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TH plans to put a cap on depositor’s fund level

KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) is looking to put a cap on each depositor’s fund in the future as one of the measures to reduce government’s liability and exposure towards the depositors. Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zukri Samat said the move to limit the individual deposits at a suitable […]


M’sia well on track to become high-income nation — World Bank

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is well on its way to cross the threshold into high-income and developed country status in the coming years, said the World Bank. In a statement, vice president for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa said Malaysia’s economy was well-diversified and stood on solid foundations, which are primed to take the country […]


Malaysia biggest gainer in corporate governance ranking

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia ranked fourth out of 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency, according to the recent 2018 CG Watch Report published by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the ranking was a significant improvement from seventh place in 2016 and Malaysia was […]


Malaysia up three spots in ACGA’s 2018 CG Watch report

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia emerged as the biggest gainer in the 2018 CG Watch report, climbing three spots to the fourth spot, after having ranked seventh when the report was last published in 2016.

The 2018 CG Watch report published by the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) and CLSA in December has ranked Malaysia fourth out of the 12 Asia-Pacific economies in terms of market accountability and transparency.

Malaysia is the biggest 2018 gainer among regional economic rivals such as Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The ACGA states that the 2018 improvement reflects Malaysia’s “concrete moves to tackle endemic corruption issues fostered by the previous Najib regime.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pix) said in a statement that the jump proves that the government’s continuous effort to instil the principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) in its administration is bearing fruits.

” The report further stresses that the jump is based on optimism over the 9 May 2018 political change in Malaysia, which has translated into “tangible improvements to enforcement and reporting,” he said.

In addition to strong anti-corruption measures that are being undertaken, the government has also stepped up the open tender procurement process more widely.

This he said has not only increased the level of transparency in the public sector, but has also influenced the private sector positively.

“The application of zero-based budgeting and the migration towards accrual accounting from cash accounting by 2021 as announced in the 2019 Budget are also part of the Government’s wider institutional reform agenda that will further raise the level of accountability and transparency in the Government,” he added.

Lim also noted that the improvement in placement is only one example on how the government’s institutional reform agenda is raising Malaysia’s governance quality and contributing to fiscal sustainability.

He added that the government will continue to press on institutional reforms to prevent widespread abuses that happened under the previous administration from repeating as well as to improve the economic well-being of all Malaysians.

These institutional reforms undertaken by the government have convinced the top three rating agencies to maintain Malaysia’s sovereign credit ratings at A- or A3.

Moody’s on Dec7, 2018 is the latest to have done so and this came after Fitch Ratings reaffirmed the Government’s credit ratings at A- on 14 August 2018.

The dramatic surge in approved foreign direct investment in manufacturing since May 2018 as reported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), is the biggest proof that the government’s plan is working.

Approved manufacturing FDI for the period between May until September 2018 saw a year-on-year increase of 379% year-on-year, or RM27.7 billion to RM35.0 billion, from RM7.3 billion in the May-September 2017 period.

The total approved manufacturing FDI so far for this year is expected to create more than 30,000 new jobs in the near future once it is implemented.


Guan Eng: Observe highest corporate reporting standard

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — The corporate sector has been urged to practise the highest standard of corporate reporting and embrace transparency in order to rebuild good governance, international reputation and global goodwill, which would eventually…


PH ministers take turn to raise investors confidence

SINGAPORE: It is good to have ministers from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government coming regularly to Singapore, Malaysia’s second largest trading partner globally, to explain the country’s new policies. It was Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Dr Ong Kian Ming’s turn to be here last week, and almost a month after the tabling […]


Govt to announce two financial frameworks next year

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will announce two key frameworks in the first quarter of 2019 regarding cryptocurrency and property crowdfunding regulations to be meted out by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC). Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) would be the coordinating body for the SC and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) […]


Two financial frameworks out early 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will announce two key frameworks in the first quarter of 2019 regarding cryptocurrency and property crowdfunding regulations to be meted out by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Ministry of Finance (MoF) will be the coordinating body for the SC and Bank Negara Malaysia for the cryptocurrency framework.

“The regulations for digital assets, or cryptocurrency exchanges, and initial coin offerings will come into force by the first quarter of 2019 as part of the SC’s effort to facilitate alternative fundraising avenues and new investment asset classes.

“While some parties might still be sceptical of this space, there can be no doubt that we need appropriate regulations to be put into place and enforced to safeguard the interest of investors,” he told reporters after delivering a keynote address at the Synergistic Collaborations by SC Fintech Conference 2018 today.

Lim said any interested parties, including the proposed Harapan Coin cryptocurrency, must work within the framework jointly set up by Bank Negara and the SC.

“The Finance Ministry will lead the committee, comprising Bank Negara, SC, and MoF. So, for those who are interested, please liaise with this coordinating body headed by MoF and ensure that you are in full compliance.

“While we want to encourage, we also want compliance with the law to ensure that investors know what they are getting into,” he added.

Lim said the property crowdfunding platform framework will act as an alternative source of financing for first-time home buyers, and will be the first of its kind in the world.

“The platform is a framework and another choice given by private investment companies to borrowers apart from traditional (funding) sources such as banks and financial institutions. The implementation of this new framework is still being discussed by the SC,” he said.

SC chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar said the regulation is in the midst of amending the guidelines relating to these frameworks to ensure they will be able to accommodate the new digital requirements.

“For property crowfunding, we have completed our first draft and we will be engaging with the industry to get everybody’s view (on the draft). We will not be able to release anything now and we will move forward from there (after the consultation),” he added.


Ministry to assist smallholders towards MSPO certification

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Primary Industries will be working hand in hand with smallholders in the plantation sector to achieve the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification, which will be mandatory by end-2019. Its Minister, Teresa Kok Suh Sim, said the certification would allow smallholders, who account for about 40 per cent of the […]


Bank Negara confirms foreign insurers can contribute to B40 health scheme or reduce stake in local players

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has confirmed that foreign insurers may now opt to contribute to the B40 Health Protection Fund instead of reducing their stakes in Malaysian insurance firms.

BNM governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the directive for insurance companies to pare down their foreign shareholdings by 30% still stands but these firms now have the option to contribute to the fund instead.

“The objective of the divestment is to promote long-term benefits to Malaysia that will ultimately result in providing broader insurance coverage especially to the B40 group.

That was the objective of the divestment and that objective is still something that the affected foreign insurers would still need to comply with,” she told reporters at a media briefing on Friday.

“Each insurance company now has been given an option and they were supposed to revert to BNM and we will look, based on their plan, at the timeline that would be reasonable for them to comply with the plans that they submit,” she added.

The size of the B40 Health Protection Fund is expected to be above RM2 billion but details would depend on the scope of coverage to be provided, which is currently being discussed with the government.

“We hope to be able to finalise everything and announce the details in the early part of next year,” said Nor Shamsiah.

Last Monday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that foreign insurers would be given the option to participate in the new fund instead of paring down their stakes in local outfits, in a move to assist the B40 group.

So far, Singapore-listed Great Eastern Holdings Ltd has confirmed that it will put in RM2 billion as seed funding for the initiative.

BNM has set June 30 as the deadline for foreign insurers to comply with a maximum of 70% shareholding in local insurers. However, Nor Shamsiah in August this year, said that more flexibility will be accorded to foreign insurers to comply.