Malaysia Update: New Cyberjaya Initiatives Announced

Malaysia Update | June 12, 2017
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Ezani Mansor, Emma Tabatai and Mingde Chong
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
June 20: Malaysia Committee Quarterly Call featuring a briefing by the Honorable Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

New Cyberjaya Initiatives Announced

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced eleven projects and initiatives at Cyberjaya’s 20th anniversary celebration on May 31. With the motto “Innovation Drives the Smart City Transformation”, the eleven initiatives are expected to provide both program support and physical infrastructure to further transform Cyberjaya into a global technology hub and serve as a model for Smart City developments. Prime Minister Najib said that these projects are designed to be forward-looking, with goals that complement the country’s national development plan, TN50.

Among the projects announced was Futurise Centre, a joint-venture project between Cyberview Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Global Creativity & Innovation Centre (MaGIC), that will house Innovation Labs and Co-Working Spaces. It will see a collaboration between higher-education institutions such as China’s Tsinghua University and entrepreneurs to encourage the development of innovative products. Another initiative announced was the Cyberjaya Innovation Fund for the Future (CIFF) that is expected to create 300 jobs and see RM100 million disbursed by Cyberview over a 10-year period for smart city related projects located in Cyberjaya. Submissions for the fund are open to both local and foreign partners.

Cyberjaya serves as a pilot project for the government’s broader goal of establishing a culture of innovation and collaboration in Malaysia. Prime Minister Najib stressed the importance of creating an ecosystem in the lives of Malaysians that will allow innovation to thrive. In line with this, high-speed internet that was previously only available to businesses will begin to be available to residents of Cyberjaya, which includes students from multiple universities based in Cyberjaya. The fibre optic broadband that offers unlimited capacity is hoped to encourage creative content development in areas such as gaming and animation. In a time in which Malaysia is moving towards digitalized payments, it is hoped to also complement data transfer applications. Pushing towards a cashless society, an MOU was signed between Cyberjaya and Mastercard to implement pilot programs including a mobile ticketing app and a bike-sharing platform expected to begin in July 2017.

More details and information regarding the eleven projects can be found here.

Malaysia wants renegotiations of TPP

Malaysia remains open to TPP discussions after the withdrawal of the US, but officials say that renegotiations of the trade deal are necessary for the 11 remaining countries to move forward.

At the APEC trade ministers meeting in Vietnam on May 20th, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that Malaysia will continue to be involved in upcoming discussions regarding the TPP. “In evaluating Malaysia’s participation in the TPP without the US, an important consideration will be the possibility of Malaysia missing out on economic opportunities should the other 10 countries decide to go ahead with the trade agreement”, he said in a statement.

However, Minister Mustapa believes that the trade deal should be renegotiated if the TPP were to proceed without its biggest economy. Countries should consider downsizing the TPP as they move forward with the US. "In the event it’s TPP minus one, in our view it cannot be the one that was agreed in Auckland in February 2016," Mustapa said. In the meantime, Malaysia is prioritizing the RCEP as negotiations for the China-backed trade deal for Asia reaches its final stages.

TPP-11 will meet again in mid-July, and are aiming for progress by November when leaders gather in Vietnam at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

Regional Affairs
Gulf states/ Qatar split: Malaysia monitoring developments, says Najib
S'pore envoy raps M'sian newspaper for 'baseless' allegations against EP scheme, meritocracy
RCEP's swift conclusion will ensure int'l trade remains prime driver
Malaysia-Kazakhstan bilateral trade continues to grow

National Affairs
Malaysia Not Pressured By Other Nations To Severe Ties With Qatar
New Companies Act to reduce cost of doing business
Putrajaya failed to consult Sarawak over tourism tax, state minister says
More multinational firms moving to M'sia from S'pore due to lower costs
Online sales in Malaysia to shoot up by 50 pct throughout Ramadan
Malaysia ranked 3rd in 2017 Global Retail Development Index
Malaysia to set up task force to improve ranking in World Competitiveness Yearbook
Malaysia’s labour productivity up by 3.5% in 2016
Big Interview: Mida keeping to well-tested investment ecosystem formula
Eight ministries hit PEB KPI targets
Boosting small and medium cap liquidity
50% of national rural development budget channelled to East M'sia
National transformation or electoral ploy in Malaysia?
National Corporate Innovation Index launched in Sabah

Customs
Malaysia’s Customs Dept wages all-out war against illicit trade
Sabah to set up committee to discuss cabotage policy exemption
Tourism Tax to be implemented on Aug 1: Customs Department
Shippers upset by Customs change requiring permits for transiting goods
'Watch out', plainclothes customs officers tell GST evaders

Defense & Security
Uber, Grab-type services must provide police-linked SOS button in their apps
National Cyber Security Agency taking shape: DPM
Hisham: Tackling extremism a joint effort
FPDA members to share intelligence to fight terrorist threats
Esscom ramps up Sabah security as battles escalate in Mindanao
Southeast Asian nations step up cooperation as Islamic State threat mounts
Malaysians unfazed by terrorism

Energy
Malaysia expects to generate RM1 bln from Astana EXPO 2017
Malaysia pledges to cut oil production by 20,000 barrels per day
Why Malaysia's energy subsidies are "not sustainable"
Malaysia confident climate pact wont derail without US

Financial Services
Malaysia slowly winning battle against FX speculators
Singapore’s MAS completes 2-year review of banks in 1MDB deals
Number of full time agents needs to increase
Bank Negara kicks off fintech with licences issued
Bank Negara to introduce more rules to strengthen banking system
Malaysian liberalisation could raise penetration rate to 75%

Health & Life Sciences
Need to audit private healthcare more often
Singapore's medical tourism threatened by Malaysia, Indonesia
Malaysians most obese in region
Medical practitioners must be registered, experienced to apply anaesthetic
Malaysia and Indonesia form strategic partnership
WHO wants to tap Malaysia's medical expertise, says Health D-G

ICT
Cyberview launches Starter Kit
Maybank launches regional collaborative FinTech Sandbox platform
Cyberjaya launches Malaysia’s first superfast, competitive broadband
Connected consumers drive smartphone penetration in Malaysia
Najib optimistic Cyberjaya City Centre project will turn city into global tech hub
More recruitment in IT, telecommunications industry
Asean digital and internet technology sees explosive growth
Asia beating global peers on digital engagement

Infrastructure
Cyberjaya's growing attraction

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Gulf states/ Qatar split: Malaysia monitoring developments, says Najib NST Online 5th Jun 2017
Malaysia will closely monitor the situation in the Persian Gulf after six countries proceeded to cut ties with Qatar, which has been accused of destabilising the region and backing militant groups.

S'pore envoy raps M'sian newspaper for 'baseless' allegations against EP scheme, meritocracy TODAYonline 30th May 2017
Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia has slammed an editorial by the Utusan Malaysia newspaper on the changes to the Republic’s Elected Presidency scheme, which carried “several baseless and mischievous allegations”. These include the claim that in Singapore, “meritocracy was always being used as an excuse to discriminate against Malays”, “meritocracy was also open to manipulation”, and that “Malays became weaker and marginalised from the corridors of power”, Mr Vanu Gopala Menon wrote in a letter to the Malaysian newspaper which was put up on Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

RCEP's swift conclusion will ensure int'l trade remains prime driver NST Online 29th May 2017
A swift conclusion to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations will help ensure international trade remains a prime driver of economic growth in Asia, says HSBC Bank Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Mukhtar Hussain.

Malaysia-Kazakhstan bilateral trade continues to grow NST Online 5th Jun 2017
Malaysia looks forward to increase increasing trade with Kazakhstan, its second-largest trading partner in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). region, the Republic of Kazakhstan.

National Affairs

Malaysia Not Pressured By Other Nations To Severe Ties With Qatar The Edge Markets 12th Jun 2017
Malaysia is not being pressured by any West Asian country, including Saudi Arabia, which is involved in a regional crisis, to severe ties with Qatar, International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan was reported as saying by Bernama.

New Companies Act to reduce cost of doing business The Star Online 8th Jun 2017
The new Companies Act 2016 and Companies Regulations 2017, which came into effect in January, aim to reduce the cost of doing business, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Putrajaya failed to consult Sarawak over tourism tax, state minister says The Malay Online 8th Jun 2017
Putrajaya failed to consult Sarawak over tourism tax, state minister says

More multinational firms moving to M'sia from S'pore due to lower costs The Star Online 7th Jun 2017
More multinational corporations, particularly in the oil and gas (O & G) sector, are moving their operations here from Singapore because of lower costs due to the depreciation of the ringgit.

Online sales in Malaysia to shoot up by 50 pct throughout Ramadan NST Online 6th Jun 2017
Online sales are expected to surge upward by at least 50 per cent throughout the Ramadan and Raya periods this year as Malaysians prepare for the festive season.

Malaysia ranked 3rd in 2017 Global Retail Development Index NST Online 5th Jun 2017
Malaysia has been ranked third in the 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) for the second consecutive year.

Malaysia to set up task force to improve ranking in World Competitiveness Yearbook NST Online 1st Jun 2017
Malaysia will establish a task force, comprising representatives from the public and private sector, to improve its ranking in the World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY), said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

Malaysia’s labour productivity up by 3.5% in 2016 The Star Online 31st May 2017
Malaysia’s labour productivity grew by 3.5% to RM78,218 in 2016 from RM75,548 previously, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

Big Interview: Mida keeping to well-tested investment ecosystem formula NST Online 30th May 2017
Malaysia has a well-tested formula in attracting investments, one that is based on building blocks over the past five decades.

Eight ministries hit PEB KPI targets the star 30th May 2017
Eight ministries hit the maximum Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets set under the Bumiputra Economic Empower­ment (PEB) programme last year.

Boosting small and medium cap liquidity NST Online 26th May 2017
Government-linked investment companies (GLICs) are to allocate up to RM3 billion for investment in small and medium public-listed entities on Bursa Malaysia to boost liquidity and investors’ interest, says Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

50% of national rural development budget channelled to East M'sia NST Online 25th May 2017
The substantial amount of funds allocated by the government to develop rural areas in Sarawak and Sabah reflect the leadership’s commitment to ensuring that both states prosper, Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said today.

National transformation or electoral ploy in Malaysia? Asia Times 25th May 2017
On January 19, 500 students from Malaya University in Kuala Lumpur were invited to tell Prime Minister Najib Razak how they want Malaysia to look and function in 2050.

National Corporate Innovation Index launched in Sabah NST Online 25th May 2017
The National Corporate Innovation Index (NCII) was introduced in Sabah today through a workshop that allowed companies to evaluate their level of innovativeness and establish their innovation profile.

Customs

Malaysia’s Customs Dept wages all-out war against illicit trade TODAY 5th Jun 2017
Malaysia’s Customs Department has declared an all-out war against illicit cigarette trade in its bid to eliminate the smuggling racket that has cost the government RM4.4 billion (S$1.42 billion) in revenue. Customs director-general T Subromaniam said the department recorded 2,663 cases of illicit cigarettes last year, with Sabah topping the list with 936 cases followed by Johor (273), Selangor (218), Sarawak (176) and Kelantan (159).

Sabah to set up committee to discuss cabotage policy exemption The Malay Mail Online 1st Jun 2017
A committee will be formed to study and discuss the implications of the implementation of the cabotage policy exemption in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan starting today. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is heading the committee, said all parties needed to discuss and voice out their opinions on the exemption in the government’s stride to stabilise and reduce cargo shipping tariff.

Tourism Tax to be implemented on Aug 1: Customs Department NST Online 6th Jun 2017
The implementation of the Tourism Tax (TTx) will begin on August 1 this year, as announced by the Customs Department on their website. Prior to the enforcement date, operators of accommodation premises are required to register their businesses starting July 1. Regulated by the Finance Ministry and the Customs Department, the tax is charged at a specific rate on tourists staying at any accommodation premises provided by an operator of the said accommodation premises. Tax returns will be used to develop the tourism industry, namely the enhancement of tourism infrastructure and facilities, tourism promotional activities and campaigns.

Shippers upset by Customs change requiring permits for transiting goods The Malay Mail 1st Jun 2017
A new Customs ruling now requires shipping firms to apply for approved permits (APs) for 74 product types, even if Malaysia is only an intermediate destination. Malaysian Shipping Association chairman Ooi Lean Hin said the Customs Department ruling has been gazetted and came into effect in April.

'Watch out', plainclothes customs officers tell GST evaders Free Malaysia Today 29th May 2017
Irked by goods and services tax (GST) collections that “do not make sense”, the Royal Malaysian Customs Department is sending out enforcement officers posing as customers to nab traders who evade paying the true amount of the tax.

Defense & Security

Uber, Grab-type services must provide police-linked SOS button in their apps NST Online 8th Jun 2017
All e-hailing operators in Malaysia will have to install a SOS button within their respective app’s to enable passengers to alert police, if they are in danger.

National Cyber Security Agency taking shape: DPM NST Online 8th Jun 2017
The government is exploring ways of beefing up the country’s cyber security management.

Hisham: Tackling extremism a joint effort the star 5th Jun 2017
No country can combat religious extremism alone, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

FPDA members to share intelligence to fight terrorist threats the star 2nd Jun 2017
Members of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) regional security institution have agreed to share intelligence to deal with terrorist threats against Malaysia and Singapore.

Esscom ramps up Sabah security as battles escalate in Mindanao NST Online 25th May 2017
Maritime security in eastern Sabah remains tight with marine police from Malaysia and the Philippines jointly patrolling sea borders to monitor suspicious movements of vessels, amidst tension in Mindanao.

Southeast Asian nations step up cooperation as Islamic State threat mounts Reuters 5th Jun 2017
Southeast Asian nations plan to use spy planes and drones to stem the movement of militants across their porous borders, defense officials said at the weekend, as concerns rise over the growing clout of Islamic State in the region. Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines said they will launch joint air patrols this month at their shared boundaries in the Sulu Sea, in addition to existing maritime patrols.

Malaysians unfazed by terrorism AsiaOne 26th May 2017
Malaysian tourists are among those who are "least affected" by acts of terror when considering holiday destinations, said a senior Malaysian tourism official.

Energy

Malaysia expects to generate RM1 bln from Astana EXPO 2017 astro awani 29th May 2017
Malaysia's participation in the Astana EXPO 2017, to be held from June 10 to Sept 10 in Kazakhstan, is expected to generate RM1.0 billion in trade and investments, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

Malaysia pledges to cut oil production by 20,000 barrels per day NST Online 26th May 2017
Malaysia has pledged to cut its oil production by 20,000 barrels per day following a decision by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Why Malaysia's energy subsidies are "not sustainable" Asian Power 31st May 2017
Government's expenditure capacity is on the line, expert says. With a growing population and an increasing level of energy consumption, Southeast Asia has become a hotspot for energy research and development. Key economies in the region such as Malaysia and Thailand are revolutionising energy efficiency programmes and financing, as their governments aim to reach energy targets and maintain growth momentum.

Malaysia confident climate pact wont derail without US the star 5th Jun 2017
Malaysia is confident that the Paris Climate Agreement will not fail because China and the European Union can take over the role played by the United States, which has declared its withdrawal from the deal.

Financial Services

Malaysia slowly winning battle against FX speculators Reuters 1st Jun 2017
Foreigners, who had held about half of the outstanding Malaysian government bonds, fled the market between November 2016 and March this year after Bank Negara Malaysia said they could no longer trade in ringgit non-deliverable forwards (NDFs). These are offshore contracts used to hedge exposure to the ringgit.

Singapore’s MAS completes 2-year review of banks in 1MDB deals The Star 30th May 2017
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has completed its two-year review of banks involved in 1MDB-related transactions known to-date. The regulator announced on Tuesday that it had imposed financial penalties on Credit Suisse and United Overseas Bank (UOB), as well as issued Prohibition Orders (POs) against three individuals. In a statement posted on its website, it said that it had served notice of its intention to impose the same regulatory action on three others.

Number of full time agents needs to increase Asia Insurance Review 30th May 2017
To become a more mature insurance market like Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) will work towards minimising the number of part-time agents, said its industry promotion committee chairman Ramzi Toubassy at the at the opening of the 2017 Limra-Loma Operational Strategies Conference in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Bank Negara kicks off fintech with licences issued the star 29th May 2017
Bank Negara has issued licences to four companies to operate within its “regulatory sandbox”, marking a significant milestone in the growth of financial technology (fintech) in Malaysia.

Bank Negara to introduce more rules to strengthen banking system The Star 25th May 2017
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will introduce more regulatory measures over next seven months to strengthen banking system, says its Governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim. He said on Thursday that first, it would implement a mandatory employment reference check for financial industry employees. This, he added, was to remove employee information asymmetries during job transitions.

Malaysian liberalisation could raise penetration rate to 75% InsuranceAsia News 25th May 2017
Insurance and takaful penetration rate in Malaysia could increase to 75% by 2020 if the central bank liberalises the insurance sector.

Health & Life Sciences

Need to audit private healthcare more often the star 29th May 2017
Over the last few years, there has been increasing interest globally in the issue of patient safety including primary care. Patient’s safety issues arise not mainly from provider’s negligence but also from failures in the healthcare system in having sufficient safeguards embedded to protect patients.

Singapore's medical tourism threatened by Malaysia, Indonesia Singapore Business Review 9th Jun 2017
Malaysia's HMI offers quality treatment at relatively lower cost. Findings by AB Bernstein and Global Health and Travel noted Singapore as one of the top destinations in the region for medical tourism.

Malaysians most obese in region NST Online 7th Jun 2017
Malaysia has the dubious honour of having the highest obesity prevalence in Southeast Asia. This was based on Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Tackling Obesity in Asean” report, which covered Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Medical practitioners must be registered, experienced to apply anaesthetic BorneoPost Online 7th Jun 2017
A witness told the Sessions Court here today that a medical practitioner had to be registered with the Malaysia Medical Academy and with experience before he or she could be allowed to anaesthetize a patient.

Malaysia and Indonesia form strategic partnership International Medical Travel Journal 1st Jun 2017
MHTC and five Indonesian strategic partners have signed a partnership agreement on health tourism. The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and five Indonesian strategic partners have signed an exclusive partnership agreement on health tourism.

WHO wants to tap Malaysia's medical expertise, says Health D-G Star Media Group Berhad 27th May 2017
Impressed with Ma­­lay­­sia’s medical research work and making medicine more accessible and affor­­dable, the World Health Organisation has expressed interest in harnessing its expertise, the Health Ministry said.

ICT

Cyberview launches Starter Kit Digital News Asia 9th Jun 2017
Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the tech hub enabler for Cyberjaya has launched a platform to connect individuals with movers and shakers in particular areas of the technology sector.

Maybank launches regional collaborative FinTech Sandbox platform Digital News Asia 7th Jun 2017
In A bid to boost the further development and growth of fintech in Asean, Maybank has launched a regional, collaborative FinTech Sandbox to provide opportunities for start-ups and innovators to develop and test new ideas.

Cyberjaya launches Malaysia’s first superfast, competitive broadband Digital News Asia 6th Jun 2017
Connectivity in Cyberjaya is now faster thanks to Malaysia’s First 1Gbps superfast, competitive broadband for not just businesses but also homes throughout the city.

Connected consumers drive smartphone penetration in Malaysia Digital News Asia 6th Jun 2017
Malaysian consumers are choosing bigger screen size smartphones, with over two-fifth (45%) of the 8.5 million units of mobile handset purchased in the last 12 months measuring over five inches.

Najib optimistic Cyberjaya City Centre project will turn city into global tech hub NST Online 31st May 2017
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today was upbeat about the Cyberjaya City Centre project which he believes can contribute to the growth of Cyberjaya and turn it into a global technology hub.

More recruitment in IT, telecommunications industry NST Online 31st May 2017
Online recruitment for information technology (IT), telecommunications, and IT-based business processes industry grew by 12 per cent in April compared to the same month last year.

Asean digital and internet technology sees explosive growth NST Online 29th May 2017
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), with a population of 622 million and a projected gross domestic product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion (RM10.7 trillion) last year, is the seventh largest global economy.

Asia beating global peers on digital engagement Digital News Asia 29th May 2017
Asian economies are more digitally engaged relative to their global peers at similar stages of development, according to Deloitte, who recently released the second edition of their Voice of Asia series.

Infrastructure

Cyberjaya's growing attraction NST Online 1st Jun 2017
Cyberjaya is not only rapidly turning into a technology development hub but also attracting more people to live there, says Setia Haruman executive chairman Ahmad Khalif Mustapha Kamal.