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Dinner Hosted by Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce

 |  June 29, 2011  | Posted in President Speeches |  Post a comment  |  

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Dinner Hosted by Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce

25th June 2011 G Hotel, Pulau Pinang

Y.A.B Lim Guan Eng, Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang

Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Tan Kok Ping, President of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the mass media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good Evening,

First of all, I would like to thank the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce for inviting me to attend and speak at this grand gala dinner. A big thank you to the host Chamber, Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the success of the 65th Annual General Meeting of ACCCIM.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

"Old Penang" is what the Southeast Asian Chinese used to call Penang. This word clearly illustrates the long history and rich cultural legacy of Penang. Penang was established as the first commercial port in the Far East by the British colonial government in 1786. Today, Penang has become a bustling metropolis with a unique mixture of sentiments of the East and the West. Penang is a blended economy of trade, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture with high-tech industries being the more outstanding achievement in development.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As one of the oldest ethnic chambers of commerce in Malaysia, Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce which long dedicated itself to serve the society and safeguard the interests of members, has witnessed the changes and growth in all socio-economic sectors, and made significant contribution to the local community and the development of Penang. Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce is widely respected and supported by the Chinese community.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce has long been one of Malaysia's most active chambers of commerce. The outstanding performance of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce has been reflected way back to the decade of 1970s when your then President, the late Datuk Choong Han Leong and the late Datuk Koh Pen Ting were successively elected as the President of ACCCIM. They had made huge contribution to ACCCIM as well as the national development. In recent years, the leadership and members of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce have continued to play a very active role in advancing the development of your Chamber. Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce has also continued to assist ACCCIM in handling major issues in chamber affairs. Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce is also actively guiding and assisting SMEs to enhance their competitiveness, and strengthening networking and interaction with external organizations to generate business opportunities for members.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Penang possesses one of the principal shipping ports in Malaysia. The Penang Port is the main distribution centre for supplies in northern Peninsular Malaysia, and a major processing centre for industrial, agricultural and mineral products as well as entreport trade centre. Owing to her excellent geographical and regional advantages, Penang has established a growth triangle with southern Thailand and Sumatra to cooperate with each other in trade, tourism and logistics development.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Penang has been included by the Federal Government in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). Development in the Northern Corridor Economic Region will bring about abundant business opportunities, improve residents’ socio-economic level and gradually build Penang to be a world-class integrated commercial centre.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ACCCIM and our Constituent Chambers will continue to safeguard the interests of Chinese business community, and strive for the advancement of our national economy as a whole. We firmly believe that, with concerted efforts, Malaysia will be able to sail through this difficult period of high energy costs and stern global competition. We hope that all government authorities will intensify efforts to implement the pro-business policy, and assist the business community by way of deregulation, creation of more efficient delivery systems and provision of better infrastructure and anti-crime surveillance system. We firmly believe that the Malaysian economy will continue to achieve sustainable growth, given a stable environment in which the costs of doing business remain reasonable.

Thank you



OPENING CEREMONY OF ACCCIM’S 65TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 |  June 29, 2011  | Posted in President Speeches |  Post a comment  |  

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SPEECH OF TAN SRI WILLIAM CHENG,

PRESIDENT OF ACCCIM AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF ACCCIM’S 65TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

25-6-2011 PENANG

Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Mohd. Yassin, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia,

Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek, Presiden MCA,

Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Datuk Tan Kok Ping, Presiden Dewan Perniagaan China Pulau Pinang

Tetamu-tetamu yang dihormati,

Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan Sekalian,

Selamat pagi dan salam sejahtera.

Bagi pihak ACCCIM, saya mengalu-alukan kedatangan para padirin sekalian ke MajlisPerasmian Mesyaurat Agung ke-65 ACCCIM pagi ini. Kami berasa amat bangga dan bersyukur kepada YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Bin Mohd. Yassin, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang sudi hadir untuk merasmikan perhimpunan agung kami pagi ini.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ACCCIM has gone through a very eventful year since our last Annual General Meeting on 25-7-2010 in Kluang. There have been some major developments in the Chamber affairs, which include the relocation of Secretariat in January 2011 to a brand new premise with much larger office space and upgraded facilities at Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. A socio-economic research centre has been successfully established at the same venue after obtaining strong support from Constituent Chambers and prominent entrepreneurs. The ACCCIM SERC as the centre is called, was officially opened by YAB Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak on 28th April 2011. The Centre will serve to strengthen ACCCIM representation to Government and assist the business community in respect of economic development, with the ultimate objective of fostering national development.

During the period under review, ACCCIM has been very active in interacting with Government ministries and agencies and presenting views and proposals relating to problems of doing business in various sectors of economy. Cooperation has also been expanded to cover the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (KLRCA). Numerous forums and seminars were organized for the members of Constituent Chambers and the business community at large in understanding and responding to Government policies and programs. Numerous outbound missions were organized to assist the SMEs in exploring business opportunities in overseas markets. ACCCIM have also received more than 30 visiting delegations from abroad during the same period. Various work programs and activities have also implemented by ACCCIM Working Committees to enhance consultation and services to members and the business community. The details of ACCCIM activities have been compiled in the 64th Annual Report and distributed to all delegates and I shall not elaborate here.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Federal Government has launched the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) in September 2010. This massive program is built upon the policy directions, strategies and programs of the 10th Malaysia Plan and aligned with the Government Transformation Program (GTP) as well as the groundwork of the New Economic Model (NEM). The ETP aims to almost triple the country’s Gross National Income (GNI) from RM 660 billion in 2009 to approximately RM 1.7 trillion in 2020. This means an increase in GNI per capita from RM23,700 to at least RM48,000, meeting World Bank’s high income nation benchmark. The nation is therefore expected to grow its GNI at 6% between 2011 and 2020 to achieve the target. The private sector is designated as the prime engine for growth. Given the current global economic scenario, this is indeed a formidable challenge to the private sector.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The global economy is plagued by financial crises and natural disasters. Energy and food shortages remain the major issues, aggravating inflationary pressure and political unrest in many nations. Malaysia is fortunate to have abundant natural resources and relatively stable geographical and social environment. However, in the context of globalization, Malaysian economy is not immune to external turmoil and negative impact. We are a trading nation that depends to a considerable extent on external demand to thrive. Of course we ourselves must be competitive enough to harness the opportunities available in the international markets. It has often been said that Malaysia as a multiracial nation, possesses the strength in diversity. Given that this is our competitive advantage, the challenge is to nurture and provide equitable opportunities in human capital development in our multiracial society. There are problems and obstacles that our Government could overcome with strong political will. The overriding objective is the success of our economic transformation program that will bring about robust national development towards the year 2020.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The current scenario in our national economy reflects an urgent issue that should be addressed with proper macro-economic management. The energy price increase is now plaguing various sectors of economy. To avoid further cost-push inflation and mitigate the effect on the cost of doing business, the Government should adopt a non-disruptive approach when reviewing fuel subsidies and power tariff. Being an oil producing nation, Malaysia should not contemplate drastic cuts in subsidies to the extent of jeopardizing existing businesses. Government should consider other options to enhance the efficiency of energy supply and utilization which will be more beneficial to our economic development in the long run. ACCCIM and other relevant private sector organizations should be consulted before Government decides on any major changes in subsidy or power tariff to avoid disruptions and controversies, as it has been seen recently.

For gas price, we just request the Government to compare our gas price with the price in other gas producing countries which support their local industries. The ACCCIM is not seeking for special rates but rather a competitive rate in the mid range prices charged by other gas producing countries for supply to their local industries. With this, our industries will be in a better position to compete with them.

On electricity tariffs, ACCCIM urges the Government and TNB to be more innovative in finding ways to reduce the cost of generating electricity. The Chambers would like to suggest that industry experts be engaged to study the investment cost per megawatt as well as operating and distributing costs compared to others in order for us to be more competitive. The experts can also determine areas of improvement pertaining to investment cost, running cost and manpower cost, amongst others.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I said earlier, human capital development in the context of a multiracial society is not an easy task. It is often marred by traditional sentiments and perceptions. However, to ensure success in attaining the target of a high income society by year 2020, there must be strong political wisdom and will by our national leader in formulating the right policy direction towards achieving the goal. A case in point, the teaching medium of mathematics and science at secondary school level need to be reviewed, so as to be in synergy with the medium of instruction at tertiary level. This is to ensure that our students will receive their education in science and technology abreast of international development without any language impediment at tertiary level.

In order to enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness, we suggest that the Government adopts a more liberal policy in teaching languages in the schools. We should encourage our students to learn more languages, including Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil. In primary schools, it is more practical to use mother-tongue to enhance the efficiency of teaching. In SRJK, as some of the students are from English-speaking families, it can be considered that both Bahasa Malaysia and English are used as medium of instruction in Mathematics and science subjects. As in the case of most of the local international schools, all three languages are taught and used. By mastering more languages, the students are better prepared and equipped for their future employment and career, or engaging in business. Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation, and we are dealing with fast developing countries like China, India and Indonesia. By learning Bahasa Malaysia, we can deal with the Indonesians. English is an important international language, and Chinese language now is the second most important language in the world. I hope the Government will include the Chinese Independent Schools in the main stream of our education system as soon as possible, so that we can train more students who master three languages. Our youths who are well-versed in three languages will become a great asset to our country and help our country achieve high-income nation status in the year 2020.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ACCCIM and Constituent Chambers will continue to foster cooperation with the Federal Government to promote economic development of the nation. We believe that through mutual cooperation and understanding, we could iron out many issues and problems and make Malaysia a more attractive destination for investment.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to conclude my speech by expressing sincere thanks to all Constituent Chambers, the National Council, Working Committees and the Secretariat, for their cooperation and dedication in carrying out all the work programs and activities over the past term.

Last but not least, a special vote of thanks to the host Chamber – Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, for their warm hospitality and excellent physical arrangements made for this Annual General Meeting.

Thank you.



PRESS STATEMENT ON INCREASE IN GAS AND ELECTRICITY TARIFFS

 |  June 01, 2011  | Posted in Press Releases |  Post a comment  |  

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ACCCIM expresses its concern over the recent increase in gas and electricity tariffs and reiterates its request on the need for the Government to have consultative dialogue with industry groups before implementing any drastic increase in tariffs. This is necessary to obtain feedback from the various industries on the impact of such increase on their production cost and competitive edge.

Re gas price, ACCCIM requests the Government to compare our gas price with the price in other gas producing countries which support their local industries. The Chambers is not seeking for special rates but rather a competitive rate in the mid range prices charged by other gas producing countries for supply to their local industries. With this, our industries will be able to compete with them.

On electricity tariffs, ACCCIM urges the Government and TNB to be more innovative in finding ways to reduce the cost of generating electricity. The Chambers would like to suggest that industry experts be engaged to study the investment cost per megawatt as well as operating and distributing costs compared to others in order for us to be more competitive. The experts can also determine areas of improvement pertaining to investment cost, running cost and manpower cost, amongst others.

ACCCIM supports the Government’s move to provide free electricity and/or subsidized rate to the lower income group and tertiary education for our youths. These initiatives however should be borne by the Government and not by TNB which as the national electricity utility company can become more efficient and reduce its cost to enable the manufacturing sector in Malaysia to expand its activities and compete internationally.

One way to assist the manufacturing sector to reduce operating costs is to extend the electricity off-peak hours to full day on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays. TNB and manufacturers can work together to reschedule their production to run during off-peak on Saturday and Sunday. Factories can schedule their rest day to be on a weekday; that is each day from Monday to Friday, 1/5 or 20% of the factories will have its rest day as scheduled. This will help to reduce the Maximum Demand from industry by 20% during the peak period on weekdays thereby alleviating the load on TNB.

ACCCIM proposes that the Government invites the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), industry associations and trade chambers including ACCCIM to participate in the proposed cost-cutting exercise with the help of industry experts to seek ways for TNB to reduce its cost and make Malaysia more efficient and competitive in the manufacturing sector.

1-6-2011



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