malacca

 
 

EU palm oil ban sows bitter seeds for South-east Asian farmers

LANGKAT, Sept 24 — Indonesian palm oil farmer Kawal Surbakti says his livelihood is under attack, but the threat is not from insects or hungry orangutans eating his prized crop. Half a world away, the European Parliament is moving to ban the use…


Red Ideas in ‘active negotiations’ with potential regional partners

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PETALING JAYA: Home-grown technology company Red Ideas Holdings Bhd, which is hoping to penetrate the Southeast Asian market this year, is in active negotiations with potential partners in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The ACE Market-listed company is the developer of a mobile application-based community solutions platform called Graaab JaGaApp, which is designed to enhance security, communication and convenience in residential and commercial communities.

The app includes features such as an emergency button, wireless intercom, real-time notices of billings and meetings, quick visitor registration and facility bookings, which replaces the traditional wired intercom and logbook systems.

“Currently we are in active negotiations in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia but nothing is concrete yet … we are hopeful that it will happen this year; of course the faster we grow the better,” Red Ideas co-founder and director Ignatius Ho told SunBiz recently.

“We have also received enquiries from Nigeria, but for now we are still exploring the Southeast Asian market as it is more similar to the Malaysian context,” its co-founder and director David Foo added.

Currently, Ho said, the company is still relatively focused on their expansion in the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

He noted that there is still a lot of room to grow in the area, in major cities such as Ipoh, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru as well as Malacca.

“The market (in the West Coast) is pretty big for us and is vastly untapped, but we have also received some enquiries from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, and we are also in talks with them,” Foo said.

At present, he said, the company has over 210 customers, with the majority (80%) in the Klang Valley, followed by Penang (10%) and Johor Baru (5%), comprising mainly property managers and developers as well as individuals.

Foo said the company is partnering with more than 15 local property developers, including IJM Land and Sunsuria. However, he noted that the bigger part of its market currently is the property management companies.

“About 3% to 4% of our portfolio are from commercial and industrial properties and 96%-97% are residential, out of that, 55% are stratified properties and the rest are landed individual-titled properties,” he added.


Malaysia-Saudi Aramco venture eyes US$9.7 billion financing

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DUBAI: Malaysia’s Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, a venture between Petronas and Saudi Aramco, is seeking commitments from banks for a US$9.7 billion, 15-year loan, sources told LPC, a fixed income news service. Banks have already responded to an initial request for proposals and are required to respond by the end of this […]


KLCI lifted by bargain hunting but seen closing lower before the weekend

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 6): The FBM KLCI made marginal gains today, thanks to bargain-hunting activities on selected index heavy weights. At 5pm, the benchmark index closed 3.07 points or 0.17% higher at 1,798.57 points, with a trading range of between 1,794.79 points and 1,802.60 points for the day. Malacca Securities Sdn Bhd senior analyst Kenneth Leong told theedgemarkets.com that the KLCI’s performance today, which closed in positive territory for the first time in the past six trading days, was also underpinned by the ringgit’s stability, despite falling to its lowestRead More


TNB starts pilot project for National Connectivity Plan

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PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) today said it will start a pilot project this month to assess the technical, safety and commercial viability of using its electrical infrastructure for the National Connectivity Plan (NCP).

Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said in a statement, the pilot project will cover 1,100 out of 4,300 houses in three areas, namely Taman Merbau, Taman Maju and Felda Kemendor in Jasin, Malacca. The pilot project will be completed by the end of 2018.

The households will gain access to high speed broadband (HSBB) network that will be made available through TNB’s owned fibre optics which forms part of the company’s existing telecommunication network.

“Telecommunications system has always been an integral part of the utility industry. For TNB, we have been developing our telecommunication network all these years,” said Moggie.

He said that TNB’s telecommunication network now uses fibre optics technology as part of the electricity grid operation’s design and requirements to ensure high reliability of electricity supply nationwide.

“Through this pilot project, TNB is exploring the potential of utilising the available capacity of TNB’s telecommunication assets for the NCP – identified as an important catalyst towards the digital economy without compromising the safety, security and reliability of the electricity supply network,” he added.

TNB, with full support from the Communications & Multimedia Ministry and the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, was earlier invited to participate in the NCP to help expedite the delivery of this programme, which aims to provide faster, cheaper and wider Internet accessibility.

“This pilot project will be the platform to test the concept of Open Access. The platform is expected to stimulate active participation from new and existing providers in backhaul and retail broadband that will create competition that should push broadband prices down for the benefit of Malaysians,” said Moggie.

TNB will leverage on the outcome of the pilot project for a decision on the commercial viability for TNB to embark on a possible larger scale NCP participation nationwide.


TNB starts pilot project for National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan

PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) today said it will start a pilot project this month to assess the technical, safety and commercial viability of using its electrical infrastructure for the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP).

Chairman Tan Sri Leo Moggie said in a statement, the pilot project will cover 1,100 out of 4,300 houses in three areas, namely Taman Merbau, Taman Maju and Felda Kemendor in Jasin, Malacca. The pilot project will be completed by the end of 2018.

The households will gain access to high speed broadband (HSBB) network that will be made available through TNB’s owned fibre optics which forms part of the company’s existing telecommunication network.

“Telecommunications system has always been an integral part of the utility industry. For TNB, we have been developing our telecommunication network all these years,” said Moggie.

He said that TNB’s telecommunication network now uses fibre optics technology as part of the electricity grid operation’s design and requirements to ensure high reliability of electricity supply nationwide.

“Through this pilot project, TNB is exploring the potential of utilising the available capacity of TNB’s telecommunication assets for the NFCP – identified as an important catalyst towards the digital economy without compromising the safety, security and reliability of the electricity supply network,” he added.

TNB, with full support from the Communications & Multimedia Ministry and the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry, was earlier invited to participate in the NFCP to help expedite the delivery of this programme, which aims to provide faster, cheaper and wider Internet accessibility.

“This pilot project will be the platform to test the concept of Open Access. The platform is expected to stimulate active participation from new and existing providers in backhaul and retail broadband that will create competition that should push broadband prices down for the benefit of Malaysians,” said Moggie.

TNB will leverage on the outcome of the pilot project for a decision on the commercial viability for TNB to embark on a possible larger scale NFCP participation nationwide.


Mercury Industries’ shares fell 4.76% after unit’s PR1MA job terminated

PETALING JAYA: Mercury Industries Bhd's share price tumbled six sen or 4.76% this morning after its 70%-owned unit Paramount Bounty Sdn Bhd's (PBSB) RM73.06 million 1Malaysia People's Housing Programme (PR1MA) contract has been terminated.

At 10.45 am, the stock stood at RM1.20 with 5,000 shares changing hands. Mercury has RM50.6 million market capitalisation.

The contract, which was initially awarded by Upaya Jernih Sdn Bhd to PBSB, was for the construction of 648 units of serviced apartments in Malacca.

Last Friday, Mercury said the balance value of the project was subsequently re-awarded by Aturan Prisma Sdn Bhd (APSB) to PBSB.

The group said APSB has informed PBSB that the employer of the project has notified the project owner, Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia, of the demobilisation from the project site.

“The suspension will not have any effect on the share capital and net assets of the company. However, it is expected to reduce the earnings of Mercury group for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2018,” Mercury added.


Scientex expands landbank in Malacca

PETALING JAYA: Global packaging manufacturer and property developer Scientex Bhd is expanding its landbank in Malacca, by purchasing two parcels of land totalling 209 acres from Real Golden Development Sdn Bhd for RM68.2 million.

Together with the group’s existing 197 acres land in Scientex Durian Tunggal, the enlarged township would consist of a formidable 406 acres in total.

Scientex recently launched 116 units of affordable landed homes in the township under the Rumah Mampu Milik Melaka (RMM) programme in July 2018.

To-date, Scientex has launched 660 units of affordable landed homes in the township since its maiden launch in end-2017.

Scientex Bhd managing director Lim Peng Jin said he believes the land acquisition is timely, as the enlarged landbank in the area strongly supports its ever-growing development plans and future launches in the state. Additionally, this move brings it a step closer to achieving its aim to build 50,000 affordably-priced quality homes throughout the nation by 2028.

The purchase is subject to approval by the Estate Land Board, and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. It will be financed by internally generated funds and/or bank borrowings.


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


KLCI pares gains as decliners overtake advancers

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 10): The FBM KLCI pared some of its gains at midday today as decliners overtook advancers, tracking the sentiment at most regional markets. At 12.30pm, the FBM KLCI was up 3.52 points to 1,808.47. The index had earlier risen to a high of 1,812.69. Losers overtook gainers by 289 to 254, while 587 counters traded unchanged. Volume was 1.07 billion shares valued at RM709.42 million. The top gainers included United Plantations Bhd, British American Tobacco (M) Bhd, United Malacca Bhd, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Petronas Gas Bhd,Read More