pm: islam hadhari is not a religion but a way of life
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
PM: ISLAM HADHARI IS NOT A
RELIGION BUT A WAY OF LIFE
Jakarta: Islam Hadhari is not a new religion but is
the centrality of Islam in daily lives for its believers,
said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Islam Hadhari is a progressive approach for
all Malaysians whether they are Muslims or nonMuslims.
“It serves as the guiding principle for appreciating
and practicing the faith in modernising and
Abdullah said he hoped Malaysia to adopt Islam
Hadhari would be able to showcase Islam a tolerant
and caring religion.
He also hoped Malaysian to adopt Islam Hadhari
as a comprehensive approach to the development
of mankind, society and country based on the
perspective of Islamic teachings and civilization.
He added that there was no fear of any
discrimination or persecution on account of religion
In addition, speaking about the attack on
Lebanon, Abdullah said the case of Lebanon was a
very sad commentary on the issue of morality in the
conduct of international affairs.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the
series of actions by the West against Muslim countries
in West Asia had brought new crisis between the two
“The provocative caricature episode earlier this
year brought new heights of crisis between the world’s
two great civilizations,” he said.
Abdullah said the world must continue to demand
that the United Nation declare a ceasefire, deploy a
United Nation peacekeeping force to implement a
ceasefire, and prevent an invasion of Lebanon by
He also said that many Western countries had
allowed their foreign policies to be flawed by the
misinterpretation of Islam.
Malaysia, he said proposed an organized and
sustained dialogue between Muslim nations and the
West. Such dialogue could be successful if the West
would accept that Islam was not merely a religion
but a way of life for its believers.
Abdullah said at the Syarif Hidayatullah State
Islamic University where he was conferred an
honorary doctorate in Islamic Thought.
OIC Push UN to fast for peace in Lebanon
Putrajaya: The organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC) has taken a strong stand on Lebanon and
Malaysia, as the chairman to the Organization of
the Islamic Conference, wanted focus to be given to
push for a UN peacekeeping force to be deployed to
The Putrajaya declaration on the situation in
Lebanon demands that the United Nations Security
council maintain peace and security by enforcing an
The declaration urges members to be united
in facing the Middle East crisis and to reaffirm
commitment to Islamic solidarity among members.
The declaration also urges the UN to convene
an international conference on the Middle East to
deliberate on a comprehensive plan for the region.
They also call on the UN Security Council to
compel Israel to respect international law and to put
an end to its occupation and illegitimate practices in
Occupied Palestinian Territories.
In addition, speaking for the Islamic Summit
Conference to discuss the Lebanon issue, the Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said
many OIC countries including Indonesia, Malaysia,
Bangladesh and Pakistan were ready to participate in
the UN peacekeeping force.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia willing to
contribute troops to help stabilize south Lebanon.
“We are going on the basis that there will be a
ceasefire. And when that happens we will go into
During the meeting, 22 countries including
Malaysia put forward a draft resolution on the grave
situation of human rights in Lebanon caused by
Israeli military operations.
Twin Projects-Second Penang
Bridge and Monorail Projects
will Spur Economic Activity
KUALA LUMPUR: The people of Penang will get
an alternative – the Penang Bridge and the monorail
to spur economic activity and to handle traffic
congestion on the bridge during peak hours.
The government has decided to build the RM1.2
billion monorail project. The building of the monorail
was necessary to overcome the weaknesses in the
public transport system that had become serious
in the state. It is about 37km long monorail transit
linking Komtar and Bayan Lepas.
The buildings of monorail serve as the answer
to a better transportation system on Penang Island.
Development between the two location-mainland
and island will increase and give a boost to property
development and business.
Besides of this project, another project that will
carry out was the second Penang Bridge after 10 years
of talking and debating about it. The cabinet has
decided that the UEM Group will have the concession
to build, manage, operate and maintain the project.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
Badawi said the company has extensive expertise and
experience in the matter as it is the concession holder
for the Penang Bridge built in 1985. The 24-km
bridge will connect Batu Kawan in Seberang Prai to
Batu Maung on the island.
Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon
said the second bridge project was a key infrastructure
project and serves as an additional link from the
mainland to the island. The second bridge will help
ease the overcapacity at the Penang Bridge and boost
It was two of the three big projects announced by
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
for Penang under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The two
projects will improve the quality of life, help boost
the tourism sector and bring more investments to the
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
CITRAWARNA Showcase the Magnificent
Diverse Malaysian Culture
he celebration of Citrawarna (Colours of
Malaysia) Malaysia 2006 at Merdeka Square,
Kuala Lumpur is an excellent way to display our
colourful culture to the world.
In line with the Visit Malaysia Year 2007
campaign, the annual Citrawarna celebration
organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism
Malaysia is a great opportunity for local and foreign
tourists to experience the most festive and colorful
cultural carnival season.
Based on the theme “Colours and Flavours of
Malaysia”, this is the eighth consecutive year the
event is being held. Celebrations are also being
held throughout the month at various locations
In the month-long celebration, several cuisines
from the different states and various ethnic groups,
as well as hosting traditional dance performances,
arts and craft exhibitions are promoting to to all
Malaysians and foreign visitors carry out in Kuala
Lumpur and other states.
To kick off the celebration, the opening ceremony
at Dataran Merdeka on July 8 features a street
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carnival filled with singing, dancing, performances
and fireworks. Some 4,500 participants took part in
colourful and energetic performances which takes a
1.5km long parade.
The highlight of the launch was a 1.5km song
and dance street parade by the performers, garbed in
traditional costumes and accompanied by the riveting
beat of drums and gongs and other ethic instruments
danced their way representing the various states.
This year’s theme “Colours and Flavour of
Malaysia” is in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia
2007 campaign, and aimed at attracting tourists to
return for the grand festivities planned foe next year.
Visit Malaysia 2007 Campaign coincides with the
country celebrating its 50 years of independence and
will see festive celebrations throughout the year.
Malaysia people with vastly different culture
and ethnic background can live harmoniously and
happily in one country as one nation. As a tourist
destination, Malaysia continues to welcome tourists
from near and far to celebrate and experience our
Firearms Training For National
Service (PLKN) Trainees
Kuala Lumpur: The National Service Training
Programme had been operating for three years
and this year, the trainees would undergo firearms
training as an additional filling up to the original
National Service Training Programme will still
retain its four basic modules which supported the
objectives of NS that are the Physical, Character
Building and Community Service. The National
Service Training Department authority will always
be assigned to look into the implementation and the
effectiveness of the modules.
Besides strengthening discipline, training with
firearms would also instill the spirit of voluntarism,
inculcating patriotism and racial harmony in trainees.
This pilot programme is a joint project between
the National Service Training Department and the
Armed Forces. However, the choice to engage in the
programme is not compulsory to every trainee.
In this programme, there will be training in
the theoretical aspects of handling the weapon and
shooting practice at the firing range.
According to National Service Training Council
Chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, security and safety
of the trainees would be given priority.
Lee said, each camp would be broken into groups
of about 10 trainees each and a male or female
military officer would be at the side of the trainees
to supervise during training. Every trainee would be
given a chance to shoot with M 16 rifle under the
strict supervision of an experienced military officer.
Earlier in Sungai Besi Army camp for NS trainees
since weapons exposure was incorporated, the media
was invited to witness the first-ever practical weapons
The trainees fired 30 live bullets each from an
M16 rifle. Stephanie Thi, 19 said she felt that the
safety measures taken by the camp authorities were
very good and that she was more confident about the
M16 training after seeing other trainees undergo the
The National Service Training Programme
implemented to achieve the objectives that had been
streamlined as to instill the spirit of patriotism among
the young generation, fostering unity amongst
races and national integration and building positive
characters through noble values.
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
Malaysia-Singapore Bridge Issues:
Does It Break the Relationship of the Two Nation?
by Mohd Ayop Abd Razid
ince the separated of Singapore from Malaysia
in 1965, both nations have often quarreled over
issues such as the supply of water from Malaysia
to Singapore, Malaysian-owned railway land in
Singapore, land reclamation projects, issue on
Pulau Batu Putih (a rocky islet), and pension funds
contributed by Malaysians working in Singapore and
the ban on Singapore military flights over Malaysian
airspace. The latest issue was the “Crooked Bridge”,
the 1.1 billion ringgit ($297 million) project.
The idea to replace the Causeway with a new
bridge was mooted by the former Malaysia Prime
Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in July 1996.
The bridge project is for a replacement of the 82-yearold causeway that spans the southern Johor Strait.
The bridge was aimed at easing traffic congestion in
Johor Baru, and to improve water quality and reduce
pollution in the Johor Straits.
At the beginning Singapore makes a firm stand
to agree with the idea. Both countries believed that
there was a “balance of benefits” on replacing the
causeway. When Singapore rejected, the Malaysia
Prime Minister at that time (Tun Dr. Mahathir
Mohamad) came up with a new plan in 2003 that
envisaged a new bridge being built only on Malaysia’s
territory, linking up with Singapore’s side of the
causeway. He proposed half-bridge what so-called the
“crooked bridge” due to its convoluted design. Prime
Minister, Dato’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi termed it
as “scenic bridge”. In fact, Malaysia wants to build
a full, straight bridge to Singapore but it must be a
bridge of understanding.
The project has been scrapped by the Malaysia
government on April 2006. The announcing of
the matter shocked both sides of the causeway. The
Malaysia Prime Minister cited legal implications as
one of the main reasons for canceling of the project.
According to Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,
“There are water pipes, railway tracks (running along
the causeway). We have to follow the law. I anticipate
there could be problems (if we proceed)”. The negative
public sentiment toward Singapore’s demand for
rights to Malaysian airspace and Malaysia’s supply
of sand to Singapore as tradeoffs to its consenting to
the bridge project were another reason cited by the
Malaysia Prime Minister.
Singapore argued that Malaysia could not
unilaterally build its own half of the bridge as
international law requires mutual consent by affected
parties. In fact, Malaysia also could not accept a
trade-off that would have given Singapore access to
its airspace and sand for land reclamation projects.
However Malaysia views that negotiation on the
matter would continue. In other words the project
could be revisited in the future. Malaysia Foreign
Minister, Syed Hamid said, “Nobody thought
that the Berlin Wall would be brought down but
now we don’t have a Berlin Wall. Now we have the
reunification of Korea... and India and Pakistan are
very close to each other now”. In counterpart the
statement, George Yeo, said the city-state respected
Malaysia’s sudden move to scrap the bridge and that
he hoped ties between the neighbours would remain
on course. “We negotiated on the full bridge on the
basis of mutual benefit for both sides. And I am quite
sure we will be able to find other areas where we can
cooperate to our mutual benefit,” Yeo said.
Malaysia took a stand that the best way of doing
it is not through unilateral action but negotiations.
In the context of Asean spirit this should be the
right thinking because unilateral action will create a
confrontation. Although both nation have squabbled
for years over a variety of issues but many other
bilateral feuds have been settled amid a recent thaw
in relations. In the context of relationship, both sides
hoped their relationship would improve despite an
array of disputed issues. Malaysia is confidence that
this issue will not break the relationship between the
both nations. Although the bridge has remained a
thorny issue but we believe that negotiations on the
issue and other outstanding issues would continue in
the spirit of “balance benefits” and also in the spirit
of ASEAN solidarity.
(The views expressed here in are personal views of the
Outsourcing Industry and Its Challenges
he outlook for the shared services and outsourcing
industry in Malaysia is looking bright.
Dominating to Deloitte Survey, Malaysia is
already internationally ranked number three in the
shared services and outsourcing business after China
and India. It ranks Malaysia first in two out of five
categories of shared services, which are customer
support and back office processing. Malaysia is ranked
second in supply chain management, third in IT
support and fourth in analytics.
According to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi, the industry is already providing job
for almost 20,000 employees. The number is expected
to grow higher in the future when Malaysia develops
the Shared Services and Outsourcing industry. The
Malaysian government would further expect to create
at least 10,000 “high value jobs in the share services
industry by 2010”.
Nowadays, all eyes are on Asia Pacific as a premier
location for offshoring activities, and Malaysia is
becoming an increasingly attractive market for
outsourcing industry. Malaysia can truly shine in the
SSO industry because Malaysia offers cutting-edge
sophistication at a fraction of the cost, comparable
with the lowest overall cost in the Asian region.
Malaysia had what it need to succeed in the
SSO industry. With Malaysia’s well developed
infrastructure, attractive business environment and
strong government support and has a relatively
more stable political climate backed by consistent
economic growth, make it a “rising alternative to
China and India”.
However, our country still has a shortage of
local outsourcers in the market. Majority of large
information and communications technology (ICT)
outsourcing projects are currently captured by major
foreign ICT players.
If the country wants more prominent local
players in the SSO scene, it should includes looking
at the shortage of human resources and talent,
infrastructure cost, quality of service levels by
providers. The outsourcing market is driven by the
fact that customers demand access to a more reliable
infrastructure that can ensure smooth core business
operations at lower costs and with greater flexibility.
The nation can build more skilled shared services
resources through programmes to train people in
the areas of project management, human capital
development and IT infrastructure.
Also important is the support from the
Government. Government needs to ensure the
availability of skilled people, give incentives to
Government Linked Companies (GLCs) to pursue
outsourcing to boost the country. The company
looked at factors such as availability of skilled labour,
technology infrastructure, time zones, language skills
and market potential in the chosen country when
deciding on expansion.
In addition, Malaysia should now work towards
gaining the spot as far as SSO industry is concerned
and continues to give emphasis to developing
knowledge-workers to help transform the country to
becoming a knowledge-based economy.
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
New Flag and Anthem for Federal
Kuala Lumpur: A new flag for the Federal Territories
have been launched by Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Tuanku Syed Putra
Jamalullail at Dataran Merdeka to infuse a new spirit
among the people.
At the launching event, Deputy Prime Minister
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the three
Federal territories - Labuan, Putrajaya and Kuala
Lumpur shared a common direction although there
were separated physically. The three of them had
striven to be developed in many areas.
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin also launched the
Federal Territories song entitled Maju dan Sejahtera
(Progressive and Peaceful). More than 10,000 city
folk celebrated the unveiling of the flag.
First Hybrid Car has Born
Johor Bahru: A car that runs on hydrogen and petrol
had born and it would be a breakthrough technology
in these times of escalating fuel prices.
“Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, the Government
has outlined the need to encourage the use and
development of sustainable and renewable energy
resources.” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi said at the launching of country’s
first hybrid car.
“Such technology can drive the nation’s economic
growth and development into the 21st century,” he
The car that can offer 50% fuel savings with
a new technology called hydroxene (processing
canister where water is broken into hydogren and
oxygen) which was developed by a local scientist, Dr
According to Dr Halim who has a doctorate in
Physics from Birmingham University and also a
director of Hydrogen Fuel Technology (M) Sdn.Bhd
said over RM12 million had been spent on hydroxene
research and development in the last four years.
“Hydroxene uses water as a complementary fuel.
Water molecules are split into hydrogen and oxygen
through high compression nano-technology before
being pumped into the fuel line,” he told the media
at the launch of hybrid cars by LM Star Autoworld
Najib Urges Students Return
Home to Serve
Bangalore: Najib urged Malaysian students in
India to work hard and return home when they had
completed their studies.
He was speaking at a dinner hosted for about 100
Malaysian students. Najib who was in Bangalore on
a three day visit, said Malaysia needed students with
a world view as future leaders, and the leadership is a
process of learning things that happen around, with
the experience, the leadership qualities is that the
government looking for.
“No matter what religion you profess, what is your
skin colour, we are all Malaysians.” In the dinner, he
wished every students success and look forward to
see them in Malaysia to lead the country to greater
MyPR for Permanent
Putrajaya: A new identity card for permanent
residents in Malaysia has been introduced and is
effective from June 1.
The red MyPR card contains all information
about the bearer, including the country of origin.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh
Ahmad said, for permanent residents, had until Dec
31 next year to apply for the new MyPR, failing which
their status could be revoked by the department.
As at May 22, there were 378,088 foreigners with
PR status living in Malaysia.
Previously, permanent residents had to carry
a PR MyKad which is similar in size and color
to Malaysians’ MyKad. The change from the PR
MyKad to the My PR could be done at state National
Registration Department branches, and for the first
time application, applicant can apply at the National
Registration Department headquarters in Putrajaya
and at state headquarters.
Better Ties between Malaysia
Putrajaya: Malaysia and Kazakhstan bilateral
relations have taken another step forward with both
countries signed an agreement to strengthen ties in
several key areas.
Malaysia and Kazakhstan signed the Avoidance
of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion
Taxes on Income. With the agreement, Kazakhstan
became Malaysia’s 64th tax treaty partner and the 18th
The agreement strengthens bilateral ties between
the two countries in trade and investment as well as
social and cultural affairs. Nazarbayev also expressed
its desire to make Malaysia’s administrative city the
twin city of Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
Malaysia wins Seat on UN
New York: Malaysia has won a seat on the recently
established United Nations Human Rights Council
that replaces the much criticized and now defunct
Human Rights Commission.
Malaysia gets 158 votes to secure the fourth
highest number of votes among Asian countries and
will serve for three years. In the Asian group which
has 13 seats on the council, India get the highest
number of votes at 173.
The UN vote has further enhanced the global
image of Malaysia, also the chairman of the NonAligned Movement (NAM) and of the Organisation
of Islamic Conference (OIC).
“We are seen as defending the rights of developing
countries asa well as Islamic nations,” Permanent
Representative to the United Nations, Datuk
Hamidon Ali said.
“For Malaysia, this is testimony to our foreign
policy as well as to our efforts in promoting human
rights at home as well as internationally.” he added.
A Regional Disaster Relief
Centre to be Set Up
Singapore: Malaysia proposed the creation of
a Southeast Asian disaster relief centre that can
quickly co-ordinate operations whenever a natural
catastrophe hits the region.
Deputy Prime Minister told at an international
security conference held in Singapore responded to
the May 27 earthquake in Indonesia. He proposed
a regional centre where member states will commit
a set of forces, made up of civilian and military
personnel in the event a disaster strikes any part of
“Training and contingency plans could be drawn
out and when help is needed, this centre could be
activated,” said Najib.
Najib said Asean countries should lead in setting
up the centre, with participation from other nations
like United States, Australia and Japan, which had
offered assistance during the tsunami and the recent
Australia’s Defence Minister Brenda Nelson who
attended the conference also immediately expressed
support for the proposal.
At the conference, Najib also met the United States
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on a meeting,
both leaders hailed the excellent relationship. They
are pleased with the level of cooperation in the
field of defence between two countries. Najib said
that Malaysia was also committed to helping the
international community when needed.
Malaysia Rises to 23rd
in Competitive Ranking
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has improved its
competitiveness ranking to 23rd position among 61
economies, according to the world Competitiveness
Year Book 2006.
In a statement by National Productivity
Corporation, Malaysia was ranked 28th in 2005.
Malaysia’s competitiveness improved in the
categories of wealth, population and region.
Malaysia recorded improvements in government
and business efficiency, securing the 20th position.
The improvement in government efficiency ranking
was attributed mainly to the continuous efforts
to improve the administrative machinery and
delivery system, including reducing red tape, having
simple systems and procedures, and the use of key
The improvement in business efficiency is parallel
to the recorded productivity growth in three main
sectors- agriculture, manufacturing and services.
In terms of economic performance, Malaysia
ranked 11th and managed to maintain its third
position for exports of goods. It ranked fourth for
current account balance, trade to GDP ratio and
Additionally, Malaysia improved its ranking at
fourth and 32nd for the sub-factors on international
trade and international investment respectively. –The
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
9MP Focus on Agriculture Industry
Kuala Lumpur: The 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) will
turn the nation’s agriculture industry to a higher level
into a vibrant engine of growth.
Malaysia Government is earnest in its efforts
to upgrade Malaysian agriculture, well illustrated
by the emphasis given to wealth creation through
More allocation is given out in 9MP to transform
agriculture into a modern, dynamic and competitive
sector. It is about RM361.8million will focus towards
The sectors include fisheries, paddy, cocoa,
processed food and drinks and all other food
commodities. Besides the listed commodities, its also
include breeding of ornamental fish, seaweed, tuna
industry and floriculture.
Ravichandran to Scale Mount Everest in
Kuala Lumpur: Ravichandran Tharumalingam had
become the first Malaysian to scale the 8,848-metre
Mount Everest from the northern slope, facing Tibet
on May 15.
He was on top of the world for just 5 minutes. He
had weathered frostbite, freezing winds and fatigue
for almost five weeks before succeed to reach the
highest mountain in the world.
He was thankful to the sponsors for his
US$35000 (RM133,000) expenses. He estimated
that a full mountaineering package, complete with
sophisticated navigational, meteorology, satellite and
engineering equipment, services of a team of guides
Ravichandran had been mountaineering for four
years and teamed up with head-hunting company
Petro Search Advisory Sdn Bhd to take up the
Challenge to raise funds for charity.
Su-30MK Jets to Debut at Lima 2007
Kuala Lumpur: The Royal Malaysian Air Force’s
Sukhoi Su-30MKM will make its debut at the
Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace
exhibition (Lima 2007) by next year.
The first batch of the aircraft is expected to be
delivered before the five day event from 4th to 8th Dec
next year. said Deputy Prime Minister and Defence
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak after launching
preparation for the aerospace component of Lima
Malaysia ordered 18 aircraft for US$900 million
(RM3.24 billion) to supplement its existing fleet of
Russian MIG-29N aircraft.
The letter “M” for Malaysia was added to the
Russian-made Su-30MK because the aircraft was
modified to RMAF specifications.
Lima 2007 would be a bigger event especially with
Visit Malaysia Year and the independence celebrations
of Nation’s 50th year. -New Straits Times.
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
MALAYSIA’S ECONOMIC GROWTH
alaysia is a country rich in agriculture produce
and minerals such as palm oil, rubber, cocoa,
timber, petroleum, natural gas, tin ore and its sea
products. Its strategic position right in the centre of
the South East Asia regional economic growth area
has made it possible to develop multi industries which
include agriculture, manufacturing, transportation,
tourism, outsourcing services and so on. Malaysia’s
economy is an open economy. As a trading nation,
Malaysia traded multi products and import multi
merchandise which include food and raw material
for the industries from the world’s market. Its total
exports and imports exceed 300% of its GDP which
makes Malaysia one of the open economies among
the newly emerged Asian countries. Hence, the
developments of the global economy especially in
the countries which are Malaysia’s leading trading
partners dominate most towards Malaysia’s economic
Malaysia’s exports are dominated to several
countries especially the United States, Singapore,
European United Countries, Japan, Hong Kong,
China and Taiwan. Most of the country’s exports are
taken in by seven countries and the export market is
still narrow. This means that more than 75 % of the
country’s exports are being taken in by only seven
countries which show that the export geographical
distribution is still small. Thus, understanding the
global economy situation, problem and challenges
especially the main Malaysia’s trading partners, are
critical in designing the budgetary and the national
Throughout 2005, the nation’s economy faced
a challenging foreign environmental, such as slower
global economic growth, inflationary pressure and the
gradual tightening of monetary policies particularly
in the United States of America.
When the price of crude oil rises sharply to
USD70 per barrel on 30 August 2005, the global
economy faced with great shock. However, the
performance of Malaysia’s economy is still stable
with the growth of 5 percent in 2005 and the growth
reflects extensive development of the economy and
ensconces domestic demand that will stimulate the
economic activities development particularly from
the private sectors.
The national budget strategy is enabling to
influence the economic activities. The government
has taken steps to change the policy and programmes
in introducing effective budget and financial steps in
order to give the optimum impact.
From the policy and the government strategic
steps, the nation’s economy which is diversified has
increased and the situation has prepared the basic for
a strong and stable growth.
The recovery of the stable economy since 7 years
ago following the 1997/1998 financial crisis has
given flexibility to continue the policy that supports
the growth. With the National economic structure
and the diversified trading market, it can reduce the
economic exposure in the external environmental
uncertainties. The national income which continue
to grow, contribute 36.4 percent of gross national
product (GNP) towards the national savings.
The achievement of the economic growth was
accompanied by the consolidation in the national
payment balances together with the controlled
inflation rate and full employment. The surplus
of the balance of payments remains higher at an
average of 12 percent GDP in six years, is expected to
increase 15.7 percent in 2005 following the increase
in apparent export. Growths in private consumption
remain firm, given the higher household income
and enable the people to have higher purchasing
power. Per capita income is expected to increase
from RM17,741 in 2005 compare to RM16.616 in
2004. Based on purchasing power parity, per capita
income is expected to increase from USD9,630 to
USD10,323 within the same period of time.
The Government’s commitment to
strengthen its budgetary position is
evidenced by the marked narrowing
of its budgetary deficit from 5.6 % of
GDP in 2002 to a more sustainable
level of 3.8 % in 2005. The progressive
reduction in the deficit enabled the
government to channel more resources
for development which will contribute
and encourage the nation’s economic
Ma l a y s i a h a s s u c c e e d e d i n
changing its economic structure
from commodity-based to industrialbased with manufacturing sectors
contributing nearly 1/3 of Malaysia’s
Gross Domestic Product (GNP) and the amount of
the sector exports are 83 % of the total Malaysia’s
Malaysia also has been successful in diversifying
its service sectors. To encourage the growth of its
domestic sources and enhance the competitiveness of
agriculture in the biotechnology development, a new
policy was launch on 28 April, 2005. The National
Biotechnology Policy gives the opportunities to the
government to use the specialty equivalent to the
natural resources to venture into this field.
The government also develop new agriculture
programmes by giving focus on enhancing the
value chain, cultivating high value added agriculture
activities and large scale commercial farming. Besides
that, the government will promote a higher level
of private sector participation including that of
Government-linked companies (GLCs) in order to
enhance the activities to commercialise vegetables
and livestock. Malaysia also has the potential to
become the main global distributor and exporter
of halal food, particularly in terms of certification
and logo recognition, Standard Halal Malaysia MS
The government diversifies the economic structure
by giving more emphasis on the service sectors that is
the information and communication technology as
well as the tourism industries. Some of the projects
implemented to enhance the manufacturing sector
include the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)
and its expansions to the other cyber cities such
as Bayan Lepas in Pulau Pinang and Kulim High
Technology Park in Kedah. Besides promoting its
tourism products, the government also upgrades its
amenities and infrastructures.
The economy’s expansion is seen in all sectors. The
primary drivers have been the services, manufacturing
and primary commodities sectors. The national
economy was accelerated both by the public and
private sectors. In the era of globalization, foreign
investments and international trade also give the
impact to the national economic development.
The country’s economy was accelerated 25% by
the public sector and 75% by the private sector. The
economic growth in the year 2005 depended more
on the domestic demands, this is stimulate by the
private sectors activities supported by the increase in
export and private sectors activities that is stronger
and play important role as the main engine of the
nation economic growth.
The government is responsible for the country’s
development and its people play their role to support
the government’s effort in developing the nation.
The rapid development achieved had benefited all
groups. For the following years, the nation will
continue to develop despite the challenging global
environment together with its people prepared to
improve the quality of life, strive hard to increase their
productivity and face the global challenges ahead.
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
Herbs in Medicinal Use
n event Women’s Health and Asian Traditional
(WHAT) Medicine Conference 2006 has been
held at Kuala Lumpur which aimed at driving home
the importance of understanding women’s healthcare
needs while exploring ways on how Asian traditional
medicine can complement modern medicine.
Many Malaysian consumers may not be familiar
with local herbs but according to the Forest Research
Industry of Malaysia (FRIM), there is a huge
potential for the country to be a major player in the
herb-based market. FRIM Director-General Datuk
Dr Abdul Razak Mohd Ali said the local market
for herb-based products, including supplement,
traditional herbals, cosmetics and fragrances is
estimated to worth RM4.55 billion annually.
Malaysia is ranked 12th in terms of biodiversity
in the world. The herbal industry has been identified
as an emerge industry under the third National
Agriculture Policy and Malaysia intend to be a major
producer in the international herbal industry by
The herbal industry can be elevated to cultivate a
knowledge-sharing environment among researchers,
practitioners and other stakeholders. It is important
to educate and create awareness of local herbs before
the industry can enjoy significant growth. Looking
that Malaysia’s background as the world’s oldest
rainforest, which is a treasure trove, Malaysian need
to utilize the skill and knowledge to hardness the
potential of home grown herbs.
Herbal plants and remedies have been a part of
our lives. Nowadays, many women have been using
herbs and traditional medicine as a preventive and
curative medicine and essential ingredient for the
home in times of sickness or in health. Today, these
natural herbs have been scientifically researched and
authenticated as beneficial to health. FRIM play
a role in promoting sustainable management and
optimal use of natural resources via intensive research,
development and application.
Studies have shown that the use of traditional
medicine is higher in families. Women across
the world are the primary users and motivators
of traditional medicine. Women are usually the
caregivers in the family and take care of their
husbands and children. Therefore they are the ones
employing traditional medicine as a common feature
of household life.
According to the World Health Organization
(WHO), there are mostly 80% of people in the
developing south use traditional medicine as part
of primary healthcare and is becoming popular in
industrialized countries. For globally, according to
WHO figures in 2002, the market for traditional
therapies stood at US$60 billion and the figure is
Malaysia has a tremendous potential to be a
biotechnology hub. Under the 9th Malaysia Plan,
the government will push biotechnology’s use in the
healthcare, agriculture and industry sectors.
MALAYSIA AS A REGIONAL HUB FOR HEALTH
alaysian’s success in establishing itself as a
regional hub for health care began with the
National Committee for the promotion of Health
Tourism set up in January 1998.
Under the health tourism promotion drive, 35
privates hospital have been identified to promote
Malaysia as a health tourism destination.
Besides the Health Ministry, the committee
includes the Tourism Ministry, Association of
Privates Hospitals of Malaysia and other government
Tourism Malaysia Director-General Datuk
Kamaruddin Siaraf says statistics indicate a strong
and growing interest in the country’s healthcare
Over the last five years, the number of foreigners
seeking healthcare facilities in Malaysia has grown
from 75,000 patients in 2001 to 232,161 last year.
this generated revenue of RM151million. Health
Tourism in Malaysia is projected to generate over
RM2.2 billion by 2020,” he says.
Our medical expertise is ranked among the world’s
best and most private medical centres are certified to
Given the potential of health tourism as a foreignexchange earner, the government will continue to
focus and provide incentives to develop the sector
The government has also relaxed entry requirements
for health and medical tourists. They may summit
their hospital documents three days prior to arrival
to the Immigration authorities as the country’s points
Medical and hospitalization charges in the
country are also competitive compared with other
A cardiac by pass surgery at the National Heart
Institute costs between RM35,000 and RM38,000
for first class treatment, 65 per cent less than charges
in a private hospital in Singapore and 14 times less
than the United States.
Most private medical centres in Malaysia offer
comfortable accommodation, ranging from private
rooms to suites. Room charges, inclusive of meal,
vary but most are attractively priced.
Some even provide private nurses and personal
Other factors that make Malaysia an attractive
medical destination include English-speaking staff,
favourable exchange rates, trained medical specialists,
multicultural and multilingual support staff, and
a comprehensive network of hospitals and drinks.
– New Straits Times
Malaysia Focus 02/2006
THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF
alaysia is known as being a mega-diverse country of its biodiversity. Malaysia’s rainforest is the oldest in the world which holds hundred
of thousands of animal species and wild flowers that are unique to the region and the world. It has remained undisturbed for 130 million
National Park or Taman Negara is the tropical rainforest and famous place of the flora and fauna in Malaysia. It has lain mostly undisturbed
for millennia, maintains a natural habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. Many beautiful flora and the fantastic fauna can be found at the
rainforest in Malaysia, such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros, the Clouded Leopard and Malaysian Tiger, the monitor Lizard and the Sun Bear.
Possibly the Orang Utan, or “man of the forest” are most remarkable animals of Malaysia wildlife. One can find much common in behavior
and even appearance when comparing humans and Orang Utan. The Orang Utan is the most introverted and antisocial of the great apes.
Orang Utans live solitary and spending most of the time alone.
Besides the fauna, rainforests in Malaysia also is the home of the world’s rarest plants. The Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower
weighing about nine kg and is almost one meter wide. Rafflesia classified as parasite, which means it just takes the
nutrient out of its host. Rafflesia is especially difficult to see in bloom and it is blossoms only for five to six
days. There is also an abundance and variety of bird populations that can be found here.
A hike into the forests will take you enjoy the unique tropical
plants and wild flowers like pitcher plant
and the fascinating array of wild
orchids. The rainforests also
hold many plants known
for their medicinal
Once in the midst of
the jungles, you can soak
in the sight and sounds
of nature at its best, with a
cacophony of insect noises, bird
calls, and animal cries that goes on
night and day makes it a particularly
The utilization and the resources of rainforest
are important to sustain Malaysia’s ecological.
For that reasons, Malaysia government has taken
careful step to ensure its continuous conservation.
A number of forests have been put aside as national
parks and wildlife sanctuaries.