The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCCIM) held its National Council Meeting today, attended by council members and representatives from all the states included Dato’ Lim Kok Cheong (President), Datuk Ter Leong Yap (Deputy President), Vice Presidents Dato’ Sri Lim Sing, Dato’ William Tan, Dato’ Seri Choot Ewe Seng, Dato’ Wee Kok Tiong, Tan Sri Dato’ Lim Bah, Tan Sri Dato’ Soong Siew Hoong (Executive Adviser), Dato’ Low Kian Chuan (Secretary General), Dato’ Liew Sew Yee (Treasurer) etc.
Various issues and activities on economy and industries were discussed and endorsed in the meeting. Among the topics discussed, the Council expressed particular concern on the disputes and strikes of foreign workers arising from the implementation of National Minimum Wage since 1st January 2013.
Although Cabinet has decided that foreign workers were to pay for their own levy, and the National Wage Consultative Council has issued a Press Statement dated 20th February 2013 saying that employers facing financial constraint can apply to extend the implementation of minimum wage for foreign workers to 2014, these employers need to obtain prior approval from the council and subject to the followings:
- The extension only apply to foreign workers;
- Employers who have already implemented the MW are not allowed to apply for an extension;
- Employers who had implemented the minimum wage policy but who have run into difficulties paying the wages could apply to the Government to be allowed to deduct the costs of levy and accommodation from the workers' pay, except those in plantation sector;
- Employers who apply for an extension of the wage implementation date were prohibited from deducting the levy and accommodation costs from the workers' pay;
ACCCIM opined that the announcement by the council does not resolve the problems faced by the industry but creates more confusion as it does not come out with new guidelines to clarify the details.
ACCCIM urges the Government to look into this issue seriously and solve it as soon as possible before the relationship between employers and employees of SMEs is worsen.
Good morning to friends from media!
Since ACCCIM signed a collaboration agreement with Credit Bureau Malaysia (CBM) in May 2012, both parties have gone through several discussions to finalise the details of cooperation and procedures to facilitate members of ACCCIM Constituent Chambers to obtain services of CBM in the most convenient way.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There are many people in the business community who are not aware on the role and services of CBM. The Bureau was set up by Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC) in year 2008 with the objectives to enhance SMEs' access to financing and to create a sound credit culture amongst the business community in the country. The Bureau undertakes this role by generating independent credit ratings on SMEs from credit and corporate business information obtained from credible sources such as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM).
Malaysian SMEs have always been facing problems in obtaining financing from commercial banks due to various reasons. ACCCIM has been working closely with the Ministry of Finance, Bank Negara Malaysia and The Association of Banks in Malaysia, seeking to resolve this problem.
Traditionally, one of the key factors in credit evaluation is the historical conduct of payment behavior. SMEs that have no previous banking history would not have the 'reputational collateral' that would otherwise give them easier access to financing.
The Bureau's role is to "bridge" the current perceived information gap and address some of the issues related to inadequate financial track record involving SMEs. By bridging this gap, The Bureau hopes to create an increasing level of trust between SMEs and lenders, while promoting greater transparency and competition between lenders.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While The Bureau's reports and ratings are primarily used for credit evaluation, they may also be used by the SMEs to undertake a self-check. This is because The Bureau's credit ratings will identify and highlight areas that need improvement and the necessary remedial actions to be taken by SMEs in order to resolve their weaknesses and improve their credit standing. Having identified their weaknesses, SMEs, if they wish, can also seek professional counselling from The Bureau on the remedial actions required. This service is available to SMEs free of charge.
Meanwhile, by getting consent from clients or potential partners, members can also obtain their credit ranking report and determine the risk for cooperation. By having such analysis, members can have better management and reduce the risk for getting bad debt.
The ACCCIM also wish to assist members of Constituent Chambers to build up well managed credit records through this cooperation. In long term, we hope that the commercial banks can fix different interest rate according to their credit ranking, so that those have better ranking can enjoy lower interest rate to reduce their cost of doing business and increase their competitiveness.
Executive Summary of ACCCIM Survey Report on Economic Situation of Malaysia for the 2nd Half of 2012
Significance of the survey
- To assist the Government in gauging the economic situation facing the Chinese business community.
- To collect feedback and opinion on various measures undertaken by the Government to enable them to evaluate the effectiveness of those measures.
- This study would be helpful to the Government either in making adjustments to the existing policies or in the formulation of new policies.
- The result of the survey would also provide a basis for ACCCIM to submit relevant memoranda to the Government.
Profile of respondents
- The respondents were mainly from wholesale and retail (24.5%), manufacturing (22.1%), professional and business services (12.0%), construction (8.3%), real estate (6.4%), agriculture, forestry and fishery (5.9%), and telecommunication and information technology (5.1%) as well as others (15.7%).
- About 24% of the respondents were from Non-SMEs (according to annual turnover and full time employees)
- About 82.0% of the respondents were domestic market oriented whereas the remaining 18% focused on “both domestic and export” markets (11.5%) or ‘export’ markets (6.9%).
Major survey questions and findings
The major survey questions are as follows :
i. Did the malaysian economy deteriorating, remain unchanged or grow in the 2nd half of 2012 ?
- Sales Performance Sustained
- Increase in Production Volume
- Inventory Levels Somewhat Unchanged
- Improved Collections from Customers
- Increase in New Orders from Overseas Markets
- Sustained Levels of New Local Orders
- Local Sales Prices Relatively Unchanged
- Improved Employment Market
- Wages Were Generally Stable
- Relatively Unchanged Capacity Utilization
- Drop in Investment in New Resources or Plant
The Malaysian economy was seen to have experienced little growth in the 2nd of 2012
ii. What were the major factors adversely affecting business performances in the 2nd half of 2012 ?
- Government policies
- Manpower shortage
- Increase in operating cost and price of raw materials
- Domestic competition
iii. Is the Chinese business communities optimistic or pessimistic about the malaysian economic outlook ?
Overall, the chinese business community is optimistic about the economic outlook for Malaysia for 2013, 2014 and 2015.
iv. Current issues facing the chinese businessmen in relation to trade, investment and industrial development in Malaysia.
(A) Implementation of Minimum Wage
- 69.4% (up from 55.9% for the last survey) of the respondents believed that the setting of minimum wages would bring about negative effects on their businesses
- Low support for minimum wage policy
(B) External Economic Sector and Domestic Demand
- A majority (84.8%) of respondents were of the opinion that the world economic environment would continue to remain weak and challenging in the near future.
- 77% of the respondents were of the opinion that their businesses would be negatively affected, owing to the uncertainties in the foreign countries’ economies.
- Budget 2013 may not be able to strengthen domestic demand and maintain economic stability
(C) Limited Liability Partnership
- 42% of respondents were familiar with the Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) that came into effect in December 2012, and how it works.
- The majority (63.5%) of the respondents indicated that they would not consider converting from a limited company to LLP status.
- 45% of respondents indicated that they were aware of the tax provisions for the LLP.
(D) Property Sector
- 48.3% of respondents were of the opinion that the increase in RPGT rates were likely to be able to curb speculative activities, whereas 39% of respondents opined that the change in tax rate would have no effect whatsoever.
- Many respondents (72.5%) did not foresee that property prices would trend downwards in the near future
(E) Low Success in Efforts to Move the Economy out of Middle Income Trap
Many SMEs / SMIs appear not to have benefitted from the various government initiatives. This has led to many respondents not believing that Malaysia is on its way to being successful in respect of efforts to move the economy out of the middle income trap.
(F) Majority of Respondents were not Happy with the State of the Malaysian Economy
A majority (73%) of the respondents were not happy with the state of the Malaysian economy to-date, leading up to the coming 13th General Elections for Malaysia
(G) Bankruptcy Law in Malaysia
- 74% of the respondents were in agreement with the need for review of the existing Bankruptcy Law in Malaysia
- 76.5% of the respondents also felt that the threshold that allowed financial institutions or creditors to institute bankruptcy proceedings ought to be raised
- 69.2% of respondents opined that the laws in Malaysia should be amended to make it easier for one to be discharged from bankruptcy.
(H) Competition Act 2010
Majority of the respondents (51%) replied that thus far, the Competition Act has had no effect on their businesses.