CCCC actively seeking investment opportunities in M’sia

BEIJING: China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) is transforming from an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contractor to an investor, developer and operation service provider, says its vice-president Sun Ziyu. “We are actively seeking investment opportunities to help develop Malaysia. For example, we are exploring transit-oriented development (TOD) along the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL). […]

China’s CCCC actively seeking investment opportunities in Malaysia

BEIJING: China Communications Construction (CCCC) is transforming itself from an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contractor into an investor, developer and operation service provider, says its vice-president, Sun Ziyu.

“We are actively seeking investment opportunities to help develop Malaysia. For example, we are exploring transit-oriented development along the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

“We plan to invest in targeted industries along the ECRL and lead investments from China and other countries as well,” he told a Malaysian media delegation, led by the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, at the group's headquarters here on Saturday.

Sun said besides infrastructure development, CCCC also hopes to participate in other fields such as property development and urban development.

He said infrastructure development plays a key role in a nation's economy and serves as a major driver for economic development.

He added that CCCC's participation in mega projects in Malaysia gives particular attention to the livelihoods of the locals and localisation of its projects, while dismissing claims that mega infrastructure projects involving foreign contractors are a major strain on the local people and businesses.

Giving an example, Sun said CCCC's participation in the Mass Rapid Transit and the Light Rail Transit projects in Kuala Lumpur will help ease traffic congestion, while the Port Klang and Kuantan Port projects will lead to further development in the area.

“For ECRL, 50% of our workforce are locals and could reach up to 70 per cent%. Except for some special technicians who were from China, all other staff were locals.

“We have also launched the industrial training programme plan to train and develop 3,600 railway experts. So far, we have hired and trained 447 local graduates,” he pointed out.

Sun said CCCC is committed to procuring locally as much as possible to reduce delivery time and cost, adding that local subcontracting also improves its management efficiency.

“So far, 500 local suppliers, 157 local subcontractors and 91 local consultants are working with CCCC. We only consider buying from other countries when there is no such material or equipment in the local market, such as tunnel boring machine and rolling stock.

“At the same time, we subcontract substantial work to local companies. CCCC's mega projects in Malaysia could drive economic growth, create jobs, enhance local talent, make full use of local resources and benefit the local community,” he said.

Sun said Malaysia will remain as a preferred market for CCCC's overseas business and its commitment to developing partnerships with Malaysian companies remains unchanged despite previous financial crises and trade uncertainties.

“We set up our Southeastern Asia Regional Management Centre in Kuala Lumpur, which oversees CCCC marketing and project management work for Southeast Asia. So far, we have over 20 ongoing projects in Malaysia and they are proceeding well,” he said. – Bernama

Ong clears air on Malaysia’s stand on China’s BRI

NANNING: Malaysia has no intention of abandoning China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and will continue to forge a closer relationship with the world’s second largest economy.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Ministry Ong Kian Ming said the government’s approach has been misunderstood following the recent decision to cancel certain China-Malaysia projects.

Responding to a question from the Chinese media on rumours of Malaysia quitting the BRI, he said: “As such, an important reason for my visit is to reassure China that Malaysia welcomed its investments. What I am emphasising is also that the postponement of a number of large-scale projects was due to the need to safeguard Malaysia’s financial position and not because we doubt investors from any country, including China.”

Ong said the BRI will open up more opportunities for investors, especially from Malaysia.

The BRI was launched in 2013 and encompasses various initiatives, while connecting 65 countries through sea, air, land and rail links.

“When the Chinese invest in Johor, we can link them with companies in Singapore. In Penang, we have a strong presence in the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry that they can tap,” Ong said.

He said the interest of Chinese companies in Malaysia remains strong, with 10 of them having shown an interest in investing in the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park.

Ong said he hopes to come up with a better understanding and plan to improve the relationship with China from his visit to Nanning, in conjunction with the 15th China-Asean Expo 2018.

Additionally, he also expects tremendous interest from the Chinese E&E sector, as well as those related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, towards investing in Malaysia.

“Many of the Chinese factories in the manufacturing industry are already very advanced .When they build a new plant in Malaysia, I think it would be of a new generation with automation and that will increase productivity as well as profitability. – Bernama

Two Chinese investors keen to set-up operations in Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park

NANNING, Sept 11 — Chinese investors’ interest towards Malaysia continues to grow with two companies showing keenness to set up operations worth billions of ringgit in the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP). Deputy International…

New wage hike puts more pressure on East Malaysian firms

KUCHING: The new minimum wage price hike may dampen the economic growth in labour dependent industries such as plantation, construction and manufacturing, all while putting Sabah and Sarawak in a less competitive position compared to Peninsular Malaysia. The government has standardised the minimum wage for workers in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak at RM1,050, […]

GrabPay continues to grow services in East Malaysia

KUCHING: As the ewallet stemming from a successful ride-sharing enterprise, GrabPay Malaysia continues to expand and enhance every one of its services nationwide, including GrabPay in East Malaysia. “When we first launched, we started with more than 500 merchants across the eight cities – Penang, Ipoh, Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching […]

Bina Puri to take controlling stake in resort developer

PETALING JAYA: Bina Puri Holdings Bhd plans to make Kuantan Waterfront Resort City (KWRC) project developer, Ideal Heights Properties Sdn Bhd an indirect subsidiary by buying out stakes of six shareholders through the issuance of new Bina Puri and redeemable preference shares (RPS), in a RM42.7 million related party transaction.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia Securities today, Bina Puri said its subsidiary Bina Puri Properties Sdn Bhd and six vendors – Tan Sri Datuk Tee Hock Seng, Dr Tony Tan Cheng Kiat, Datuk Henry Tee Hock Hin, Datuk Matthew Tee Kai Woon, Tee Kai Soon and Syarikat Masyakin Sdn Bhd signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement today, for an additional 54.5% interest in the company. Bina Puri already owns a 12% stake.

Bina Puri plans to issue 95.1 million new ordinary shares at an issue price of RM0.2498 per share to satisfy RM23.8 million; a sum of RM10.1 million to be satisfied via the issuance of 40.4 million RPS at an issue price of RM0.2498 a piece and RM8.8 million via the issuance of up to 35.3 million RPS at an issue price of RM0.2498 a piece.

IHP is the developer of a 500 acre saleable land, a majority of which is subject to further reclamation situated off Jalan Kuantan-Tanjung Lumpur in Kuantan.

Bina Puri said the KWRC project which comprises a mixed development for commercial and residential use with a development period of at least 17 years, is in line with its long term strategic plan to expand its property development business and is expected to enhance the income from its property development operations.

Bina Puri said its part new shares and new redeemable preference shares deal allows the group to conserve some cash reserves as well as to avoid incurring additional interest expenses on borrowings, as opposed to being settled entirely in cash and/or bank borrowings and minimises further dilution effect on the earnings per share of Bina Puri, which would otherwise arise from the issuance of just new Bina Puri shares.

High stakes in Dr M’s China visit

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives in China on Friday seeking to renegotiate, and perhaps cancel, billions of dollars worth of Chinese-invested projects entangled in domestic graft probes.

Ties have been strained since a stunning election victory returned Mahathir to power in May and he suspended unpopular Chinese projects authorised by former premier Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

During his decade-long rule, Najib courted Chinese investment and was a cheerleader for President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in Southeast Asia.

But Mahathir has vowed to discuss the “unfair” deals on his visit.

“Where we can drop the project, we will,” the 93-year-old told reporters this week. “But we may have to postpone some because we have made agreements, and to breach the agreements will cost us a lot.”

The centrepiece of China’s infrastructure push in Malaysia is the ambitious US$20 billion (RM81.9 billion) East Coast Rail Link project, work on which has been suspended pending discussions over pricing and graft accusations.

Hit by ballooning costs, lack of transparency and the risk it could saddle Malaysia with uncomfortably large debt, the 688km project has come to symbolise Najib’s scandal-ridden administration.

Najib, charged with money laundering and corruption over state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

During his election campaign, Mahathir was critical of the benefits of the Chinese projects, which helped him win.

His government also halted work on two projects worth more than US$2.3 billion awarded to the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau that have been linked to graft at 1MDB.

“China has been very spooked by Mahathir’s election,” said a Malaysian official familiar with talks before the visit, speaking on condition of anonymity.

China is nervous that Malaysia wants to cancel the projects, “but we just want to reassess them,” the official added.

Mahathir’s trip is set to run until Tuesday, but he will first visit the eastern city of Hangzhou to meet e-commerce giant Alibaba’s chief Jack Ma before flying to Beijing, the source said.

China’s eagerness to save the BRI from another embarrassing setback leads some analysts to believe it might be open to striking a pragmatic compromise with Malaysia.

“They don’t want a failure to taint their name,” said one Malaysian source involved in the contract reviews. “They don’t want to be involved in a project that is clear-cut corruption.”

Other major projects that have hit hurdles include a rail link from Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta to southeastern Bandung and the ports of Hambantota in Sri Lanka and Gwadar in Pakistan.

“The Chinese are open to ideas and negotiation in many BRI countries where projects run into problems,” said Abdul Majid Ahmad Khan, president of Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysia-China Friendship Association.

“But Malaysia has to be clear on what it wants.”

Mahathir has courted Japan in recent weeks, announcing plans for a big yen-denominated loan when he visited Tokyo.

His shift away from China is also seen as an opportunity for the United States, worried at Beijing’s growing regional clout and building of islands in the South China Sea.

But for Malaysia to distance itself from biggest trading partner China would further hurt its economy, sluggish under massive debt.

“The domestic politics and change in government delivered a shock to the bilateral relationship, at the very least it has increased uncertainty and risk,” said Pang Zhongying, an international relations expert at the Ocean University of China, adding that the changes had inspired caution.

Residents of Malaysia’s placid coastal town of Kuantan hoped the ECRL, launched a year ago, would boost economic activity through the link to the Malacca Strait, a key shipping lane.

“The east coast people want (the ECRL),” said Andy Chiew, a Kuantan-based official of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce.

But for now, the project has hit the buffers. – Reuters

Five industrial parks get tax exemption in Pahang

KUANTAN, July 26 — The Pahang government has accorded tax exemption to five industrial parks in the state, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail. These are the Pekan Automotive Park, the Malaysia-China Industrial Park (MCKIP) 1 and 2,…

Pahang branches of PKMM, DPMM laud ECRL

KUALA LUMPUR: The new government’s decision to proceed with the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) brings glad tidings to the East Coast residents as well as the Pahang branches of the Malay Contractors Association of Malaysia (PKMM) and the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM). Pahang PKMM President Abd Ghafar Lambak said it was appropriate […]