Malaysia Update: April 18, 2018

Malaysia Update | April 18, 2018
Authors: Kim Yaeger, Tina Jamaluddin, Emma Tabatabai, and Alex Nguyen
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Anti-Fake News Legislation Becomes Law

Malaysia’s Parliament passed legislation known as the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 earlier this month outlawing fake news, one of the first countries to introduce such a measure. The legislation officially went into effect on April 11 after receiving consent from the Malaysian King. The law carries punishments of up to six years in prison, and a maximum fine of up to 500,000RM ($128,000) for spreading or creating fake news which is defined broadly in the bill as “news, information, data and reports which is or are wholly or partly false,” and could also apply to foreigners. Under the new law, online service providers would be responsible for third-party content, and anyone can lodge a complaint. It will also allow the government to seek an order for published articles to be removed and, if national security concerns were cited, the order cannot be challenged in court. The full text of the law can be read here.

The new law comes as the general election takes place next month on May 9th. It has drawn criticism from the opposition, the media, and NGOs for being fast-tracked and that it will inhibit free speech, especially ahead of the general election. They argue existing laws such as the Article 8A of the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act and Article 233 (1) of the 1998 Communications and Multimedia Act are already sufficient to enforce and penalize the dissemination of fake news. The U.S. State Department expressed concern in a statement by highlighting the “potential impact on freedom of expression in Malaysia, as well as its global reach, which could impact U.S. citizens and companies.” They urged the Malaysian government to consult with the business community and civil society before taking further action on the bill. Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law, said the measure is intended restrict the dissemination of fake news and will not restrict the freedom of speech. Other countries in the region, including Singapore and the Philippines, have also considered proposing laws to curb fake news.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

As Malaysia prepares for its General Election on May 9, the Council has continued its advocacy efforts regarding Bank Negara’s new regulations governing domestic electronic payments. The final regulations contained in the Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF) were released on March 16. In response, the Council recently transmitted a letter to the office of the Prime Minister reiterating our concerns about the ICTF and noting that the same concerns have been transmitted to the office of the United States Trade Representative.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

Regional Affairs
Malaysia, Philippines put Uber-Grab deal under anti-competition scrutiny
18 more laws to be amended before Malaysia can ratify CPTPP
Malaysia says 'No' to U.S. renegotiation

National Affairs
Najib: Malaysia's success key to attracting foreign investment
Malaysia's anti-fake news legislation becomes law, is now enforceable
Malaysia sets election date for May 9
Malaysia should leverage on growing halal industry globally
Tok Pa wants real change in Kelantan
Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 passed in Dewan Rakyat
BNM Annual Report 2017: Malaysia’s economy to sustain slight growth of 5.9pc this year
Redelineation motion passed by Dewan Rakyat
Bank Negara introduces 'living wage' concept

Customs
Zahid praises customs implementation of GST
Malaysia raises CPO export duties to 5% from April: Malaysian Customs

Defense & Security
Najib: Malaysia ready to help regional security
Domestic security architecture vital for regional peace, security, says Najib
Defense and weaponry show opens in Malaysia
Asean unity pivotal to regional success, says Hishammuddin

Energy
Energy Commission gets new boss
Malaysia’s stand on renewable energy directive consistent, says Mah
Malaysian energy sectors beckons highest FDI inflow
Malaysian energy firm Petronas raises 2018 spending for upstream work

Financial Services
RAM: Malaysia well poised as green finance centre
Malaysia: Central bank calls out foreign insurers to keep divestment pledge
Report: Foreign insurance firms want review of local ownership rule
Malaysia central bank to launch revised takaful operational framework
Retailers not permitted to impose surcharges for payments using debit, credit cards: BNM
E-payments a cost-effective option to cash: BNM governor

Food & Agriculture
State to modernise agriculture
Najib says good news awaits paddy farmers upon BN election victory
Malaysia to extend crude palm oil zero duty freeze until end-April - Agriculture | Platts News Article & Story

Health & Life Sciences
113 dengue cases, four deaths recorded in Kunak
Health insurance scheme for the poor
World Health Day: Lessons from Malaysia on universal health coverage
Rare Disease Advocates Call For Registry
Affordable healthcare for all
Anti-vaccine group's actions at 'worrying level' among Malays
Malaysia health ministry says not to doubt halal vaccines
Health Ministry reviewing 'doula' service

ICT
MDEC programmes bearing fruit
DFTZ generated RM52.1 million in sales
Empowering Malaysia’s micro-entrepreneurs to boost e-commerce
There must be malicious intent
Malaysia Airlines introduces three new digital initiatives
Malaysia’s sovereign funds to pool in $250m for tech-focused fund of funds
Malaysia needs to a ‘frontrunner’ on digital frontier
Deputy minister: Digital economy expected to contribute 20pc to GDP by 2020
Malaysia's readiness in adopting autonomous vehicle technology by 2025
Malaysia launches Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme
Civil servants urged to prepare for future challenges

Infrastructure
Catastrophic for Malaysia if transportation projects cancelled
Sarawak forms special committee to study proposal on upgradings state airports' facilities
Rural development on target

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Malaysia, Philippines put Uber-Grab deal under anti-competition scrutiny the malaymail 3rd Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The Philippines and Malaysia said yesterday they will look into whether Uber Technologies’ move to sell its South-east Asian business to ride-hailing rival Grab hinders competition, days after Singapore began a probe into the deal on similar concerns.

18 more laws to be amended before Malaysia can ratify CPTPP NST Online 3rd Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Members of Parliament in Malaysia need to amend 18 more laws before the country can ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Malaysia says 'No' to U.S. renegotiation NST Online 14th Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and members of the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have jointly opposed any renegotiations to accommodate the United States should the country decide to participate in the trade deal.

National Affairs

Najib: Malaysia's success key to attracting foreign investment NST Online 12th Apr 2018
The success of the government in carrying out transformation programmes is the key in attracting foreign investments to Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. He said the successful implementation of the National Transformation Programme (NTP) and the National Economic Transformation had earned the confidence of foreign investors and international rating agencies. He said as a result, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had placed Malaysia on the right track to achieve a developed nation status.

Malaysia's anti-fake news legislation becomes law, is now enforceable The Straits Times 11th Apr 2018
Malaysia has gazetted the controversial Anti-Fake News Act 2018, meaning it has become law and is enforceable. Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday (April 11) that the Bill on anti-fake news has received assent from the Malaysian King and was gazetted on Wednesday, New Straits Times quoted him as saying. The documents related to the Act have been uploaded on the Federal Gazette website, a check by Malaysiakini news site found.

Malaysia sets election date for May 9 CNN 10th Apr 2018
Malaysians will go to the polls on Wednesday, May 9, to cast their votes in a parliamentary election that pits incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak against the combined force of two bitter rivals. Candidates, who must be nominated on April 28, are expected to include 92-year-old opposition leader Mahathir Mohamad. Mahatir, who served 22 years as the country's leader before retiring in 2003, has come back determined to topple the party he once led by joining forces with his arch-nemesis, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, whom he once jailed for corruption and sodomy.

Malaysia should leverage on growing halal industry globally NST Online 9th Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The global halal industry is likely to grow between US$3 trillion and US$4 trillion in the next five years, from the current estimated US$2 trillion, backed by continued demand from both Muslim and non-Muslim majority countries.

Tok Pa wants real change in Kelantan the star 5th Apr 2018
KOTA BARU: Even before sembahyang subuh Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed is out of his house to begin attending to a long list of visits and functions across Kelantan. By sunrise, the state Umno chief has visited five homes in town.

Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 passed in Dewan Rakyat the star 2nd Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 was passed with two amendments during the committee stage at the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (April 2).

BNM Annual Report 2017: Malaysia’s economy to sustain slight growth of 5.9pc this year malaymail 28th Mar 2018
Bank Negara Malaysia expects the Malaysian economy to grow by 5.5 to 6 per cent this year, a slight increase compared to 5.9 per cent recorded Detail Report:- http://www.bnm.gov.my/index.php?ch=en_publication&pg=en_ar&ac=40&en

Redelineation motion passed by Dewan Rakyat the star 28th Mar 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The motion on the redelineation was passed in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (March 28) with 129 votes for and 80 votes against.It only needed a simple majority of 111 lawmakers to be passed.

Bank Negara introduces 'living wage' concept NST Online 28th Mar 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has introduced the concept of “living wage”, which is the minimum income needed for a household to participate in society, the opportunity for personal and family development and freedom over severe financial stress.

Customs

Zahid praises customs implementation of GST Malay Mail Online 31st Mar 2018
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today praised the rigorous action taken by the Customs Department in implementing GST. — Picture by Zuraneeza ZulkifliHUTANG MELINTANG, March 31 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today praised the rigorous action taken by the Customs Department in implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) system. He said the community should not blame the Customs for acting firmly on the matter, because the implementation of the GST is to strengthen the country’s economy.

Malaysia raises CPO export duties to 5% from April: Malaysian Customs Platts 22nd Mar 2018
Malaysia will raise the export duty rate on CPO exports to 5% from April 1 from the 0% rate effective since January, according to a circular posted by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board or MPOB website on Thursday. The Malaysian government reduced CPO export duties from 6% in December to 0% in a bid to lower the export price of Malaysian CPO and spur exports as Malaysian stocks of palm oil had built up to unsustainable levels on weak export demand in late 2017.

Defense & Security

Najib: Malaysia ready to help regional security The Star Online 16th Apr 2018
Malaysia stands ready to actively contribute to regional security, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic). The Prime Minister said as the third party facilitator for the Southern Philippines Peace Process, Malaysia helped the participants reach the final peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Philippine government. "The Bangsamoro Basic Law which follows from the agreement has been certified as urgent by President Duterte. He has also urged congress in Manila to fast track it. Najib added that Malaysia has also been the facilitator to the Southern Thailand Peace Dialogue since 2013.

Domestic security architecture vital for regional peace, security, says Najib Malay Mail Online 16th Apr 2018
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said the domestic security architecture of a country is a vital part to contribute to peace and regional security as a whole. He stressed that the very foundations of international security would be weak when countries do not properly address the safety of their own populations. “When we talk about regional security architecture, we tend to think about what nations are doing together. “But our own domestic security architecture is a vital part of the whole,” he said in his opening speech at the Putrajaya Forum 2018 held in conjunction with the Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security Asia (NatSec Asia) 2018 exhibition here.

Defense and weaponry show opens in Malaysia Xinhua 16th Apr 2018
Defense Services Asia 2018, a biennial defense and weaponry show, opened Monday in the Malaysian capital city Kuala Lumpur. Dubbed as one of the top five defense shows in the world, this year's show has drawn some 1,500 companies from 60 countries and regions, including big names such as Airbus, BAE Systems, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Thales, the organizer, Malaysia's Ministry of Defense, said in a statement. It is estimated that more than 50,000 professional and public visitors will walk into the exhibition area of 43,000 square meters at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Center in the coming three days.

Asean unity pivotal to regional success, says Hishammuddin malaymail 16th Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The togetherness of Asean members is pivotal in achieving the goals to create a safer and more stable region, and to emerge as the most successful region, Malaysia’s Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.

Energy

Energy Commission gets new boss Free Malaysia Today 14th Apr 2018
Azhar Omar has been appointed the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Energy Commission (ST) for a period of one year, effective April 2. In a statement here today, the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry said the commission also appointed Abdul Razib Dawood as its new chief operating officer, effective April 9. The ministry said the two senior officers had vast experience in the field of energy in the country, and it was hoped their knowledge and experience could be utilised in strengthening the commission as the credible regulatory authority of the industry, as well as spurring growth of the energy sector.

Malaysia’s stand on renewable energy directive consistent, says Mah Malay Mail Online 30th Mar 2018
Malaysia has maintained that its stand on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is consistent and viewed European Parliament’s move to ban palm oil use in biofuels as an unacceptable trade barrier. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the ban violated the European Union’s (EU) commitment to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). He said Malaysia raised the issue at the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade and the Council of Trade in Goods meetings on March 20-22, together with Thailand, Indonesia, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

Malaysian energy sectors beckons highest FDI inflow NST Online 23rd Mar 2018
The Malaysian oil, gas and energy sectors have exceeded its target, achieving 112 per cent of its 2017 key performance indicator (KPI). The National Transformation Programme 2017 Annual Report said this was attributed to highest ever foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to Malaysia of US$7 billion investment from Saudi Aramco in the Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development Project (RAPID) in Johor. Meanwhile, the US$27 billion Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex’s (PIPC) has reached 84 per cent completion, and set to be 100 per cent operational by the first quarter of 2019.

Malaysian energy firm Petronas raises 2018 spending for upstream work The Straits Times 22nd Mar 2018
Malaysian state energy firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) is increasing capital expenditure for upstream activities slightly in 2018 from last year, upstream chief executive Mohd Anuar Taib said on Wednesday (March 21). Petronas, like other oil majors, was hit by the plunge in oil prices from mid-2014 highs, but sharp cost cuts since then and a modest price recovery that began last year has helped the firm boost profits so it can spend more. Petronas allocated RM26 billion (S$8.7 billion) for upstream expenditure in 2018, Mr Anuar said, adding this was slightly more than 2017 although he did not give a precise comparison.

Financial Services

RAM: Malaysia well poised as green finance centre BorneoPost Online 28th Mar 2018
RAM Ratings sees Malaysia as a leading and sustainable green finance centre, based on the country’s solid foundation of more than 3 decades’ well-orchestrated government and regulatory initiatives. “Green finance is akin to icing on Malaysia’s bond market cake,” Promod Dass, Deputy CEO of RAM Ratings, highlighted during the Emerging Markets Green Bond Development panel discussion at the Climate Bonds Initiative’s 2018 Annual Conference, held  in London recently. As at end-2017, Malaysia’s bond market as a proportion of GDP – a good measure of relative size – was the third largest in Asia after Japan and South Korea, based on data from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Malaysia: Central bank calls out foreign insurers to keep divestment pledge Asia Insurance Review 28th Mar 2018
The central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), has insisted that insurance companies keep their promise. In a statement headlined “Response to Singapore Straits Times Article entitled 'Foreign Insurers in Malaysia Resisting Divestment: Sources' ", BNM said tersely: “Foreign shareholders of insurers were allowed to operate in Malaysia based on their promise and commitment including maintaining specified levels of domestic shareholding within agreed timelines.

Report: Foreign insurance firms want review of local ownership rule Free Malaysia Today 26th Mar 2018
: Two major foreign insurance companies, AIA and American International Group (AIG), are hoping that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will review its requirement on local ownership following intervention by the US government, a report today said. The Straits Times reported a senior US financial industry executive involved in negotiations as saying the US had “received backing from the Malaysian government that it would reconsider the restructuring laws”. In April last year, BNM laid down a set of deadlines that called on foreign insurance companies to divest a minimum of 30% interest in their operations to local investors.

Malaysia central bank to launch revised takaful operational framework Salaam Gateway 26th Mar 2018
Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will undertake further groundwork to strengthen the takaful industry and create an environment that fosters innovation, facilitated by a revised takaful operational framework. Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim said the revised framework would be published for consultation before the middle of the year. “The revised framework will bring greater clarity on the use of multiple Shariah standards in the models and structures of takaful.

Retailers not permitted to impose surcharges for payments using debit, credit cards: BNM NST Online 21st Mar 2018
Retailers are not permitted to impose surcharges for payments using debit cards and a similar prohibition is applied for credit card payments under the rules of international card schemes such as Visa and Mastercard under the Payment Card Reform Framework, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). It said the response provided by the Deputy Finance Minister in the Dewan Rakyat was with reference to the interest imposed by credit card issuers on cardholders for outstanding credit card balances that were overdue and not on surcharges imposed by retailers on credit and debit card transactions.

E-payments a cost-effective option to cash: BNM governor NST Online 11th Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should forge ahead with greater vigour and perseverance to displace cash, as managing cash is expensive.

Food & Agriculture

State to modernise agriculture The Borneo Post 16th Apr 2018
The state will modernise its agriculture and provide efficient telecommunication system as it adopts new technology and digital economy as the way forward says Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg . He noted that new technologies to be adopted in the development of agriculture sector would be based on technological production method such as fertigation system and artificial reproduction technology. “As agriculture is still one of our main economic strengths, we need to change to modern technology not only to increase but also to improve the quality of production apart from facilitating access to domestic and international markets,” he said when officiating at the launching ceremony of National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) Fiesta here yesterday.

Najib says good news awaits paddy farmers upon BN election victory Malay Mail Online 27th Mar 2018
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he would announce an increase in the special aid for paddy farmers once the BN claims victory on the night the results are declared for the 14th general election. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaJERLUN, March 27 ― Good news awaits paddy farmers in the country if the Barisan Nasional is returned to power in the coming general election, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The Prime Minister said he would announce an increase in the special aid for paddy farmers once the BN claims victory on the night the results are declared for the 14th general election.

Malaysia to extend crude palm oil zero duty freeze until end-April - Agriculture | Platts News Article & Story S&P Global 6th Apr 2018
Malaysia will extend an export duty exemption on crude palm oil until April 30, or when palm oil inventories in Malaysia fall below 1.6 million mt, whichever comes first, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities said Friday. The statement nullifies a March 22 announcement by the Royal Malaysian Customs Department that CPO export duties would be raised to 5% from April 1. The government in December suspended export duties on CPO for the first three months of 2018, after inventories rose to 2.73 million mt in December from 2.55 million mt in November, according to Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) data.

Health & Life Sciences

113 dengue cases, four deaths recorded in Kunak Malay Mail Online 7th Apr 2018
Some 113 cases, including four deaths, due to dengue fever have been recorded in Kunak within a period of three months until March this year, said Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi. She said the four fatalities, all children, were due to late detection that made it difficult to treat them. “This explanation dispels the inaccurate information made viral on dengue cases in Kunak,” she told reporters after launching the state-level World Health Day celebration here today.

Health insurance scheme for the poor NST Online 7th Apr 2018
The government is introducing the Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme this year to help those in the Bottom 40 per cent low-income group obtain health treatment in private clinics, with the costs borne by the government. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the scheme would be managed by his ministry and supervised by the Finance Ministry, with the aim to reduce the gap in healthcare services between the government and private sectors.

World Health Day: Lessons from Malaysia on universal health coverage Malay Mail Online 6th Apr 2018
The right to health is fundamental, universal and irrevocable. Individuals, their families and their communities should not have to die or face extreme poverty due to health care costs. World Health Day is celebrated on April 7, and 2018 marks the 70th birthday of the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year’s theme is universal health coverage (UHC) — the belief that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality health services where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship.

Rare Disease Advocates Call For Registry Star2.com 5th Apr 2018
Patients with rare lysosomal storage diseases posing for a photo at Taman Jaya Park, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, in conjunction with this years World Rare Disease Day celebrations. Only eight out of the over 50 types of this disease can be treated, but even the treatment costs about RM1mil a year. — MLDA How do you convince the Government that your particular medical problem needs money? Especially when said medical problem comes under the umbrella of rare diseases. With non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer affecting so many Malaysians – and by extension, taking up much of the Health Ministry’s budget – how do you get any attention for diseases that only affect one in a few thousand people?

Affordable healthcare for all NST Online 1st Apr 2018
The government’s initiative to address cost of living issues by offering affordable and quality healthcare services has had a direct impact on targeted groups. The government has worked towards strengthening its public healthcare delivery system over the years by building capacity, providing enhanced medical services and identifying new models and approaches. These were made possible through the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) that ensures the public has access to world-class healthcare services and facilities at affordable fees.

Anti-vaccine group's actions at 'worrying level' among Malays Free Malaysia Today 27th Mar 2018
The refusal of some parents to have their children vaccinated can contribute to a rise of infectious diseases, according to Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Ayub Rahmat. He said the actions of the “anti-vaccine group” was at a worrying level, especially when several diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB), had been on the rise as there was no vaccination since birth. “Some of them refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated, citing religious reasons and so on.

Malaysia health ministry says not to doubt halal vaccines Salaam Gateway 22nd Mar 2018
The Health Ministry has urged Muslim parents not to doubt the halal status of vaccines administered on their children, including that for diphtheria. Health Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the ministry conducts checks on all vaccines it obtains, and rejects those containing porcine deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Despite this, he said that there are Muslim parents who still refuse vaccines for their children due to doubts over their halal status.

Health Ministry reviewing 'doula' service Daily Express Newspaper 22nd Mar 2018
The Health Ministry is in the midst of reviewing whether the service of a "doula" (non-medical assistant during childbirth) should be stopped or continue to be allowed in the country. Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the service of a "doula" was initially introduced to coach and give advice to expecting mothers during childbirth, but when their advice could pose a risk or a danger to both the mother and the baby, it was clear that a line must be drawn.

ICT
MDEC programmes bearing fruit NST Online 17th Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: THE digital economy agenda is proven to have not only raised the living standards of low-income households but also churned many young millionaires.

DFTZ generated RM52.1 million in sales NST Online 9th Apr 2018
SEPANG: The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) SME Onboarding has generated total sales of RM52.1 million since last November.

Empowering Malaysia’s micro-entrepreneurs to boost e-commerce Digital News Asia 3rd Apr 2018
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) celebrated the successful completion of 50 high potential eUsahawan participants, who were among the pioneer batch of a special training and coaching programme aimed at creating sustainable e-commerce businesses. A collaboration between MDEC and Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd’s Coach and Grow Programme, the eUsahawan Level Up programme is an extension of MDEC’s eUsahawan initiative. Started in October 2017, the eUsahawan Level Up programme consists of two stages – six months and three months respectively. In the first stage, participants underwent a series of online and face-to-face training sessions and set their own six-month targets in consultation with assigned personal coaches. Cumulatively, the participants achieved a total of RM12,043,069 in revenue; 125% more than the target set. The second stage will see these 15 chosen participants undergoing an intensive three-month programme focusing on funding and export readiness.

There must be malicious intent the star 3rd Apr 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: After days of contentious debates, the controversial Anti-Fake News Bill 2018 was passed quietly in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday with two amendments made to it.

Malaysia Airlines introduces three new digital initiatives The Edge Markets 3rd Apr 2018
In its effort to enhance its passengers' travel experience, Malaysia Airlines Bhd today introduced three new digital initiatives, namely MHguardian, MHfeedback and Facebook messenger bot MHChat, and will be introducing another three or four more digital initiatives this year. Speaking to reporters here today, Malaysia Airlines chief commercial officer Arved von zur Muehlen said the airline has been prioritising its investment in digital advancement over the last 12 months. However, he did not disclose any investment figures. "Our studies show a continuous trend of mobile-first in aviation. More than half of Malaysians prefer to plan, research and book their trips via mobile. This shows that passengers are more self-sufficient and they want more control over their travels," said Muehlen.

Malaysia’s sovereign funds to pool in $250m for tech-focused fund of funds DealStreetAsia 28th Mar 2018
Malaysia’s sovereign and pension funds have jointly pooled in $250 million towards a tech-focused ‘fund of funds’ to make co-investments in fledgeling local companies. The corpus will be allocated to local and international venture capital firms that have a physical presence in the country, a top executive with a government-linked agency told this portal. “In the past, the likes of Khazanah and KWAP have been investing directly into companies but this fund of funds (FoF) is to get them to co-invest as limited partners through venture capital management companies that are registered here,” Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood told DEALSTREETASIA in an interaction. The country is targeting to assign this $250 million to VCs in calendar year 2018, she added. Malaysia is looking to emulate the Singapore model, where the city-state through its National Research Foundation (NRF), a department within the Prime Minister’s Office, has allotted tens of millions of dollars to several venture capital firms, to boost its startup scene. The NRF’s move to launch these schemes in 2008, when it initially put in $10 million each into select VCs, led to the city-state establishing a vibrant funding ecosystem over the last decade.

Malaysia needs to a ‘frontrunner’ on digital frontier Malaymail Online 28th Mar 2018
Malaysia needs to aspire to be a “frontrunner” on the digital frontier to fully unlock the economic benefits, says Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). In its 2017 Annual Report released here today, the central bank said transitioning the economy to “frontrunner” status could generate significant additional growth dividends of between US$100 billion-US$136 billion annually by 2025. “The rapid pace of advancement in digitalisation is clearly evidenced in global data flows expanding 45-fold, while global merchandise trade only grew 1.5 times from 2005-2016,” it said. As of now, Malaysia is categorised as an adopter, while advanced nations such as United States, Estonia, South Korea, Japan and Singapore are the “frontrunners”. The report suggested that despite the constant growth in the global digital economy, the adoption from stakeholders, especially in e-commerce, is relatively low.

Deputy minister: Digital economy expected to contribute 20pc to GDP by 2020 Malaymail Online 27th Mar 2018
Digital economy, one of the major contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is expected to achieve a target of 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 18.2 per cent in  2016. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari said in line with the rapid growth of the country’s digital economy, various initiatives and programmes were implemented under the Malaysia Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC). “Among the programmes implemented are popularising digital economy to the target groups such as youths and small entrepreneurs including those under the B40 and M40 groups. “Under this programme, the government is implementing the e-Usahawan and e-Rezeki programmes to help the people generate additional income digitally,” he said. He was replying to a question from Senator Datuk T. Mohan, who wanted to know the main duties and responsibilities of MDEC in boosting the country’s economy and assistance from MDEC given to companies that are wholly own by Malaysians in particular.

Malaysia's readiness in adopting autonomous vehicle technology by 2025 NST Online 21st Mar 2018
Malaysia automotive sector will take advantage of the advancement in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, as the country is completing its research and development (R&D) by 2025. Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Chua Tee Yong said technological advancement related to connectivity and autonomous technology will increasingly change the way people commute daily. “In most countries, AV is driven by the government as the enabler or facilitator to introduce this incentive. However, this is a private-driven technology and the government also works with the academic institutions for this AV initiative,” he said at a press conference after officiating the Towards Autonomous Technologies Conference 2018 here today. The inaugural conference is part of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority's (MIDA) continuous effort in providing platform for industry stakeholders to discuss and exchange ideas in new and emerging markets.

Malaysia launches Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme Digital News Asia 10th Apr 2018
In line with its commitment to accelerate the nation’s digital transformation, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on April 9 kicked off the Digital Transformation Acceleration Programme (DTAP). The programme will provide Malaysian companies a structured approach to digital transformation and will leverage on Digital Transformation Labs’ expertise to help businesses adopt emerging digital technologies. “Digital transformation enhances the ecosystem which in turns increases the productivity and sustainability of Malaysia. Companies, whether they are in the manufacturing or services sector, need to future-proof their businesses to remain competitive. Mida has been working with MDEC to structure the DTAP towards lifting Malaysian industry players in the priority sectors to assist them in their digital adoption journey. “MIDA has been facilitating the shift of home-grown companies through the Domestic Investment Strategic Fund (DISF), and we are expanding it to cater for MDEC’s DTAP. We hope that these efforts will continue to get the support from the industries and in the long run, we will have more capable Malaysian champions to penetrate the global market,” said Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) chief executive officer Azman Mahmud.

Civil servants urged to prepare for future challenges NST Online 4th Apr 2018
Civil servants must be prepared to face three challenges – the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and Digital Economy; Digital Government Competency and Capability Readiness (DGCCR); and National Transformation 2050 (TN50). Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said, in its preparations for the Industry 4.0 and digital economy, the government had implemented Malaysia Digital Policy and launched the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) to make the country the first digital economy hub in the world. He said such initiatives were expected to create more than 60,000 high-income jobs, especially for the younger generation.

Infrastructure

Catastrophic for Malaysia if transportation projects cancelled NST Online 11th Apr 2018
Tens of thousands of Malaysians will lose their jobs if transportation projects which had been planned were cancelled, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. He said cancellation of the projects would also result in investors to flee, while Malaysia would gain reputation as a country that did not keep its words. "The people of the East Coast states would rightly feel betrayed. Are they to be left behind by a former leader once again, just as he left them behind before? "lf they wish to abandon these projects, why not abandon the Pan Borneo Highway as well? After all, the nonagenarian was known for leaving Sabah and Sarawak behind.

Sarawak forms special committee to study proposal on upgradings state airports' facilities The Edge Markets 2nd Apr 2018
A special committee has been formed to look into the proposal to upgrade existing facilities in all the main airports in the state, said Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. He said the committee — being chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation minister — would conduct studies to determine the facilities that needed to be upgraded at Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu airports and the total cost of these projects.

Rural development on target NST Online 2nd Apr 2018
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had promised, in 2013, to transform rural areas in Malaysia. This was to raise the standard of living of the rural communities so that they were on a par with the urban people, he had said then. In the Barisan Nasional’s manifesto for the 2013 general election, the government announced pledges, including plans to build the Pan-Borneo Highway, West Coast Expressway and rural roads. These would be complemented with supply of clean water, electricity and high-speed broadband. Five years later, the government has met the objectives of building world-class infrastructure and transforming the rural landscape. Within that period, the Federal Government built 16,114km of tarred roads in rural areas, installed piped water for 131,969 houses and electricity in 60,473 houses. For the people in Sabah and Sarawak, they will enjoy better road networks through the implementation of the Pan-Borneo Highway, which is due to be completed in three years.