Highlights:

  1. Tun Mahathir holds talks with China’s top leaders
  2. PM assures potential investors Malaysia has no plans to increase taxe
  3. World Bank expects positive impact from revival of ECRL, Bandar Malaysia
  4. Malaysia Innovation Policy Council to drive the growth of tech industry
  5. Apple recalls some wall plug adapters over ‘electrical shock’ risk

Tun Mahathir holds talks with China’s top leaders

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad held talks with China’s top leader today, further underlining the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. Dr Mahathir arrived in Beijing last night. Today, he met with China’s President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Dr Mahathir is on a five-day working visit to China and to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. After their meeting, Dr Mahathir and Li witnessed the signing of two memorandums of understanding on enhancing cooperation in the palm oil sector between Malaysia and China as well as on the development of industrial parks and logistics hubs pursuant to the RM44-billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project in Peninsular Malaysia. An agreement on the reinstatement of the Bandar Malaysia project was also signed.

Speaking at a dialogue session with Chinese investors in Beijing earlier, Tun Mahathir said Malaysia has no plan to increase taxes. Instead, the government is looking into ways to reduce taxes, he added. “We have reduced taxes for imports of luxury goods and this helps businesses to grow because more people come to shop in Malaysia. “The government will study to see if we can make it more attractive and business-friendly,” he said. The dialogue was attended by about

World Bank expects positive impact from revival of ECRL, Bandar Malaysia

40 businessmen. Dr Mahathir also assured investors that the country’s policy would remain unchanged. Dr Mahathir was accompanies by six ministers at the dialogue – Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (Foreign Affairs), Darell Leiking (International Trade and Industry), Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (Economic Affairs), Anthony Loke (Transport), Datuk Salahuddin Ayub (Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry) and Zuraida Kamaruddin (Housing and Local Government).

The World Bank Group expects the revival of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Bandar Malaysia projects to have a positive impact on the country’s economic growth in the medium term. “Certainly, public investment would be supportive of growth in the medium term from a Gross Domestic Product perspective,” lead economist for Malaysia, Richard Record, told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. The government announced the resumption of the ECRL and Bandar Malaysia projects earlier this month.

Malaysia Innovation Policy Council to drive the growth of tech industry

The Malaysia Innovation Policy Council (MIPC) will serve as the platform for the private sector to propose digital tech initiatives, that come with policy and regulatory challenges that hinder innovation and digital economic growth for the country. Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the MIPC would be chaired by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) with participation from industry experts, seasoned innovators and startups, reputable funding partners and other government agencies such as MaGIC, Cradle and Futurise. “Their roles are to provide advisory, facilitation and alignment between industries and to recommend relevant policy or regulations to be implemented. “While I have articulated what the government intends to do to increase digital adoption and build a vibrant, sustainable ecosystem for the entrepreneurs, we also need the industry to step up and be a partner in this process,” he said. Gobind announced the formation of MIPC when launching HLX, Malaysia’s first innovation exchange in Kuala Lumpur today. Meanwhile, CEO of MDEC Surina Shukri said MIPC comprises of two committees – the Industry Coordination Committee that covers matters relating to industry collaboration pertaining to Digital Tech initiatives while the Intervention Committee focuses only on the policy and regulatory intervention. “MIPC invites tech companies, investors and relevant industry players to share their point of views and to offer suggestions to accelerate innovation and growth of tech companies, centred on national policy and regulatory charges,” she said in a statement.

Apple announces recall of some wall plug adapters over ‘electrical shock’ risk

Apple has announced a voluntary recall of its three-prong AC wall plug adapters designed for use primarily in Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The adapters can – in very rare cases – break and create a risk of electrical shock if exposed metal parts are touched, the company said in a statement. Apple said that it is aware of six such incidents worldwide. The recall affects adapters shipped with Apple’s Mac and certain iOS devices between 2003 and 2010, as well as those in the Apple World Travel Adapter Kit. An affected adapter is white, with no letters on the inside slot where it attaches to the main Apple power adapter, according to the company. The new adapters are white with grey on the inside portion.