TCM Act 2013: To be enforced in middle of 2015



The Health Ministry will enforce the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2013 by the middle of next year, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

The Ministry is preparing the regulations that would empower it to fine non-registered traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) practitioners up to RM30,000.

“But we will take into consideration those who have practised for years, and will give a grace period for them to register,” he said at a press conference after launching the 8th Traditional and Complementary Medicine Conference, Exhibition and Carnival here yesterday.

The law, passed in 2012 and gazetted in February, provides for the establishment of the Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Council to regulate TCM services in Malaysia.

Anyone who intends to practise TCM will be required to register with the council, and this move is meant to ensure practitioners adhere to standards and prescribed guidelines. To date, 12,235 practitioners have registered, he said.

Dr Subramaniam added that most TCM businesses here consisted of practitioners who operate from their own premises or homes, while only two private hospitals had introduced traditional medicine wings.

Fifteen TCM units have also been established at government health care facilities to provide Malay traditional massage and acupuncture for chronic pain and post-stroke care, as well as dispense herbal medicine as an adjunct therapy for the side-effects of mainstream cancer treatment. Other services include Malay post-natal massage and Shirodhara therapy.

On whether the ministry would consider pushing for TCM to be exempted from Goods and Services Tax (GST), Dr Subramaniam said the Ministry had submitted its recommendations to the Customs Department, and would await their decision.

/theSTAR 31-10-2013


Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Malaysia: 18th spot in Ease of Doing Business Report, 2015



Malaysia has improved its ranking in the Ease of Doing Business Report 2015 from 20th in 2014 to 18th spot, ahead of economies such as Taiwan, Switzerland, Thailand, the Netherlands and Japan, according to World Bank.

Malaysia is ranked 4th in Asia after Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. Its distance to frontier score improved from 76.84 in 2014 to 78.83 in 2015.

The report said Malaysia made improvements in five of the indicators namely starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property and resolving insolvency.

It said these improvements reflects the initiatives undertaken by the government through the government transformation and economic transformation programmes as well as the work undertaken by the joint public-private sector task force to facilitate business (Pemudah).

Lead author of Doing Business 2015, Rita Ramalho, said the Doing Business report has introduced a number of methodological refinements this year.

She said the ranking is now based on the 'Distance to Frontier' (DTF) score rather than percentile rank, where the DTF score shows the gap between an economy's performance and the best performance on each indicator.

Ramalho pointed out that the World Bank is of opinion that this methodology provides clarity on the improvements that countries need to make as they work on their competitiveness.

"Through an ambitious reform agenda, Malaysia has gradually improved the ease of doing business. This has benefited local entrepreneurs, who now have fewer regulatory hurdles to comply with and more resources to focus on their business," she said during a teleconference from Washington in the US with Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and the Philippines here yesterday.

Also present were Malaysia Productivity Corp director-general Datuk Mohd Razali Hussain and member of Pemudah task force Datuk Pardip Kumar and World Bank senior Economist Fredrico Gil Sander.

Mohd Razali said Malaysia, which aims to improve its position to top 10 in the ease of doing business, will be focusing five areas to improve its ranking and make it a more attractive investment destination.

"For 2016, World Bank's new focus will be on registering property, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, paying taxes and enforcing contracts. Malaysia will focus on these five areas to improve further and be competitive," he said.

/theSUN 30-10-2014







Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Malaysia: Top 20 for affordable high quality accommodation & cost of living.



Expatriates ranked Malaysia among the top 20 places for affordable high quality accommodation and cost of living.

In the 7th Expat Explorer Survey conducted by YouGov involving over 9,300 expatriates, Malaysia was placed 19th for quality of life, financial well-being and the ease of raising a family abroad with Switzerland, China and Singapore in the top three.

The respondents in Malaysia said accommodation was easy to find (63%), of higher quality (54%) compared to their home country and relatively inexpensive.

Utilities is another area which expats are saving with 37% now spending less on these bills.


It appears that a larger culture change is in order for many expats when they make Malaysia their home, with over a quarter (27%) of Malaysia-based expats surveyed this year originally from the United Kingdom.

Nearly half of expats in Malaysia (47%) said they find the local language difficult. But expats who made Malaysia their home seem to embrace the sense of adventure, with over half (56%) trying to learn and use the local language, despite its difficulty.

Some 70% said they were travelling more since embarking on an expat life while 57% described Malaysia as a culturally interesting place.

The survey by YouGov, one of the largest global surveys of expats, ranked Switzerland as the number one country for a well-balanced, high quality lifestyle.

The rankings are: 1. Switzerland 2. Singapore 3. China 4. Germany 5. Bahrain 6. New Zealand
7. Thailand 8. Taiwan 9. India 10. Hong Kong 11. Canada  12. Australia 13. Qatar 14. Oman
15. United Arab Emirates 16. Vietnam 17. Russia 18. Japan 19. Malaysia 20. Belgium

/theSTAR 22-10-2014

Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Malaysia: Health Budget 2015 - RM 23 billion



A total of RM23 billion had been allocated to the health sector from Budget 2015", said Health Minister YB Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said despite the increase on the allocation that make up for more than 8% of the total budget compared to last year, it is still a normal amount given to the health ministry.

"It will allow us to handle the usual operations and through the new policies, certain emphases can be put in areas such as cancer treatment, haemodialysis, and making a way to develop a new programme."

"Out of the RM23 billion allocated, a total of RM11.7 billion goes to pay salaries. This year, the ministry has more than 230,000 employees, which is expected to increase to 260,000 next year."

"So, more than RM12 billion will be spent on paying the salaries alone next year. That is nearly half of the budget allocated to us," he said.

However, he added that the increased allocation given this year can do more in treating cancer patients, dealing with infectious diseases, dengue control and blood related diseases such as leukemia.

"The allocation will allow us to widen the scope of services and activities for the ministry," he said.

He also noted that the health ministry is expecting a major transformation on the health sector in the 11th Malaysia Plan and hopes things, including operational, services and management, will be transformed to achieve higher targets.

/theSUN 11-10-2014


Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Malaysia: Budget 2015 - Essential Medicines, Zero rated



The Health Ministry has clarified that the 2,900 brands of essential medicine that will be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax are categorised as zero-rated GST.

These supplies comprised 320 chemical compounds that are subject to a zero rate.

“Health services per se are ‘GST exempt’ and the chemical compounds are zero-rated.

“Retailers and hospitals are eligible to claim back the GST (as output tax) but will not charge it to the consumer,” Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam told a press conference after launching the organ donation street campaign, “One Pledge with A Million Hopes” here yesterday.


On the other hand, he added, another category of “GST exempted” products is where consumers are exempted but not the retailers or hospitals.

He added that this could lead to an increase in overall price to cover the GST paid, clarifying the announcement made by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he presented Budget 2015 on Friday.
The Prime Minister stated 2,900 essential medicines would be exempted from the GST but did not specify the category.

Dr Subramaniam said herbs were not in the essential zero-rated GST drug list and discussions were still being held with the Finance Ministry on whether medical devices would also be zero-rated. “We are asking for most of them to be zero-rated. They are studying it and, in the near future, would decide which would be zero-rated,” said Dr Subramaniam.
 
He said emphasis had been given to cancer treatment and haemodialysis, adding that his ministry hoped for a transformation in the health services under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

He said about half of the ministry’s budget would go to paying the salaries of 260,000 employees.

/theSTAR 13-10-2014 


Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Malaysia: Budget 2015 Highlights



There will be no GST (Goods and Service Tax) imposed on RON95 petrol, diesel, and LPG, while individual income tax payers will enjoy lower rates in Budget 2015 as announced by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the Parliament on 10th October 2014.

The other highlights of Budget 2015 include:

Income tax rates to be cut by one to three percentage points. Families with monthly income of less than RM4,000 will not have to pay tax - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/budget-2015-live-updates#sthash.jIvWgnab.dpuf
* Income tax rates to be cut by one to three percentage points
* Families with monthly income of less than RM4,000 will not have to pay tax 

* Government revenue estimated at RM23.2bil with implementation of GST
* Government to exempt goods from GST amounting to a total of RM3.8bil
* Items exempted from GST are - all types of fruits, both local and imported; white bread and wholemeal bread; Coffee powder, tea dust and cocoa powder; Yellow mee, kuey teow, laksa and meehoon; essential medicines covering nearly 2,900 brands which are used to treat 30 types of diseases, including heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and for fertility treatment 
* With GST implementation, Sales and Services Tax (SST) abolished, resulting in revenue foregone of RM13.8bil
* RM690mill net revenue collection from GST

* RM4.9bil to be channelled back to the people through assistance programmes such as the increase in Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M)

* BR1M for those earning RM3,000 and below will be increased to RM950 from RM650
* For those earning RM3,000 to RM4,000, BR1M increased to RM750 (from RM450)

* Allowance of MPs of Dewan Rakyat will be increased from the equivalent grade 54 to equivalent grade Jusa C, consistent with their responsibility.
* Allowance of MPs of Dewan Negara will be increased from equivalent grade 48 to equivalent between grade 54 and Jusa C
* Salaries and allowances of the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat and Speaker of Dewan Negara as well as their respective Deputies will be increased effective 1 Jan 2015

* Government will review the salary scheme of members of the administration. This includes the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers and Deputy Ministers

* A half-month bonus with a minimum payment of RM500 to be paid in January 2015 for civil servants

* Government pensioners will also receive special financial assistance of RM250

* Several infrastructure projects will be implemented - 59km Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Expressway (SUKE) with total construction cost of RM5.3bil; 276km West Coast Expressway from Taiping to Banting (RM5bil); 47km Damansara-Shah Alam Highway (DASH)(RM4.2bil); 36km Eastern Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE)(RM1.6bil); 56km Second MRT Line from Selayang to Putrajaya (estimated RM23bil); LRT 3 Project linking Bandar Utama to Shah Alam and Klang (about RM9bil); and RM150mil upgrading of East Coast railway line

* RM223.4bil for operating expenditure, RM50.5bil for development expenditure

* RM65.6bil for emoluments, RM38.1bil for supplies and services

* RM29.3bil allocated to the economic sector

* RM12.6bil allocated to the social sector for education, training, health, housing and well-being of society

* RM4.9bil earmarked for the security sector, RM1.7bil for general administration and RM2bil for contingencies

* For 2015, economic growth expected to remain strong between 5% and 6%, fiscal deficit projected to further decline to 3% of GDP

* Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex project with total investment of RM69bil, which is expected to create over 10,000 jobs

* RM70mil Sustainable Mobility Fund to be established under SME Bank - 50 electric buses will be introduced initially

* RM100mil Digital Content Industry Fund to be set up under the Communications and Multimedia Commission to further promote creative industries like animation, filming, designing and cultural heritage

/theSTAR 11-10-2014


Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

IHH, KPJ: 2nd Quater 2014 Results, Kenanga Research



The healthcare industry’s growth dynamics, which are fundamentally supported by growing healthcare expenditure, rising medical insurance and an ageing population demographics, will continue to enjoy stable growth, according to research house Kenanga Research.
It said in that the sector was also considered defensive due to its higher predictability factor and captive earnings streams.
 
“In the recently concluded second-quarter results season, both IHH Healthcare Bhd and KPJ Healthcare Bhd came in within expectations.”
 
Noting that stocks such as IHH and KPJ were trading at rich valuations, Kenanga Research said their growth trajectory were reflected in their current prices.
 
The research house rated the industry and both IHH and KPJ as “underperform” with target prices of RM4.20 and RM3.31, respectively.
 
IHH last traded at RM4.97 with a price to earnings ratio of 57.13 times while its close counterpart KPJ was quoted at RM3.94 with a price to earnings ratio of 26.44 times.

/theSTAR 08-10-2014

Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Moody: Malaysia's fiscal deficit narrows to 3.1% of GDP



Moody’s Investors Service expects Malaysia’s fiscal deficit to narrow to 3.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, coming in below the official target of 3.5 per cent.

It described Malaysia latest move to reduce fuel subsidy as credit positive.

“The move is credit-positive for the sovereign, because it will help reduce the government’s subsidy bill and contribute to its fiscal consolidation,” commented senior analysts Christian de Guzman and Steffen Dyck. However, further reforms will be necessary if the government is to meet its goal of achieving a balanced budget by 2020.

The fuel pump price increases are the latest attempt to rein in the fiscal deficit, which the rating agency has forecast will narrow to 3.1 per cent of GDP this year, from 3.9 per cent in 2013.

The hike of 20 sen per litre, which constitutes a 9.5 per cent increase for RON95 and a 10 per cent rise for diesel, mirrors the government’s September 2013 reduction in fuel subsidies.

The government has also cut subsidies for other items, including sugar and electricity, and will introduce a six per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April next year to broaden the tax base and ease the government’s reliance on petroleum-related income.

Moody’s described Malaysia’s overall subsidy bill as having grown rapidly over the past decade, in line with the rise in oil prices.

“Subsidy reductions over the past year have caused subsidy spending as a share of the government’s operating expenditures to fall to 17 per cent in the first half of this year after peaking at more than 20 per cent in 2011 and 2012 and from the 2009 level of 13 per cent.”

In an earlier analysis, it stated Malaysia’s public debt stock at 54.7 per cent of GDP at the end of 2013, higher than the “A-”-rated peer median of 41.4 per cent.

“But combined with our expectations of stronger real GDP growth this year of six per cent, up from 4.7 per cent in 2013, smaller fiscal shortfalls should chip away at the debt stock.

“That, it said, would give the government greater room to manoeuvre beneath its self-imposed debt ceiling of 55 per cent of GDP.”

Just like the shift in rating outlook from “stable” to “positive” in November last year, Moody said that expectations of fiscal consolidation and reform and macroeconomic stability are important for any upgrade in the rating.

“The next fiscal test for Malaysia will come when the government presents its 2015 Budget on Friday,” it said. 

/NST 07-10-2014


Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Malaysia: GDP to be 5.7% by end 2014



THE World Bank has revised upwards the growth projection for Malaysia to 5.7 per cent this year from 5.4 per cent, saying the economy will be spurred by improvements in exports.

It noted the better-than-expected performance of 6.3 per cent for the first half of the year, which was derived from a recovery in exports. Exports, which have performed consistently since the third quarter of last year, expanded by five per cent quarter-on-quarter between April and June.

“Driven by higher energy, commodity and petrochemical production and by the continuation of the pick-up in the E&E (electrical and electronics) sector, exports are projected to expand further into 2014 and 2015,” it said in its latest economic outlook yesterday.

The E&E manufacturing sector continued its upward trajectory by expanding for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Malaysia is one of the countries in the region that is well-positioned to raise exports, reflecting its deepening integration into global regional value chains.

The World Bank said the E&E-driven improvements in the non-commodity trade balance and higher energy prices kept the current account in a healthy surplus in the first half of the year. Domestic demand will continue to be a key driver of growth, and is likely to grow by 6.7 per cent this year, although headwinds are expected from fiscal and monetary tightening measures.

“While Malaysia’s near-term growth outlook remains positive, the full effects of fiscal consolidation and less accommodative monetary policy remain to be seen, especially since a second round of fuel
subsidy cuts has been postponed,” it said. (The report was published before the government’s 20 sen hike in fuel price last week).

The fuel subsidy cuts, along with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the next quarter, are expected to result in a revised growth projection of 4.9 per cent next year (2015), said the World Bank.

“The implementation of fuel subsidy realisation and a potential consecutive hike in real interest rates will further constrain household consumption, which will moderate into the second half of the year and further into 2015.”

It has projected GDP growth to slow to 4.9 per cent next year and stabilise at five per cent in 2016.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said the global economy is showing signs of recovery but at an uneven pace, with growth expected to rise 2.6 per cent this year and an average of 3.3 per cent from 2015-2017.

World Bank East Asia and Pacific regional vice-president Axel van Trotsenburg said the East Asia Pacific area will continue to have the potential to grow at a higher rate.

“It can grow faster than other developing regions if policymakers implement an ambitious domestic reform agenda, which includes removing barriers to domestic investment, improving export competitiveness and rationalising public spending,” he said in a report.

The World Bank also said there is still a window of opportunity for several countries, including Malaysia, to address the vulnerabilities and inefficiencies that have been created by an extended period of loose financial conditions and fiscal stimulus.

“Measures to bolster revenues and reduce wasteful and poorly-targeted subsidies will create space for productivity-enhancing investments and poverty-reducing programmes.”

/NST 07-10-2014



Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Work beyond your given Job Scope



I was having tea with a friend whom I met recently. He is a retired pensioner and prior to his retirement he was the head of a Government agency.

One of the topics that stood up in my mind, after an hour or so of discussion, was that "during my time, I always advised my staff to always go beyond his given job scope. He must work at a level above his existing job grade. By doing so, when there is a promotion, he would be already prepared for the job."

"This is because when he goes for his promotion interview, he would already have a prepared mental frame of what he is being interviewed for. He would definitely stand up in the interview as he is already familiar with the job that he is applying for. He would be the likely successful candidate."

In a way this is true, provided that the person also possesses the relevant soft skills, intelligence and paper qualifications. Many times, interviewers had also given the feedback that "IQ" and experience are not enough as "EQ (Emotional Quotient)" must be part of the equation of success.

/06-10-2014

Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment

Condom: A Growing Business



Karex, the world’s largest condom maker by volume, produces four billion annually, more than any other single manufacturer. Industry consultants estimate the global condom market is worth US$6 billion (RM19.68 billion) in 2015, or about 27 billion condoms.

Karex’s condoms make up 15 per cent of the global market. With heightened awareness of safe sex, global demand is expected to grow at eight per cent annually.

When it comes to brand recognition, leading labels Durex (marketed by Reckitt Benckiser), Trojan (owned by Church & Dwight) and Lifestyles (by Ansell Ltd) make up 25 per cent of the world’s condom market. Apart from selling on volume, like all businesses, it is far more vital to add value so as to sell at premium pricing. This is underpinned by product development.to produce condoms in an assortment of colours, texture, shapes and flavours.

However, it is believed, that the “feel” of the condom keeps the customers coming back. The challenge is for manufacturers to come up with thin and yet durable condoms that can withstand punctures. 

According to the Guinness World Record, the Aoni condom is the world’s thinnest rubber measuring 0.036 millimetres. China’s Guangzhou Daming United Rubber Products Ltd, that makes 200 million Aoni condoms annually, taking this “barely-there” tantalising title from Japan’s Okamoto Industries Inc’s thinnest variant of 0.038mm.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently awarded US$100,000 in grant to the University of Manchester to develop nano composite materials for next-generation condoms. They are experimenting with a “miracle material” called graphene to make thinner and stronger condoms.

Graphene is 1 atom thick and 200 times stronger than steel.
 
Last week, Karex bought a 55 per cent stake in Boston-based Global Protection Corp for US$6.6 million. As brand owner of the ONE condom, Global Protection Corp granted exclusive rights to Karex to expand this “fun-loving” sensation into Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. ONE condom is now the fourth most popular brand after Durex, Trojan and Lifestyles.

In ramping up its capacity to six billion pieces by the end of 2015, Karex’s RM80 million eco-friendly factory is being built on a 7.3ha plot in Pontian, Johor. “When we combine utility savings and convert them to the all familiar carbon calculation, it’s a staggering 9,900 tonnes of
carbon dioxide avoidance into the air. That’s equivalent to the emissions of 29,000 cars in a year,” Karex said.

/Business Times, 05-10-2014

Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment