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Competition, rising fuel prices, crew shortage affect MAB’s 3Q

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) said its third quarter (3Q18) operating performance was affected by stiff competition, rising fuel prices and adverse foreign exchange movements, further exacerbated by crew shortage, especially in July and August. In a statement yesterday, MAB said its yield came under pressure, recording 21.5 sen in 3Q2018, from 22.6 sen […]


MAB’s passenger yield down 4.86% in Q3

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s (MAB) saw its passenger yield come under pressure in the third quarter of 2018, falling 4.86% to 21.5 sen from 22.6 sen in the same quarter last year, partially due to the inability to deploy planned peak upgrading of aircraft to a widebody.

The airline said in a statement today that it was unable to deploy the planned peak upgrading of aircraft due to crew shortages, which also in turn impacted revenue.

Revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) rose 1.43% to 21.2 sen from 20.9 sen a year ago driven by higher cargo revenue, which was up 29% year-on-year.

MAB carried some 3.47 million passengers in the quarter under review against the 3.40 million passengers flown in the third quarter of last year.

On-time performance (OTP) also increased during the quarter, up by 8% year-on-year to 74.9%, as a result of improved operational efficiencies in engineering and ground handling.

The national carrier said it experienced a challenging third quarter with stiff competition, rising fuel prices and adverse foreign exchange movements which was further exacerbated by crew shortages, especially in July and August.

The airline is confident that its crew shortage issue can be stabilised by early 2019, as it has since activated an extensive recruitment exercise, supported by an aggressive cadet enlistment and training programme to build a strong crew pipeline.

Passenger load factor during the quarter increased to 80.5% from 77.5% in the third quarter of 2017 while recovery in international business continued during the quarter with a load factor of 81.7% in 2018 versus 78.4% in 2017.

As for fleet developments, the airline saw the addition of its sixth A330-200 to its fleet of 21 such aircraft, which is deployed on higher density regional routes across Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, its B737-800s continued to provide domestic and regional connectivity. The airline is also preparing for delivery of 10 B737 MAX8 in 2020.

MAB’s A380-800s continue to service Project Amal, a division dedicated to Hajj and Umrah traffic which successfully transported more than 15,000 pilgrims during Hajj on over 80 flights between Kuala Lumpur, Jeddah and Madinah throughout July and September 2018. The airline’s A380s are also deployed to key markets, such as Sydney and Seoul, during peak times.

MAB reported an overall improvement in Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), which rose 7% year-on-year while its Net Promoter Score (NPS) increased significantly by 21 points during the period.

The airline attributed the improvements in its CSI and NPS to its continued focus on improving customer experience and enhancing product offering, including improvements to its call centre which saw satisfaction ratings rise 7% to 74%.

Group CEO Izham Ismail said the third quarter was challenging with volatile fuel prices, unfavourable foreign exchange movements and over capacity in key markets, compounded by pilot shortage.

“Nevertheless, in line with our emphasis on customer experience, I believe our efforts in that area continue to show positive traction as evidenced by the improvements in our CSI and NPS ratings. We are maintaining a strong focus on cost management and will continue to invest in aspects of the customer experience that deliver a competitive edge,” he said.

“Our pioneering digital initiatives, including the recently launched WhatsApp Business solution, exemplify this. We have seen good quarterly traction in the year and we are expecting to finish 2018 by reducing the losses of the previous year,” he added.

Izham noted that while 2019 looks similarly challenging, MAB is committed to improving performance and reducing costs while managing external factors beyond its control.


Malaysia Airlines Q3 performance hit by rising fuel prices, crew shortage

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 ― Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) said its third quarter (3Q2018) operating performance was affected by stiff competition, rising fuel prices and adverse foreign exchange movements, further exacerbated by crew shortage,…


Malaysia Vision Valley 2.0 officially launched, nine years on

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Vision Valley 2.0 (MVV 2.0) project was officially launched today, after being shelved, reintroduced and restructured over the past nine years.

In a statement issued today, master developer Sime Darby Property Bhd said it is planning for the development of a high-tech and industrial park, which is the first “heartbeat project” among the six identified within the first phase of development to be activated.

“Sime Darby Property will be under-taking this project as the master developer, which allows us to extract and enhance the value of our land bank within the MVV 2.0 development area,” said Sime Darby Property chairman Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

“We will take on key projects that will become among the principal drivers of the country’s future economic growth and social development. The company’s significant role in MVV 2.0 is a continuation of our commitment towards the develop-ment of Negri Sembilan,” she said.

The state-led private sector-driven development is envisioned to be a world-class metropolis that is competitive, inclusive and clean, and aims to attract international and local investors, creating job and business opportunities. The overall development spans 379,087 acres covering the districts of Seremban and Port Dickson.

Sime Darby Property currently owns 2,838 acres within the MVV 2.0 and has the option to acquire another 8,796 acres from Sime Darby Bhd within five years from the date of its listing. The first phase of MVV 2.0 spans over a 30-year development period covering 27,000 acres.

MVV 2.0 is part of the National Physical Plan, where it has been identified as one of the 17 promoted development zones to be given priority at national level. It is also part of the State Structure Plan, aimed at positioning the Seremban and Port Dickson districts as extensions of Greater Kuala Lumpur.

Officiated by Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Aminuddin Harun, the launch also saw the unveiling of the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) for MVV 2.0 and the publicity for its local plan.

The CDP defines the growth develop-ment plan for MVV 2.0, along with its catalytic development focus, economic and social benefits, and sustainability and environmental aspirations. It also prioritises various aspects of economy, environment and social development within MVV 2.0.

Also launched yesterday was the publicity for the MVV 2045 Local Plan, which sets out land use zoning and development initiatives to take MVV 2.0 forward. It includes action plans for the en-hancement of the environment, accessibility, infrastructure, liveability and in-dustries within the MVV 2.0 development region.

“The preparation for MVV 2.0 is inclusive as it provides an opportunity for the surrounding communities to give their views and ideas for the overall planning of MVV 2.0. The development plans have also been restructured to enhance some of the major project development clusters to promote high-tech investments which are aligned with our national aspirations.

“The projects undertaken will serve as catalysts to the development of MVV 2.0. It is also aligned with the 11th Malaysia Plan Mid-Term Review where emphasis will be given to the high-tech industry segments which also covers the aerospace industry,” said Aminuddin.

Previously known as Sime Darby Vision Valley, the project originally had an estimated gross development value of RM25 billion to RM30 billion. Under the master plan unveiled back in 2009, the project originally took up over 32,000ha to be developed over 20 years. The project was revived when the previous government announced in Budget 2016 that it would develop Malaysia Vision Valley with an initial investment of RM5 billion.


Maxis: 5G trials ongoing, but 4G to stay as main network

KUCHING: Maxis Bhd (Maxis) is currently working on 5G trials but believes that 4G is going to stay as the main network over the next couple of years. According to chief technology officer Morten Bangsgaard, this is because there are still upgrades or enhancements constantly being made to the 4G technology. “We are starting on […]


Worldwide plans RM1b WTE plant in Selangor

SHAH ALAM: Selangor state-linked firm Worldwide Holdings Bhd plans to invest RM1 billion to set up a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in its existing sanitary landfill in Jeram, Selangor, according to its group CEO Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria.

The plant, which is set to be the largest and most modern WTE facility in Malaysia, will be fully funded by the group, in which the state government has provided an allocation of RM40 million for land acquisition.

“Some 20% (of the total investments) will be coming from our equity and the balance (80%) from the financial institutions,” Norazlina told a press conference in conjunction with the group’s signing ceremony today.

The group today signed a joint development agreement with Western Power Clean Energy Sdn Bhd – a joint venture company of China Western Power Engineering and Construction Co Ltd (CWPEC) and China Western Power International (CWPI) for the first phase of the WTE project.

CWPEC and CWPI, which have over 30 years of expertise in the new energy and environmental protection industry, will provide facilitation to Worldwide Holdings in terms of the project development as well as operations and maintenance of the facility.

The phase one of the project would involve an estimated investment of RM500 million, and an additional RM500 million for the second phase.

Norazlina noted that the WTE plant addresses all aspects of environmental issues through a modern and high-tech treatment facilities in strict compliance with the EU standards.

“The technology we are adopting has proven track record using similar waste characteristics in Malaysia. The solid waste is used as feedstock to heat up the furnace and create steam which propels the turbine to generate electricity,” she added.

With waste capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day, Norazlina said the first phase of the facility will produce between 20-25 MW (megawatt) of green energy, which is enough to power 25,000 households within the vicinity of the plant.

She said the first phase of the plant will be ready for commercial operation by 2022, while completion of the second phase is targeted by 2024.

At the same time, Norazlina said the group also plans to open a similar facility, possibly in its Tanjung 12 sanitary landfill in Kuala Langat, Selangor, with a development cost of around RM500 million.

The facilities are expected to reduce land use for landfill while supporting the government’s aspiration of increasing renewable energy generation to 20% by year 2025.

At present, Worldwide Holdings manages 5,000 tonnes of domestic waste per day at its six sanitary landfills in Selangor.


LEAD (ikaworld) Worldwide Holdings plans RM1b WTE plant in Selangor

*** PIX OPTIONAL ***

BY WAN ILAIKA MOHD ZAKARIA

[email protected]

SHAH ALAM: Selangor state-linked firm Worldwide Holdings Bhd plans to invest RM1 billion to set up a waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in its existing sanitary landfill in Jeram, Selangor, according to its group CEO Datin Paduka Norazlina Zakaria.

The plant, which is set to be the largest and most modern WTE facility in Malaysia, will be fully funded by the group, in which the state government has provided an allocation of RM40 million for land acquisition.

“Some 20% (of the total investments) will be coming from our equity and the balance (80%) from the financial institutions,” Norazlina told a press conference in conjunction with the group’s signing ceremony yesterday.

The group yesterday signed a joint development agreement with Western Power Clean Energy Sdn Bhd – a joint venture company of China Western Power Engineering and Construction Co Ltd (CWPEC) and China Western Power International (CWPI) for the first phase of the WTE project.

CWPEC and CWPI, which have over 30 years of expertise in the new energy and environmental protection industry, will provide facilitation to Worldwide Holdings in terms of the project development as well as operations and maintenance of the facility.

The phase one of the project would involve an estimated investment of RM500 million, and an additional RM500 million for the second phase.

Norazlina noted that the WTE plant addresses all aspects of environmental issues through a modern and high-tech treatment facilities in strict compliance with the EU standards.

“The technology we are adopting has proven track record using similar waste characteristics in Malaysia. The solid waste is used as feedstock to heat up the furnace and create steam which propels the turbine to generate electricity,” she added.

With waste capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day, Norazlina said the first phase of the facility will produce between 20-25 MW (megawatt) of green energy, which is enough to power 25,000 households within the vicinity of the plant.

She said the first phase of the plant will be ready for commercial operation by 2022, while completion of the second phase is targeted by 2024.

At the same time, Norazlina said the group also plans to open a similar facility, possibly in its Tanjung 12 sanitary landfill in Kuala Langat, Selangor, with a development cost of around RM500 million.

The facilities are expected to reduce land use for landfill while supporting the government’s aspiration of increasing renewable energy generation to 20% by year 2025.

At present, Worldwide Holdings manages 5,000 tonnes of domestic waste per day at its six sanitary landfills in Selangor.


Govt can play greater role in palm smallholders’ certification: RSPO

KOTA KINABALU: The government can play a greater role in the certification of small-time palm oil growers, especially breaking down barriers to entry and on land matters, according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Smallholders account for 40% of the country’s production.

Asked about the general sentiments of smallholders when it comes to certification, RSPO head of smallholder programme Ashwin Selvaraj (pix) said that there is a lack of inclination towards certification as the current system is not built by taking into account their realities and the barriers to entry.

He said in the case of Malaysia, with the introduction of the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO), there is a lot of movement and engagement with the government in addressing the core aspects of certification.

“They are more or less raising the bar up in mobilising farmers and engaging and there is also awareness because of the commitment of getting smallholders certified in Malaysia,” he said.

Ashwin said another big issue with certification of smallholders is land titles which is something the RSPO cannot solve.

“We can engage but at the end of the day it is on the local and national governments to address land legality. The next step is for them to move towards RSPO. I wish all the governments will do much more locally,” he noted.

Ashwin pointed out government initiatives have a greater degree of outreach as opposed to what a voluntary scheme such as the RSPO could do as the government has bigger manpower and machinery, as well as agencies and institutions in place.

Meanwhile, smallholders from the district of Tongod in Sandakan, Sabah, told SunBiz on the sidelines of the 16th Annual RSPO Conference recently that obtaining legal land titles underNative Customary Rights (NCR) is a struggle they have to grapple with as ancestral land that has been occupied for generations has been gazetted as eco parks by the state government.

Johndrey Rambakon, who owns 10 hectares of plantation land in Tongod, said the community in his district have not received legal land titles. Plus, he said, there have been cost constraints in managing the plantations and to rent the necessary machinery to build roads to transport their products out.

When asked if the grouses have been brought to the attention of the authorities, he said it has been relayed to the local Member of Parliament but there is yet to be a resolution.

Another smallholding farmer from Pontian, Johor, who spoke to SunBiz on the condition of anonymity, noted that land titles is not an issue in the Peninsula, but smallholders here are bogged down by the issue of labour shortage especially when it comes to recruitment of foreign workers as plantations are highly dependent on manpower from Indonesia.

As such, it raises the question of whether certification is viable for independent smallholders, who are facing all sorts of issues.

Ashwin explained that the RSPO is working to bring down the cost of certification.

“We are also developing a simplified assurance mechanism that reduces the barriers and takes away dependence on third-party audits and peer control mechanism and internal audits but at one point a third party audit will be required. That will bring down the cost ,” he said.

The RSPO is working towards introducing the Smallholder Standard for independent smallholders which will be put out for a vote at its Annual General Assembly next year.

On another note, Ashwin dispelled concerns among smallholders that having their products certified may increase prices and in turn affect uptake.

He said RSPO is engaging with markets to create awareness on the value of certifications so that buyers will be able to digest and understand as well as incentivising and rewarding sellers accordingly when prices go up.


Futurise Centre introduces programmes for innovators centred around future economy

CYBERJAYA: Cyberjaya Tech Hub Enabler, Cyberview Sdn Bhd through its wholly-owned subsidiary Futurise Sdn Bhd introduced collaborative programmes made available to interested innovators and creators in 2019, ahead of its official launch early next year. Together with its industry partners, the programmes are centred around the Future Economy agenda for Malaysia in which emphasis is […]


Communist-run Cuba listens to private sector, eases new rules

HAVANA, Dec 6 — Cuba's government said yesterday it was easing new regulations on the Communist-run island's fledgling private sector just two days before they are due to go into effect to take into account the concerns of entrepreneurs and…