AS exco member and Chair of Communication & Media Relations at the Malaysia-Australia Business Council, I work to promote Malaysia to Australia, which is something I find interesting.
After months of negotiation, Malaysia and Australia signed MAFTA (Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement) on May 22 to promote smoother trade relations especially in key sectors such as high technology, services, agriculture, oil and gas, education, healthcare and tourism.
Last year, Australia was Malaysia’s 10th largest export destination. My role at the council also involves relaying Malaysian statistics to Australian business.
Malaysia’s RM238 billion economy expanded 4.7 per cent in the first quarter from a year earlier. Malaysia’s economy is expected to expand five per cent this year. Malaysia’s inflation eased for seven straight months to 1.7 per cent, the slowest in almost two years.
Bank Negara left its key interest rate unchanged at 3 per cent on July 5. Did you know that since May 18, amidst the European debt crisis, Bursa Malaysia’s KLCI Index climbed more than six per cent and on July 6 the Index traded at a 52-week high?
In my opinion, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is on fire when it comes to promoting progress and prosperity.
Abu Dhabi and Qatar have made sizeable investments in the development of Greater KL. China has set up a major tin smelting plant in Sarawak. South Korea’s biggest food processor and France jointly invested RM2 billion in
Terengganu, the largest in Malaysia’s biotech history.
Gevo, a Nasdaq company has agreed to invest RM1.65 billion in Terengganu to make isobutanol from oil palm. Isobutanol is used to produce jet fuel. This would make the state Asia’s largest biorefinery complex and is slated to attract FDI (foreign direct investment) of RM6.8 billion by 2015.
Malaysia sold its longest maturity sukuk (or Islamic bond, due in 2027) worth RM3 billion on June 7, amidst the seven-month low inflation level, the safest type of product with the best conditions for profit. This year, Malaysia sold 8 per cent more sukuk, showing strong demand for our fixed income assets. Of interest to the construction industry: Dana Infra Nasional Bhd is issuing RM2.4 billion Islamic bonds to finance one of Malaysia’s largest infrastructure projects, a 156km subway.
Malaysia introduced Felda Global Ventures, the world’s second largest IPO after Facebook on June 28. Felda Global is the world’s third largest plantation owner and is looking to expand as far as Africa. The share price climbed 20 per cent on the first day and Felda raised RM3.3 billion. As a result, 120,000 Felda settlers will receive around RM15,000 per household while company staff are to get a special bonus of 2½ months’ salary.
Khazanah, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, is taking its hospital operating company public. IHH Healthcare is expected to debut on Aug 1. Asia’s largest healthcare operator is 60 times oversubscribed! Its RM2 billion share sale has attracted cornerstone investors such as Singapore’s GIC, Temasek Holdings and Ananda Krishnan’s Usaha Tegas. With FGV and IHH, Malaysia is tipped to be Asia’s top IPO market, overtaking Hong Kong.
Ernst & Young said Bursa Malaysia is the third biggest in terms of IPO funds raised in the second quarter of this year, after Nasdaq and the NYSE.
Despite the war of words between our political parties, at least we’re learning to debate issues openly. For all the criticisms levelled at the central government, it cannot be denied that Malaysia’s net FDI totalled RM32.9 billion last year, up from RM29.3 billion in 2010.
I think Malaysians are extremely fortunate we aren’t experiencing financial crises the likes of Greece or Spain. Aren’t we lucky our bankers don’t manipulate interest rates like Britain’s Barclays! That said, we can’t afford to be complacent.
We want to preserve an environment that enables us to continue enjoying abundance. It’s the Asian century, people say. I want to see Asia’s third largest economy escalating its way to success and not falling behind our neighbours like Indonesia and Vietnam. Malaysia’s May exports rose 6.7 per cent to RM58.78 billion year on year. May imports rose 16.2 per cent to RM54.78 billion.
According to Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Asia is becoming more of a consumer than a producer, with a middle class that is projected to increase from 500 million to three billion by 2030 — a sure sign that we should:
• buy Malaysian;
• build our exports to Asia; and
• rely less on Europe and the United States.
Demands from in-laws
I’M newly married and I’m finding it a challenge to get along with my in-laws. Everyone comes with their own stories and makes their personal demands on my wife and me. It is hard enough adjusting to being with one woman, let alone the whole clan. Is there a “way of seeing”, as you would put it, that would help make it easier?
WHOA, you’re speaking my language! “Way of seeing” refers to perspective. “Way of being” refers to how your filters or ways of seeing/thinking affects your behaviour.
Congratulations! Firstly, on your wedding and secondly, for wanting to adjust context and principles — for the intention of making life better — for yourself and (I presume) for everyone.
What are your beliefs, expectations and understandings around in-laws and extended family?
Do you think of them as “extra” — effort, commitment, adjustment?
Do you see them as “optional” — allowing yourself space to make excuses, withdraw or decline?
Think that way and lo and behold, you will manifest that. Hey presto! Your in-laws become outlaws. Irritants. It’s called the law of attraction, brother!
What other more positive, enriching ways could you choose to think that would enable you to accept, associate and embrace extended family more fully and unconditionally?
Suggestion 1: “No issue is bigger than family. We will manage whatever happens.”
Suggestion 2: “My wife and I will work to protect all that is important to us, that includes private and family time.”
Suggestion 3: “I have the ability to see good in everything and everyone.”
When we adjust HOW we think and see the people and the world around us, we begin to co-create what we want with all that is.
As the saying goes: Whatever you focus on becomes bigger. Whatever you give energy and attention to, grows.
I CAN’T forgive my husband for cheating on me. I love him but I can’t forget the pain he caused me when he was unfaithful. How can someone swear to love you and, in the same breath, say he couldn’t help himself?
WHAT kind of person would you need to be to be able to forgive a cheating spouse?
Who on planet Earth do you know that has been able to forgive an unfaithful husband? What, do you think, made it possible for them to forgive?
Notice that all my questions do not deal with “external/material things” but “internal/spiritual issues” (beating hand to heart and looking upwards).
I’m talking about the person who understands that forgiveness is about healing themselves and not about letting others off the hook, the person who knows how to separate person from behaviour — because we are more than our mistakes.
This person will be able to rise above situations such as infidelity because, in the end, it’s all just human stuff.
Now this is not to say we condone weakness and infidelity. This is not to say we wouldn’t hold people accountable. Oh no. Just that we can “see” how a mistake does not a man maketh. The same way we understand how our past does not define our future. We believe that each one of us is pure potential.
And because what we want ultimately is to promote joy, peace and love, we DECIDE not to propagate emotions such as guilt, shame and mistrust. So we acknowledge, accept and let go.