwide healthcare management expertise, to modernise and make healthcare more accessible across the country.

Source: Bernama

Aurelius Hospital Alor Setar to be largest private medical facility in Kedah


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Two international hotels will be built in Sematan, a town about 107km west of here, through private investments worth RM120 million, said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said it is in line with the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy to utilise private investment funds in developing Sarawak.

 “They (hotel investors) have shown me the design of the hotels, which is similar to the Palm Hotel in Dubai (the United Arab Emirates). 

“Sematan is going to be like Dubai,” he said at the launch of the Sungai Sematan Waterfront Pontoon and Landscape on Saturday (June 11).

The construction of the hotels will be carried out within three years to attract more foreign visitors to the area.

He added that the accommodation would complement the Sarawak government’s effort to provide essential infrastructure such as road upgrades, electricity and water supply to Sematan in the Lundu district, which is located south-west of the state.

Source: Bernama

Two international hotels to be built in Sematan, says Sarawak premier


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GUIDED by its mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, Microsoft is committed to supporting Malaysia’s inclusive economic growth.

For nearly 30 years in Malaysia, Microsoft continues to be the trusted partner and adviser working with both the public and private sectors to accelerate digital transformation and build resilience for all.

In its efforts to empower Malaysian organisations to flourish in the digital era, the tech giant launched the Bersama Malaysia (Together with Malaysia) initiative last year that outlined its plans to establish Microsoft’s first data centre region in the country and a commitment to skill an additional one million Malaysians by the end of 2023, as well as collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policies via the MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council.

Microsoft Malaysia’s small, medium and corporate (SMC) group general manager Datin Lim Bee Wah said a report by IDC revealed that this investment in Malaysia will help generate up to US$4.6bil (RM20.22bil) in new revenues for the country’s ecosystem of local partners and cloud-consuming customers over the next four years.

“Additionally, the research estimates Microsoft, its partners and cloud-using customers will together contribute more than 19,000 new direct and indirect jobs.”

This reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to empower the nation’s inclusive digital economy and advance its digital transformation across private and public sectors.

Though it won’t be an easy feat, Lim said they are determined to build digital resilience, bridge digital opportunities, bolster a competitive digital workforce and enhance employability through transformative policies for education and skilling of Malaysians.

“Microsoft wants to equip every Malaysian with equal opportunities to advance human and organisational achievement.

“We have been engaging and working closely with partners to expand our reach throughout the country to equip communities – including the rural, underserved – and businesses with future-ready skills.”

Championing growth

To ensure that no one is left behind, collaboration is key to providing easy, convenient and affordable digital access to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), small local businesses, up to multinational companies nationwide, said Lim, adding that partnerships empower businesses to be more resilient and secure in the new hybrid work environments while enhancing business productivity.

“We have various initiatives in place to help SMEs thrive in the digital era. Among them includes our collaboration with Celcom Axiata Bhd to offer Celcom Cloud Suite, a cloud solution for enterprises that offers a more personalised experience for business users.

“We are working with Maxis to empower businesses to be more connected, mobile and productive in the new hybrid world of work via Maxis Digital Workspace – the first all-inclusive managed laptop solution in Malaysia.”

She added that Microsoft is also in partnership with Telekom Malaysia Bhd’s (TM) Unifi, offering various Microsoft 365 plans to suit various business needs via TM’s Internet plans.

“Microsoft has also introduced the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub in Asia to empower startups’ ambitions and fuel innovation to drive economic and societal progress in Malaysia and beyond.

“Through the platform, startup founders will have access to the support and tools they need – including technology, our partners network, as well as mentorship and upskilling opportunities,” she said.

Digital realisation

Help is always available for those who seek it, said Lim, adding that Microsoft and its partners have teams of dedicated professionals constantly on standby to facilitate, engage and empower SMEs throughout their entire digital growth journey.

“We offer the most suitable solutions based on the needs of each business to help them realise the benefits of technology for their resilient and long-term business growth.”

Citing digital health app Doctor2U and BASSnet software suite as success stories, Lim shared that Doctor2U – built on Microsoft Azure and uses Microsoft’s bot framework for their Live Chat feature that allows users to chat with doctors, pharmacists and nutritionists for free – helped Doctor2U harness data insights and deliver more effective treatment plans for patients.

“Meanwhile, BASSnet was able to serve over 100 fleet owners including world leading shipping companies, supported multiple organisations in streamlining their operational processes and adopt better environmentally sustainable practices.”

A firm believer that everyone should reap benefits from technology, Lim urged SMEs which have not invested in technology to do so immediately.

“Technology is far more accessible and affordable than it was before. SMEs need to look into these opportunities and tap into the abundance of solutions available,” she said.

Source: The Star

Gearing up for Malaysia’s digital future


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Sarawak is looking towards South Korea’s expertise to develop green industry in the state, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said today.

According to him, the Malaysia’s Borneo state and the republic could explore together the potentials of Sarawak as a region for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) as well as in the production of alternative aviation fuels such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

“Though Sarawak is a state in a small country, we are blessed with (natural) resources. We need the technology and the expertise to add value to our resources and contributing to the needs of the world for a green environment,” he said when addressing the Sarawak-Korea Energy Business Forum here.

At the event which was also attended by South Korea ambassador to Malaysia, Lee Chi Beom, Abang Johari said CCUS can fast-track the growth of Southeast Asian economies on the path to net-zero emissions.

“In Sarawak, we have recently passed the Land Code (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which give us a better position to develop CCUS as a powerful mitigation technology towards low-carbon economy,” he said.

Abang Johari said Sarawak State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) is also collaborating with Airbus and Rolls Royce through Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC) to undertake research and development on green hydrogen and fuel cell as future aviation fuel.

He said this pilot project came as a step forward for Sarawak to produce alternative aviation fuels such as SAF, which could be the key to sustainable air travel in the transition for low carbon fuel and to decarbonise aviation industry.

“I believe there is tremendous opportunity for Sarawak and South Korea towards a future fuelled with SAF that could unlock additional social, environmental and economic benefits (ranging) from creating jobs to restoring soil and watersheds to improving aircraft performance,” he said.

The Sarawak premier said the state and South Korea are enjoying good relationship since the 1970s and the Far East country had been Sarawak’s third biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after Japan and China, involving 4.9 million tonnes in 2020 with a value of RM5.9 billion.

This business tie also saw Sarawak awarding a US$1.07 billion contract to South Korea’s Samsung Engineering Co Ltd to provide licensing, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning services of Sarawak methanol project at Tanjung Kidurong in Bintulu.

“I am glad Sarawak and South Korea are on the same page, where your country is pushing to reduce the reliance on coal and nuclear in power generation. Sarawak, as a resource rich region, is determined to capitalise on renewable sources to power the various activities in Sarawak,” he added. 

Source: Bernama

Sarawak wants South Korean expertise in its green industry development


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Malaysia’s first Securities Commission-regulated solar fund Gagasan Solar has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fabulous Sunview Sdn Bhd to deploy RM200 million into its targeted commercial and industrial solar asset segment.

The collaboration would see Gagasan Solar as Sunview’s investment partner for its commercial and industrial clients.

Gagasan Solar founder and managing partner Joshep Lee said the current solar industry is skewed towards larger and multinational companies, often resulting in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and smaller companies receiving the short end of the stick despite their interest in adopting solar-powered solutions.

“Gagasan Solar’s goal is to bridge this gap in Malaysia’s solar industry and we are confident that this partnership with Sunview will greatly accelerate this process,” he said in a statement today.

The collaboration would not only strengthen the product offerings and market access of both firms but also increase the availability of solar energy for SMEs, a hitherto underserved segment, and all the financial and Environment, Social and Governance benefits that solar energy promises.

Sunview is one of Malaysia’s leading solar engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning services company.

The net installed capacity of renewable energy in the country is expected to reach 18,000 MegaWatt by 2035, more than a tenfold increase compared to 2020.

Furthermore, Malaysia plans to gradually retire seven of the 13 Gigawatt of coal-fired generation by 2033, marking the end of coal power plants’ 25-year power purchase agreement.

Source: Bernama

Gagasan Solar partners Fabulous Sunview to invest in commercial, industrial solar asset


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KL Wellness City (KLWC), the first community development fully integrated with healthcare facilities in Southeast Asia slated to open in 2025, has computed a gross development value of more than RM11 billion and a return of 12% to 18% per annum, offering an opportunity for healthcare practitioners and property seekers looking to invest in a project with strong capital appreciation.

The jewel in KLWC’s crown is its 624-bed (scalable to 1,000 beds) international tertiary hospital with state-of-the-art equipment and operating theatres, innovation laboratories and clinical research and development facilities to provide quality care on par with that in Mount Elizabeth Novena in Singapore and Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

Additionally, the 10ha wellness hub will be home to medical suites, healthcare company office towers, a retirement resort, a healthcare mall, wellness-centric serviced apartments, and a fitness-based central park, among others.

Managing director and architecture lover medical specialist Datuk Dr Colin Lee Soon Soo told Property Take he wants to create a place where everything that a person wants in terms of medical care, healthcare, wellness, and fitness can be found within its grounds.

“It is so the efficiency of the entire healthcare delivery ecosystem from diagnosis to rehabilitation can be improved. The place doesn’t have to be big, everything is within walking or wheelchair distance so that the needs of everybody, including the disabled, can be met,” he said in an interview recently.

Besides getting ready access to medical and healthcare, emergency treatment is available within a short distance. The medical suites are directly connected to the international tertiary hospital via a two-level link bridge. The 380 medical suites are priced from RM414,000 each.

“They come in modular form, and at various sizes, from as small as 200 sq ft to 1,500 sq ft, so healthcare providers can arrive at their precise needs as well as have the freedom to make changes according to evolving needs,” Lee said.

The fully furnished wellness suites, meanwhile, provide versatile living spaces suitable for owner occupancy, home office usage or short-term stays, including for step-down care and healthcare traveller accommodation.

Priced from RM338,000 each, the suites come in 268 sq ft and 386 sq ft options, complete with leisure and lifestyle facilities such as a 50m lap pool, jacuzzi, sandy cove, and food and beverage outlets.

“When healthcare travellers go to a foreign country to seek healthcare, they need accommodation. The average healthcare traveller stays for six to eight days, some as long as a year. The number one criterion they seek is the shortest possible distance from the point of care.

“Our wellness suites are like hotel rooms or studio apartments that cater to one person or a small family who can visit the patient as many times a day they want as they are close to the hospital. They can even cook their favourite food at the suites for the patients,” Lee said, adding that it is ideal for those who have been discharged from the hospital but still need care.

KLWC, which is located near Pavilion Bukit Jalil, will be rolled out in two phases and is targeted to be completed over 10 years. Phase 1 is expected to be completed in 2025, while the later phase includes office towers, a retirement resort and wellness-centric serviced apartments.

Source: The Sun Daily

KL Wellness City – dedicated to healthcare, healthy living


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Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) through its New Energy Division is striving to future-proof its business by expanding its renewable energy (RE) footprint globally through mergers and acquisitions, asset development and establishing strategic partnerships with leading RE players.

Its wholly-owned subsidiary Vantage RE Ltd, launched on July 1, 2021, is currently operating and managing TNB’s portfolio of RE assets in the United Kingdom and Europe, the national utility company said in a statement today.

In October 2021, Vantage RE enhanced TNB’s RE portfolio and net-zero goals with the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in offshore wind farm Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Ltd from EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the French utility company, Électricité de France, the statement said.

It has also completed its 100 per cent acquisition of a 97.3 megawatt (MW) onshore wind portfolio in the UK in April 2022. Both acquisitions will help accelerate its environmental, social and governance agenda. 

To date, it has an RE portfolio of 530MW, including offshore wind, onshore wind and solar farms in the UK; this underscores the national utility company’s strategy to expand its RE portfolio in focus markets such as the UK and Europe.

At the same time, it will also help TNB  transition towards a new energy future of low carbon generation, consistent with its sustainability and overall ESG vision, TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Baharin Din said.

On the local front, Baharin said in accelerating decarbonisation, the hydroelectric dam project in Nenggiri, Gua Musang by its power generation subsidiary, TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd (TNB Genco) will take off this year.

He said the project is expected to deliver 300 MW of RE to the national grid when completed in 2026.

It will augment Peninsular Malaysia’s supply security, particularly to the eastern region, while benefiting Kelantan in terms of flood mitigation, cleaner water supply and raw water for irrigation.

TNB Genco, currently generating 50 per cent of Malaysia’s power, is working on life extension of existing hydropower plants, namely Sungai Perak, Kenyir and Cameron Highlands power stations which will utilise low-carbon fuel ammonia as co-firing technology and carbon capture at its coal power stations to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions intensity.

Source: Bernama

TNB to expand global renewable energy footprint


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