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Malaysia seeking cooperation with Saudi on renewable energy, hydrogen — Anwar

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim expressed on Tuesday, Malaysia’s preparedness to explore new areas of cooperation with Saudi Arabia, in line with the kingdom’s Vision 2030, especially in the fields of renewable energy and hydrogen.

In addition, Anwar, who is also the finance minister, welcomed Saudi Arabian investors to Malaysia to explore potential investments in high-value projects.

He conveyed this when he was granted an audience with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman at the Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, prior to his return to Malaysia, after attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting which ended on Monday (April 29).

“Our discussion also touched on trade and investment relations between both countries.

“I also welcome investors from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia to explore potential investments in high-value projects such as digital and green economy, artificial intelligence (AI), clean energy, defence, electrical and electronics, and aerospace,” he said in a post on X here on Tuesday.

Anwar also announced that Malaysia is prepared to chair Asean next year, including hosting the Asean Gulf Cooperation Council-China Summit.

“Towards the end of the meeting, I reiterated my invitation for the Crown Prince to make an official visit to Malaysia at his earliest convenience.

“I believe this visit has further enhanced the strong relations between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, as well as opening various investment potentials that would contribute to the prosperity of Malaysians, God willing,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia seeking cooperation with Saudi on renewable energy, hydrogen — Anwar

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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s recent working visit to Saudi Arabia has been successful not only in terms of investments but also in building confidence in Malaysian companies to ensure they are given opportunities to participate in large projects in the kingdom.

In the “Soal Jawab Perdana Menteri” programme broadcast tonight by several TV stations including Bernama TV, he said Malaysia was accorded high recognition and honours by the Saudi Arabian government.

The Prime Minister said he also took the opportunity to explain to interested investors about Malaysia as well as its initiatives and the available incentives.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said that traditionally, the country received foreign investors from the United States, Europe including Germany, China and India; but the government is also looking at potential investments from the Gulf Arab states such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“In the case of Saudi Arabia, there is support from the kingdom’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman for energy company ACWA Power to green-light investments worth more than US$10 billion starting in Melaka and Kerian (Perak) and perhaps at one or two other locations of their choice,” he said.

In addition, he said there were discussions with other companies and collaborations in other areas.

“We have also requested that they (Saudi Arabia) take a look at our capable companies not only in investments but also for them (to be given opportunities to secure) development, construction and information technology contracts in Saudi Arabia.

“This means being given present opportunities – for example, large projects in Neom. It seems that Malaysia is being considered. That’s why I am of the view that personal support from foreign leaders is vital for them to pay attention to Malaysia,” Anwar said during the programme.

Launched in 2017, Neom is a mega project being built in the Tabuk region in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

The project, estimated to cost US$500 billion (about RM2.24 trillion), is expected to be fully completed by 2030.

To recap, the Prime Minister undertook a three-day working visit ending Monday (April 29) to Riyadh to attend the World Economic Forum Special Meeting.

Anwar’s visit was at the invitation of His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman.

He was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

The Prime Minister also participated in a panel session titled “A Global Vision for Global Development” alongside leaders of other countries during the opening of the Special Meeting.

Anwar also delivered opening remarks at the Joint Regional Strategy Dialogue on ASEAN – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held especially to highlight Malaysia’s role as ASEAN chair in 2025.

The almost hour-long interview with the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia was hosted by presenters Sayed Munawar Sayed Mustar of RTM, Pasha Abdul Rahim (Bernama TV), Muhammad Zulfitri Yusof (Awani) and Azaria Tagaya (TV3).

Source: Bernama

PM Anwar’s working visit helps build confidence in Malaysian companies’ capabilities to participate in large Saudi projects

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Penang will continue to focus on transforming the state into an international hub for trade, especially in the electronics and semiconductor sectors, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said today.

He said this is in line with the state’s efforts to provide more employment opportunities to the younger generation.

“With Penang’s robust record in investment policies and facilities, the state government is confident that Penang will continue to be a preferred destination for high-quality and high-value investors, thanks to the diligent efforts of the workers in this state,” he said in his Labour Day message.

He said Penang only has an unemployment rate of 2 per cent, citing the Labour Force Survey for the fourth quarter of 2023.

He said Penang also has a Labour Force Participation Rate of 73.3 per cent, which proved that workers in the state are hardworking and always striving to improve their living standards.

He expressed his appreciation to all workers in Penang who had worked hard for the state to successfully record an investment inflow of RM71.9 billion in 2023, the highest in Malaysia.

“I would like to remind everyone to embody the Madani values in our lives as workers and individuals,” he said.

He reminded the people to continue to contribute to the wellbeing of their workplace.

“Showcase your creativity in development and innovation sectors, be someone who always respects their colleagues regardless of their background, position, or status,” he said.

He said the state government and its leadership will continue to work hard to ensure the wellbeing of the people.

Source: Malay Mail

Penang focusing on international hub for electronics and semiconductors, says Kon Yeow

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Johor must push for a higher rate of automation and adoption of new technologies as well as higher wages across the board to capitalise on the Johor-Singapore Special Economic Zone (JS-SEZ), Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong said.

There is not much point complaining that Malaysian firms are losing workers to Singapore. The firms should be creating more quality jobs with better pay for the Malaysian workers, he said in his Facebook posting today.

Liew, who is also the Iskandar Putri Member of Parliament, said JS-SEZ is a major effort by the federal government to create new developmental impetus in Johor by working closely with Singapore.

“Johor is at the forefront of Malaysia’s national economic takeoff. The world has shifted its attention towards Southeast Asia and Malaysia is the lynchpin in Southeast Asia.

“Within Malaysia, Johor is the second economic capital in the making, like Osaka to Japan, Melbourne to Australia and Busan to South Korea,” he said.

However, he said Investments alone is not enough and efforts must be put in to improve wages, productivity and technology adoption.

“Investments, whether domestic or foreign, are brought in because we want to create better jobs with better pay, and to create stronger Malaysian businesses and industrial capabilities,” he said.

He said the country, in general, needed to move away from the vicious cycle of low pay, low productivity and low adoption of technology.

“We should instead be in the virtuous cycle of higher wage, higher productivity and higher adoption of technology,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Johor must push for higher automation, technology adoption and wages — Deputy MITI Minister

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HAVING identified artificial intelligence (AI) opportunities in Malaysia, SNS Network Technology Bhd now expects a meaningful contribution from its newly ventured data centre fit-out business segment.

Besides selling AI super servers, the ICT system and solutions provider is also involved in testing and commissioning as well as operation and management within the premises of data centres. In short, SNS fills the gap between server manufacturers and server buyers.

The group believes its financial performance will be lifted by the sale of AI super servers based on the selling price of RM1.5 million per unit and a gross profit margin of 15%, which is higher than its existing core business’ gross profit margin of about 5%.

“This is a game changer for SNS, and it’s a new playground. Generative AI is at the beginning of a supercycle,” co-founder and managing director Ko Yun Hung tells The Edge in an interview.

With more data centres being set up in the country, especially in Johor, he believes there will be growing demand for AI super servers. “We are seeing a lot of potential from this, for the enterprise segment,” he shares, noting that several tech firms have expressed interest in these servers.

As cost will be one of the challenges in adopting AI, Ko says SNS can play a role in helping clients navigate the AI journey. “Some customers may not want to worry much about the whole AI journey, so they can just subscribe to our services [instead of buying the super servers]. And the service, maintenance and warranty will be taken care of by us.”

He is of the view that SNS will be able to fend off market competition given its multi-channel and multi-brand strategy. Furthermore, the additional services could fetch better margins for the group.

“If you just sell the hardware, it will be about a 5% to 10% gross profit margin,” Ko says. In comparison, the traditional consumer devices business offers a gross profit margin of about 5%.

Headquartered in Ipoh, Perak, SNS started out in 1998 assembling and supplying desktop and related peripherals mainly to schools and cafés. Over the years, it expanded with the sale of ICT products becoming its core business, along with the provision of ICT services and solutions, device repair and related services, and sale of broadband services.

The group sells ICT products through physical and online stores, namely SNS’ own retail stores iTworld, GLOO and Notebook Plaza, as well as third-party marketplaces, while its commercial channel targets businesses, government agencies and educational institutions.

The ICT products sold include Apple, Intel and Samsung. SNS also established an in-house brand JOI of ICT products in 2014, collaborating with Intel and Microsoft.

SNS debuted on the local bourse in September 2022, raising RM90.72 million. Year to date, its share price has gained 56.3% to close at 37.5 sen last Wednesday, valuing the company at RM604.8 million. The stock is also up 50% compared to its initial public offering (IPO) price of 25 sen.

Of its IPO proceeds, RM28.5 million remained as at Jan 31.

For the financial year ended Jan 31, 2024 (FY2024), SNS’ net profit fell 27% to RM31.96 million from RM43.72 million a year ago, partly due to fewer orders from its customers. Revenue slipped 9% to RM1.28 billion from RM1.4 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile, net margin slipped to 2.5% in FY2024 from 3.1% in FY2023.

The commercial channel was the largest contributor to group revenue at 82%, followed by online stores (9%), physical stores (8%) and services (1%).

The bulk of its revenue — close to 99% — was derived from the sale of ICT products comprising hardware, devices and related peripherals, while the remaining came from the provision of device repair and related services, as well as sale of broadband services.

Ko acknowledges that the retail market was not exciting last year, but the situation is expected to improve this year, underpinned by demand for devices, digital transformations and AI adoption.

“The e-commerce segment is already seeing a U-shaped recovery. We are seeing a lot of opportunities, for example government contracts, as it is about time to upgrade the current devices,” he says.

Last October, SNS announced that it is partnering with Seagate Technology to provide enterprise data storage solutions in Malaysia. In February this year, the group secured a contract from Esri Malaysia Sdn Bhd to offer geographical information system solutions for an undisclosed value.

On plans to open 10 retail stores within three years from its IPO using part of its listing proceeds, Ko says the group is sticking to the target and may look to expand to East Malaysia, apart from the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang.

“We are looking at about RM2.5 million to open 10 stores. So far, we haven’t utilised the fund because the market is not very encouraging,” he explains.

“We open retail stores because we want to provide a complete customer buying experience. Sometimes they want to have a retail place where they can explore. And then later on, when the company wants to buy something, we also have our commercial team to support them.”

Currently, it operates 60 brand stores, seven multi-brand concept stores and 12 consignment counters in Malaysia.

SNS is awaiting the Securities Commission Malaysia’s approval for its proposed transfer of listing status to the Main Market from the ACE Market of Bursa Malaysia, after it met the requirement of having an aggregate net profit of at least RM20 million for the past three to five full financial years, with a net profit of at least RM6 million for the most recent financial year.

The transfer listing is expected to be completed by the second half of the year.

Its net cash position improved to RM89.1 million as at end-January 2024, from RM69.73 million as at end-October 2023. It had gross borrowings of RM32.38 million as at end-January 2024, with a gearing ratio of 0.13 times.

SNS does not have a dividend policy, but it hopes to maintain a dividend payout ratio of about 30%-40%. In FY2024, it paid 0.75 sen dividend per share or a total payout of RM12.1 million, equivalent to a dividend payout ratio of 38%.

Ko and executive director Kelvin Pah Wai Onn each own 32.67% of the company, while executive director Siow Wei Ming holds a 7.33% stake.

Premised on the ongoing AI frenzy, Rakuten Trade gave SNS a “buy” call with a target price of 54 sen based on FY2025 price-earnings ratio (PER) of 15 times, which it says are in line with the company’s industry peers.

The research house expects SNS’ FY2024-FY2027 earnings to grow at a robust compound annual growth rate of 39% driven by new AI server sales and continued growth in its existing ICT business, fuelled by consumer device refresh cycles and ongoing digital transformation in education and commerce.

“In addition, SNS maintains a solid balance sheet, with a gearing ratio of 0.13 times as of 4QFY2024. Coupled with 3% FY2025F dividend yield, SNS is currently an attractive proposition at 11 times FY2025F PER,” it says in an April 15 note.

According to Rakuten Trade, Malaysia currently hosts over 40 operational data centres, with the capacity ranging from 100mw to 150mw each. However, upcoming data centre projects indicate an anticipated additional capacity of 1,400mw over the next five to 10 years, driven by low land and energy costs.

“Considering that each GPU (graphics processing unit) server can only support 10kW of data centre usage, the potential for SNS to seize opportunities in this expanding market is significant,” it highlights.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

SNS Network aims to tap country’s data centre boom through new venture

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The formulation of a comprehensive semiconductor plan is timely for Malaysia to secure a position at the forefront of the global supply chain, according to InvestPenang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian.

She said environmental, social, and governance (ESG) elements, such as net zero carbon emissions as well as sustainable energy and water, must be abided by under the strategic plan.

Loo added that clear objectives and milestones should be incorporated into the strategic plan as it is vital to ensure that its execution and results follow existing international standards.

“Malaysia, including Penang, is in a sweet spot to attracting semiconductor industry players given the nation’s neutrality during the United States (US)-China trade war, which allows the nation to host semiconductor companies from the US and China, as well as other nations, so they can invest and operate within the country,” she told Bernama.

Furthermore, Loo said the success of the upcoming semiconductor strategic plan depends on the availability of talent and encompasses a national talent blueprint to address human capital strategies in alignment with the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030.

She said the blueprint’s vision should focus on building a high-skilled and sustainable STEM workforce to support the semiconductor industry’s rapid development.

“Hence, the blueprint should address the issues that caused the talent availability and the readiness of the workforce in Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), such as skill mismatch, brain drains, availability of upskilling or reskilling programmes, the restrictive hiring process for expatriate and relevance of syllabus in universities,” she said.

Echoing this, Malaysian Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said the plan should focus on nurturing local enterprises and increasing their market competitiveness at the international level.

“The government should also consider a robust framework for upskilling and rescaling Malaysia’s workforce, ensuring it can meet the advanced demands of the semiconductor industry.

“This focus on education will aim to provide Malaysians with the skills needed to drive innovation and maintain the country’s competitive advantage,” he said.

Wong also said the government should be aware of the need to improve web infrastructure, a move that will support the high-tech needs of the semiconductor industry and ensure smooth operations for businesses growing in the sector.

This will likely involve improvements to digital connectivity and access, enabling efficient and uninterrupted operations essential to high-tech manufacturing and development, he said.

“The government’s strategic focus on company development, workforce education and infrastructure improvement put Malaysia on a good track to achieve higher revenue and exports for the sector,” Wong said.

On April 16, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the strategic plan will include a more attractive incentive package to enhance the inclusion of strategic investments in high-tech semiconductors, particularly to encourage more front-end activities in the semiconductor industry in Malaysia.

He said this is important to attract the interest of various international semiconductor companies to establish high-quality semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Malaysia.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the semiconductor strategic plan aligns with the initiatives under NIMP 2030.

He said the plan is important to attract the interest of various international semiconductor companies to transfer or establish their respective high-quality semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Malaysia.

Rated sixth in the world for semiconductor exports, Malaysia reportedly has 7.0 per cent of the global market share.

The local semiconductor sector showed its tenacity last year when exports dropped only 3.0 per cent from RM595 billion in 2022 when global industry sales dipped 8.2 per cent.

As for companies preparing for future growth, the global semiconductor sector’s revenue is projected to increase to a staggering US$1 trillion (US$1=RM4.76) by 2030, compared with US$575 billion currently. 

Source: Bernama

Semiconductor plan timely for Malaysia to secure position at global supply chain’s forefront

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Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are in discussions about new investments, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“We will be announcing some new investments with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Securities Commission Malaysia and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group.

Anwar, who is in Saudi Arabia for a three-day working visit, held a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Pakistan, Iraq and Bangladesh on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting and the IsDB annual meeting.

“I am having a private meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman today (yesterday).

“There are also some new ventures with the Kingdom in terms of digital technology and energy transition, which gel with Malaysia’s priorities,” said the Prime Minister, Bernama reported.

In March, the board of IsDB approved the US$100mil (RM477mil) Pengerang Energy Complex project for Malaysia under the bank’s public-private partnership programme.

The project aims to develop a sustainable, energy-efficient, state-of-the-art aromatics complex in Pengerang, adding value to Malaysia’s downstream oil and gas chain and economic growth.

Malaysia joined the IsDB on Aug 12, 1974. It has a capital subscription of 1.55% worth 868.18 million in Islamic Dinar, which is equivalent to one special drawing right of the International Monetary Fund.

The IsDB has funded 166 projects in Malaysia worth a total of US$963.2mil (RM4.58bil).

Of these, 160 projects have been completed and the other six are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia-based renewable energy giant ACWA Power has expressed interest in investing more than US$10bil (RM47bil) in Malaysia over 10 years via a collaboration with local company Cypark Resources Bhd.

This was conveyed by ACWA Power chairman Mohammad A. Abunayan, who called on Anwar on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting.

Cypark Resources executive chairman Datuk Ami Moris said the collaboration in the renewable energy project is in the final stages of discussion and is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.

“ACWA Power, one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, is keen on investing in Malaysia, implementing technology transfer and sharing its renewable energy expertise for industrial parks in Jasin, Melaka, and Kerian, Perak, to power up green data centres,” she told reporters after the meeting.

Also present during the 30-minute call were Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz as well as the senior management of Bursa Malaysia-listed renewable energy firm Cypark Resources and its major shareholder, Jakel Group.

Jakel Group managing director Datuk Seri Mohamed Faroz Jakel said Jakel Capital, which is Cypark Resources’ biggest shareholder, would also be involved in the renewable energy project.

“We came to Riyadh to discuss how to implement the collaboration and Jakel also has several large parcels of land that can be developed into solar farms to supply energy to Cypark,” he said.

Source: The Star

Saudi to invest more here

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Tex Cycle Technology (M) Bhd said on Monday it has partnered with Evolusi Bersatu Sdn Bhd to invest RM100 million in Sabah’s first integrated scheduled waste management facility.

The facility is expected to start construction in the second half of this year and will be fully operational by the fourth quarter of 2025, Tex Cycle said in a statement.

The project is designed to complement existing scheduled waste management providers, it added.

When contacted, Tex Cycle’s management told The Edge that Tex Cycle will hold a 51% stake in the joint venture (JV), while Evolusi Bersatu, an oil and gas services firm, will own the remaining 49%.

“It also aligns with Sabah’s broader efforts in creating over 150 job opportunities and conserving our natural resources,” said Muhamad Tolling, managing director of the JV company Tex Evolusi Waste Management.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said this facility represents a significant step in the journey towards a cleaner and more sustainable Sabah, and he believes this will attract more foreign investors who share environmental, social, and governance value.

As opposed to sending wastes to Peninsular Malaysia for processing, the facility prioritises a locally centred waste treatment process, aiming to reduce costs and emissions while ensuring legal compliance and environmental responsibility.

“Additionally, the facility is tailored to serve various industries and offers comprehensive waste management solutions, especially in the oil and gas sector,” the company said.

Datuk Keh Chuan Seng is the largest shareholder in Tex Cycle with a 26.436% stake, held via his private vehicle Frazel Group Sdn Bhd. He was appointed as the group’s executive chairman in May last year after emerging as its substantial shareholder.

Tex Cycle’s executive director Lee Hai Peng also surfaced as the group’s substantial shareholder in May last year, with a 5.129% equity interest.

Their blocks of shares were acquired from Tex Cycle’s previous major shareholder Can Cycle Sdn Bhd, which disposed of its entire 31.565% stake, or 80 million shares.

Klang-based Can Cycle is a private vehicle jointly owned by low-profile businessman Ho Siew Choong and his brothers Ho Siew Cheong and Ho Siew Weng, as well as Periasamy Sinakalai, better known as S Perry.

The 53-year-old Keh is also the executive chairman of stainless steel maker K Seng Seng Corp Bhd. His private entity Frazel Group owns 22.98% of the company, being the second-largest shareholder after Singaporean Cheong Lai Sin (27.43%).

Keh began his career in real estate development in Japan. During his tenure there, from 1991 to 2005, he was involved in local and international property development, as well as the hospitality, agriculture, asset management and financial industries.

Meanwhile, 58-year-old Lee is a non-independent, non-executive director of Solarvest Holdings Bhd and an executive director of K Seng Seng Corp. He joined Chin Hin Group Bhd in 2008 as group accountant, before being promoted to group financial controller the following year. He was made executive director in 2015, a position he held until December 2022. 

On Monday, Tex Cycle’s share price closed up four sen or 3.6% higher at RM1.14, valuing the waste management and recycling company at RM292 million.

Year to date, the stock has gained 65% from 69 sen on Jan 2.

Source: The Edge Malaysia

Tex Cycle in JV to invest RM100m to build Sabah waste management facility

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TotalEnergies, a global energy supplier company based in France, has stated its commitment to increasing its investment in Malaysia’s upstream oil and gas (O&G) sector, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a post on X today, he said TotalEnergies also plans to continue exploring opportunities in the carbon storage field in Malaysia.

Earlier, Anwar met with TotalEnergies chief executive officer and chairman Patrick Pouyanne on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister arrived in Riyadh on Saturday for a three-day working visit during which he will take part in the three-day WEF special meeting.

“TotalEnergies was established in 1984 in Malaysia and has investments in various sectors in the country including renewable energy, electricity, oil and carbon storage.

“Hopefully, this investment can be realised as soon as possible and trigger an overflow of prosperity for Malaysians, especially in creating more job opportunities and knowledge sharing,” said Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister.

Recently, TotalEnergies signed an agreement with Sapura Upstream Assets Sdn Bhd (SUA) to acquire its 50 per cent interest in Malaysian independent gas producer and operator SapuraOMV Upstream Sdn (SapuraOMV) for US$530 million (US$1=RM4.77), subject to closing adjustments.

SapuraOMV’s main assets are its 40 per cent operated interest in block SK408 and 30 per cent operated interest in block SK310, both located offshore Sarawak, Malaysia.

SapuraOMV also holds interests in exploration licences in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, where a discovery was made in 2023 on block 30.

TotalEnergies owns interests in two production sharing contracts (PSCs) in the exploration phase and in June 2023 signed an agreement with Petronas and Mitsui to develop a carbon storage project in Southeast Asia and evaluate several CO2 storage sites in the Malay Basin.

Source: Bernama

TotalEnergies states commitment to increase investment in Malaysia’s upstream O&G sector – Anwar

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Malaysia aims to increase investments in research and development (R&D) to be on par with developed countries that have successfully leveraged R&D to improve their global competitiveness, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang.

According to him, Malaysia’s R&D investments still lag behind developed countries such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore.

To close the gap, the MADANI Economy agenda had set a target for the country to achieve a gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) of 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2030 to ensure strong economic development in the long term, he said in his keynote address at the MIMOS Technology Preview (MTP) 2024 here today.

“Increased investments in the R&D sector can lead to higher productivity, create highly skilled jobs, and increase the country’s economic value.

“Additionally, it stimulates innovation in key sectors, namely biotechnology, renewable energy, and digital technology, which will help to address current challenges such as food security and climate change,” he said.

Chang said MIMOS, as the country’s leading R&D agency, had a role in supporting the GERD target of 3.5 per cent.

“To reach the objective, MIMOS is carrying out strategic initiatives such as collaborating with industry leaders to develop and use new technologies that meet global energy demand, as exhibited at MTP 2024 today,” he said.

The minister said the collaboration not only spurred technological advancement but also ensured that R&D results have practical applications, thus being able to be commercialised and provide benefits to society.

He said that MIMOS aimed to commercialise 20 R&D projects by the end of 2025.

Chang said 15 technologies were developed during the 12th Malaysia Plan, which were exhibited at MTP 2024.

During today’s event, MIMOS was scheduled to ink a memorandum of understanding with Axicom and Iscada Net (iS.net), as well as a technology licence agreement with SquareCloud to implement MIMOS autonomous chiller control and energy efficiency (Mi-Ace) system technology in government and commercial buildings.

The Mi-Ace system was developed with SquareCloud, utilising artificial intelligence technology and wireless Internet of Things (IoT) to revolutionise building cooling systems that include offices and public spaces.

The system is able to improve cooling performance, achieving energy savings of 12 per cent to 20 per cent by analysing sensor data to optimise operation while ensuring comfort.

The new solution makes the installation process easier and significantly improves the building’s energy management.

Also present at today’s event were Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation secretary-general Datuk Aminuddin Hassim and MIMOS acting president and chief executive officer Saat Shukri Embong.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia targets higher R&D investments to be on par with developed countries

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The cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will help support growth in trade and investment in both countries by capitalising on the strengths of each nation in specific industries, said Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

The Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister was speaking in a a post on X (formerly Twitter), in conjunction with the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He said that during his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhoreyaf, the two discussed cooperation opportunities in various industrial sectors particularly in high-growth sectors.

Themed “Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development”, the two-day WEF Special Meeting from April 28 to April 29 convenes over 1,000 global leaders from 92 countries, including heads of state and government, thought leaders from public and private sectors, as well as international organisations, academic institutions, and non-governmental organisations.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia, Saudi Arabia trade can be strengthened through cooperation — Minister

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Sarawak is setting its sights on becoming the second-largest contributor to Malaysia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the next state election,said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

Currently, Kuala Lumpur leads as the primary GDP contributor, followed by Selangor, with Sarawak now in third place, having recently surpassed Johor.

“We have to be confident and organise a strategy so that our GDP is high, and I am confident that we will be able to surpass Selangor.

“Whether this is possible or not, it is up to us to organise our economic strategy, and this is what we are aiming for before the next state election,” Abang Johari said during the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Supreme Council Ramah Tamah Aidilfitri programme.

Abang Johari also said the ambitious goal serves to demonstrate to Sarawakians that the leadership of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government is progressing effectively.

Also, he mentioned PBB’s commitment to nurturing young leaders to continue the party’s legacy and to spearhead the state’s future development, emphasising the importance of steering clear of pitfalls like money politics.

“The situation will always change, the political landscape will also change with the economic sector being managed in a new way,” he added, underlining the dynamic nature of political and economic management.

Source: NST

Sarawak sets goal to become second largest contributor to Malaysia’s GDP

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Saudi Arabia-based renewable energy giant ACWA Power has disclosed plans to collaborate with several strategic Malaysian partners in developing renewable energy projects across multiple states in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a recent Facebook post following his meeting with ACWA Power chairman Mohammad A Abunayyan and the company’s senior management representatives on Monday afternoon, Anwar said the company also presented its investment proposals, including collaboration in developing several energy projects in Terengganu, Kelantan, Perlis, Sarawak, and Johor.

“I had expressed my appreciation for ACWA Power’s commitment to increasing its investments in Malaysia, and that the country always welcomes any efforts to bolster the nation’s economic growth and the people’s prosperity,” he said.

During the meeting held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting here on Monday, Mohammad A Abunayyan also disclosed the company’s intention to invest over US$10 billion (RM47.64 billion) in Malaysia over a span of 10 years.

Among the proposed projects are those to be undertaken through collaboration with a local company, Cypark Resources Bhd.

Anwar, who is also the finance minister, said that the Madani government would continue to implement investment-friendly policies by focusing on initiatives to ensure that every investment process is facilitated and expedited.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz were also present in the meeting.

Source: Bernama

ACWA Power eyes collaboration with strategic M’sian partners on renewable energy projects, says Anwar

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IT is heartening to note that Sarawak’s new leadership wants to venture into high-tech industries such as semiconductors.

While this aspiration deserves a big applause, one sector that also needs attention is electronic manufacturing services (EMS), which is slightly lower down the value chain than semiconductors but an easier first step into high-tech manufacturing.

In countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, EMS companies are benefitting from the trade war between the US and China, which seems unlikely to end any time soon.

EMS offers numerous opportunities for places like Sarawak, but some basics must be in place first.

Infrastructure like international airports, highways, industrial parks, workers quarters, ports and good logistics systems are of course very important on a macro level.

Sarawak should also address the issue of cabotage laws. Materials and semi-finished components will be sourced from around the world, including China. These will cost at least 10% to 20% more under existing cabotage laws.

The lead time to secure the imported components will also increase. Any delays can result in the bullwhip effect, making it even costlier and eroding competitiveness. Bullwhip effect is when small fluctuations in demand at the retail level can cause progressively larger fluctuations in demand at the wholesale, distributor, manufacturer and raw material supplier levels.

A reliable supply chain and a network of competent partners are also crucial to the survival of the EMS sector.

Competencies within the supply chain include machine and technology suppliers, technical support, and maintenance experts. Efficiency and productivity are key factors in EMS. Competitiveness can be compromised by anything that takes a long time or is physically distant.

Any disruption in the supply chain will raise costs resulting in higher prices for customers.

In order for the EMS sector to thrive, competent human resources with the right skills are also needed.

Many EMS companies need engineers to fill a variety of roles, including project engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and quality control engineers. Only with these in place, can an EMS factory become efficient and of high quality.

There are several ways Sarawak can build a thriving EMS industry:

  • Create more free trade zones so companies can become more efficient and competitive without cabotage laws.
  • Give entrepreneurs easy access to government agencies through one-stop platforms so they can focus on building their businesses rather than having to deal with red tape.
  • Provide incentives for Sarawakians to return and help their state fulfil its dream of creating high-value industries and jobs. Incentives can include unlimited reinvestment allowance, 20-year pioneer status, matching grants, export allowance, and grants for events and exhibitions on top of what Matrade is doing.
  • Set up industry-led training centres, partially financed by the state. To produce the right skill set of workers, these training centres need industry input.

Semiconductor challenges

In the semiconductor industry, the back-end sector is undergoing a significant technology leap which will see a lot of technology becoming obsolete.

We need to keep up with these changes. The closer a company is to the semiconductor value chain, the higher the capital intensity that is needed to play in that space.

Without a high level of investment, the company can become irrelevant quickly. The rate of development can be accelerated by having an anchor company, or a few anchor companies with a good track record.

We will then have to compete for talents who are highly sought after globally, such as in China, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the US, which are all pushing hard to have semiconductor independence.

Source: The Star

Boost EMS sector in Sarawak

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Saudi Arabia-based renewable energy giant ACWA Power has expressed interest in investing more than US$10 billion (US$1=RM4.77) in Malaysia over a 10-year period.

Among the proposed projects are those to be undertaken through collaboration with a local company, Cypark Resources Bhd.

This was conveyed by ACWA Power chairman Mohammad A. Abunayyan when he paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting here today.

Also present during the half-an-hour call were Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz as well as the senior management of Bursa Malaysia-listed renewable energy firm Cypark Resources and its major shareholder, Jakel Group.

Cypark Resources executive chair Datuk Ami Moris said the collaboration in the renewable energy project is in the final stages of discussion and is expected to be finalised by the end of this year.

“ACWA Power, one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, is keen on investing in Malaysia, implementing technology transfer and sharing its renewable energy expertise for industrial parks in Jasin, Melaka, and Kerian, Perak, to power up green data centres,” she told reporters after the meeting.

Jakel Group managing director Datuk Seri Mohamed Faroz Jakel said Jakel Capital, which is Cypark Resources’ biggest shareholder, will also be involved in the renewable energy project.

“We came to Riyadh to discuss how to implement the collaboration and Jakel also has several large parcels of land that can be developed into solar farms to supply energy to Cypark,” he said.

On the final day of the WEF Special Meeting today, Anwar is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with his Pakistani counterpart Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

Anwar also received a courtesy call from Turkiye’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hakan Fidan.

The two-day WEF Special Meeting, themed “Global Collaboration, Growth and Energy for Development”, was attended by more than 1,000 participants including heads of state as well as business and industry leaders.

Source: Bernama

Saudi-based ACWA Power keen on investing over US$10b in Malaysia

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Iconic Worldwide Bhd is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential partners to develop mega townships and industrial projects throughout Malaysia. 

The group is also exploring avenues to establish resorts, villas, and theme parks, with the aim of bolstering tourism in Penang and leveraging the island’s distinguished reputation as a top-tier global tourist destination.

These developments are integral components of the group’s comprehensive strategy to fully capitalise on the potential within its property development and hospitality management ventures. 

This strategic direction is being guided by the leadership of the new controlling shareholder and executive chairman, Datuk Seri Tan Kean Tet.

Tan expressed confidence in the future prospects of the real estate and hospitality sectors in Penang, citing substantial growth in tourism and the commencement of significant infrastructure projects this year, such as the Penang LRT and the expansion of the Penang International Airport (PIA). 

He remains steadfast in his belief that the future holds promise for real estate and hospitality in Penang.

“As we embark on our next chapter with a renewed focus on property development and hospitality management, we will make bigger and bolder bets that will accelerate our growth and leave an indelible mark on the real estate industry. We are determined to turn around the group and explore opportunities to expand our business.

“On the property side, we have begun early discussions with potential partners to explore opportunities to develop mega township and industrial real estate projects in Malaysia. I believe that demand will only grow for these projects due to Malaysia’s unique appeal as a destination for foreign direct investments (FDI) and domestic direct investments (DDI),” he said.

Tan said the implementation of visa-free travel for tourists from China and India has delivered a positive impact on the local tourism industry, which will support the growth of the group’s hospitality business.

In addition, the expansion of PIA’s capacity from 6.5 million to 12 million passengers a year, slated for completion in three to four years, will deliver a major boost to the local tourism industry. 

“This is a major, catalytic infrastructure project that I believe the market has yet to appreciate,” he said in a statement.

Tan, who was previously a major shareholder of Iconic, is now a controlling shareholder of the group. This is following the group’s successful corporate exercise that raised RM95.6 million via an oversubscribed rights issue, which raised his stake to 36.59 per cent.

Iconic plans to utilise 41.6 per cent of the RM95.6 million gross proceeds to acquire a parcel of freehold, vacant land measuring 15 acres in Paya Terubong, Penang Island.

“The group will submit a proposal to the Penang state authority for planning permission to construct a residential development on this newly acquired asset. It is expected that the gross development value (GDV) of this project will be more than RM300 million,” he said.

In a further boost to the group’s hospitality segment, in the fourth quarter of this calendar year, Iconic will start to manage the Iconic Regency, a serviced apartment in Sungai Nibong. The 42-storey Iconic Regency, one of Penang’s tallest residential towers, comprises 268 serviced apartments with built-ups ranging from 500 sq ft to 850 sq ft. 

Source: NST

Head of Iconic Worldwide keen to develop theme parks, resorts, townships

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Malaysia believes there is a need to revisit commitments to sustainable development, efficient global resources and fair and balanced trade among countries, said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI).

Its minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said countries must have shared values which will result in trade policies that can contribute to equitable and sustainable development.

“However, this should not be used as non-tariff measures to restrict trade flows.

“The proliferation of trade-related environmental measures such as the threat of environmental, social and governance (ESG) by developed countries is among the most important aspects of international trade,” he said during the meeting of the equitable transition alliance.

The meeting was organised in conjunction with the World Economic Forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Tengku Zafrul said the proliferation of trade-related measures has emerged as potential protectionist tools that could unfairly discourage global production and trade, particularly to the developing countries.

“These measures can manifest as border instruments and compliance with these measures will undoubtedly be complicated and perhaps too costly for most developing country-exporters,” he added.

Tengku Zafrul stressed that leaving the matter unattended could potentially erode developing and least developing countries’ trade competitiveness and investment attractiveness.

Citing a report by the World Trade Organisation, environmental goods and services face an average tariff of 4.3 per cent along with numerous non-tariff measures.

“The cost of compliance, including certification, can be prohibitively expensive, especially for small and medium enterprises from developing nations.

“Such barriers necessitate a collaborative approach where developed countries not only impose these standards but also facilitate the means for compliance through technical and financial support,” he added.

Tengku Zafrul went on to say that in light of the complexities posed by ESG standards as non-tariff barriers and the significant need for capacity building and fair trade policies, a comprehensive approach is essential to ensure both environmental sustainability and economic justice, particularly for developing nations.

“Therefore, Malaysia supports and welcomes discussions on establishing effective multilateral trade rules on trade and sustainable development.

“Our commitment is evident through national policy initiatives such as the New Investment Policy, New Industrial Master Plan 2030, National Energy Transition Roadmap, and the ESG Industry Framework, which all aimed at achieving sustainable economic growth,” he said.

Source: Bernama

Trade-related and ESG measures must be fair to developing countries – Tengku Zafrul

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Malaysian enterprises are encouraged to prioritise responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) to fully tap into the potential benefits of generative AI and its innovations, according to the AI and analytics platform provider, SAS Institute Inc.

Amir Sohrabi, SAS regional vice president and head of digital transformation for Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Asia, said it is important for business leaders to prioritise responsible AI, whether they are already implementing AI use cases or are still in the planning phase.

He said organisations need to recognise that ensuring responsible AI is a collective responsibility involving all stakeholders in an AI system.

“(Effective) oversight must be spearheaded by the executive management team, focused on ensuring that responsible and trustworthy AI is the top priority for everyone.

“By closely monitoring and auditing AI operations, organisations can quickly identify and address any issues, thereby proactively mitigating concerns before they escalate,” he told Bernama.

Citing the MyDigital report, Amir said that the generative AI has the potential to unlock US$113.4 billion (US$1=RM4.76) in productive capacity in the Malaysian economy, equivalent to one-quarter of gross domestic product in 2022.

The Malaysian government has also planned to introduce a framework for governing AI and establishing ethical guidelines, given the increasing adoption of AI by various organisations.

These regulations aim to promote innovation by creating a conducive environment, addressing risks, and promoting ethical and responsible AI use, he said.

Amir further highlighted that responsible AI practices enhance human well-being, safeguard personal data, and avoid discrimination — the foundation for these features lies in transparency and accountability, but unfortunately, many organisations deploying AI systems struggle to uphold these principles.

He stressed the utmost importance of not underestimating the significance of implementing AI in a responsible, ethical, and secure manner, especially given the accelerating adoption rate.

“Taking proactive measures will not just reduce risks but also enhance cyber resilience — ultimately positioning Malaysian organisations to thrive in the AI era,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysian enterprises urged to make AI a top priority – SAS Institute

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Malaysia’s strong and solid policies has helped it become not only among the world’s most peaceful countries but also among the fastest growing economies, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysia, he said, adopts a ‘very fierce’ foreign policy that has enabled the country to not only maintain and foster strong bilateral ties with Western superpowers such as the United States (US) and European nations but also China, Japan as well as other leading countries in the Asean region.

“We adopt a very fierce foreign policy on our position to engage and depend on the support, collaboration, investments from the West, the US and Europe.

“At same time, we maintain excellent bilateral relations with South Korea, Japan and more importantly with China, because of the (economic) potential.

“And of course, we have to grapple with sensitive issues, which is not our problem but a problem for others,” said Anwar during the opening plenary session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh today.

It was previously reported that the country’s economy is projected to grow between four per cent and five per cent this year from the continued expansion in domestic demand and improvement in external demand.

Bank Negara Malaysia, in its Economic Monetary Review 2023 (EMR 2023), said possible growth will be driven by resilient domestic expenditure, with additional support from the expected recovery in exports.

Malaysia is the world’s sixth largest semiconductor exporter and holds 13 per cent of the global semiconductor packaging, assembly and testing market.

Over the last 50 years, Malaysia has been involved in the “back end” of the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain namely packaging, assembling and testing chips.

It is now shifting towards the front end of a US$520 billion global industry with higher value activities such as wafer fabrication and integrated circuit design.

On the semiconductor industry, Anwar said Malaysia had in the past always been on the ‘back end’.

“But with new investments coming in from the US, Germany and China, the focus has shifted to the ‘front end’, which means new challenges.

“We have to refocus on issues, technological, technical training and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), which was somewhat ignored in the past. We have to excel in some of the research areas, which are challenging and new.”

Meanwhile, on another subject, the prime minister said a country cannot progress without good governance and fiscal responsibility.

He highlighted the importance of learning from its previous flaws in order for the country to move forward.

“We have to learn from the flaws of endemic corruption, gross inequality between the rich and the poor, the propensity to adopt unbridled capitalism to the extent that you ignore the plight of the masses deprived of basic opportunities.

“So, we have to steer that policy, the issue of governance or fiscal responsibility.

“At the same time, do not lose sight of the key priorities, which is relevant in this session, such as issue of globalisation,” he said.

On geopolitical issues, Anwar said that despite the complex situation affecting the Middle East, particularly the anger and frustration over the Gaza crisis, the economies of Muslim countries should not be affected.

Anwar also commended Saudi Arabia for hosting the meeting and urged the kingdom to continue playing a role in engaging with developing and emerging economies, especially those within the Muslim community.

“The issue (Palestine) is important and is fundamental to us, but at the same time, we have to survive. The economy has to be strong and the fundamentals need to be built,” he said.

Source: NST

Anwar shares Malaysia’s success story at WEF

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Malaysia is on a mission to explore various economic opportunities and attract new investments at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which will last two days starting Sunday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Malaysian delegation at the meeting will also share the country’s policies and direction besides emphasising the country’s stance on regional geopolitical issues before world leaders.

“God willing starting today, I along with senior ministers and other Malaysian delegates will attend the conference and hold several important meetings with world leaders and global corporate heads.

“This meeting and conference will, among other things, touch on matters related to national interests, starting with the Opening Plenary session on the theme of New Vision of Global Development this morning where I will deliver a speech,” he said in a post on Facebook today.

Anwar, who arrived in Riyadh at 10.25 pm Saturday local time or 3.25 am Sunday morning Malaysia time, also asked for prayers for the success of the Malaysian delegation in the mission.

Meanwhile, in the same post, Anwar also shared his concerns about the culture of reading materials such as Dewan Masyarakat magazine which is not popular among young people in schools and universities.

“Thinking about finding the best way to invigorate the culture of iqra (reading) and nourish the tradition of aqliyyah (the tradition of knowledge),” he said, who made Dewan Masyarakat a reading material on the flight to Riyadh.

Anwar shared his admiration for the language, the quality of the work and the choice of interesting articles with the theme of ‘argument debate’ which is an effort to encourage fresh discourse based on arguments and facts and reject bigotry and slander.

“Referring specifically to the Dewan Masyarakat, articles on bigoted politics, argumentative debates, review of the book ‘The History of Java’ and the prominence of George Santayana is a careful and valuable treatment. Hopefully it can capture the interest of the audience

“The selected poem ‘Bahasa Tanpa Kasta’ by Abizal (Miri) turns out to flow with clarity of mind, cooling the heart of every human being, crossing the boundaries of continents, ages and eras,” he said.

Source: Bernama

Mission to explore economic opportunities, attract new investments at WEF

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Sarawak plans to replace the use of coal at the Sejingkat and Balingian power plants with biomass, in line with the state’s efforts to develop clean and sustainable energy, says Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg.

Speaking to reporters after gracing the national-level World Water Day celebration at Kuching Waterfront yesterday, the Sarawak Premier said doing so would not only reduce carbon emission but also provide economic benefits.

He cited the Drax facility in the United Kingdom, which he visited recently during an official trip to the UK, as an example of a power plant successfully transitioning from coal to biomass as a source of energy.

“At Drax, they previously used coal but have now replaced it with biomass. The investment (to change) is not high because the system is very similar.

“This is what we want to use for Sejinkat and Balingian. We want to decommission coal. I have calculated that we can use our biomass to generate power,” he said.

Abang Johari explained that switching from coal to wood waste could generate power exceeding 500 megawatts.

“Now we only need to strengthen the boiler and also from the point of view of the motor machine, and this will enable Sejingkat (plant) to generate even up to one gigawatt,” he said.

Touching on his visit to the Drax power station, the Premier said the insight he gained has provided him a valuable framework in further developing the state’s renewable energy sector, adding he will discuss this with state utility company Sarawak Energy Berhad.

He also expressed happiness that the European community has recognised Sarawak’s role in addressing climate change.

“We will share the technology we have in renewable energy production including biomass,” he said.

Separately, Abang Johari said the implementation of cascading dams in the hinterland will be carried out elsewhere if the local population objected to it.

“If they disagree, the government will move (the project) to another area. If they feel suspicious, we will go to another place where the people want (the project to be implemented).

“Now we are implementing the project near Sungai Kanowit and Song. In Kapit, they want this cascading source, and we have a new technology that I mentioned as a tank elevator.

“This depends on the theory of gravity, which means that the flow of water can generate energy,” he said.

Also present at the event were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Sri Julaihi Narawi and his deputy minister Datuk Liwan Lagang, and Fadillah’s deputy minister Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir.

Source: The Borneo Post

Premier: Sarawak to replace coal with biomass at Sejingkat, Balingian power plants

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The Penang State Government is working with the Federal Government to continue efforts in attracting investment in the semiconductor sector, including the integrated circuit (IC) design segment, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said that Penang will also continue with various investments to complete the ecosystem and supply chain, as the semiconductor field is extensive and involves many sub-sectors, such as ICs.

“Moreover, the Federal Government is currently working on a Semiconductor Strategic Plan, and I understand there are plans to specialise states in specific sub-sectors, so we do not need to compete with other states but rather view this sector in the context of the nation.

“So, we need to see what the Semiconductor Strategic Plan, which is expected to be announced in May, proposes, and we will assess the roles assigned to Penang. I believe this state has the most complete ecosystem in Malaysia,“ he told reporters here today.

He was met after attending a charity luncheon for Hari Raya Aidilfitri organised by the Honorary Consulate Corps of Malaysia, which was also attended by Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri, Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak and his wife Toh Puan Khadijah Mohd Noor, along with various consulate representatives in Penang.

Chow said this in response to former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s suggestion that Penang should learn from Selangor’s success in establishing the Malaysia Semiconductor Accelerator and IC Design Park .

Therefore, Chow said that the state government will arrange a meeting with Lim, who is also a former Chief Minister of Penang, as well as with Invest Penang and the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) to hear proposals on an IC park in the state.

Yesterday, three new semiconductor companies, namely China Wafer Level CSP Co (WLCSP), Ningbo SJ Electronics Co (SJE), and Wuxi AMTE Inc (AMTE), expressed interest in investing in Penang, with a total investment of US$100 million (US$1=RM4.76).

Regarding the issue of water tariffs, Chow, who is also state Finance, Land Development, and Economy Committee chairman, said that tariff increases in the state depend on approval from the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), which has its own mechanism, including a tiered tariff system.

He explained that the first tier tariff has not been increased since 1992 in the state, while the second tier has not been adjusted since 2015, even though tariff rates are supposed to be reviewed or can be raised every three years as allowed by SPAN.

“Sometimes, Penang does not enforce (the three-year tariff increase) or it does not get approval, so when the water tariff does go up, it’s steep. If the review were done every three years, it wouldn’t be as drastic as now. Since it hasn’t gone up for a long time, we have to ‘catch up’,“ he said.

He was commenting on proposals from several state assemblymen suggesting solutions to the problem of increasing water tariffs, including raising the tariff in three phases over a year.

Source: Bernama

Penang working with Fed Govt to attract semiconductor investment – Chow

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The Pahang government is planning to establish industrial zones for all 11 districts in the state to encourage more foreign investment, particularly from China, said Pahang Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.

“(During a recent official visit to China), we met with investors and informed them that industrial zones will be created in all districts, and we also highlighted that the state’s infrastructure (is undergoing upgrades) and will improve by early 2027 when the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) is fully completed.

“it was also announced that the Kuantan Port will be expanded to facilitate export and import,” he said during a media briefing at the 2024 Moh Karnival Makmur here today.

He was addressing queries on his recent official visit to China that was aimed at further strengthening investment and trade relations between Pahang and China.

He said that the meeting garnered positive responses, with the investors in China expressing keen interest in investing in Pahang, however, the state government will thoroughly vet the applications before granting approval.

“We raised that at least one condition must be complied with (by investors). That is (to employ) 80 per cent local workers. Initially, it’s acceptable to have maybe 60 per cent, but eventually (it must be) 80 per cent, and they agreed,” he said.

As of 2022, Pahang has attracted RM11.01 billion in foreign direct investment, with RM5.6 billion just from China. 

Source: Bernama

Pahang MB: All districts in state to have industrial zones

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High-tech companies that have shown an interest in Selangor’s integrated circuit (IC) design park are also in discussions to invest in Penang, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

The lawmaker said the companies will be in Penang tomorrow to discuss investments in the state.

“The same group of people who went to Selangor are talking to Penang as well and tomorrow they will be here to announce a few investments,” he told reporters here after launching the Northern International Audio and Visual Show Penang here.

He said Penang may not have an IC design park but that doesn’t mean there are no IC design companies here.

“We do have IC design companies in Penang, maybe spread out across different locations, not in a specific IC design park,” he said.

He said not having a park does not mean high-tech IC design companies will not invest in Penang.

He was responding to criticisms by his predecessor Lim Guan Eng and former deputy chief minister II P. Ramasamy that Penang had lost the opportunity to host the IC design park to Selangor which led to the state losing investment opportunities.

Earlier today, Ramasamy also said high-tech investors such as ARM Limited and Phison Malaysia are keen to invest in the Selangor IC design park when they would have invested in Penang.

Source: Malay Mail

No IC design park, no problem: Kon Yeow says high-tech companies set to announce investments in Penang

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Majuperak Holdings Bhd (MHB) will collaborate with Shizen International Inc to explore the development of a solar photovoltaic (PV) project to expand Perak’s clean energy technology usage.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad said the project is likely to be developed on land and water.

“This collaboration is based on two objectives — to explore the development of solar PV projects on land, and to assess potential water sites for floating PV projects in Perak.

“This collaboration is also in line with Perak’s determination to develop green technology and efforts to attract investment through the Flagship Programme 12: Water Resources and Renewable Energy Resources,” he said in an MHB statement.

Earlier, MHB group chief executive officer Syed Agil Syed Hashim and Shizen International CEO Rei Ushikubo signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Saarani and Perak State Development Corporation chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq Abdul Razak, who is also MHB’s executive chairman, witnessed the signing.

The state government welcomes local or foreign companies interested to invest in Perak, Saarani said.

Meanwhile, Redza Rafiq said he welcomes Shizen International’s cooperation and international experience in the field.

“We anticipate great progress from the MOU, because we are prepared to intensify the generation of renewable energy in Perak,” he said.

He said the initiative is also in line with the National Energy Transition Roadmap, which seeks to increase sustainable energy generation in the country.

Source: Bernama

Majuperak, Shizen International to explore solar PV development in Perak

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