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Quality Healthcare

Care For Life

KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ) is one of the leading private healthcare providers in Malaysia and the region with a network of 20 hospitals in Malaysia and 2 in Indonesia. With more than 2,600 licensed beds, KPJ hospitals provide promotive, preventive and curative medical services since its inception in 1981. UĂŠ KPJ hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology and offer a comprehensive range of medical services including cardiac, orthopaedics, oncology, bariatric surgery and reconstructive and plastic surgery, among others. UĂŠ KPJ is supported by more than 760 medical specialists and 8,000 staff including management, nursing, paramedic and support services. UĂŠ KPJ hospitals have served more than 2.2 million outpatients and 220,000 inpatients in 2010. UĂŠ In ensuring patient safety, most of KPJ hospitals have been accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH), which is internationally linked to International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). KPJ hospitals have implemented the Intergrated Management System (IMS) to guarantee high standards in quality services, environmental safety and health management. UĂŠ 7ÂˆĂŒÂ…ĂŠ Ă€iÂ˜ÂœĂœÂ˜i`ĂŠ iĂ?ÂŤiĂ€ĂŒĂƒĂŠ ÂˆÂ˜ĂŠ “>Â˜ĂžĂŠ `ÂˆĂƒVÂˆÂŤÂ?ˆ˜iĂƒ]ĂŠ *ĂŠ hospitals have attracted many foreign patients from all over the world.




Integrity Continuous Improvement

Tel: 6(03) 4022 6222 Fax: 6(03) 4022 7237


KPJÊNETWORKÊOFÊHOSPITALS ACCREDITED BY MALAYSIAN SOCIETY FOR QUALITY IN HEALTH (MSQH) ‹ KPJÊJohorÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(JSH) ‹ KPJÊIpohÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(ISH) ‹ KPJÊAmpangÊPuteriÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(APSH) ‹ KPJÊDamansaraÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(DSH) ‹ KPJÊSelangorÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(SgorSH) ‹ KPJÊSerembanÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(SSH) ‹ KPJÊPerdanaÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(PdSH) ‹ KPJÊKajangÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KjgSH) ‹Ê KedahÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(KMC)


‹Ê KPJÊPenangÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(PgSH) ‹Ê KPJÊTawakkalÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(TH) ‹Ê PuteriÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(PSH) ‹Ê KuantanÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KSH) ‹Ê TaipingÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(TMC) ‹Ê DamaiÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(DmSH)

‹Ê KuchingÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KcSH) ‹Ê SentosaÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(SentosaÊKL) ‹Ê KluangÊUtamaÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KUSH) ‹Ê SabahÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(SMC)

INDONESIA ‹Ê RumahÊSakitÊMedikaÊPermataÊHijauÊ ‹Ê RumahÊSakitÊBumiÊSerpongÊDamai

Ê EDUCATION KPJÊInternationalÊCollegeÊofÊNursingÊand HealthÊSciencesÊ(KPJÊIC) ‹Ê MainÊCampusÊ(Nilai,ÊN.ÊSembilan) ‹Ê BranchÊCampusÊ(JohorÊBahru,ÊJohor)





















Quality Management Excellence Awards






KPJ HEALTHCARE BERHAD 7, Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, 53200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1/17/2011 11:02:13 AM

Quality Healthcare

Care For Life

KPJ Healthcare Berhad (KPJ) is one of the leading private healthcare providers in Malaysia and the region with a network of 20 hospitals in Malaysia and 2 in Indonesia. With more than 2,600 licensed beds, KPJ hospitals provide promotive, preventive and curative medical services since its inception in 1981. UĂŠ KPJ hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology and offer a comprehensive range of medical services including cardiac, orthopaedics, oncology, bariatric surgery and reconstructive and plastic surgery, among others. UĂŠ KPJ is supported by more than 760 medical specialists and 8,000 staff including management, nursing, paramedic and support services. UĂŠ KPJ hospitals have served more than 2.2 million outpatients and 220,000 inpatients in 2010. UĂŠ In ensuring patient safety, most of KPJ hospitals have been accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH), which is internationally linked to International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua). KPJ hospitals have implemented the Intergrated Management System (IMS) to guarantee high standards in quality services, environmental safety and health management. UĂŠ 7ÂˆĂŒÂ…ĂŠ Ă€iÂ˜ÂœĂœÂ˜i`ĂŠ iĂ?ÂŤiĂ€ĂŒĂƒĂŠ ÂˆÂ˜ĂŠ “>Â˜ĂžĂŠ `ÂˆĂƒVÂˆÂŤÂ?ˆ˜iĂƒ]ĂŠ *ĂŠ hospitals have attracted many foreign patients from all over the world.




Integrity Continuous Improvement

Tel: 6(03) 4022 6222 Fax: 6(03) 4022 7237


KPJÊNETWORKÊOFÊHOSPITALS ACCREDITED BY MALAYSIAN SOCIETY FOR QUALITY IN HEALTH (MSQH) ‹ KPJÊJohorÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(JSH) ‹ KPJÊIpohÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(ISH) ‹ KPJÊAmpangÊPuteriÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(APSH) ‹ KPJÊDamansaraÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(DSH) ‹ KPJÊSelangorÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(SgorSH) ‹ KPJÊSerembanÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(SSH) ‹ KPJÊPerdanaÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(PdSH) ‹ KPJÊKajangÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KjgSH) ‹Ê KedahÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(KMC)


‹Ê KPJÊPenangÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(PgSH) ‹Ê KPJÊTawakkalÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(TH) ‹Ê PuteriÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(PSH) ‹Ê KuantanÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KSH) ‹Ê TaipingÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(TMC) ‹Ê DamaiÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(DmSH)

‹Ê KuchingÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KcSH) ‹Ê SentosaÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(SentosaÊKL) ‹Ê KluangÊUtamaÊSpecialistÊHospitalÊ(KUSH) ‹Ê SabahÊMedicalÊCentreÊ(SMC)

INDONESIA ‹Ê RumahÊSakitÊMedikaÊPermataÊHijauÊ ‹Ê RumahÊSakitÊBumiÊSerpongÊDamai

Ê EDUCATION KPJÊInternationalÊCollegeÊofÊNursingÊand HealthÊSciencesÊ(KPJÊIC) ‹Ê MainÊCampusÊ(Nilai,ÊN.ÊSembilan) ‹Ê BranchÊCampusÊ(JohorÊBahru,ÊJohor)





















Quality Management Excellence Awards






KPJ HEALTHCARE BERHAD 7, Persiaran Titiwangsa 3, 53200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1/17/2011 11:02:13 AM

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Time to Invest cover option 13-5.indd 8

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Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Green Community | Building 3 | Ground Floor Dubai Investment Park | P.O Box 212880 Dubai. United Arab Emirates Tel : +971 (4) 801 9006 | Fax: +971 (4) 801 9101




10:21 AM


12 The Road Ahead

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

14 Vision Driven

Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE).


15 Winds of Change PEMANDU.


16 Impetus to Growth SME Corp. Malaysia.

17 Resilient, Diverse Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak

Boustead Group.

19 Trailblazer

Maju Holdings Group of Companies.


Economy 06 Prime Minister’s Welcome Note

A message from Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

07 Chief Secretary’s Welcome Note

A message from Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia.

08 Crowning Glory

An overview of the Malaysian economy.

20 Market Savvy

21 Pioneers of Finance

Bursa Malaysia.

Higher Education

The Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE, Dato’


The Finance Ministry, under the able leadership of Minister of Finance, YB Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad Husni Bin Mohamad Hanadzlah, is all geared for the next level of development.

23 Global Exchange

11 Cherished Ties

Yahaya Abdul Jabar rejoices on the growing camaraderie between the two states.

An overview of the finance sector of Malaysia.

24 Educating Lives

An overview of the higher education sector of Malaysia.

25 The Gift of Knowledge

Minister of Higher Education, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin is helping position Malaysia as a centre of excellence for higher education.

26 A Class Apart

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

28 In Pursuit of Excellence

Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

Petronas Towers

Contents Malaysia 2011 without outline.indd 2

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Economic Corridors


48 Pillars of Strength

An overview of the five economic corridors of Malaysia.

50 Future Perfect

East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).

51 Eastern Allure An overview of the ECER corridor.

Bukit Air Recreational Park, Perlis

54 Surging Ahead

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).

55 Jewel in the Crown

An overview of Iskandar Malaysia (IM).

Energy, Green Technology and Water


30 Resource Driven

An overview of the energy, green technology and water sector of Malaysia.

33 Think Green

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, YB Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui is doing his bit to save the planet for a better tomorrow.

Bako National Park, Sarawak

34 Spearheading the Future



35 Wastewater Solutions

Indah Water Konsortium (IWK).


57 Dream Destination

59 The True Spirit of Asia

38 A Dose of Well-being

An overview of the health sector of Malaysia.

39 In Good Health

Director General of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Hj. Mohd. Ismail Bin Merican, is promoting medical tourism and addressing national and international healthrelated issues.

40 Health First

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

42 Leading by Example

KPJ Healthcare Berhad.

An overview of KPJ Healthcare Berhad.

Institut Jantung Negara (IJN)/National Heart Institute.

An overview of Malaysia as a tourism destination. Minister of Tourism, YB Dato Sri` Dr. Ng Yen Yen, has every reason to celebrate with Malaysia’s resounding success as a tourism destination.

61 Royal Retreat I A Global Brand

Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur | Doubletree by Hilton.

62 Hospitality

Malaysia’s best hotels, resorts and serviced residence.

64 The Final Analysis

A graphic representation of Malaysia’s world competitiveness ranking.

43 Care with a Difference 46 In Good Hands

47 Enriching Life Together

Pharmaniaga Berhad.

Special Thanks to : Office of Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia

*Financial numbers quoted in this publication are in USD or MYR, depending on data availability. Contents Malaysia 2011 without outline.indd 3

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Prime Minister’s Welcome Note Dear Readers,

Malaysia—your home away from home. Salam Sejahtera (greetings). I am delighted to welcome you to this exclusive issue of Focus International on Malaysia. Today, Malaysia stands at the threshold of immense opportunities and epoch-making economic evolution. Malaysia was once the world’s largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil. In the late 1970s, we aggressively moved towards industrialisation to ensure uniform prosperity and parity. Through the First Industrial Master Plan, the manufacturing sector became the leading growth sector, surpassing agriculture at over 18% in the late 1980s. This marked a structural shift from agriculture- to manufacturing-based economy.

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak Prime Minister of Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the fastest growing ASEAN economies. Even as parts of the world continue to experience the reverberations of the recent financial crisis, the Malaysian economy expanded by 9.5% in the first half of 2010, and we expect to complete this year with a remarkable growth rate of about 7%. I am confident that we will be a developed nation by 2020, if we can achieve an annual average growth rate of 6%.

Under the leadership of our five former honourable prime ministers, Malaysia has seen remarkable modernisation and economic transformation in a short period of time. Malaysia is, perhaps, the most appropriate example of a place where the economic interests of varied racial groups have been pragmatically managed without compromising growth momentum. Even in transition, we have maintained peace and harmony and have ensured parity in growth for all. It is this core vision that has resulted in the economic stability of Malaysia and has attracted investors and global brands to the country over the years. Our government recognises growth that is complemented with successful transformation at every level of our market. The Economic Transformation and Government Transformation Programmes as well as the 10th Malaysia Plan are being implemented to chart the way forward in this direction. These provide ample avenues for new businesses, news services, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in a market that is poised for growth. Our policies have always been businessfriendly since the pre-independence era. This is reflected in the various competitiveness rankings earned by the country. However, our aspiration to help Malaysia grow to its fullest potential cannot be at the expense of future generations. Thus, our government has placed much emphasis on the development of green technology and sustainable use of renewable energy. We have introduced the Green Technology Financing Scheme (GTFS) to encourage business investment following our commitment at the recently held United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen. Geographically, Malaysia lies close to the major world trade routes; this accounts for our early exposure to international trade and economies and has also opened up a world of opportunities. As one of the three countries that form the Straits of Malacca, international trade has always been emphasised in our economy. It is international trade that has shaped much of the culture and tradition that weaves the very element of our country. Today, Malaysia is home to people from across the world, which proves that the very fabric of our society is woven with the vitality of a multiplicity of race and creed. Malaysia’s association with the Middle East dates as far back as the 10th century, as can be seen by the early influence of the Arab merchants. Today, we are proud to have major Middle Eastern investors in various sectors of the economy. Since assuming office, I’ve taken great efforts to reach out to our Middle Eastern investors with whom we have cherished longstanding partnerships and friendships. Here is a place you can call a home away from home. Here is a place where you can prosper. With our customary Selamat Datang greetings, I am honoured to invite you to Malaysia. n


welome note Prime Minister.indd 6

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Chief Secretary’s Welcome Note Dear Readers,

Make the next century with Malaysia. Malaysia–Our story has spanned many journeys, bridged several cultures and turned notable pages of history. Malaysia’s uniqueness is a result of the early influence of Hindu kingdoms in our cultures, the arrival of Islam in the 10th century through Arab merchants, and the interaction with the Dutch, the Portuguese, the Japanese and the British.

Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan Chief Secretary Government of Malaysia

Our priority is to make Malaysia a developed country by 2020. We rank very competitively on the Institute of Management Development (IMD) (10th for 2010 IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook [WCY]), the World Economic Forum (26th for 2010 ranking) and the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Rankings (21st for 2010 ranking). Several other global rankings have marked Malaysia as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the most attractive for investment, tourism and as a place to live for expatriates. Malaysia, led predominantly by a Muslim majority population, has been active in addressing issues within the Muslim communities globally: witness our driving role in the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) and the Halal and Islamic Finance agendas, to name a few.

The policies of the Government at all levels of administration have been to ensure equitability and equality for all in Malaysia. There is education for all. In fact, education is compulsory for all Malaysians. Our literacy rate is almost 90%. Great emphasis is placed on eradicating poverty. Women have equal opportunities as men, irrespective of race, colour or creed. We are probably one of the few countries in the world with so many women in key roles, in both our public and private sectors. The Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, places much emphasis on accountability, market transparency, driving excellence in service delivery and our role in the wider perspective of social responsibility. Malaysia introduced the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), which sets key national and ministerial performance indicators to ensure greater accountability in government performances. We have introduced the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to make Malaysia a high income economy in the next 10 years. The ETP has identified attractive and large investment areas in several growth sectors like energy and power, information technology, renewable energy, real estate, service industries, finance, agriculture, education and entertainment, to name a few. Malaysia has successfully overcome several global crises, and our endurance has been credited to our commitment to responsible regulation, accountability and transparency. The openness of our media, the growing liberalisation of our market, the fortification of our judiciary, the thriving non-government organisations and our democracy predicate the strengthening of our public institutions. We have notable and strong global brands located here. Malaysia’s Islamic finance sector is one of the most progressive and attractive in the world. Our tourism industry, one of the leading industries in the country, attracts a wide variety of tourists from all over the world. In fact, many people who come here as tourists revisit the country later for business, having seen that Malaysia is truly a land of opportunities. In a world where investors are spoilt for choice, Malaysia is more than just a great place to do business—it offers an environment for a balanced life. Ours is a country woven by a rich fabric spanning cultures, traditions, religions and languages; it also offers a safe and secure business environment. This lines the essence of our 1Malaysia Programme. The next century is Asia’s—the next growth nexus is here. Malaysia is moving assuredly towards becoming a developed economy in less than 10 years. I invite you to take this journey with Malaysia as we step into the coming century of economic prosperity! n 07

welome note ChiefSec.indd 7

1/7/2011 6:48:08 PM

Economic overview

Crowning glory


The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) describes Malaysia as “a country on the move.” Five decades of spectacular economic evolution explains why this might be an understatement.

Monorail, Kuala Lumpur


he year was 2008. As the rest of the world struggled with the worst economic recession in decades, South East Asia was witnessing an economic miracle. The service sector in Malaysia— once an economy dominated by agriculture and primary commodities— marked a record growth of 7.9% in the first 9 months of the year, making short work of the turbulence all around. Not to be far outdone, even the manufacturing industry grew by 4.8%. The manufacturing sector accounted for 29.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) during this period, while exports of manufactured goods constituted the lion’s share of 70%. This show of strength continued right through to March 2010, with the economy seeing a 36.4% year-onyear surge in exports. Malaysia’s new export-driven, high-tech, knowledgebased and capital-intensive economy had emphatically arrived on the world stage.

A REMARKABLE EVOLUTION From being the world’s largest producer of rubber and tin, Malaysia is now one of the world’s leading exporters of semiconductor devices, computer hard disks, audio and video products and room air-conditioners. The newage economic bandwagon carried much of the impetus behind the GDP growth of 4.6% in 2008, with support from robust domestic demand and uninterrupted growth in private and public consumption. Its 5 flagship economic areas cover the entire gamut of industrial activities—from real estate to manufacturing to luxury tourism and high-tech businesses, naming only a very few. Viewed as an agrarian and mining economy in the 1960s, Malaysia today proudly sports a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), bolstered by a solid legislative and telecommunications infrastructure in an eco-friendly environment. No wonder the country is increasingly becoming a preferred outsourcing

Malaysia’s Competitiveness Ranking WCY 2010 (n=58 economies)

WCY 2009 (n=57 economies)

WCY 2008 (n =55 economies)

WCY 2007 (n=55 economies)

WCY 2006 (n=53 economies)

Overall Scoreboard













Economic Performance







Government Efficiency







Business Efficiency














destination as well as a hub for various research and development (R&D) activities. GLOBAL RECOGNITION A tribute to Malaysia’s breathtaking economic march came earlier this year in the form of a position among the 10 most competitive countries in the world, according to the 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) published by the reputed Switzerlandbased Institute of Management Development (IMD). This is a significant stride up from the 18th place last year, especially in view of the fact that the country gained 9 places to stand 4th in the Business Efficiency sub-ratings, edging out competition from the likes of Luxembourg, Canada and Sweden. Together with its number 1 ranking in addressing financial risk factors, this performance augurs splendidly well for the future. KEY STRENGTHS As identified in the WCY, the fundamental strengths of the economy include diversification, an educated workforce, low inflation, low unemployment, protection of shareholder rights, high resilience to economic cycles, adaptability of companies to market changes, an unobtrusive bureaucracy, timely execution of government decisions and political stability. INFRASTRUCTURE The government of Malaysia has invested handsomely to create


Overview of Malaysian Economy.indd 8

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Economic overview the best-developed infrastructure among the newly industrialising countries of Asia. Much of these are an attempt at optimising Malaysia’s natural location advantage, placed as it is in proximity to the burgeoning economies of China, India and Singapore. It has a network of well-maintained highways, in addition to the imposing Kuala LumpurBangkok-Kuala Lumpur containerised service (Asean Rail Express), which is slated to become the Trans-Asia Rail Link connecting Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, before ending up in Kunming, China. The country also has a well developed sea and airport network. Further, Malaysia has over 200 industrial parks and 18 Free Industrial Zones (FIZs), the latter catering to export-oriented industries and offering duty-free imports. The Government of Malaysia has also set up parks to serve specific industries, such as the 750acre Technology Park Malaysia in Bukit Jalil, counted among the world’s most advanced R&D centres. A dynamic banking and financial backbone supporting international investors is yet another plus.

USD billion

TIES WITH THE MIDDLE EAST Backed by these factors, Malaysia is one of the world’s most integrated economies

today, and its strong historical relationship with the Middle East stands out as evidence of this. Apart from religious affinity, a bonhomie in their political and economic philosophies has brought these countries closer together. For instance, Malaysia has established a legal framework with the UAE to foster strong trade relations, having signed a trade agreement with the country as early as in 1962. It also has solid ties with Oman and Saudi Arabia and is actively involved in the construction and financial sectors in these countries. These relationships are now paying rich dividends, with Middle Eastern investors, notably from the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, funding several infrastructure projects in the country, in addition to their presence in the Islamic finance and Halal products development sectors. A critical breakthrough came in August 2007, when the Middle Eastern Consortium (Mubadala, Kuwait Finance House and Millennium Development) and the Malaysian firm Iskandar Investment Berhad signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a USD1.2 billion integrated international city development, referred to as Medini. A landmark development in the

















0.5 0

-2 Malaysia's total trade with GCC countries Malaysia's trade balance with GCC Malaysia's trade with GCC as % of its world trade

Source: Calculated from Direction of Trade Statistic (DOT), International Monetary Fund (IMF), April 2008a), Economic and Social Data Services International, (Mimas) University of Manchester.

Nusajaya Flagship Area in the Iskandar Malaysia region, Medini has a projected gross development value of USD20 billion over 15–20 years. Significantly, Malaysia’s trade with the Middle Eastern countries saw an average growth of 20.34% from 1990 to 2008, higher than its trade growth with the rest of the world at 12.45%. In this period, Malaysia’s exports to the Middle East multiplied from about USD300 million to USD5.7 billion. Main exports today include palm oil, jewellery and electrical and electronic items, while crude and non-crude oil and chemical-based products account for the bulk of Malaysia’s imports from the Middle East. Forging Bilateral ties In line with the Malaysian government’s trade diversification policy, bilateral relations with the Middle Eastern countries will generate more momentum in the future. There are no tariff barriers to trade between the two regions, and to make things better, Malaysian policy-makers are also keen to drive up the volume of trade with the Middle East. Traders in the country are constantly encouraged to explore the Middle Eastern market, and free trade discussions with the Middle East have been a focus in industry circles. Going forward, the government plans to address issues such as transport and financial facilities and scale up its trade promotion activities geared to the Middle East. BRIGHT PROPSPECTS The Malaysian government plans to make it a fully developed economy, and with all-out policy backing and great incentives to investors, the country has already made substantial inroads into this objective. The country today offers an exceptional quality of living and has established itself as a safe and friendly haven for foreign businesses, as indicated by the large international presence in almost all sectors of the economy. Malaysia sure is moving with the times, and with all stakeholders pulling their weight, it has only itself to outpace. n


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economy clcl



The Ambassador of Malaysia to the UAE speaks about what makes the country a great partner for the Middle East, and for the world at large. Dato’ Yahaya Abdul Jabar

Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE


alaysia’s wish to become a developed and high-income nation corresponds with the aspirations of the leaders and people of the UAE,” remarks Dato’ Yahaya Abdul Jabar, the Malaysian Ambassador to the UAE, on the growing camaraderie between the two states. Indeed—as the Ambassador goes on to point out— strong political will at the highest level, the common spirit of moderation, the shared Islamic heritage and the great prospects in trade have brought Malaysia and the UAE together as exemplary allies. A WORTHY SYMBIOSIS Significantly, the Ambassador observes that these factors make the entire Middle East a natural harbour for Malaysia’s international aspirations. Malaysia has recognised this by establishing diplomatic missions in all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. The Malaysian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, the Consulate General in Dubai and the five government agencies of Malaysia present in the UAE have led the country’s efforts to secure ties with stakeholders at all levels–including the government, the business community and the people at large–in the region for mutual benefit. For instance, the Malaysian Embassy and Consulate General have taken active part in trade fairs in the UAE and have helped the UAE’s business community to gain similar leverage in Malaysia. The Ambassador underscores the centrality of such efforts when he says, “Encouraging the UAE

government and private sector to take an active role in Malaysia’s development is a key performance indicator for the Embassy of Malaysia.” The Embassy, he says, will continue to prioritise the promotion of business and investment partnerships, in consonance with the Malaysian government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). THE VIEW FROM THE TOP Dato’ Yahaya Abdul Jabar takes particular note of the flourishing relationship between the two countries under the regime of Malaysia’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Mohd Najib Razak. “It would not be an overstatement”, he says, “to mention that the Prime Minister enjoys a strong personal and

Promoting investments from the UAE is a key performance indicator for the Malaysian Embassy in Abu Dhabi. official relationship with HH General Sheikh Mohamad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the UAE. The Prime Minister also enjoys a good working relationship with HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Prime Minister Mohd. Najib has visited Abu Dhabi twice to promote bilateral relations, and this is an unprecedented development.” Building on this atmosphere of trust

and goodwill, the two governments have signed a number of significant bilateral agreements to facilitate cooperation in trade and commerce, investment, science and technology, cultural affairs and multilateral issues, and a treaty on higher education is on Malaysia’s agenda for the future. Other priority areas include oil & gas, property development, tourism, aerospace technology, information and communication technology and Islamic finance. OPEN DOORS International partnerships are a vital cog in Malaysia’s plan to become a highincome nation by 2020. The ETP aims to stimulate growth in various parts of the country in order to create high-paying jobs, and foreign investments are key to the success of this programme. Further, as Dato’ Yahaya Abdul Jabar indicates, Malaysia will need to usher in the best from the world of technology to compete and to sustain high economic growth. To attain these goals, Malaysia has put in place a slew of incentives. A strategic gateway to China, India and South East Asia, Malaysia also offers a robust institutional support system and abundant skilled labour to ease the entry of foreign entrants from within and beyond the Middle East. The Ambassador sums up the optimism by invoking Malaysia’s pedigree as a business destination: “An established trading and manufacturing nation, Malaysia is a good place to do business. All are welcome.” n


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the road ahead By promoting foreign investments in Malaysia, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is making the country globally competitive for investors. Y. Bhg. Datuk Jalilah Baba

Director General and CEO, MIDA


ince its inception in 1967, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) has gone through a sea change. From the humble beginning of an organisation with merely 37 staff members responsible for the development of the manufacturing sector in Malaysia, MIDA has blossomed into a dynamic organisation of about 800 staff members and 12 state and 2 overseas offices in capital-exporting countries. Its current role is to promote investments in the manufacturing and services sectors and thus plays a crucial role in the economic development of Malaysia. MIDA has been empowered by the Government of Malaysia with the authority to negotiate directly with investors for targeting quality investments in new growth areas and emerging technologies,” says MIDA Director General and CEO, Y. Bhg. Datuk Jalilah Baba. In line with its vision to achieve the status of a developed nation, where the services sector is expected to be the main engine of growth followed by the manufacturing sector, the Malaysian government recognised the urgent need to reassess the role and functions of MIDA. Against this backdrop, the new MIDA will act as the central agency responsible for co-ordinating and streamlining approvals for various agencies. It will be the final and sole decisionmaking committee on investments covering manufacturing and services sectors (excluding the utilities and financial services).

the world economy and malaysia The ripples created by the recession of 2008 were felt by the export-oriented economies, including Malaysia. Despite this, there was continued interest by investors in capitalintensive and skills- and knowledgebased industries. Malaysia did not retreat into protectionism to shield its economy, but embarked on a series of bold measures to liberalise the economy and replenish its funds by implementing a myriad reforms such as the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and New Economic Model (NEM). The first part of NEM, which was launched in March 2010, calls for several action plans to raise the role of the private sector and to make Malaysia globally competitive for investors. These actions include efforts to boost private investments through improving the business environment and recalibrating the roles of the public and private sectors, giving greater prominence to private companies. To combat the economic adversities at the international level, Malaysia strengthened its economic ties with its traditional trade partners and forged new relationships with emerging economies of the world. With the implementation of ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement, ASEANAustralia-New Zealand FTA and Malaysia-New Zealand FTA in 2010, market access for Malaysian products and services is expected to be further enhanced in the international market. The government is also working on

The Malaysian foreign exchange administration rules support and facilitate investments in the economy by non-residents.

measures to expand trade and to raise the level of private investment in the country by improving the domestic business climate and promoting the development of dynamic and innovative entrepreneurs. future projects “Bank Negara has predicted a growth of 6% in the Malaysian economy in 2010, due to the strengthening of domestic demand and an improvement in the external environment. Growth is expected to be driven by an upsurge of activity in the private sector and robust external demand from the regional countries. The manufacturing sector is expected to record a positive growth as demand for major products recovers,” says MIDA Director General and CEO, Y. Bhg. Datuk Jalilah Baba. The period 2011–2015 covered by the 10th Malaysia Plan has targeted a growth in private investments at 12.8% per annum—the manufacturing and services sector assuming a key role. These two sectors are envisaged to grow at 5.7% and 7.2% respectively during this period. The Plan has identified 12 national key economic areas that have the potential to generate higher income and larger investments, namely oil and gas; palm oil and related products; financial services; wholesale and retail; tourism; information


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and communications technology; education services; electrical and electronic; business services; private health care; agriculture; and greater Kuala Lumpur. Taking this into account, MIDA will continue to adopt a more targeted approach and intensify its efforts in identifying and attracting quality investments in these areas in line with the government’s aspirations to become a high-income nation. The Malaysian foreign exchange administration rules support and facilitate investments in the economy by non-residents, making it a ‘premier investment destination’. This is achieved through the free purchase of any ringgit assets including ringgit-denominated bonds/sukuk issued by non-residents. It is permissible to source ringgit from the investor’s own external accounts for the settlement of investments. The rules also allow the on-spot or forward sale of foreign currency with licensed onshore banks or with overseas branches which have been appointed by licensed onshore banks. In terms of immovable assets, any foreign investor is free to purchase residential/commercial properties as long as it is in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Economic Planning Unit. Investors can borrow any amount of finance or to refinance the purchase of residential/commercial properties in Malaysia, excluding the purchase of land. As far as onshore borrowing is concerned, foreign investors are permitted to borrow any amount in foreign currency from licensed banks or licensed IIBs. They also have the right to borrow in ringgit




















1.5 25.7
















































(without any restriction on the amount) from resident companies or individuals to finance activities in the real estate sector. Non-resident investors can further borrow any amount for margin financing from resident stock-broking companies or repatriate funds from divestment of ringgit assets or profits/ dividends arising from investments. Through the Promotion of Investment Act, 1986, the incentives made available to investors are Pioneer Status, Investment Tax Allowance, Industrial Adjustment Allowance, Infrastructure Allowance and Double Deduction on Expenses for the promotion of exports.

why malaysia MIDA is currently intensifying its efforts to promote foreign investments through various channels. Some of its core strategies undertaken in this direction include: • Foreign investors can hold 100% equity in all investments in new projects and investment in expansion/diversification projects by existing companies. • Automatic approval for the application of expatriate posts in the manufacturing sector, particularly in areas where there is dearth of expertise. • Automatic issuance of manufacturing licenses except for activities pertaining to safety, health, environment and religious matter. • Providing investors competitive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to promote quality investments into targeted sectors. • Organisation of trade and &$3,7$/,19(670(17,1$33529(' investment missions to sele0$18)$&785,1*6(&725352-(&76  cted countries and regions ,QYHVWPHQW 50ELOOLRQ

1XPEHURI3URMHFWV and specialised and targeted   project missions to capital  exporting countries.  • Organising dialogue sessions   between foreign companies   and local companies operating   in Malaysia.   • Hosting international invest  ment conferences to spur   interest in investment among Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ Âľ foreign business communities. 1XPEHURI3URMHFWV 5+6

'RPHVWLF,QYHVWPHQW • Intensifying specialised and )RUHLJQ,QYHVWPHQW targeted project missions to

capital-exporting countries and forming special promotional teams to visit, negotiate and offer customised incentives to attract specific projects. In its continued attempt to increase foreign invest-ment, especially from the Middle East, the Government of Malaysia has undertaken several initiatives. These include visits by the YAB Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia and UAE in January 2010 and specific mission projects to Abu Dhabi and Tehran. Roundtable meetings have also been conducted in Dubai and Kuwait. MIDA has also made forays into advertising in industry- and marketspecific periodicals such as Khaleej Times Newspaper and Gulf Business Magazine in order to enhance the image branding for Malaysia. In addition, MIDA has been participating in investment marts such as the Gulf Food (Dubai) in February 2010 and the MENA Investors Summit to establish talks with prospective investors. It has been actively involved in sponsoring industry leader’s programmes for Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Mumtalakat (Bahrain) and Oman Chamber of Commerce and also journalist programmes such as for Gulf Business Magazine, Gulf News and Dubai One. Thus, informing foreign industrial leaders and journalists on the development and investment potential in the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. In this context, it is worth mentioning that MIDA’s second office in the GCC is coming up in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2011, the first being in Dubai. Spearheading the development of Malaysia for nearly 43 years by mobilising investments, MIDA has earned several accolades along the way. These include being awarded the ‘Efficiency Service Award’ consecutively from 1991–1994. In 1995, it was also awarded the ‘Asia Pacific Investment Promotion Agency of the Year’ and in 1997 the ‘Asia Investment Promotion Agency Award for the Best Marketing Campaign’ from Corporate Location/ Coopers Lybrand. These befitting titles, awards and recognition further testify MIDA’s credentials. n


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Vision Driven Promoting exports and assisting Malaysian companies capture international markets, MATRADE is an indispensable vehicle for Malaysia’s development. Dato’ Noharuddin Nordin CEO, MATRADE


stablished in 1993, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) is a statutory agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). As Malaysia’s national trade promotion agency, MATRADE is responsible for assisting Malaysian companies succeed in the international market and is also instrumental in accruing strong returns for the country,” says MATRADE CEO, Dato’ Noharuddin Nordin. global TRADE RELATIONS According to MITI, Malaysia’s exports for October 2010 grew 1.3% to reach RM54.98 billion (USD17.50 billion) from October 2009, while its imports were up 12.5% to RM48.13 billion (USD15.32 billion). A total trade of RM103.10 billion (USD32.82 billion) was recorded, an increase of 6.2% compared to October 2009. For the past decade, Malaysia’s exports, imports and total trade have grown at an annual average rate of 6.2%, 6.5% and 6.3% respectively, and with the growing demand and purchasing power in the GCC, this growth momentum is expected to continue for the next 3 to 5 years. Malaysia holds pride of place in the world market for its products and services, with the services sector accounting for a considerable share of its GDP, 57.6% in 2009 compared to 55.2% in 2008. In addition, this sector generates nearly 57% of the total employment in Malaysia. Malaysian companies have also carved a niche in the international tender bidding arena

by providing integrated solutions. They are also competent in different modes of project implementation, including conventional, design and build, turnkey and build-operate-transfer, construction of water-treatment plants and consultancy work. The country has immense potential for growth and foreign investments in sectors such as rubber and wood-based products, construction and related services, oil and gas and medical care. Due to Malaysia’s forte in these areas, it can project itself as a country with industrial sophistication, technology advancement, standards recognition and strong knowledge content. The country is a leading research centre for rubber in the world and has developed strong expertise in R&D. Malaysia also has a strong knowledge base in the intricacies of the oil and gas sector and has capabilities ranging from exploration, refining, storage and distribution to the manufacture of high-end products. With state-of-theart medical treatments and competitive costs, Malaysia has over the years exported its hospital management skills and nursing care to West Asia, the ASEAN region and other parts of the world. FOCUS on the MIDDLE EAST “MATRADE views the Middle East as a fast-growing economic powerhouse and having great potential for bilateral trade relations with Malaysia. Realising these possibilities, the national trade agency has set up offices in Dubai and Jeddah to provide services to its clients.

Over and above the cultural similarities and affinity shared between Malaysia and the GCC, it must be noted that buyers and project owners from the Middle East expect the best returns for their investment dollars. We are glad that Malaysian products and services have proven themselves as the top choices among consumers and clients,” adds Dato’ Noharuddin Nordin.

Malaysia’s exports for October 2010 reached RM54.98 billion. MATRADE has embarked on a branding exercise promoting Malaysia as a source for quality service providers through a solo country exhibition, the Malaysia Services Exhibition (MSE) in the UAE. MSE 2011, the 4th in the series, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 17th–20th April, will allow businessmen to network with Malaysian service providers and to discuss business propositions and establish further relationships. Malaysian companies have been involved in iconic projects such as the Burj Al Arab, Meydan Racecourse, Fortune Dubai Tower and Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai, Bahrain’s Formula 1 Circuit, New Doha International Airport and the Khalifa Olympic Stadium in Qatar, and the construction and development of the Al-Faisal University Campus in Saudi Arabia. Driven by the vision of making Malaysia the premier exporting nation of the world, MATRADE’s role in its development is indispensable. n


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winds of change PEMANDU is leveraging Malaysia’s growth momentum to lay a strong foundation for sustainable development leading up to 2020 and beyond. YB Senator Dato’ Sri Idris Jala

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and CEO, PEMANDU


ver the years, Malaysia has undergone a sea change from being an agrarian and commodity-based economy to being a nation banking on advances in education, health and infrastructure. Having graduated into middleincome ranks, the Government is already charting the course for the future ahead. Prioritising the target of achieving a high-income economy by 2020, PEMANDU (Performance Management & Delivery Unit) has been assigned to administer the implementation and review the progress of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP). The government, however, reasserts the need to achieve a cumulative, inclusive and sustainable high-income nation without having future generations bear the brunt. Sustainable Development In its pursuit to upgrade Malaysia to a high-income nation in the next decade, PEMANDU has embarked on two programmes—ETP and GTP. Through the ETP, the government will capitalise Malaysia’s competitive edge by shifting towards private-sector led investment. This programme is focused on 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs), announced in the 10th Malaysia Plan, comprising 11 economic sectors and Greater Kuala Lumpur. The target is to achieve a gross national income (GNI) of USD523 billion in 2020, thereby enabling Malaysia to achieve GNI per capita of at least

USD15,000. This would entail ensuring a GNI growth of at least 6% per annum over the next decade. Furthermore, through this programme nearly 3.3 million new jobs are expected to be generated by 2020 in rural and urban areas, thus uplifting the standard of living of the low-income households. This programme has been bolstered after its commencement with nearly USD12 billion worth of investment secured already through 18 new projects. These include a USD10 billion investment by Tanjung Agas Supply Base & Marine services; a USD1.3 billion capital expenditure commitment by Tenaga Nasional; a USD600 million commitment by Germanbased LFoundry; the construction of the USD400 million St. Regis Hotel; and Schlumberger’s USD100 million regional financial hub. In fact, the quantum of foreign direct investments has increased to about USD5.4 billion in the first 9 months of 2010, as compared to about USD1.5 billion for the whole of 2009. “Five incentives undertaken under the Petroleum Income Tax Act (PITA) are expected to generate incremental petroleum revenue of about USD19 billion over the next 20 years,” exhorts Minister in the PM’s Department and CEO PEMANDU, YB Senator Dato’ Sri Idris Jala. The Power of change The GTP focuses on 6 National Key Result Areas (NKRAs) earmarked for development, which include reducing the crime rate, combating corruption, improving education outcomes,

raising living standards of low-income households, improving basic rural infrastructure and improving urban public transport.

Malaysia can be a natural gateway for Arab investments. PEMANDU has made significant headway in the NKRAs reflected in the fact that to date total crime in the country has been curtailed by 16% and street crime by 37%. In addition, urban public transport in the Klang Valley has shown considerable progress with nearly 2.21million increase in Light Rapid Transit ridership and 127% improvement in Express Bus Transit ridership. Synergy with the GCC “The Middle East is, and has always been, a very important market for Malaysia, both as a source of and destination for investments. There has been significant Arab investment in financial services and real estate in Greater Kuala Lumpur as well as in Iskandar Malaysia. Correspondingly, various Malaysian companies are also actively involved in the construction, engineering and oil & gas sectors, property development, halal food and healthcare in the GCC. Many winwin collaborations can be established between these two regions and I urge entreprises and high net worth individuals from both sides to seize these opportunities,” adds YB Senator Dato’ Sri Idris Jala. n


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Impetus to Growth By encouraging small and medium enterprises, SME Corp. Malaysia is laying the foundation to make Vision 2020 a reality. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim

CEO, SME Corp. Malaysia


he ambitious plan of the Malaysian government, Vision 2020, lays the blueprint for the country’s emergence as a fully developed nation. To achieve this goal, the government has decided to give a boost to the fast growing non-traditional sectors. Thus, the business sector, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular, have a significant role to play. It was to aid small and medium enterprises that SME Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp. Malaysia) was established in 2009. This organisation formulates and implements policies, coordinates programmes across agencies and provides information and advisory services to support the development of resilient SMEs. To assist entrepreneurs across various sectors, the organisation has set up One Referral Centres in Kuala Lumpur and at state offices in each state. Areas of Growth With its strategic location, a marketoriented economy, political stability and a dynamic and business-friendly environment, Malaysia has all the prerequisites for growth and profits. This has led to worldwide interest in investing in the country, especially by the GCC countries. Dato’ Hafsah Hashim, CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia, sees this as “opportunities for our SMEs to explore possibilities. For instance, in the manufacturing sector there is a huge potential in the palm oil industry, while SMEs in the tourism sector can

see more growth by exploring high value services that will attract highend tourists. In agriculture, the focus would be to shift to large-scale activity, higher-yield methods and adoption of new technologies to foster better linkages to the marketplace, which will all result in greater production and higher income”.

SME Corp. Malaysia coordinates programmes to support the development of resilient SMEs. Global Reach “Internationalisation and integration is the name of the game today. We are building fundamentals in terms of growth strategy to make Malaysian SMEs competitive internationally,” says Dato’ Hafsah Hashim. The programmes, designed by SME Corp. Malaysia to encourage entrepreneurship, have a three-fold agenda: they aim to strengthen the enabling infrastructure; build the capacity and capability of domestic SMEs; and improve access to financing to SMEs, ultimately boosting the economy. For instance, the SCORE (or SME Competitiveness Rating for Enhancement) programme was designed to evaluate and help improve the performance and capabilities of SMEs. The evaluation, done along 7 parameters, identifies the standards and levels of competency of SMEs and links them to industrial programmes with multinational companies. Those

companies with a score of 3 star and above are linked to MATRADE for participation in trade missions and exhibitions. Another programme, the 1-InnoCERT, was developed in response to the demand for a new breed of SMEs that are technology and innovation driven and can help fuel the market. It identifies SMEs’ eligibility for a placement in a Fast Track Programme to shorten timeto-market by providing ready access to market and financing. Another distinctive programme is The National Mark of Malaysian Brand certification. It has been created to recognise the highest quality standards in products and services and identify the ‘best of the best’ from Malaysia. Brand owners aspiring to this certification need to undergo a stringent audit process designed by SIRIM QAS, SME Corp’s strategic partner. Other programmes include the Skills Upgrading Programme, which (in partnership with Skills Development Centres and Professional Training Providers) helps enhance the skills of employees in technical and managerial positions; the Enterprise 50, an award programme that honours SMEs with promising prospects and are well positioned for the future; and the Brand Innovation Centre and Branding and Packaging Mobile Gallery (in collaboration with Limkokwing University of Creative Technology), which helps SMEs meet challenges. With such comprehensive programmes paving the way, Vision 2020 doesn’t seem too distant. n


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Resilient, Diverse

Given the Boustead Group’s track record and its recent acquisition drive, it comes as little surprise that it is one of Malaysia’s most diversified conglomerates. Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin

Deputy Chairman/Group Managing Director, Boustead Holdings Berhad (Boustead Group)


he economic depression of 2008–2009 had widespread impact on the global economy and we, too, felt the ripples of this financial crisis. However, banking on our diversity with multiple streams of businesses, we have weathered this uncertain period and emerged as a stronger participant in the Malaysian economy. In fact, we recorded a profit in excess of RM668 million and revenue of RM7 billion in 2008. The revenue earned during 2009 was RM5 billion and profit in excess of RM400 million. Additionally, the quarter-on-quarter results for the first 3 quarters of 2010 also showed significant improvement,” notes Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, Deputy Chairman/Group MD, Boustead Group. Founded in Singapore in 1828, Boustead & Co. was listed on the Kuala Lumpur Exchange in 1961. The Group assumed its present name Boustead Holdings Berhad in 1966. With its business branched out into various sectors and activities—plantation, heavy industries, property, finance and investment, trading and manufacturing and services—the company has its presence firmly established in the domestic market as well as in Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and Ghana. Milestones achieved The Boustead Group, through its strategic expansion and acquisition of new ventures and businesses, has been able to capture both regional and global markets. The Group has added another feather to its cap through its

recent acquisition of the country’s largest integrated pharmaceutical firm, Pharmaniaga. This is a synergistic acquisition, given that the Group is already involved in the healthcare sector and with the rising per capita income of Malaysians, this sector holds much potential in terms of contributing to the Group’s bottom line. The Boustead Group is also a pioneer shareholder and key proponent of the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus. The campus was established in the year 2000 and is the first branch of a British university to have been set up in Malaysia.

Boustead Holdings Berhad recorded a profit in excess of RM400 million in 2009. Another division that is actively involved on the global front is the heavy industries division, driven primarily by Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd and Boustead Heavy Industries Corporation Berhad. In fact, the acquisition and the successful turnaround of the naval dockyards has made this Group one of the largest shipbuilders and providers of services for the maintenance of commercial vessels and naval ships. The Group also takes pride in being the first Islamic plantation real estate investment trust (REIT) through the listing of the AlHadharah Boustead REIT.

Core strengths Given the Group’s mixed portfolio of investments and strong income streams, its core strength lies in its active involvement in key segments of the Malaysian economy. “In addition, we are engaged in high value creation and robust sustained earnings, which facilitate the emergence of opportunities for crossfertilisation within the Group. Over the years, we have reiterated the need for effective and efficient strategies as the means to achieve tangible results. At the heart of the Boustead Group’s success story lies a huge pool of strong talent that facilitates the growth of the company across the varied business divisions,” adds Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin. Future plans Even as most parts of the world are recovering from the aftereffects of the economic meltdown, the future definitely looks bright for the Boustead Group. The Group has embarked on a massive, though strategic, acquisition drive, and in the coming years, it is expected to unlock further value from its existing investments while exploring new opportunities. “We also aspire to maintain our pole position in the sectors, be it plantation, property, pharmaceutical and other areas of which the Group is actively involved in. Both organic and inorganic growth will be our rally call to drive earnings,” adds Tan Sri Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, exuding confidence for the future ahead. n


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Amro Al Khadra

Group Managing Director and CEO, Maju Holdings Group of Companies

With Maju Holdings Group of Companies, you are assured of quality deliverables and timely completion.


ince its incorporation in 1977 by Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed, Chairman, with the vision of making it a prominent conglomerate globally, Maju Holdings Group of Companies has been making its presence felt in the Malaysian market. Taking pride in being Malaysia’s largest steel producer (with Saudi Arabian Standards Organization [SASO] Quality Mark) through Perwaja Steel Bhd, the Group’s track record speaks for itself. “Through the 50 plus subsidiaries under our belt, we deliver high-end materials and project enhancement ideas in 5 business sectors—manufacturing, engineering, property development, infrastructure and services,” says Maju Holdings Group of Companies MD and CEO, Mr. Amro Al Khadra. The opening of the Bandar Tasik Selatan transport terminal marked a milestone for the company’s construction division, which serves as the backbone to the company’s growth. Under ASM Development Sdn Bhd, Maju Holdings Group of Companies is steadily becoming one of the nation’s prestigious property developers. The Ulu Tiram township, with Malaysia’s first-ever US PGA-sanctioned and 18-hole eco-friendly golf course, and Maju Infinity, with state-of-the-art office towers, a hotel, service apartments and retail shops, are among its prized projects. “We are targeting expansion of knowledge and export of technology to Saudi Arabia, Oman and India. The GCC is in pursuit of emergent technologies in business ventures, which is our forte. Being the hub of industrial and non-industrial mega projects’ developments, these countries are revamping, reconstructing and even launching new projects as a part of their strategic efforts to rebuild the nation. Given our active relationship with the GCC (with offices in Riyadh and Jeddah), we plan to offer them a comprehensive proposal inclusive of design and IT solutions, making it a win-win situation for both,” adds Mr. Amro Al Khadra. n


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Finance Overview

Market Savvy Malaysia is emerging as a pioneering name in global finance at large and Islamic finance in particular. Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur


alaysia reaffirmed its global position as a finance hub after having survived the economic depression through aids from various financial institutions such as the Bank Negara Malaysia, Khazanah Nasional, Bursa Malaysia and the Ministry of Finance. During the 1990s, Malaysia was recorded as one of the fastest growing economies with a GDP annual average growth rate of 8–9% and during the past 5 years it has been growing at a steady GDP annual rate of 5–6%. Beyond finance The financial services sector has redefined its role as a facilitator of growth by emerging as a growth sector in itself. It not only helps generate employment but also plays a pivotal role in mobilising investments. Over the years, the financial sector’s contribution to GDP has increased from 9.2% in 2000 to 11% in 2008. In the past 3 years, the finance and insurance sector has expanded by 8.8% per annum. The insurance industry has undergone double-digit growth in the recent years. Some of the licensed insurance companies include Life and General Business, Life Business Only and General Reinsurance Business. The licensed banking institutions within the country include commercial banks, Islamic banks, international Islamic banks, investment banks and other financial institutions. Currently, there are 23 commercial banks operating in Malaysia including reputed international banks such as Bank of

America Malaysia Berhad, Deutsche Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland Berhad, JP Morgan Chase Bank Berhad and Bank of China (Malaysia) Berhad. Some notable banks from the Middle East in Malaysia include the Saudi Arabia-based Al Rajhi Bank, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) and Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation.

Malaysia, as a finance hub, has attracted some major players across the globe to promote cooperation. Building Islamic markets A vital aspect of the Malaysian finance arena is the predominance of Islamic finance, which has emerged as one of the fastest growing financial markets in the international scenario. Islamic finance is no longer the sole prerogative of Islamic economies, but is taking its due place in the mainstream international financial system. There are over 300 Islamic financial institutions across 75 countries worldwide. Currently, the global Islamic financial assets stand at USD750 billion and are expected to grow to USD1.6 trillion by 2012. Given this growth rate, it is but obvious that the Islamic financial system will soon manage nearly 4% of the world economy. The Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions (TIFI) reported that the global total of Shariah-compliant assets has grown by 2.7% to reach USD639.1 billion. Malaysia’s Islamic finance system is estimated to be worth USD1 trillion in assets and also has the unique

distinction of being the world’s first country to have a full-fledged Islamic financial system operating parallel to the conventional banking system. The Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) is the result of an initiative undertaken to position Malaysia as the Islamic finance hub through the core areas of sukuk origination, Islamic fund and wealth management, international Islamic banking and international takaful (Islamic insurance). Globally, the sukuk market has been witness to major growth, averaging an annual rate of 40%. In 2008, the sukuk issues globally amounted to USD14.9 billion, and Malaysia leads the global sukuk market with an average growth of 20% from 2002 to 2008. Malaysia has also achieved milestones in the Islamic fund management industry, which include the launch of the world’s first Islamic real estate investment trust (REIT), and, equally significantly, Asia’s first Islamic Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). The takaful industry, too has been growing rapidly and is expected to expand at 15-20% annually, with contributions expected to reach USD7.4 billion by 2015. Takaful assets and net contributions experienced strong average growth rates of 21% and 29%, respectively, from 2004 to 2008. Malaysia as a finance hub, has attracted some major players worldwide to promote cooperation in financial services. This has resulted in the further advancement of the finance sector as a whole and Islamic finance in particular. n


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Pioneers of Finance With a dynamic business environment, excellent infrastructure and a productive workforce, there’s no looking back for Malaysia’s finance sector. YB Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad Husni Bin Mohamad Hanadzlah Minister of Finance


alaysia’s is a fast-growing economy with liberal market policies targeted to promote trade and industrial development. Taking the positives from the financial crisis, Malaysia opened up new vistas and the financial sector was liberalised to enhance its linkages with international economies and promote economic regional integration. Its economy also expanded to 10.1% in the first quarter of 2010, the highest quarterly growth since 2000. During this period, the manufacturing production index rebounded strongly to a record 15.2% in the first quarter of 2009, and exports posted a robust growth of 30.8% in the first quarter of 2010,” says Malaysia’s Minister of Finance, YB Dato’ Seri Haji Ahmad Husni Bin Mohamad Hanadzlah.

Malaysia is one of the most developed economies among the newly industrialising Asian countries. Investments all the way Malaysia’s priority is to mobilise investments, particularly from the GCC, to unlock the potential needed to spur economic development. To give shape to these ideas, the government has introduced investment incentives, which include Foreign Ownership Rules that allow 100% foreign equity ownership in the International Islamic Bank (IIB) and International Takaful Operator (ITO). The Ministry will

provide tax exemption until 2016 on the income earned from international banking as well as takaful operations that are conducted in foreign currencies. In addition, stamp duty exemption has been provided until 2016 on instruments pertaining to Islamic banking and takaful businesses conducted in foreign currencies. The government has allowed institutions and operators to freely employ expatriates to participate in the Islamic financial system. Individuals can avail tax exemption on any profits paid out by an Islamic bank to non-resident depositors as well. This move had attracted global investors and issuers to Malaysia including the International Finance Corporation, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Korea Exim Bank. In the first half of 2010, Malaysia topped the list of sukuk-issuer counties, and, in terms of currency denomination, the ringgit was recorded as the number one currency in which sukuk was denominated on the domestic level. Aided by the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC), Malaysia is strengthening its strategic collaboration with other financial centres worldwide. “As Islamic finance gains international acceptance, key players in the global financial community are expanding their business. Malaysia, then, is a natural choice, given its comprehensive financial infrastructure, a wide range of innovative Islamic

financial products, favourable tax regime, liberal foreign exchange rules, dynamic legal and regulatory practices and strong shariah governance. In fact, Kuwait Finance House, Al Rajhi Banking and Investment Corporation and Asian Finance Bank Berhad (through Qatar Islamic Bank) have already commenced operations in Malaysia. Set up in 2008 in Dubai, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is entrusted with the responsibility of building ties with potential investors in the Middle East. In fact, MIDA’s regional office in Malaysia, which will facilitate economic activities between the GCC and ASEAN, is in the offing,” the Minister of Finance further added. Quality Assured In 2007, the Government of Malaysia set up a special task force, known as PEMUDAH, to facilitate business and to identify and propose measures to improve procedures and reduce bureaucracy. This resulted in its being 9th in Government Efficiency and one of the top 10 competitive countries in 2010 (as per World Competitiveness Yearbook [WCY]). Malaysia aims to build bridges and further integrate with the global economy, with the support of its productive and educated workforce. Its persistent drive to develop and upgrade has resulted in one of the most developed infrastructure among the newly industrialising countries in Asia, with investors vouching on its success story as an economic powerhouse. n


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global exchange

Bursa Malaysia, Malaysia’s exchange holding company, is assisting the country’s capital market and also enhancing global competitiveness. Raja Teh Maimunah

Global Head, Islamic Markets


ssentially an exchange holding company, Bursa Malaysia operates a fully-integrated exchange, offering a comprehensive and diverse range of exchange-related services including trading, clearing, settlement and depository services. The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, which was incorporated in 1976 as a company limited by guarantee, took over the operations of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Berhad in the same year. On 14 April 2004, it was christened Bursa Malaysia Berhad. Today, Bursa Malaysia is one of the largest bourses in Asia with nearly 1,000 listed companies offering an array of investment choices to the world, and is committed to maintaining an efficient, secure and active trading market for local and global investors alike. Products and services “Bursa Malaysia provides a host of Islamic products such as Bursa Suq AlSila’, Shariah-compliant stocks, Islamic equity indices, sukuk (Islamic bonds), Shariah ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), Islamic REITs (real estate investment trusts), Shariah-based unit trust funds, Islamic structured Islamic products, Shariah-compliant Listed Equities,” says Islamic Markets Global Head, Ms. Raja Teh Maimunah. In its effort to promote the debt securities markets while boosting the volume of investments into the Malaysian capital markets, the Exchange now offers a platform for the listing of sukuks and debt securities. This is in line with Bank Negara

Malaysia, Securities Commission and the Malaysian government’s efforts to establish Malaysia as a leading International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC). The framework for the listing of sukuk and debt securities on the Exchange offers institutions and investors alternative investment products with enhanced transparency. The Exchange also facilitates the trading of bonds and sukuks through the Electronic Trading Platform (ETP). Based in Labuan, the offshore exchange in Malaysia helps the listing and trading of various financial instruments and securities, based on conventional as well as Islamic principles.

Bursa Malaysia is one of the largest bourses in Asia with nearly 1,000 listed companies.

The derivatives market, undertaken by the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Berhad (BMD) provides, operates and maintains a futures and options exchange. In 2009, Bursa Malaysia Berhad entered into a strategic partnership with Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), marking a milestone in its portfolio. This partnership was built to improve the accessibility to the derivatives offerings globally. Initiating investments Bursa Malaysia offers a fair and orderly market, thus facilitating easy accessibility coupled with diverse and innovative products and services. Moreover, operating in the stable

and fast-growing Asia-Pacific Block, where liquidity is high acts as an added advantage. Middle Eastern high net worth individuals and institutions can tap into these flourishing Asian markets by investing in Bursa Malaysia’s listed companies. By doing so they would participate in the growth of the ‘tiger economies’ and diversify their investment portfolio in both geographical and monetary terms. “Even companies/institutions seeking to raise their funds may consider tapping into the Asian liquidity through Bursa Malaysia as fund-raising costs are highly competitive in Asia,” adds Ms. Raja Teh Maimunah. As part of its measures to enhance liquidity, Bursa Malaysia launched the second phase of the CMDF-Bursa Research Scheme (CBRS II), which was intended to generate interest in stocks, particularly smaller capitalised ones, and facilitate informed investment decision making by investors. Other similar initiatives targeted to mobilise foreign investments include new product development initiatives and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. In addition, through Market Chats it provides investors with the opportunity to interact with market players. The Invest Malaysia initiative also provides visibility to issuers and investment opportunities to investors in various markets. Led by the vision of positioning itself as the preferred partner in Asia for fund-raising, trading and investment, today Bursa Malaysia is even closer towards this cherished dream. n


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Higher education Overview

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Educating lives O

ne of the essential resources necessary for Vision2020 to become a reality—for Malaysia to achieve the status of a fully-developed economy—is a trained and employable work force. In line with this, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), established in 2004, is developing an environment that encourages the growth of premier knowledge centres and individuals who are competent and innovative. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES Guided by its motto, ‘Leading Knowledge Excellence’, the MOHE has identified the following strategic goals:  To increase the percentage of individuals with access to higher education to 50%.  To produce competent graduates to fulfil national and international manpower needs, with 75% of the graduates employed in their relevant fields within 6 months of graduation.  To offer adequate and world-class higher education infrastructure.  To ensure that there is continual increment in funding of public universities.  To enhance strategic alliances with renowned local and foreign institutions, especially in the fields of research, development and commercialisation. BUILDING BLOCKS The 9th Malaysia Plan emphasises the need to boost the economy by increasing the nation’s capacity in

The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has spared no efforts to drive Malaysia towards excellence in knowledge.

knowledge and innovation. To facilitate smooth execution of these goals, the MOHE has been organised under 3 departments, namely the Higher Education Department (JPT); the Polytechnic Management Department (JPP); and Community College Management Department (JPKK).

The MOHE aims to increase the nation’s capacity in knowledge and innovation.

Of these, the JPT plans, implements, monitors and evaluates the policies, programmes and activities of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The HEIs are poised to become world-class centres of excellence that produce competitive intellectuals to pursue the nation’s aspirations. GLOBAL AGENDA The Malaysian government has repeatedly stated that partnerships in higher education are one of the key priorities in the country’s international aspirations. In fact, according to media reports, between 2006 and 2008, the total number of international student enrolments in Malaysia went up by 30%, raising the count to 65,000 and taking it closer to the 2010 year-end mark of 100,000. Responding to the increasing numbers, the MOHE has set up an international students division, which facilitates the entry and induction of foreign students. As with all other sectors, the Middle East has emerged as a focus

area in this sector as well, as evidenced by the growing number of Arab students in the country (nearly 6,000 students recorded to date). In addition to academic programmes comparable to those in developing countries, the low cost of studying and living and the assurance of social and psychological stability make Malaysia a desirable destination for students from the Middle East. Several European and American institutions have opened centres in Malaysia, and the country has rightfully claimed its place as a regional hub for higher education, attracting thousands of students especially from developing countries, owing to top-class academic curriculum and delivery and strong infrastructure—including best-inclass laboratories, computer networks and libraries. Petroleum engineering, Islamic studies, information studies, technological sciences, medicine and pharmacology are the most soughtafter disciplines in Malaysia for Middle Eastern students. Malaysian institutions also provide Englishlanguage training and support to these students, which further enriches the cosmopolitan exposure students get in these institutions. Apart from the obvious religiocultural advantages, Malaysia appeals to Arab students by helping them with visa assistance, extending to visit visas for their families. There are also a number of scholarship options and educational exchange programmes for overseas students. n


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higher education


The Gift of Knowledge Through the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), Malaysia is formulating and refining strategies to internationalise and improve the quality of higher education services. YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin Minister of Higher Education


ccording to UNESCO, nearly 2% of the global international students come to Malaysia to pursue higher education. The political stability, dynamic economy and kaleidoscopic cultural landscape make the environment conducive to learning, thus making the sector an important contributor to the economy. In addition to that, the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) has largely contributed towards maintaining the highest standards of education and paving the way for future investments. Our Ministry is targeting 80,000 international students by 2011 and hopes to attract 150,000 international students by 2015,” says Minister of Higher Education, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin. Plans and Strategies In its effort to improve the quality of higher education in Malaysia, MOHE has strategically formulated and implemented various initiatives and programmes. These include the National Higher Education Strategic Plan (2007–2020); rating system for universities; liberalisation of foreign equity in private higher education; harmonisation of public and private higher education systems; and the National Higher Education Strategic Plan (NHESP). To inject urgency to this effort, the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), New Economic Model (NEM) and 1Malaysia Concept have also been planned, studied and implemented to achieve the objectives. This ensures that the quality of higher

education services, both by public and private educational institutions, is maintained and also approved by the Malaysian government. MOHE, collaborating with the Malaysian Quality Assurance Agency, ensures that the programmes to be delivered at higher education institutes are accredited.

MOHE hopes to attract 150,000 international students by 2015. Scope for the Middle East With the view of attracting investments from high net worth companies in the Middle East, MOHE has recognised 3 dedicated investment corridors— Iskandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur Education City and Pagoh Corridor. Of these, Iskandar Malaysia will house a hospital to support students from the medical faculty for clinical or housemanship placement apart from providing medical services for citizens in that area. At the moment, there are 5 foreign universities—Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, Nottingham University, Curtin University and Newcastle University—that have set up services in Malaysia. With the presence of these branch campuses in Malaysia, Middle Eastern countries have started to send sponsored students to Malaysian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). These universities also feature in some of the Middle Eastern countries’ websites. Malaysia is also aiming to be

a Halal hub and this is an important focus as it is a contributor to the nation’s economy. Research and development (R&D) investment in this area could be initiated through collaboration between Malaysia and Middle Eastern countries, and the HEIs could be utilised for commercial R&D. The factors that further act as incentives for students from the Middle East are easy availability of accommodation, dynamic, modern Islamic culture and availability of Sharia-compliant food. The Malaysian Educational Promotion Centre (MEPC) has been aggressively promoting Malaysia as an investment hub in targeted and interested countries. In fact, MEPC Dubai is already promoting Malaysian education in the Middle Eastern countries. MOHE is concerned about industry placement for students. One of the strengths of an HEI is the industrial recognition apart from government and international recognition. Global graduates can be produced through industrial placement, which gives a feel of real-life experiences. The availability of an industry-trained student force encourages the establishment of industries in the vicinity. Investors should, thus, consider such potential while planning to set up industries. “Malaysia has a vision of transforming itself as the centre of excellence for regional education with international standards. In order to realise this, every effort is being made to ensure that MOHE’s initiatives and services are in place,” adds YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin. n


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higher education

a Class Apart At the heart of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s (UTM) success story lie innovative ideas, cross-cultural exchanges One the freest economies the world, andofresearch-based technicalofprogrammes. Georgia has been a story of radical reforms, stable GDP growth and awe-inspiring foreign direct investments. Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang Vice Chancellor/President, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)


eing an innovation-driven and graduate-focused research university, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has definitely stood the test of time. Established in 1904, UTM remains resilient as a premier university in the region, specialising in engineering and science and technology (S&T). The organisational structure of UTM focuses on creating a vibrant knowledge culture and fertile intellectual ecosystem that encourages creativity and innovation. Currently, the university has 200 foreign graduate faculty members. The 20,000 students enrolled in various disciplines consist, among others, 3,000 foreign students (about 50% is represented by students from the Middle East) and 7,000 postgraduate students. “Out of the total postgraduates, 2,000

are S&T students at PhD level,” said Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang, the UTM Vice Chancellor/President. It also sends nearly 5,000 students to the Middle East, China, England, Sweden, Japan and its neighbouring countries as part of its global outreach programme. At present, UTM is the nation’s main contributor of R&D-based Intellectual Property, further proven by its track record as 3-time winner (2006, 2009 and 2010) of the National Intellectual Property Award. Professor Dato’ Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujang further emphasises, “UTM is actively involved in research collaboration with renowned universities across the world such as Oxford University, University of Cambridge, the Imperial College of London, MIT, Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International,

Tokyo University and Meiji University.” UTM has also been actively involved in groundwater table research and engineering programme development with Taibah and King Abdul Aziz University and is developing a postgraduate programme in IT for Qatar University. The university is also currently engaged with Hodeidah University in Yemen for postgraduate staff attachments and human capacity development. UTM also plans to promote its programmes by participating in events organised by embassies of the Middle Eastern countries. “The arrangement with the Middle East should be based on meaningful collaboration and mutual sharing of ideas and expertise. This will foster a lucrative, as well as a fulfilling relationship,” he adds. n


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Higher education

In Pursuit of Excellence Since its inception in 2002, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) has been relentlessly striving towards providing world-class, state-of-the-art technical education. Professor Dato’ Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim

Vice Chancellor, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)


alaysia is remarkably open to and respectful of diversity. We welcome and actively invest in cross-cultural relationships— not only in monetary terms but also in the form of thoughts, ideas and time,” remarks Professor Dato’ Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), when asked about the key drivers of modern Malaysia’s impressive growth story. This quote from the spearhead of one of Malaysia’s best technical universities is an excellent starting point to appreciate why the country—already a leading tourism destination globally—is fast emerging as an important education hub. Indeed, in any analysis of the factors that set Malaysia apart, its cultural openness will feature prominently. Malaysians believe in creating workable and strategic partnerships that transcend differences. They believe in enriching their own culture through healthy cross-cultural exchanges. And as Vice Chancellor, Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim points out, the country’s education system in general and UMP in particular stand to gain a lot from its wide, international outlook and relationships. On the fast track After serving as the dean of the management school at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for 10 years, Dr. Daing

Malaysia is remarkably open to and respectful of diversity.

Nasir Ibrahim took charge as the Vice Chancellor of UMP in 2008. There’s been no looking back since. Under his leadership, UMP is being touted as one of the best technical universities in Malaysia, working closely with the government towards realising the country’s national educational targets. The relatively young university came to prominence following the government’s move towards privatisation. This brought about a tremendous increase in the demand for engineers, and the university catered to this need. Within a short span of 8 years, UMP has managed to attract foreign students in petrochemical engineering from China, Yemen and Indonesia, to name a few. Technical courses are its forte, and that’s what it focuses on, instead of digressing towards other disciplines such as law and medicine. UMP, located close to the East Coast Highway, seeks to deliver on four main fronts: technical knowledge, technical skills, soft skills and entrepreneurial skills. The aim to nurture students who are “competent, honourable and responsible”, in line with the National Education Philosophy, unites its 7 engineering faculties—mechanical, manufacturing, chemical, civil, computer, electric and electronic, and science and industrial technology. The university already has an enrolled base of 6,300 undergraduate students and nearly 150 postgraduate students. Reflecting the country’s ethnic diversity, UMP celebrates Eid, Christmas and the Chinese New Year with equal fervour.

The Middle East is an important priority area for UMP. Ties with the Middle East and the rest of the world The Middle East is an important priority area for UMP. As part of its internationalisation policy, it runs an exchange programme with a science and technology university, which gets 65% of its students from the Middle East. The cost of education is subsidised, and students from the Middle East feel at home in a Muslim country. The main goal though is to collaborate on programmes in niche areas such as chemical engineering, biotechnology and automotive engineering. An important focus area for the university is the large Malaysian student population pursuing Islamic studies in Egypt who struggle to enter the mainstream on their return. UMP is working on introducing them to a special entrepreneurship programme. It has already signed an MoU with Alexandria University and is working on a tripartite partnership with Alexandria and an Irish university. This will not only create student mobility between the three universities but also encourage the exchange of thoughts and ideas. UMP is also collaborating with a German university to offer a joint degree. The main attraction of this course is that it will enable students to obtain a German degree without having to travel to Germany. The university


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higher education


hopes that 2011 will witness a surge of students from Australia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Middle East. The university’s other international plans include partnering with the Regional Information Technology and Software Engineering Center (RITSEC), Egypt; liaising with Dr. Hisham El Sharif, an authority on telecommunications and IT in Egypt; developing an international industrial nexus; and placing its students in the Arab world. Defying the odds One of the main challenges facing the young university pertains to funding. Although there are products ready for commercialisation, the relative dearth of funding for the development of these products is proving to be a hurdle. The solution to this problem of course lies in attracting potential investors and fully informing them of the products, thereby minimizing their risk perception. UMP plans to do this by participating in exhibitions to draw the attention of the investor community. It will also organize its own exhibitions

in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar. As a part of the vision for the university, Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim intends to provide the infrastructure for a technology park and a halal park. Consequently, a central laboratory that will house all high-end facilities and also centralise the process under construction. This infrastructure will be used to produce trained personnel and facilitate further development. In a league with the best

Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim


believes that UMP’s strongest differentiator is the high standard of its engineering courses. The collaboration with the German university (with one course at present and expansion plans for 2011), for instance, speaks volumes of the quality of education that it strives to maintain. It is only after careful review of the curriculum and human resources and excruciating attention to detail that Germany has agreed to work in close association with UMP. This is a very notable achievement for the university because Germany is known to not view

education as an industry and does not generally ‘sell’ or ‘export’ academic programmes. The hallmark of quality UMP has won accreditation from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) as a result of its efforts. “MQA is part of a bigger network with international protocol,” says Dr. Daing Nasir Ibrahim, “this is an agency on par with any quality assurance agency in the world.” UMP cannot offer a course unless it is approved and certified by the MQA, which in turn requires accreditation with a professional body. UMP, for example, needed to obtain accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Council Malaysia, which is under the Board of Engineers Malaysia. That is not all—the Board of Engineers is itself a signatory to the Washington Accord, which regulates quality worldwide. Having proven its merit through such rigorous systems, UMP is now ideally poised to showcase its quality in the dynamic education universe beyond Malaysia. n

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Energy, Green Technology and Water overview Bukit Air Recreational Park in Perlis

Resource Driven Malaysia is a land blessed with a rich and inexhaustible supply of natural resources that can be harnessed to expedite its economic development.


alaysia is a country well endowed with both nonconventional (renewable, such as biomass, solar and hydro) as well as conventional (non-renewable) sources of energy, especially a vast reserve of petroleum (oil and gas). Malaysia’s oil reserves are recorded to be the third highest in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2002, oil reserves were maintained at 4.23 billion barrels, with 87.3% of gas and just less than 1,500 million tonnes of coal. Hydropower capacity remained at 29,000 MW. The country is a significant net exporter of oil and the second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, after Qatar. In 2002, Malaysia produced 37 million tonnes of crude oil. The bulk (87%) of this output went to markets in Thailand, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Over 40% of the natural gas produced was exported to markets in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, while the remainder was used domestically for electricity generation. Nationwide energy consumption totalled nearly 33 million tonnes in 2002. The transportation and industrial sectors consumed the largest portions at 40% and 38%, respectively. The largest portion of fuel consumed was petroleum (64%), followed by electricity (18%), gas (15%) and coal (3%). Green Technology As a country sensitive to environmental concerns, Malaysia has put its best foot forward to preserve the environment while using its resources to generate

energy for daily use. Significant progress and major achievements have been observed in 4 key areas—energy, water and wastewater management, building and transporation. In its bid to reduce the carbon footprint, the Malaysian government is also involved in the construction of green buildings, such as the Green Energy Office (GEO) Building in Bandar Baru Bangi, the Low Energy Office (LEO) Building in Putrajaya, the Diamond Building and the GT Tower. GreenTech’s (KeTTHA’s initiative) vision is to be a driving force in accelerating the national economy and promoting sustainable development, through committed initiatives and programmes of green technology such as increasing public awareness for the adoption and application of environment-friendly technology. It is also considering the manufacture of GreenTech products, appliances, equipment and systems, with the purpose of making them widely available in the local market. In this context, mention needs to be made of various energy-efficient products that are making their presence felt in households. These include energyefficient refrigerators, fluorescent lamps and high efficiency motors to name a few. While expanding the local research institutes so that they develop and innovate GreenTech activities towards commercialisation, the government is also venturing forth in order to increase foreign and domestic direct investment in GreenTech’s manufacturing and service sectors.

The expansion of local SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and SMIs (small and medium industries) using GreenTech into the global market is expected to increase the generation of revenue through GreenTech appliances and products. All these measures shall, in turn, lead to significant reduction in national energy consumption, while sustaining a steady national economic growth. Renewable Energy Energy and its optimum utilisation is the key driver of any economic activity. Its inappropriate consumption and misuse, however, results in undesirable impacts on the environment and climate. Hence, the sustainable use of energy is being given increasing attention in Malaysia. In the 8th Malaysian Plan, renewable energy (RE) was announced as the fifth fuel in the new 5 Fuel Strategy in the energy supply mix. RE was targeted to contribute 5% of the country’s total electricity demand by the year 2005, that is, by the end of the 8th Malaysian Plan period. This sector is further expected to provide at least RM70 billion worth of revenue for the private sector and also potentially generate tax revenue of at least RM1.76 billion by 2020. Biomass alone is believed to have the potential to contribute nearly RM10 billion to the national economy of Malaysia. Biomass along with solar energy account for nearly 90% of the RE potential in Malaysia. Keeping this objective in mind, greater effort is being undertaken


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Energy, Green Technology and Water overview to encourage the utilisation of renewable resources, such as biomass, solar energy and biogas. Through the 9th Malaysian Plan, the development and consumption of RE was stressed through the active implementation of two programmes—Small Renewable Energy Power Programme (SREP) and Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement (REPPA).

Sdn. Bhd, the first biomass RE project, is using empty fruit bunches as fuel. It has also sold electricity to Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Malaysia’s largest electricity utility company with RM71.4 billion worth in assets, at 21.25 sen/kwh. TNB also has the largest generation capacity of over 7,100 MW, accounting for nearly 61% of the total power generation in Peninsular Malaysia.

Fiscal incentives The Government has launched several fiscal incentives to stimulate the emergence of RE activities and technologies into the country. Palm oil mills, sawmills, manufacturers and large institutions can benefit heavily from the word go by using local technology to generate income and to reduce operating costs. Similar fiscal incentives have also been introduced by the Government to encourage the use of energy efficient electrical equipment and insulation material. For instance, TSH Bio Energy

Water Water is one of the most essential natural resources, and hence, various government agencies and regulatory bodies are actively involved in a wide range of water-related activities. These include irrigation, flood management, water restructuring, river and coastal management, water resource management, dam management, wastewater management, industrial wastewater management, sewerage management, to name just a few. In 2006, RM1.678 billion was allocated for water supply projects to

implement water supply infrastructure projects under the 9th Malaysia Plan. RM1.358 billion was spent during this period. This amount included continuation projects from the 8th Malaysia Plan. For Sewerage Projects under the 9th Malaysia Plan, there were 11 new projects and 47 continuation projects, with an overall total cost of RM3.012 billion. In 2006, RM754,798,652 was spent out of the budget of RM759,454,054 allocated for National Sewerage Projects for the year, which was 99% of the total allocated budget. RM1.64 million was spent on repossessing land for sewerage projects in Peninsular Malaysia from an allocated budget of RM1.65 million in 2006. Given Malaysia’s rich reserve of natural resources and also the Malaysian government’s persistent drive to introduce and encourage the sustainable use of renewable energy, a developed economy is surely in the making. n


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Energy, green technology and water


Think Green The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA) is making a difference to the environment through energy efficiency measures. YB Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui

Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water


n a planet threatened by ever mounting environmental hazards, the attainment of energy efficiency and the utilisation of renewable energy has become the need of the hour. Energy is critical to the economic development of any country and optimum exploitation of available resources is crucial. Industries, whether primary, secondary or tertiary, are greatly dependent on the energy sector (gas, coal or oil) and an increase in the prices of these raw materials in turn, triggers inflation. Energy efficiency “In the light of the current scenario, the sustainable use of energy is increasingly being emphasised in Malaysia, and our ministry plays a pivotal role in it,” says Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, YB Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui. The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), through regulatory bodies such as the Energy Commission, is responsible for managing the nation’s overall energy and water resources, and ensuring the availability of good quality and safe energy to consumers at subsidised prices. Thus, the sustainable use of renewable energy, particularly hydropower is the highlight of the ministry’s current policies. Some hydro projects are already underway in different parts of the country, particularly in the vast expanse of uninhabited land in Sarawak. Efforts are on to make treated water accessible to the municipal and urban areas as

well as to the rural population such that they no longer have to depend on natural water, fed from the springs or the rainfall, for sustenance. The sustainable use of solar energy and biomass is also taken into account by KeTTHA while formulating innovative policies and self-regulatory frameworks to accrue foreign investments into these sectors.

companies, investors in hardware and consultants from across the globe, particularly from the Middle East, such as Masdar. In fact, on my recent visit to Masdar, I spoke to one of the early planners of Masdar City and we have invited her to deliver a lecture on the development of the City and how they approached it,” adds YB Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui.

the future ahead An integral part of KeTTHA’s portfolio is to promote green technology, not just among Malaysians but foreign investors as well. The strategic adoption and implementation of green technology involves strengthening the institutional frameworks of the government, intensifying the development of human capital and green technology R&D (research and development), and creating public awareness. The ministry is targeting major improvement and investment in 4 sectors of the economy—energy, building, water and waste water, and transportation. It is viewing green technology as one of the key economic drivers in the 2010 and 2011 Malaysia plans.

Investor’s paradise YB Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui further added that the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water is working on the import of solar-energy technologies from the Middle East, which is its forte. Plans of constructing a solar farm in Malaysia is already underway. In fact, the ministry is evaluating a proposal from Berjaya, a Malaysian company, in terms of establishing a 200-megawatt solar farm in the country. First Solar, an American company has already set base in Malaysia and now Solar Power, another US-based company is setting up a huge manufacturing plant with approximately 47,000 square metres of manufacturing space in Melaka. A desalination plant has already been built in the island of Labuan. KeTTHA is channelising all its resources towards promoting green technology across the board, from major manufacturers to hotels and shopping complexes and eventually to households. With its policies and frameworks intact, Malaysia is definitely en route to becoming an investor’s paradise, particularly for Middle Eastern countries. n

The ministry is providing investment incentives for companies, particularly from the Middle East.

Foreign investments “In the context of promoting green technology, the ministry will be providing investment incentives for


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Energy, green technology and water

Spearheading the future PETRONAS is steadily steering Malaysia towards development by ensuring sustainable growth of the country’s oil and gas reserves. Md Arif Mahmood

Vice-President, Corporate Strategic Planning, PETRONAS


n the back of increasing energy demand, PETRONAS, the national oil company of Malaysia, has played a leading role in the growth of Malaysia’s economy through its active participation in the country’s oil and gas development. Spearheading Malaysia’s oil and gas sector for nearly 37 years, PETRONAS is managed in a prudent manner to enhance the value and wealth of its shareholders. Incorporated on 17 August 1974 under the Malaysian Companies Act of 1965 and through the Petroleum Development Act (PDA) of 1974, PETRONAS is vested with the entire ownership and control of petroleum resources in Malaysia,” said PETRONAS VP of Corporate Strategic Planning, Md Arif Mahmood.

PETRONAS has evolved into a fully integrated multinational oil and gas company, and is featured in the Fortune Global 500. Since its inception, PETRONAS has built its capabilities through its involvement in the country’s upstream and downstream sector. After acquiring capabilities in the upstream business, it ventured into downstream businesses in the early 1980s, in refining and gas sectors, adding value to the nation’s oil and gas resources. Today, it has evolved into a fully integrated multinational oil and gas company with global presence in

over 30 countries and is featured in the Fortune Global 500. Working in collaboration with major industry players including ExxonMobil, Shell, Talisman, Murphy, Santos, CNPC and ONGC, PETRONAS seeks to contribute to its partners’ vision towards achieving growth. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES The global oil demand has steadily increased year-on-year (y-o-y) by 3.2% corresponding to the improved economic activities worldwide. This demand is expected to hover around 86.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2010 and to increase to 87.8 mbpd in 2011, following increased demand from the Middle East and China. The Middle East has tremendous potential for growth opportunities as most of the hydrocarbon resources are located in this region. Similarly, the growth prospect is also evidenced in the downstream sector, providing opportunities in marketing and trading of oil and petroleum products. The Middle East players are also looking out for growth opportunities in the Asian region. For example, in Malaysia’s upstream sector, MDC Oil & Gas (SK320) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi-owned Mubadala Development Company, was awarded PSC contract to explore in offshore Sarawak. “To add value to Malaysia’s gas resources, PETRONAS undertook 2 major gas projects—Peninsular Gas Utilisation (PGU) pipeline project and liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex.

The PGU project is a 2,500-km pipeline system supplying processed gas to residential, industrial and commercial sectors. It has also boosted the use of natural gas, leading to the reduction of fuel and coal use in the power sector. The second major gas project is the LNG complex in Bintulu, Sarawak, East of Malaysia. The production of LNG helps the country earn foreign income, while the LNG volume exported contributes to the regional energy needs, particularly in the East Asian market. The LNG complex is one of the world’s largest LNG production facilities at a single location and we take pride in being the second-largest LNG producer, after Qatar,” Md Arif Mahmood further emphasised. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PETRONAS supports education and community development programmes that help enrich lives and empower people with new knowledge and skills. The company supports institutions of learning, in Malaysia and abroad, as education plays a vital role in the growth of the industry and the host nations. It also partners with communities, industries and governments to meet common objectives. Acknowledging such efforts, the President and Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam recently awarded the Certificate of Merit in education to PETRONAS in 2010. A resource owner and manager, a global oil and gas company and a major sponsor of education and community development programmes, PETRONAS is wearing many hats. n


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Energy, green technology and water clcl


Wastewater solutions Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) seeks to achieve environment sustainability by maintaining and developing an efficient sewerage infrastructure. Abd Kadir Mohd Din

CEO, Indah Water Konsortium (IWK)


ndah Water Konsortium’s (IWK) certifying agency, which is ISO 1900:2008 certified, was established with the aim of planning and providing technical services for the national sewerage infrastructure to the Government of Malaysia,” says IWK CEO, Ir. Abd Kadir Mohd Din. With 25 years of industry experience in water and wastewater sectors within the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Brunei, Darussalam, the Middle East and Singapore, Mr. Mohd Din’s role in the organisation is to harness sustainable wastewater and to ensure that the company continues to provide quality and efficient wastewater services to the Malaysian populace. Broader horizons The wastewater sector in Malaysia was fragmented prior to the existence of IWK. The enactment of the Wastewater Services Act in 1993 enabled IWK as the national wastewater services concessionaire to draft various procedures and guidelines, putting the governance of the wastewater sector into perspective. The vast experience acquired over the last 17 years has enabled IWK to contribute tremendously towards various draft policy frameworks for the holistic management and development of the wastewater sector in Malaysia. IWK was incorporated on 9 December 1993, when privatisation concession was awarded to the company by the Government of Malaysia to manage the country’s public wastewater systems, previously

managed by the local authorities. Since 1994, IWK has been responsible for providing wastewater services to 88 local authorities’ operational areas through 18 unit offices, 51 reporting centres and 3 regional laboratories. IWK boasts of a workforce of 2,800 dedicated and highly committed employees, providing efficient wastewater services to over 20 million customers in Malaysia round the clock. There is also a team of qualified engineers, scientists and accountants with years of experience in wastewater planning, engineering and technologies at their disposal. Through the years, the company’s strategic objectives have been to maintain effective and efficient wastewater services; improve customer delivery system; contribute towards environmental improvements; and work towards the integration of water and wastewater services. As part of its broader vision, the company seeks to transform itself from being utility-based to an organ that is resource-based. It also plans to use biotechnology and nanotechnology to sustain the wastewater services; to utilise and convert bio-effluent biogas and biosolids into environmentally safe products; to enhance the development of human capital asset; and strive towards becoming a leading regional wastewater services organisation. IWK has been recognised as the leader in the wastewater industry for providing capacity building and technical training by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), United States Agency for International

Development (USAID) and Water Operators Partnership (WOP). ties with the Middle East Wastewater management is critical to the enhancement of the quality of public health and the environment. Many countries are facing tremendous pressure to improve their wastewater services to achieve environmental goals and benefits. Rather than starting afresh, a more realistic option is to share the lessons learnt from past oversights. In this context, the experience and expertise that Indah Water has gained in its 17year history could prove useful and valuable for the Arabian Gulf countries to tap and accelerate wastewater improvements in the development of sewerage master plan and capital work programmes. The development of policies, regulations and acts; capital works planning, operations and maintenance of wastewater facilities and sewer networks; and development of Total Asset Management System and Benchmarking are some other areas of improvement for the Middle East countries in terms of achieving sustainable wastewater management. Thus, owing greatly to the tireless endeavours of IWK, the wastewater sector in Malaysia is no longer looked at in isolation, but is increasingly being addressed in harmony with the broader water resources scenario. n

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Health overview

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a dose of well-being A

n integral part of the strategic implementation of the 10th Malaysian Plan is the socioeconomic development of the country. The development of the healthcare sector is, thus, indispensable. The Ministry of Health (MoH), in line with vision of the Government of Malaysia, seeks to provide world-class medical facilities at competitive costs. Already, a large number of medical institutes and dental clinics have commenced operation under highly qualified and experienced doctors. Malaysia’s Lifeline Over the last decade, private hospitals such as Prince Court Medical Centre, Pantai Chain of Hospitals, KPJ Healthcare and the National Heart Institute have assumed a pivotal role in the growth of the healthcare industry. Located in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Prince Court Medical Centre features revolutionary facilities and high-quality patient care. Born out of a vision to be a forerunner in clinical services, it is the only hospital in KL to be fully accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). The Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) or the National Heart Institute takes pride in being the only institution dedicated exclusively to cardiac care.

State-of-the-art medical facilities at affordable costs make the Malaysian health sector competitive globally.

Pantai Holdings has under it flagship hospitals in Ipoh, Ayer Keroh, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. In service for over 35 years, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur (PHKL) houses several centres of excellence, such as the Breast Care Centre, Cardiac Catheterization Centre, Hand and Microsurgery Unit, Spine and Joint Centre and the Pantai Cancer Institute, which houses an advanced Radiotherapy Unit and Chemo Daycare Centre. In addition, the hospital has an In-Vitro Fertilisation Unit, a dedicated International Ward and an Executive Screening Programme. PHKL was the first private tertiary hospital to win the prestigious W.H.O-initiated Baby Friendly Hospital Award and has also won the internationally acclaimed JCI Award. KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital has both private and semiprivate beds, while the KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital is well equipped with a variety of modern healthcare technologies. Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, another notable medical institute, provides a host of medical services such as rheumatology, anaesthesiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery. It also features a Women’s Wellness Centre and World of Wellness Centre.

Medical tourism A review of the health sector scenario of Malaysia is incomplete without mentioning the upcoming medical tourism sector. A vibrant economy, state-of-the-art medical facilities and reasonable costs make Malaysia ideal for medical tourism. This, of course, is achieved with the help of the Malaysian government’s dedicated arm—Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC). Investment incentives Malaysia’s healthcare sector holds immense potential for foreign investments, especially with various joint research projects in the offing. Prudent investment in the increasing number of private healthcare centres and vocational medical institutes can also yield rich dividends. In fact, some of the international brands that have already set up their base in Malaysia are Bayer, Agfa, Pfizer, Novartis, Merck & Co and SanofiAventis. Powered by the MoH’s efforts to highlight Malaysia’s competencies of providing quality healthcare at affordable prices, the Malaysian health sector is all set to compete globally with the biggest and the best of healthcare destinations. n


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in good Health With plans to integrate the public and private health sector and promote medical tourism in Malaysia, the Ministry of Health (MoH) addresses national and international issues. Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Hj. Mohd. Ismail Bin Merican Director General, Ministry of Health (MoH)


he Ministry of Health (MoH) has always been a vital component of the economy of Malaysia, and its importance has been further boosted under the able guidance of Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Haji Mohd. Ismail Bin Merican, the DG of MoH. Foremost among the milestones he has helped achieved is the amalgamation of the public and private healthcare systems currently in operation. This unification of the two systems will be a giant step towards providing all Malaysians—irrespective of their financial status—good medical facilities. This proposal, if approved by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, will ensure greater equity and accessibility of healthcare to its citizens. To increase accountability and improve its facilities, the MoH lays emphasis on compliance with medical regulations. While the Ministry has been taking up many issues, the Director General feels that there is a “need for accountability, sharing of information and agreement to costs of healthcare”. All this, he emphasises, can be achieved in partnership with the private sector. Medical tourism Of late, medical tourism in Malaysia has established a firm foothold and become a major contributor in the national economy. This has largely been the result of the services offered by the private players in the Malaysian health sector. Therefore, while its overarching concern is to provide quality healthcare to its citizens, the MoH has, through the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council,

been assisting the private health sector in promoting medical tourism in the country. Robust policies and reforms have been approved to attract patients from abroad to give a shot in the arm to this fledgling industry. While treatments in Malaysia can be availed at a fraction of the expense in countries like the U.S.—a heart bypass for USD130,000 can be done for around USD9,000 in Malaysia—cost is not the only aspect under consideration. Other factors such as technology, quality, efficiency and promptness of service, too, play a role. Prospective international clients can be assured of high medical standards, as the MoH encourages accreditation of all health facilities in the country. This, apart from the minimal and hassle-free paperwork and the one-stop approach, adds to the appeal of Malaysia as the destination for medical tourism. In addition to enjoying treatment in Malaysia, ‘medical tourists’ can also recuperate at the many wellness centres and spas spread across the country.

MoH ensures the availability of world-class medical facilities and quality healthcare at affordable prices. Going the herbal way With over 2002 indigenous medicinal herbs, Malaysia has a lot to offer in the herbal medicine sector. The MoH has realised that to gain wider acceptance, herbal medicine needs to go through

strictly-conducted clinical trials. Therefore, it encourages clinical trials with stringent criteria to give herbal products that stamp of credibility. The Ministry has also taken steps to reduce the approval period for initiating such trials. Further, it has also stipulated that all such trials should be recorded in the National Medical Research Register, which will allow scientists the world over to access this research. With such incentives, the number of clinical trials has increased considerably. The Ministry has also been conducting joint trials with China to help such herbal products gain wider acceptance in the international market. Accreditations Many of the private hospitals have international accreditation, including the internationally recognised Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, as well as Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) accreditation. Both the JCI and MSQH accreditations are recognised members of the International Accreditation Federation Council (IAFC), a body under the umbrella of the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). Through these accreditations and certifications, patients are promised quality healthcare. The MoH, in line with the Government’s vision of achieving well-being for its people, ensures the availability of state-of-the art medical facilities and quality healthcare at competitive prices. n


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Health first The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) is helping position Malaysia’s healthcare sector on the global platform. Dr. Mary Wong Lai Lin

CEO, Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC)


significant feature of the Malaysian tourism industry is the rapid growth of medical tourism, which is being increasingly viewed as a major contributor to the country’s economy. The Government of Malaysia aims to support it further to accelerate the growth rate of market share from 0.29% at present to 2% by 2012. The significance of health tourism in Malaysia’s economy is reflected in its contribution of nearly RM4 billion. If steered in the right direction, this sector holds the potential to contribute almost RM10 billion to the economy. The number of medical tourists to Malaysia has recorded an increase from 75,000 in 2001 to 297,000 in 2006 to 375,000 in 2008 (contributing nearly RM300 million). During 2010, the Malaysian government had targeted a 30% increase in the number of medical tourists’ arrivals.

Malaysian government is targeting the generation of additional income into the country. It is a growing trend for developing countries to showcase their medical services, which are on offer at a cheaper cost without a reduction in quality of service. Likewise, we also need to make our presence felt on the global platform, moving beyond the domestic market. In fact, we have recently organised a familiarisation tour of some of the private hospitals in Malaysia for visitors from the US and Canada, and they were awestruck at the facilities available here such as MRI scans, CTI scans and other hightech equipment. We are also willing to conduct tours for authorities interested in working with us. In a similar pursuit, I have recently presented a paper at the ‘Kuwait Tourism Medical Conference’ to promote our branding image in the Middle East.”

Brand Building “Although Malaysia is emerging as one of the forerunners in health tourism, we still have a long way to go. We have a fast-growing private healthcare sector and a large base in the public healthcare sector, and we do hold the potential for further growth. We, therefore, need to prioritise the marketing and promotion of Malaysia as a healthcare destination. This is exactly where Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) comes into play,” says MHTC CEO, Dr. Mary Wong Lai Lin. Commenting on the current state of affairs in the healthcare sector of Malaysia, she further adds, “The

The number of medical tourists to Malaysia has recorded an increase from 297,000 in 2006 to 375,000 in 2008 (contributing nearly RM300 million). Role and functions Established under the Ministry of Health (MoH) in 2009 upon the approval of the Malaysian Cabinet, MHTC was formed with the purpose of facilitating the growth and promotion of hospitals with limited resources and

to consolidate the marketing process. With the setting up of MHTC, the Government has greatly benefitted as the issues impacting the healthcare travel industry are being addressed in a more focussed and concrete manner. The Council reports to an Advisory Committee, which is co-chaired by the Minister of Health and the Minister heading the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department. The Council functions as a onestop centre for all matters pertaining to healthcare travel. In addition, it acts as a one-point contact for all enquiries about the policies and programmes of healthcare travel and channels them in the right direction. Thus, it functions as a referral point for healthcare visitors and also members of the healthcare travel industry in Malaysia. For instance, someone enquiring on the options available and the cost implications involved for a hip replacement, can approach MHTC for proper guidance in the decision-making process. MHTC is also the body responsible for resolving policy and administrative conflicts, which affect healthcare travel. These include fast tracking clearance and visa extension, to name a few. The agency is also actively involved in the formulation and execution of strategic policies and programmes for the promotion of the medical tourism in Malaysia. The setting up of a database to support research and planning activities is also among its many responsibilities. In addition, it facilitates the building of partnership and joint ventures between the


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health government and healthcare travel industry stakeholders. Magnificent growth Over the years, there has been a significant growth in the number of specialist hospitals and clinics, which offer medical services across a wide range of fields, including cancer treatment and pain management, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, fertility treatment, general screening and wellness, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitative medicine, to name a few. Consequently, the country has been witness to a positive growth of tourists visiting the country for medical purposes, particularly from the Middle East, the familiarity of religion being a significant factor in this. Malaysia is a Muslim country and so visitors from the Gulf countries feel more at home. In addition, Malaysia offers a wide array of accommodation options— from budget accommodation to 5-star hotels and resorts. Hotels in Malaysia range from USD43 to USD143 per night depending on its star rating. Alternatively, in the case of a family accompanying a patient, there is also an option to rent a serviced apartment, where the prices range from USD115 to USD172 depending on its size. Malaysia is also a safe and stable country, with warm and hospitable people. Visitors are treated with respect and greeted with sincere smiles throughout their stay. English is widely spoken throughout the length and breadth of the country, making it convenient for foreign visitors to venture out on their own. Some hospitals, in fact, also provide translators to its patients on being given prior notice. In addition, tourists can also enjoy a hassle-free entry into the country after determining a medical procedure. A letter from the chosen medical centre is sufficient to qualify for a 6-month visa.

FOCUS INTERNATIONAL Upon entry into Malaysia, the letter should be shown to an immigration officer, who will then process the visa. The Malaysian government has also adopted special provisions to facilitate the easy entry of medical visitors. For instance, citizens of Saudi Arabia and UAE, do not require a visa for a visit not exceeding 3 months. A visitor in Malaysia receiving treatment at any private hospital within the country is entitled to a 6-month visa. He/she can also enjoy a Multiple Entry Visa (MEV), which allows multiple entry and exit throughout the duration of the visa’s validity. However, to avail these benefits, one must obtain a letter from the concerned hospital, stating the details, date and duration of the procedure. This letter should then be presented to Malaysia’s immigration officers. As healthcare institutes in Malaysia are well equipped with modern facilities, medical examination can be dispensed at the earliest. Patients are hospitalised immediately upon arrival, and the required examinations and work-up tests are addressed promptly. In addition, organised and efficient patient registration systems eliminate or reduce tedious queues to ensure that treatment and medication is dispensed at the earliest. This gives patients the option of either returning home after the medical treatment or even recuperating amidst some of Malaysia’s finest lush rainforests, pristine beaches, breathtaking cityscapes and even indulge in the finest Indian, Chinese and Malay gourmet cuisine. “When it comes to healthcare, people always prioritise the standard and quality of the medical facilities being offered. Money, of course, influences our decision, but it is always secondary. The best feature of healthcare in Malaysia, which also makes it a forerunner in medical tourism, is its world-class healthcare

facilities at competitive prices,” Dr. Mary Wong Lai Lin emphasises. Malaysia’s favourable exchange rate as compared to that of Europe and the US, make it a much-sought after healthcare destination, especially for medical tourists from the West. The cost of medical treatments in Malaysia is almost a fraction of what it would cost them back home. Doctors and healthcare specialists in Malaysia are highly experienced having been involved in a number of revolutionary and groundbreaking researches. Such endeavours have not only garnered several internationally acclaimed awards and recognition but also helped Malaysia to create a niche in the global healthcare platform. In addition, international accreditations ensure optimum quality of healthcare being offered. Malaysia has 7 hospitals and facilities with Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation and over 20 hospitals that are Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) accredited. This accreditation has been fully endorsed by the International Society of Quality Healthcare. The future of Healthcare The healthcare travel industry plays a crucial role in the overall growth of Malaysia’s economy as it is a major contributor and helps boost Malaysia’s profile as a healthcare destination. MHTC not only creates global awareness about Malaysia’s potential as a healthcare hub but also facilitates the entry of the Malaysian healthcare industry into the global arena. So, whether it is a minor cosmetic correction during an extended holiday or a major surgery en route a short trip to Malaysia, the quest ends here. There are countless reasons that account for Malaysia’s growing popularity as a healthcare destination. And this is just the beginning. n


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Leading by example

From unknown beginnings to a turnover of RM1.65 billion, the success story of KPJ Healthcare Berhad is nothing short of inspiring. Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir Managing Director, KPJ Healthcare Berhad


t is the journey from ‘having a vision’ to ‘realising the vision’ that usually sets a leader apart, and this is best illustrated in the life and achievements of KPJ Healthcare Bhd Managing Director (MD), Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir. A pioneer and innovator, she is credited with transforming the landscape of healthcare in Malaysia. Having opened their first hospital in 1981 in Johor Bahru with only 60 beds, today KPJ Healthcare Bhd stands at a turnover of nearly RM1.65 billion and a market cap of more than RM2 billion ending 31 December 2010. Their breakthrough, however, was the acquisition of the Tawakal Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, which led to further acquisitions, thus lending them a base. In another key move, although the decision to spend over RM100 million on KPJ Ampang had met with criticism, it made a big difference to the way healthcare is viewed in Malaysia. Today, KPJ Healthcare Berhad has nearly 2,600 beds nationwide, and 10 new sites have been identified to build new hospitals. The road was not always smooth and at times the climb was steep, but Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir has not only defied the odds and taken risks, but, most importantly, she has encashed the opportunities that lie hidden in obstacles. Pioneers of healthcare Not the kind to rest on her laurels, she is already setting new goals for the record-breaking company. Driven by the enthusiasm to achieve the targeted

RM5 billion by 2020, in line with the Malaysian government’s vision of making that a watershed year, she exudes hope and optimism. KPJ Healthcare has embarked on the real estate investment trust (REIT) model, operating the world’s first listed Islamic healthcare REIT, creating value for shareholders, generating employment avenues and contributing to the GDP of the country. KPJ is also working to enhance the flow of foreign exchange into the country in conjunction with the corporatised vision of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, which has expanded its role from an advisory body to one with a far larger mandate. Since 2000, KPJ Hospitals have been accredited through the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health which is internationally accredited by International Society Quality in Health (ISQua), meeting to the needs of Patient Safety and international standard requirement. story of success What sets KPJ Healthcare Berhad apart is the world-class medical training it provides. It also helps propagate the potential of Malaysia as an investment hub, especially in greenfield projects. Medical tourism in Malaysia, a country with state-of-theart healthcare facilities and competitive costs, is an upcoming sector and holds immense potential for future investments. Emphasising the importance

of organisational management and leadership skills as the key to achieving success, Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir says, “Resources will always be limited and one has to work within the restraints of an allocated budget. It is only an efficient and effective bottom line that brings about success for an organisation. Continuous capacity building and innovation also go a long way in helping companies succeed.” A company that started from scratch, is today one of the top 100 companies listed in the market. And as fitting tribute to her determination and persistence to achieve KPJ’s motto ‘care for life’, Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir was awarded the muchcoveted Malaysia’s CEO of the Year Award 2009. Quite an achievement, considering she is the first woman ever to clinch the award in its 15-yearold history. n

Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir, jubilant after receiving the Malaysia’s CEO of the Year Award 2009


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Care with a Difference

KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital

KPJ Healthcare Berhad has established itself as Malaysia’s preeminent healthcare player, and its exploits with the REIT model have been a game changer for the industry.


hree decades of experience in Malaysia’s growing healthcare industry; a market cap of RM2.1 billion; a network of 20 hospitals in Malaysia and 2 in Indonesia; a staff comprising more than 8,000 personnel and 760 medical consultants; over 2,600 beds; 2.2 million outpatients and 220,000 inpatients in 2010—KPJ Healthcare Berhad’s statistics speak louder than words. Having redefined the concept of private healthcare in Malaysia, the company is now scaling new heights following its service-based, REIT-driven, ‘asset light’ philosophy. Banking on CHANGE A member of Johor Corporation Group, KPJ Healthcare started its journey in 1974, but its business really took off in 1981. In the initial days, the organisation defined itself as the “owner and manager of hospitals.” In more recent times though, the company has successfully shifted its focus to the real estate investment trust (REIT) model, and, since 2005, it has been unlocking the value of its assets in order to operate fully as managers. In 4 injections since 2006, KPJ Healthcare has channelled over RM1 billion into the world’s first Islamic healthcare REIT, which currently pays a very favourable annual dividend of 8 %. The REIT itself is insulated from the risks of the construction business, taking charge of the hospitals only when they are fully constructed. A great indicator of the distance KPJ Healthcare has traversed lies in the fact that when it started, it employed

management service consultants from UK and US, whereas now it is in a position to offer the same services, and a lot more, to its own clients. In fact, over the past 5 years, KPJ Healthcare has provided hospital management services to clients in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Dhaka, Bangladesh. MARCHING AHEAD KPJ Healthcare’s surge to the top has been driven by the core values of: • Ensuring SAFETY • Delivering service with COURTESY • Performing duties with INTEGRITY • Exercising PROFESSIONALISM at all times • Striving for CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT Guided by these values as well as the leadership of a visionary management team including the MD, Datin Paduka Siti Sa’diah Sheikh Bakir—who has been at the helm of affairs for an astonishing 30 years in KPJ—the company is helping corporatise the Malaysian healthcare sector at a fast clip. The company itself continued to delight stakeholders when it claimed a position in the top 100 on Bursa Malaysia by market capitalisation, its share price ending 2010 at a historic high and its market cap has reached an imposing RM2 billion. KPJ now aims to breach the RM5 billion mark by 2020. This is no mean feat for a team that once drew criticism for not trying to grow exponentially. KPJ hospitals have also won wide acclaim for their adherence to best practices. Several of them have been

accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH), and they have also been certified in the areas of quality management (MS ISO 9001:2000), environment management (MS ISO 14001:2004) and occupational safety and health (OSHA S 18001:1999), making them the preferred name in the Malaysian healthcare sector. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY In addition to running a successful business enterprise, KPJ Healthcare has registered a well-recognised presence in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The company’s most significant CSR vehicle is the Klinik Waqaf An-Nur (KWAN) programme. Through KWAN, the company gives back to the less fortunate by providing medical and clinic management services. The programme currently runs 13 outpatient charity clinics with dialysis centres, and its success—as well as the increasing need for such services—prompted KPJ Healthcare to establish the first Hospital Waqaf An-Nur in Pasir Gudang, in April 2006. In addition, KPJ Healthcare has managed several community outreach programmes, including one at Pulau Bluit, a very remote island in East Malaysia. The programme enlisted support from KPJ Healthcare’s Kuching Specialist Hospital (KcSH), in addition to the government and other partners, reaching out to 6,000 residents of 16 remote villages. KPJ Healthcare has also associated itself with the television programme ‘At-Tijarah Ramadan’, which was aired


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health during the Ramadan fasting month and was specially designed to help the underprivileged section of the community. Through the programme, KPJ sponsored the medical treatment of selected needy patients and also contributed to a fund managed by Johor Coporation meant to assist similar patients. KPJ Healthcare also organised a special medical camp in a village in Pontian, Johor, conducting health talks and creating health awareness among the people. MAINTAINING THE EDGE The management at KPJ Healthcare echoes the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) in its view that the industry in Malaysia is still in capacitybuilding mode. They stress that the path to fast growth will have to be lined by continuous capacity building and ignited by innovation. Equally important would be to inculcate a mindset that resists complacency and maintains relentless focus on growth. Accordingly, KPJ Healthcare has identified 10 sites in Malaysia to build new hospitals. This is a highly capitalintensive agenda, and it is here that the company will benefit the most from its REIT approach. Not only will it save the company from the hassles of having to

KPJ Seremban Specialist Hospital

convince multiple stakeholders, it will also open up the field for streamlined investor participation. KPJ Healthcare’s extensive experience in the field gives it yet another competitive edge difficult to beat. The management is confident that it can generate returns on investment from any hospital—depending on the location and logistics—in as little time as 2 years from the end of the construction period. They maintain that with cutting-edge branding and international marketing exercises, the business can enter a whole new level of profitability. Yet another critical area where KPJ Healthcare scores highly is in its approach to risk management, which is a sensitive subject for a healthcare organisation. The company has established a Clinical Governance Committee with the objective of ensuring the highest standards of safety and appropriate patient care in all its hospitals. The Committee has chalked out clearly defined responsibilities and also oversees the hospitals’ accountability for the overall quality of clinical care. Other innovations include a comprehensive programme for quality improvement, policies aimed at planning for and managing risks and guidelines to

identify and rectify poor performance. The Committee has produced a Clinical Risk Management Framework, which stipulates a coordinated approach for the management of clinical risks. Rising on such strong foundations, the company is confident about tackling competition from other healthcare tourism destinations, such as Thailand, Singapore and India. “If you want to be healed, be looked after and receive value-for-money service,” it says, “then we promise you will find it here.” And the world is listening, as evidenced by KPJ Healthcare’s growing international footprint. GOING GLOBAL KPJ Healthcare’s fundamental strengths, and its success with the REIT route in particular, make it a great ally for international players. The company sees a lot of potential in working with the Middle East, especially in the area of training healthcare personnel. The training function in this industry is typically quite expensive, and getting doctors, nurses or administration staff with high standards is often a major constraint for new entrants. KPJ Healthcare can play the role of an enabling partner-cum-mentor for such players, and its success in running its own 2,500-student-strong nursing and health science college, KPJ International College (KPJIC) offers ample proof of its capabilities. The company is also upbeat about the numerous opportunities to co-develop greenfield projects in the healthcare training space in Malaysia, which promise healthy returns on investment after the initial gestation period. Such projects can be specially packaged for Middle Eastern partners, who can rest easy in the knowledge that KPJ Healthcare’s much-awarded, pioneering REIT model ensures immediate rewards. With unflinching emphasis on “the continuous development and nurturing of its human and intellectual capital”, KPJ Healthcare Berhad is excellently placed to deliver longterm value, and its domestic as well international aspirations look set to gain a lot of momentum in the foreseeable future. n


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With a location right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City Centre, you are within walking distance from almost everything and anything. World class shopping, endless dining options , entertainment and nightlife are just a doorstep away.

In Good Hands

It is the perfect place to experience an authentic Malaysian getaway. A thriving city, Kuala Lumpur is one of Malaysia’s fastest growing One freest economies of the world, metropolitan areas.of Withthe its blend of contemporary sites, hospitable Prioritising patients’ safety and innovation, Georgia has been a story of radical reforms, people and vibrant culture, the city Institut Jantung Negara imparts an impression ripe growth with stable GDP and awe-inspiring foreign (IJN) has carved excitement. a niche for itself in cardiovascular and

direct investments.

At the Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur, you are truly at the centre of it all.


thoracic care.

team of cardiologists, cardiothoracic ince its inception in 1992, surgeons and anesthesiologists. In Institut Jantung Negara (IJN), a year, on average, IJN performed also known as the National 8,600 cardiac catheterizations and Heart Institute, has been a premier interventional procedures and 3,000 cardiovascular and thoracic care cardiac surgeries. The institute also centre in Malaysia, with an estimated Discover this for yourself at , designed boasts a driven electrophysiology and 1.6 million outpatients and 166,000 exclusively for you, our valued hospitality partner paediatric cardiology team and a heart inpatients. Led by the vision of (and lung) transplant team which positioning itself as a centre of excellence have been involved in groundbreaking in cardiovascular and thoracic care, procedures such as pulmonary artery IJN believes in constant innovation. As stenting, high percutaneous closure of a means to this end, 98mm the hospital boasts Bleed area: wide x 130.5mm defects (atrial septal defects, patent of a well-qualified and experienced ductus arteriosus and muscular ventricular septal defects), REGENCY HOTEL and heart and lung transplants. In 2009, IJN With a location right in the heart of embarked on the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, you are Tr a n s c a t h e t e r within walking distance from almost everything and anything. World class Aortic Valve shopping, endless dining options , Implantation entertainment and nightlife are just a doorstep away. ( T A V I ) programme, It is the perfect place to experience an authentic Malaysian getaway. A making it the first thriving city, Kuala Lumpur is one Asian country of Malaysia’s fastest growing metropolitan areas. With its blend to implant the of contemporary sites, hospitable people and vibrant culture, the city CoreValve. In 2010, imparts an impression ripe with IJN introduced the excitement. FDA approved At the Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala HeartMate II Lumpur, you are truly at the centre of it all. Mechanical Heart System as a destination therapy for patients with severe heart failure. “The GCC Discover this for yourself at M A L AY S I A I , designed holds immense KU ALA LU MPU R

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IJN has treated more than 1.6 million outpatients and 166,000 inpatients. potential as a market for cardiovascular and thoracic care. GCC’s population is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of around 3% by 2015, one of the highest in the world, which would further boost the number of overseas visitors to Malaysia seeking healthcare. These countries can play a defining role in ensuring the success of Malaysia’s healthcare sector by establishing an affiliation with IJN in providing expertise in cardiology and cardiothoracic care. We are also open to collaboration, strategic partnership and exchange of staff on management of heart centres. In fact, through active collaboration with leading international medical establishments such as the Papworth Hospital (UK), Heart and Diabetes Centre (Bad Oeynhause, Germany) and Children’s Heartlink and Minneapolis (U.S.A.), we are introducing state-of-the-art clinical techniques. One can be assured of comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programmes, which include physical and emotional support as well as diet counselling,” says Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr. Robaayah Zambahari, IJN CEO and MD. The possibilities as to how far science, technology and genuine care can help patients are endless. It is this growing trust that has established IJN as the premier provider for cardiovascular and thoracic care in the country. n

quarter page


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Health clcl


Enriching life together Pharmaniaga Berhad is a firm believer of team effort and strategic collaborations in delivering excellence. Jamaludin Elis

Senior General Manager, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technical Services, Pharmaniaga Berhad


he recent growth of healthcare in general and medical tourism in particular in Malaysia has propelled the country’s first Bursa Malaysia-listed healthcare company, Pharmaniaga Berhad, to new heights. A government-linked company, Pharmaniaga listed on Bursa Malaysia’s Second Board in 1999 with a paid-up capital of RM50 million and later migrated to Main Board in 2003 with an increased paid-up capital of RM100 million. The company’s turnover in 2009 was recorded to be RM1.3 billion. Malaysia’s strategic location as the ASEAN hub and the robust performance of its healthcare sector is an added advantage. Malaysia is a member of the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (jointly referred to as PIC/S), and this has greatly facilitated positioning Pharmaniaga as a forerunner in the pharmaceutical industry. Driven by collaborative efforts, healthy team work and the vision to establish itself as the preferred pharmaceutical brand, Pharmaniaga is involved in an array of business activities—logistics and distribution, sales and marketing, research and development (R&D) and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, among others. One of the main expansion strategies of Pharmaniaga has been partnership with various active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturers, contract research organisations (CROs) and leading pharmaceutical companies.

This approach has helped the company establish a firm foothold in the industry with collaboration agreements with companies from Korea, Europe, India and China already in hand. With 28 branches across Indonesia and a regional office in Vietnam, the future sure looks bright for this group. Several other plans have also been mapped out and deliberated for further expansion in order to keep pace with the growing competition in the global market, in line with Malaysia’s New Key Economic Areas (NKEAs). Mr. Jamaludin Elis, Senior General Manager, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Technical Services, says, “Innovation is one of the key initiatives that we will be diligently pursuing to realise our vision. We plan to constantly deliver something new to the sector in the next 5 years through our committed involvement in the field of branded generics (vaccines and biosimilars, especially Halal vaccines). Forging strategic alliances and joint ventures, c a p t u r i n g

new markets, providing valueadded services and introducing new delivery systems are also our focus areas.” Today, the Middle East is witness to significant economic growth and this fast-growing market holds tremendous potential for future growth. Through collaborative tie-ups with the Middle East as well as Africa, Pharmaniaga plans to establish itself as a recognisable brand within these regions. n


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economic Corridors Overview

Pillars of strength The economic corridors—NCER, SDC, SCORE, IM and ECER—represent the success Malaysia has set out to achieve in the coming years.


he economic corridors— Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), Iskandar Malaysia (IM) and East Coast Economic Region (ECER) —were formed with the ambitious plan of helping Malaysia reach the apex of economic growth. East Coast Economic Region (ECER), which occupies more than half of Peninsular Malaysia and Iskandar Malaysia (IM), the primary economic corridor of Johor, have been discussed at length in the following pages of this volume. NCER The states of Kedah, Perak, Perlis and Penang form the dynamic economic area of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). The Corridor is expected to boost Malaysia’s level of competitiveness, bringing it at par with the developed nations of the world by 2025. The strategies to introduce high value-added and knowledge-centric economic activities in this area lay stress on identifying initiatives to increase per capita income. In line with the government’s vision of growth in social equity, eradication of discrepancy in income distribution and achievement of holistic well-being of the rural communities, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA) was formed. This authority is actively involved in the region’s socioeconomic development in addition to supporting the key sectors, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

Acting as a facilitator for the growth of business propositions, the NCIA also provides the necessary support to direct foreign investments into the country and also helps position local companies in the global arena. Its blueprint for the sustainable development of the region’s economy by 2025 involves the development of ‘regional leadership through sustainable market growth’.

The economic corridors are Malaysia’s pillars of strength and growth. SCORE The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) is one of the 5 regional development corridors in Malaysia. It is a major initiative undertaken to develop the central region of Malaysia and to transform Sarawak into a developed state by 2020. The key driver in its economic development is private investments in energy-intensive and resource-based industries and their associated value-added activities. The resources of the Corridor, particularly its energy resources (28,000 MW), hydropower (20,000 MW), coal (5,000 MW), and others (3,000 MW), is expected to greatly benefit the economy by allowing Sarawak to price its energy competitively, and also generating investments in power- and energyintensive industries. Investors involved in joint ventures with this Corridor will receive attractive incentives, such as the Pioneer Status, Investment Tax Allowance

and Reinvestment Allowance being offered by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). Investors could also avail incentives from the Federal Government, such as infrastructure allowance, import duty exemption and double deductions on freight charges. SDC The Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) is the new development corridor of Sabah, Malaysia. To stimulate the overall industrial, commercial as well as socio-economic development of the region, the Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) was set up in 1971. With 10 major projects underway, SEDCO is geared to accelerate the economic development of this region by focussing on industrial infrastructure and tourism development as well as the creation of new growth centres. These new projects include the Waterfront Development, Bandar Baru Titingan urban renewal project, Kinarut South Satellite Township, Sandakan Integrated Exchange Terminal and the Apas Industrial Estate, standing at an estimated value of RM8,415 million and infrastructure cost of RM1,683 million. Malaysia is a country well endowed with resources, both human and natural, which, when steered in the right direction, can provide greater leverage to the economic growth of the country. And this is what the 5 economic corridors hope to achieve in the coming decade. n


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Economic Corridors

future perfect With its policies and framework in place, The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) is all set to take ECER to the next level of development. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John CEO, ECERDC


omprising the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, and the district of Mersing in Johor, Malaysia’s East Coast Economic Region (ECER) occupies more than half of Peninsular Malaysia. It has an area spanning across more than 66,000 sq km, with a population of nearly 3.9 million, representing about 14.5% of the total population of Malaysia. “Led by the noble vision of transforming ECER into a developed region by 2020, The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) was formed under the East Coast Economic Region Development Council Act 2008 (Act 688). A special purpose vehicle and statutory body, ECERDC is entrusted with the responsibility of implementing projects and key programmes identified in the ECER Master Plan,” says ECERDC CEO, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John. ECERDC plays a crucial role in the implementation of the directions, policies and strategies in relation to the region’s development, which covers the physical infrastructure as well as economic and social aspects. It establishes policies, direction, strategies and initiatives in relation to sustainable development, including environmental protection, management and conservation. Coordinating with the government agencies, it also undertakes investment promotion efforts for ECER, domestically and abroad. Under the able leadership of ECERDC CEO, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John, and his team of highly qualified

management professionals, ECERDC efficiently handles the responsibility of stakeholder engagement, programme and project coordination, and communications and promotions. Fostering relationships Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John emphasises the need to build trust as the starting point towards creating awareness about ECER among prospective investors. Acting as the one-point contact, ECERDC assists such investors in harnessing the region’s competitive edge and capabilities to achieve their business objectives. “We believe in establishing trust through direct interaction with the investors, instead of merely sending representatives. This will facilitate a better understanding and awareness of our country and in particular, the potential investment opportunities available here. In fact, we have already embarked on the mission to promote ourselves to the investors from the Middle East. We look forward to mutual collaboration in the sector of Halal industry, tourism, manufacturing and agricultural clusters, and green technology among others. We have the widely recognised Halal certification by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM), to ensure a secure business environment. We are already collaborating with the Middle East in terms of food security programme,” he further adds. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said that the Middle East has always held a position of prominence in the

country’s investment initiatives, and the similarity of culture and religion shared between the region and ECER (nearly 85% of its population being Muslim), only makes the business environment more favourable for the Middle Eastern investors. This scenario is further enhanced by the respect that the Middle East and Malaysia share for each other, making it conducive to the mutual exchange of ideas and thoughts and fostering stronger bilateral ties. The East Coast of Malaysia, with its natural beauty and minimal environmental damage, holds immense potential for investment through the sustainable development of green technology. The pristine forests and breathtaking coastline warrants a coalescence of eco, island and coastal tourism. Another unique feature of this economic corridor is the reserve of oil, gas and other natural resources, which can enhance the region’s development as a whole. Driven by the vision to transform itself into a developed region by 2020, preserving its ‘distinctive’ yet ‘dynamic’ and ‘competitive’ values and traditions, ECER sure stands true to its work philosophy. n For more information: (Tel.) +603 2035 0021/22 (Fax) +603 203 0020 (Email)


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Economic Corridors


Eastern allure A towering accomplishment spearheaded by the government of Malaysia, ECER is a tribute to the roaring, resurgent East.


key player in Malaysia’s growth, ECER (East Coast Economic Region) occupies a staggering 51% of the geographical area of Peninsular Malaysia and is home to 14% of the country’s population. But then, it is one thing to possess resources and quite another to translate them into a high-impact enterprise. This region, standing as it does as the gateway to the booming Far East and Asia Pacific markets with a combined GDP of USD17 trillion, has everything going for it when it comes to fulfilling this particular promise. SPREADING SOCIAL EQUITY Though it is such a tremendous commercial engine, ECER has its heart in the right place. Presided over by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, it seeks to eradicate hardcore poverty within the region, generate higher household incomes through sustainable livelihoods and increase employment and entrepreneurial avenues. Bolstered by focussed growth in the chosen five sectors— tourism, oil & gas and petrochemical, manufacturing, agriculture and education—ECER is expected to raise the profile of the Malaysian economy by boosting knowledge and innovation, addressing inequalities, improving the quality of life and strengthening the region’s infrastructure. One of the main features of the poverty alleviation programme is the Agropolitan Project, which is an integrated socio-economic initiative to help the hardcore poor communities

within the region. Under this project, land is allocated for livestock farming, crop planting and aquaculture, supported by processing and marketing activities and resettlement of hardcore poor families. ECER will also play a part in supporting Malaysia’s New Economic Model (NEM) for the creation of a high-income society in the country by 2020. The development of human capital is thus prioritised. KEY GROWTH TARGETS According to the ECER Master Plan, 2020 will mark the culmination of all the efforts and targets envisaged by the authorities. By then, the total population of the region is projected to increase to 4.3 million, leading to the

creation of 560,000 new jobs. Nearly half of these are expected to come from the proposed SEZ within the ECER, which could contribute USD6.75 billion to the country’s GDP. ECERDC (ECER Development Council) has introduced various human development initiatives in the region and engaged with universities under its Centres of Excellence (COE) initiative. The authorities also recognise that coordination between the Council and other bodies, cooperation between all the states in the regions, efforts to complement other regional development plans and incentivising public-private partnerships will be critical to the attainment of these targets.

ECER Malaysia covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and the district of Mersing, Johor


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Economic Corridors

Dubai-based Oilfields Supply Centre Ltd signed a joint venture with Tanjong Agas Suply Base & Marine Services Sdn Bhd

INCENTIVES FOR INVESTORS The 5 key economic clusters in ECER— tourism, oil & gas and petrochemical, manufacturing, agriculture and education—are all packed with growth potential, and the ECER is also going all out to incentivise investments in them. Some of the fiscal incentives include income tax exemption of up to 10 years, Investment Tax Allowance (ITA) amounting to 100% of the qualifying expenditure for up to 10 years and exemption on stamp duty, import duty and excise tax. To encourage research & development (R&D) in the region, investors are also eligible for double deduction on cash contribution to approved research bodies. Investors are, however, required to commence operations prior to 31 December 2015 to avail these incentives. In addition, non-fiscal incentives include discounts for land premium, quit rent and land assessment, guaranteed land lease periods for a specific period and flexibility in the employment of expatriates. Investors with the ECER status can also benefit from the special flexibility in foreign exchange administration under Bank Negara Malaysia. A registered business entity supported or approved by ECERDC to undertake projects and activities within this region may qualify for this exclusive status. In terms of investment, the Middle East has already been identified as a focus market. In 2010, ECERDC organised an investment mission led by Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, to Abu Dhabi as well as Jeddah and Riyadh

in Saudi Arabia to attract investors. This mission has paid rich dividends in the form of the Dubai-based Oilfields Supply Center Ltd (OSC) and Tanjong Agas Supply Base and Marine Services Sdn Bhd (TASBMS) having signed an agreement to build, own, manage and operate a Multifunctional Common User Supply Base within the Tanjong Agas Oil and Gas and Logistics Industrial Park (TAOGLIP), located in the ECER SEZ. Both these companies have committed a total initial investment of USD200 million for the development of the supply base. POTENTIAL Areas for Investment The vast area under ECER covers the states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang and also the district of Mersing in Johor. Of these, Kelantan’s geographical location makes it an ideal centre for cross-border trade and tourism on the East Coast. Alongside an education hub in Kota Bharu-Bachok, the region will also be home to the ‘plug and play’ Pasir Mas Halal Park, which is currently being promoted to Middle Eastern investors. The park will also act as a hub for the export of Halal food products through a Free Zone. Terengganu’s greatest strength lies in its tourism potential. The Kuala Terengganu City Centre (KTCC) will be a Heritage Waterfront City and a gateway to the East Coast for foreign tourists. Terengganu is also the leading oil, gas & petrochemical hub in Peninsular Malaysia and will benefit from the establishment of the Kertih Polymer Park (KPP) in the ECER SEZ.

The state will also house numerous goat breeding farms as part of the livestock sub-cluster as well as a 1,139acre herbal farm in Pasir Raja, Dungun. Additionally, it will promote human capital development through a network of reputable colleges and universities in the Knowledge Park. Pahang, the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, will be the centrepiece of ECER’s industrial and logistics activities. Significantly, Pahang will be the centre of the ECER SEZ, which is expected to catalyse growth across the region. Another notable development in the state is the Gambang Halal Park, a 200-acre ‘plug and play’ property, which also offers vast opportunities to Middle Eastern investors, with a focus on high value-added industries. Other key projects in Pahang are the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC), Pekan Automotive Industrial Park, Rompin Integrated Pineapple Plantation and a 825-acre herbal farm in Chegar Perah, Lipis. The state will also focus on the livestock sector, particularly on cattle production. The district of Mersing is expected to emerge as a vital mainland coastal tourism destination and will also see various initiatives to support the local fishing community, through developments such as the Fish Processing Park in Endau. MESSAGE TO THE WORLD According to the Council, every challenge facing the region represents a unique opportunity for its investors. Many infrastructure projects are still in the implementation stage, indicating considerable room for investments. In comparison with the West Coast, the ECER has fewer education institutions, which translates into opportunities for industry players to establish their presence here. Opportunities also abound in downstream economic activities and human capital development. In keeping with the government’s keenness to play an active role in championing the growing markets of the Far East and Asia Pacific, ECER is set to take the region’s economic growth to new heights.


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Economic Corridors


ECER Special economic zone (ECER SEZ) Stretching from Kertih, Terengganu, to Pekan, Pahang, a vital component in ECER’s investor attractions is the ECER SEZ, which will act as the catalyst for focused economic growth in the region. Endowed with a strategic location facing the South China Sea, which translates into easy access to regional as well as international markets that include the ASEAN and Asia Pacific regions, the ECER SEZ will consist of 4 ports, 2 airports and innovation zones to support the highvalue manufacturing, petrochemicals and plastics industries, as well as agriculture and tourism clusters.

ECER SEZ was launched by Malaysia’s Prime Minister in August 2009 and will act as the catalyst for focused economic growth in the region

A NUCLEUS OF GROWTH In keeping with its central presence in ECER’s scheme of things, by 2020 the SEZ is expected to account for 50% of all jobs in the region and add USD6.75 billion to Malaysia’s GDP. Its investment potential is estimated at an impressive USD26.4 billion. Good infrastructure is one of the strongest magnets for investors interested in the SEZ. It covers 2 growth areas in the central and east coast corridors and is well connected to Kuala Lumpur and the West Coast through the East Coast Expressway. The future looks bright for the SEZ, thanks in no small measure to the availability of competitive human capital, a favourable socio-economic climate, government support and investor-friendly business policies.

INVESTOR-FRIENDLY POLICIES ECERDC has already developed a One-Stop Centre for potential investors in ECER, and it is also prepared to expedite the approval process, supported by a high-power task force including heads of state agencies. ECERDC could also assist in obtaining lower land premiums to ease the initial capital expenditure burden off investors. Certain companies may also apply for ECER status, which will qualify them for special incentives, loan application facilitation, faster application process and unlimited hiring of knowledge workers and skilled expatriates. At the same time, investors are also encouraged to leverage on the readily available human capital from ECER itself.

Primary FEATURES One of the key components of the SEZ is the development of the Kuantan Port City. Located in Pahang, the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, the port is expected to become a gateway for Asia Pacific trade. It is slated to handle over 30 million tonnes of cargo annually by 2020, almost twice its capacity in 2009. Other major upgrades to facilities in the SEZ are also planned for Kemaman Port and Kuantan Airport. Among the other establishments, the Pekan Automotive Industrial Park (AIP) has already attracted global giants such as DRB-Hicom, Mercedes and Suzuki. Tourism will also get adequate representation in ECER SEZ through projects such as Pantai Sepat Mainland Coastal Tourism, Cherating Tourism Town, Kijal Mainland Coastal Tourism and Pekan Heritage Tourism. A BEACON FOR THE FUTURE The integrated nature of the ECER SEZ makes for an excellent investment case and sets it up as a truly unique and distinctive world-class business destination. Apart from its tremendous development potential, its biggest attraction lies in all the development that has already taken place. The infrastructure is in place, making things conducive for rapid expansion. This is a treasure for the future, one that will be savoured for a long time to come. n

The Kuantan Port City in the ECER SEZ will be a key gateway to the burgeoning markets of Asia Pacific


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economic Corridors

Surging Ahead Constantly innovating and upgrading itself, IRDA is all geared up to make Iskandar Malaysia the booming economic corridor of Southern Peninsular Malaysia. En Ismail Ibrahim

Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA)


skandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is the Malaysian Government’s statutory body vested with the responsibilities of regulating stakeholders, in both public and private sectors, in order to transform Iskandar Malaysia into a developed metropolis. INVESTMENTS GALORE Despite the economic crisis, IRDA attracted investments worth RM65.73 billion up to October 2010, of which 43% were foreign direct investments from some of the world’s biggest names including Pinewood Studios, Legoland, Maersk, Evergreen, GE, Mubadala and Kuwait Finance House. Iskandar Malaysia is currently (2010–2015) implementing various development blueprints. During 2016– 2025, it will be involved in sustaining and innovating the projects already implemented, particularly through the Comprehensive Development Plan. “Iskandar Malaysia is a long-term, sustainable investment destination and we are looking for investors willing to commit long-term investments as this will help fight economic adversities. Unique in having exceeded investment targets, even during an economic downturn, we made the most of this calamity by building our human capital and talents by training unskilled workers and conducting contractor workshops, to ensure that when the global economy recovers, there is a bigger pool of talent ready,” says IRDA Chief Executive, En Ismail Ibrahim. He further adds, “Investors recognise sustainable long-term investment

opportunities in Iskandar—with its unparalleled strategic location across the bridge from Singapore and at the heart of ASEAN market, which is already a hub for high-value-added activities. Our strategic location provides various opportunities for companies to leverage on the advantages offered by both the countries simultaneously.” In fact, many companies are already realising tangible benefits of the global connectivity and expertise offered in Singapore along with the competitive costs and space for expansion in Iskandar Malaysia. Iskandar Malaysia’s benefits are not restricted to Johor but are also spilling over to the neighbouring states, stepping up the local talent in line with the Malaysian government’s vision of creating a highincome economy.

IRDA had attracted investments worth RM65.73 billion up to October 2010. SUCCESS STORIES Some of the highlights of IRDA’s success story include Kota Iskandar, their new state administrative centre, the Puteri Harbour Waterfront, Horizon Hills golf residential community and East Ledang residential community. Infrastructure projects such as the new coastal highway are due for completion in 2011 and key projects such as Legoland and Marlborough College Malaysia are scheduled to open in 2012. 2011 will also witness the opening of the Johor Premium Outlets, which will be the

first of its kind in South East Asia, and the Newcastle Medical School campus in Educity is underway as well. Medini, the mixed use development funded by the consortium of Mubadala, Kuwait Finance House and Saraya Holdings, is also expected to start operations. With its diverse promotional activities, apart from the role it plays in regulation, planning and facilitation, IRDA has also been a strong support system to Iskandar Malaysia. The Authority has participated in important events such as the Dubai Cityscape and Abu Dhabi Cityscape and the World Economic Forum Asia. It also organises the Iskandar Johor Open Golf Tournament. A notable contribution has been the IRDA Iskandar Service Centre, which has successfully reduced the lead times for business approvals by 30–90%. TEAM EFFORT ALL THE WAY The commitment and support of IRDA’s Co-chairmen, YAB the Prime Minister of Malaysia and YAB the Menteri Besar of Johor, is critical to the success of Iskandar Malaysia, both in terms of what it has already accomplished and the various achievements soon to follow. A firm believer of ‘Business Unusual’, IRDA is constantly innovating and formulating new ways to do things better and is all set to make Iskandar Malaysia the one-stop destination to ‘invest, work, live and play’, aided largely by the support of its diverse, talented and committed workforce. n


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economic Corridors


JEWEL IN THE CROWN The Prime Minister of Malaysia believes that by 2025, Iskandar will be a “premier economic growth area” with the highest standards of living.


he reason for the Malaysian Prime Minister’s faith in Iskandar Malaysia’s future, and the global buzz around the region, is best captured by an impressive array of statistics. For starters, it encompasses an area of 2,217sq km, which is about thrice the size of Singapore and twice the size of Hong Kong. Further, in only 4 years since its inception, it has attracted USD20.77 billion in committed investments, comfortably higher than the USD15.2 billion previously expected by end-2010. And to top it all, 41.7% of the committed investments have already been actualised, notwithstanding the recent global economic crisis. If these numbers tell a story of amazing opportunities, then the moral of the story is best captured by the “Engage, Envision, Enable” mantra lying at the heart of the core values driving the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), which seeks to establish Iskandar as the firstchoice destination to invest, work, live and play in a world-class environment.

RUNWAY TO GROWTH Iskandar’s biggest advantage comes in the form of its unmatched market reach, covering 800 million potential consumers as the gateway to the ASEAN region. Located at 6 to 8 hours’ flying distance from Asia’s booming cities—Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Dubai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo—Iskandar is accessible by air, land, rail and sea and is flanked by 3 major ports. Its proximity to Singapore is a major advantage, as is Malaysia’s membership in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore growth triangle, enabling Iskandar to tap into South East Asia’s fastest growing outsourcing hub. STRONG BACKBONE Johor, the state that will incubate Iskandar, offers a mature economic backbone, large pool of skilled workforce and strong financial and other support services. In turn, the development activities in Iskandar will push the state’s overall GDP growth to 7% from 5.5%. Its low cost of living relative to some cities in neighbouring countries, plentiful and secure housing options and scenic landscape also make Johor a compelling destination, exemplifying the larger theme—“Malaysia, my second home”—which has won over investors from around the world.

The Bio Technology Park

FLAGSHIP AREAS IRDA has identified 6 prominent sectors of the service industry— creative industries, healthcare, education, logistics, financial advisory and consulting and tourism—as the pillars of Iskandar in its Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP). All developments will be concentrated in the following 5 ‘flagship areas’. Johor Bahru (Flagship A), the capital city of Johor, is located in the central part of Iskandar Malaysia and receives 60% of all tourists in the country. Its key economic activities include financial services, commerce and retail, arts and culture, hospitality, urban tourism, plastic manufacturing, electrical and electronics and food processing. Extremely well connected to the suburbs through 2 major highways, in addition to a planned multi-modal terminal and new highways, Johor Bahru also boasts of direct access to Singapore through the Causeway, featuring a 6-lane road and a railway line. The 450-acre Danga Bay, planned as an exclusive international lifestyle and financial centre; the Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim (BSI) complex, Malaysia’s largest Customs, Immigration and Quarantine complex; and the historic Sultan Ibrahim Building with its Saracenic character and mosaic detail are some of the other attractions in the city. The main international players in the city include HSBC, City Group, Kuwait Finance House, YKK, Celestica, Lion Group, Sumitomo and Kerry’s Ingredients.


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economic Corridors The city of Nusajaya (Flagship B), strategically located within 45 minutes from Singapore’s Changi International Airport and 20 minutes from Johor’s Senai International Airport, hosts one of the largest property developments in South East Asia, with 24,000 acres of contiguous land ready for use. The city’s seven highlights include Kota Iskandar, a 320-acre ultramodern government complex that will enhance support to businesses; the 688-acre integrated waterfront development at Puteri Harbour, featuring canal homes, resorts and business facilities and a transport hub; the 305-acre Educity@Iskandar, an integrated best-in-class education and R&D hub that is all set to host the local campus of the University of Newcastle; the 67.2-acre Afiat Healthpark offering modern, traditional and complementary medicine and wellness facilities and home to Columbia Asia’s large hospital complex; the 64-acre integrated LEGOLAND Malaysia theme park, surrounded by 1 million sq ft of retail outlets, offices and hotels; a “clean, green and world-class managed industrial park” called Southern Industrial Logistics and Clusters; and Nusajaya Residences, an oasis of greenery with modern amenities. Apart from these, Nusajaya will also see the development of Medini Iskandar Malaysia, a 2,230-acre international mixed-used complex, under the aegis of the Middle Eastern Consortium (Mubadala, Kuwait Finance House and Millennium Development) and Iskandar Investment Berhad. Medini will feature residential, cultural and financial clusters and is valued at USD1.2 billion.

Medini Iskandar Malaysia

Western Gate Development (Flagship C) is a 30,000-acre complex, housing businesses such as port and marine services, warehousing, logistics, engineering, hi-tech manufacturing, food production, petrochemicals and entreport trade. The landmark developments within this flagship area include the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, ranked the 17th busiest port in the world in 2008 and voted ‘Asia’s Container Terminal of the Year’ in 2004 and 2006; the 1,920metre Malaysia-Singapore Second Link bridge; the 23,000-acre Ramsar Heritage Park, which is the world’s largest uninhabited mangrove island; the 2,100MW Tanjung Bin Power Plant; a planned Regional Petroleum Hub at Tanjung Bin; and a 2,215-acre Maritime Centre, again at Tanjung Bin. About 7,000 acres of land in the Free Trade Zone in Port of Tanjung Pelepas are still available for development in various sectors, including warehousing and international procurement. The main businesses in Eastern Gate Development (Flagship D) include electrical and electronic, chemical, food products, ports and logistics, warehousing, research and development, plastics and education as a strong emerging industry. Located in the Pasir Gudang Area, this flagship’s notable features include 4 higher learning establishments in the pipeline, which augment Pasir Gudang’s status as a ‘City of Knowledge’. Other features include Asia Pacific Trade and Expo City—the largest trade and distribution centre for mass-consumer products from China, Taiwan, Korea, India and ASEAN countries; the 4,198acre Tanjung Langsat Industrial Complex; the Tanjung Langsat Port, which positions itself as South East Asia’s premier speciality terminal; the Pasir Gudang Industrial Park, home to the world’s largest edible oil tankage facility; the acclaimed Pasir Gudang Moto GP circuit; and the multi-utility Johor Port. Senai-Skudai (Flaghsip E) specialises in airport services, engineering, electrical and electronics and education and will also be the hub for agro and food processing, ICT and retail tourism.

Main attractions include the Senai International Airport, upgraded to cater to the A380, with a capacity of 4.5 million passengers and 100,000 tonnes of cargo per annum and the location of the proposed 10,000-sq ft Aero Mall; the 200-acre Senai Free Zone, ideal for logistics, high-tech manufacturing and halal distribution; the 2,800-acre Senai Logistics City; Malaysia’s oldest public engineering and technological university, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia; the 150-acre mixed development township MSC Malaysia Cyberport; and the Johor Premium Outlet, a luxury tourist shopping destination co-developed by Genting Properties and Simon Chelsea Properties from the US. WELCOMING THE WORLD Foreign investors are crucial to Iskandar’s future, and virtually every investor class in Iskandar is entitled to lucrative incentives. The Government has offered investors a host of fiscal incentives, including full tax exemptions for up to 10 years and partial tax exemptions up to 70% of statutory income. There have also been various incentives in the indirect tax regime, such as the designation of free zones and bonded warehouse facilities. In terms of financial services, MIDA (Malaysian Investment Development Authority) offers 10 years tax exemption on the provision of regional headquarters services to related companies. The Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) offers tax exemption for Islamic financial institutions on transactions in international currencies. The Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) offers 10 years Pioneer Status with tax exemption at 100% of statutory income encouraging the development of halal parks. Signficantly, Iskandar Malaysia has seen 54:46 participation from foreign and local investors, indicating a healthy domestic thrust. Middle Eastern investors have so far accounted for USD1.35 billion, and India and China also have noticeable stakes. All pointers thus lead to an irresistibly balanced and diversified portfolio, a glittering jewel in Malaysia’s star-studded crown. n


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Tourism overview


Dream Destination Bursting with life and colour, Malaysia is an exotic land waiting to be explored.


alaysia is a traveller’s dream. Be it a back-packing globetrotter or a travel connoisseur, Malaysia has surprises tucked away for all. From pristine beaches to breathtaking mountains, lush rainforests to meandering rivers, coral-fringed islands to majestic valleys, Malaysia is a treasure trove of natural beauty. A fascinating holiday destination, it offers a rich, cultural and traditional potpourri, infusing the very best of Indian, Malay and Chinese civilisations. The already thriving Malaysian tourism industry is gradually branching out into innovative and new areas resulting in the emergence of agrotourism, educational tourism and medical tourism. The technological advancements, political stability, diverse cultural landscape and competitive costs of Malaysia make the environment conducive to learning. The country’s rich natural resources and agro-related activities account for the emergence of the new concept of agro-tourism and tourists are gradually warming up to the idea, including visits to orchards, animal centres, research centres and homestay programmes in their itinerary. The world-class medical facilities and absolute value for money make it a much sought-after medical destination in Asia and globally. Perfect getaway Vibrant towns and cities dotted with towering buildings make up the urban landscape of Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur (KL), its capital, is a city

pulsating with life and activity. With a population of nearly 1.6 million, KL represents a mélange of cultures and races. The iconic high-rise buildings and structures such as the Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower are juxtaposed against the colonial buildings, creating a delightful contrast. The main attractions in KL include the National Musuem, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Merdeka Square, National Palace, National Art Gallery, Masjid Negara and the Aquaria KLCC, to name a few. KL is a shopper’s paradise with something that fits every taste and budget. From high-end shopping arcades to open-air bazaars, KL has it all. It is also the gastronomic capital of Malaysia with an array of options such as gourmet restaurants, coffee houses,

delicatessens and alfresco cafés, which will leave you spoilt for choice. Another popular tourist destination in Malaysia is Langkawi. With delightful beaches such as Pantai Cenang, Burau Bay, Pantai Kok and Pantai Datai and unmatched worldclass resorts, Langkawi offers a range of accommodation options to choose from. Among the various 5-star accommodations available, The Westin Hotel Resort & Spa, strategically located 1km from the main harbour of Langkawi, is the perfect place to unwind amidst the idyllic natural setting. Most tourists agree that Langkawi’s biggest attraction is its natural, undisturbed state. The lush rainforests with limestone outcrops, the refreshingly green paddy fields, sea caves and freshwater lakes provide a

The majestic exteriors of the Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur


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Tourism Overview River. Kota Kinabalu, a bustling city on the west coast of Sabah, is a gateway to eco-adventures like mountain climbing, white-water rafting, caving, diving and river cruising. Sarawak is the country’s largest state forming part of East Malaysia in Borneo. Characterised by diverse ethnic communities, the major tourist attractions here include the Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sarawak Museum, Fort Margherita, Damai Beach and Sarawak Heritage Village,. The National Zoo, situated just 13km northeast of KL, houses some 200 species of animals, birds and reptiles including orangutans

host of nature-based adventures. Other important tourist attractions here include the Eagle Square, Pulau Payar Marine Park, and Taman Ladenda Scenic Park. Founded in 1786, Penang is UNESCO’s World Heritage City and the oldest British Strait Settlement. The fascinating city of Georgetown, which once served as the hub of spice, tea and cotton trade from China and India, with its eclectic blend of colonial, Indian and Moorish cultures, is a treat for the senses. Prominent attractions

here include Kapitan Keling Mosque, and the Goddess of Mercy Temple. Wat Chayamangkalaram, the temple with the reclining Buddha, is reputed to the world’s best Thai temple. The states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo offer visitors a unique experience with their warm hospitality and green landscapes. Sabah is a global wildlife sanctuary with Kinabalu Park being Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site. Other eco-treasures include Poring Hot Springs, Turtle Island Park, Sepilok, Tabin and the Kinabatangan

a journey to remember To facilitate the easy entry of tourists into the country the Malaysian government has undertaken initiatives such as the Malaysia My Second Home Programme, which allow foreigners who fulfill certain criteria to stay in Malaysia for as long as possible on a multiple-entry Social Visit Pass, which is initially for 10 years, and is renewable. From shopping to trekking, indulging in a delectable choice of gourmet food to just lounging by the bay, Malaysia assures that every minute of your trip is filled to the brim with excitement and you have memories to last you a lifetime. n


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The TRUE spirit of asia Malaysia, in all its astonishing variety, represents the true essence and vitality of Asia and everything Asian. YB Dato Sri` Dr. Ng Yen Yen Minister of Tourism


espite the economic meltdown in 2009, Malaysia recorded a whopping 23.65 million tourists visiting the country. A significant increase of 7.2% compared to the figures of 2008 (22.05 million arrivals),” says Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, YB Dato Sri` Dr. Ng Yen Yen. This statistic is a good starting point to understand the reputation that Malaysia holds as a tourist destination—its vibrant economy and kaleidoscopic cultural landscape being key factors. Today, it ranks second, after China, in the Asian tourism market. The ‘Visit Malaysia Year 2007’ programme, which coincided with Malaysia’s 50th year of independence, marked a significant milestone in the history of the Malaysian tourism industry, recording an incredible growth rate of 19.5% in tourist arrivals compared to 2006. Investment tie-ups In its bid to attract foreign investments, particularly from the Middle East, the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, is undertaking various initiatives. These include participating in the Arabian Travel Mart (ATM), which will provide a platform to the country to establish industry relations with interested parties and facilitate interaction between buyers and sellers from the travel and trade fraternity. In the recently held ATM, the Ministry had the wonderful opportunity to meet some eminent personalities from the airlines and tourism industry from the Middle East. Abounding with investment

opportunities for multinationals across the world, especially the Middle East, Malaysia offers various tax initiatives to investors. Such investment opportunities with tax incentives include sectors such as tourism and hospitality, food and beverage and finance. Malaysia, today, is host to over 5,000 foreign companies from across the globe including United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. In the last 35 years, some of the world’s biggest names that have made Malaysia their investment base include GE, Agilent, B.Braun, Dutch Lady, Ericsson, Fuji Electric, Samsung, Philips and Volvo. Many of these success stories have over the years expanded and diversified their operations in the country, reflecting their confidence in the country’s business environment.

Malaysia is host to over 5,000 companies from United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Malaysia also stands at the forefront of Islamic finance and is the world’s largest sukuk (Islamic bonds) market, which are backed by physical assets and pay profit rates. According to analysts, the robust performance of Malaysia’s sovereign sukuk reflects the strength of the country’s financial sector, capital market as well as its external position. Malaysia is also on the verge of becoming a halal hub for the Gulf region, thus, enabling the investors to participate in halal business projects.

Some of the Middle Eastern companies, which have entered into partnerships and joint ventures with government projects are Kuwait Finance House and Al Rajhi Bank. Already making its presence felt in the Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait, the Ministry is packaging trips for oil and real estate companies. In addition, two more convention centres, one in Kuala Lumpur and the other in Sarawak, have been set up for business purposes. milestones “People appreciate diversity of experiences and we can offer them that. A visit to Malaysia will enrich their experiences and revitalise their senses. We take pride in being a multicultural country coupled with political stability, religious tolerance, safety and investment opportunities. We do not consider the neighbouring countries as a threat but rather aim to cooperate with them in making Asia a one-stop holiday destination,” adds YB Dato Sri` Dr. Ng Yen Yen. Playing a congenial host with its rich cultural diversity and political and economic stability, Malaysia stands true to its tagline ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’. This is reflected in the large number of tourists visiting Malaysia and also in the recognition that it has garnered along the way. Given Malaysia’s credentials it comes as no surprise that it features in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2010’ and was awarded the Global Traveller’s International Tourism Destination Award for 2008 (its third consecutive win)—an achievement indeed. n


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Royal Retreat

With world-class service and gracious Malaysian hospitality, The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming the onestop destination for the discerning business traveller.


et in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s downtown business district, The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur is fast emerging as a strong contender in the Malaysian hotel industry. On arrival at the hotel, what instantly captures the imagination is its unique design, which is reflective of Malay heritage architecture. “Currently, 30–40% of the business comes from leisure travellers. We are aiming to reverse the dynamics, making it essentially business-centric— the targeted ratio being 20:80,” says The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur General Manager, Mr. Franz Swoboda. The Royale Chulan has 400 rooms with executive and premier suites; king-sized bedrooms and club rooms; 6 restaurants, including a Chinese cuisine eatery and a cigar lounge. The

hotel also features a coffee house and a French fine-dining restaurant called L’Heritage. In addition, it unveiled Bunga Emas Restaurant, a one-of-itskind Malay fine-dining restaurant. A major attraction for GCC clients are the 2-bedroom and 1-bedroom apartments (102 in all) and studios fitted with wellequipped kitchenettes. The hotel also features a club floor with a lounge, where breakfast is served accompanied by 5-star executive services. Guests can also savour a wonderful sit-down dinner in the spacious ballroom that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The hotel takes pride in its unique indoor courtyard, which can seat nearly 500–600 guests at a time. Although it is used mostly for dinners and wedding ceremonies, guests are welcome

Franz Swoboda

General Manager, The Royale Chulan Kuala Lumpur to take a leisurely stroll, soaking in the courtyard’s natural beauty. “The hotel was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in this glass-encased courtyard, which gave a grand view of the fireworks show. This spectacle was conceptualised by Boustead Holdings Berhad Group MD Tan Sri Lodin, who was very involved in the day-to-day operations prior to the opening of the hotel. The personal involvement of the management adds to the unique charm of this hotel, making it a home away from home,” adds Mr. Swoboda. n

a global brand Powered by its unique brand legacy, Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur, promises to go that extra mile for its esteemed guests.


trategically located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle District is Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur, the opening of which in 2010 marked a significant milestone in the chain’s international brand portfolio. The upscale hotel boasts a refreshingly new design scheme offering contemporary amenities and worldclass services. The hotel has 540 wellequipped rooms and deluxe, executive and terrace suites, all fitted with the brand’s signature Sweet Dreams™ by Doubletree sleep experience. In addition, it offers premium meeting facilities with 20,000 sq ft of dedicated event space over a grand ballroom and 9 function rooms with advanced audio-visual equipment. The hotel also features 5 food and beverage outlets

with Makan Kitchen; a true showcase of Malaysian dining, where guests can relish unique Malaysian cuisines, such as Peranakan, Chinese, Malay, Indian, Malaccan-Portuguese and also local indigenous dishes. The hotel takes pride in its fitness centre geared with the latest gym equipment by Precor. A dip in the outdoor landscaped saltwater pool is the perfect way to enjoy Malaysia’s beautiful tropical climate. “We are driven by our service philosophy, CARE (Caring, Attentive, Responsive and Empowered), bringing alive the legacy of our founder, Conrad Hilton and his vision of ‘filling the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality’. Providing service that goes beyond the expected is the cornerstone of our global success. Mandatory orientation programmes and job-specific skills

Ian Barrow

General Manager, Doubletree by Hilton training ensures that our staff is wellversed with the knowledge of Doubletree’s unique 41-year-old brand history in delivering this promise,” says Doubletree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur General Manager, Mr. Ian Barrow. Given the hotel’s proximity to the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s financial and commercial hubs, which are also famous tourist destinations, the hotel is a perfect getaway for business and leisure travellers alike. n


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A round-up of some of the finest hotels, resorts and serviced residences in Malaysia.

The Westin Kuala Lumpur Set right in the heart of Malaysia’s capital is the refreshing and unique Westin Kuala Lumpur. The close proximity to the Jalan Bukit Bintang and Pavillion Shopping Mall makes it irresistible for visitors to indulge in mainstream shopping as well as dining at the finest restaurants and cafés. A stay at this luxurious hotel is an absolute treat for the senses, from the visually delightful botanical gardens to specially choreographed music. The Westin KL houses 443 rooms, 63 of which are residences. During the summer months, the 2-bedroom apartments are often booked by Middle Eastern clients. The hotel also features a MICE centre and an executive lounge. Guests at the hotel will be spoilt for choice in the individually branded restaurants—Prego, Qba and EEST. Even the breakfast here is an adventure, with different elements put together such as live cooking and a deli-style breakfast. Malaysia, given its rich cultural milieu, makes it easy for Middle Eastern guests to assimilate in it. As a hotel, The Westin KL enhances this charm with a unique experience, ensuring that all guests leave with a good feeling.

Kim Powley

General Manager, The Westin Kuala Lumpur

Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel For 13 years, the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel has held court as one of the city’s leading business hotels. The hotel’s most awe-inspiring feature is its stunning, 4-storey high lobby atrium, an architectural feat reminiscent of grand Moorish mosques. The hotel has a staggering 385 guest rooms and offers 1440 sq m of event space devoted to 11 event rooms, boardrooms and the magnificent

Wolfgang Boettcher

General Manager, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel

Nusantara Ballroom, all of which can be transformed into unique settings suited for every occasion. The hotel also features the Sheraton Fitness, a gym with professional-grade machines to tailor-fit any fitness regime. Partnering with Mandara Spa, the hotel provides its guests with revitalising spa treatments. Guests can savour the most exotic gourmet cuisines from across the world in the award-winning restaurants—Essence, which provides all-day dining; Celestial Court, the heaven of Cantonese cuisine; Villa Danieli, an authentic Italian restaurant and Pavilions Lounge, a tranquil rendezvous featuring refreshing cocktails and live entertainment.

Ascott Kuala Lumpur Located right across the iconic Petronas Towers is the Ascott Kuala Lumpur, operated by The Ascott Limited, the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. Ascott is one of the pioneers to make inroads into the Malaysian serviced residence market. The company has built a strong brand reputation over the years with its deep knowledge of the industry. Through its customer-centric approach, Ascott Kuala Lumpur has also won several accolades including the Business Traveller Asia-Pacific’s ‘Best Serviced Residence in Asia Pacific Award’ and Expatriate Lifestyle’s ‘The Best of Malaysia’s Best Serviced Residence Excellence Award’ in 2010. Guests at Ascott Kuala Lumpur can enjoy spacious and elegant studios, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that come with a fully-equipped kitchen, home entertainment system and broadband Internet access. There are extensive business and recreational facilities including conference and meeting rooms, a children’s playroom, swimming pool, jacuzzi, gymnasium, spa and tennis court as well as an award-winning restaurant, 7atenine. Furthermore, travellers can have convenient access to various dining,

Tony Ho

Country General Manager for Malaysia, The Ascott Limited


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TOURISM retail and lifestyle facilities in Suria KLCC Shopping Mall known for its self-contained live, work and play environment. Personalised services can also be expected as Ascott takes pride in going the extra mile for its guests. Ascott is the only serviced residence company to have a dedicated training centre of its kind, the Ascott Centre for Excellence in Singapore. Ascott Kuala Lumpur offers efficient business support services in a luxurious and exclusive environment, so discerning expatriates and business travellers can relax and recharge to function at peak performance. Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur Standing true to its tagline ‘You will never miss home’, the Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur has been successful in establishing a firm foothold in the global hospitality market, especially in the Middle East. Located strategically at a convenient distance from the city centre, guests here can indulge in shopping and dining at the nearby high-end malls and bazaars. The Bukit Bintang, the shopping and entertainment district of KL, the International Convention Center and the Petronas Twin Towers are a stone’s throw away. A 4-star hotel, the Dorsett Regency boasts 320 spacious rooms, from deluxe rooms to suites. The hotel finds year-round patronage from Middle Eastern clients, the highest footfalls being from Saudi Arabia. It also has a 24/7 restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also offers an array of halal food. Guests can also opt for an open-air meal, soaking in the beautiful panoramic

Christina Toh

General Manager, Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur

FOCUS INTERNATIONAL view of the city. In its 13-year history, the hotel has been able to imbibe a deep understanding of business culture and values, and this is what compels guests to keep returning to the Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa takes pride in being the first and only Westin-branded resort in Malaysia, set in the idyllic natural retreat of Langkawi Island. With a private beachfront location, the resort has 202 guestrooms and suites as well as 20 ultra-luxury, and private ocean-view pool villas offering a panoramic view of the Andaman Sea. The fabulous private villas not only capture glorious ocean views but also include state-ofthe-art amenities, a private infinity pool and an extravagant terrace. In addition, the hotel features a complete range of recreation, meeting and event facilities, including 650 sq m of indoor meeting and banquet space, magical wedding venues, the renowned Heavenly Spa by Westin, a recreation centre with Westin Kids

Helmut Pluecker

General Manager, The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa Club and Westin Workout. Guests can cruise the island of Langkawi in style whilst exploring the many attractions in the Mini Coopers available on rent. Complete with 4 different food & beverage venues—Breeze Lounge, Seasonal Taste, Tide and Splash— guests are spoilt with dining choices at The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. The tree-lined entrance to the hotel and the panoramic view of the islanddotted waters of the Andaman Sea are enough to make anyone fall in love with this place.

Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites “We have been operating successfully for the last 12 years, although this is my first year as the Chairman of the Board, stewarding the policies of the company and the hotel,” says Mr. Kushairi Bin Haji Zaidel, exuding pride in the unique property of Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites. “It is a historical landmark, which gives guests privileged access to some of Kuching’s historical jewels, such as the Sarawak Museum (the oldest in Borneo) and fronting the ceremonial Padang Merdeka, where Sarawak celebrated her Independence Day in 1963. It is steeped in history, as a series of significant events have

Kushairi Bin Haji Zaidel

Chairman, Gegasan Abadi Properties Sdn Bhd (Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites) taken place in this hotel in the preindependence era, making them cherished memories in the minds and hearts of the locals,” he adds. This elegantly designed hotel has a traditional decor with a contemporary edge, and houses nearly 213 standard, superior and deluxe rooms, including 2- and 3-bedroom apartment suites equipped with a dining room and kitchenette. The hotel features Aurora Court, the all-day-dining restaurant; Ristorante Beccari, the award-winning Italian restaurant; Victoria Arms, the elegant English pub and La Habana Cigar Divan. “My goal is to make the Merdeka one of the best hotels in Malaysia. Though we are a small private boutique hotel, we believe in consistent development and application of traditional service, care philosophy and brand strategies to achieve targets. We must build and maintain a world-class service culture to achieve competitive edge,” he further adds. n


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competitiveness index

The final analysis As this report has evinced, a great measure of the Malaysian economy’s success is its recent performance on the Competitiveness Index published by Institute for Management Development (IMD), Switzerland. IMD’s 2010 World Competitiveness Yearbook shows Malaysia occupying the second spot in the ASEAN region as well as among countries with a per ca pita GDP less than USD20,000. Malaysia also broke into the top 10 on the index for the first time in 2010. These achievements are the result of the consistent efforts put in by the Malaysian government and industry in close coordination, making it one of the most preferred investment destinations in the world. n

PERFORMANCE OF ASEAN COUNTRIES COUNTRIES Singapore Malaysia Thailand Indonesia Philippines

2010 INDEX 100.000 87.228 73.233 60.745 56.526


1 2 3 4 5

2009 INDEX RANK 95.740 1 77.162 2 70.762 3 55.479 4 54.490 5

2008 INDEX RANK 99.330 1 73.199 2 63.096 3 41.520 5 50.478 4


WCY 2010 10 (n=58 economies)

WCY 2009 18 (n=57 economies)

WCY 2008 19 (n=55 economies)

Population greater than 20 million

5 (n=29)

6 (n=29)

7 (n=29)

GDP per capita less than USD20,000

2 (n=30)

1 (n=29)

2* (n=20)

Asia Pacific

5 (n=13)

6 (n=13)

7 (n=13)

Source: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2010 Notes: ‘n’ denotes the number of countries on the index, * GDP per capita less than USD10,000


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2011 Investment Report on Malaysia