2014 Budget - Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia

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2014 Budget - Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia
2014 Budget
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CERTIFIED TO ISO 9001 : 2008
CERT. NO. : MY - AR 5240
ESTABLISHED IN
OCTOBER 2003
VOL: 3/2013
www.penerangan.gov.my
2014
BUDGET
GST
Inside:
Goods And Services Tax (GST)
- All You Need To Know
- page 12
2014
Budget
- page 4
Why Green
Tea?
- page 37
E
FRE
Y
COP
CONTENTS
4
FOCUS
2014 Budget
8
10
14
26
28
30
34
37
SPECIAL ISSUE
Urban Transformation
Centre
MALAYSIAN
PRODUCT
Songket
12
16
SPECIAL ISSUE
Malaysia Education Blueprint
2013 - 2025
Automated Enforcement
System
(AES)
ECONOMY
GST - All You Need to Know
FEATURES
Deepavali - Festival of Lights
18
The 4th International Greentech & Eco Products
Exhibition and Conference Malaysia
20
22
Malaysian Armed Forces 80th Anniversary
24
Advantages of Social Media
Malaysia-China Economic Summit
SPORTS
Asian Youth Paralympic
Games 2013 - Malaysia
as a Host
Personality - First Day
Gold Medalists
TRAVEL INFO
Air Terjun Jelawang,
Jeli, Kelantan
INTERESTING
FACTS
Why Green Tea?
32
36
CALENDAR
OF EVENTS
October,
November and
December
AGRO
Walit Birds’ Nest
38
INSPIRATION
Inspirational Quotes
from Muslim
Philosophers
Editor’s Desk
T
he year 2013 has capped a number of significant changes in the Malaysian ruling system as
the Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, has announced the new cabinet
line-up to help his transformation agenda and national reconciliation after a tightly-run general
election.
The new cabinet was described by the Prime Minister as a “balanced” one with
experienced former ministers, technocrats and young politicians, and “capable”, which will
continue national transformation and increase the trust of the people to the government. It is
hoped that the new line-up will strengthen the government and gaining back the people’s trust.
The Prime Minister tabled the 2014 Budget, which aimed at invigorating economic
activity, strengthening fiscal management, inculcating excellence in human capital, intensifying
urban and rural development and ensuring the well-being of the people towards achieving
a developed nation status. It was formulated based on the theme “Strengthening Economic
Resilience, Accelerating Transformation and Fulfilling Promises”, focussing on five main thrusts.
The single largest and divisive issue in the 2014 Budget announcement was the
introduction of the GST and abolishment of the 10% Sales Tax and 6% Service Tax (SST) starting
1 April 2015. The GST is believed to be one of the major steps taken by our government as to
strengthen the economy in the long run.
Happy New Year!!
ISSN 1675-641X
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Datuk Poziah Abdul Rahman
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Department of Information Malaysia
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Published in Malaysia by
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Chua Hin Chiew
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FOCUS
2014
BUDGET
In general, 2014 Malaysia
Budget which was
announced last 25 October
2013 shows the increased
allocation of RM31 billion
compared to last year’s
budget which is RM232.8
billion with RM201.9 billion
for management expenses
and RM49.7 billion for
development expenditure.
2014 Budget consultation is themed as
“Strengthening Economic Resilience,
Accelerating Transformation and Fulfilling Promises”
2014
BUDGET CONSULTATION is themed as “Strengthening Economic Resilience,
Accelerating Transformation and Fulfilling Promises”. It emphasizes on two
fundamentals which are; invigorating the economy and ensuring the well-being of the people
in an inclusive manner. In reaching this extensive budget, ninety-six memorandums were
submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration, covering a wide spectrum of macro,
sectorial and social issues. The five main thrust in 2014 budget are to invigorate economic
activity, to strengthen the fiscal management, to empower human capital, to intensify the
development in urban and rural areas and to ensure the well-being of the people.
The five
main
thrusts
budget
4
1 to invigorate economic activity
2 to strengthen the fiscal management
3
to empower human capital
4
to intensify the development in urban and rural areas
5
to ensure the well-being of the people
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
2014 BUDGET
1
First Thrust: Invigorate Economic Activity
The first thrust of stimulating
economic activity focuses on many
sectors; one of the highly allocated
budgets is the agriculture sectors. For
2014 alone, the government has allocated
RM6 billion for the implementation
of agricultural programmes that has
high added value and competitive
commercialisation. The effort involved
the establishment of Food and Agro
Council for Export (FACE) to enhance the
local agricultural products worldwide.
With the plan, a cold room will be built in
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
exceptionally for this purpose. Frozen
products have become higher demand
in the international market. The products
range from raw materials to processed
foods, thus with the existence of cold
room, the export of local agricultural
products could be achieved in higher
target. The budget also provides RM2.4
billion for subsidies and incentives for
fertilizers, paddy and rice production and
fishing industry mainly the fishermen.
For the replanting of rubber, palm oil,
cocoa plant and forest plantations, the
government supported RM243 million
for the farmers. New project of lobster
farming will be actively developed soon
in Semporna, Sabah in the effort of
commercializing and expansion of existed
local products. Apart from assisting the
growth of local farms and plantations,
the government aimed to develop
wasteland through contract cultivation
as an effort for optimized cultivation and
creating new opportunities.
In this first thrust as well, the
government executes the second phase
of High Speed Broadband (HSBB) in
collaboration with private sectors in
achieving faster internet speed all over
Malaysia. This RM1.8 billion aims to
have internet speed as high as 10Mbps
and minimum of 4Mbps with new 1000
telecommunication transmitter towers
in rural areas and seabed cable for
Sabah and Sarawak. Datuk Badlisham
Ghazali, CEO of Multimedia Development
Corp Bhd believes with higher speed
broadband will not only achieve higher
productivity, but it will also give big boost
for Digital Malaysia which will serve
as a very important catalyst to drive
Malaysians towards a Digital Economy.
Economic activities are also
enhanced by increasing the investment
in public sectors to RM106 billion and
private sectors to RM189 billion. The
main focus of the investments are the
316km Banting – Taiping West Coast
Highway and developing Twin Railway
Tracks from Ipoh to Padang Besar which
will be proceeded to Johor Bahru later.
There will also be investments into
PETRONAS for several projects. For
instance, Rapid Project in Pengerang
Johor, Sabah Ammonia Urea Project
(SAMURI) in Sipitang and Negation Plant
Project in Lahad Datu, Sabah. The projects
will also be expanded throughout the
various economic corridors with a
budget of RM1.6 billion to bring about
a balanced development in the country
SMES. RM120 million is set in financing
to enhance innovation and productivity
of the SME. The government account
for 98.5% of businesses in Malaysia and
contribute 32.4% to Gross Domestic
Product (GDP). Not only that, it also
includes the investment as the major
source of employment.
GST
Goods and Services Tax
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
5
FOCUS
2
Second Thrust: Strengthen Fiscal Management
The government’s effort in following the
developed economic step in par with developed
countries is shown through the second thrust
of 2014 budget. The implementation of Good
and Services Tax (GST) starting 1st April 2015
will enhance the current taxation system
in Malaysia. This system is well-developed
taxation which is very effective and fair has
been implemented in 160 countries. With the
emphasis of GST not as a new tax in his speech,
Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak replaces the sale
tax (10% and 5%) and service tax (6%) to only
GST of 6%. Moreover, GST will not be put into
operation for basic food, first 200 units of water
and electricity, government-provided services,
public transportation, education and health.
There will also be a restructure of individual
income tax.
The introduction of GST is also to
promote conformity with the minimum
wage policy and decrease its fiscal impact on
SME employers, co-operatives, societies and
associations, the government has suggests that
the discrepancy in the wages paid by employers
in 2014 be given further tax deduction. Najib
also announced the setting up of a Fiscal Policy
Committee aimed at reducing fiscal deficit,
strengthening public finances and ensuring
nation’s long-term fiscal sustainability.
A good news to government servants
also as bonus of half month salary has been
allocated for all with minimum of RM500. Not
only that, RM250 will be paid to pensioner as
3
Bayaran Bantuan Khas Kewangan. Payment
will be received early January 2014.
In the effort of strengthening fiscal
management, the rate of Bantuan Rakyat
1Malaysia 3.0 (BR1M) is increased from
RM500 to RM650 for household income less
than RM3000. Individual unmarried citizen
21 years old and above with income less than
RM2000 will also received RM300 from RM250
in BR1M 2.0. Moreover, BR1M 3.0 expanded its
eligible recipient of monthly household income
between RM3000 to RM4000 to receive
support of RM450. These financial assistances
are to aid the low income citizens of their living
expenses.
However, not all efforts are being
welcomed by Malaysian. This is specially
referred to the rationalisation of subsidy such
as the revocation of the sugar subsidy 34 cent
starting 26th October 2013 as an attempt
to lessen health problems among Malaysian
such as diabetes. The revocation of subsidy
also involved fuel petrol and diesel by 20 cent
per litre last September 2013. According to
Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng, MD of Ewein Bhd
said, “Tough times call for tough measures. It
takes political will and courage to invoke the
necessary sugar subsidy rationalisation. These
tough measures, coupled with fair, inclusive,
far-reaching ones such as book vouchers
and cash for all our students, culminate in a
balanced and fiscally responsible budget.”
Third Thrust: Empower Human Capital
In the third thrust of 2014 Budget, the
government has continued the Book Voucher
of RM250 per students in pre-university and
higher education institutions. RM100 per
students is given for all primary and secondary
school students to lessen the parents and
guardians’ burden of schooling necessity.
The empowerment of human capital
is aimed as early as pre-school. 93 preschools will be built in existing public primary
school. Teachers will go through strengthening
profession programmes to focus on their task
to teach, increase the teaching methodology
and language skills. The government has also
set RM450 million for school maintenance and
repair, purchase of equipment and building
additional school blocks to cater higher
demands of student entry. This fund could be
collected from the Special Funds of School’s
6
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
Construction, Improvement and Maintenance.
For higher education students, the
government will increase the status of research
universities and allocate RM600 million for
research grant specially. MyBrain15 Programme
which cost RM110 Million sponsored education
fee in the master level especially for executives
in private sectors. Institut Latihan Perindustrian
(ILP) under Human Resource Department,
Ministry of Human Resources will launch single
tier courses. RM330 million is also set for Loan
Funds of Skills Training PTPK. Datuk Dr. R. Palan,
CEO of SMR Technologies responded with
positivity of the strategic thrust in Inculcating
Excellence in Human Capital which has focused
on the key priority area which is the human
capital itself to improve the long-term well-being
of the nation and Malaysia’s competitiveness.
BUDGET 2014
4
Fourth Thrust: Intensify Development in Urban and Rural Areas
Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak has
initiated the National Blue Ocean Strategy
(NBOS) in 2014 budget to intensify
development both in urban and rural areas.
NBOS is to discover new opportunity to
improve public services for Malaysians with
a good portion of creativity, productivity and
innovation. This strategy involves all sectors
from central administration, to the state and
to private sectors as well. To reach further in
the rural areas, local committee assigned as
Jawatankuasa Perwakilan Penduduk (JPP)
5
is created for better communication and
feedbacks. The government has allocated
RM4.1 billion for basic infrastructure in rural
areas. RM1.2 billion is also set for building
and upgrading dams and water treatment
plant. Apart from that public transportation
is aimed for improvement.
“...local committee assigned
as Jawatankuasa Perwakilan
Penduduk (JPP) is created for better
communication and feedbacks.”
Fifth Thrust: Ensure the Well Being of People
In the fifth thrust, the government
aim to set the level of the welfare of
people is parallel with the trends of
economic development in between 2000
to 2012, emphasizing on the housing,
transportation, communication and
education components.
MyHome private affordable ownership
housing scheme. He also mentions
that the RM30,000 subsidy per unit is a
positive for the property industry as well
as the increase in maximum prices for
low-cost homes to RM45,000 per unit and
RM170,000 for medium-cost units.
One of the new implementation
is support and subsidy of TASKA fees
for parents. Government servants with
household income below RM5000 are
eligible to receive RM180 of monthly
pre-school support. RM250 of monthly
support is also set for all parents with
monthly household income of RM900 and
below.
The
well-being
of
sports
development has also taken into
consideration in 2014 budget. RM239
million in 2014 Budget is set to upgrade
sports complex and courts. This effort is
to enhance and maintain the pursuit of
excellence of sports in Malaysia.
223,000 housing units will be built
soon with a very reasonable price. In fact,
the government will ensure the stability
of housing price by curbing speculation
activities and review Real Property Gain
Tax (RPGT). Most of all the government
will prohibit the Developer Interest
Bearing Scheme (DIBS). RM578 million is
allocated to build low cost houses under
Integrated Housing Programme (Program
Perumahan Rakyat Bersepadu – PPRB).
These houses will be sold at the price
of RM30,000 and RM35,000 per unit in
Peninsular Malaysia and RM40,500 per
unit in Sabah and Sarawak. Under the
Perumahan Rakyat 1Malaysia (PR1MA)
programme, 80 thousand houses will
be built and each houses will be sold 20
percent lower than market price with
the allocation of RM1 billion. Tan Sri
Leong Hoy Kum, MD of Mah Sing Group
Bhd Group looks forward to exploring
opportunities for suitable locations for the
In a nutshell, apart from several
polemical decisions in fiscal entity, the
government has made a balanced financial
decision. As said by Hanifah Hashim,
Malaysian Head Fixed Income and Sukuk,
Franklin Templeton Investments, “The
measures to strengthen national fiscal
position by cutting subsidies are a step
in the right direction in addressing the
weakness in the country’s balance sheet.”
The budget has also made improvement in
the government’s expenditure as said by
Tan Sri Teh Hong Piom, Chairman of Public
Bank, “We welcome the Government’s
firm commitment to continue addressing
the country’s fiscal challenge by further
reducing the budget deficit from 4.0%
of GDP in 2013 to 3.5% in 2014, through
a combination of efforts in increasing
revenue and controlling of expenditure
of the Government. We believe that the
GST will be implemented in a coordinated
and efficient manner.”
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
7
SPECIAL ISSUE
National
Education
Blueprint
2013-2025
E
DUCATION
IS
SEEN
AS
THE
FOUNDAMENTAL ASPECT to nation
building and unity, the success of a nation
depends highly on its people’s knowledge,
skills and competencies. Nations with higher
education as seen worldwide enjoy greater
economic prosperity. The need of change in
Malaysia’s education system arises from the
increased public scrutiny and debate, higher
expectations from parents and increased
concerns from employers regarding the
system’s ability to train young Malaysians to
a 21st century.
The national blueprint is developed
strictly with the guidance of three main
objectives. The first is based on from the
8
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
The Ministry of Education has
commenced a wide-ranging review
of the education system in Malaysia
on October 2011, in order to develop
a new National Education Blueprint
for the year 2013 to 2025. One of
the demands in Malaysia’s National
Education Philosophy’s is; there
must be an ongoing effort to further
develop individuals’ potentials in a
holistic and integrated manner.
understanding on Malaysia’s education
system’s current performance and the
challenges each individuals may face in the
upbringing of economic affluence. The focus
is on the accessibility of the education towards
all children in the country and upgrading the
quality and the raising of standards. It also
focuses on closing the achievement gaps
between urban and rural areas, promoting
unity amongst nation and maximising system
efficiency.
The second objective is establishing a
clear vision and aspirations for the education
system in the next 13 years, and for every
student of their future undertakings in self
development and nation building.
NATIONAL EDUCATION BLUEPRINT 2013-2025
The third objective is outlining a
comprehensive transformation programme
for the system which could guide
institutions to meet new demands and rising
expectations. It is also of the key changes to
the Ministry to initiate and support overall
civil service transformation.
Malaysia’s
National
Blueprint
envisioned a highly successful education
through new five systems aspirations.
The first aspiration is the accessibility of
education for all children. This aspiration
targets 100% enrolment across all level into
education institution from pre-school to
upper secondary by 2020.
The second aspiration is aimed
to increase the quality of education for
the students. In this aspiration, Malaysia
aims to be the top third of countries for
its educational performance in terms of
international assessments within 15 years
such as Programmes for International Student
Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International
Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
The National Blueprint also aims for
equity by cutting the gaps of the current
urban-rural, socio-economic and gender
achievement by fifty percent by 2020. This
aspiration targets to develop top-performing
school system that delivers the best possible
education to every child.
The fourth aspiration is to strengthen
the unity of the students through the
interaction from a range of socio-economic,
religious, and ethnic backgrounds by learning
to accept and embrace the differences.
The Malaysian education system is also
targeted to be better manager by increasing
the efficiency of the resources channelled
into the system in its fifth aspiration. In the
future mission, the improvements of the
students outcomes are aimed to match the
budget allocated.
The transformation of the system is
integrated based on four criteria. The first
is any action to be taken must contribute to
the system and to the aspirations. Second,
factors that would make the most difference
are prioritised based from international
evidence drawn from researches. Third, the
transformation itself is within the Ministry’s
ability to deliver. Last, the benefits of the
implementation of the proposal outweigh the
financial and operational downsides. There
are eleven shifts that will need to occur to
deliver the change in outcomes as envisioned
by all Malaysians.
In examining students’ learning in
Malaysia education system, the Ministry
derived few solutions to effect the changes
necessary. Few shifts that is engineered for
the solution is by providing equal access to
quality education of an international standard,
ensuring every child is proficient in Bahasa
Malaysia and English Language, developing
values-driven Malaysians and empowering
JPNs, PPDs and schools to customise solutions
based on need.
The next effort is in exploring the roles
of teachers and school leaders as the frontline
of the Malaysia education system by focusing
on ways to improve the quality and support
provided to teachers and school leaders. The
Ministry targeted to transform teaching into
the profession of choice and to ensure highperforming school leaders in every school.
The Ministry itself will go through
change in order to best implement the
policies and the initiatives in the Blueprint.
This is targeted to be achieved not only by
empowering JPNs, PPDs and schools, but to
also leverage ICT to scale up quality learning
across Malaysia, transform Ministry’s delivery
capabilities and capacity and maximise
students’ outcomes for every spent expenses.
The effort also involved in restructuring
of the system which focuses on the phases of
education. This is by providing equal chances
to an education to every child from pre-school
level to upper secondary level and partnering
with parents, community, and private sector
at scale.
The transformation of the education
system in Malaysia is also equipped with
programmes that sequencing of initiatives
with the ultimate objectives. The sequencing
would be reported publicly through annual
public report to increase the transparency for
direct public accountability.
The releasing of the Blueprint opens
the door of feedbacks and responses from
the rakyat for the Ministry as education
stands at crossroad and it will always need
to be an ongoing effort to achieve a holistic
nation. The Blueprint is set to provide a
chance to carve out brighter and bolder
future for all Malaysian children.
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
9
SPECIAL ISSUE
AES
Automated
Enforcement
System
The Automated Enforcement System (AES) is a
road safety enforcement system whereby cameras
are used to curb traffic violations. In line with
the Malaysian government’s serious intention
to reduce road accidents, the AES system was
introduced. Traffic enforcements need to be
beefed up to cut down or reduce accidents and
road fatalities.
T
HE AES SYSTEM is used to monitor all
federal roads, highways and expressways
in Malaysia. The system came into operations
on 23 September 2012. With this system,
road users and drivers will no longer violate
laws and with that in mind, accidents can
thus be reduced. The system is meant to
discipline drivers and reduce road mishaps,
accidents and fatalities. On the other hand,
the public are also encouraged to extend
the photographs of drivers breaking traffic
rules. The AES system operation is able to nab
drivers who break the speed limit and jump
traffic lights.
AES Solution Sdn Bhd, a governmentowned company under the Ministry of
Finance Incorporated had taken over the
two concessionaires contracted to set
up the system. Operations began on 23
10
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
September last year with 14 cameras set-up
at expressways and federal routes in Perak,
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
The two concessionaires, Beta Tegap
Sdn Bhd and ATES Sdn. Bhd. had been
previously tasked to set up the cameras in the
country.
There are a total of 831 locations, 566
for speeding and 265 for traffic light offences.
Of the 831 cameras, 250 are mobile ones
that will be located at high risk areas which
do not have infrastructure for fixed cameras.
All the surveillance cameras which have a 11mega pixel (11MP) resolution, will be able to
record both still images and video footages of
vehicles committing speed-related offences
and are connected via a broadband link to
the respective system’s headquarters. Once
captured, the photographic evidence is then
AES (AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM)
passed on to the Road Transport Department
(RTD) or also known as Jabatan Pengangkutan
Jalan (JPJ).
The portable cameras will have a radar
unit to detect vehicles anywhere across a
four-lane of speeds up to 250km/h. One of
the systems even claims a detection of up to
300km/h. The cameras will capture both still
images as well as videos of offending vehicles.
More cameras are expected to be installed
and rolled out at a total of 817 “black spots”,
completing a nationwide implementation of
the AES.
The Automated Enforcement System
operations have been officially handed over
to the police and this was officially announced
by Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid
Hamidi on 14 September 2013. “It’s now in
force at all locations where the cameras are
installed”.
The Road Transport Department’s
Director-General Datuk Solah Mat Hassan
said that the implementation of the AES was a
“serious move” by the government to reduce
the number of road fatalities. “Hence the AES
cameras are installed at locations identified
as accident-prone areas”. He said the public
could check where the AES cameras are
located on the Department’s website, www.
jpj.gov.my, adding that road users would be
able to know when they are at AES operation
zones through signboards.
“By knowing the locations, road
users will be more careful at these spots
and will drive according to the law. It will
reduce the number of deaths and fulfil our
objectives to ensure the safety of road users
will also be met. The public should see the
implementation of AES as a way to educate
road users, not as a means to give JPJ extra
power to issue summons”.
summons notices within five days of the date
of the violation of traffic rules.
“However, if the registered owner is
not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the
offence, they can submit the driver’s details
to JPJ, thirty days from receiving the summons
notice,” said Datuk Solah. “If they choose to
be present in court, they can do so at the time
and date specified on the notice.”
In the first two days of the
implementation of the AES, 2,952 offenders
were caught on camera, 809 for speeding and
2,143 for beating the red light. Datuk Solah
stressed that the AES was not aimed at issuing
summonses, but to educate people to be
good and responsible road users and reduce
the number of deaths due to accidents in the
country. As such, he said, signages were put
up to give ample warning on the presence of
cameras.
During the first eight days when
the cameras were installed, 63,558 traffic
offenders have been recorded. This figure
should remind motorists to be more alert,
aware, and obey the traffic rules.
AES has also been implemented
all over the world especially in developed
countries such as France, Germany, Australia,
Singapore and the United States. There are
more than 90 countries worldwide which
have implemented similar electronic system
and the results have been positive.
In France, the number of deaths caused
by accidents has dropped 27 percent in the
span of three years of the implementation of
AES. In Kuwait, the accident rate has dropped
48 percent while in Germany, 80 percent of
road users have started to obey traffic rules in
areas which are monitored under AES.
He said that AES camera warning signs
for no-speeding areas would be visible at a
distance of two to three kilometres before
the cameras are located. For cameras that
record offences of motorists who jumped
traffic lights, the signs are located 50metres
to 500metres of the traffic lights.
Datuk Solah said that images
captured by the AES cameras would be sent
automatically to the AES control centre and
the vehicle registration numbers of the alleged
offenders would be cross-checked with JPJ’s
database, before a summons notice is sent to
the vehicle owner. “If the captured images do
not match with the vehicle registration details
on JPJ’s database, further investigations will
be carried out. Offenders will receive their
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
11
ECONOMY
Goods And
Services Tax
INTRODUCTION
The Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun
Abdul Razak has announced the GST (Goods
and Services Tax) when presenting the National
Budget 2014 which was held at the Parliament
on 25 October 2013 and will be implemented
starting on 1 April 2015. GST has been
implemented in France as early as the 1950s.
Currently, over 160 countries have implemented
the GST. In ASEAN, only Malaysia, Myanmar and
Brunei have not implemented it.
WHAT IS GST?
• GST is a consumption tax levied on goods and
services at all levels of businesses. The consumer
is taxed only when they spend. GST will replace
the Sales and Services Tax.
• It is aimed to streamline the country’s
tax system to be more effective, efficient,
transparent and business-friendly.
• GST is imposed on goods and services at
each stage of production and distribution in
the supply chain including imported goods and
services.
Is GST a new consumption tax?
• GST will be replacing the existing
consumption tax that is the Sales and Services
Tax (SST).
• The announcement of GST in Malaysia has
actually been made during the presentation of
the National Budget 2005 which states that the
GST will be implemented in 1 January 2007 to
replace the existing consumption tax.
• However, the government has postponed
the implementation of the GST to allow the
traders to make preparation on the computing
system and to provide exposure and appropriate
training to the staff involved.
• On 16 December 2009, the GST Bill has been
presented in the Parliament for First Reading.
This Bill should be presented for Second Reading
and so on but has been deferred to take into
account the views from various groups and
community.
12
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
• The issue of the government’s drastic action
in the implementation of GST is not relevant
because the government has done detailed
research, taking into account the views of all
parties and provides enough time for all to be
prepared before it was announced.
Why GST was introduced?
• Reduces the cost of business
Under the SST, the dealer could not make full
claim for the tax paid on the business input.
However, through GST, dealers will get the
benefit as they can recuperate the input tax
on raw materials or goods and services at
every level of the business. Finally the costs
of business become lower.
• Improves compliance
The SST has the disadvantage of causing
difficulty in the aspects of tax administration.
On the other hand, the GST has the available
mechanisms which makes tax administration
more manageable and increase compliance.
• Reduces red tape
Now business becomes much easier by not
having to apply for approval of exemption on
raw materials.
• Provides equality and fairness
GST is imposed equally between businesses
involved, whether in the manufacturing,
wholesalers, retailers, or in the service sector.
• Makes the price more affordable for the consumers
The GST eliminates the overlapping taxation
under SST. Consumers will pay more
affordable price to most of the goods and
services under the GST as compared the SST.
• Ensure transparency
GST is a tax system that is more transparent,
effective, efficient and business-friendly. The
GST is more transparent than the SST because
the consumers will know whether the goods
purchased or the services obtained subject
to tax and the amount of tax to be paid.
GSTHow much is the GST rate and GST
threshold?
• The GST rate is set at 6% compared with the
SST at 5%, 10% and specific rates for sales tax.
While the service tax is at the rate of 6% and
specific rates.
• GST threshold - RM500, 000 per annum.
Businesses that do not achieve the sales annual
taxable supplies of RM500, 000 are not required
to register under the GST. However, voluntary
registration is encouraged.
How the GST is implemented?
• GST is charged on the added value at each
stage of production and distribution in the
supply chain including the importation of goods
and services.
• Every trader in the supply chain paid the GST
to the suppliers respectively on the goods or
services earned and at the time they impose and
collect the GST on the goods or services sold by
them.
Are all goods and services in this country
will be subjected to GST?
• Not all goods and services will be subjected
to GST. Food items such as rice, sugar, salt, flour,
cooking oil, vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs and
other basic food are not subjected to GST.
• Basic service facilities such as piped water
supply and the first 200 units of electricity
consumption per month (for domestic users),
transportation services, health and education
services, issuance of passports and licenses,
residential sales, purchases and rental and
agriculture land will not be charged GST.
• This exemption is intended to ensure that
the low-income earners will not be burdened by
the implementation of the GST.
How will the government control the
increase of the price of goods and services
with the implementation of GST?
GOODS AND SERVICES TAX
ALL YOU
NEED TO
KNOW
making excessive profits.
• Among the steps taken was to introduce
the Price Control Act and Anti-Profiteering,
intensive enforcement efforts through the
establishment of the National Price Council
and publishing the Shoppers’ Guide.
• In addition, to ensure that all traders
comply with the regulations, fines and
penalties will be imposed on unethical traders
in raising the prices of goods.
CONCLUSION
Overall, the GST will overcome the
weaknesses in the present taxation system.
It would also make the country’s tax system
more transparent, just, fair and businessfriendly. At the same time, the GST is also one
of the best steps to strengthen the economy
in the long run. The statement which said
that the GST will impoverish the people is not
right. The proposed structure of the GST has
been taking into consideration the people’s
spending patterns, especially the low-income
earners.
“The GST will make
the country’s tax system
more transparent, fair,
equitable and businessfriendly”
This can be seen when various food items and
basic services will not be subjected to GST.
In addition, the government has provided an
assistance package for the people to counter
the effects of the implementation of GST.
Related laws, enforcement programmes,
education and dissemination of information
for awareness have also been implemented
to ensure successful implementation of the
GST.
• The government will take serious measures
to ensure that no party will take advantage by
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
13
SPECIAL ISSUE
URBAN
TRANSFORMATION
CENTRE
There are many new mechanisms that are being
introduced by the Malaysian government to optimise
the potential and to grow the nation’s economy.
One of the mechanisms is the Urban Transformation
Centre (UTC) under the Blue Ocean Strategy (Strategi
Lautan Biru) which was introduced to improve the
quality of services through strategic partnerships
between government agencies and the private sector.
14
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
URBAN TRANSFORMATION CENTRE
T
HE
URBAN
TRANSFORMATION
CENTRE or UTC is one of the efforts
and initiatives of the Government to
provide core services of the government
and private sector to the city community,
as a one-stop service centre located
in a building and under one roof. UTC
facilitates and provides all the main
services for the government and private
sectors in a strategic place. It plays a role
as the one-stop centre for youth activities,
retail space, NGO activities and also a
place for the entrepreneur community.
An urban dweller can visit the
UTC to attend to various matters such
as issues pertaining to taxes or tithes
and identity card, financial services
or engage in recreational activities
or workout in the indoor gymnasium
and other activities such as wall
climbing, aerobics or a game of futsal.
Pudu Sentral, previously known
as Puduraya, is now known as the
Kuala Lumpur Urban Transformation
Centre and was officially launched by
Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Bin Tun
Abdul Razak on September 22, 2012.
The Prime Minister said at
the official launch, that the Urban
Transformation Centre (UTC) is a one-stop
centre for those seeking government and
private services in the heart of the city. “It
is an enhancement of Pudu Sentral. The
building and car parks were renovated
to place the government service centres
and recreational facilities. Everything else
is still the same. The buses will still run
from here”, Dato’ Sri Najib said during the
official launch of UTC in Kuala Lumpur.
The Urban Transformation Centre
in Kuala Lumpur houses approximately 39
government agencies, commercial offices,
various private businesses, library, a youth
development and activity centre, a local
products sales area, an activity centre for
non-governmental organisations (NGOs),
including Klinik 1Malaysia, Kedai Rakyat
1Malaysia, Kedai Kain 1Malaysia and
the country’s first Kedai Buku 1Malaysia.
The UTC is a project spearheaded
by the Finance Ministry, under the
government’s Urban Transformation
Programme. Besides the UTC in Melaka,
located at Jalan Hang Tuah, which was
officially launched in June 2012, there is
UTC Perak which was officially launched
by the Prime Minister on February 15,
2013. UTC Perak is located at Jalan Dato
Onn Jaafar, the former premises of the
Super Kinta Departmental Store. Since its
operations for only a month, the Urban
Transformation Centre (UTC) Perak has
already attracted close to 50,000 visitors.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri
Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said that the
number of visitors was expected to soar
further. He said that the Centre’s strategic
location was a plus point among visitors.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni also said that the
government planned to set up another
five UTCs nationwide. “We have more or
less agreed to the proposals for Pahang,
Sabah and Johor. We are still evaluating
the proposal for Kedah. Our target is to
set up five additional centres for now,
but if we are able to set up more, we will
definitely do so. Our aim is to have one UTC
in each city and state capital nationwide”.
The UTC in Melaka has 70 Ministry
offices, government and private sectors
and various NGOs had opened counters
inside the UTC. Services available include
government services, health, security,
education, practical and job seekers,
finance services, financial development
and entrepreneurship, NGO services,
utilities, welfare and human development
as well as youth development.
Besides these, UTC Melaka also
provides services such as a mini library,
tuition centre, cyber café, and fitness
centre and music studio. The UTC is
beneficial for the people in Melaka as it
provides convenience, saves public time
and also increases job opportunities.
The
Urban
Transformation
Centre in Kuala Lumpur is the nation’s
second UTC, following the first, which
was launched in Melaka earlier in June
2012. Pudu Sentral has undergone
several makeovers including a major
one by the building owners and
developer,
UDA
Holdings
Berhad
when it was still known as Puduraya.
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
15
FEATURES
Deepavali
- Festival of Lights
The festival of Deepavali or Diwali is celebrated by
Indians throughout the world in a joyous mood, with
zeal and enthusiasm. Deepavali is celebrated in Malaysia
on 3 November this year. It is an official public holiday in
Malaysia during the Deepavali festival.
DIWALI
is celebrated by Hindus,
Jains and Sikhs to mark
historical events, stories or myths. The festival
is predominated by colourful display of lights,
bursting of crackers, cleanliness, sweets and
cakes, lots of shopping, joy and happiness.
The festive spirit brings people of different
communities closer, to celebrate the joyous and
vibrant festival in the most blissful and lively
way.
Diwali is also known as the “Festival
of Lights”. The festival spiritually signifies the
victory of light over darkness, knowledge
over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over
despair. The festival preparations and rituals
typically extend over a five day period, but the
main festival night of Diwali coincides with the
darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar
month Kartik. In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali
night falls between mid-October and midNovember.
On the eve of the festival, people clean
and decorate their homes. On Diwali, Hindus
dress up in new clothes or their best outfit,
light up diyas (lamps and candles) inside and
outside their homes, participate in family puja
typically to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth
and prosperity. After puja prayers, fireworks
follow, then a family feast including mithai or
sweets and an exchange of gifts between family
members and close friends. Diwali also marks
16
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
a major shopping period a few days before the
festival.
Diwali is an important festival for Hindus.
The names of the festive days as well as the
rituals of Diwali vary significantly among Hindus,
based on the region of India. In many parts
of India, the festivities start with Dhanteras,
followed by Naraka Chaturdasi on the second
day, Diwali on the third day, Diwali Padva
dedicated to wife-husband relationship on the
fourth day, and festivities end with Bhau-beej
dedicated to sister-brother bond on the fifth
day. Dhanteras usually falls eighteen days after
Dussehra.
Like most of the festivals in India, Diwali
too has its base in mythology and there is a very
interesting history about this festival.
The first day of the festival begins with
“Dhan Trayodashi”, the second day of Diwali is
called “Narak Chaturdashi”, which is popular
as “Choti Diwali”. The third day of Diwali is the
main day of the celebrations of the festival of
Diwali. The fourth day of the festival is devoted
to Govardhan Pooja (worship of Lord Govardhan
Parvat). The fifth day of the festival is Bhai
Dooj, the time to honour the brother-sister
relationship.
A kolam drawing on the front doorsteps
of Hindu households is common during the
DEEPAVALI
Diwali festival. Kolam is a form of sand painting
that is drawn using rice powder by female
members of the family to welcome visitors and
also Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity to their
home.
Kolam which means “beauty” are floor
drawings made of coloured flour or rice and
are used for ornamental or ceremonial designs
during the Indian festivities such as Deepavali.
In Northern India, it is known as rangoli. The
kolam has a dual function, both religious and
ornamental, which is to add aesthetic value to
the Hindu home.
The simplest form of the kolam is the
“pulli kolam” or “dotted kolam”. Dots of rice
flour are placed in a grid-like framework, which
are then joined to take the form of a symmetrical
shape or a regular polygon. Symmetry is
important as it denotes universal balance or the
Hindu aspect of Shiva-Shakti.
In Malaysia where Indians form an
important segment of the population, kolam
drawing is prominently displayed in many public
places, hotels and shopping malls and office
complexes during this season.
The Deepavali festival is a good time for
family and friends to immerse in a celebration of
joy, get-together and celebrate with good food
as it is an event that caters for people of all ages.
Many devotees also pray at the temple on this
auspicious day.
In Malaysia, there are also “Open
Houses” organised by Hindus celebrating
Deepavali, whereby friends and close family
members and business associates are cordially
invited to visit and attend the festive occasion at
their homes, and enjoy Indian delicacies and to
mingle with their friends, relatives, neighbours
and loved ones.
The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC)
political party also organised a Deepavali “Open
House” this year in conjunction with the festival.
The MIC Open House was held at the Batu Caves
Temple, Kuala Lumpur from 9.00am to 1.00pm
on November 13, 2013. The “Open House” was
held at an open area in the vicinity of the temple
and was well attended by political leaders,
dignitaries, local Malaysians, the general public,
as well as foreigners and tourists.
Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Bin Tun
Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor
including other senior Cabinet Ministers,
political party leaders as well as diplomats and
other senior officers attended the MIC Deepavali
Open House at Batu Caves on November
13, 2013. A cake-cutting ceremony was also
organised during the Deepavali “Open House”.
For Malaysians, the festival is a joyous
occasion for social interaction and a time
of merriment, get-together amongst all the
different races in the country, visiting friends,
neighbours and relatives to share and liven up
the festivity, while forging racial harmony in line
with the spirit of the 1Malaysia concept.
Besides Malaysia, the Diwali festival is
celebrated in a joyful and meaningful way. The
auspicious Day is also an official public holiday
in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius,
Guyanna, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname,
Singapore and Fiji.
“ Kolam is a form of sand
painting that is drawn using
rice powder by female
members of the family to
welcome visitors and also
Lakshmi, the goddess of
prosperity to their home.”
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
17
FEATURES
The 4th
International
Greentech &
Eco Products
Exhibition and
Conference
Malaysia
Prime Minister Dato’
Sri Najib bin Tun Razak
officiated the launch of
the 4th International
Greentech and Eco Products
Exhibition and Conference
(IGEM) at the Kuala Lumpur
Convention Centre on 11
October 2013.
T
HE PRIME MINISTER, accompanied by the Malaysia Green Technology Corporation
Minister of Energy, Green Technology and (GreenTech Malaysia).
Water, Datuk Seri Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili
IGEM acts as the prime mover for the
and his deputy, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid,
Malaysian Government’s initiatives in green
spent about an hour touring the exhibition.
growth. Being the largest, full-scale green
Also present were Second Finance exhibition in the region, IGEM brings in key
Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah industry players, including buyers, sellers and
and Ministry of Finance Secretary-General, investors, from around the world to explore
Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
trade and collaboration opportunities.
Themed “Advancing Green Growth
and Global Entrepreneurship”, the 4th
International Greentech and Eco Products
Exhibition and Conference is the region’s
largest green technology and eco products
exhibition, outlining green technology
development in the country towards the goal
of transforming Malaysia into an international
hub for green technology.
IGEM 2013 is a one-stop centre
for visitors looking to gain direct access to
world-class green technology innovators and
business leaders as well as the latest and
most advanced offerings of eco products
and services in the global marketplace. IGEM
2013 is organised by the Ministry of Energy,
Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) and
18
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
The objective is focused on eight sectors
including development, transportation,
information communication technology,
water and waste management and energy.
The 2013 IGEM is held in partnership with
the two-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit
(GES) 2013. The highly-acclaimed exhibition
and conference provide visitors with useful
insights into the global market trends and
sustainable business practices.
The GES 2013, themed “Empowering
and Connecting Entrepreneurships” gathered
4,700 delegates, including thought leaders and
aspiring entrepreneurs from 100 countries, to
share their views with the entrepreneurial
community.
THE 4TH INTERNATIONAL GREENTECH & ECO PRODUCTS EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE MALAYSIA
GES is a leading US Governmentsupported forum for promoting economic
growth through entrepreneurship. The
inaugural Global Entrepreneurship Summit
in Washington, D.C. in 2010 was attended
and launched by President Obama with
the objective to connect and engage with
entrepreneurs, bankers, venture capitalists,
investors and business contacts and policy
makers to catalyse partnerships, encourage
innovative entrepreneurship, growth and
strengthen ties.
This exciting collaborative international
event, the IGEM 2013-GES Summit helped
enhanced global entrepreneurship activities,
while generating positive sustainable
economic and employment opportunities
through green growth. Dignitaries who
attended the GES Summit in Kuala Lumpur
were US Secretary of State, John Kerry and US
Commerce Secretary, Penny Pritzker.
After three successful editions of
IGEM with the average annual participation of
more than 60,000 visitors from as many as 62
countries and more than 350 exhibitors each
year, IGEM 2013 continues to create a vibrant
platform to facilitate business connections
and opportunities and enhance exchange of
innovative and dynamic ideas amongst green
stakeholders and serves as an informative
hub for the public.
The four-day IGEM 2013, the
region’s largest green technology and ecoproducts exhibition drew 469 exhibitors
from 23 countries, including the European
Union, Germany, Taiwan, China, South
Korea, Japan and Singapore. It is an annual
strategic platform where industry players and
professionals converge from various sectors,
public and private, big and small, local and
foreign, new as well as the established, to
explore and seize the many opportunities of
the exciting and emerging green market in the
country and the region.
It is also an excellent platform for the
industry players to strengthen with global
entrepreneurs for information exchange,
networking and collaborations, as well as
providing access to a rising tide of investment
capital in innovative green-tech initiatives,
which is set to drive robust green growth
further.
The IGEM 2013 exhibition was
organised along six thematic sectors,
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency,
Water and Waste Management, Green
Transportation and Logistics, Eco Products
and Services, Green Building and Interiors,
and Green ICT. Visitors were treated to various
unique, value-added offerings throughout
the exhibition period, including the Green
Insights Seminars and Workshops, One-onOne Matching Programs and the Malaysian
GreenTech Awards 2013.
The 4th IGEM was well attended by
more than 60,000 patrons with potential
sales of up to RM1.2million.
During the opening of the Malaysian
GreenTech Awards 2013 on 12 October 2013,
the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin
Yassin said that the government, realising the
potential of green technology in driving the
country’s economy, will carry on with efforts
to formulate and implement more policies to
develop environmental technology.
“From 2001 to last year, investments
in green technologies amounted to some
RM10.6 billion, with 237 approved projects.
These ventures have also created more than
20,000 jobs,” he said.
Among the companies participating
in the IGEM 2013 are Panasonic Malaysia
Sdn Bhd, Philips Malaysia Sdn Bhd, UMW
Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd, Land Rover, Honda
Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Investment and
Development Authority and the Malaysia
External Trade Development Corporation.
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
19
FEATURES
Malaysian Armed Forces
th Anniversary
80
T
he Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF)
celebrated its 80th Anniversary this
year. To celebrate the auspicious occasion,
a grand and mammoth military parade and
static displays were held in conjunction with
the anniversary, at the historical Dataran
Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur on September 21,
2013.
The parade started at 7.00am,
followed by demonstrations of various units
of the Armed Forces. A static display of
various Armed Forces assets were also held
at Dataran Merdeka. Spectators had the
opportunity to get up close and personal with
the Armed Forces new equipment after the
parade, many of which were displayed for the
first time.
The Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib
Tun Abdul Razak and Deputy Prime Minister,
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin arrived at the event
location complete in full military gear and in
armoured vehicles. Both leaders wearing the
Armed Forces new digital camouflage arrived
separately in the military vehicle to the
thunderous applause by spectators.
Dato’ Sri Najib took the AFCV 8 x 8
armoured cars, the latest Malaysian Armed
Forces acquisition while Tan Sri Muhyiddin
Yassin arrived a few minutes later in another
8 x 8 armoured vehicle.
Both leaders later received a salute
from a guard of honour mounted by the
20
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
Malaysian Armed Forces personnel, before
being accompanied by Defence Minister,
Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein and Armed
Forces Chief, General Tan Sri Zulkifli Mohd Zin
to the stage to witness the 80th Malaysian
Armed Forces anniversary procession. Also
present was the Chief Secretary to the
Government, Tan Sri Dr. Ali Hamsa and other
senior officers.
The parade themed “MAF Perkasa
Kedaulatan Terpelihara”, or “A Formidable
MAF, Sovereignty Safeguarded” involved
5,370 officers and men as well as 200 assets
encompassing the land, air and sea services.
The highlight of the parade was an emergency
rescue of hostages by a combination of
MAF’s Special Forces using real weapons and
explosives.
Among the parade highlights was a
photocall by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib
Tun Razak with the Malaysian Kombat Tim
Striker (PT-91M MBTs, Stormer APCs and
Malaysian Infantry), the display of Russian
air-to-air and air-to-ground ordinance used
by the Sukhoi Su-30MKM warplanes and the
much anticipated unveiling of the Number 5
uniform in the digitised camouflage pattern.
The missile war load for the Royal
Malaysian Airforce (RMAF) Sukhoi Su-30MKM
warplanes on display gave the opportunity to
the public, their first view of the missiles in
RMAF service. The missiles which made their
MALAYSIAN ARMED FORCES 80th ANNIVERSARY
public debut at the public parade during the
80th anniversary celebration include the Kh29TE air-to-ground missiles, Kh-3P supersonic
anti-radiation missile, and Kh-31P supersonic
air-to-ground missile.
The missiles were carried on flat bed
trailers as part of the RMAF contingent. Also
on display were American-made missiles such
as the Harpoon, Sidewinder and Sparrow.
Commemorative coins have been
produced in a collaboration effort between
the Malaysian Armed Forces and Bank Negara
Malaysia. In conjunction with the 80th
anniversary of the Malaysian Armed Forces,
coin collectors can now obtain three exclusive
commemorative coins which have been
released by Bank Negara recently.
The commemorative coins are
available in gold, silver and the Nordic Gold.
The coins, which depict a fighter jet, a tank
and a submarine to represent the three
divisions of the armed forces, will be inscribed
with the years, “1933-2013” to denote its
80th anniversary.
A total of 500 pieces of the gold coins
are minted and sold at RM1,800 each. For the
silver ones, 1,000 coins are minted and sold
at RM150 each while 25,000 Nordic Brilliant
coins are minted and sold at RM10 each.
The coins are now available for sale
at Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery
and its offices in Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuala
Terengganu, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.
The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF),
the military of Malaysia consists of three
branches, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN),
the Malaysian Army and the Royal Malaysian
Air Force (RMAF).
Malaysia’s armed forces originated
from the formation of local military forces in
the first half of the 20th century, during the
British colonial rule of Malaya and Singapore
prior to Malaya’s independence in 1957. Its
role is to defend the sovereignty and strategic
interests of Malaysia from all forms of threats.
It is responsible for assisting civilian
authorities to overcome all international
threats, preserve public order, assist in
natural disasters and participate in national
development programs. It is also sustaining
and upgrading its capabilities in the
international sphere to uphold the national
foreign policy of being involved under the
guidance of the United Nations (UN).
...themed “MAF Perkasa
Kedaulatan Terpelihara”,
or “A Formidable MAF,
Sovereignty Safeguarded”...
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
21
FEATURES
Malaysia - China
Economic
Summit
The Malaysia-China Economic Summit was held at the Kuala
Lumpur Convention Centre, KLCC on 4 October 2013.
ALAYSIA AND CHINA can make a strong
contribution towards driving Asia’s agenda
M
by continuing their tradition of mutual co-
operation in pursuit of shared ambition, said
Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Bin Tun Abdul
Razak at the Malaysia- China Economic Summit
held recently.
The Prime Minister said that as Asia
assumed a greater role in world affairs, the
decisions made nationally, bilaterally and
regionally would have a profound impact on
the global economy. “We can show through our
actions that Asia’s influence will yield peace and
prosperity, in our nation, our region and our
world. Whether on bilateral trade relations or
international efforts to build a more sustainable
global economy, we are strongest when we
work together,” said the Prime Minister in his
keynote address at the Economic Summit.
China’s President Xi Jinping, who was on
an official visit to Malaysia and Dato’ Sri Najib
attended the Malaysia-China Economic Summit
in Kuala Lumpur. President Xi and Dato’ Sri Najib
delivered important speeches on strengthening
the practical co-operation between the two
countries and China’s economic development,
hoping that the business communities of the
two countries will seize the opportunities, and
continue to write a new chapter of mutually
beneficial co-operation.
President Xi Jinping arrived in Malaysia
for a three-day state visit on the second stop
of his maiden trip to Southeast Asia, after
wrapping up a state visit to Indonesia, the
first stop to Southeast Asia since assuming
the presidency in March this year. According
to Wisma Putra, the trip will enable Prime
Minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak and
the President of China, Xi Jinping to chart the
future direction of Malaysia-China relations,
which include reaffirming their commitment
to strengthen co-operation in all fields and
contribute to the prosperity and maintenance
of peace and stability in the region.
The visit of Xi Jinping is of utmost
importance as it signals the commitment
of the Chinese leadership to maintain the
longstanding friendly relations with Malaysia
since the establishment of diplomatic relations
39 years ago.
22
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
Malaysia seeks to enhance ties with
China and tap new areas of co-operation. The
two countries will maintain ties and make the
relations more multi-faceted and pervasive by
including more areas for co-operation such as
education, technology and finance. Moreover,
Malaysia welcomes more Chinese
investments into the country, which is an
important part of bilateral co-operation. Prime
Minister Dato’ Sri Najib said that Malaysia and
China shared common grounds on many multilateral issues, and urged the two countries
to work closely in the pursuit of economic
development, stability, peace and prosperity.
Malaysia was the first country among
Asean members to establish diplomatic ties
with China and the two countries will celebrate
the 40th anniversary of the establishment of
diplomatic relations next year. Dato’ Sri Najib
said he plans to visit China and look forward to
working with Beijing on major events to mark
the anniversary. He also said that MalaysiaChina relations have developed by “leaps and
bounds” since 1974 when his late father Tun
Abdul Razak Bin Hussein, then the Malaysian
Prime Minister, paid a historic visit to Beijing
and forged ties with China.
China’s President Xi Jinping said that the
mutually beneficial cooperation has continued
to deepen since the two countries established
diplomatic relations 39 years ago. China has
been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for four
consecutive years, while Malaysia has been
China’s largest trading partner in Asean for five
years in a row. Bilateral co-operation in various
fields has been in the forefront of co-operation
between China and other Asean countries.
President Xi Jinping pointed out that
Asia remains the most dynamic region with the
greatest potential in the world. Countries in
the region should focus more on developments
and carry forward the Asian spirit of unity,
co-operation and pulling together in times of
trouble so as to safeguard long-term stability
and development in Asia. He also pointed
out that the co-operation between China and
Malaysia has broad prospects which will benefit
the two countries and the region. Both countries
have agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a
comprehensive strategic partnership, boosting
a better blueprint for the development of
MALAYSIA - CHINA ECONOMIC SUMMIT
bilateral relations.
In his speech, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri
Najib also hailed the substantial achievements
of Malaysia-China relations and actively
responded to China’s suggestions on cooperation. Dato’ Sri Najib said that at present,
Asia’s economy maintains strong growth
momentum and the status of Asia is increasingly
growing in the international arena. The rosy
prospects of Asia’s development are interlinked
with the Chinese dream of national prosperity
and rejuvenation and the people’s happiness.
Malaysia and China are important
partners and the two countries should take the
establishment of a comprehensive strategic
partnership as an important opportunity to
deepen mutually beneficial co-operation
and realise common development, making
greater contributions to promoting peace and
prosperity of the region and the world.
Malaysia welcomes Chinese enterprises
to increase investments in Malaysia and hope
that the enterprises of both countries will play
a more active role in the bilateral economic
development and regional co-operation.
Dato’ Sri Najib and Xi Jinping also jointly
witnessed the signing of an inter-governmental
five-year development plan on economic
and trade co-operation and a number of
agreements on Qinzhou and Kuantan industrial
parks. The Prime Minister said that the signing
of the five-year programme for economic and
trade co-operation by both the countries’ Trade
Ministers also marked the beginning of a new
stage in the relationship of the two countries.
“And it sets out a clear vision of our common
ambition, deepening bilateral and economic
relations, yielding an elevated strategic
partnership between our countries, said Dato’
Sri Najib, who is also the Finance Minister.
The programme, which will see the
bilateral trade between the two nations hit
US$160 billion by the end of the fifth year, is
a rolling plan including an early harvest of lowhanging fruits, those that have been identified
for immediate implementation as well as those
which require further development.
Dato’ Sri Najib said the covered areas
of co-operation include agriculture, energy
and mineral resources, manufacturing and
engineering. He said that the Chinese President
shared the same sentiments with him and
expressed their meeting using a Mandarin
expression which means “at the first meeting,
we felt like old friends”. He added that the
bonds between the two nations were forged in
the past but has grown stronger in the present.
“By committing to further co-operation
in pursuit of common aims, we can drive
development and progress, not just in our
countries, but in our region and the wider
world. China’s dream and Asia’s promise can
be fulfilled together, in an age marked by the
prosperity and stability in equal measure”,
said Dato’ Sri Najib. Both countries also
agreed to establish Consul-General’s office in
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Pulau Pinang, while
Malaysia will also establish a similar office in
Naning.
A signing agreement ceremony on the
cultural co-operation project between Malaysia
and China, “Impression Melaka” was also inked
at the Malaysia-China Economic Summit on 4
October 2013. The cultural theatrical production
which will be performed in a novel and unique
manner is set to take Melaka onto the world
stage and drive the development of the local
tourism economy. It has been endorsed as a
key national project by Malaysia’s Ministry of
Tourism and Culture. The project will become
one of the iconic events for the 2014 MalaysiaChina Friendship Year, which marks the 40th
anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between the two countries.
To further facilitate trade, Dato’ Sri Najib
said that there is a need to further promote
the bilateral currency swap arrangement
agreement between Malaysia and China among
the business community. The Prime Minister
said that Malaysia is the first country outside
China to use renminbi, with the Central Bank
being the first in ASEAN to hold renminbi
reserves.
“2.3 percent of the world trade are
settled in renminbi in Malaysia but too few
entrepreneurs are aware that it can be done.
We should do more to deepen and promote
this monetary co-operation, which can be so
beneficial for both our countries”, he added.
Dato’ Sri Najib also expressed hope that
the establishment of the first overseas campus
of Xiamen University in Malaysia would soon
become a reality.
The Prime Minister also thanked the
Chinese government for the support and
opportunities to the Malaysian companies that
explored business opportunities in China and
are looking forward to make further investments
in the future under the new Chinese leadership.
“As we look forward to the creation of
the Asean Economic Community and all the
opportunities it will unlock, we are heartened
that China, under the new leadership of
President Xi Jinping and his dynamic team will
continue to actively forge strategic economic
partnerships in South East Asia, building peace,
prosperity and stability in the region,” Dato’ Sri
Najib said.
He also said that together China and
ASEAN built the largest free trade area, with the
China-Asean Free Trade Agreement comprising
1.9 billion in a market worth US$6 trillion.
Asean-China trade was US$8 billion
when relations were established back in 1991,
growing to US$318.6 billion as of last year.
About 1,000 delegates from China
representing 100 companies attended the
Summit.
Source: Ministry of International Trade and
Industry
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
23
FEATURES
The
Advantages
of Social
Media
A
LMOST EVERYONE in the planet earth
now has at least sent an email, reply to a
chat through so-many-now-uncountable apps
created for communication and has registered
to a social networking site. This all started in
the year 1978 when two computer hobbyist
created Bulletin Board System to inform their
friends of meetings and announcements.
It has now developed into the era of no
boundary to information as social media has
become the need of every child, parents,
businesspeople and leaders to connect with
everyone else. I suppose, if one day there is a
big mass of electrical failure which cause the
retraction of the internet, most of us would
find it hard to survive, if we manage to get
over the panic attack first.
Basically, social media are Internet
sites created by geniuses for people who
like to connect to others like you and me.
Through these sites, we are able to interact
freely, sharing everything under the sun and
discussing information about each other’s
lives and other people lives as well. The use
of multimedia and digital information gets
our communication better as creativity is
involved where not only with words, we use
newly created vocabulary, pictures, videos
and audio. This is like instead of having a plain
vanilla ice-cream, you get to have chocolate
coated, jelly beans and strawberry jam vanilla
ice-cream. It has definitely turned more
delicious if not more attractive.
24
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
They appear in many kinds and many
faces and the trends moves faster than the
Japanese bullet train. A year ago, blogging was
the trend, now you have vlogging as the hip.
There is even microblogs to add into the list,
but do not get me started, it will not end, just
ask your uncle Mr. Google to get your short
answers. There are also forums, message
boards and wikis to get an organization going.
The conventional bookmarking should be
banned now that social bookmarking existed.
There is even tagging for pictures, news,
writing communities, digital storytelling and
scrapbooking, and data, content, image and
video sharing, podcast portals, and collective
intelligence to satisfy your hunger for cyber
world communication. Now you have seen a
peanut of the whole tree, you can see that not
being in one is definitely being in the caveman
era. What makes it more holistic, social media
has the advantages to all walks of life.
Social media help bringing people
together whether it is between parent and
child, lovers, politicians and supporters or
celebrity and fans. We do know that social
media make possible to open communication
and improving information discovery and
delivery. You can find new people and new
people can find you too. You can even meet
friends you have lost contact over 20 years
ago, and communicate to your loved ones all
over the world without paying the mountain
load bills. When promoting campaigns and
SOCIAL MEDIA
ideas, it allows people from the different
geographical location to express and share
their views and meet in a single point. All you
need is a click and the whole world get the
access to it, yes, even your supposed-to-beonly-between-us secret if you clicked wrongly.
Moreover business has become
more visible to the public now with the
help of social medias. With a very low
expense, your brands’ visibility could be
improved through sites like Google Adwords,
Facebook Ads and Nuffnang. With better
visibility, it can tap a wider audience, and
a wider audience usually translates to
more potential customers. According to an
article on SmallBusinessComputing.com,
those businesses that calculated a return
on their social media usage, 76 percent of
them reported a positive return. The social
networking works well with businesses as it
could target specifically. When you monitor
conversations online via your website of
social media page, you could simply get
instant feedbacks and testimonial from
your customers. This helps with your brand
monitoring as you understand more of your
customers’ perception which you can lead
into the way you want it to be. With sites like
LinkedIn enable users to request introductions
to business people who are connected to
their contacts. Once upon a time, you would
be left sorting through business cards after a
networking event, trying to remember details
about each person, you can now easily look
up a connection’s credentials and business
interests on their social media profile.
Through the educational sites, social
media has become the breadth of knowledge
where students can experience the broadness
of knowledge and connectedness through
social media use. The idea of virtual classroom
made able the concept of long-distance
learning easier and more manageable.
Teachers are able to provide information
through links, vlog and attachments. They
can also set assignments and projects to
complete. For students, who are engaged to
this activities, it can give them the benefit
of being exposed to technology and can be
connected to a broader base of opinions
and world views through global connections.
Social media like Edmodo, Computing++, and
My Big Campus provides tools for helping
students to work together to create their
own meaning in work environments, social
contexts and especially academic subjects.
Nowadays, getting a dream job could
be as easy as buying your favourite burger
from the stall. Social media sites for job
portals now has numerously existed where
choosing a suitable job is like selecting from
a menu. These websites are like Jobstreet,
JobDB, Best Jobs, Jen Jobs, and Allyhunt. The
government and the private sectors have
widely used these portals and get connected
to their prospect worker’s without hassle.
Employers get to choose the best candidates
and job seekers get to choose the best job.
With the simple sharing click, the information
get to travel fast via social network, emails,
and blogs making it possible for less expense
and time needed to accommodate a job
vacancy. Infact, according to a quantitative
study, which involved 2,000 people, held by
JobsDB.com, 82 percent of the job seekers in
Malaysia chose online job portals for looking
for new and challenging opportunities, with
41 percent said to be exploring to a better
designation, checking the site three to four
times a week.
With all the great reason to be
connected, social media sites has definitely
made life easier, with better communication,
prosperous business opportunities and wider
accessibility of education for you and me.
Who knows, one day in a future ahead, our
existence could only be proven by the log
on data we keyed in to create our Facebook
account.
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
25
MALAYSIAN PRODUCT
Songket
SONGKET is a fabric that belongs to the brocade family of textiles.
It is hand-woven in silk or cotton, and intricately patterned with
gold or silver threads.
T
he metallic threads stand out against the
background cloth to create a shimmering
effect. In the weaving process the metallic
threads are inserted in between the silk or
cotton weft (latitudinal) threads.
The term songket comes from the
Malay word menyongket, ‘to embroider with
gold or silver threads’. Songket
is a luxury product traditionally
worn
during
ceremonial
occasions as sarong, shoulder
cloths or head ties. Tanjak or
Songket headdresses were
worn at the courts of the
Malay Sultanates. Traditionally
Muslim women and adolescent
girls wove songket; “some boys
and men are also weaving
today”.
26
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
Behind the beautiful creation of
Songket is a rich heritage that spans many
centuries in the Malay Peninsula. Perhaps,
the most glorious era of songket is during the
supremacy of the Malacca Malay Sultanate
Empire in the 15th and 16th century.
During this period, trade in textiles
were active, especially when Malacca had
established itself as the richest trading
seaport in the region with profusion of
wholesale merchandise that can be found
around the world.
Fine silks, brocades, cotton textiles,
European damasks, Indian cotton sarong
and Chinese satins were found in abundance
and constantly shipped to Malacca to fill the
demands from both the locals and the foreign
traders.
SONGKET
Fashion, at that time, existed in the
form of intricate motifs and patterns, handwoven onto the most expensive materials.
It is worn only by the royal families, highranking officials of the King’s court and
distinguished recipients of awards and
titles.
Appreciation of beauty was the
assimilation of nature into design. Adages,
metaphors, proverbs and philosophy
were reflected on the motifs with much
wisdom. Spaces, gaps between motifs and
even number of motif’s repetition were of
significance as it conveys the unity of the
community.
Source: http://limarsongket.wordpress.
com/history-songket-life-time
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
27
SPORTS
The Asian Youth Para
Games, featuring
over 1,200 athletes
and officials from 30
countries, was officially
declared open by the
Minister of Youth and
Sports Malaysia, Khairy
Jamaluddin, in a simple
but memorable opening
ceremony at the Putra
Stadium.
28
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
ASIAN YOUTH PARALYMPIC GAMES 2013
I
nternational Paralympic Committee President,
Sir Philip Craven, Paralympic Council of Malaysia
Patron, Tun Jeanne Abdullah and Asian Paralympic
Committee President, Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin, were
among the other dignitaries who graced today’s
grand opening.
A total of 30 countries will be participating in
the third edition of the Games which is the biggest
ever in the history of this multi-sports extravaganza.
The previous edition in Tokyo in 2009 offered five
sports.
“A total of 14 sports will be contested here
this time. This is a significant increase from the 2009
Games in Tokyo. That shows the Games are only
growing in stature and a trend I hope continues,”
said Khairy in his speech.
“It is my hope that the masses will have
a better understanding of para sports and the
Paralympic philosophy,” commented the Minister of
Youth and Sports.
He went on to address the youth of Asia. “It’s
great to see the spirit and the burning desire present
in our young athletes here today. This is where a lot of
you will realize your dreams, forge new friendships,
and make the impossible, possible.”
“Winning is important and I know that’s what
athletes like you have trained very hard for. Everyone
wants to win a gold medal. However, for all of you to
be here, competing against some of the best in Asia
tells me that all of you are winners. Continue striving
for excellence in both sports and life.”
Following the declaration of the opening
by the minister, the Games torch was jointly lit by
several Malaysian athletes against a backdrop of a
mini fireworks display. Some entertainment followed
featuring leading Malaysian athletes.
Source: http://www.
asianyouthparagamesmalaysia2013.org.my
The official mascot for the
Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia
2013 (AYPG2013) is the mouse
deer, a native of the Malaysian
rainforests. Though small in size,
measuring between 15cm to
30cm and weighing less than three
kilograms, it goes by the name of
kancil or pelanduk in Malay.
The mouse deer or Sang
Kancil is a popular character
in Malaysian and Indonesian
folklore, and is portrayed as an
intelligent and resourceful animal.
Many Sang Kancil stories depict
this creature as being quickthinking and able to overcome
challenges by using its wit and
agility, which goes to show that its
small size is no barrier.
The Kancil proves to be the
ideal mascot of the AYPG2013
as it epitomises the true spirit of
the Paralympian, representing
the strength and determination
of these athletes with disabilities.
More so since the athletes of the
AYPG2013 are young.
This is their opportunity to
face their challenges, overcome
the odds and show that they
belong on the world sports stage
alongside their highly successful
compatriots. Their strength,
agility and skill should never
be underestimated and their
disability should never be seen as
a barrier to their success.
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
29
SPORTS
HOST CLAIMS
THREE GOLD
MEDALS, JAPAN
TOPS MEDAL
STANDING
AFTER DAY
ONE
IT was a perfect day for Malaysia as the host bagged
three gold medals on the opening day of the athletic
competition of the Asian Youth Para Games Malaysia 2013
in Kuala Lumpur.
H
owever, it was Japan who surged to the
front as the contingent from collected
four gold medals and a silver in athletics, to
top the overall standings after first day of
competition. Malaysia is now in the second
spot with three gold medal followed by Iran
with 2 gold.
Mohd Fitry Ghani, Mohd Nor Aiman
Nor Afendi and Nur Aziah Shahnizam
prevailed in their respective events to provide
the hosts with a perfect opening day of the
five-day multi-sports competition.
Fitry earned the honour as the first
gold medalist of the Games following his feat
in the F11 long jump, leaping to a distance of
4.57metres in to claim the first gold of the
Games. Mohd Nor then bagged the 100m
Youth T37 final in a time of 15.86 sec while
Nur Aziah clocked 17.55 sec in the women’s
30
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
100m under-16 T11 final today.
A delighted Fitry, who is visually
impaired, defeated Thailand’s Kettes
Chanathip for the country’s first gold medal.
“I’d like to thank my family, friends as well
as the contingent for supporting me. I’m so
happy and proud that I won the first gold,”
said Fitry, whose idol is world shot putt
champion, Mohd Ziyad Zolkefli.
Nur Aziah, who is also visually
impaired, defeated Japanese Riho Yokio. “I’m
happy that I won the gold today,” said the
young athlete.
The events won by the three
Malaysians had two participants in each
category. A category must have at least two
participants for gold medal to be awarded.
FIRST DAY GOLD MEDALIST
Mohd Fitry Ghani earned
the honour as the first gold
medalist of the Games.
The Asian Youth Para Games is a multisport event held every four years for youth
athletes with physical disabilities. The first
Games was held in 2003 in Hong Kong and
after a six-year lapse, the second edition was
hosted by Japan’s capital city Tokyo in 2009.
This year’s edition in Kuala Lumpur
carries the slogan “Where Passion Grows,
Dreams Fulfilled, Friendships Strengthened”,
and fittingly, will see some 1200 athletes and
officials from 30 nations competing in more
than 600 events/disciplines.
Meanwhile, the Asian Youth Para
Games was officially declared open today
by Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Khairy
Jamaluddin.
International
Paralympic
Committee President, Sir Philip Craven,
Paralympic Council of Malaysia Patron,
Tun Jeanne Abdullah and Asian Paralympic
Committee President, Dato’ Zainal Abu Zarin,
were among the other VVIPs who graced the
opening at the Putra Stadium today.
This year’s Games is the biggest ever
with 1,274 athletes and officials involved
in the sports that are being contested. At
the last Games in Japan, only five sports
were contested. “A total of 14 sports will be
contested here this time. This is a significant
increase from the 2009 Games in Tokyo. That
shows the Games are only growing in stature
and a trend I hope continues.”
“It is my hope that the masses will
have a better understanding of para sports
and the Paralympic philosophy.”
The AYPG continues tomorrow with
the athletes battling for honours in all 14
sports.
The Asian Youth Para Games is a multisport event held every four years for youth
athletes with physical disabilities. The first
Games was held in 2003 in Hong Kong and
after a six-year lapse, the second edition was
hosted by Japan’s capital city Tokyo in 2009.
KFC Malaysia is the Games Sports
Partner while lading car distributor Edaran
Tan Chong Motors Sdn Bhd, oil and gas
giants PETRONAS, Eau Claire and MIKASA are
among the official sponsors of the Games,
which is sanctioned by the Asian Paralympic
Committee (APC) and supported by the
Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Source: http://www.
asianyouthparagamesmalaysia2013.org.my
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
31
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
OCTOBER
Textile Craft Promotion
26 Sep 2013 – 07 Oct 2013
This promotion showcases the beautiful textiles of Malaysia, such
as batik and other materials. Browse through the outlets selling a
varietyof textiles and visit the exhibitions and demonstrations.
Fabulous Food 1Malaysia - Malaysia
International Gourmet Festival
01 Oct 2013 – 31 Oct 2013
Get ready for a delectable feast as gourmet
restaurants and top chefs whip up a variety of
special dishes and delicacies using fine, quality
ingredients. Travel around the country and
savour delicious culinary creations.
Organiser: Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Malaysia
Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix
11 Oct 2013 – 13 Oct 2013
Catch the world’s best riders and bikes in action
at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, held
over three days at the Sepang International
Circuit.
Venue
Kuala Lumpur
Craft Complex,
Kuala Lumpur
Venue
Kuala Lumpur
Venue
Sepang
International
Circuit,
Selangor
Hari Raya Aidiladha
15 Oct 2013
Also known as Hari Raya Haji, this festival marks the culmination of the
Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca which is performed by millions of Muslims
annually. It is also known as Hari Raya Qurban. Muslims in the country
celebrate the festival with prayers and the sacrifice of cattle.
Venue
Nationwide
Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon 2013
19 Oct 2013 – 20 Oct 2013
Dubbed as ‘The World’s Toughest Mountain Race’, this race is a true
challenge to the spirit of human endurance. The average climber
takes two days to climb the mountain but participants of the race can
make it in less than 3 hours up and down Mt. Kinabalu (4,095.2m),
with a total distance of 21km for all Men, Women and Men’s Veteran
categories. The Climbathon is part of the Sky Runners
World Series Circuit for the 9th consecutive year
and is the only race that is in the circuit held outside
Europe.
The Sky Runner World Series is regulated and
coordinated by the Europe-based Federation for Sport
at Altitude (FSA).
32
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
Venue
Mt. Kinabalu,
Sabah
OCTOBER • NOVEMBER • DECEMBER
NOVEMBER
Deepavali Festival of Lights
02 Nov 2013
Deepavali or the ‘Festival of Lights’ is celebrated by Hindus with prayers, family
gatherings and festivities. Open houses are held where family and friends
visit each other and enjoy delicious traditional goodies (except Labuan and
Sarawak).
Venue
e
a
N tionwid
Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 2013
15 Nov 2013 – 23 Nov 2013
The Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR), one of Asia’s oldest
keelboat sailing events now in its 24th year, is scheduled to take place from
15th to 23rd November 2013. Organised by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club
(RSYC) in association with the UK based Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), this
annual event is the only offshore sailing regatta held in Malaysia and Thailand.
With a mixture of overnight passage and harbour races starting in Port Klang,
the coastal course comprises a total of 240 miles up the Malacca Straits,
with stops at the unique tropical islands of Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi.
Competitive sailors from Asia and beyond come to Malaysia each year in
their hi-tech racing yachts, to participate alongside local challengers and
historic vessels. Teams are made up of both professional and non-professional
sailors, the latter being the majority. You can view these magnificent yachts,
and maybe catch a glimpse of the racing, at Pulau Indah Marina Port Klang
on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th November, Straits Quay Marina Penang on
Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th November and Telaga Harbour Langkawi
on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd November.
Venue
Port Klang,
Penang &
Langkawi
Urbanscapes 2013
23 Nov 2013 – 24 Nov 2013
Urbanscapes is the first and only all-day “user-generated” creative arts festival.
It aims to bring together communities and participants from the fields of music,
arts, lifestyle and film under a single banner to showcase the best of the local
scene.
Organiser: Freeform Sdn. Bhd., K-2A-1, Block K, Palm Square, Jaya One, No 72A
Jalan Universiti, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Malaysia.
DECEMBER
Penang Island Jazz Festival
05 Dec 2013 – 08 Dec 2013
The Penang Island Jazz Festival is an annual event since 2004.
The festival consists of main stage programme with a number
of supporting activities held over a 4 days period that includes
exhibition, charity dinner, community drum circle and others. The
unique feature of the event is the legacy it leaves to develop local
jazz musicians as well. Exhibitions of Malaysian artists that originated
from Penang will be showcased and the event has intention to bring
in International Music Exhibitions as a cluster event in the future.
This year, the festival will include jazz music workshops and forums
with speakers whom are international performers.
Christmas
25 Dec 2013
The Christmas spirit is made merrier with Malaysia’s tropical weather
and friendly people. Visitors will be spoilt for choice as there are
many restaurants, bistros, shopping malls and hotels that offer great
promotions planned specially for the occasion. Join in the celebration
and have a sunny Christmas in Malaysia!
Venue
MAEPS,
Serdang,
Selangor
Venue
Bayview Beach
Resort, Penang
Venue
Nationwide
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
33
TRAVEL INFO
Air Terjun
Jelawang
Jeli, Kelantan
K
elantan, also known as “the Cradle
of Malay Culture” offers a delightful
profusion of colourful traditions, charm
and scenic beauty. Located in the northeastern corner of the Peninsula, Kelantan,
also known as the “Land of Lightning” is
an agrarian state with high paddy fields,
rustic fishing villages and casuarina-lined
beaches. Nature-based activities range
from simple river cruise, rafting, caving,
mountain climbing, and bird-watching to
jungle trekking.
The capital of Kelantan is Kota
Bharu, which is a good base for which
to explore the surrounding countryside.
Siamese influence is evident in this state,
with the many temples and architectural
influence on local buildings.
Kelantan is isolated from the
western states and Terengganu by high
mountains. The land is mountainous on
the west and south. There is a flat alluvial
plain created by the Kelantan River along
which most major towns are located.
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MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
There are many waterfalls in this
mountainous area. One of the highest
waterfalls in Malaysia or even Southeast
Asia is the Jelawang Waterfalls which
is reputed to be about 160metres. The
waterfall is a characteristic feature of
Gunung Stong State Park. Visible from
miles away, there are numerous other
waterfalls, although smaller, as one
venture deeper within the State Park.
The Jelawang Waterfall is located
at Dabong town, Kelantan. Dabong lies in
the area dedicated as Gunung Stong State
Park (GSSP), formerly known as Jelawang
Jungle, and is situated on the fringes of
Malaysia’s massive Titiwangsa range. The
mountainous backdrop here are made up
of majestic peaks such as Gunung Ayam,
Gunung Stong, Gunung Tera, Gunung
Saji, Gunung Koh, Gunung Baha, Gunung
Beirut, and Gunung Che Tahir (Gunung is
the Malay word for mountain).
Located in south-west Kelantan
in the district of Kuala-Krai, the Gunung
AIR TERJUN JELAWANG
Stong State Park is slowly earning a
reputation as a popular budget outdoor
recreation and nature destination.
Attracting mountain climbers, jungle
trekkers, bird watchers, cavers and
outdoor lovers looking for an “off-thebeaten-track” adventure, Gunung Stong
State Park with its scenic view, mountains
and the waterfalls has the elements of an
exciting experience.
Many varied activities here
capture the essence of the place,
such as the homestay experience at
Jelawang, catching fish at the Kelantan
River, climbing Stong River, enjoying the
cool waters at the Jelawang Waterfalls,
picnic, jungle-trekking and visiting the
fruit orchards when it is in season. The
villagers plant durian trees, pineapples,
duku, rambutans and bananas.
One of the main attractions at the
State Park is Gunung Stong (1,422 metres),
is the dome-shaped granite complex
which is more than 500 million years old.
For an exhilirating experience and for
tranquillity, clamber up to the upper Falls,
the magnificent seven-tiered Jelawang
or also known as the Stong Waterfalls.
Arguably the tallest waterfall in Malaysia,
and also reported to be the highest
in Southeast Asia, the jaw-dropping
cascades sit within the 21,950 ha Gunung
Stong State Park. The sunrise view over
the sea of clouds here is spectacular. With
a drop of 305 metres, the Jelawang Fall is
indeed an exciting tourist spot for many,
both locals and foreigners. To reach the
top of the waterfall from its base, it takes
more than half an hour of trekking. Basecamp is set at the top of the Jelawang Fall.
On top of this waterfall, there are
two camp sites and a big stage separated
by a river. This natural stage can fit or
accommodate at least 40 – 60 people.
It is a favourite spot for visitors and
professional photographers to capture
the beautiful sunrise and “sea cloud
view in the mornings as well as the
panoramic full star view at night. Thus
the place here is also popularly known
as the “3 view Stage”.
From Kuala Lumpur, it takes about
6-8 hours’ drive to Dabong town and
about two hours trekking time to reach
the top of the waterfall or camp site.
If travelling by road, from
Kuala Lumpur, take the North-South
Expressway heading north and exit
at Kuala Kangsar. From the exit, head
towards Gerik and then proceed along
the East-West Highway towards Jeli.
At Jeli town, follow Route 66 leading
to Dabong. Alternatively, take the East
Coast Expressway from Kuala Lumpur
towards Bentong. From there, follow
route 8 to Gua Musang, and then get on
to Route D29 to Dabong.
From the Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Station, the northbound express train to
Kota Bharu will take travellers through
several small settlements including
Dabong. From there, one will need to
cross Sungai Galas and head to Jelawang
which is only 3km away.
Travellers can take a boat at Kuala
Krai to Dabong/Jelawang. The boat ride
takes about an hour.
Do not forget to plan your next
local holiday destination and make a
date to visit Dabong, Jeli in Kelantan and
enjoy the cool, refreshing and exciting
Jelawang Waterfalls, the scenic views
and the outdoor fun activities.
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
35
AGRO
Walit Birds’ Nest
M
ALAYSIA IS THE WORLD’S SECOND
LARGEST PRODUCER OF EDIBLE BIRDS’
NEST, through exports to China’s vast market
where birds’ nests are regarded as a medicinal
and nutritional delicacy. Edible birds’ nests,
made of the secretion from the salivary glands
of swiftlets, have been used traditionally in
Chinese cooking for centuries.
The birds’ nests industry is lucrative
as it is worth millions in Asia. Malaysia alone
contributes more than 30% of the world’s
birds’ nests product in comparison to Thailand,
Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia and
the Philippines. The Malaysian birds’ nests
traders have seen the great potential in China’s
vast market for the product. The industry is
growing rapidly in China following the lifting of
the import ban of birds’ nests from Malaysia.
The local birds’ nests industry has
reached 300kg or more output a month, with
a kilogram of unprocessed birds’ nests fetching
around USD$1,500 (RM4,500). Once these are
cleaned, processed, treated and packed, the
same kilogram can cost as much as USD$4,000
(RM12,000).
The birds’ nests industry has received
high attention from the Malaysian government
and the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri
Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak had been encouraging
Malaysians to get involved in the birds’ nests
industry in tandem with the government’s
Economic Transformation Program (ETP).
The Veterinary Services Department
under the Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based
Industry Ministry has been tasked to oversee
the development of the birds’ nests industry in
Malaysia. Malaysia’s annual production of birds’
nests is worth about RM5 billion (US$1.59bil) in
value.
Although the birds’ nests industry was
not as long or established as that in Indonesia,
it was fast growing. Malaysian birds’ nests were
mainly produced in the swallow houses, which
is rapidly expanding, while the Thailand and
Indonesian birds’ nests were mostly found in the
caves. While the quality of the birds’ nests were
determined by the food swallows consumed
and their living environment, the quality of
birds’ nests from the caves and swallow houses
were more or less the same. This is because the
birds shared similar living conditions, with flying
insects being their main source of food.
In July 2011, safety concerns halted all
exports of birds’ nests to China from Malaysia,
one of the biggest supplier or exporter of the
36
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
delicacy to the country. China banned birds’
nests imports from Malaysia, one of the world’s
largest birds’ nests producers, after it found
excessive nitrite in counterfeit nests, a rare kind
of birds’ nests.
However the export of the luxury item
into China resumed after Malaysia signed a
protocol on birds’ nests exports to China on
three main or key conditions which had been
agreed upon and negotiated by both countries.
Malaysian birds’ nests exporters must
have the Radio Frequency Identification
certificate issued by the Malaysian
Communications and Multimedia Commission
to detect the locations of problematic birds’
nests using radio wave frequency.
Factories processing birds’ nests must
also register with the Health Ministry and
must have the Veterinary Department and
the Health Ministry’s health certificates. The
measures taken are to ensure that the birds’
nests products for export to China are of high
quality and are produced only from healthy
birds, authentic, clean and most importantly,
the product is also safe for consumption and to
boost consumer confidence.
Factory owners who failed to comply
could be fined up to RM10,000 or jailed a
maximum of two years under the Food Hygiene
Regulations 2009. On the food safety system,
birds’ nests producers can apply for the Good
Manufacturing Practices, 1Malaysia Food Safety
Scheme or HACCP certification. The tracing or
tracking system which was implemented was
designed to eliminate fake, adulterated and
sub-standard birds’ nests products.
The Department of Standards Malaysia
has also published a number of Malaysian
Standards (MS) for the Edible Birds’ Nests
industry. Malaysian Standards was established
within the National Standards Development
Systems under the purview of Standards
Malaysia, a government agency under the
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
(MOSTI).
The Malaysian Federation of Birds’
Nests Merchants Association has more than
1,000 members. The Association welcomed
Malaysians to join the birds’ nests industry to
boost the bilateral trade between China and
Malaysia and contribute to Malaysia’s trade
surplus with China.
INTERESTING FACTS
Green tea
has been used as a medicine for
thousands of years, originating
in China but widely used throughout Asia this beverage
has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to
preventing cancer. The reason that green tea has more
health benefits attached to it than black tea is (apparently)
due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that
allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing
avoids the fermentation process. As a result, green tea
retains maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols
the substances that give green tea its many benefits.
Here’s a list of some of its amazing benefits — benefits that
you may not have been aware of. Some of these benefits
are still being debated, so please do your own research if
you want to use green tea for medicinal purposes.
1
Weight Loss. Green tea increases the metabolism. The
polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels
of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food
into calories.
2
3
Diabetes. Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose
levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This
can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
Heart Disease. Scientists think green tea works on the
lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed
and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It
may also protect against the formation of clots, which are
the primary cause of heart attacks.
4
5
6
Esophageal Cancer. It can reduce the risk of esophageal
cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in
general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
Cholesterol. Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the
blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad
cholesterol.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It is said to delay the
deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea
protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged
brain cells.
Why
Green
Tea?
7
Tooth Decay. Studies suggests
that the chemical antioxidant
“catechin” in tea can destroy
bacteria and viruses that cause
throat infections, dental caries
and other dental conditions
8
Blood Pressure. Regular
consumption of green tea
is thought to reduce the risk of
high blood pressure.
9
Depression. Theanine is an
amino acid naturally found
in tea leaves. It is this substance
that is thought to provide a
relaxing and tranquilizing effect
and be a great benefit to tea
drinkers.
10
Anti-viral
and
Antibacterial. Tea catechins are
strong antibacterial and antiviral
agents which make them
effective for treating everything
from influenza to cancer. In
some studies green tea has been
shown to inhibit the spread of
many diseases.
11
Skincare. Green tea can
apparently also help with
wrinkles and the signs of aging;
this is because of their antioxidant
and anti-inflammatory activities.
Both animal and human studies
have demonstrated that green
tea applied topically can reduce
sun damage.
http://www.lifehack.org/
articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-ofgreen-tea-that-you-didnt-knowabout.html
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
37
INSPIRATION
”
Giving up positions of leadership is
more difficult than giving up the world
(and its pleasures).
—Sufyān al-Thawrī
Above all other things, the one thing that I found
to benefit a person most in this world and the
Hereafter is a suitable brother (friend).
—Sufyān al-Thawrī
If you desire happiness, then seek out knowledge
and enlightenment, and you will find that
anxiety, depression, and grief will leave you.
—Shaykh ‘Aidh al-Qarni
A sincere advisor does not have enmity towards
you if you do not accept his advice.
—Ibn al-Qayyim
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MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES FROM MUSLIM PHILOSOPHERS
There is no good in a person who does not love
to earn money (lawfully) so that he can fulfill his
obligations with it and have no need of his fellow
humans.
—Sa’eed bin Al-Musayyab
Learn knowledge, and learn calmness and forbearance for the
sake of knowledge. Humble yourselves to those whom you teach,
and let those whom you teach humble themselves to you. Do
not be tyrannical people of knowledge, lest your knowledge not
spread because of your ignorance.
—‘Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb
Make your grave your treasury, which you fill with as
much good works as you can. When you end up in it, you
will surely be pleased with what it has kept for you.
—As-Sariy
The greatest blessing after the bounties of the
Creator-God is the blessing of parents.
—Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī
”
MALAYSIA FOCUS | DECEMBER 2013
39

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