Govt to strengthen economy with ‘open, transparent and business-friendly’ policies

Malaysia’s economy had been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As businesses slowly pick up following the relaxation of the lockdown rules, the government is aiming to attract investors back into the country.

International Trade and Industry Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali described the journey of winning the trust of investors as a two-way process.

“We have learnt much from them to help shape our long-term plans and policies in a way that would also meet our National Investment Aspirations (NIA),” Azmin said during the ‘Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2021’ seminar organised by Bursa Malaysia today.

“This underscores Malaysia’s comprehensive approach towards reinvigorating the investment ecosystem and responding adequately to emerging megatrends, as well as the evolving needs of our investors.

“The NIA will ensure that our aspirations are reflected cohesively across all current plans, helping to streamline the mandates of all investment promotion agencies, as well as government-linked companies.”

He added that moving forward, the government would continue to strengthen the country’s economic fundamentals through the implementation of open, transparent, and business-friendly trade and investment policies.

“This includes the ongoing efforts by the government to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.”

Azmin said such agreements drive progress across a number of key objectives of the NIA.

With strong economic fundamentals, he added the government was confident in the prospect of a sustainable recovery, equitable economic growth, and shared prosperity.

“We are determined to achieve all this through collaboration, partnership and a spirit of optimism that envisions – not just Malaysia or Asean – but the whole world, heading together towards a brighter future.

“No nation, no matter how strong or advanced, can succeed alone or can remain resilient as we continue to face the challenges that lie ahead. If we pool our strengths together, join hands in enhancing our efforts at integration, and work towards the achievement of progress and shared prosperity, I believe we will succeed.”

Here are Twentytwo13’s news highlights today.

‘MALAYSIAN ECONOMY ON RIGHT TRACK’

Malaysia recorded a stronger gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of 2021 that saw 40.1 per cent, and 19.8 per cent growth in April and May.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said there were improvements in the labour market, with unemployment down to 4.6 per cent in August, from 5.3 per cent, at the height of the pandemic.

Tengku Zafrul, speaking at the virtual ‘Invest Malaysia Kuala Lumpur 2021’ seminar organised by Bursa Malaysia, said the 12th Malaysia Plan would lay down fundamental reforms to transform the nation’s development trajectory to achieve ‘A Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia’.

CHARGES AGAINST ME POLITICALLY MOTIVATED, SAYS LABUAN MP

Labuan Member of Parliament, Datuk Rozman Isli, claimed that the abuse of power charge by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) was allegedly to pressure him to leave Warisan.

He was charged at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court today with abusing his power as Labuan Port Authority deputy chairman, to obtain a contract for a company linked to his family members. He pleaded not guilty.

The court fixed bail at RM100,000 in one surety and ordered him to surrender his passport. The case is fixed for mention on Nov 19.

“They want me to leave Warisan and support the government. I was offered positions,” he said in a statement, today.

“If I refuse to give in, this charge will continue in court to tarnish my image before the 15th General Election,” the statement went on.

MALAYSIANS TRUST DOCTORS, NOT POLITICIANS

According to a recent survey, Malaysians trust doctors the most, and politicians the least.

The survey, by market analyst Ipsos, also found that teachers came in a close second on the trust scale, followed by scientists, soldiers and judges.

Ipsos noted that the world also trusted doctors the most.

“More Malaysians have been interacting with the healthcare system than ever before, and it’s reflected in doctors surpassing teachers as the most trusted profession,” Lars Erik Lie, associate director of Ipsos’ public affairs department, said in a statement.

MALAYSIA GIVES RM5M TO PALESTINE

Malaysia contributed RM5 million to Palestine to help rebuild the Al-Rimal Clinic that was damaged by Israeli airstrikes in May.

The clinic was also the only Covid-19 testing laboratory in Gaza.

The funds were taken from the National Disaster Relief Trust Fund.

Foreign Minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, said Malaysia would also extend its contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to assist Palestinians. The government had allocated US$1 million to be disbursed in stages (US$200,000 annually) from 2021 to 2025.

SARAWAK CM TELLS CIVIL SERVANTS TO LISTEN, BE HUMBLE

Sarawak’s public sector has been told to adopt humility and to listen to the people’s plight in improving its services.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government could only improve if it had a better understanding of what affected the people and businesses the most.

“This ongoing drive towards a seamless and proactive government demands humility on the part of the public sector … to listen to the people and build on their insights,” he said.

“Only then, can we make Sarawak an advanced state by 2030.”

THREE CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING IN IPOH

Two foreigners and a local were charged separately at the Ipoh magistrate’s court with trafficking 62kg of cannabis and 161g of Yaba pills last week.

Indian national L. Narayanan, 42, Indonesian Puteri Adelia, 21, and M. Hemamalani, 26, nodded when the charges were read out to them before magistrate Nur Melati Diana Abdul Wahab.

Narayanan was alleged to have trafficked the cannabis at a house in Bandar Lahat Mines on Oct 4, while Puteri Adelia, and Hemamalani were charged with trafficking the Yaba pills at another home in the same area, also on Oct 4.

Another individual linked to the two women, was still at large.

The three were charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1952, which carries a mandatory death penalty. Re-mention has been set for Dec 14, pending the chemistry report.

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