Monday, March 31, 2008

The Arabs SKIP Malaysia for Singapore and China

There were some big news about Arab investments in Malaysia few months ago. First was in IDR and then several more property developments in Penang and other investments in Selangor.
Anyway, these minor investments are nothing to shout about comparing with other mega and not-so-mega investments in Singapore and China.
Today, the UAE's Vice-President and Prime Minister, HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum flew for a historic trip to China with 150 delegates, marking the importance of the economic and commercial aspects of the visit.

UAE has made more than 400 investments in China with trillions in value. China is of course a world power where everybody is going to be for future strategic stakes. To date, bilateral trade between China dan UAE has grown by an impressive annual average of 40 per cent from $4 billion in 2003 to $20 billion in 2007.

China has been growing at an annual average rate of more than 10 per cent for more than 30 years, making the country the fastest growing in East Asia, and the UAE's economic growth in the past five years far exceeds that of all its neighbours.
China exported $17 billion worth of goods to the UAE in 2007, ranking the country as China's most important trading partner in the region, whereas 70 per cent of these exports were re-exported to countries in the GCC, Africa, and even Europe, which reveals the growing importance of the UAE as the region's trading hub.

There are about 200,000 Chinese citizens living and working in the UAE, of whom only about 30,000 are labourers. The majority are businessmen and executives, according to the embassy.
Irrespective of perceptions, the Arabs are smart investors and businessmen since long time ago. Islam was expanded into this region through trades. It is obvious why nowadays the Arabs skip Malaysia, the 'most-developed' muslim brother state in favour of the Chinese.
We need to throw the current weak pathetic PM out into history bin and reform the whole system for a BETTER MALAYSIA. Otherwise, we are going nowhere with recycled rhetorics.
It is not only China that has gained from Arab wealth and funds. Our neighbouring state, Singapore has been a strong partner to the Arabs. Even Arab tourists are known to throng Thailand and Singapore since years ago and only found Malaysia as another holiday and shopping destination recently.
Pak Lah, Khairy or Kali Riong may be right, as alleged by Dr. M of selling IDR to Singapore masters.....make no mistake that Singapore expertise is sought after!
Read some recent news:-

Saudi seeks Singapore partners to boost competitiveness

BY HABIB SHAIKH 13 February 2008
JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia wants to become one of the top ten competitive destinations in the world by 2010 and the kingdom is keen for Singapore partners to help make it happen, according to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who visited Saudi Arabia accompanied by senior government leaders, to witness the progress being made in the kingdom's new cities.
The King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is hailed as the second Singapore, largely due to the advice Lee gave during his previous visit to the kingdom in 2006.

Maktoum receives Lee Kwan Yu
WAMPublished: March 03, 2008, 00:47

Honouring the guest: Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, received the former prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kwan
Yu, at the Emirates Towers Hotel yesterday.
They discussed a number of issues, including information technology revolution and investment in the current globalisation world. Shaikh Maktoum held a luncheon in honour of his guest, who was honoured on Saturday by the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) for being the secret behind Singapore's development.

Abu-Dhabi - Singapore Partnerships
Abu Dhabi: A number of major partnerships were announced yesterday as part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi-Singapore Joint Forum held at the Emirates Palace.
The forum was co-chaired by Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, and Lee Yi Shyan, Singapore's Minister of State for Trade and Industry.
They oversaw the signing of major deals between Abu Dhabi Department of Civil Service and the Sing-apore Civil Service College to establish a public service training institution; the Maritime Authority of Singapore and Abu Dhabi Transport Department to facilitate cooperation in maritime policy and planning, port regulation, vessel safety and maritime environment protection and between Gisco Bin Ham-oodah of Abu Dhabi and CBM of Singapore to establish a facilities management joint venture in Abu Dhabi.

Dubai International Capital acquires stake in True Group
Staff ReportPublished: March 30, 2008, 20:24
Dubai: Dubai International Capital LLC (DIC), the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, on Sunday said, it has acquired of a significant stake in the True Group, a leading provider of wellness services in South East Asia.
The investment will support the group's international expansion drive into new markets.
The True Group was established in 2004 as Singapore's largest wellness centre at Pacific Plaza in the heart of Singapore's downtown shopping area.


Ricardo said...

This is correct, but ultimately land is important and IDR is there for the taking. It is a question of time. Badawi scrapped the crooked bridge in favour of a direct link to the IDR, and probably on the behest of Singapore. Makes sense to avoid immigration formalities using the Crock bridge to access IDR.

Zawi said...

We have a sleepy head from Malaysia in the OIC chair and we made no effort to gain anything from it. What a waste.
IDR has become a part of Singapore and they will use the investments from The Arab countries to their benefit. We can forget IDR as being part of Malaysia. Soon Malaysians will have to use a passport to enter IDR while the people from Spore will just walk in. Thanks to Abdullah Badawi.

cubi76 said...

First of all, we must realise that it's a different playground in the regional, if not the world, economic landscape nowadays. The policy that existed in Malaysia started from 80s no doubt suited to the geopolitical situation back then. But we must remember, there was no China, no Vietnam, no India, no Bulgaria, no Czech, no UAE. So we stood up among the rest.

What happened to Malaysia for last couple of years? FDI was in fact in decline, when every country in the developing world enjoyed one of the greatest economic booms in history. Just take a look at the above mentioned countries.

Time has changed. So did the rules of the game. If we stick to the old policy and mindset of the past (including NEP that is 38 years old by now and counting), we will definitely miss the golden chance to reinvent ourselves and progress.

All the worries over who owns the land in IDR is really a waste of time. Do you think that Singapore imports more rice into Malaysia or vice versa? Take a look at the agricultural companies that Singaporeans have a stake, in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. Do you still think that Singaporeans need more land to grow padi? Remember, land is just a tiny consideration in today's investment decision. What's more important is human capital.

Nobody can deny that Malaysia falls behind Singapore. So why don't just face it and learn from them?

Zawi said...

Your comment is very sensible indeed. Singapore is doing all the right things while Malaysia is doing all the wrong things.
Our Bernas which was supposed to be working toward self sufficiency in our need for rice was acquired by Shahidan Kassim to be made as a cash cow by importing rice, nothing was done to produce our own rice. Soon we will be at the mercy of rice producing countries which may turn out to be owned by Temasik of Singapore.
We have invested so much in non food producing projects that we wont have anymore money for agriculture to produce food to feed our own people.
We had the foresight to form Bernas only to have it hijacked to enrich certain people forgetting the original purpose for its formation. Only Sanusi Junid had the foresight but his ideas to produce rice in China were not accepted at that time and now we lived to regret for our stupidity.
Let us buy more submarines, sukhois and build more PKFZs and Putrajayas so that we will starve to death when we dont even have food to eat.