Thursday, August 16, 2012



Road Transport Department (RTD) announced a ban on heavy vehicles from using all roads for Four days during the Hari Raya festive in 2012. The ban will take effect on August 17-18 and August 25-26, 2012. The objective of the restriction is to reduce accidents which caused by heavy vehicles and keep the traffic flowing. 

The following are the categories of restriction on the heavy vehicles during the Hari Raya festival:

Category 1:
(Strictly prohibited on road during this period)
Lorries carried timber or building materials such as cement, steel, sand, iron and stone except permission in Category 3
Cement mixers and other heavy vehicles i.e. crane, low loaders and heavy mobile machinery (e.g. bulldozers and steamrollers.)

Category 2:
(Allowed to operate from 6.00am to 12.00 midnight during the period)
Container and cargo lorries carrying electronic and electrical goods.
Container and cargo lorries from the port to and airport of different origin (e.g. port Klang, Selangor to Senai airport, Johor)

Category 3:
(According to various constraints of the road, allowed on road from 6.00am to 6.00pm around Klang Valley, Johor Bahru, Georgetown, and Ipoh only)
Concrete mixer Truck
Mobile cranes
Tipper lorries (transport stones and sand)

Category 4:
(No Restricted)
Vehicles carried medicine and chemical gas
Container and cargo lorries ply between international airport
Container and cargo lorries ply between same area airport and port
Lorries carried daily necessaries (foodstuff, fruit, vegetable, raw materials, newspaper and poultry) and sundry goods or empty lorries on return trip
Vehicles carried garbage or sewerage
Small lorries d’controlled (Below BDM 5000kg)
Container and cargo lorries between terminals in port of same origin
Lorries shuttle among warehouse, industrial area and port
Tanker lorries carried flammable substances (petroleum/diesel , gas dan LPG)
Lorries involved in Emergency and rescue operation

We strongly urges those affected by the total ban should plan their logistics and supplies in advance to minimize any adverse impact the ban would have on their businesses and operations. We hope this information be able to help members and associates in some way or another.
For further information, please contact Road Transport Department:

Address: Aras 1, Blok D4, Kompleks D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62620 WP Putrajaya
Tel: 03-8886 6412
Fax: 03-8886 6726

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Q1 German businesses improve in Malaysia, Singapore

PETALING JAYA: German businesses in Malaysia and Singapore saw an overall improvement in the first quarter this year, faring better than Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, according to the Asean Business Climate Survey 2012.
Conducted by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the five Asean countries, the survey showed that businesses in Malaysia and Singapore “saw an improvement in the overall situation of the company’s business when compared with the same time last year.”
The chamber said in a report of the survey findings that Indonesian respondents were optimistic on sales and production with 59.4% saying that the company’s overall situation at present was more than satisfactory.
Respondents from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam said overall business was about the same, except for Vietnam where a net 50% said that production was worse than last year.
On the whole, however, businesses are confident of an upward trend in sales and production with all five countries expect improvement within the next 12 months.
The survey noted that sales volumes were satisfactory for 54% of businesses and no major shifts were noted in the company businesses’ overall situation in the first quarter of 2012.
For Malaysia, the chamber highlighted several points gathered from the local respondents such as high data for a positive current financial situation of companies with 47.1% said the situation was good and 62.5% acknowledged improvements in comparison with previous year.
It also noted that Malaysian companies had employed more workers, 81.3% increase compared with the previous year, and investment had increased 37.5% compared with the previous year.
The findings found access to public contracts an important factor for German companies with 56.3% respondents agreeing with it.
“As Malaysia continues to strive towards achieving a high-income nation status by focusing on innovation-led growth, 82% of respondents in Malaysia saw an increase in the number of workforce and expect it to increase in the next 12 months,” it stated.
The survey also pointed to the high importance of inland and regional markets for German companies, especially for smaller economies like Malaysia and Singapore.
“Although the export beyond regional borders still proves to be a stronghold, products and services stay within the region. This proves to be business case for the bigger national economies Indonesia and Thailand,” the report said.
, adding that the importance of developments in Asean triumphed those in the European region.
Of the five countries, only Vietnam appeared to rely more on international markets than inland and regional ones.
Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Alexander Stedtfeld said that “the Asean region is one of the most dynamic economic regions with significant growth potential.”
He added that the growth would be spurred further by the duty-free circulation of goods by 2015, to which German businesses were major contributors.
“Amongst the Asean countries, Malaysia is one of the most attractive business destinations, including a business-friendly environment, competitive cost structures, a well-skilled workforce as well as a base for regional activities.
“The Malaysia-EU Free Trade Agreement, which is currently under negotiation, will provide an additional push,” he said.
Most of the respondents for the survey came from the services sector, including the machinery, electrical equipment and engineering sector, food and health industry and from the chemical products sector.
Questions in the survey focused on the business confidence, growth intentions and investments within the countries in the past year and for the year ahead as well as views of the general economic outlook for 2012.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Malaysia hosts Asia's first Legoland

JOHOR BAHRU, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- The opening of the Legoland Theme Park in Nusa Jaya near here on Sept 15 will see Malaysia offering another of its exotic tourist draws.
Many are familiar with Lego blocks, where individuals, particularly children, can display their talents in showcasing their creativity.
The theme park, which utilises close to 50 million Lego blocks, offers visitors the chance to view unique displays of these pieces, as well as opportunities for the whole family to build on their talents for
Built on almost 30.8 hectares, Legoland Malaysia is the sixth Legoland theme park in the world and the first in Asia.
 Nusa Jaya
This writer and a group of journalists recently visited this theme park. Legoland Malaysia general manager Siegfried Boerst, who welcomed the entourage, said the RM700-million theme park located in Iskandar Malaysia economic region is almost 90 per cent completed and scheduled to be opened Sept 15.
He said this theme park showcases seven parks, including 'Lego kingdom', 'Imagination', 'Land of adventure', 'Lego technic', 'The beginning', 'Lego city' and 'Miniland'. The parks are specially designed for families with children aged two to 12 years old.
Legoland Malaysia was developed by Merlin Entertainments Group, the world's second largest theme park development firm. The firm inked a deal with Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) in December 2008 and construction began at the end of 2009.
"Legoland Malaysia is similar to that in Germany, as the technology used is the same as that utilised in Legoland Florida. Hence, Legoland Malaysia is among the best Lego theme parks ever built," he said.
Among the facilities that will be available at the theme park are restaurants, surau and parking bays. 'The Big Shop', which is the largest premises that sells Lego products in Southeast Asia, will be located next to the main entrance of this theme park.
Three games are specifically offered for children below 11 years old.
They are City Fire Academy, Driving School and Boating School, though children need adults to be present while playing these games.
In 'City Fire Academy', a team of four, including two children and two adults, will compete with another team to put out a fire, while in 'Driving School' and 'Boating School', children will be allowed to man a small vehicle and a small boat.
In 'Miniland', visitors feel like 'giants' walking among Asia's miniaturised landmarks, such as the 10-metre tall Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, as well as other structures.
"In Miniland, local talents are involved, as 20 Malaysians were in the group that created the structures," said the general manager.
There is a roller coaster named Dragon Coaster that brings visitors into the Lego palace in Lego Kingdom that houses a torture chamber, royal dining room and a treasure chamber guarded by a dragon!
Also, children can try out their talents at the 'Imagination' park by building with the available Lego pieces. There is also a 50-metre high watch tower.
Wet park
Boerst, who has more than 20 years experience in this industry, said there are plans to create a wet park next year and a hotel in 2014.
Boerst added that development of Legoland Malaysia offers 1,000 job opportunities for Malaysians, where the locals are bound to benefit from the economic activities generated by this theme park.
More than 45,000 season passes, valid until 2013 at RM245 for an adult and RM180 for a child, have been sold, he said, adding that MyKad holders are entitled to an RM30 rebate at the entrance.
Introductory promotions for daily entrance tickets costing RM96 (adult) and RM70 (child) are being sold. Boerst said about one million visitors are expected during the first year of Legoland Malaysia's operations.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director for Johor Tourism Department, Amirul Asyraf Ibrahim, said development of Legoland Malaysia would further secure the country on world tourism maps.
He said apart from this Lego theme park, Iskandar Malaysia will also offer a cartoon-based theme park in Puteri Harbour, as well as a movie-making studio.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

MALAYSIA FORWARDING AGENT: PM's National Day Message: What future do you want for Singapore?

MALAYSIA FORWARDING AGENT: PM's National Day Message: What future do you want for Singapore?

PM's National Day Message: What future do you want for Singapore?

What should Singapore’s future look like?
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong offered his answer in the National Day message which was aired at 6.45pm on Wednesday evening.
He named three things in particular: the country must offer hope for the future, it must have an inclusive society and it must be a home that everyone loves.
To help achieve that vision, he announced that a new ministerial committee would be set up to conduct a broad-based review of policies. It will be chaired by Education Minister Heng Swee Keat and will include a number of younger ministers.
As part of his speech, PM Lee also announced that forecast for economic growth this year has been narrowed to between 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
The previous forecast was between 1 per cent and 3 per cent

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Malaysia's stock market to stay strong

MALAYSIA'S stock market is expected to hold quite well in the next few months due to numerous activities such as the recent initial public offerings (IPOs), which had drawn strong interest from investors.

The IPOs include those of Felda Global Holdings Bhd and Asia's largest healthcare operator, IHH Group.

Bursa Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Tajuddin Atan said the FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBM KLCI) is expected to stay strong amid some positive signs in the US and European markets.

"In the latest employment data released in the US, the rate of employment and unemployment have increased at the same time. While this is a positive sign, overall, the market is still cautious.
"But from a Malaysian perspective, I think, overall, the market is moving quite well. The index is going up due to the good IPOs and investors' activities," Tajuddin told Business Times in a phone interview recently.


TA Securites head of research Kaladher Govindan had said in his Business Times column last week that a further upside could be seen for the FBM KLCI due to strong rally in US and European stocks, thanks to better-than-expected US employment data for July, which indicated sustainable economic growth.

He said further upside should be in store for the local market this week.

However, confirmation by way of strong buying momentum will be needed to sustain a breakout to new highs, otherwise profit-taking and selling will likely cap gains in the immediate term.

For this week, however, analysts said share prices on Bursa Malaysia are expected to move sideways due to uncertainty and lack of positive news flow.

Global stocks could see further losses following the failure of the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank to adopt monetary stimulus measures.

On the local front, continuous rotation out of small-cap stocks into big-cap ones since June is expected to push FBM KLCI higher.

The benchmark index is currently trying to shake off a five-day sideways consolidation range of between 1,620 and 1,635 levels.

Some key headlines that are likely to spur good market play next week include Eastern & Oriental Bhd's RM1 billion condominium launch, SapuraKencana bagging more Australian oil commissioning job, F&N's potential beverage tie-up with Coca-Cola and speculative properties play from the launch of Tun Razak Exchange.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Penang Port has what it takes to succeed

 WHEN Johor Port was being privatised in 1995, the group taking over the port - the same people that are now on the verge of taking over Penang Port - stipulated that they should be given the opportunity to build another port at Tanjung Pelepas, in south-western tip of Johor.

 The government acceded to the request and the rest as they say is history.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) today is Malaysia's single largest port, handling 113 million freight weight tonnes (fwt), almost a quarter of Malaysia's cargo throughput last year. 

PTP is so successful that it has become a threat to Singapore ports.

Not bad for a port that grew from a greenfield site of swamps.

The growth of privatised Johor Port, which handled 33 million fwt in 2011, is not so shabby either. It is now a major regional port and has the world's largest edible oil storage tank facilities and accorded the London Metal Exchange status. Both ports now are profitable and compete with each other although they share the same owner.

There are several factors behind the successes enjoyed by PTP and Johor Port. Not least of which is geographical. This is God given and those who have it must exploit it to the fullest. 

Johor Port, which is located in the southeastern tip of Johor at Pasir Gudang, has hinterland of oil palm plantations and industrial estates. This is exploited by Johor Port to the fullest to become a port of preference for local cargoes.

Similarly, the promoter of PTP knew its geographical advantage when they proposed to build a port there. 

Tanjung Pelepas, located on the eastern mouth of the Pulai River, is as near to the busy sea lanes of the Straits of Malacca as Singapore is. For ships exiting the south end of the straits, turning left for them would be PTP and right is Singapore.

However, geography alone will not guarantee the success of PTP as a transshipment port when competing with the likes of Singapore. It has to be supported by good infrastructure and fortunately, the southern state's infrastructure is well developed. 

But Singapore too has very good infrastructure. Realising this, PTP has to compete on efficiency. This it has done and with lower cost compared to Singapore, it has managed to attract businesses from big shipping lines such as Maersk and Evergreen. 

Penang Port - among the last Malaysian port to be privatised - likewise has geographical advantage. It is located at the north end of the straits, and is ideal to be a regional port serving northern peninsular, southern Thailand, north Sumatera and Myanmar.

In fact, there is no other regional port in its hinterland which has better facilities and infrastructure support than Penang Port. The only thing that is hindering its growth is efficiency. For a port, which is the oldest in the country, it still handles less cargo than Johor Port, which also is a regional port. 

At the rate that it is going now with profit before tax of RM200,000 in 2011, it would hard pressed to service its debt of about RM1.3 billion.

There is no question that Penang Port must be privatised not only to better serve its hinterland, but also to guarantee its survival. 

The completion of the electrified double-tracking of KTMB's railway line from Rawang to Padang Besar in 2014 spells more trouble for Penang Port.

If the Penang Port does not buck up by then, it would see more shippers in its hinterland sending their cargoes down south to Port Klang.


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