All ahead, full

The progressive economic growth since Prime Minister Najib’s ETP (Graphic by The Malaysian Insight)

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is commanding the vessel ‘Federation of Malaysia’ steaming in full and moving forward, now that the political storm base on fallacies caused by Opposition are being unravelled one by one and nothing should any longer be in obstacle.

NST GEIC Dato’ Jalil Hamid’s column:

Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan

AN ambitious economic zone will be launched this week that planners say will transform the lives of millions of people, especially in Negri Sembilan.

Called “Malaysia Vision Valley” (MVV) and dubbed a “world-class metropolis”, the sprawling zone will be a magnet for local and foreign investors in high-tech industries, and the medical and healthcare, education and tourism sectors.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will chair the first steering committee of the MVV at his office on May 4.

He will also witness the signing of the head of agreement comprising three entities which are jointly spearheading the ambitious corridor.

The three parties are Sime Darby Bhd, which will take a 50 per cent stake in the venture, followed by Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) and Malaysian property firm Brunsfield International Group, which hold 25 per cent each.

They will jointly own MVV Holdings Sdn Bhd, the master planner and project promoter. The chairman of the firm has yet to be named.

The state government of Negri Sembilan will not hold a stake in MVV Holdings but will invest in some of the flagship projects to be developed within the corridor.

The main pull for potential investors will be the proximity to ports and airports, excellent rail and highway links, and the fact that MVV is located near the huge population in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

Greater KL is home to more than a quarter of Malaysia’s 28.3 million people and generates over 40 per cent of the country’s annual gross domestic product.

Najib, in his 2016 Budget speech, had announced that the government will pump in an initial investment of RM5 billion into the MVV project last year.

By 2045, the project is expected to generate over RM417.6 billion in investments.

It is also expected to witness greater traction given the recent signing of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail deal, which will have one station within the project.

Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan told this writer that Labu would be the site of the HSR stop. The station could be built underground, maximising land use.

One highly-placed source said MVV might propose to the government to make the station an international one to cater to air travellers from nearby Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Seremban is currently slated as one of the domestic stations.

There are also plans to revive the Seremban-Port Dickson rail link.

Covering 152,971ha from Nilai to Seremban and Port Dickson, the massive project is a public-private partnership development, with Sime Darby owning around 40 per cent of the land earmarked for MVV.

Phase one will cover 11,129ha. By the way, Sime Darby is one of the biggest landowners in Negri Sembilan, given its oil palm plantations.

Back in 2009, Sime Darby unveiled the master plan for the project, which was previously dubbed Sime Darby Vision Valley.

Originally, it had an estimated gross development value of between RM25 billion and RM30 billion.

To be developed in more than 20 years, the project originally covered more than 32,000ha, spanning Selangor and Negri Sembilan.

The area has been earmarked by the government for development under the National Physical Plan, which sets forth a long-term strategic framework for national spatial planning, including measures needed to shape the direction of land use, development and biodiversity conservation in Peninsular Malaysia.

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And the story about Malaysia Vision Valley launched by Prime Minister Najib, the new economic corridor for Central Semenanjung:

The Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV) development has the capacity to attract more than RM290 billion in investment, besides creating 1.38 million job opportunities. (Pix by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Vision Valley (MVV) development has the capacity to attract more than RM290 billion in investment, besides creating 1.38 million job opportunities.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced this after witnessing an MoU signing involving Sime Darby Property Bhd, Brunsfield Development Sdn Bhd and Kumpulan Wang Persaraan at his office in Putrajaya, today.

“MVV is a planned, smart and inclusive development to ensure all segments of society reap the benefits of this development.”

“Although MVV aspires to be developed as a modern metropolis, the needs of the public at all levels will be taken into account,” he said.

Najib said the 153,000 hectare development, among others, focuses on providing affordable homes with well-planned and orderly urban facilities.

“MVV will provide more than 1,000 acres (400ha) of affordable housing. Apart from that, MVV will also provide more than 1,000 acres (400ha) of public facilities and recreational areas with green spaces,” he added.

Najib said the project is spearheaded by the private sector and supported by the Federal government as well as the Negri Sembilan state government.

“The government has in principle approved allocations for the development on a number of public infrastructure projects in the MVV areas within the 11th Malaysia Plan.”

“In the first rolling plan of the 11th Malaysia Plan, RM560 million has been allocated for the development of road connections in the MVV area. Other projects being considered include highway networks and integrated rail services to connect the MVV to surrounding areas as well KLIA2,” he added.

Also present at the event was Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

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The bullishness of the Malaysian economy the past twelve years, substantiated by growth in the capital financial and debt markets and commerce, is the evidence of sound economic management and plan.

Naturally, a stable Federal Government is the enabler for the economic growth and drive.

It is reflective in Prime Minister Najib’s Economic Transformation Plan launched in 2010 where Malaysia would be brought to a high income nation. Within four years, the GNI per capita had risen by 35% and the expansion is substantive.

The growth of public-private investment (Graphic by PEMANDU)

The fact is that, the objective is progressively closer despite global economic crisis 2014-5, which the nation is not spared. The steady angle of growth of public-private investment year-on-year is evidently clear the confidence of the commercial and financial sector.

The central bank is bullish but prudent in their projection of the Malaysian economy.

The Star story:

Friday, 24 March 2017

Malaysian economic growth to be better this year than last

Improving economy: Muhammad at the briefing of Bank Negara’s reports. – SAM THAM/The Star

Improving economy: Muhammad at the briefing of Bank Negara’s reports. – SAM THAM/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian economy is expected to see some recovery, with growth set to pick up this year.

According to Bank Negara estimates, the economy this year should grow at a range of between 4.3% and 4.8%. Last year, the economy grew 4.2%.

Bank Negara governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said that the main challenges for this year would be inflationary pressure, geopolitical concerns and monetary policy shifts.

“Although growth is expected to improve from higher global economic activities, the Malaysian economy will be challenged by higher inflation, volatile capital flows and lingering uncertainties in the global economic and financial environment,” he told reporters at his maiden presentation of Bank Negara’s annual report and the financial stability and payment systems report.

Aside from the gradual improvement in global growth, he said domestic demand would continue to be the main driver of the economy, supported by Government spending and the recovery in global commodity prices.

Domestic demand would continue to contribute about 4.4% of the total growth for this year. Among the components of domestic demand, private consumption will remain the biggest contributor and is expected to sustain at 5.6% despite inflation creeping up.

The central bank expects inflation to rise between 3% and 4%, compared to 2.1% last year. Muhammad said the higher inflation was primarily due to the higher cost that would come about due to the pass-through effect of higher crude oil prices.

“However, the cost-driven inflation is not expected to cause significant spillover effects into broader price trends,” he said, while noting that higher living costs and weak consumer sentiment could still be a dampener on domestic demand.

“We expect inflation to be higher than 4% in some months, but it will cool off in the second half of the year.”

On the macro level, Bank Negara expects the current account surplus to narrow to between 1% and 2% of gross national income (GNI) this year, compared to 2.1% last year. In 2014, the current account surplus was 4.5% of the GNI.

Muhammad said the central bank was confident that the current account would remain in surplus, although the growth in imports continues to outpace the growth in exports.

“However, it would depend on how we continue to diversify the economy and sources of growth in the coming years,” he said.

The governor also said there was a need to have a long-term policy on labour, as migrant workers sent back some RM30bil every year and it was growing.

“Although foreign direct investments are declining, the most important is the quality of the investment. It must create value for Malaysians, especially the type of jobs created. We can’t afford to have labour-intensive industries because we don’t have cheap labour in Malaysia,” Muhammad said.

A bright spark in 2016 was the reduction in the household debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, which was down to 88.4% compared to 89.1% in 2015.

This would be the first time since 2010 that the household debt-to-GDP ratio has come down.

The bulk of the household debt is attributed to loans tied to property and cars.

On this score, Muhammad brushed off perceptions of a lack of end-financing for houses by banks. “The main issue is house prices remaining unaffordable relative to household income. It is not that access to financing is the issue,” he said, adding that less than 30% of new launches were in the affordable segment.

He warned that some deterioration in loan performance for some businesses and households would be expected for this year.

“Rising debt beyond the prudent level will add financial strain to households. We are now seeing impairment rising higher, although from low levels.”

Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/03/24/growth-to-pick-up/#k9C2KHgXqITbiXug.99

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It is intersting to note that the economy is expected to record growth on productivity and not just the price of oil is at the neighbourhood of USD50 per barrel. The demand growth is also expected to increase and this is important for the domestic economy.

The fact is that, the Malaysian economy is set to be slightly bullish and signs of that is reflective in the strengthening of Ringgit against US Dollar.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak receiving King Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia for the latter’s official visit to Malaysia (NST photo)

Prime Minister Najib is forging better ties with global leaders and new trade opportunities are being opened for Malaysian firms.

Recently, the visit of Saudi and Bahraini Kings and Japanese Crown Prince and Prime Minister Najib’s visit to India and China fostered many investment deals, on top of global geo political matters.

The Straits Times story:

Najib’s visit to India bags number of deals

Mr Najib Razak was hosted by Mr Narendra Modi at an official welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace. This is his third visit to India since he took office in 2009. His busy schedule in the six-day visit includes holding talks with business leaders and officiating at a ceremony for a new complex of the Malaysian High Commission 

One proposal is building $2.8b urea, ammonia plant in Malaysia

NEW DELHI • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks last night with his Malaysian counterpart, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is on a six-day official visit to India.

“Honouring a shared heritage. PM @narendramodi receives PM @NajibRazak at Hyderabad House,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay tweeted.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of a number of agreements following delegation-level talks between the two sides.

The proposed development of a US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia was the biggest deal on the table. The facility, with a capacity to produce 2.5 million tonnes a year, would be dedicated to supplying the Indian market.

Another deal was between a Malaysian company and Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board for the setting up of a technology park in the southern state.

Both countries also signed a bilateral air services agreement which would enhance connectivity.

A memorandum of understanding was inked between the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, and the Malaysian Qualifications Agency on mutual recognition of educational qualifications.

The move is meant to encourage students to study in each other’s country in all courses.

A joint statement issued after the meeting between Mr Najib and Mr Modi disclosed that both sides had agreed to explore a possibility of enhancing cooperation in the financial sector. This could include participating in each other’s capital market and the granting of commercial banking licences.

Mr Najib, accompanied by his wife and several Cabinet ministers, was accorded an official welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan Presidential Palace earlier yesterday.

In brief remarks to the media, the Malaysian leader, with Mr Modi at his side, said he was confident that his visit would enhance their bilateral relationship “to a higher level”.

Mr Najib later paid a courtesy call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.

The trip, at the invitation of Mr Modi, is Mr Najib’s third to India since he assumed office in 2009.

He had arrived in the southern city of Chennai last Thursday where he attended an official reception hosted by the Acting Governor of Tamil Nadu, Mr Vidhyasagar Rao.

Mr Najib will also be holding dialogues with leaders and captains of industry from major business sectors.

He is scheduled to travel to Jaipur today to attend a high-level discussion on the progress of Malaysian companies in infrastructure projects in the state of Rajasthan.

He is also expected to attend a business luncheon and the 7th Global Science and Innovation advisory council meeting in the Indian capital tomorrow.

He is due to officiate at a ceremony for a new complex of the Malaysian High Commission on Tuesday.

India is currently Malaysia’s tenth-largest trading partner, seventh-largest export destination and 12th-largest source of imports.

It is also Malaysia’s 20th largest investor, with total investments worth US$2.31 billion.

BERNAMA

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So was when he visited Germany nine months ago and earned remarkable grounds.

Malaysiakini story based on Bernama report:

Najib’s visit to Germany a major boost for bilateral ties, trade

 M Saraswathi, Bernama     Published 29 Sep 2016, 10:58 am     Updated 29 Sep 2016, 12:19 pm

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s official visit to Germany is a major boost for bilateral ties, trade and investment climate between Malaysia and Germany, which has a population of about 80.6 million and is the world’s fourth largest economy.

The visit gave both existing and potential German investors in Malaysia the opportunity to voice out their opinions, challenges and suggestions directly to the country’s premier.

“They (businesses) were very pleased to be given the opportunity to engage directly with the head of the government. It demonstrates our commitment to further encouraging their businesses in Malaysia,” said Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) chief executive officer Azman Mahmud.

Germany is Malaysia’s largest investor from the EU. There are a total of 400 German companies in Malaysia. In the first six months of 2016, German companies invested a total of RM6.44 billion in Malaysia. Over the last 10 years, total investments have totalled RM35 billion.

The businesses were very happy with the remarks and assurances given by the prime minister on providing the right business environment for them, he told Bernama on the sidelines of the prime minister’s three-day official visit which took off with a one-hour closed door dialogue session with top businesses.

This is Najib’s first visit as the country’s prime minister since taking office in 2009. His visit was on the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Both leaders had a bilateral meeting on Tuesday.

Companies participating in the dialogue included Atotech, AWS Schafer, BMW, Daimler, Osram, Volkswagen, Infineon, Bombardier Transportation, Ensinger, B Braun, Green Sugar and Biesterfeld International.

Besides the dialogue session, the prime minister also had bilateral meetings with XFab chief executive officer Rudi De Winter, Muhlbauer president Josef Muhlbauer, BMW Group (Munich) senior vice president (Asia Pacific & South Africa) Hendrik von Kuenheim, and Aerodata AG director strategic business development Dr Manfred Haverland.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said about RM1.5 billion in potential future investment was revealed by companies he met during the dialogue session and bilateral meets, mainly in the semiconductor and machinery sector.

Their intention for new investment and re-investment demonstrates their confidence level in the country’s attractiveness and stability, he said.

Azman said besides investment-related issues, businesses involved in the automotive sector were also keen to know about the country’s National Automotive Policy.

“They wanted to know the future direction of it and the adoption of Euro 5 and energy efficient vehicles,” he said.

Najib said the government would continue its efforts in making Malaysia the most attractive investment destination in South-East Asia and constantly encouraging existing investors to re-invest in the country.

Keen to draw mid-sized manufacturers

During his meeting with the business community, he also announced that besides the multinational companies, Malaysia is now keen to also attract the country’s mid-sized manufacturers.

Accounting for a substantial number of companies and known collectively as “Mittelstand”, they are the backbone of the economy, supplementing the bigger well-established industrial and manufacturing giants.

Najib believes that Malaysia’s small and medium enterprises can learn much from German mid-sized companies especially in terms of their entrepreneurial spirit, their competitive strategies and their adaptation and innovation in advanced technology.

On the last leg of the three-day visit, Najib went to a port city in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which is about 200km from the capital, Berlin.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the sixth largest German state by area and the most thinly populated state.

He also went to Wismar, where Genting Hong Kong Ltd is managing three shipyards it acquired in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern last year for RM1.04 billion.Genting has since renamed the shipyards as MV Werften and will focus on building large new cruise ships.

He said the venture in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern through the acquisition of the shipyards paves the way for more investments by Malaysian companies in the state.

In further fostering Malaysia-Germany relations, the prime minister expressed Malaysia’s strongest interest in hosting the 16th Asia Pacific Conference of German Business in Kuala Lumpur in 2018.

“We hope it will materialise,” he added.

– Bernama

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/357284#ixzz4gC2LBgQJ

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Prime Minister Najib’s upcoming working visit to China is the follow through.

It is really ashamed if his desire and drive to expand and improve the economy, gross national income and income per capita is being hindered by very unproductive over politicking.

More over, if Prime Minister Najib has to pander to Oppositions’ strategy of demonisation compelete with manipulation, fabrication, deception and slander to maintain or gain new political grounds.

Otherwise they are unable to unseat him and the Barisan Nasional administration.

For the record, when Prime Minister Najib inherited the reigns of the nation from Fifth Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in April 2009, it was not in calm waters and sunshine.

The world was still in the shock of the subprime financial fiasco which almost brought the United States banking system to its knees. Globally, it affected the free market.

By the time Prime Minister Najib got to grasps of things and issues, he started to plan and unleash his ways of making the change. He saw the opportunities await the nation and her people, its potential and most of all, the challenges and limiting factors.

Prime Minister Najib had big plans to optimise all resources available for realise the potentials to the max and he and his administration planned strategies and unleashed various transformation programs designed for multipronged attacks and objectives.

These transformation programs simultaneously being implemented bit by bit saw progress and positive results. However, during the days of making hay in the sun, suddenly unforeseeable storm appeared on our coast.

2015-16 saw Prime Minister Najib at the helms weathering one of the global worst economic woes in more recent times when the price of crude oil fell nearly USD80 per barrel in a very short span of time.

This is coupled with major currencies saw significant drop against US Dollar, including China Renmimbi, Japanese Yes, Euro and British Pound Sterling, which had contagion effect on world trade, investments and the elastic financial and capital markets volatility.

This was also the most challenging period in Prime Minister Najib political career when he was at arms against being toppled by Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who teamed up with the Oppositions and Neo Con Jewsih control foreign media lashing out incessant manipulated, fabricated, deceived and slanderous voracious attacks.

Now that both political and global economic storms have subsided,  the vector that Prime Minister Najib has set on is forward an up, as in the words of an infamous seaman Captain Edward Smith 105 years ago in his order to steam full ahead, “Time to stretch her legs”.

In the final analysis, for average Malaysians it is better of for Prime Minister Najib to be given more opportunity to work harder and space. It is nothing but to expand and extend what he had planned, under planning and/or being implemented, for the betterment of the nation.

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Published in: on May 5, 2017 at 15:00  Leave a Comment