Malaysian employees expects incentives from the government if they stay employed or enhance their skills, says Randstad


Global recruitment firm Randstad said that Malaysian employees expect incentives from the government if they stay employed or enhance their professional skills.

Its Randstad Workmonitor survey showed that 80 per cent of  employees across the world said the government should offer incentives such as tax rebates and subsidies if they choose to further develop their professional competencies.

90 per cent of employees in Malaysia said that the government should offer incentives to employees if they choose to develop their professional competencies or remain in the workforce.

“There is a war on talent and as a result, companies are only seeking the best from the limited local talent pool to ensure successful integration of new innovations and to drive business growth.

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Pacific Mutual says outlook for Malaysian market choppy


In a statement Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd, an investment management company under the OCBC Group, with internal resources to manage both local and global investments for its clients, has commented that the company expects greater market volatility ahead.

Commenting on the market outlook, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Pacific Mutual, Teh Chi-cheun, said, “Both global and local economic data continue to be strong and sustainable.

This has translated into decent market performance to date in 2018, following a good run in 2017. The risk that has stemmed from policies and politics has caused markets to be more volatile. We expect markets to continue to be on an uptrend albeit with even more market volatility ahead. In short expect a ‘choppy’ market.”

Teh added, “Policies and political issues that could cause markets to be volatile include rising trade tensions although our base case assumption is no full-blown trade war, the impact of interest rate hikes in the US, tapering in Eurozone, changes in the US administration, Brexit negotiations and geo-political risk be it the Middle East, Russia or North Korea. Locally the impending general election in Malaysia might cause a slowdown in activities as investors and businesses await the dissolution of Parliament and the various political posturing and campaigning. That said, for the local bourse, there are pockets of opportunities in this environment.”

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Malaysia must choose innovation to progress

kuala lumpur

Blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), smart factories, robotics, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, cryptography.

The economic potential for these new technologies is great. Concurrently,  recent news reports clearly show the threat posed by technology.

AI could take high-paying service jobs in the accounting and legal fields, smart factories could take away good paying jobs, and IoT could mean a loss of privacy.

Whether Malaysia reaps the gains of innovation or not depends on Malaysia’s ability to enact pro-innovation policies and avoid regulations that may have the unintended anti-innovation effects.

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The tax filing season cometh

lhdn-tax time

Individuals who are resident and with employment income must submit their taxes by April 30. Failure to do so by the stipulated date will result in penalties.

The earlier you submit your returns, the faster you will get your refunds (if any).

Here’s a guide that you can refer to for filing personal income tax claims for the Year of Assessment 2017. But before you proceed with doing so, you want to know…

If you are a resident of Malaysia earning :

  • Above RM34,000 per year (after EPF deductions) or RM2,833. 33 per month (after EPF deductions)
  • Above RM38,202.25 per year (before EPF deductions) or RM3,183.52 per month (before EPF deductions)

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Malaysian government debt quite high, says Moody’s


Malaysia’s government debt to gross domestic product ratio of 51 per cent is “quite high” compared with other countries with an “A” sovereign credit rating, Moody’s Investors Service said.

But the saving grace was that the debt  was largely denominated in ringgit, mitigating external risks to the Southeast Asian nation.

“Just to put things into perspective, Malaysia’s government debt-to-GDP is about 51 per cent and the median for A-rated sovereigns is 41 per cent,” Moody’s sovereign risk analyst Anushka Shah said.

“When you look at the debt profile, we find that almost all the debt – about 97 per cent – is funded in the local currency and that acts as a mitigating factor in the event there is a currency or interest rate shock,” she told a media briefing .

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Top Glove includes RM100mil to capital expenditure for its Vietnam factory

top glove

A leading rubber glove manufacturer, Top Glove Corp Bhd has added another RM100 million for its current fiscal year’s capital expenditure worth RM213.3 million to set up a new factory in Vietnam tailored for vinyl glove production.

According to The Edge, its executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai said the factory, which is projected to be completed in about one to two years, would also complement its China operation.

He also said that the decision to venture into Vietnam was because of lower labour and other costs.

“The operation cost in China is getting higher, therefore, instead of expanding in China, we plan to expand in Vietnam on vinyl gloves and potentially for latex gloves as well,” he told at a media briefing on Friday.

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Malaysia’s total Halal export reaches RM43.39 billion in 2017, says HDC


To emphasise on Halal Malaysia’s performance, Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) chief executive officer Dato’ Seri Jamil Bidin announced that the country’s total Halal export value in 2017 amounted to RM43.39 billion, an increase of RM1.2 billion from the previous year.

The food and beverage industry continued to account for the largest export value at RM201. Billion, followed by Halal ingredients at RM15.7 billion, palm oil derivatives at RM3.6 billion, as well as cosmetics and personal care products at RM2.9 billion.

According to Malay Mail, Jamil said multinational companies continued to dominate Malaysia’s halal export market, accounting for RM38 billion worth of exported products, Malaysian small and medium enterprises generated RM3.8 billion worth of exported Halal products whilst RM1.5 billion was contributed by small industries.

The top 10 importers of Malaysia’s Halal products were led by Singapore with RM4.9 billion, followed by China RM4.8 billion, Japan RM2.8 billion, the United States RM2.7 billion, Indonesia RM2.2 billion, Netherlands RM2 billion, Thailand RM1.7 billion, Australia RM1.5 billion, India RM1.4 billion, and South Korea RM1.3 billion.

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Malaysian banking sector to continue showing growth in 2018, says Moody’s


Moody’s Investors Service says its six rated Malaysian banks showed solid performance in 2017, with additional improvements likely in some areas in 2018.

Moody’s Vice President and Senior Analyst, Simon Chen, said the asset quality and profitability of the six banks generally improved in 2017, while capitalisation and funding remained accommodative.

“We expect loan demand to recover further in 2018, strengthening profitability, but also tightening funding conditions.

“As a result, profit growth among banks with weaker deposit franchises could be limited by higher funding costs,” he said in a statement today on its report titled, “Banks — Malaysia: 2017 Sees Asset Quality Stabilise, Profits Improve”.

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Malaysia steps up the gas on hydropower

Malaysia steps up the gas on hydropower

Speculation as to Malaysia’s future economic priorities have frequently focused on the country’s oil and gas reserves, palm oil production, high-tech manufacturing, real estate and, of course, tourism.

While its potential strengths in the hydropower sector have remained largely overlooked, two high-profile dam projects may be about to change all that, with Sarawak’s long-mooted Corridor of Renewable Energy now set to become a reality.

Last month, Sarawak Energy Berhad, the power generation company owned and operated by the state government of Sarawak, completed its purchase of the 2,400 mW Bakun Dam from Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance.

The company paid RM2.5 billion in cash, with a further RM6 billion in loan facilities, to take possession of one of Southeast Asia’s most significant – and controversial – power projects. Work on the dam was originally completed in 2010, but the site didn’t come fully online until July 2014.

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