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LANGKAWI – Malaysia has agreed to collaborate with Indonesia, Qatar, Pakistan
and Turkey to strengthen their relationship in facing common new threats.

Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today said representatives
from the five countries agreed to work together in counterring extremist
ideologies, interoperability of assets and operation transformation.

He said the agreement was reached at a meeting he held yesterday on the
sidelines of the ongoing Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace
Exhibition 2017 (LIMA ’17) here.

It involved Qatar’s State for Defence Affairs Minister, Dr Khalid Mohammad
Al-Attiyah; Turkey’s Deputy National Defence Minister, Suay Alpay; Pakistan
Defence Production Minister, Rana Tanveer Hussain; and Indonesia’s Technology
and Defence Industry Director, Brig-Gen Dr Pieter Ate.

“We are all facing the same challenges, (for instance) prices of oil had
affected Qatar and their (defence) planning. They want to know how we are
managing with that challenge,” he told a press conference after delivering the
keynote address for the LIMA ’17 Chiefs of Navy Round Table Talk here.

Hishammuddin said the agreement was not a mere rhetoric as they planned to
proceed with the formation of a working group who will meet in Istanbul, Turkey
this April before a ministerial-level meeting in Doha, Qatar.

He said the five-nation meeting also came timely after a plan by Malaysia
and Saudi Arabia to form a King Salman International Centre for Global Peace
earlier this month.

“Global movement of moderates could be intesified through the collaboration
of these five countries,” he added.
— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia has the lowest proportion of senior business roles
held by women in ASEAN, according to a latest report by Grant Thornton.

The 2017 International Business Report (IBR), a survey conducted between
October-December in 2016, revealed that only 24 per cent of senior business
roles were held by women in Malaysia, down from 26 per cent recorded in the 2016
IBR.

Meanwhile, 34 per cent of businesses here have no women in senior
management, up from 31 per cent previously.

The annual survey highlighted that Indonesia had the highest proportion of
senior business roles held by women (46 per cent) followed by Philippines (40
per cent), Thailand (31 per cent) and Singapore (30 per cent).

Grant Thornton Malaysia Country Managing Partner Datuk NK Jasani said
while businesses across ASEAN have increased the proportion of senior roles held
by women, Malaysia was still only half-way there.

“This is a real concern for business growth as it suggests we are not
maximising the potential out there.

“Diversity will be key to their success and those that remain closed are
putting themselves at risk of not tapping their full potential and losing
access to diversity of thinking,” he added.
— BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Singapore have signed the High-Speed Rail (HSR) bilateral agreement that will cut travel time between both countries to just 90 minutes.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of the landmark deal during the 7th Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat here on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed at 5.15pm between Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan and Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also witnessed the signing ceremony.

The document is a follow-up to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by both countries on July 19, and outlines further plans and details for the development of the expansive rail project.

The HSR service is targeted to be up and running by 2026 and will cut travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to just 90 minutes, with trains designed to reach maximum speeds of 300km per hour.

The rail line will stretch 350km, with 335km in Malaysia starting from Bandar Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and 15km in Singapore, ending at Jurong East.

It will have six transit stations in Putrajaya, Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.

The project will be administered by MyHSR Corp Sdn Bhd, which has been incorporated as a company wholly-owned by Malaysia’s Finance Ministry.

Earlier in the afternoon, Najib and Lee held a four-eyed meeting followed by a delegation meeting as part of the leaders’ retreat, an annual event hosted rotationally by both countries.

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa as well as other ministers and senior government officials from both countries.

LIMA (Peru) – Cooperation relating to irregular migrants are among the topics covered in bilateral talks between Malaysia and Australia on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the Peru capital on Saturday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said during the meeting Australia sought the cooperation of Malaysia to curb the refugees issue which was affecting that country following the influx of irregular migrants.

“He (Turnbull) wants to stem this problem of irregular migrants that is related to human trafficking,” he told Malaysian journalists here after attending the first day of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

“Among the cooperation are through the exchange of intelligence reports and interdiction, which is to take action if these irregular migrants passed through the territorial waters,” he said.

Najib said Australia, in the meeting, also expressed the intention to enhance cooperation against serious terrorism threats.

Furthermore, he said the region might face new threats if Mosul fell into the hands of Iraq and lead those fighting under the Daesh banner to return to Southeast Asia.

On thr bilateral meeting with Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Najib said his counterpart had invited Petronas to look into the possibility of developing onshore natural gas areas for LNG.

“The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea requested Petronas to study these potential investments,” he said, adding that the latter also expressed his satisfaction on Malaysia for being among Papua New Guinea’s biggest investors.

Najib said Papua New Guinea also hoped Malaysia could assist in capacity building in that country’s preparation to host the APEC in 2018. – BERNAMA

STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR RAMLAN IBRAHIM, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF MALAYSIA TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE: “PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS FACING ASYMMETRICAL THREATS” 7 NOVEMBER 2016, NEW YORK

Mr. President,

On behalf of the Malaysian delegation, I join earlier speakers in thanking you
and the Senegalese Presidency for convening this open debate.

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge the commandable role that Senegal
has and continues to play as a major troop- and police-contributing country to
UN peace operations.

I thank also UN Deputy Secretary-General and other briefers for their valuable
contributions and inputs.

Mr. President,

Former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld famously said, I quote: “The UN
wasn’t created to take mankind into paradise, but rather, to save humanity from
hell.”

Since that time, the concept of UN peacekeeping which he pioneered had evolved
into one of the most important instruments available to the United Nations to
support diplomatic efforts towards maintaining international peace and security.

It is clear that the need for UN peacekeeping remains pressing. In 1990, total
UN peacekeeping deployment stood at roughly 70,000 personnel. Today, that figure
stands at slightly over 116,000 personnel deployed under 16 active missions; 9
of which are in Africa and out of which 5 are in Francophone countries.

Mr. President,

A key turning point in the evolution of ‘traditional’ UN peacekeeping mandates
was the inclusion of civilian protection elements as a core mission mandate,
first introduced vide Council resolution 1270 concerning the situation in Sierra
Leone in 1999.

As rightly noted, an increasing number of peacekeeping missions which have POC
[protection of civilians] as a core mission mandate are currently deployed in
complex geopolitical environments including those which pose significant
asymmetric threats.

The recent surge and persistence of asymmetric threats against UN peace keepers
complicates already precarious security situations and threatens to unravel
hard-won gains and progress in restoration of peace and stability in concerned
countries.

In the face of increasing asymmetric threats, one approach could be to address
such threats by similarly asymmetrical thinking focusing on key areas namely
networking, methods and ideologies.

Another area of priority should be to ensure that troops on the ground are
afforded the necessary and appropriate equipment and training.

On the one hand, new technologies which could contribute to better intelligence
and situational awareness are critical.

On the other, opportunities for TCCs to partner with relevant donor countries or
institutions to equip troops with new, specialised skills for example to detect
and disarm IEDs are equally urgent.

Mr. President,

Malaysia continues to believe that a holistic approach is the best solution in
containing asymmetric threats; to this end we reaffirm support for and
endorsement of the recommendations of the HIPPO panel and the priorities
outlined in the SG’s implementation report.

To further contribute to this debate, Malaysia wishes to make the following
recommendations:

First: The host nation is encouraged to establish a networking mechanism to
allow information-sharing with peacekeepers. This will assist in planning for
the operations as well as identifying possible threats prior to UN peacekeeping
deployment;

Second: The host nation’s forces should be ready to work hand-in-hand with UN
peacekeeping operations in addressing the threats. The host nation’s force must
be prepared from the beginning of the deployment of peacekeeping operation to
assume full security responsibility for the mission;

Third: War on asymmetric threats will take generations to resolve. Hence, the
host nation should place greater emphasis on human resource development,
particularly focusing on the youth and women. These groups must be given the
opportunity to participate actively in any peace process and peacebuilding
efforts, in order to make the process sustainable; and

Fourth: Peacekeeping mission must be adaptable and responsive to the various
lessons learnt in past experiences in order to continue to improve itself in
responding to new threats, including asymmetric ones.

Mr. President,

As a firm believer in multilateral approaches for the maintenance of
international peace and security, Malaysia has been an active contributor to UN
peacekeeping.

Since 1960 – just 3 years after achieving independence, Malaysia has to date
participated in over 30 peacekeeping operations. In this regard, I wish to
reaffirm Malaysia’s continuing commitment and support.

I wish to conclude by paying tribute and utmost respect to the tireless
dedication and efforts of UN blue helmets serving around the world. We are
deeply honoured by their bravery, selfless service and sarifices.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement to be delivered by Thailand on
behalf of ASEAN member states.

I thank you.

Source : Ministry of Foreign Affairs

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Name : NURBAITI BAKTHIR
Assistant Director
Department of Communications and Public Diplomacy
Email : [email protected]

–BERNAMA

BEIJING – China’s real estate developer, China Fortune Land Development Co Ltd (CFLD), is among the prominent companies to have shown keen interest in venturing to Malaysia.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said CFLD, a leading expert in investment and operations of new industrial cities in China, had been making enquiries on such a move.

There is growing interest among Chinese entrepreneurs seeking to invest in Malaysia and CFLD is one of them, he told the Malaysian media here.

Mustapa was part of the Malaysian delegation led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on his six-day official visit to China from Monday.

CFLD’s Founder and Chairman Wang Wenxue is one of China’s richest and most prominent entrepreneurs.

The company, also a pioneer of the public-private partnership model, has set up more than 50 new industrial cities.

Among them is the Guan New Industry City which Najib visited on Wednesday and CFLD has invested US$4.8 billion (RM20.08 billion) in it to date.

Mustapa said the city, built in 2002, has been transformed into a Global Technology Centre (GTC) in collaboration with Tsinghua University, Peking University and the Zhongguancun Science and Technology Park.

As of September this year, CFLD’s sales revenue reached US$13.2 billion (RM55.22 billion) and total assets exceeded US$32 billion (RM133.89 billion).

It has also been involved in the construction and operation of two inter-city railway projects, and the first private enterprise in China to focus on high-speed railway projects.

Mustapa said such interest by companies as CFLD would result in closer ties between Malaysia and China, alongside further enhanced investments between both countries.

He said last year, Malaysian companies invested US$7.5 billion (RM31.38 billion) in China, covering various sectors, including tourism, retail and manufacturing.

China invested US$2.5 billion (RM10.46 billion) in Malaysia.

There are currently about 5,000 Malaysian companies in China, including Parkson, Sunway and Sime Darby, he added.

Mustapa foresees Chinese investments into Malaysia soaring, especially with the inking of 14 trade agreements between Malaysian and Chinese companies worth RM144 billion on Tuesday.

Likewise, he said Malaysia’s Genting Resort Secret Garden in Zhangjiakou, had been investing in building ski facilities to meet growing demand from the Chinese.

This follows Beijing’s successful bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Genting Resort Secret Garden’s snow park has been chosen for the freestyle venue.

It is reported that the Chinese ski market has been accelerating and the population of skiers exceeded 12 million in 2016, with an annual growth rate reaching 25 per cent.

Genting Resort Secret Garden on its website reported that the resort’s entire project spanned 100 square kilometers, with a planned investment of US$3 billion (RM12.55 billion).

It plans to expand the resort into a comprehensive all season tourist resort by 2022, with 88 ski runs offering a total length of about 70km, in addition to 22 cablelifts extending about 30km.

Currently, the resort has 35 ski runs and three high-speed cablelifts, with a 265-room five-star hotel and suites as well as 83 apartments.

The resort plans to build 2,400 holiday apartments as well as the whole freestyle infrastructure in line with the Winter Olympics specifications to hosting major international sports events.

Meanwhile, Mustapa left for Cebu, the Philippines to attend the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting today and on Friday, the Asia Pacific Conference of German Business in Hong Kong.

Najib at a press conference for the Malaysian media here on Tuesday said he had informed Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang that the Malaysian government would give its support to Genting Resort Secret Garden’s efforts at preparing itself as the venue for 2022 Winter Olympics.

— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has refuted a Harvard and Columbia University study claiming that the 2015 South-East Asian haze caused 6,500 deaths in the country.

The study, which is expected to be published in the Environmental Research Letters (ERL) journal, also claimed that there were 100,300 premature deaths in the region due to the haze; 91,600 in Indonesia and 2,200 in Singapore.

The numbers cited contradicted official numbers, which only reported 19 deaths in Indonesia and none in Malaysia and Singapore.

“No such thing!” Deputy Health director-general Datuk Dr S. Jeyain­dran said when asked about the findings.

“We had no deaths last year directly related to the haze,” he added

He said the Health Ministry conducted a study on suspended parti­culate matter in the air from open burning and its effects on the human body, and found that apart from irritable symptoms, no grave health risks were likely.

“Of course, we had increased number of conjunctivitis cases and respiratory tract infections but it’s mostly due to the fact that some haze contained sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide, which comes from the burning of fossil fuel,” he said,

The annual haze that originates from Indonesia, usually would blow PM10 or PM5 concentrated particulate matter, which is less than 10 mi­­crons. These mostly cause irritation.

“We didn’t find any increase in the number of acute respiratory ailments from the haze. This has been going on year on year and our data shows there is no increase,” Dr Jeyaindran said.

Little is known about the metho­dology of the study, though Bloom­berg reported that the number of deaths was “derived from a complex analysis that has not yet been validated by analysis of official data on mortality”.

An expert team who reviewed the paper for Bloomberg reserved its comments, calling it “preliminary” and “not precise” but said it should serve as a wake-up call for the region, which saw its worst environmental incident since the 1997 haze.

The fires generated around 600 million tonnes of greenhouse gas – roughly equivalent to Germany’s entire annual output and economically stripped the three countries affected of US$9bil (RM37.2bil).

“If nothing changes, this killer haze will carry on taking a terrible toll year after year. Industry and government must take real action to stop forest clearing and peatland drainage for plantations,” said Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Yuyun Indradi in response to the study.

 

KUALA LUMPUR – One of the world’s greatest footballing nations, Argentina, may
soon be coaching young Malaysian players the various dynamics of becoming
successful players and team, said Argentina’s ambassador to Malaysia
Manuel Balaguer Salas.

Salas, who began his tour of duty in this country three months ago, said
that was one of his goals to further strengthen bilateral ties between the two
countries as they celebrate their 50th anniversary of relations next year.

“Football is very popular in Malaysia, just as passionate as the
Argentinians, I am planning to send some players form here or vice versa, to
put them into training programs, in order to further expose and develop them at
an international level.

“Not only is this limited to the players, but also to the coaches and staff
members of the team as well,” he said in an interview with Bernama.

On the economic front, Salas said Buenos Aires wanted to further develop
economic ties with Kuala Lumpur including in the halal food sector.

Salas was working closely with JAKIM and Halal Development Centre (HDC) in
order to allow the re-importation of its world-renowned beef back to Malaysia as
it has been off Malaysian shelves since five years ago.

“Due to halal regulations which we highly respect, I want to bring
back our beef and poultry to Malaysia, the abattoirs or slaughterhouses
require it to be processed in a 100% halal environment.

“One way to tackle this is to set up abattoirs that cater to the halal
industry, and Malaysians can invest and set up abattoirs in Argentina itself
so they can cater to the needs of the markets here,” Salas said.
— BERNAMA

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Two first half goals were enough for Papua New Guinea to beat Malaysia 2-0 in a Class A international friendly match at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby today.

Malaysia who dominated the game in the first 20 minutes were punished when striker Tommy Semmy scored a brace in the 35th and 42nd minute of the first leg of the Oceania Tour.

After the break, national head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee made five changes in an attempt to find the net but failed. – Bernama

 

PUTRAJAYA – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is on a four-day visit to Malaysia, was accorded an official welcome at Dataran Perdana here Friday.

Hun Sen, who arrived on Wednesday to attend the two-day 25th World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Kuala Lumpur, was greeted by his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak upon arrival.

After the national anthems of Cambodia and Malaysia were played, Hun Sen inspected a guard-of-honour mounted by 103 officers and men from the First Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment.

The Cambodian prime minister and his wife, Madam Samdech Bun Rany Hun, accompanied by Najib and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, were introduced to the Cabinet ministers, senior government officials and foreign diplomats present.

Najib and Hun Sen then held talks.

The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in a statement, said Hun Sen and Najib would hold bilateral talks aimed at enhancing and deepening the long-lasting friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

According to a Wisma Putra statement, total trade between the two countries stood at US$385.8 million in 2015.

— BERNAMA