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Johor set to become leading solar power producer in Southeast Asia

JOHOR BAHRU, Feb 28 — Johor is set to become a major producer of eco-friendly energy in Southeast Asia with the opening of a solar power park in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi, worth RM1.4 billion.

Sultan Ibrahim Solar Park will be the biggest of its kind in the region with a capacity of 450 megawatts, according to Sultan Of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar here today.

He said the solar park, which is the rst large-scale private investment project secured by the state for 2021 came from his efforts to encourage investment and economic development for the people and Johor.

According to Sultan Ibrahim, the project is also in line with the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2030 which prioritises environmental sustainability in the development of the economy and prosperity of the people.

He added that the project will not only have an impact on the state’s economy; there will be job opportunities for various levels too, as it will become the largest solar power storage system in the region when fully operational by 2023.

The project will not only boost economic growth but also place Johor as a leading renewable energy producer internationally, he told the Royal Press Office (RPO) via his official Facebook.

“We are thankful that Johor is among the states that are blessed with high solar irradiance. It’s about time we explore this resource to improve power generation capacity and contribute to the production of renewable energy,” he said.

Sultan Ibrahim is expected to grace the groundbreaking for the solar park on March 23, at the project site in Pengerang.

Source: Bernama

Johor set to become leading solar power producer in Southeast Asia


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Komarkcorp Bhd plans to become the country’s largest face mask manufacturer by the middle of the year after subsidiary Komark Mask (M) Sdn Bhd received full FDA and Ce certification for its suite of medical masks today, which will allow it to export globally.

Komarkcorp said it had now mobilised 11 separate mask manufacturing lines and is on track to install a further 15 lines by April this year to bring its current annual capacity of 180 million pieces to 420 million pieces per year of various types of masks, including three-ply masks, KN95 masks and its own Hybrid Dove Plus masks.

“The group’s own brand, Dove Mask, has seen wide consumption locally in the past three months, and in conjunction with being awarded FDA and CE certification, it has inked its maiden export order to Europe,” it said in a statement today.

Komarkcorp said Komark Mask had entered into a supply and purchase agreement with Robayu Corporation SP. ZO.O, a Poland-based medical products trader for the European markets, for the purpose of selling three-ply disposable medical grade face masks worth US$2 million.

Robayu will purchase one million pieces per month for three years as an initial contract. Subject to demand, Robayu has indicated it may raise the order up to four million pieces a month.

In addition to the maiden export order, with full certifications in place Komark will begin immediately to engage its overseas silos in Komark Thailand and Indonesia to tap into immediate regional markets.

“While export markets remain our focus, as our medical grade masks are now fully certified to be the highest quality, we are seeing huge local OEM (original equipment manufacturer) demand for masks,” chief executive officer Koh Chie Jooi said.

He said the group was running at maximum capacity at present. It has forward sold production for OEM order well into the calendar year, with enquiries still coming in.

“Our synergy of combining the printing and packaging business with the masks division has seen us tap into an exciting segment of customised OEM masks.

“We are sizeable enough to cater for local and overseas demand and by June, we will be the largest mask manufacturer in Malaysia,” he said. Moving forward, Komarkcorp is exploring a personal protective equipment segment as well, with its research and development team currently doing its research, testing and certification exercises.

Source: Bernama

Komarkcorp set to be country’s largest face mask manufacturer


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — Cabot Corp will be investing in new sustainable rubber technology and research and development (R&D) capabilities at its plant in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

The global speciality chemicals and performance materials company plans  to increase its staff strength by over 30 per cent, and install  digital controls and automation systems to further expand manufacturing of its Engineered Elastomer Composites (E2C) solutions which was launched last year.

“The company is also signing a long-term extension and expansion of its land lease in Port Dickson,” it said in a joint statement with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) on Friday.

Cabot aims to lead and advance rubber technology through specific innovations such as new tools for modelling and optimisation of liquid mixing, novel methods for characterising elastomer composites, as well as automation of continuous rubber processing.

MIDA chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud expressed his confidence in Cabot to benefit from Malaysia’s solid chemical industry ecosystem, backed by an investor-friendly business environment, policies and availability of skilled workers in the country.

“The investment by Cabot is a testament to Malaysia’s resilient business environment and promising returns to investors,” he said.

As partners to investors, Azman said MIDA remains committed to driving high-quality and knowledge-driven projects into Malaysia, in line with the national investment agenda for long-term sustainable economic growth.

Meanwhile, Cabot Engineered Elastomer Composites vice-president and general manager David Reynolds said Cabot’s plant in Malaysia has been a key asset for the company to develop and expand the portfolio of elastomer composites solutions.

“As such, we are committed to continuing to partner with MIDA to strengthen our investments in Port Dickson and support the growth of this high-performance product line,” he said.

Cabot’s E2C solution  is a new category of performance rubber composites based on a proprietary liquid mixing process for natural rubber latex, including three commercially viable products for off-the-road mining tyre applications. The solution was also named in the European Rubber Journal’s inaugural Top 10 Elastomers for Sustainability List in July 2020.

Source: Bernama

Cabot Corp to invest in new sustainable rubber technology in Malaysia


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has urged  businesses, particularly  the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to implement digitalisation values and adopt innovation in their business to remain resilient.

MIDA deputy chief executive officer II Ahmad Khairuddin Abdul Rahim said that in order to drive business growth and staying relevant in current norms, business leaders, especially the SMEs must be able to think creatively and embrace innovation into their business models.

“A willingness to innovate should also go along with a solid understanding on how to cultivate the innovation into life. The focus will be on assisting Malaysian businesses to shift from old conventional growth models to build new growth through the adoption of the digital system,” he said in his opening speech during the virtual Domestic Investment Webinar today.

The session themed “Innovation and Transition to New Business Models” was supported by the Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE) of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia Productivity Cooperation (MPC), SIRIM Bhd and AmBank. 

He said Malaysia’s Industry4WRD policy is an excellent guide and the incentives of Industry4WRD Readiness Assessment and its subsequent Intervention Fund enable domestic companies to assess their capabilities and readiness to adopt Industry 4.0 processes, understand their present capabilities and gaps, as well as prepare feasible plans to move toward effective adoption of Industry 4.0.

“This represents the rst step for companies in Malaysia to align with the rapidly changing technological landscape while developing new growth areas by prioritizing operational eciency and resilience through digital and automation technologies,” he said.

Ahmad Khairuddin added that other critical enablers are the skilled talent and upskilling programmes to drive and sustain Malaysia’s economic growth, of which, the availability of a skilled workforce will support the transition of all economic sectors towards knowledge-intensive activities.

“The government had also introduced the Automation Capital Allowance, a major initiative to motivate domestic companies to undertake automation and machine upgrading. The Smart Automation Grant under the RM100 million allocation is an initiative awarded to eligible SMEs and Mid-Tier Companies on a matching basis or 50 per cent of total eligible expenditures, up to a maximum grant cap of RM1 million per company,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the webinar has successfully attracted more than 300 participants, including manufacturers, service providers and other potential investors.

Source: Bernama

MIDA urges domestic companies to adopt digitalisation, innovate to stay competitive


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PUTRAJAYA (Feb 25): Malaysia’s economy is expected to show better prospects in the next few months based on the Leading Index performance which recorded 108.8 points in December 2020 compared with 101.6 points in the same month in 2019, as well as maintaining the annual growth of 7.1% since November 2020.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said as countries globally including Malaysia are in the process of launching the Covid-19 vaccine programmes, Malaysia together with the global economies were projected to return to positive growth this year.

“The global economy currently is in the recovery trend from the devastating effects of Covid-19. According to the World Economic Outlook Update issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in January 2021, the global economies are projected to perform better at 5.5% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2022 following slowing economic activities due to measures put in place to contain the pandemic in 2020,” he said.

He said this in a statement on Malaysia Economic Statistics Economic Review Volume 2/2021 issued by DoSM today.

On the country’s economic performance in the fourth quarter of 2020, Mohd Uzir said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused a significant adverse impact on the global economy last year whereby almost all countries worldwide experienced economic slowdown, and Malaysia was not spared as its gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 3.4%.

On a monthly basis, Malaysia’s economy declined 4.7% in October, -4.0% in November, and -1.7% in December.

“Overall for 2020, Malaysia’s GDP contracted 5.6% compared with a growth of 4.3% in 2019, following the deterioration in all economic sectors because of several waves of Covid-19 infections, as well as the enforcement of various movement control order throughout the year.

“This contraction is the second worst it recorded since the economic crisis in 1998,” he said.

Even though the health crisis still persists in 2021, the government’s response this time was more balanced between livelihoods and allowing economic sectors to operate under strict standard operating procedures which were positive measures to the overall economy and provided respite to businesses.

Commenting on the arrival of the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine in Malaysia, Mohd Uzir said it definitely would assist in reducing the impact of the pandemic on the economy, enabling more economic sectors to reopen and possibly allow the reopening of international borders in stages.

“Nevertheless, businesses should not consider the vaccine as the solution and need to continue practising the new normal. With the acceleration of e-commerce adoption due to physical distancing and movement restrictions, digitisalisation is undoubtedly the way forward,” he said.

Hence, he said the comprehensive Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint launched recently was timely as it outlines the focus on digitalisation including talent empowerment, providing a trusted and secure digital environment, and expand the focus sectors in the economy.

Source: Bernama

Malaysian economy expected to turn positive this year on Covid-19 vaccine roll out


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Source: The Edge Markets

Bridging the digital divide in Southeast Asia


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As the world turns its attention towards electric vehicles (EVs), countries with an established automotive ecosystem are vying for a slice of the action.

When we talk about the automotive industry in Southeast Asia, Thailand comes to mind. As the region’s hub for automotive manufacturing and assembly, the country has been aggressively promoting its automotive industry.

Thailand came up with an EV policy in 2017. To attract investments to the sector, it offers tax holidays for manufacturers and assemblers of hybrid EVs (HEVs), plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) and battery EVs (BEVs).

The Board of Investment (BOI) of Thailand offers HEV producers tariff exemptions on imported machinery, while PHEV manufacturers enjoy corporate income tax exemption for three years, in addition to tariff exemptions on imported machinery.

PHEV manufacturers that make more than one key EV part are also entitled to an additional year of corporate income tax exemption per piece, subject to the combined tax exemptions not exceeding six years.

Meanwhile, BEV investments are entitled to five to eight years of corporate tax exemption. If the company manufactures more than one key EV part in the country, it is also entitled to another year of corporate income tax exemption per piece, subject to a combined maximum of 10 years.

Thailand also provides specific incentives for battery electric buses, whereby the producers are exempt from tariffs on imported machinery, while enjoying a three-year corporate income tax holiday.

They are eligible for an additional year of corporate income tax exemption if they produce more than one key part of battery electric buses in the country, with the combined tax exemption not exceeding six years.

The BOI also lists 10 important EV parts that will enjoy corporate income tax exemption for eight years if produced in the country. They include batteries, traction motors, battery management system, electric converters and inverters, portable electric vehicle chargers, electrical circuit breakers and EV smart charging systems.

Thailand also cut the excise tax for HEV and PHEV passenger cars to 5% from 25% based on carbon dioxide emissions, while BEVs will only be charged a 2% excise duty, down from 10%.

Known as the land of pickup trucks, Thailand also reduced excise duty on passenger pickup vehicles and double-cab pickup trucks that release less than 175g of CO2 to 23% and 10% respectively, from 25% and 12%.

Last November, the BOI announced an upgrade to the EV packages. For four-wheelers, qualified projects with a total investment package worth at least THB5 billion (RM675.5 million) will be granted three-year tax holidays for PHEVs and eight years for BEVs, which will be extended in case of R&D investments or expenditures.

As for qualified projects with a total investment of less than THB5 billion, Thailand offers three-year tax holidays, with the tax-holiday period for BEVs extended if the project meets set requirements, such as commencement of production by 2022, additional part production, minimum production of 10,000 units within three years and R&D investments or expenditures.

Thailand also offers a three-year corporate income tax exemption for the production of electric motorcycles, three-wheelers, buses and trucks. In addition, it offers eight-year tax exemptions for the production of electric-powered ships with less than 500 gross tonnage.

The BOI also added four EV parts to the list of critical parts, namely high voltage harness, reduction gears, battery cooling system and regenerative braking system. The production of these parts will receive eight-year corporate tax exemptions.

The country is also promoting local production of EV batteries, with the BOI approving additional incentives for both battery modules and cells by granting a 90% reduction of import duties for two years on raw or essential materials not available locally.

Up to November last year, the BOI had approved 26 projects producing EV of various types, including five HEVs, six PHEVs, 13 BEVs and two e-bus projects, with a combined production capacity of over 566,000 units per year.

Seven of those projects have started commercial operations, and are by the likes of Nissan, Honda and Toyota for HEVs, Mercedes-Benz and BMW for PHEVs, and FOMM and Takano for BEVs. The BOI also approved 14 projects to make critical parts for EVs, including 10 in battery production.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is emerging as a regional competitor to Thailand in automotive production. In 2019, it produced 1.29 million units of automobiles, while Thailand produced slightly more than two million units.

Indonesia started promoting EVs in 2019. The republic offers corporate income tax holidays for the manufacturing of EVs, batteries, electric motors, and electric power control units, ranging from five to 20 years depending on the value of investments.

For investment values of between IDR500 billion (RM144.3 million) and IDR1 trillion, corporate income tax exemptions will be given for five years, while investments of more than IDR30 trillion will enjoy a tax holiday of 20 years.

Indonesia also offers super deductible tax for companies that conduct R&D activities. The companies will be given a gross income tax deduction of 300% of the value of the R&D investments if they undertake it in Indonesia.

The largest economy in Southeast Asia has also revised its luxury goods tax structure, with a specific tax structure on EVs. PHEVs and BEVs enjoy 0% luxury tax, while a 2% luxury tax on low-cost green cars using ICE powertrains has been imposed.

Indonesia’s development of EVs and batteries must also be seen in the context of the government’s ban on the export of raw and unrefined minerals. It has the world’s largest reserves of nickel, one of the key raw materials for the production of lithium-ion batteries.

This is one of the reasons why battery companies such as China’s CATL and South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd are setting up production in Indonesia. LG Chem is planning to invest close to US$10 billion (RM40.4 billion) in the production of lithium-ion batteries in the country.

Indonesia is also trying to attract Tesla Inc to produce EVs in the country, leveraging on its 21 million tonnes of nickel reserves, as well as the growing supply chain of EV parts and components in the country.

So far, only Toyota has committed to producing EVs in Indonesia, with an investment of US$2 billion.

While Malaysia is still awaiting a specific policy on EV, the National Automotive Policy (NAP2020) does mention energy-efficient vehicles (EEV), which cover EVs.

Under NAP2020, Malaysia aims to develop critical components in the production of EVs between 2020 and 2024.

These critical components include the battery management system, thermal management system, battery pack and capacity. NAP2020 will also continue with the EEV policy, with the addition of Next Generation Vehicles (NxGV) — connected and autonomous vehicles.

However, under NAP2020, Malaysia retains a customised incentives policy. This policy looks at the value of investment, total production, technology transfer, R&D activities, critical component manufacturing, supply chain development, employment opportunities, total exports and many other factors to determine the level of incentives to be given to automakers.

The economic incentives for the production of EEVs include a 100% tax break for 10 years for corporate tax, maximum 10% tax break for import duties, and maximum 10% tax break for excise duties.

The local production of EEV-related parts enjoys a 50% tax break on excise duties, and a 100% tax break for 10 years for corporate tax for the production of electric motors, hybrid and EV batteries, battery management system, inverters, air-conditioning units and air compressors, among others.

Malaysia has been doing rather well in the EEV segment, with the production of these vehicles making up about 70% of the country’s total automotive production. In 2020, Malaysia produced 485,186 vehicles.

The country has also been receiving investments in the manufacturing of parts that are used in the production of EVs. In January this year, South Korea’s SK Nexilis announced a RM2.3 billion investment to produce copper coils in Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park.

Samsung SDI Energy Malaysia Sdn Bhd has long been producing lithium-ion batteries at its plant in Senawang, Negeri Sembilan. While this plant initially produced batteries for gadgets, the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) is working together with Samsung SDI to produce batteries for EVs.

It is hoped that the specific EV policy that the government is formulating will help Malaysia play catch up in EV investments and development in Southeast Asia.

Source: The Edge Markets

Competition for EVs in Southeast Asia heats up


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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): While there is a growing concern that the demand for rubber gloves will normalise sooner than later as vaccination continues globally, AT Systematization Bhd today inked an agreement with Kenteam Sdn Bhd (KSB) to manufacture and supply nitrile examination gloves.

In a filing exchange, the group said its wholly owned subsidiary, AT Glove Engineering Sdn Bhd, has reached an agreement to supply 30 million boxes of nitrile examination gloves for a period of 12 months and allocate 10 production lines to KSB.

It said KSB has been principally involved in the business of marketing and export of nitrile examination gloves to the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and other countries over the past few years.

Meanwhile, AT Systematization also has agreed to deliver original equipment manufacturing services to KSB at KSB brand name, KENTeam.

Commenting on the agreement, the group said this will not only be able to broaden its product offerings to its customers via the promotion and marketing of the products, it will also be able to expand its customer base to the United State, Canada, Europe, Japan and other countries under KSB.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the execution of MOU (memorandum of understanding) is expected to contribute positively to the future earnings of ATS Group once the products have been marketed, sold and distributed by KSB,” it said.

At noon break today, shares of AT Systematization closed unchanged at 15.5 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM655.51 million.

Source: The Edge Markets

AT Systematization inks agreement to supply 30 million boxes of nitrile gloves


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KUALA LUMPUR: Denso Corp of Japan, through Denso Malaysia Sdn Bhd, will be expanding its production capacity in Selangor.

Denso, a leading global mobility systems and components supplier, said the RM160 million expansion had been approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and was scheduled to commence in April.

Denso Malaysia’s products range from air-conditioning systems, radiators, engine control units, airbag electronic control units, electric power steering and other products.

In a joint statement today, Mida and Denso said electronic controls had been increasingly adopted in various vehicle systems in recent years.

Mida chief exexutive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said Denso’s decision to further expand their presence in Malaysia had proven that the country continues to be a competitive investment location for high-value operations amidst global headwinds.

“This is another testament to Mida’s efforts in attracting quality investment into Malaysia. We are honoured to be selected as the country outside Japan to produce the advanced products as a result of continuous research and development (R&D).

“Moreover, we acknowledge the operational expenditure of over RM20 million in the next five years would benefit the local business ecosystem, from insurance, legal, banking, information and communication technologies (ICT) as well as transportation industries,” he said.

Denso said Denso Malaysia would be venturing into the production of automotive semiconductors, ASIC named Exposed Package (Ex-PKG), which is superior and competitive in terms of high functionality, efficient high heat dissipation, miniaturisation and cost reduction.

The project is also in line with the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020 to develop critical components within next-generation vehicles, mobility technology and autonomous driving.

They said the investment would establish fully automated machine production lines with Denso-designed manufacturing equipment and unique processing techniques that emphasize on high efficiency and high quality.

In addition, the introduction of fully automated production lines will accelerate the moving toward Industry 4.0 technologies, such as IoT deployment, big data management and factory automation in Malaysia.

Source: NST

Japan’s Denso embarks on RM160mil advanced semiconductor production in Malaysia


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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 24): Malaysia’s economic recovery plan is on the right track with the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme that begins today, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said many economic sectors were awaiting border reopening not only in the country but also abroad, including the tourism and retail sectors.

In presenting the 42nd Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (Laksana) report here today, Tengku Zafrul urged the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs in the tourism sector which were still affected by the pandemic to take advantage of the RM1 billion PENJANA Tourism Financing.

As of Feb 12, only 282 applications involving RM57.1 million in financing had been approved under the Penjana Tourism Financing scheme.

Tengku Zafrul said economic recovery would follow with the recovery in public health.

He said the World Bank had forecast that Malaysia’s economy would grow between 5.6 and 6.7 per cent for 2021 following the global rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, which was in line with the forecast of a four per cent world economic growth.

The government is targeting to vaccinate almost 27 million people, representing over 80 per cent of the country’s population, by the first quarter of next year to achieve herd immunity.  Bernama

Malaysia on track for economic recovery with rollout of vaccination programme – Tengku Zafrul


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Madewings Malaysia Sdn Bhd is set to establish a high-quality face mask factory in Klang Valley to meet the country’s demand for the personal protective item.

Its chief executive officer Mohamad Zaimy Asrul Abd Razak said the company is in the process  of finalising matters  such as licensing, investment value, and technology transfer, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“This factory will focus on producing at mask, fold at KN95 and cup type KN95, in compliance with the standard outlined by the World Health Organisation.

“We have already received the green light from our headquarters, Madewings Medical Tech Group. This factory will also create job opportunities for local residents and help them face the COVID-19 challenges,” he told reporters here, today.

Earlier, the company presented 100,000 KN95 face masks to Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon for distribution to frontliners and the needy.

Meanwhile, Mohd Rashid said the proposed factory is an achievement not only for the company but good for the country in its continuous effort to attract external investors.

“Wearing face mask has become mandatory so it is important that we use good quality types that appropriately cover the mouth and nose to avoid the COVID infection,” he said.

Madewings is a subsidiary of Guangzhou-based Madewings Medical Tech Group which specialises in protective face mask kits and respirators.

The company earned US$431 million in group sales last year.

Source: Bernama

Madewings Malaysia to set up face mask factory


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 24 — Steel product processor Leon Fuat Bhd’s unit Supreme Steelmakers Sdn Bhd is acquiring about one hectare in Balakong Jaya Industrial Area, Selangor, along with the factory, warehouse and office building on it, for RM28 million.

Supreme Steelmakers entered into a conditional agreement to buy the property from Leon Fuat Holdings Sdn  Bhd (LF Holdings), which is Leon Fuat’s major shareholder with a 70.9 per cent stake.

At present, the property is tenanted by LF Holdings to Supreme Steelmakers for a monthly rental of RM9,000 or RM108,000 per annum, Leon Fuat said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.

It said the proposed acquisition would allow Leon Fuat group to mitigate the risk of increasing rental rates and/or the possible loss of right to use the rented premises. It will also have full control of its own steel processing plant, office and warehouse for better long-term business interests.

“The management believes that the property possesses favourable prospects and is suitable for Supreme Steelmakers to carry out its business operations on a long-term basis, given that the property is strategically located within the Balakong Jaya Industrial Area,” it said.

In addition, Leon Fuat said the bigger total gross built-up area of the factory and warehouse of about 3,400 square metres was sufficient for Supreme Steelmakers to carry out its steel trading and steel processing operations without the need to rent another factory to cater for its needs.

The company said the purchase consideration would be satisfied entirely in cash, which would be funded via a combination of internally generated funds and bank borrowings.

Source: Bernama

Leon Fuat’s unit acquiring property in Selangor for RM28 mln


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ALOR SETAR (Feb 24): Private firm, ECK Group of Companies (ECK), will enter into a partnership with the Kedah State government to develop the Kulim international airport (KXP) project.

In a statement, ECK said it would be directly involved as a strategic partner in the project, from construction to commissioning.

“This entails construction as well as bringing in airport and international cargo operators to KXP once it is completed,” it said here today.

ECK said besides the dual-runway international airport project, the partnership will also involve development of Kedah Aerotropolis and Airport City in Mukim Sidam Kiri, Kuala Muda.

It said major investors of various industries such as the financial sector, manufacturing as well as heavy and medium enterprises, particularly air technology and semiconductor would vitalise KXP and draw the world’s attention.

“Kedah Aerotropolis complements modern city development with housing, business, medical city, academy management, information and communication technology components as well as a self-contained transport hub.

“In terms of economic development, local residents and those migrating from elsewhere will derive various advantages from this development that will improve their standard of living,” it said.

To realise the project, ECK said a company would be established as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) responsible in the development and financial aspects of the airport city sited on 4,046 hectares (10,000 acres).

It said the SPV would be chaired by Tunku Laksamana of Kedah, Datuk Seri DiRaja Tunku Shazuddin Ariff Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin, while the board of directors would comprise State government and private sector representatives.

“This economic paradigm shift will potentially place Kedah at a higher level to become one of the developed States in the future,” it said.

Source: Bernama

ECK Group to partner with Kedah Govt in Kulim international airport development


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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 23 — The government, through the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia, will open applications for feed-in tariff (FiT) quotas totalling 188 megawatts (MW) for biogas, mini hydro and biomass resources in Peninsular Malaysia in June.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said of the total, a quota of 32MW was allocated for biogas, 126MW for mini hydro and 30MW for biomass projects.

“All the FiT quotas can be applied via e-bidding through the SEDA Malaysia website, www.seda.gov.my, from June 1 for biogas, June 8 for mini hydro and June 22 for biomass,” he told a media conference here today.

Shamsul Anuar said the offer of the new FiT quotas would be able to generate RM1.5 billion in investments and create 600 job opportunities in the renewable energy (RE) industry.

He said the projects approved would begin generating and supplying electricity starting from mid-2024.

“When the electricity generation takes effect in 2024, it will boost the entire country’s electric capacity especially in the RE sector. We hope this will indirectly lead to a more stable electricity supply and hence benefit the people,” he said.

The e-bidding under the FiT mechanism was first introduced in 2018 for biogas resources before being widened to cover mini hydro resources in 2019 and biomass resources this year.

He said e-bidding was used to ensure the FiT quotas were approved for bidders offering the lowest tariffs.

“This approach allows the Renewable Energy Fund to be optimised and hence more FiT quotas can be offered to RE development companies,” he explained.

Shamsul Anuar said all companies registered with SEDA Malaysia could apply for the FiT quota, but the agency strongly encouraged local companies to seize this opportunity.

He said since the FiT programme’s introduction in 2011, SEDA had approved quotas totalling 1,394MW involving 10,476 RE projects nationwide.

Meanwhile, Shamsul Anuar said the Energy Commission was studying other more viable alternatives to implement RE projects in Sabah.

“This is to enable RE projects to be implemented there. For the time being, we are continuing with projects that are still ongoing in Sabah, which means there is no programme similar to this (FiT) currently being done in the state,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Applications for FiT quota to be opened in June


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The Fifth Generation (5G) network deployment will likely boost demand for fibre networks, benefiting the national connectivity and digital infrastructure provider, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), as well as fixed-line players, research houses said.

Last week, the government unveiled its 5G rollout plan under the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint, in conjunction with the launch of the MyDIGITAL agenda.

To spearhead the initiative, the government had established the Government of Malaysia Special Purpose Vehicle (GOMSPV) to oversee the deployment of 5G infrastructure and network nationwide over a period of 10 years, involving an investment of RM15 billion.

“We believe the government’s MyDIGITAL initiative will largely have a neutral impact on mobile operators, while TM should stand to benet from leasing its fibre to the GOMSPV for the 5G rollout.

“We also see stronger demand for TM’s data centres as the government migrates 80 per cent of public data to hybrid cloud by end-2022,” CGS-CIMB Securities Sdn Bhd (CGS-CIMB) said in a note today.

While it maintained a “neutral” call on the sector, CGS-CIMB cautioned that a key uncertainty would be in terms of cost efficiency in rolling out the 5G network.

“This partly depends on how much the GOMSPV pays to lease the existing infrastructure and from whom.

“Costly rollouts may lead to higher wholesale access fees and reduce the cost-saving benefits for telcos, which, on the other hand, may have to contend with lower retail prices due to lack of network differentiation,” it said.

Sharing the same “neutral” call on the sector, Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) said that the main risk revolves around the SPV’s ability to execute the 5G rollout.

“The GOMSPV’s source of funds is presently unclear, with the regulator ruling out the use of Universal Service Provision funds, new taxes, and direct injection from government coffers.

“In our view, fundraising through the capital market would require the GOMSPV to be profit-oriented, which could lead to elevated access fees, which goes against the data inclusion and nation-building objectives behind this deployment model,” it noted.

However, Maybank IB said overall, the GOMSPV’s wholesale model — where telcos would be allowed to access the network with rates and terms being regulated — would absolve telcos from the 5G capital expenditure, thus alleviating near-term pressure on returns. 

Source: Bernama

5G deployment to boost demand for fibre networks


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PETALING JAYA: The continued global semiconductor supply chain’s upcycle is expected to translate into strong earnings growth for select Malaysian technology hardware companies in 2021-2022 and support the sector’s rerating to richer valuations.

Maybank Investment Research believes the sector’s outperformance in share prices and rerating of valuations are supported by the encouraging outlook of the global semiconductor supply chain, strong near-term earnings growth catalyst, as well as robust domestic liquidity.

Currently the sector under its coverage is trading at CY21/22 price to earnings ratio of 39x/37x.

“Meanwhile, most of the technology hardware companies are also backed by healthy balance sheets with a net cash position/low gearing – supportive of merger and acquisition opportunities,” it said.

Year to date, Bursa Malaysia’s Technology Index has risen 28.7% to close at 89.91 last Friday, outpacing the broader FBM KLCI which has declined 1.1% since Jan 4, closing at 1,584.93 points on Feb 19.

The research house, however, cautioned the sector could face ‘overvaluation’ risks particularly if forward earnings growths start to taper or disappoint.

It said in its view, the global and domestic technology/semiconductor supply chain is on track to ride an upcycle backed by key catalysts such as the deployment of the 5G network with high adoption rates and stronger demand and supply for 5G devices, and growing sub-sectors, such as automotive/electric vehicles (EVs), Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), medical/life science and Industry 4.0 (IR4.0).

“We believe the growth and upcycle of the semiconductor industry will benefit tech hardware companies within the supply chain. Zooming into Malaysia, beneficiaries are predominantly OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and testing) companies, semiconductor equipment manufacturers and semiconductor-related services providers,” Maybank Research said.

As such, it is keeping its ‘positive’ rating on the sector, with its top picks being Inari Amertron, Globetronics and Frontken.

“Inari remains as our top buy, premised on strong catalysts from its RF division attributed to its key smartphone end-customer via Broadcom.

“Our other buy picks are: Globetronics which is underpinned by volume recovery of selected products and contributions from new products, and Frontken which has strong earnings prospects from its semiconductor segment and Taiwanese customers,” it added.

Separately, albeit a lower correlation with the semiconductor supply chain, Maybank Research believes the near to mid-term outlook remains robust for VS Industry, where its existing and new key customers are anticipated to contribute to larger orders, and Greatech, which rides on the IR4.0 and trade war thematic.

To recap, World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) raised its 2021 global semiconductor sales growth forecast to 8.4% year on year in December 2020, an optimistic revision from their previous forecast of 6.2% in June 2020 – led by an estimated double-digit growth in memory and optoelectronics products.

Meanwhile, SEMI forecasts global fab equipment spending to increase by 8% year on year in 2020 and 13% year on year in 2021, also driven by the rollout of 5G networks across key cities.

Source: The Sun Daily

Select Malaysian tech companies to benefit from sector’s upcycle


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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia remains an attractive market for e-commerce in Southeast Asia, thanks to its dynamic economy, developed enrapture for digital technologies, qualified talent pool and sizeable young population.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said Malaysia’s e-commerce sector was on a growth trajectory, benefiting from the implementation of programmes under the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap’s (NeSR) six thrust areas.

The National eCommerce Council (NeCC), comprising various ministries and agencies, was established to drive the implementation of the roadmap towards doubling Malaysia’s e-commerce growth rate.

The government’s intervention in six thrust areas namely to accelerate seller adoption of e-commerce, increase adoption of eProcurement by businesses, lift non-tariff barriers (e-Fulfillment, cross-border, e-Payment, consumer protection), realign existing economic incentives, make strategic investments in select eCommerce player(s) and promote national brand to boost cross-border e-commerce

“Malaysia’s e-commerce market had in fact tripled in size since 2015 by exceeding US$3 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$11 billion in 2025,” he said in an opening keynote address at the virtual 2021 Malaysia Economic and Strategic Outlook Forum, here today.

Alexander said the growth’s trajectory was in fact strengthen by the global pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns in its various guise that had interrupted and disrupted the traditional commerce and transactions.  

He said Malaysia had about 25.84 million active internet users (80 per cent of the population) with extremely high rates of mobile phone penetration.

Of the 32.25 million Malaysians, 25 million were social media users, 40.24 million mobile subscriptions, and 24 million use social media on their mobile devices, according to January 2019 data.

With the MyDigital and Malaysia Digital Economy (MDE) Blueprint recently launched by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the establishment of a Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Digital Economy Council will ensure Malaysia to head in the right direction in terms of digitalisation.

“With the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic, many have opted for online shopping as their primary shopping method to satisfy their buying needs while attempting to keep safe from the virus.

“As more and more online retailers emerge in this ever-growing and ever-advancing market, the number of online shoppers has increased too. As a result, instances of online retailers taking advantage of their customers using unethical or even illegal advertising or marketing tactics to attract more customers has also increased as well,” he said.

While e-commerce is delivering unprecedented product choice, convenience and price transparency, Alexander said the platform had also presented consumers with a number of new risks, such as identity theft and theft of credit card information.

“Fraudulent offers and transactions also are increasing at alarming rates. In addition, e-commerce platforms are increasingly vulnerable to a growing illicit industry distributing harmful, unsafe, substandard or faulty products – including counterfeit and pirated products.”

He said online shopping platforms should also consider improving their policies when it comes to allowing businesses to use their platform to arbitrarily price their goods.

“These platforms should heighten their controls over these businesses so that when a problem such as fake/misleading discounts arise, these issues may be dealt with in a speedy and satisfactory manner to the consumers affected by such tactics,” he added.

Source: NST

Malaysia remains attractive for e-commerce


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The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) senior deputy director of foreign investment promotion May Lim Ming Yee said from January to September 2020, MIDA has approved 58 manufacturing projects with China’s participation amounting to RM16.77 billion.

KUALA LUMPUR: China remains Malaysia’s largest foreign investor for four consecutive years since 2016 and topped the rank of foreign direct investment (FDI) for the manufacturing sector for the first nine months of 2020.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) senior deputy director of foreign investment promotion May Lim Ming Yee said from January to September 2020, MIDA has approved 58 manufacturing projects with China’s participation amounting to RM16.77 billion.

“Despite the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic seen on the global investment patterns, China continues to be our top FDI.

“During these four years, MIDA has approved 172 projects with a total investment of RM43.6 billion, providing more than 40 thousand jobs opportunities,” she said at the virtual MIDA Online Webinar today.

Meanwhile, MIDA assistant director of foreign investment promotion division Por Yee Yun said Malaysia has recorded a total of RM31.3 billion worth of investments in the manufacturing sector for the first nine of months of 2020.

China, Singapore, Switzerland, US and Netherlands were the top five sources of approved FDI in the manufacturing sector during this period, Por said.

“We can observe that China emerged as the largest FDI in manufacturing sectors in Malaysia. 

“Whereas for the implemented projects as of June 2020, 320 manufacturing projects with the participation from China amounted to RM26.6 billion.

“China is Malaysia’s seven largest investors in terms of implementing projects and this has created more than 48,000 job opportunities in Malaysia,” she said. 

Apart from that, Lim said in facilitating companies and business communities including investors, the government through MIDA is committed to further strengthen Malaysia’s position as a top destination for FDI.

She said the government has come up with various initiatives to attract FDI including the establishment of one-stop-centre (OSC) to evaluate and approve applications by eligible business travellers to enter Malaysia as well project acceleration and coordination unit (PACU) to facilitate speedy approval and implementation of investment projects in the country.

“Malaysia through MIDA will continue to welcome high quality FDI from around the world, including china.

“This investment assumes an important role in the development of Malaysia due to the multiplayer impact on the economy and this will continue to do so in the post pandemic era,” she added.

Source: NST

China remains Malaysia’s largest foreign partner for manufacturing sector, says MIDA


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 —  The successful roll-out of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme will be a key factor in determining Malaysia’s road to economic recovery, according to the Asia Pacic Investment Bank Ltd (APIB).

Its Asset Management Department director Lai Heow Gran stated that the programme will curb the spread of the pandemic and will help drive economic recovery.

“However, the economy may be at risk if the vaccinations are unable to keep up with the evolution of the virus,” he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, he noted that Malaysia is expected to benet from the economic recovery in Singapore and China — two of its largest trading partners.

Lai also forecasted the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) in the rst half of 2021 to remain at 1.75 per cent to drive market growth.

On e-commerce,  he said that although the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the overall national economy,  it had catalysed the rapid development of Malaysia’s ecommerce sector.

He highlighted that in 2020, the total value of e-Money transactions in the country surged by 60 per cent year-on-year to a record high of RM29.4 billion.

“It is estimated that the total value of Malaysia’s e-commerce will reach RM36.1 billion in 2021 and RM41.7 billion in 2022,” Lai added.

Source: Bernama

Successful vaccine roll-out to drive economic recovery – APIB


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 —  The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will serve as an economic recovery tool in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

The agency’s Foreign Investment Promotion Division senior deputy director, May Lim Ming Yee said the signing of the free trade agreement was timely, given the current situation, as it would facilitate and protect investments of participating countries and tariff elimination, among others.

“Businesses can enjoy wider market access and cross-border opportunities with the RCEP market,” she said during MIDA’s online webinar themed ‘China’s Investment in Malaysia and Latest Investment Policy 2021’ today.

During the discussion, MIDA Foreign Investment Promotion Division assistant director, Por Yee Yun said between January and September 2020, China topped the list of approved investments by major countries in Malaysia’s manufacturing sector at RM16.77 billion, followed by Singapore (RM7.61 billion) and Switzerland (RM2.77 billion).

“Approved investments from China in the manufacturing sector is on an uptrend, and China was the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) contributor for the last four years, recording RM15.3 billion in 2019 and RM16.77 billion as of the third quarter of 2020,” she said.

To attract Chinese FDI into Malaysia, she said, the focus should be on electric and electronics, machinery and equipment, chemical, medical devices and aerospace.

“The sectors also include automotive, transport, textiles, pharmaceuticals, metal, food processing and services,” she added.

Source: Bernama

MIDA: RCEP serves as tool for Malaysia’s economic recovery


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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Petronas Gas Bhd (PGB) has approved a final investment decision for the construction of a new lateral gas pipeline costing RM541.07 million.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the gas infrastructure and utility company said the pipeline is approximately 42 kilometres and will utilise gas tapped from the existing Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) II pipeline network.

It said the natural gas will be transported to a prospective 1,200 megawatt gas-fired, combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Pulau Indah, Selangor, which requires a supply of approximately 137 million standard cubic feet, and to the related industrial areas along the route.

“This project is estimated to be completed and commissioned in the first quarter of 2023,” said PGB.

It added that the project was undertaken by its gas transportation and regasification business as part of the lateral expansion of the PGU, which is regulated under an incentive-based regulation (IBR) framework. “The IBR will determine the cost recovery of the project via a transmission pipeline tariff,” said PGB, adding that it would be using its Islamic financing facility from RHB Islamic Bank Bhd to fund the project cost.

Source: Bernama

Petronas Gas to build RM541 mil pipeline for power plant in Pulau Indah


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is partnering with France’s Technical Centre for Mechanical Industry (CETIM) to further strengthen Malaysia’s technological ecosystem by attracting quality investments.

In a joint statement today, MIDA and CETIM said they had inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to encourage, promote and facilitate cooperation in the niche engineering and manufacturing technology including emerging fields such as smart manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and circular economy.

“Both parties will undertake joint initiatives such as applied research activities, training and attachment programmes, exchange technical information and expertise in the research and development of industrial technology, as well as facilitate collaboration with local higher learning institutes and research organisations in the field of industrial development,” they said.

MIDA chief executive ocer (CEO) Datuk Azman Mahmud welcomed CETIM’s consideration to make Malaysia its regional centre by setting up its Asia-Pacic office here.

He said the MoU was a direct reflection of the agency’s ongoing initiative to enhance Malaysia’s technological landscape in line with the national Industry 4.0 agenda.

“MIDA has always been a conduit between entities such as CETIM, industry players and academia to create effective new collaborations  in line with Malaysia’s investment aspiration agenda to develop high value-added, capital- and knowledge-intensive industries.

“Especially now, given how the pandemic has changed the way we live and do business, there are unprecedented vacuum and emerging opportunities within the technological sphere for our stakeholders to tap upon,” he said.

Hence,  he said, MIDA was  optimistic that this initiative with CETIM would increase the technology capabilities of the country’s  industries and lead to further investments in new and emerging fields.

CETIM CEO Daniel Richet said the centre  and MIDA, having  already been in contact since 2013, would further explore the best ways to handle the issues and challenges in implementing Industry 4.0 in the Malaysian industrial landscape.

“CETIM has a long history and experience in supporting research and development (R&D), innovation and development of all companies, including small and medium enterprises in the mechanical industry, in France, first through national programmes for robotics, additive manufacturing and then internationally.

“We are proud to be associated with MIDA as Malaysia is now embarking on important priorities such as industrial automation and digitalisation,” Richet said.

Meanwhile, the statement said as the principal investment promotion and development authority in the country, MIDA continued  to step up its efforts to drive stronger R&D linkages between the industry and tertiary and research institutions.

To date, MIDA has approved  195 R&D projects  with total investments of RM3  billion, comprising 46 in-house R&D facility, 79 contract R&D companies, 30 R&D companies, 24 R&D status companies as well as 16 national strategic R&D projects.

“The government continues to support the R&D framework in the country through various incentives and nancial assistance,” the statement said.

MIDA, in particular, offers tax incentives to manufacturers with in-house R&D facilities or research service providers.

“An investment tax allowance incentive is offered to entities that are approved as R&D companies, contract R&D companies or in-house R&D facilities whereas contract R&D companies may also opt for pioneer status incentives,” it said.

It added that to further invigorate R&D activities, the firms that received services from R&D-status companies were eligible to claim for double deductions on eligible incurred expenditure to the Inland Revenue Board.

Source: Bernama

MIDA, CETIM to strengthen Malaysia’s technological ecosystem


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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s economy is expected to return to positive growth this year, along with other economies globally on the sustained progress in the vaccine rollouts that will boost consumption worldwide, the World Bank Group said.

Its Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment Global Practice lead economist, Richard Record said the group expects the vaccine deployment can be mostly completed in 2021 in most economies, leading to strong recovery and demand, as well as boosting trade and commodity prices.

“We are projecting a global growth of 4.0 per cent this year. As for Malaysia, we project economic growth this year to range between 5.6 and 6.7 per cent,” he said during the virtual 2021 Malaysia’s Economic and Strategic Outlook Forum (MESOF) titled: “The Post-Covid-19 New Normal – Where Do We Go From Here” on Monday.

MESOF is organised by KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific and co-organised by the Malaysian International Chambers Of Commerce & Industry and Economic Club of Kuala Lumpur.

Record noted that China is among the reasons of growth recorded by the Asian economies and Malaysia included.

However, he cautioned the downside risks to growth is the slow progress of the vaccine deployment and new containment that could lead to another movement control order, adding that consumption is the largest part of the Malaysian economy.

“Risks to growth outlook include the unexpected delay in vaccine rollout, ineffective containment, elevated number of vulnerable households and domestic political uncertainty.

“In the near-term, policies should focus on containing the outbreak and protecting the most vulnerable and on re-building fiscal buffers as economic conditions improve,” he added.

Another panellist, Shan Saeed, chief economist of Juwai IQI Global, said the Malaysian government continues to maintain macroeconomic stability which is moving faster and has surprised the market participants.

“The government is in total control of the economy and will continue to support when required by the economy. Amalgamation of fiscal and monetary policy levers hold the key for economic growth and Bank Negara Malaysia has lot of room to manoeuvre in the monetary landscape,” he opined.

Shan noted that the central bank would use tactical and strategic moves to maintain structural stability in the local currency.

Echoing Record, Shan expects the Malaysian economy to follow China’s dual-circulation strategy to support local businesses and to encourage aggregated demand at the macro level.

Sharing some of his key statistics, he said the Brent crude oil is expected to trade between US$50 to US$70 per barrel, which could help support the ringgit trading at 3.67 to 4.10 per US dollar.

On the gross domestic product, he is a bit modest, seeing the number to hover between 3.0 to 4.0 per cent while the central bank is expected to keep the overnight policy rate at one to 1.75 per cent in 2021.

Meanwhile, Department of Statistics Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the Malaysian Economic Outlook 2021 forecasts the country external trade to grow by 3.9 per cent, with exports of goods expected to increase by 2.7 per cent as a result of the recovery in global trade and supply chains, while imports are expected to rise by 5.3 per cent, contributed by improvement in all types of imports.

“Inflation is likely to make a comeback in 2021 after a deflationary trend this year as the Covid-19 pandemic suppressed demand for goods and services.

“This is thanks to the early rollout of a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine and unleashing of pent-up demand in conjunction with supply shortages, which could result in an inflation comeback,” he said.

Quoting the Ministry of Finance, Mohd Uzir said inflation is projected at 2.5 per cent versus the -1.13 per cent in 2020, signalling a stronger surge in consumer spending.

On the total labour force, he said it is projected to remain at 1.1 per cent while unemployment rate is projected to decrease to 3.5 per cent in 2021 compared with an estimation 4.5 per cent in 2020, as the country’s economy is expected to rebound firmly in 2021 after a dismal performance in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

Source: Bernama

Malaysian economy to recover in 2021 on effective vaccine deployment, says World Bank


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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 22): Malaysia will launch Southeast Asia’s first 5G Cybersecurity Test Lab — a joint effort by national cybersecurity specialist agency, CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM), Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd and Celcom Axiata Bhd.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the test lab will be a model for end-to-end cybersecurity, covering a number of scenarios and offering services inclusive of mobile applications and hardware evaluation.

“It will cover a comprehensive 5G test bed ecosystem comprising technologies such as 5G radio access network (RAN), Edge network and also cloud application.

“The test lab will also carry test cases including Internet of Things (IoT) security, telecommunications security and look at improving readiness in responding to 5G-related cyber-attacks,” he said in a virtual speech at a forum hosted by Huawei in conjunction with the Mobile World Congress 2021 (MWC21) in Shanghai.

Saifuddin said when it comes to the Internet, connectivity, data, capacity building, development, e-business, and cybersecurity, the Malaysian government is looking at it from a holistic approach and it comes out from a national platform called the National Digital Agenda and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) council chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“It is not the best but I think this is the way forward, as some of you might be familiar with the Malaysian version of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC),” said Saifuddin.

He said the MSC was mooted 25 years ago, and now the government is looking at a somewhat new version of MSC.

“It could later be announced as MSC 2.0, but more importantly, we have a national platform, and it refers to the National Digital and 4IR council,” he said.

“We are hoping that we can consolidate our work better and also roll out all of our activities in the best of ways,” said Saifuddin.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia to launch Southeast Asia’s first 5G cybersecurity test lab


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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Malaysia has been identified as the preferred location by German-based company, Leuze electronic GmbH + co.KG, to establish its first optical sensor production plant in Southeast Asia.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said Leuze made the official announcement of its new manufacturing plant’s opening in Melaka last month and it is currently under rapid construction phase.

In a statement today, MIDA chief executive ocer Datuk Azman Mahmud said the company’s decision to move to Malaysia for its business expansion spoke volumes of its confidence in the country.

He said MIDA had initiated the first contact with Leuze in December 2018 and had since been engaging with the company’s team to facilitate the project’s provisions, especially in obtaining the necessary licence approval.

“Malaysia has a mature and diverse ecosystem for the rapid development of sensor applications in the electronics industry.

“The milestone in Leuze’s activities in Malaysia is definitely in line with the government’s aspirations to transform Malaysia into a high technology and knowledge based economy.

“New era of electronics is emerging globally and MIDA is at the forefront of the technologies as Leuze will bring in frontier sensor products and new technology into the country,” he noted. 

Azman said the government will ensure Malaysia remained as the preferred investment location with a favourable environment for quality investments and MIDA is in the vanguard to entice more new investments in the areas of technology and innovation to position Malaysia as a manufacturing powerhouse of Asia.

According to Leuze’s director of global projects operations and project manager, Sebastian Raible, Melaka was selected for the new production site for its excellent talent pool in the region with well-established universities as well as its thriving electronics industry.

“The new production site will operate as Leuze Electronic Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the group’s wholly-owned subsidiary, and will primarily produce sensors for the lucrative market in Asia.

“The plant is being constructed on a site spanning over 17,000 square metres and the first building stage of the plant is estimated to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.

“With a total usable floor space of just below 7,000 square metres in the first expansion phase, the plant targets a demand of 150 to 200 qualified employees,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Germany’s Leuze picks Malaysia to establish its first plant in ASEAN — MIDA


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