2023 Archives - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
contrastBtngrayscaleBtn oku-icon


plusBtn crossBtn minusBtn


This site
is mobile


Important to maintain international business ties

While geopolitical tensions between China and the United States and the European Union (EU) offer Malaysia opportunities to grow trade and investments, experts say consistent engagement with international partners is crucial to ensure such opportunities materialise.

Malaysia’s commitment to fostering strong international relationships and positioning the nation as a prime investment destination is exemplified by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s working trips to Australia and Germany recently.

Speaking with StarBiz, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) secretariat executive director Tan Sri Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria highlighted the importance of maintaining consistent business and international relationships.

She said regular engagement in international relations and diplomacy helps foster strong partnerships.

“You must set the tone at the highest level about Malaysia’s openness for business and interest in foreign investment. So, there is absolutely no problem with the Prime Minister going on his various trip missions,” the former International Trade and Industry secretary-general told StarBiz.

In the backdrop of China-US and EU-China trade tensions, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research head of research Shankaran Nambiar said the geopolitical tensions presented greater-than-normal opportunity for countries like Malaysia as investors and companies seek alternatives to China.

“The ‘anything but China’ policy will encourage countries with investments in China to relocate to Malaysia. Even Chinese companies will want to be based in Malaysia,” he added.

Despite recognising the possibility for Malaysia to do better, Sta Maria said the government must work hard to keep Malaysia competitive at the global stage.

She stressed on the importance of having a presence and engaging with international business communities and policymakers to foster political and economic relationships.“It is important to be seen being on the ground, to get a feel about what perceptions businesses have towards Malaysia. It is important to have those interactions,” she noted.

With Malaysia set to chair Asean next year, Sta Maria expects the prospects for trade and investment to improve.

Commenting on the positives, Nambiar pointed out Malaysia’s stable political environment and abundant supply of educated and skilled workers.

“We also offer a good investment ecosystem, strong investment facilitation and we have agencies such as Malaysian Investment Development Authority that have a long tradition of being investor-friendly. Besides, our economic fundamentals are solid,” he noted.

For example in the electronics and electrical sector, he said Malaysia enjoys a competitive edge, boasting top-notch supporting services and networks in the region.

He said such advantages position Malaysia well for leveraging opportunities in the global market.

When asked if Malaysia needs a free trade agreement (FTA) or other deals with the EU or other economies to gain a competitive edge against its rivals, Nambiar said the country has attempted to sign an FTA with the EU multiple times, but failed.

Instead of engaging in long talks of FTA with the EU, he suggested turning the focus to attracting investments from them.

“Rather than engage in long, costly negotiations with the EU, as a quick fix, we should direct our attention to attracting investments from the EU.

“At a firm-level that would give us quick results. An FTA with the EU should be on the radar,” he added.

On the impact of a potential Donald Trump’s second presidency term, Nambiar suggested it might escalate trade tensions with China, potentially redirecting investments intended for China to Malaysia.

“Trump’s attempt to make America great again will make Malaysia a tiger, since investments that are destined for China could find their way to Malaysia,” he said.

Consequently, he said Trump’s policies could inadvertently bolster Malaysia’s as an investment destination.

In contrast, Sta Maria emphasised the importance of maintaining business relationships regardless of the outcome of the November US presidential election.

“Regardless of who is in the White House, maintaining the economic relationship is important,” she noted.

In a recent survey conducted by Nomura Research, about 40.7% of respondents perceive a Trump second term (2.0) will have a positive impact on Asian economies, compared with his first term.

The survey findings, which received around 60 responses, noted that 33.9% of respondents expect Trump 2.0 to have a similar negative impact as his first term, while only 25.4% anticipate it to be worse than before.

Nomura Research said the findings were intriguing as the respondents suggested that although a second Trump presidency was viewed negatively for Asia overall, a majority expected it to be less detrimental than his first term.

“Our interpretation is that investors believe Trump 2.0 will be less of a shock factor (compared to Trump 1.0), given greater familiarity with his policies. We broadly agree,” the Japanese investment bank noted.

Unlike Trump’s first presidential term, Nomura Research said Asia is more prepared this time.

It added firms and investors have become well attuned to the ongoing trends of US-China decoupling and shifts in global supply chains, and now know how to navigate the situation better.

Source: The Star

Important to maintain international business ties

Content Type:


The development of Batu Kawan Industrial Park 3 (BKIP3) showcases Penang’s great success in the industrial sector, according to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The history of Penang is indeed special, through the Penang Development Corporation (PDC), which has explored the industry relatively early and charted changes in the structure of the country’s economic growth.

“We admit that the surge in industrial programmes and progress in Penang has put pressure on the state’s infrastructure in terms of roads, ports and airports,” he said during the BKIP3 groundbreaking ceremony here on Friday.

Hence, he said the federal government wants to speed up the implementation of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project and the expansion of the Penang International Airport.

Anwar added that he was also aware of the water problems in Penang, especially in industrial areas such as the BKIP (Batu Kawan Industrial Park).

“The good news is that efforts to develop the new Kerian hi-tech industrial area will bring spillover benefits (investment and economic development) to South Seberang Perai (SPS), including Sungai Acheh.

“The supply of water and energy, which is concentrated from Sungai Perak and the Kerian area, will be carried out by the federal government; therefore, the abundant water supply from Kerian will ‘flow’ to Seberang Perai. So, we (the federal government) will speed up the Perak-Penang water deal,” he said.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was also present, said the BKIP3 is the 10th industrial park developed by PDC, which is a continuation of the BKIP.

He said that BKIP3, which will cost a total of RM2.2 billion, proves the commitment of the Penang state government through PDC, to provide more industrial parks to accommodate the demand from foreign and domestic investors.

“BKIP3, which covers ​​407 acres, will be developed in four phases, of which the first phase of over 60 acres is expected to be completed in 2025.

“The development of BKIP3 is expected to bring positive economic spillover benefits, not only to the entire state of Penang but also to the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia, due to the connectivity of quality infrastructure, such as the North-South Expressway, the Penang International Airport, the Penang Bridge, the Penang Port and the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge,” Chow said.

Source: Bernama

Anwar: Batu Kawan Industrial Park 3 showcases Penang’s industrial sector success

Content Type:


The unity government is focusing on economic aspects throughout 2024 to further stimulate the country’s growth.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim conveyed this directive during the first cabinet meeting of the year, while also highlighting a goal of enhancing both foreign and domestic investments into Malaysia.

Unity government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil said the prime minister also shared views about a need for an alignment in the functions of government-linked investment companies (GLIC) in 2024.

“For 2024, the government’s focus is on the economic aspect, and what is seen as a priority is encouraging domestic and foreign investors to invest in Malaysia.

“This is important not only to stimulate economic growth domestically but also to ensure some alignment is done,” said Fahmi, who is communications minister, during a press conference here today.

Asked whether Anwar has set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all cabinet members, Fahmi said the prime minister would organise meetings, especially with new ministers, to clarify the government’s focus.

“I will personally hold discussions with colleagues from the press secretary, including the corporate communication unit, to bring focus to the communication aspect.

“For other ministries, the prime minister will inform the relevant ministers about various focuses, particularly in the economic aspect, such as facilitating and expediting the process of approving applications or speeding up the approval process, especially in the investment sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government agreed to organise ‘Jelajah Madani’ in every state, following its inaugural programme held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium from Dec 8-10, 2023.

Fahmi said the date and time for this year’s programme are expected to be announced next week.

“The first state to host this tour will be Selangor, followed by the neighbouring state, Negri Sembilan,” he added.

Source: NST

PM wants enhanced FDIs, domestic investments and for GLICs roles to be aligned in 2024

Content Type:


Lion Group is set to invest US$6 billion (RM27.5 billion) in Algeria, the country’s ambassador to Malaysia, Abdelhafid Bounour, told SunBiz in an exclusive interview.

Abdelhafid said the Malaysian conglomerate’s substantial investment aligns with Algeria’s strategic vision to be the gateway to Africa and beyond.

“For example, Asian and European countries can export to Africa via Algeria. We have all the necessary infrastructure for this. The same applies to African countries; if they want to send goods to Europe, for instance, they can do so via Algeria. This is because we have the advantage of an association agreement with Europe,” he said.

The EU-Algeria Association Agreement was signed in April 2002 and entered into force in September 2005. The agreement sets out a framework for the EU-Algeria relationship in all areas, including trade. It helps the EU and Algeria trade goods more freely, with some advantages for Algeria. The goal was to create a free trade area by September 2020, which mostly happened, except for a few tariffs that Algeria still needs to remove.

SunBiz reached out to Lion Group and it confirmed the plan to invest in Algeria. However, it did not disclose further details.

“We would like to inform you that we are in the preliminary stage of discussions with the authorities there. As such, we are not able to disclose any information at this time,” the group said via email.

According to the Algeria Press Service, Lion Group has begun procedures for the construction of “structurally important” industrial projects worth US$6 billion in mineral-rich Algeria.

Meanwhile, Algeria Invest stated that Lion Group is interested in the country’s aluminium and steel industries.

“Referring to opportunities for cooperation and investment, the Malaysian group expressed its willingness to explore investment opportunities and establish industrial projects in the aluminium and steel sectors in Algeria.

“The two sides also discussed the opportunities for cooperation and partnership in many areas of common interest, particularly in the context of the Malaysian group’s strategy to set up structuring industrial projects in Algeria,” it stated.

Lion Group was established in the 1930s and today has operations in Malaysia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Cambodia and Laos. It is involved in retail, property development, mining, steel, agriculture and services. Since 1992, the group has ventured into China with operations in retail and property businesses.

The group has three companies listed on Bursa Malaysia with two in Singapore and one in Hong Kong. It has an annual group turnover of about RM10.86 billion (US$2.4 billion) and provides employment for more than 11,000 people.

Source: The Sun

Malaysia’s Lion Group plans US$6b investment, says Algerian ambassador

Content Type:


AmBank Research remains upbeat on the technology sector as it believes the semiconductor industry is on a recovery path.

Citing Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the brokerage said global semiconductor sales have been improving since March 2023, signalling a gradual recovery within the industry.

“International Data Corp (IDC) forecasts global semiconductor revenue to grow by 20.2% to US$633bil in 2024, driven by improvement in average selling prices and demand for dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) chips and content such as artificial intelligence (AI),” it said.

AmBank Research, which maintained its “overweight” stance on the tech sector, believes the sector has bottomed and demand is expected to recover.

The research house said continuous technological advancements in new products within the automotive and consumer electronics sectors, showcasing cutting-edge chips, novel features and advanced equipment tools, would bolster the sector.

Moreover, it emphasised the positive impact of trade diversion through the “China plus one” strategy, which is proving advantageous for local players as multinational corporations redirect their production hubs towards Malaysia and Vietnam.

AmBank Research added that chip fabrication expansions are currently being supported by rising demand for leading-edge and mature process nodes.

Citing US-based Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers Industry (SEMI), the research house said the semiconductor market’s revenue would grow at a seven-year compounded annual growth rate of 10% to US$1 trillion by 2030.

“According to SEMI, semiconductor manufacturers worldwide are forecasting new fab expansions in 2022-2026, with higher spending on 200mm front-end equipment, especially in China,” it added.

Additionally, AmBank Research anticipates the demand for new smartphones from American and Chinese brands, which led to bumper earnings in the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23), will continue into 4Q23 and 1Q24.

“Outsourced semiconductor assembly and test players will continue experiencing improving plant utilisation rates and production yields resulting from the onboarding of new products in the second half of 2024 (2H24),” it noted.

The research house expects a sectoral revenue growth of between 15% and 24% in 2024, supported by higher volume loading on new projects as existing and new customers ride on the demand recovery of consumer electronic products.

As for consumer electronics, Ambank Research expects the segment to remain soft in 1H24 due to weak consumer sentiment and an ongoing inventory destocking cycle.

However, it anticipates an improvement in 2H24, supported by the launch of next-generation smartphones and the hardware refresh cycle.

AmBank Research noted some short-term challenges in the automotive sector due to falling demand for electric vehicles (EVs), influenced by high costs and reduced subsidies.

Despite a projected modest growth in 2024, long-term prospects remain positive, driven by EV adoption and the industry’s shift towards carbon neutrality.

AmBank Research believes growth in other industries will help cushion the slowdown in key segments.

“Some players like Pentamaster Corp Bhd are involved in the medical technology (medtech) segment, which is growing from a low base,” it said.

The research firm said companies are seeing substantial growth in the medtech segment due to an increase in demand for automated processing lines and assembly systems for various medical devices and medical products.

Source: The Star

Improving chip sales signals tech recovery

Content Type:


The year 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, which is an important milestone, said the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM).

Its president Tan Sri Senator Lu Cheng Chuan said Malaysia-China relations “are at the best moment in history.”

“In particular, the implementation of the mutual visa exemption measure between the two countries has facilitated the exchanges and exchanges between the two peoples.

“This will further deepen the exchanges between Malaysia and China, and continue to elevate the comprehensive strategic partnership to a community with a shared future,” he said in his New Year’s message, today.

Lu said he hopes the government would continue to build a better Malaysia and sustainable, inclusive and competitive economy under the framework of the “prosperous economic narrative.”

This includes the National Energy Transformation Roadmap to achieve a low-carbon future, and the 2030 New Industrial Master Plan that promotes a new generation of industrial transformation in the green industrial era.

He said ahead of challenges and opportunities for the Malaysian people and the business community, businesses should continue to explore new development opportunities in the field of innovation and build new impetus for Malaysia’s next round of economic take-off.

He added that 2024 would also see ACCCIM host the 17th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Conference in Kuala Lumpur from September 9 to 11, 2024, an international stage that focuses on global Chinese entrepreneurs that will do its part to attract investment to Malaysia.

Looking back in 2023, Lu said that the global geopolitical situation remains turbulent, noting that the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine wars have not yet ended.

“At present, our country is still facing many economic challenges.

“There are also people’s expectations for reform. How to implement institutional reform, rebuild the system, and continue to pursue the moderate and rational line of governing the country.

“The government must show determination and respond to the people’s expectations,” Lu added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia-China ties at ‘best moment in history’, says business chamber

Content Type:


Marking a significant diplomatic milestone, the recently established Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) between Malaysia and Japan represents a pivotal achievement in their enduring relationship.

As both nations embark on this new chapter of collaboration, especially with the continued influence of the Look East Policy (LEP) introduced four decades ago, there is ample reason for celebration.

Recognising that this achievement is just the beginning, the collaborative spirit should be further fortified with robust and optimised cooperation for mutual benefits.

Taking further action

Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Katsuhiko Takahashi said the latest development is a testament to the commitment of both nations to collaborate on multiple fronts, transcending traditional bilateral relations.

“The relationship took a strategic turn in 2015 when both countries agreed to define their partnership as a strategic one. Fast forward to the present, the collaboration has evolved even further, culminating in the decision to elevate the status to a CSP.

“The upgrading is significant and indicates that we need to work together on a broader range of issues, including climate change, peace, and security, all of which Japan and Malaysia aspire to address,” he said.

Takahashi was referring to the joint statement on the elevation of Malaysia-Japan ties to CSP, announced just before the 50th Japan-Asean Commemorative Summit in Tokyo recently.

During the historic event, both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida witnessed the signing and exchange of notes of the Official Security Assistance (OSA) Grant Aid by Japan.

It includes providing monitoring and surveillance equipment to Malaysia, and consists of drones and fast interceptor boats for monitoring maritime borders.

Elaborating on OSA, Takahashi highlighted Malaysia’s shared values and principles, emphasising the importance of prosperity through free trade and the rule of law, which has contributed to its success as a prosperous nation.

Malaysia’s LEP played a crucial role in laying the foundation for a strong relationship between the countries and has also positioned Malaysia as a key partner in addressing global challenges.

“As both nations navigate the complexities of the current international situation and learn from the challenges posed by Covid, mutual support and cooperation become increasingly vital,” he said.

Regarding people-to-people contact, Takahashi, who actively promotes Malaysia and Japan through his channels, said Japan will continue to work with Malaysia to preserve and promote significant cultural events and exchanges.

The upcoming University of Tsukuba campus in Malaysia, the first Japanese public university to establish a campus outside of Japan, is a clear demonstration of the growing bilateral relations between the two countries.

LEP remains relevant

On a related note, he asserted the LEP framework, which has become an essential cornerstone in discussions between Japan and Malaysia, remains relevant and will continue to be so for many years to come.

Takahashi suggested that regular reviews and modifications are imperative to align with evolving situations in both nations, demonstrating a commitment to adaptability.

“LEP was initiated during its early years to emulate Japanese working ethics, as well as a broader spectrum of economic and technological cooperation, including education and industrial collaboration.

“However, with each passing decade, we have celebrated diversity and made necessary adjustments. For instance, during the 30th anniversary, we introduced high-end technologies into LEP, moving beyond simple manufacturing.

“As we celebrated the 40th anniversary, discussions expanded to areas like disaster risk reduction and addressing the challenges of an ageing society, reflecting the changing needs of Malaysia,” he said.

In response to Malaysia’s plans to include China in its LEP, the LEP is inherently a Malaysian policy, and the decision to include China in the framework rests entirely with Malaysia.

“The fundamental difference lies in the fact that Malaysia-Japan ties have a 40-year head start with an accumulation of people-to-people exchange, know-how expertise, and friendship,” Takahashi said.

He is hopeful that Malaysia and Japan, with their longstanding relationship, could serve as a positive example for other nations looking to emulate the LEP.

On December 18, international reports quoted Anwar as saying that Malaysia needs to be open to revising its LEP, including learning from China, emphasising that “Look East” now includes China as part of its focus.

Source: Bernama

Comprehensive strategic partnership enhances Malaysia-Japan relations

Content Type:


Malaysia should leverage its cybersecurity expertise which is at par with international standards, and attract more foreign companies to invest here.

Fong Choong Fook, executive chairman of cybersecurity company, LGMS Bhd, said Malaysia’s expertise was acknowledged when Japan’s Mitsui & Co Ltd announced the acquisition of a 25 per cent stake in the company in May this year, a move which would allow LGMS to access Mitsui’s vast global network.

“Mitsui is investing in cybersecurity in Malaysia because Malaysia is fortunate to have a lot of cybersecurity talents compared to our neighbouring countries, and we are exporting our talent services to outside of Malaysia,“ he told Bernama.

LGMS has been exploring opportunities for expansion via proceeds raised from its initial public offering, following its listing on the ACE Market in June last year.

Fong, who was appointed by the Ministry of Transport as a part of the Digital Advisory Committee in March this year, also said that Malaysia is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that offers many cybersecurity courses at the university level, which is not offered in Japan.

He also emphasised the importance of intelligence sharing when it comes to cybersecurity, given that a cyberattack can affect the defence of the country as well.

He added that it is important to invest in cybersecurity to ensure that the country remains cognisant of the latest advancements and threats in the field.

As part of efforts to enhance cybersecurity in Malaysia, the government introduced the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024.

The move aims to create a safe, trustworthy, and resilient cyber environment while promoting economic prosperity and improving the well-being of the people.

Last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Cabinet has agreed in principle to the drafting of the Cybersecurity Bill, focusing on regulatory powers and law enforcement.

To this end, the National Cyber Security Agency will be strengthened to become the leading national cybersecurity agency and the enforcer of the proposed bill. 

Source: Bernama

LGMS: Malaysia should leverage its cybersecurity expertise to woo more foreign investment

Content Type:


Strong economic ties are a key foundation of the United States (US)-Malaysia comprehensive partnership.

The US Embassy Kuala Lumpur in a Facebook post yesterday said this year, the country and Malaysia have expanded its economic ties through various mediums, including key visits, meetings and engagements.

Also included are foreign direct investment (FDI) announcements by US companies, who are the largest investors in Malaysia.

“We advanced resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth across the region through the Indo-Pacific Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) and promoted free, fair, and open trade and investment through our host year for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

“We look forward to further strengthening our cooperation and developing local communities while enhancing growth, productivity, and employment in Malaysia,” read the post, which was accompanied by several photos including a picture of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail with US President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden during APEC Summit held in San Francisco last month.

Source: NST

Strong economic ties key foundation of US-Malaysia comprehensive partnership

Content Type:


The rebound in demand for tech products could help Malaysia’s trade grow in 2024, but risks of an economic slowdown in the United States and China could result in the demand to become uneven, according to economists.

The Statistics Department yesterday revealed Malaysia’s exports fell some 5.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) or RM7.6bil to RM122.1bil for November 2023, while imports increased by 1.7% y-o-y or RM1.8bil to RM109.7bil.

Exports in October stood at RM126.2bil and imports at RM113bil.

Nevertheless, analysts think manufacturing exports, especially the electrical and electronic (E&E) products, which account for about 80% of Malaysia’s exports, will lift trade figures going into 2024, underpinned by the demand for semiconductors.

iFAST Capital expects global chip sales to grow rapidly in the next two years owing to the structural increase in demand from increasing digitalisation.

“We expect an 8% y-o-y growth in semiconductor exports in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q24).

“We anticipate that excessive adjustments to production levels will contribute to higher sales numbers in the future as chipmakers are currently underestimating the long-term impact artificial intelligence will have on chip demand.

In addition, the positive influence of base effects and the massive incentives provided by governments globally would drive higher semiconductor sales growth moving forward. This could potentially buoy chip sales,” said its research analyst Kevin Khaw.As an active player in the downstream part of the global semiconductor supply chain, Malaysia is poised to benefit from the industry’s rebound, he added.

Recent announcements of investment by multiple semiconductor giants such as Intel, Infineon, Texas Instruments and Nvidia indicate Malaysia’s strategic positioning to scale in the world semiconductor growth and benefits from the China and United States plus one reshoring activities.

Khaw is expecting the New Industrial Master Plan 2030 to serve as a blueprint for Malaysia’s semiconductor roadmap in the next seven years.

This could buoy both exports and imports in the semiconductor space (approximately 14% y-o-y growth in 2Q25) while maintaining a 2% y-o-y growth in terms of exports and imports in the next two years, he added.

That said, given the continuing weak trade numbers in November, Malaysia’s gross exports and imports are estimated to have declined by 7.6% and 6.2% in 2023, marginally better than the Finance Ministry’s projections (gross exports: minus 7.8%, gross imports: minus 6.8%) contained in its 2024 Economic Outlook report.

The main cause is the slowdown in the global economy from 3.5% in 2022 to 3% in 2023 estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Given that world economic growth in 2024 is forecast to remain at about the same level as 2023, the pick-up in global trade from around 1% in 2023 to 3.5% in 2024 projected by the IMF may be more muted, said Sunway University professor of Economics Dr Yeah Kim Leng.

“Consequently, the around 5% rise in Malaysia’s gross exports and imports expected by the Ministry of Finance may be a tad optimistic unless the Chinese economy, Malaysia’s largest trading partner, picks up steam in 2024,” he told StarBiz.

He added the more moderate growth among Asian economies led by China and India, and possibly Japan could provide the impetus for increased regional trade volume next year as stocks diminishes and supply chains stabilise.

In short, due to low base effects and moderate rise in external demand, Malaysia’s trade performance is forecast to grow by 3% to 5% in 2024.

Yeah believes that the more positive outlook for the E&E sector will underpin the likelihood that Malaysia’s gross domestic product growth in 2024 will exceed this year’s growth estimated at 4% to 4.2% (actual 3.9% in the first three quarters).

Malaysia’s merchandise trade expanded over 20% over two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022 before the cyclical decline in 2023.

Both exports and imports are forecast to expand moderately by 3% to 5% in 2023 due to restocking and supply chain normalisation amidst soft global growth.

Yeah pointed out the anticipated strengthening of investment activities are also expected to lead to improved trade in intermediate and capital goods in 2024.

Japanese investment bank Nomura in a recent report, noted it expects the tech-led tailwind to augment export growth in the 1H24 for Asia, followed by softer momentum in the second half, when it expects a mild US recession to unfold.

Overall, the bank is fairly optimistic that export growth in 2024 should be better than in 2023, given the starting point.

The positive tailwinds for the global economy are visible in the economic indicators.

Nomura’s leading index of Asia ex-Japan’s aggregate exports, or Neli for short, which has a three-month lead time, rose for a third consecutive month to 88.4 last month, signalling positive growth momentum ahead underpinned by an upswing in the global tech cycle.

It pointed out that South Korea’s semiconductor exports rebounded into positive territory in November (plus 10.8% y-o-y) for the first time in 15 months, but warned not to get too optimistic of the momentum going forward.

“Despite rising for the third time in a row, Neli’s latest reading remains quite low, suggesting that, on aggregate, Asia’s export growth could remain below trend over the next few months, especially considering the risk of another economic dip in China,” it stated.

Policy action may already be in the works for the ailing Chinese economy.

The move by large state-owned banks in China to cut their deposit rates by 10 to 30 basis points recently lays the groundwork for the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to cut its policy lending rates in January as Beijing becomes increasingly concerned about the downward pressure on economic growth, Nomura said, lending support to its view of another growth dip there.

The lasting disinflationary pressures and a sharp pivot by the Federal Reserve on rates there have lowered the hurdle for the PBoC to cut rates, it added.

Khaw of iFAST also thinks high priced exports of commodities such as crude palm oil and crude oil will lead to an increase in export earnings in 2024, and positively impact the ringgit exchange rate, notwithstanding the potential investment inflows into the capital market of these sectors, which will also boost demand for the local unit.

Source: The Star

Manufacturing exports to lead the way

Content Type:


THE busy and fulfilling year of 2023 is about to pass. Recalling the highlights destined to be recorded in the history of China-Malaysia relations this year, I feel inspired and hopeful for the future.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Malaysia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as well as the 10th anniversary of President

Xi Jinping’s proposal to build a community with a shared future for mankind, the Belt and Road Initiative, and, China’s principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in neighbourhood diplomacy.

High-level exchanges

This year holds special significance for both China and Malaysia. This year, high-level exchanges remain frequent, writing a new chapter of political mutual trust.

In March, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim visited China and reached an important consensus with President Xi Jinping on building a China-Malaysia community with a shared future – drawing a blueprint for the development of bilateral relations in the new era.

In September, Datuk Seri Anwar went to China for the second time to attend the opening ceremony of the 20th China-Asean Expo, further promoting trade cooperation between the two countries and jointly building a more stable and resilient regional industrial chain and supply chain.

The top legislators of both countries, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China’s Standing Committee chairman Zhao Leji, and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul visited each other this year.

Vice President Han Zheng, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, State Councillor and Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong, and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee vice chairman Jiang Zuojun visited Malaysia, while Deputy Prime

Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and several Malaysian cabinet ministers also visited China. With the impetus from high-level exchanges, interactions between China and Malaysia have been rapidly resumed across various levels, different departments and regions.

There have been successive visits of nearly 50 delegations from China at the vice-ministerial level or above that expand friendship and opportunities in Malaysia and promote solid progress in the China-Malaysia community of a shared future.

This year, pragmatic cooperation steadily advances, achieving “acceleration” of mutual benefit and win-win results.

China and Malaysia signed the First Protocol to amend the Agreement on Expanding and Deepening Economic and Trade Cooperation – laying the policy foundation for further cooperation.

Trading partners

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years, and Malaysia is China’s second-largest trading partner in Asean.

According to China’s statistics, in the first 10 months of 2023, the total number of China-Malaysia bilateral trade reached US$155.73bil, accounting for 20.8% of China’s total trade with Asean during the same period.

In 2022, China’s investment in Malaysia reached US$12.5bil.

Each investment cooperation takes root and yields fruit, becoming a vivid reflection of mutual benefit and win-win situation between China and Malaysia.

Projects in Malaysia

This year, the Belt and Road cooperation moves forward steadily, drawing a “meticulous painting” of development cooperation.

The Kuantan Industrial Park celebrated its 10th anniversary.

With a total of 13 signed projects with a combined investment agreement exceeding RMB46bil, the cumulative industrial output value of the industrial park has reached RMB60bil – creating approximately 20,000 local job opportunities. This development has also driven an annual increase of over 15 million tons in throughput at the Kuantan Port.

The construction of Malaysia’s East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) is also in full swing. As of November, 56.35% of the construction of the ECRL has been completed.

Earlier this month, the ECRL held a launching ceremony for the track laying. The track laying will proceed at a speed of 1.5km per day, and the completion and operation will be around the corner.

By then, the ECRL will serve as a “land bridge” between the east and west coasts of Malaysia and facilitate the industrial chain and logistics between the two countries and even the entire region.

Constructed by China Gezhouba Group, the Baleh Hydroelectric Power Plant in Kapit, Sarawak, has entered the main project construction stage. Upon completion, it will provide sufficient hydro-power resources for the future development of Sarawak.

The double-track railway from Gemas to Johor Baru built by Chinese enterprises has been completed by 94% and is expected to be completed next year. It will greatly increase the flow of people and cargo, and boost the economic development of southern Peninsular Malaysia.

Emerging industry cooperation

This year, emerging industry cooperation is on the rise, becoming a “new engine” of the growth momentum.

As Malaysia launched policies such as Industry 4.0, New Industrial Master Plan 2030, and Digital Economy Blueprint, high-tech enterprises from China are increasing their investment in Malaysia and comprehensively promoting cooperation in the fields of digital economy, green development and new energy.

Geely plans to invest US$10bil to build a high-tech automotive valley in Malaysia, highly praised by Datuk Seri Anwar.

BYD, Chery, Great Wall and other EV car manufacturers are actively expanding into the Malaysian market, and China’s electric vehicles have gained reputation and sales. I believe many people have already seen them on the road.

Global Data Solution’s major data centre campus is now operating in Johor.

Telecom enterprises such as Huawei and ZTE have in-depth cooperation with local companies to provide Malaysian customers with better communication network services and help Malaysia become a digital economic hub in South-East Asia.

Positive energy

This year, people-to-people exchanges widely expanded, injecting “positive energy” into China-Malaysia relations.

The Islam-Confucianism Leadership Dialogue was successfully held with Datuk Seri Anwar in attendance.

The academic circles of the two countries strengthened the dialogue between Confucianism and Islam, setting an example for global civilisations to conduct exchanges, mutual learning, and development and progress.

Since Dec 1, China and Malaysia have implemented reciprocal visa-free policies, widely welcomed by people from all walks of life. Malaysia has become one of the most popular travel destinations for Chinese tourists, and Malaysian friends can go on a trip to China at any time.

We attach great significance to communication and cooperation in education. China Higher Education Fair and China-Malaysia Vocational Education Fair were successfully held and colleges from both countries showed great willingness to explore chances of cooperative education and teachers’ training programme.

The Embassy of China has been actively engaging with the Malaysian people. We hosted three rounds of Embassy Open Day and invited Malaysian youth to experience authentic Chinese culture.

During Ramadan, we carried on the common tradition of helping the needy and conducted nine charity activities to help the people in need to overcome difficulties.

This year, we work together in multilateral fields, playing the “symphony” of a shared future.

China and Malaysia belong to the family of Asian civilisations and are beneficiaries, contributors, and defenders of economic globalisation and multilateralism.

Both uphold true multilateralism and support each other in UNHRC, IMO and other international organisations – standing for international fairness and justice, safeguarding the common interests of the vast number of developing countries.

Since the outbreak of the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has all along devoted its efforts to realising peace and saving lives. China chaired the High-Level Meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli Issue in the UN Security Council, which is firmly supported by Islamic countries including Malaysia.

China has always stood on the side of peace and justice and the right side of history, speaking up for a ceasefire and reinforcing humanitarian assistance.

Time-honoured friendship

China and Malaysia enjoy a time-honoured friendship, which remains unchanged despite the change of times.

The year 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations, making the beginning of a new chapter in the bilateral relationship.

As Confucius said, “At 50, I knew the decrees of Heaven,” so it is necessary for us to learn from historical experience and promote the China-Malaysia community with a shared future going deeper and more substantial.

High-level political guidance is the foundation of the China-Malaysia friendship.

When President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Anwar were discussing governance concepts and human civilisation, I could feel that they found a kindred spirit in each other.

The idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind and the Global Development Initiative (GDI), Global Security Initiative (GSI) and Global Civilisation Initiative (GCI) proposed by President Xi Jinping were highly praised by PM Anwar on various occasions.

President Xi highly approves the Malaysia Madani concept raised by PM Anwar. The spiritual resonance of the leaders of the two countries injects a strong stimulus into the development of China-Malaysia relations.

We should take the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia as the main theme – to strengthen high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, constantly enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, and elevate bilateral relations to a new level.

High-level practical cooperation is the guarantee of China-Malaysia friendship. When travelling along the ECRL construction sites, I felt the locals’ eagerness for the early operation of the ECRL.

When visiting Sarawak, Sabah and other states, I was impressed by the aspiration of local politicians and people to expand cooperation with China.

We should take the China-Malaysia community of a shared future as a guide, work together to implement the respective national development plans, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and achieve common prosperity.

The mutual understanding between the people is the source of China-Malaysia friendship.

Sincerity is the key to a lasting friendship.

The Embassy’s Facebook campaign “One Sentence to Describe China-Malaysia Relations” was well received by Malaysian friends from different ethnicities.

At the Embassy’s Open Day in June, an eight-year-old Malaysian child presented the embassy with a painting of a Chinese bridge at Taiping Lake, and I was touched by the child’s simple sketch and sincere feelings for China-Malaysia friendship.

We should take it as our mission to continue the cause of China-Malaysia friendship, deepen cultural exchanges, encourage mutual visits between young people, and expand academic exchanges and scientific research cooperation so that the fire of friendship can be passed from generation to generation.

Looking forward to next year, China will continue to strive for the new journey of building a modern socialist country in all aspects, and Malaysia will also achieve new development under the leadership of the unity government.

Standing at the new starting point, we should work hard and move forward with determination. With the harvest of this year, let us continue to play the theme of China-Malaysia friendship and jointly write a new chapter of a shared future!

Ouyang Yujing is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Malaysia.

Source: The Star

Towards 50 years of China-Malaysia friendship

Content Type:


D&O Green Technologies Bhd’s headquarters and production facility are located in the Batu Berendam Free Industrial Zone in Melaka.

While the home-grown company may not employ as many workers or have manufacturing facilities as vast as its semiconductor neighbours Infineon Technologies AG and Texas Instruments Inc just down the road, it has definitely made an impact on the global automotive light emitting diode (LED) stage through its 90%-owned subsidiary Dominant Opto Technologies Sdn Bhd (Dominant Malaysia).

The group commands a 7% share of the global automotive LED market. It is currently the fourth-biggest player behind Germany-based Osram, Japan-based Nichia and the Netherlands-based Lumileds and has ambitions to move up the ranking in the future.

“We’re lucky to be in the automotive space because of the current climate commitments that have pushed electric vehicles (EVs) to the forefront. There is a lot of upside for us,” says D&O group managing director Tay Kheng Chiong in an interview with The Edge at his office in Melaka. He is also a director and non-executive deputy chairman of Mega First Corp Bhd (MFCB).

Indeed, with the global push towards EVs via government policies as well as commitments by the automakers themselves, D&O finds itself in a sweet spot, thanks to its early lead in the automotive LED segment.

“Five years ago, a car would only require 500 to 1,200 LEDs. Today, a BMW i7 easily has 1,500 LEDs. It is not just about the growth [of EVs] across the region, but also a structural shift in the way cars are made, where more LEDs are used,” says Tay.

Notably, the red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs found in the interior of the BMW i7 are produced by D&O. Unlike many other semiconductor companies in Malaysia, which are typically contract manufacturers, the group manufactures the LEDs under its own brand.

Tay is not worried about a potential recession slowing the group’s progress as he believes that in good times or bad, the global EV agenda will continue to power ahead given the pledges made by car makers and governments to address the climate change crisis. “As long as the EV agenda moves forward, so will D&O,” he says, adding that there is a lot of excitement for the group moving forward.

SEMI, the global microelectronics industry association, forecasts that between 2023 and 2030, the global semiconductor industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10%, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), automotive and industrial applications, 5G, high-performance computing and edge computing.

Tay sees D&O’s smart LED segment growing rapidly in the next few years. Smart LEDs are those that have an integrated circuit and LED embedded in a single package.

“The next stage in automotive LED technology is system integrated packages. Our smart LED is the beginning of that, where you can integrate more functions and solutions into the LED. The solution of the whole system will be simpler in the future, especially with EVs,” he explains.

BMW’s iX series was D&O’s big break in the smart LED segment. Tay notes that the product has actually been many years in the making since the German marque approached the group to manufacture smart LEDs back in 2015.

The smart LED segment currently makes up a negligible portion of D&O’s sales revenue, but the group expects its contribution to increase to 15% of its sales revenue by 2025.

In a Dec 5 report, PublicInvest Research says D&O’s smart LED sales volume is expected to surge more than 140% year on year (y-o-y) to 85 million units in 2024, accounting for 6% of its FY2024 sales forecast.

“D&O’s smart LED has been successfully qualified by another German automaker. As more car makers are shifting to EVs, smart LED is expected to see strong demand in the coming years as it reduces the connectivity in the car by up to 50%, which can help reduce power consumption and fits well into the definition of the energy-friendly EV concept,” says the research house.

D&O has undoubtedly worked hard to get to where it is today. It invests heavily in research and development (R&D) and keeps abreast of market trends to make sure it is in tune with its key customers.

Tay believes the marketing function of the group is a crucial part in finding out what customers want and it is from there that R&D can take place to cater to those needs. D&O has regional sales offices in seven countries and employs more than 2,700 people.

“Gone are the days when the R&D department develops a product and then tries to sell it to customers. These days, customers are so proficient that you need to know what they want before working out with the R&D department on whether you can create distinctive features for the customer,” he says.

“We spend about 4% of our revenue on R&D. If we have more money, we will spend more because it will help accelerate our pace to move up the ranks. We are in the technology industry and it is expensive because it’s not just about R&D in products, but in materials as well as areas like failure analysis labs and reliability labs. The investment is huge.”

Typically, the gestation period for a first-of-its-kind product, such as the smart LED, is about five years. “The process cannot be rushed,” he adds.

Tay points out that it is normal to encounter hiccups at the beginning stages of mass production and calls it the “tuition fee” the group has to pay to get it right. “This is why the barrier to entry is high in this business — not anyone who wants to do it can get it done.”

D&O’s business model hinges on differentiation and the group is always on the lookout for what Tay calls a “distinctive feature” in order to stand out from its competitors. It is one of two global automotive LED manufacturers that offer a full range of colour spectrum and brightness intensity catering for both interior and exterior applications for automobiles.

“It is either cost leadership or differentiation, you cannot be in between. As we are in a small country without the market size, we have to focus on differentiation. Our product needs to be different and distinctive in terms of brightness and features,” says Tay.

Diversified customer base

About 99% of D&O’s revenue is derived from the automotive industry outside of Malaysia. It serves about 101 customers, 15% of which contribute about 70% to the group’s revenue.

Tay says the group is aware that it also has to pay attention to its smaller customers because it is from this pool of auto manufacturers that some will turn into big contributors to its revenue one day. “About 5% of them will move into the top 15% of customers, so we need to make sure that we take care of these customers, especially those in China, because new players are emerging rapidly.”

Nevertheless, Tay is not interested in capturing a slice of the pie that is all the different brands of Chinese car makers — there are more than 70 of them — as he believes many of them will not be able to withstand the competition.

“The nature of China is such that it starts out crowded and then it starts to streamline. We need to be careful not to trap ourselves there because once these companies close shop, you won’t be able to get your money and payment will become an issue,” he says.

Set to see a comeback in revenue

For the first half of the year ended June 30 (1HFY2023), D&O’s financial performance was weak, impacted by slow demand from China. Its net profit stood at RM1.58 million on revenue of RM434.69 million. This compares with a net profit of RM45.83 million on revenue of RM483.67 million a year earlier.

The group experienced overcapacity during that period as the typical surge in orders that usually happens at the end of the year did not occur in 2022 due to the prolonged lockdown in China.

Plant utilisation was at 75% in 1HFY2023. As the group’s gross margin fell to just 16% in 1HFY2023 from 28% a year earlier, its net profit was also impacted. However, based on its financial performance in 3QFY2023, things seem to be recovering.

The group’s revenue for 9MFY2023 amounted to RM706.64 million, slightly less than the RM735.83 million it achieved a year earlier. Net profit was weaker by 67%, recording RM19.82 million compared with RM61.59 million in the previous corresponding period. The weaker net profit was a result of the weak earnings in 1HFY2023 as it was not able to achieve economies of scale with the lower plant utilisation.

In 3QFY2023, the plant utilisation improved to 81% and Tay sees it hitting almost 90% in 4QFY2023. This means its gross margin will improve significantly given the improved utilisation rate in the second half of the year.

“Economies of scale play an important role in catching up on the margin gap. Margin performance is highly dependent on the utilisation rate,” he says.

For the full year 2023, Tay hints that revenue is likely to exceed the RM983.02 million achieved in 2022. “In fact, we foresee that we will achieve record revenue in 4QFY2023. The gross margin for 4QFY2023 will reach 26% to 27%,” he says.

PublicInvest Research estimates FY2023 revenue to come in at RM1.03 billion while core net profit is projected to be RM57.9 million. The research house believes D&O’s gross margin should normalise to the 27%-28% range in FY2024 compared with an estimated 21% this year, underpinned by an improvement in capacity utilisation, better margins from smart LEDs and headlamps, and higher productivity with more automation in place.

Tay says it is impossible for plants like that of D&O to be fully automated because of its high product mix. “We have about 7,000 to 8,000 parts. It is not possible to be fully automated but we use a lot of Industry 4.0 to automate individual processes.”

No place like home

Asked if it has ever crossed his mind to set up operations elsewhere, Tay says Malaysia is the best place for the semiconductor industry.

“Malaysia is the best. There is no other place like this in the region because we have the best ecosystem for back-end semiconductors, which has been around for more than 50 years. You can’t find it even in our neighbouring countries,” says the 59-year-old.

Interestingly, while D&O’s peers in Penang have a shortage of talent, it is not an issue in Melaka, says Tay. “We have several universities here that produce good graduates,” he adds.

With the two multinational semiconductor companies just a stone’s throw from D&O, Tay says it does have to try to boost its remuneration package by other means to attract talent. But he is aware that the group cannot compete with MNCs in terms of salaries.

“We can complement the salary but not compete because if we were to raise the salaries of our employees, the MNCs would just put out a better offer. Fortunately, we have an ESOS (employee share option scheme) to help us complement the salary,” he says.

The biggest challenge is all the unpredictable events, Tay opines. However, he believes this is just part and parcel of doing business. “As long as you have your own space, make it the best. That’s the only way.”

Notably, D&O’s largest shareholder is MFCB executive chairman Goh Nan Kioh, with a 30.3% stake as at March 31, 2023.

D&O’s share price had shed 16.9% over the past year to close at RM3.55 last Thursday. This values the group at RM4.4 billion.

In terms of price-earnings ratio, D&O is trading at a trailing 12-month PER of 140.94 times — one of the highest in the technology sector. Based on Bloomberg consensus, it has a forward PER of 83.26 times.

According to Bloomberg data, there are currently three “buy”, two “hold” and one “sell” calls on D&O, with an average target price of RM3.62. PublicInvest Research has the highest target price at RM4.37 while Kenanga Research has the lowest at RM2.30.

Success in automotive LED segment a result of endurance and hard work

D&O Green Technologies Bhd group managing director Tay Kheng Chiong is big into endurance road cycling. He spends his weekends clocking in many kilometres in rides and even has a target on the distance he aims to achieve each year.

“We’re close to the end of the year now. If I am still far from my target, I’m going to be cycling many kilometres this weekend. This is one of the things I do to push myself every year,” he jokes.

In many ways, there are a lot of similarities between his passion for endurance road cycling and how he and his team have managed to grow D&O to where it is today. Both require great amounts of stamina and drive to push ahead to reach the next level.

Notably, D&O did not start off as a light-emitting diode (LED) maker for the automotive industry. In 2000, Dominant Opto Technologies Sdn Bhd (Dominant Malaysia) was established, starting out as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), with Tay being a main co-founder.

Dominant Malaysia is the principal operating subsidiary of D&O, which holds a 90% stake. Tan says: “This company went through a steep learning curve. We started off as an OEM and wanted to be a contract manufacturer, but that didn’t work out because an American customer who gave us a contract couldn’t fulfil it. So, that was when we made the big decision to opt into being an original brand manufacturer (OBM).”

Tay says pivoting to an OBM was definitely a big decision for the company because it lacked the branding on the global market, as it was still trying to break into the LED market.

Nevertheless, through pure persistence and armed with good technology, the company secured a contract with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

“In 2004, Samsung released its slide mobile phone with a camera feature and a built-in LED flash — that was the first in the world. Almost 60% of the LED flash came from us,” says Tay.

Asked how he managed to secure the contract from the electronics giant, Tay says it was a lot of hard work.

“Once a month, I would fly to South Korea to meet up with them. We were bootstrapping at that time — we did not have much money and I remember that, on one occasion, my colleague booked me a cheap motel, which I thought was great because I was thinking about the amount of money we have saved.”

As it turned out, Tay’s colleague had unknowingly reserved a motel in the red light district, which caught him by surprise as well.

While he looks back at these incidents and laughs about it, he admits that it was a really tough time, with little money in his back pocket and not knowing whether his many trips would pay off.

Being in the consumer market, the competition comes rolling in fast and, soon after that first contract with Samsung, many other South Korean players started to enter the market as well.

In 2008, the company moved into the TV segment, in which it supplied LED thin-film-transistor backlights.

“At that time, nobody knew who Hisense was, including us. They came to see us in January 2008 to supply them LED backlights for TVs. They had a grant from the government and it was a fair bit of money, but it came with the condition that the TV must be released to the market before the Beijing Olympics in August 2008,” recalls Tay.

That period of time was what Tay calls high pressure, as the group had roughly six months before the TV was to be released to the market, but they pulled it off and Hisense became the first TV manufacturer to introduce LED backlights for TV with D&O’s technology.

Three years later, D&O exited the consumer market, which was becoming crowded with the emergence of Chinese players. It was an intentional decision, and Tay says the company has learnt tremendously from that experience.

D&O was also a supplier to Philips Lighting, which wanted to introduce LED bulbs in 2012. At one point, close to 90% of Philips LEDs sold in Walmart came from D&O.

It was only in 2013 that D&O turned its focus on the automotive LED segment. While it had the technology to manufacture automotive LEDs, it had to put it on hold prior to 2013 because of a patent dispute with German LED maker Osram Licht AG.

“Between 2004 and 2006, we went through a court case with Osram in the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and, subsequently, another one in Germany between 2008 and 2011. Finally, we managed to settle the patent dispute with Osram amicably — a handshake through cross-licensing — and moved on,” says Tay.

On Aug 29, 2013, Osram and Dominant settled their patent dispute and the former licensed certain patents to the latter. The arrangement meant that Dominant would be allowed to assess several other technologies that would be able to enhance its product portfolio.

In 2012, D&O steadily moved into the automotive LED segment. As a testament to its capabilities, BMW came knocking on its door in 2015, seeking it out as a supplier of smart LEDs.

“When BMW came to see us and asked whether we would like to work on smart LEDs for them, the answer was ‘yes’, even though at that time we didn’t really know how to do it. We found a solution in the end, and what you see in the iX and i7 today is from us. The i5 is coming soon, and so is the new Mini,” says Tay.

Today, D&O has 101 customers from the automotive industry, with 99% of its revenue derived from the automotive segment.

Tay credits the group’s success to its core team, who have been with the company for more than 15 years and continue to be innovative and creative and to have a critical mindset. 

“These attributes are the critical success factor for us to be ranked fourth among automotive LED players in the world today,” says Tay.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

D&O’s future looks bright with global EV agenda

Content Type:


Wentel Engineering Holdings Bhd plans to build a new manufacturing plant largely from the proceeds of its initial public offering (IPO).  

The company today signed an underwriting agreement with TA Securities Holdings Bhd for its IPO on Bursa Malaysia’s ACE Market. 

The IPO entails a public issue of 273.2 million new shares and an offer for sale of 46 million existing shares.  

Of the 273.2 million public issue shares, 57.5 million will be made available to the Malaysian public via balloting, 33 million for eligible directors, employees and other persons who have contributed to the success of Wentel Engineering and its subsidiaries, and 38.95 million by way of private placement to selected investors. 

The remaining 143.75 million are allocated for Bumiputera investors approved by Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.

TA Securities will underwrite a total of 57.5 million public issue shares, being the portion made available to the public via balloting. 

“Proceeds from the IPO will be utilised to part finance the construction of two blocks of single-storey factory (with double-storey office) and two blocks of workers’ hostel (new manufacturing plant).  

“The new manufacturing plant is expected to provide the Wentel Engineering with net additional built-up area of approximately 254,381 sq ft for its operations and workers’ accommodation.”

The company will also utilise the IPO proceeds to part finance the purchase of new machinery and equipment for the new manufacturing plant. 

Wentel Engineering executive director Wong Chun Wei said the underwriting agreement is a milestone for the company as it brings it one step closer to being a listed entity. 

“The IPO will provide funding for our expansion and enable the public to participate in our group’s future growth. 

“Our focus is to establish the new manufacturing plant as well as purchase new machinery and equipment to address opportunities in Malaysia and Singapore targeting existing and new customers. 

“Meanwhile we will continue to leverage on our core competencies and strengths in the fabrication of semi-finished metal products, fabrication of metal parts and assembly of finished products to further grow our business moving forward,” he added. 

Wentel Engineering is principally involved in the fabrication of semifinished metal products, fabrication of metal parts and assembly of finished products for the manufacturers of several industries such as security screening equipment, computer numerical control (CNC) machines, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, medical diagnostics equipment, passenger coaches and industrial 3D printers. 

TA Securities, besides being the sole underwriter of Wentel Engineering’s IPO, is also the principal adviser, sponsor and placement agent for the exercise.

Source: NST

Wentel Engineering to build new plant from IPO money

Content Type:


The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has helped to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country, with Malaysia’s cumulative FDI rising by RM14.9 billion to reach RM914.9 billion at the end of the third quarter (3Q) of 2023.

Investment, Trade And Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said FDI from Japan increased by RM4 billion while that from Australia rose by RM1 billion in comparison with 2022.

Japan and Australia are both members of the CPTPP.

In a statement on Thursday, the minister said the largest recipient of the overall FDI is the services sector (50%), followed by manufacturing (42%).

“Based on data collated by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), 181 new projects valued at US$2.94 billion, with almost 11,000 potential employment opportunities, were recorded from CPTPP countries between January and September 2023,” he shared.

In terms of trade facilitation, Tengku Zafrul said, the CPTPP has enabled Malaysian exporters and producers to enjoy preferential tariff treatment via the CPTPP certificate of origin (CO), whose utilisation reached 4,482 COs valued at about RM1.58 billion, for the period of Nov 29, 2022 to Oct 31, 2023.

The top export destination is Japan, followed by Mexico, Canada and Peru, he noted.

“Compared with the same period in 2022, Malaysia’s total exports to the CPTPP countries for the January-September 2023 period showed a 2% increase for iron and steel products, and also for textiles; while petroleum product exports grew by 15%.

“The growth of Malaysia’s exports to CPTPP countries is expected to grow exponentially when these countries progressively eliminate duties,” he said.

The Ministry of Investment, Trade And Industry (MITI) is urging Malaysian businesses and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to fully utilise the CPTPP, which promotes trade and investment by facilitating numerous multilateral benefits through various enablers.

Tengku Zafrul said these benefits include access for the export of Malaysian business and professional services, including in legal, engineering, taxation, accounting, and architecture.

“There are also prospects in computer-related services in Australia, Chile, and Mexico; environmental services in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico; construction in New Zealand and Mexico; and financial services in Peru,” he shared.

Businesses and SMEs can get further information by visiting  https://fta.miti.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/tpp_cptpp.

Tengku Zafrul highlighted that cross-border mobility for professionals among CPTPP countries can also be facilitated through mutual recognition agreements (MRA).

“After an MRA has been developed, different licensing and qualification procedures will be recognised by the relevant authorities or professional services bodies of the respective CPTPP countries.

“Potential collaborations with professionals from other CPTPP countries could enrich businesses’ pool of expertise, leading to knowledge transfer, talent development and the creation of a diverse Malaysian workforce,” he said.

In addition, Tengku Zafrul said, CPTPP’s e-commerce provisions reduce trade barriers, allowing Malaysian businesses and consumers to benefit from easier access to online trading of goods and services with other CPTPP countries.

This is facilitated by encouraging and enabling cross-border data flow for businesses and SMEs in CPTPP member countries, he said.

“This enablement includes the CPTPP countries’ commitment to not impose ‘localisation requirements’ that would force businesses to build data storage centres or use local computing facilities in CPTPP markets; commitment to not impede companies from delivering cloud computing and data storage services to essential and expanding CPTPP markets; and commitment to cybersecurity, as well as privacy and consumer protection through, among others, each country’s national computer emergency response teams,” he explained.

On another note, he said the CPTPP’s provisions for government procurement (GP) will provide Malaysian businesses equal opportunities to bid for government projects in other CPTPP countries such as Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam.

“In fact, under the GP provisions, Malaysia’s initial and landing threshold for construction services is one of the highest compared to other CPTPP parties. Malaysia was also granted one of the longest transitional periods for construction services,” he said.

According to Tengku Zafrul, the CPTPP also recognises the importance of SMEs through two critical initiatives, namely information sharing, and enabling the SMEs to capitalise on the benefits and opportunities from the CPTPP, with the aim of integrating them into the global supply chain.

“MITI is currently working closely with the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development (KUSKOP) to improve the data collection of SMEs.

“This is an important step to enable the government to construct a customised supporting mechanism for Malaysian SMEs to join the global supply chain seamlessly, and to have at least 90 per cent of Malaysian SMEs digitalise their business, which is one of the aims of the 12th Malaysia Plan,” he said.

Other CPTPP provisions which are equally important in facilitating SME growth include protection on intellectual property rights (IPR) via a regional standard of protection and enforcement across the Asia Pacific region.

The provisions also include assisting SMEs in overcoming obstacles in the use of e-commerce and encouraging businesses to voluntarily adopt environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and standards to ensure a sustainable and resilient industry.

To this end, he said, MITI’s newly launched National Industry ESG Framework (i-ESG Framework) will support Malaysian businesses and SMEs to integrate ESG principles systematically and seamlessly into their operations.

Elaborating further, Tengku Zafrul said CPTPP countries have also committed to eradicate bribery and corruption in international trade and investment, providing greater assurance to businesses and SMEs that the smooth movement of goods and services among CPTPP countries can be executed with no hidden cost.

Another significant CPTPP benefit is capacity building, particularly in agricultural, industrial and services sectors, as well as in the promotion of education, culture and gender equality.

“By fostering, for example, relationships between different businesses within the same industry or supply chain from identified CPTPP countries, industries and SMEs can learn from each other, and share best practices.

“Collaborative efforts can also make it easier for SMEs to compete internationally,” he noted.

Tengku Zafrul said CPTPP members are currently embarking on a review of the agreement to ensure relevancy, taking into account current economic, ESG and geopolitical developments globally.

“MITI will work closely with other CPTPP countries’ working teams to address issues such as supply chain resilience, decarbonisation, emerging technologies, and artificial intelligence, while also strengthening policy implementation and regulations, developing industrial capabilities, and enhancing export promotion.

“The ministry will always ensure that Malaysia’s interests will continue to be promoted and safeguarded via the country’s membership of all free trade agreements,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia’s FDI grows by RM14.9 bil in 3Q with the help of CPTPP — Tengku Zafrul

Content Type:


For 40 years, the Look East Policy (LEP) – which was initiated by Malaysia in 1983 – has continuously witnessed shared prosperity, technological innovation and cultural exchange not only with Japan, but also with South Korea.

South Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Yeo Seung Bae told Bernama’s International News Service it is crucial to note that LEP is still relevant for the next generation of leaders and citizens, both in Malaysia and South Korea.

In 2023, the ties with South Korea that reached its 63rd year witnessed a new level of vibrancy which undoubtedly could be further boosted with a concrete understanding through two definite avenues – elevation of ties to Strategic Partnership and a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

With scheduled high-level diplomatic exchanges in the pipeline next year, Yeo is hopeful that both goals could be accomplished soonest possible.

“I have mentioned on various occasions throughout this year that LEP should be upgraded into a new Look East Again Policy (LEAP) for the next 40 years. LEAP signifies the intention to elevate the bilateral relationship to a higher level.

“If the past LEP led to cooperation in the economic and industrial sectors between South Korea and Malaysia, the 21st century challenges and opportunities require an upgrade in our relations – a Strategic Partnership.

“Discussions are in the final stages to draft a Joint Statement on it and an official announcement is expected next year. Through the Strategic Partnerships’ establishment, both countries will actively promote communication and collaboration in maintaining regional peace and stability.”

Yeo said this in an exclusive interview recently when asked about the year-long celebration which covered various LEP commemorative events celebrating the 40th anniversary of LEP organised by the embassy, reflecting the achievements and the current status of bilateral relations.

The LEP which he described as the powerful driving force behind the development of economic cooperation between the two countries has now evolved into industrial collaboration, and recently diversified into new areas such as green energy, digital technology, and even culture.

“LEP isn’t just about bonding at the national level, but it also involves connecting citizens through South Korean community activities in Malaysia,” he said.

Yeo further noted the LEP saw over 420 South Korean companies, including Samsung, SK, Lotte, POSCO, Hanwha, CJ Group and OCI Company Ltd contributing to Malaysia’s economic development and South Korea emerged as Malaysia’s eighth largest trading partner and seventh largest investment partner.

Specifically on FTA, Yeo pointed out that the resumption of it could bring other spillover effects in the economic sector and he is positive about the progress on negotiations that has been made to date.

The envoy shared that despite possessing a highly attractive environment for foreign investment, Malaysia is relatively undervalued and less known to South Korean companies compared to Indonesia and Vietnam.

“However, in a survey conducted in 2023 targetting our companies operating in Malaysia, these companies gave the Malaysian investment environment a score of over 8 points out of 10, with over 36 per cent expressing intentions for new or expanded investments,” he said.

Thus, to foster more collaboration and investment between the two countries, efforts are needed to bridge the perception gap among these companies.

“The most effective approach is believed to be the resumption of bilateral FTA negotiations, which were halted in 2019.

“An FTA would not only reduce tariffs but also provide a stable economic cooperation platform for businesses in both countries, opening new opportunities. In particular, it could send a clear signal to South Korean companies that Malaysia is a trustworthy and promising investment destination.

“Fortunately, both governments are aware of the importance of resuming bilateral FTA negotiations and are currently in discussions. Swift resumption of these negotiations is eagerly anticipated,” Yeo added.

South Korea, which already has a separate FTA with the regional bloc ASEAN, has yet to conclude one with Malaysia ever since both nations commenced negotiations on the bilateral FTA in 2019.

According to the South Korean embassy in Malaysia, the bilateral trade volume for 2022 reached US$26.7 billion.

As of November 2023, the recorded volume stands at US$22.7 billion – a figure significantly higher than the approximately US$2.83 million recorded in 1965.

Malaysia is the third-largest trade partner of South Korea in Southeast Asia.


Meanwhile, truly believing in the high potential of defence industry cooperation between the two nations, Yeo highlighted he would want to build robust defence partnerships across all areas – land, sea, and air, especially during his stint here.

Appreciating the Malaysian government’s decision to choose the FA-50, the light combat aircraft as its strategic military asset, South Korea is committed to extending collaboration beyond the sale of the aircraft.

“Given Malaysia’s possession of advanced industrial infrastructure, there is significant potential for cooperation in the defence sector, which is a nexus of technology, strategy and resource management.
“Particularly the maritime cooperation, it can greatly benefit the relationship and foster Malaysia’s development as well.

“Transfer of technology and know-how from South Korea will contribute to enhancing local production capabilities and impacting Malaysia’s overall economy and industry. I firmly believe that a more extensive and profound partnership in this sector will follow,” he said.

In February this year, Malaysia picked South Korea’s FA-50 light combat jet as announced by the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI).

The South Korean company said the contract worth US$920 million will see it deliver 18 FA-50 jets, with the first delivery due for 2026.

Source: Bernama

FTA, strategic partnership to take S Korea-Malaysia ties to greater heights — Envoy

Content Type:


In Southeast Asia, Malaysia has a good chance of reaching its 2030 target of reducing emissions intensity by 45% of its gross domestic product, owing to the strengthened commitment by industry players and the government, as well as the abundance of renewable energy (RE) sources to stabilise the grid when transitioning away from coal, says Anders Maltesen, ABB Energy Industries’ senior vice-president of Asia.

This is something the country should be proud of, he says, taking into consideration that Malaysia’s population is set to grow 25% by 2030 to surpass 40 million, which would mean the nation needs at least 60% more energy than what is available today. Malaysia’s net zero journey — which it pledged to achieve as early as 2050 — is more important now than ever, he says.

“If we look at what the government has done until now, it’s on the right track and just needs to keep adapting the policies, as this is a journey, not only to 2030 or 2050 but beyond.”

Shifting to electric vehicles (EVs) is a good and promising trend, says Maltesen, but without renewable power from the grid driving the vehicle, the purpose is lost. Other than that, improving EV efficiency is key.

“Different EVs have different efficiency levels, even though the battery is the same size. But there are ways to get more mileage out of the same number of electrons used, and that is what we’re doing,” he says.

More importantly, the electrification of industries is crucial. Some of the most polluting and carbon-intensive industries are cement, petrochemical, and iron and steel, as they make up two-thirds of the world’s carbon emissions, says Maltesen. It is possible to replace some of the processes that use fossil fuels to generate energy, for instance, with electricity.

ABB recently partnered with Coolbrook, a Finnish company that has developed groundbreaking technology to electrify chemical cracking.

“Chemical cracking is what is done to make cement, where, basically, the raw materials are heated to an incredibly high temperature to change its chemical composition. The same thing is done with petrochemicals, iron and steel, too.  Coal can now be electrified,” he says.

Positive on carbon capture

Maltesen also observes the potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Malaysia. One usage of CCS, as seen in Australia, is in existing oil and gas fields. Oil is no longer being extracted from these fields, but natural gas still is; and stakeholders are planning to develop a carbon hub in these areas.

“Existing gas processing plants are offshore and will be converted to capture carbon dioxide (CO2), which will then be injected through the same pipelines to depleted oil and gas fields to be stored underground,” he says.

Petronas Carigali, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), is deve­loping the Kasawari gas field, an offshore gas field in the Malaysian part of the South China Sea. The CCS project is expected to capture up to 3.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emitted by flaring at the gas field each year.

Maltesen says in Asia, Malaysia has some of the biggest depleted fields available to establish hubs to collect CO2 and inject it back into the ground. It can also be done closer to shore.

“It will be easier because when CO2 has to be transported; the shorter the distance, the less costly it is. ABB is very focused on CCS. It can be a complicated process; dealing with CO2 is different from dealing with conventional oil and gas, as it can become very corrosive in different compositions and conditions,” he says.

One reason not to have too much CO2 in natural gas is that it corrupts the pipe. If it corrodes, it means that the whole investment can be wiped out in no time, like the Chevron Gorgon project in Australia.

The project failed because the CO2 injection system was not ready when gas production started at Gorgon in early 2016. Then Chevron found excess water in the system mixed with CO2, which formed an acid that threatened to corrode the equipment.

What ABB wants to do with partners in this space is provide a digital twin that simulates at fast speeds all possible scenarios, so that the best one can be adapted for stable reinjection of CO2. “If you pump too hard, you can end up with increased temperatures that can liquify the CO2, which can be disastrous.”

A funding and talent challenge

According to Maltesen, the biggest challenge is funding, and it is especially pressing for technology and solutions that are not economically feasible yet.

“There is no way it is not going to cost money. At the end of the day, people like you and me will pay for it either through higher taxes or higher energy prices. It doesn’t happen for free,” he says.

Given that there are new technologies and innovations coming into the landscape, however, he says the sector would require more talent equipped for future technologies. This is something already seen in the EV space, where mechanics are being upskilled to handle EVs and new talent is coming into the industry with technological knowledge.

For technologies such as CCS, it is not as common. ABB has partnered with Imperial College London, where the company has built a small-scale demo CCS plant. The college can educate about 4,500 students as part of its engineering degree course. Maltesen believes Malaysia has the potential to be an education hub in this space as well.

“Malaysia has a huge potential to be a CCS hub because of the capacity, and Petronas is leading the way. It would make sense to replicate an educational programme here in Asia and Malaysia, together with industries, the government and educational institutions,” he says.

“I would love to see us collaborate with stakeholders to train the talents for the future. I’m sure that will be a massive payoff.”

Source: The Edge Malaysia

Energy: Malaysia’s potential in the transition

Content Type:


Aurelius Technologies Bhd (ATech) will continue to invest in technology infrastructure as the electronic manufacturing services (EMS) provider remains prudent and cautiously optimistic navigating through the unpredictable global market.

Its plans to diversify and enhance its Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure while its automotive manufacturing segment will undertake more selective investments to help the group onboard new customers and projects to manufacture components for electric vehicles.

As at Dec 11, 2023, ATech’s order book stood at about RM473mil.

For the quarter ended Oct 31, ATech posted 25% year-on-year (y-o-y) drop in revenue to RM98.8mil, with its communication and IoT products contributing RM79.05mil or 80% to the revenue.

Its electronic devices contributed RM16.2mil to revenue and semiconductor components the remaining RM3.55mil.

Despite a decline in revenue, ATech managed to retain a pre-tax profit of RM13.5mil, largely attributed to its operational cost optimisation measures and the strengthening of the US dollar.

ATech’s net profit for the quarter, however, fell 21% y-o-y to RM9.7mil or an earnings per share (EPS) of 2.47 sen.

Year-to-date, the group posted a decline of 12.4% y-o-y in its revenue to RM302.46mil.

For the nine-month period, communications and IoT products remained as the main contributor at RM243.2mil, followed by electronic devices at RM42.23mil and semiconductor components at RM17.03mil.

The group recorded a gross profit of RM35.1mil for the nine months on the back of the increasing total percentage of contribution by the electronic devices.

This was largely attributable to the deferment of orders as customers are believed to prioritise the depletion of their high inventory holdings.

ATech’s net profit for the nine months rose 6.17% y-o-y to RM28.31mil or an EPS of 7.2 sen. It did not declare any dividend for the quarter.

Source: The Star

ATech to diversify and enhance IoT infrastructure

Content Type:


TSA Group Bhd, a distributor and supplier of ferrous and non-ferrous metal and other industrial hardware products, as well as a manufacturer and processor of stainless steel pipes and other metal products, aims to raise RM42.53 million from its initial public offering (IPO) on the ACE Market.

TSA group managing director Chew Kuan Fah at the prospectus launch today stated, “The main objective of this listing exercise is for TSA to enter the Malaysian capital market and for business expansion.”

He said that from the RM42.53 million raised, 47% of it will be used to repay existing borrowings within five months of the listing. He explained that the move is a step towards solidifying the group’s financial base, reducing debt, and minimising interest costs, thereby enhancing financial resilience.

Another 29% of the proceeds raised are allocated towards strengthening its working capital over the next 36 months and in improving operational efficiency.

Simultaneously, it is investing 12% of the proceeds into the establishment of its Semenyih manufacturing premises.

Chew said that this investment is part of its growth strategy, and the plant will begin operations within 24 months post-listing. The remaining funds will cover the listing expenses.

TSA group primarily adopts a direct distribution channel. Customers buy its products for use in fabrication (47.5%), manufacturing (16.1%), construction (5.0%), and plant maintenance (4.6%).

Malaysia is TSA’s largest market, accounting for RM182 million (77.6%), RM239.7 million (79.2%), RM293.6 million (82.2%) and RM178.5 million (81.0%) of its total revenue in FY20, FY21 and FY23 respectively.

Its subsidiary, TSA Industries serves customers in Malaysia and other countries with the exception of Singapore and Batam, Indonesia which are mainly served by its subsidiary TSA Singapore.

In FY21, FY22 and FY23, Singapore was the group’s largest foreign market, contributing RM30.2 million (10%), RM39.6 million (11.1%), and RM32.7 million (14.8%) to its total revenue, respectively.

However, previously in FY20, Thailand held the position of its largest foreign market representing RM20.3 million (8.7%) of the company’s total revenue for the year.

Of the 77.33 million new shares, 15.46 million ordinary shares are open for application by the Malaysian public, another 15.46 million for eligible employees, 38.66 million via private placement to bumiputera investors approved by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, and 7.73 million through private placement to selected investors.

TSA will have a market capitalisation of RM170.12 million upon listing based on the issue price of RM0.55 per share.

AmInvestment Bank Bhd is the principal adviser, sponsor, underwriter, and placement agent for this IPO exercise.

TSA is scheduled to be listed on the ACE Market on Feb 2, 2024.

Source: The Sun

TSA Group aims to raise RM42.5 million from IPO

Content Type:


MALAYSIA has been actively promoting rooftop solar generation since 2005, with various legislation and incentive schemes.

It began with the launch of the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) programme in 2005 to increase the uptake of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. Subsequently, the National Suria 1000 programme was introduced in 2007 to encourage the installation of solar PV systems in residential and commercial properties.

This was followed by the Renewable Energy Act 2011 and the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Act 2011 that introduced the Feed in Tariff (FiT) scheme, to purchase electricity generated from renewable resources at a fixed rate and period. FiT was well-received, particularly by oil palm estates and smallholdings because the mechanism is mainly for biogas, biomass and geothermal mini-hydro.

To increase the number of rooftop solar energy producers, the Net Energy Metering (NEM) was introduced in 2016, and it has undergone two reiterations – NEM 2.0 and NEM 3.0 – to attract more commercial and residential consumers. Under NEM, a consumer installs a solar PV system on the rooftop primarily for self-consumption. Any excess energy generated is exported to the grid, and the value of the sale is offset by the value of electricity bought from the public utility, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB).

In short, consumers only pay for the difference in amount between their monthly consumption and the solar energy sales, which will be reflected in their TNB electricity bill.

“NEM 3.0 that is currently in place is set to run until 2023,” says Ruzaida Daud, deputy director of renewable energy capacity procurement init at the Energy Commission or Suruhanjaya Tenaga (ST). “Consumers are encouraged to install solar PV systems to hedge against the rising cost of electricity,” she adds.

Even then, solar panels remain a fairly rare sight on residential rooftops because many homeowners feel it is not cost effective enough.

“I believe the price of solar PV systems is the main factor deterring Malaysian homeowners,” says Nirinder Singh, the former managing director of TNBX, a wholly owned subsidiary of TNB, which currently offers renewable energy solutions for homes and businesses. “In addition, our country’s tariffs are among the lowest in Southeast Asia, so it doesn’t create the urgency for homeowners to save on their electricity bills by installing solar PV systems.”

He also points out, “The bigger the size of the solar PV system, the more cost efficient. Currently, a solar PV system costs between RM4,000 and RM5,000 per kilowatt peak (kWp), and includes the solar panel, inverter, other Balance of System (BOS) equipment, workmanship and after sales warranty offered by the service provider.

“Since the price of the solar PV system is considered to be relatively high, the payback period was fixed at 10 years under NEM 3.0.”

“Savings, however, are more visible for customers with higher electricity bills that require bigger systems,” he explains. “True savings are best enjoyed when the payback period ends between five and seven years within the first 10-year period. After that, the consumer has to start considering reinvestment costs for battery storage.”

It is estimated that when the monthly electricity bill exceeds RM400, installing a solar PV system may work out to be more cost-effective in the long run. But even that may not happen.

Nirinder points out that homes generally use less energy during the day but that is when the solar PV system generates optimally. Battery storage (usually an additional cost) is therefore required or else the energy produced is wasted and there are no real savings in electricity bills.

Ruzaida says that savings on electricity bills and returns on investment differ from system to system. It also depends on the electricity consumed, rooftop space, installation capacity allowed, and capital expenditure incurred for installation.

She explains, “For example, a household with a monthly electricity bill of RM200, may save about RM123 on their bills based on a simple payback period of 10 years. But they have an upfront cost of RM14,000 for a 2.38 kWp installation. Houseowners in this category may not find any benefit in having a rooftop solar installation.”

Despite schemes such as FiT, NEM 2.0 and NEM 3.0, more can be done to boost rooftop solar PV installations in residential properties. Nirinder suggests allowing larger size solar PV systems, particularly for households contending with high electricity bills. This will enable them to actually recover a higher percentage of their investment costs. Currently, home solar PV systems are subject to size limitations.

“In addition, the one-to-one offset rate for excess energy exported to the grid could be extended to 20 years, instead of the current 10 years,” he adds. “The 10-year limit prevents homeowners from enjoying the sale of their solar energy; the current focus is on offsetting costs, not making a profit.”

“The declining cost of solar PV systems owing to technology upgrades and market competition, together with supportive government policies and incentives, are expected to drive future growth in our recovering economy,” he notes.

“Solar panel prices are not regulated by ST,” says Ruzaida. “Our role is to issue licences for installation and the size of the system – it must be safe and efficient.”

“Usually, solar panels last 25 to 30 years, and after this period their efficiency starts to decline significantly, with solar production output falling at 0.8% annually. This rate of decline is called solar panel degradation rate, and it varies according to the quality of manufacturing,” she added.

This article is adapted from Vol. 23 of Energy Malaysia, a quarterly publication by the Energy Commission. The original article can be downloaded for free at www.st.gov.my.

Source: The Sun

Home rooftop solar energy system – a reality check

Content Type:


Malaysian companies must be equipped to meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards to secure their place in global supply chains.

“Globally, many governments are dealing with ESG and sustainability issues through regulations. What this means is that not only must the financial system keep in step with global trends and work with their clients quickly to prepare them for this additional level of scrutiny, but companies here in Malaysia and around the world also need to be ready to meet higher ESG compliance standards to secure their place in global supply chains,” said Promod Dass, deputy group CEO, RAM Holdings Bhd, and CEO, RAM Solutions Sdn Bhd.

He said this in an article titled “Right Standards for Environment, Social and Governance Performance” featured in a compilation in the “ESG: A Global Perspective, Local Opportunity and Challenge” publication of the Financial Institutions Directors’ Education Forum.

Promod highlighted some of the major global ESG regulatory changes taking place that include the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, the UK Sustainability Disclosure Requirements, and the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.

Collectively, some of these regulations would enhance transparency in the sustainable investment market. Their purpose is to prevent misleading environmental claims (known as “greenwashing”) about investment products and to increase the flow of investment into sustainable products to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Malaysia’s regulators, through the Joint Committee on Climate Change together with financial and capital market participants, have been preparing for these global ESG trends since Sept 2019, which has led to awareness and changes in business approaches. It is now time for Malaysian corporates to transform and position themselves well in this ESG-centred world,” Dass said.

Source: The Sun

Malaysian firms must meet standards for place in global supply chains: RAM

Content Type:


Sarawak will produce green hydrogen on a large scale mainly for the Japanese market under a tripartite agreement inked between Sarawak Economic Development Corp (SEDC) and two Japanese firms.

The tripartite agreement, which involved SEDC’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd, Japan’s oil firm Eneos and trading house Sumitomo Corp, signifies a strategic alliance for the H2ornbill project within the Sarawak H2 Hub framework in Bintulu.

This SEDC-led initiative aims to establish a robust and environmentally sustainable clean hydrogen supply chain, according to the state-owned agency.

The agreement outlines a comprehensive strategy to generate approximately 90,000 tonnes per annum of clean hydrogen, with 2,000 tonnes allocated for local consumption in Sarawak and the remainder for the export market.

SEDC Energy will take a key role in overseeing the technical aspect of hydrogen production, with a focus on integrating and optimising the energy procurement process to ensure efficient project execution.

Eneos will provide technical support for the production, and also contribute proprietary technology to transport the hydrogen by sea at room temperature. Sumitomo, on other hand, will evaluate project feasibility and financing.

Eneos and Sumitomo will consider establishing a special-purpose company with SEDC Energy to undertake the mega-project, one of the two hydrogen projects planned for Sarawak H2 Hub.

“The goal is to commence clean hydrogen production by 2030, and all the involved parties will enter the front-end engineering design (Feed) phase.

“Bintulu was chosen as the hub’s location due to the existing petrochemical industrial complex, which offers the advantage of utilising current facilities for methylcyclohexane production, a means of transporting hydrogen to Japan,” said SEDC.

According to SEDC, the availability of hydroelectric power is the driving force behind the participation of Eneos and Sumitomo in the Sarawak H2 Hub project as the state’s hydro-powered grid system will ultimately produce cleaner hydrogen, making it an attractive prospect for the investors.

The hydropower will be used to electrolyse water to produce green hydrogen without emitting carbon dioxide.

SEDC said the H2ornbill project aligns with Malaysia’s New Energy Transition Roadmap and Sarawak’s Hydrogen Economy Roadmap, which is aimed at propelling Sarawak to become a developed state by 2030.

This collaborative effort, said SEDC, will bolster Malaysia’s clean energy aspirations as acknowledged within the national policy framework.

On the sidelines of the recent Asia Zero Emission Community or Azec in Tokyo, Sarawak Deputy Minister for Energy and Environmental Sustainability Datuk Dr Hazland Abang Hipni highlighted the significance of the SEDC Energy-Eneos-Sumitomo partnership to Japan Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Ken Saito during a courtesy call on the latter. Officals from Eneos, Sumitomo and SEDC Energy also presented updates on the H2ornbill project to Saito.

Besides H2ornbill, Sarawak Energy is also in collaboration with three South Korean multinationals, namely, Samsung Engineering, Posco and Lotte Chemical to develop a green hydrogen derivative facility known as H2biscus project.

The project has also earlier this year completed its feasibility studies and progressed to the Feed phase.

According to Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, the final investment decision on the H2biscus project and H2ornbill project is expected to be made in first-quarter 2024 (1Q24) and 2Q25, respectively.

He said the two projects, which would be the cornerstone of Sarawak’s green hydrogen economy and a benchmark world-scale project, have the potential to produce up to 238,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per annum.

Other than producing hydrogen, he said H2ornbill and H2biscus plants will also create new hydrogen-based industries, such as the manufacturing of electrolysers, fuel cells and the green chemical indutry.

Last month, Abang Johari said the H2ornbill and H2biscus projects are expected to generate an additional RM2.4bil to Sarawak’s gross domestic product by 2030.

SEDC Energy is also developing a hydrogen production plant and refuelling station to support the Kuching Urban Transportation System (Kuts) in Rembus, Samarahan Division. The plant project is expected to be completed in 2025.

The Kuts, comprising three lines, is estimated to cost RM6bil and will utilise a hydrogen-power autonomus rapid transit (Art) system (a hybrid of train, bus and tram).

The ART is expected to be introduced in stages from 4Q25, starting with the Blue line and followed by the Red and Green lines, covering a total of 70 kms.

Source: The Star

Sarawak to produce green hydrogen for Japan

Content Type:


Halal pharmaceuticals are ranked 2nd after the food industry in terms of size, says Amrahi 

The halal pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia has grown and developed in recent years. Focusing on adhering to Islamic principles in the production and distribution of medicines, Malaysia has become a leader in halal pharmaceuticals, supported by stringent certification processes, regulatory bodies and industry collaboration. 

The Evolution of Halal Pharmaceutical

Malaysian halal pharmaceuticals have gone a long way and it is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim). 

Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) president Prof Amrahi Buang said the industry has evolved since the introduction of the Halal Pharmaceuticals Standard MS2424 in 2012, expanding to include biopharmaceuticals in the 2019 edition. 

“Halal pharmaceuticals are ranked second after the food industry in terms of size, while the uptake has increased from year to year since 2012,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR)

Meanwhile, Farmasi Al Arif Sdn Bhd CEO Muhammad Farahi Arif said the industry’s growth is notable, with the Malaysia export value of halal pharmaceuticals reaching RM401 million in 2019, compared to RM395 million in 2018. 

“The growth can be attributed to rising global demand for halal-certified products, including medicines and healthcare items. 

“The rising Muslim population worldwide and the supportive government initiatives also facilitate the development of the industry,” he told TMR

Muhammad Farahi also emphasised the preventive care segment’s growth, reflecting a broader market shift towards holistic health approaches.

Leading the way are key players such as Duopharma Biotech Bhd, Pharmaniaga Bhd, and Ain Medicare Sdn Bhd, together with the Halal Development Corp Bhd (HDC) playing a crucial role in supporting the industry at both national and international levels, while also paving the way to more new players in the halal pharmaceutical industry. 

Ideal Nauticare Sdn Bhd MD Muhamad Faris Badarudin said robust regulatory frameworks, international collaborations, effective marketing highlighting halal certification, and active participation in global trade events further enhance Malaysia pharmaceutical’s presence. 

“Leveraging Islamic finance support, Malaysian companies continually invest in technology and production capacities, solidifying their role as key players in the expanding global halal pharmaceuticals sector,” he said. 

Meanwhile, a source in the industry told TMR that industry leaders not only demonstrate a commitment to halal compliance but also underscore their standing as key players shaping the landscape of the halal pharmaceutical sector in Malaysia. 

“This surge in interest extends beyond local markets, with companies aiming to penetrate the international markets, reflecting the industry’s broader reach and potential for sustained development,” he added. 

Jakim Certification Processes and Standards

To achieve halal certification, pharmaceutical products must be registered with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA) before undergoing a voluntary halal audit by Jakim. 

“The certification decision is business-driven. Jakim has comprehensive halal audit guidance in addition to compliance to Halal Pharmaceuticals standard MS2424,” said Amrahi. 

He added that Jakim oversees the certification processes and sets stringent standards for halal pharmaceuticals in the country. 

“These standards encompass the sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing processes, handling, and distribution of pharmaceutical products,” he told TMR

Meanwhile, Muhammad Farahi said the NPRA oversees product registration, ensuring adherence to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. 

“This covers quality, safety, and efficacy, aligning with the concept of ‘halal toyibban’ in the halal framework,” he added. 

He also stressed the importance of NPRA in making halal certification compulsory, highlighting their role in maintaining the integrity of halal pharmaceuticals. 

“They monitor adherence to halal standards, ensuring all medicines meet the necessary criteria. NPRA makes it compulsory for declaration of any animal sources in pharmaceutical ingredients or products,” he said. 

Muhamad Faris elaborated more on Malaysia halal pharmaceutical’s high credibility and trust which complies with the framework that aligns with international pharmaceutical regulations. 

“This dual assurance of halal integrity and quality from HDC and Jakim enhances Malaysia’s competitiveness in the global market,” he said. 

He added that pharmaceutical companies must meet the requirements of both bodies under the Halal Pharmaceuticals Standard MS2424, incorporating regulatory and halal aspects. 

“Pharmaceutical companies are required to adhere to NPRA’s standards and the Drug Registration Guidance Document (DRGD), which explicitly incorporates the halal parameter to further ensure compliance with halal principles. 

“Bodies like Jakim and State Islamic Department in all states are actively organising discussions, exemplified by events like the annual National Executive Halal conference, further reinforcing the collaborative efforts to ensure the alignment of pharmaceutical practices with halal standards,” he said. 

Although it seems hard to maintain Malaysia as the leading global halal pharmaceutical, Muhammad Farahi said there are also several companies going the extra mile to embrace the challenges in developing the industry such as Duopharma Biotech (manufacturing and logistics) and Farmasi Al Arif (retail and logistic). 

“These entities work together to interpret Islamic principles and apply them to pharmaceutical manufacturing processes, seeking guidance from scholars to ensure compliance,” he added. 

Developments in Halal Pharmaceutical Industry

Amrahi said the government has positioned halal-certified pharmaceuticals as a major economic initiative for post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Halal Pharmaceuticals Standard MS2424, which describes the general guidelines in the manufacturing and handling of halal pharmaceuticals ensures the incorporation of halal principles throughout the manufacturing process. 

This not only guarantees the halal integrity of the final product but also provides industrial players with a competitive edge. 

TMR’s industry source said these initiatives encompass various measures, from providing incentives for companies obtaining halal certification to offering research and development grants, which help foster international collaborations to elevate Malaysia’s position in the global halal pharmaceutical market. 

“The government has implemented the Halal Industry Master Plan 2030 (HIMP 2030), a comprehensive framework aimed at leveraging Malaysia’s strengths for the holistic development of its halal industry,” he said. 

He also said events such as the Malaysian International Halal Showcase (Mihas) play a pivotal role in the industry. 

“Mihas serves as a platform for local and global halal certification bodies to converge, fostering collaboration and promoting the growth of halal industries,” he added. 

As for Muhammad Farahi, he is confident that Malaysia’s halal pharmaceuticals can stay as the main player in the global scene. 

“Malaysia, as a pioneering country in the halal pharmaceutical industry with the establishment of the first standard for halal pharmaceuticals, MS2424:2019 should spearhead the development of the industry, in terms of regulation and production,” he said. 

Role of Halal Certifying Bodies 

Being the pioneer of halal pharmaceutical practices, Muhammad Farahi believes that halal certifying bodies play an important role in verifying and endorsing the halal status of pharmaceutical products in Malaysia by conducting inspections, audits, and assessments. 

Halal certifying bodies in other countries must strictly adhere to Jakim’s requirements, and Jakim recognises the halal logo of a country once the certifying body is recognised. This ensures consistency and reliability in halal certification. 

Malaysian companies face the challenges of meeting global standards, but it also creates opportunities through the OIC/SMIIC Technical Committee on Halal Pharmaceuticals (TC16). 

He said Malaysia, currently leading TC16, plays a vital role in setting global halal pharmaceutical standards. 

“The Malaysian halal logo is the most trusted logo in the world,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Muhamad Faris said in the context of exports, the country leverages its established halal certification processes, combining Islamic standards with international pharmaceutical regulations. 

He noted that Malaysia actively attracts investments, fosters collaborations and supports local companies to innovate in halal pharmaceuticals. 

“This strategic approach not only facilitates the export of halal medicines but positions Malaysia as a centre for advancing research, development and technological innovation,” he said. 

Muhamad Faris also said several Malaysian pharmaceutical companies, notably Pharmaniaga and Chemical Co of Malaysia (CCM), have witnessed success in exporting halal medicines globally. 

However, TMR’s source said Malaysian pharmaceutical companies encounter challenges as they seek global expansion. 

These include diverse halal certification standards and guidelines, a lack of initiatives from foreign governments or authorities, as well as inconsistent enforcement of mandatory halal certification. 

“There are also variations in the approach to halal certification processes and evaluation, differing interpretations of halal standards based on various schools of thought or ‘mazhab’, and a shortage of expertise in navigating these complexities. 

“Despite these challenges, the global expansion also opens doors for Malaysian companies to demonstrate their expertise in producing high-quality halal pharmaceuticals,” he said. 

TMR reached out to Jakim but it was unable to comment by press time. 

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Malaysia leads global halal pharmaceutical industry

Content Type:


The worst may be over for local electrical and electronics (E&E) companies supporting the artificial intelligence (AI), medical technology devices, automotive, cloud computing and aerospace sectors.

Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said manufacturers supporting the sectors are restocking their inventories.

“We can expect demand to pick up again gradually,” he said.

The Semiconductor Industry Association has announced that the global semiconductor industry sales totalled US$46.6bil in October – an increase of 3.9% compared with September’s total of US$44.9bil.

However, it was still 0.7% lower than the October 2022 total of US$46.9bil.

Regionally, month-on-month sales increased in China (6.1%), Asia-Pacific and others (4.9%), the Americas (2.9%), Japan (0.6%) and Europe (0.2%).

“A new World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) report has also forecast that annual global sales would increase 13.1% in 2024, after falling 9.4% in 2023,” Wong said.

WSTS projected worldwide semiconductor sales to reach US$520bil in 2023 (down from the 2022 sales total of US$574.1bil) and hit US$588.4bil in 2024.

The personal computing, smartphones and consumer electronics sectors have been experiencing flat or contracting sales, according to Wong.

“We will know in the first quarter of next year whether consumer electronics will recover in the second half of 2024,” he added.

Malaysia exported RM484bil of E&E products from January to October, 0.8% lower than January to October 2022.

The E&E trade surplus for the first 10 months of this year was RM193bil, compared with the total trade surplus for Malaysia of RM190bil.

“The semiconductor situation in the country is still good as our E&E exports contracted by a mere 0.8% compared with last year,” he added.

Meanwhile, some local E&E manufacturing companies are bearing the brunt of the global economic slowdown arising from macroeconomic and geopolitical issues.

MMS Ventures Bhd, a manufacturer of semiconductor test equipment for smart devices, expected the challenging operating environment to negatively impact its performance.

“The prolonged global economic slowdown continued to weigh on the outlook of the semiconductor industry.

“Amid all the news on a positive recovery, we expect a challenging operating environment for the rest of the year, which will see our results in the negative,” it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2023, MMS posted a net loss of RM1.99mil on the back of RM10.5mil revenue compared with a net profit of RM8.5mil on the back of an RM46mil revenue in the previous year’s same period.

Elsoft Research Bhd, an automated test equipment (ATE) manufacturer serving the automotive, smart devices, and general lighting industries, said the demand for ATE would remain weak in the short term.

“Despite the short-term challenges, the management is optimistic about the group’s future performance,” Elsoft said in its filing with Bursa Malaysia.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2023, Elsoft recorded a net profit of RM7mil on the back of an RM13.8mil revenue compared with RM11.6mil and RM23.2mil achieved in the previous year’s corresponding period.For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2023, vision inspection equipment manufacturer Vitrox Corp Bhd recorded RM103.4mil in net profit on the back of an RM432.6mil revenue, compared with RM151mil and RM560mil achieved in the previous year’s corresponding period.

Vitrox said it was committed to its long-term strategies to strengthen its operations, new product innovation and expand its market. The group expects a robust recovery in the financial year 2024.

Vitrox maintained an optimistic outlook based on the sustained growth in demand from AI, telecommunications and automotive sectors.

Despite weaker reported earnings from the automated test equipment maker, AmInvestment Bank Research remained “positive” on the company given its well-diversified revenue base and exposure to high-growth industries, including computing, telecommunications and automotive segments.

The research house added that Vitrox’s geographical diversity would play an important role in attracting new customers due to trade diversion resulting from the US-China chip war, particularly in Mexico and the Asean region.

As such, AmInvestment expects a gradual recovery and stronger demand in the automated board inspection and machine vision system segments for 1Q24 compared with 2H23.

It has upgraded Vitrox to “buy” from “hold”, maintaining a stable fair value of RM8.40, based on a higher price-to-earnings ratio of 41 times (from 36 times), up one standard deviation above the five-year mean of 32 times on a revised FY24 earnings per share.

Meanwhile, semiconductor test equipment and factory automation manufacturer Pentamaster Corp Bhd is optimistic about concluding the 2023 financial year with another revenue milestone, on the back of an encouraging order book from its automotive and medical device segments.

It saw an uptick in its net profit to RM68.42mil for the nine months ended Sept 30, 2023 from RM59.67mil a year ago while revenue rose to RM522.93mil from RM452.96mil.

However, CGS-CIMB Research kept its “hold” call on Pentamaster, with a lower target price of RM5.24, based on its nine-month results and a recent briefing indicating a slowing growth trend in the automotive sector, due to increasing competition in electric vehicles (EVs).

The research house said Pentamaster’s results for the nine months just ended lagged both its full-year forecast at 63% and the Bloomberg consensus estimate at 58%.

Despite a 47% year-on-year growth in the nine-month automotive revenue, the 30% quarter-on-quarter decline in the third quarter (3Q23) could be a telling sign of moderating EV demand, given the environment of rising interest rates and diminishing subsidy tailwinds.

It said this could be cushioned by the medical segment, which saw a fourfold sequential revenue growth in 3Q23 to RM64mil, an indication of a significant ramp-up in its factory automation solutions works for its main medical customer’s new facility in Penang.

PIE Industrial Bhd remained optimistic in engaging potential new customers from diverse industries in the medical, industrial, consumer and telecommunication sectors.

“Good ongoing discussion is in progress, which could potentially have a very positive contribution to the group’s growth if successfully engaged,” PIE said in a recent announcement.

The company posted a marginal increase in its net profit to RM45.72mil in the nine months ended Sept 30, 2023 from RM42.8mil a year earlier on the back of higher revenue of RM919.76mil from RM823.86mil.

Source: The Star

Upsurge in demand for E&E products

Content Type:


UOB Global Economics & Markets Research has revised its 2023 forecast for approved investments in Malaysia, increasing it to RM300 billion. 

This adjustment comes in light of the country’s robust performance in the first nine months, achieving 98.7% of the initially projected full-year target of RM228 billion, despite enduring macroeconomic challenges. 

The updated outlook considers Malaysia’s favourable growth prospects, political stability, strategic geographical location, government efforts to attract investments, and the existing pipeline of proposed investments overseen by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), as stated in a recent report. 

As of November 2023, Mida’s pipeline comprises a total of 1,428 projects with proposed investments amounting to RM72.3 billion. 

Among these, 1,352 projects are from the selected services sector (RM31.8 billion), while 76 projects fall under the manufacturing sector (RM40.5 billion). 

Additionally, Mida is actively negotiating high-potential investment leads totalling RM161.6 billion. 

Major blueprints launched in 2023, including the Madani Economic Framework (MEF), the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030, the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), and the Mid-Term Review of the 12th Malaysia Plan (MTR of 12MP), collectively offer multi-trillion ringgit investment opportunities, enhancing Malaysia’s position in the regional investment landscape. 

In the first three quarters of 2023, Malaysia has continued to strengthen its status as a favoured investment destination, attracting substantial commitments totalling 

RM225 billion, marking a noteworthy 6.6% surge compared to the same period in the previous year. 

This resilience and attractiveness to both global and domestic investors are reflected in a diverse range of 3,949 projects, with the potential to generate an estimated 89,495 job opportunities. 

Breaking down the investment distribution, the services sector secured the lion’s share with RM117.7 billion, constituting a substantial 52.3% of the total committed investments. 

The manufacturing sector followed closely with RM99.8 billion, reflecting a 44.4% share, while the primary sector contributed RM7.4 billion, comprising a 3.3% share. 

Geographically, several states and federal territories demonstrated particular appeal for investors, with Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Johor collectively accounting for a substantial 79.1% of the total committed investments. 

Foreign direct investments (FDIs) continued to play a pivotal role, constituting RM125.7 billion or 55.9% of the total approved investments in the first three quarters of 2023. 

Noteworthy is the dominance of FDIs in the manufacturing sector, contributing RM84.8 billion or a commanding 67.5% share. 

Key contributors to this influx of foreign investments included the Netherlands, Singapore, the US, China and Japan, collectively representing 77.2% of the total FDIs during this period. 

In contrast, domestic direct investments (DDIs) made a robust contribution of RM99.3 billion, constituting 44.1% of the overall quantum of committed investments, marking a noteworthy 45.2% year-on-year increase. 

The report also highlights the evolving landscape of investments, particularly in the services and manufacturing sectors. 

Investments in green technology witnessed a significant uptick of 24.6% year-on-year, aligning with Malaysia’s commitment to environmental sustainability. 

Notable projects within the services sector include a hyper-scale data centre, a RM1.4 billion investment for a smart warehouse, and innovative solar technology projects. 

The manufacturing sector experienced substantial growth of 53.9% compared to the same period in 2022, with a notable focus on the electrical and electronics industry. 

Expansion and diversification projects, totalling RM62 billion, were complemented by RM37.8 billion from new projects, contributing to the sector’s robust performance. 

Within the primary sector, although there was a decline in approved investments to RM7.5 billion, domestic direct investments remained active, contributing RM5.6 billion, primarily in the mining and plantation, and commodities sub-sectors. 

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

UOB boosts Malaysia’s 2023 investment forecast to RM300b

Content Type:


Local experts were in agreement that the use of solar energy in the country needed to be expanded to tap its potential as the most important source of electricity in Malaysia.

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Science and Technology Faculty senior lecturer Dr Shahino Mah Abdullah said the percentage of energy generated by solar sources was still low even though Malaysia had the advantage of receiving a high amount of sunshine throughout the year.

“There’s still a lot of room for Malaysia to expand solar energy generation to ensure it becomes the ain source of energy for the country. It’s not only clean, but it’s renewable and can be obtained freely from the sun.

“The solar panel manufacturing sector is booming and this has brought the prices to its lowest levels yet and is supported by various incentives to encourage the installation of solar systems, both for individuals, private entities and the government,” he told Bernama recently, as he shared his comments on the electricity tariff adjustments next year that will be implemented under the Imbalance Cost Pass-Through (ICPT) mechanism, under the Incentive-Based Regulation (IBR) to enable the price of fuel to be adjusted every six months based on the current global fuel prices.

He also said that solar energy was not new to Malaysia as there were many solar plants developed by local companies, including Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the main electricity supplier in the country, and that many Malaysians were keen on this clean energy, but many medium and low income individuals were unable to reap its benefits due to the high initial costs and the suitability of their homes for installations.

For those who could afford solar panel systems, Shahino said that the Net Energy Metering (NEM) programme was the best choice for them.

“The programme allows surplus solar energy generated to be redirected to the grid and it will reduce the monthly electricity bill. With the rising demand for electricity, this will help electricity providers to meet the country’s energy needs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions that would have a negative impact on the environment, and help the country reach zero emissions by 2020,” he said.

Meanwhile, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Electric Engineering Faculty lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Jasrul Jamani Jamian said that photovoltaic solar panel installations would reduce energy usage from TNB and reduce the impact of ICPT on consumers.

“Consumers do need a rather high initial amount of funds for the PV solar installation and if compared to a decade ago, prices are much lower. For instance, 10 kilowatt peak (kWp) 10 years ago was around RM140,000, now it’s only RM40,000,” he said.

Source: Bernama

Solar power use needs to be expanded, potentially vital source of electricity — Experts

Content Type: