INFICON opens new Production Sales and Service in 2024

INFICON continues to invest in future growth and is strategically expanding its presence in Asia: in 2024, a new production facility will be opened in Malaysia to strengthen the manufacturing, sales and service capacities for the region. The first step will be to establish the production of service tools for the refrigeration and air conditioning market as well as a sales and service center. The foundation of the new company and the search for a suitable location are underway.

Communication calendar 2023/2024

INFICON's communication calendar is continuously updated and can be found in the Investor Relations section of the INFICON website or directly at https://ir.inficon.com/financial-calendar/.

About INFICON

INFICON is a leading provider of innovative instrumentation, critical sensor technologies, and Smart Manufacturing /Industry 4.0 software solutions that enhance productivity and quality of tools, processes and complete factories. These analysis, measurement, and control products are essential for gas leak detection in air conditioning/refrigeration, and automotive manufacturing. They are vital to equipment manufacturers and end-users in the complex fabrication of semiconductors and thin film coatings for optics, flat panel displays, solar cells and industrial vacuum coating applications. Other users of vacuum based processes include the life sciences, research, aerospace, packaging, heat treatment, laser cutting and many other industrial processes.

We also leverage our expertise in vacuum technology to provide unique, toxic chemical analysis products for emergency response, security, and environmental monitoring. INFICON is headquartered in Switzerland and has world-class manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States and China, as well as subsidiaries in China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. INFICON registered shares (IFCN) are listed on SIX Swiss Exchange. For more information about INFICON and its products, please visit www.inficon.com.

Bank Negara Malaysia interest rate

At a recent meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Bank Negara Malaysia decided to increase the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.00 percent, citing the continuing expansion of Malaysia's economic activity in the first quarter of 2023 after a strong performance in 2022. The economy continues to be driven by resilient domestic demand supported by strong labour market conditions and a stronger-than-expected rebound of China's economy.

The Monetary Policy Committee noted that core inflation has been on a downward trend in recent months due to the moderating influence of cost factors. However, it anticipates that core inflation will remain high due to sustained demand. Therefore, the committee's last monetary policy statement indicated the need for further normalisation of monetary accommodation, citing solid domestic growth as a key factor.

According to the latest monthly highlights and statistics, headline inflation in Malaysia continued to decline, reaching 2.8% in May. This decrease was mainly due to non-core CPI components, notably lower inflation in fuel (-0.2 percentage points) and fresh food (-0.1 percentage points). Core inflation also declined slightly to 3.5% (from April’s 3.6%), primarily influenced by lower inflation in communication services.

External factors influenced domestic financial markets, with investors adopting a risk-off approach due to concerns over a potential US Federal Reserve rate hike and a slower-than-expected recovery in China. As a result, the ringgit depreciated by 3.4% against the US dollar.

The renewed hawkish rhetoric from the US Federal Reserve further sets the stage for the weakening of the ringgit. The current US interest rate is 5.25% compared to 3% in Malaysia, and investors believe the gap will widen. When the US offers higher yields, foreign entities tend to convert their Malaysian assets into US dollars and divert their investments to the US market. If Bank Negara Malaysia leaves the rate unchanged, it is expected to accelerate the weakening of the ringgit, which could reach a multi-year high of 4.75 quickly.

However, considering the resilient state of the economy, Bank Negara Malaysia is likely to raise the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25% at the end of the two-day meeting. This move aims to support capital markets and stabilise the USDMYR exchange rate, which is anticipated to trend lower (with ringgit appreciating) with a target range of 4.50 to 4.57 amid a decreasing interest rate differential between Malaysia and the US Federal Reserve.

Amari Kuala Lumpur Wins Luxury Lifestyle Award

Amari Kuala Lumpur is delighted to announce that it has been named the winner of the Luxury Lifestyle Award for Best Luxury City Hotel in Malaysia for 2023. Operated by ONYX Hospitality Group, a reputable force in Southeast Asia's hospitality industry with over five decades of management experience, Amari Kuala Lumpur is a shining example of the company's commitment to excellence.

The Luxury Lifestyle Awards is a global awards programme that recognises excellence across the whole range of industry sectors. The awards are held annually and are judged by an independent panel of experts.

Amari Kuala Lumpur was chosen as the winner of the Best Luxury City Hotel in Malaysia category for its impeccable reputation and professional performance. The hotel was praised for its luxurious facilities, excellent service, and its commitment to providing guests with a memorable experience.

"We are honoured to be named the winner of the Luxury Lifestyle Award for Best Luxury City Hotel in Malaysia," said General Manager of Amari Kuala Lumpur, Ms. Susan Anthony. "This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, and it is a reflection of our commitment to providing our guests with the very best in luxury hospitality."

Recognised as one of the most prestigious awards in the luxury hospitality industry, and Amari Kuala Lumpur is proud to be a recipient of this award. The hotel looks forward to continuing to provide guests with an exceptional level of service and to maintaining its position as one of the leading luxury hotels in Malaysia.

Located in the heart of KL Eco City, the city's most vibrant business and entertainment district, Amari Kuala Lumpur is just steps from The Gardens Mall and the Mid Valley Megamall, and just 45 minutes from KLIA. It is also directly connected to LRT and KTM commuter stations and is surrounded by international corporate offices including Mercu 2 and 3, Aspire Tower, The Gardens North Tower and South Tower, Centrepoint and Menara IGB.

The hotel's 252 guest rooms and suites are warm and bright, each one brimming with modern amenities, spacious workspaces and floor-to-ceiling windows. Any stay at one of the hotel's Club Deluxe or Club One Bedroom Suites also includes many exclusive benefits across the hotel such as complimentary evening cocktails and meeting room use.

The Amari collection of hotels and resorts by ONYX Hospitality Group brings to life a contemporary re-imagining of Thailand's rich cultural roots and the influence of its dynamic creativity to locations both near and far. Each property in the Amari portfolio highlights the textures and flavours of its unique setting through architecture, design, art, cuisine and service complemented by touches of contemporary Thai-ness. Amari's network of properties spans Thailand and beyond, from scenic seaside locations to vibrant urban settings, including Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Krabi, Buriram, Dhaka, Maldives, Vang Vieng, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. Visit www.amari.com

Malaysia and China to collaborate on AI Research for Transborder Blockchain Apps

Malaysia's public blockchain platform developer Zetrix and the country's premier research university Universiti Malaya (UM) will be collaborating with China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) to develop cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology as part of their ongoing intergovernmental research collaboration.

The project entitled "Research on Key Issues of Transborder Blockchain Infrastructure and Pilot Applications" was selected as part of the intergovernmental collaboration between Malaysia and the People's Republic of China in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Spearheaded by the Chinese government's government-to-government (G2G) program and initiated by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China, this collaboration is designed to foster research partnerships between the Chinese government and overseas governments.

Malaysia is one of the 14 countries that is participating in this prestigious program. It is setting its research initiative on leveraging AI to further streamline and optimise the cross-border trade processes, with the ultimate goal of reducing inefficiencies and improving the overall ease and speed of cross-border transactions.

TS Wong, Group Managing Director of MYEG Services Bhd (MYEG 0138), which owns and develops Zetrix, expressed his enthusiasm for the expanded research focus. "AI and Web 3 are the 2 key complementary technologies that will disrupt the whole spectrum of digital services. Web3 provides the architecture that supports the deployment of AI functionalities on authenticated digital assets ," Wong said. "Our partnership with UM and CAICT continues to be instrumental in our journey towards leveraging 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies to transform cross border trade and settlement."

The lead researcher at UM, Dr Saaidal Razalli Azzuhri, also highlighted the potential benefits of the expanded research initiative. "The incorporation of AI into our ongoing research work opens up a whole new realm of possibilities," Dr Azzuhri said. "We expect that the synergistic combination of AI and blockchain technology will lead to breakthroughs that greatly enhance the efficiency and security of cross-border trade."

The addition of AI to the scope of this tri-partite collaboration is timely and comes even as Zetrix continues to lead the way in the deployment of services that are at the intersection of blockchain and AI. Last month, Zetrix successfully deployed its Digital Identity Service, a W3C-compliant pioneering decentralised identity service that enables online engagements with real humans to be verified and distinguished from those with AI agents.

This collaboration between Zetrix, UM and CAICT marks yet another significant stride towards international cooperation in AI research. It also recognises the importance of international cooperation and knowledge-sharing in realising the full potential of AI in advancing cross-border trade, which helps forge a path towards a more connected, efficient, and prosperous world economy.

About Zetrix

Zetrix is a layer-1 public blockchain that facilitates smart contracts and delivers privacy, security and scalability. Zetrix's cryptographic infrastructure can be introduced to multiple industries to connect governments, businesses and their citizens to a global blockchain-based economy.

Developed by MY E.G. Services Bhd, the cross-border and cross-chain integration with China Blockchain enables Zetrix to serve as a blockchain gateway that facilitates global trade by deploying critical building blocks for Web3 services such as Blockchain-based Identifiers (BID) and Verifiable Credentials (VC).

About MY E.G. Services Bhd ("MYEG")

MYEG is Malaysia's premier digital services company. Having commenced operations in 2000 as the flagship e-government services provider, MYEG continues to play a leading role in driving technological change in the region, bringing a diverse and complete range of innovations spanning the online delivery of major government services to a variety of commercial offerings in the areas of immigration, automotive, healthcare and financial services, among others.

Committed to staying firmly at the forefront of the region's digital revolution, MYEG has embraced the potential of blockchain technology to enhance all aspects of life and is actively pioneering its adoption across its main markets. MYEG has operations in key regional markets such as the Philippines and Indonesia.

Flagship Medical Tourism Hospitals to Advance Healthcare

Spearheaded by the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme is an integral part of the five-year Malaysia Healthcare Travel Industry Blueprint. This first-of-its-kind programme has witnessed Malaysia's top private medical establishments increasing their commitment and efforts to raise the bar of excellence in delivering exceptional end-to-end services to their patients, all with the goal of reinforcing Malaysia's position as a safe and trusted destination for top-notch healthcare services, and elevating excellence in medical and service offerings.

This is in alignment with the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s efforts to strengthen the nation’s healthcare ecosystem. “I trust that the Flagship programme will promote innovation and excellence in medical services while bringing us closer to achieving a more resilient healthcare system for the country and establishing Malaysia Healthcare as a world-renowned and credible global healthcare brand,” added Dr. Zaliha Mustafa, Malaysia’s Minister of Health.

Four shortlisted finalist Flagship Medical Tourism Hospitals were announced in April, namely the National Heart Institute (Institut Jantung Negara or IJN), Island Hospital, Mahkota Medical Centre and Subang Jaya Medical Centre.

According to Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan bin Abdul Rahim, the Chief Executive Office of IJN, the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme provides a platform to support the national agenda of making Malaysia a top healthcare travel destination. “Apart from maintaining quality healthcare, we aspire to bring in the latest technologies and techniques for the benefit of the public. These are key in ensuring that we are at the top of clinical excellence and people’s minds, so they are assured of receiving the best heart care,” he said.

Mr. Mark Wee, the Chief Executive Officer of Island Hospital, found that the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme aligned well with the hospital’s vision for growth. “We conceived the Island Medical City in 2016 as our commitment towards taking medical tourism in Malaysia to the next level. This ambitious project marks the evolution of Island Hospital into a leading regional quaternary healthcare provider offering the Best in Class to our patients. This vision dovetails perfectly with the goals of the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme. With the opening of our new facilities, the Peel Wing in 2022, we are poised to achieve our goal of healthcare travellers making up to 80% of our revenue in the next few years,” he shared.

Mr. Stanley Lam, the Chief Executive Officer of Mahkota Medical Centre, elaborated on the hospital’s commitment to reinforcing the country’s healthcare ecosystem. “We are one of the largest and most comprehensive hospitals in Southern Peninsular Malaysia. The investments we will be making with this programme will further reinforce Mahkota Medical Centre as one of the most reputable referral hospitals across South East Asia, and better serve local and regional communities. Our expansion plans include a beautiful seafront location, located in the heart of Melaka, a UNESCO world heritage site,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bryan Lin, the Chief Executive Officer of Subang Jaya Medical Centre, expressed his anticipation at contributing to the growth of the country’s healthcare travel industry. “We see the Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme as an opportunity for collaboration and growth, not just for Subang Jaya Medical Centre but also for Malaysian healthcare globally. Through this Programme, we hope to contribute strongly to growing the healthcare travel market by at least 30% yearly. We are excited to take our capabilities to the next level to become a premier healthcare travel destination of choice,” he said.

The shortlisted finalists were carefully selected through an extensive and rigorous qualifying process in 2022 that involved data analysis and on-site assessments by international bodies Joint Commission International (JCI) and IQVIA, and have advanced to the next phase of the programme, the Acceleration Period, which is from 2023 to 2025. During this time, they will be granted several incentives, including fast-track facilitation to support the development milestones, flexibility of testing concepts with healthcare technology sandbox, access to programme mentors/advisors that will assist with programme development, progress assessment and monitoring, and a special Investment Tax Allowance (ITA) for qualifying capital expenditures.

Malaysia, a popular global destination for healthcare travellers, has won numerous awards, including the coveted “Destination of the Year” title by UK-based healthcare travel authority International Medical Travel Journal (IMTJ) numerous times in recent years. The country attracted 1.22 million healthcare travellers in 2019. With countries across the world moving towards endemicity, this figure is anticipated to increase.

With Malaysia Healthcare enroute to providing the “Best Healthcare Travel Experience by 2025”, it is imperative for the country to fortify its foothold on the global frontier. “The Flagship Medical Tourism Hospital Programme acts as a catalyst in expediting global recognition of Malaysia’s healthcare, empowering our private healthcare institutions to identify gaps and areas for improvement along the end-to-end patient journey and address them, guided by international standards and benchmarks,” said Farizal bin Jaafar, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MHTC.

OctaFX and Ideas Academy partner once again to advance education

The international broker OctaFX and the educational organisation Ideas Academy have partnered once again. The joint initiative aims to effectively digitalise dozens of learning centres for refugees and underprivileged students in Malaysia to help advance their education.

Currently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) oversees more than over 153 learning centres that cater to the needs of underprivileged individuals, particularly young refugees. Most of them lack the necessary software and structured curriculums that could greatly improve the quality of education and contribute to students' academic success. Ideas Academy aims to provide those centres with essential software packages and online curriculums for two years.

The all-in-one digital packages will include the following pieces of software:

- school management system

- gamified learning application

- access to 'Google for Education' services

- access to a structured online curriculum from Ideas Academy.

In addition to digitalising the learning centres, OctaFX and Ideas Academy will also hold a financial literacy workshop for underprivileged students. It will provide them with basic knowledge of personal finance that they can use to improve their financial situation.

'Education has always been one of our core values, and it is especially important for us to contribute to it in an impactful way. We are grateful to Ideas Academy for the opportunity to take part in this project as one of the sponsors and help enhance education for underprivileged students in Malaysia,' the OctaFX press office commented.

Here's what the Ideas Academy representative had to say about the collaboration: 'This project is a unique opportunity for advancing education in Malaysia, and we thank OctaFX for their much-appreciated support of this initiative. We look forward to providing the learning centres with software and learning programs!'

It will be the entities' second collaboration to advance education in Malaysia. Recently, OctaFX sponsored the Cambridge IGCSE curriculum exam fees for students in Malaysia under the tutelage of Ideas Academy.

OctaFX is an international broker that has been providing online trading services worldwide since 2011. The company is involved in a comprehensive network of charity and humanitarian initiatives, including the improvement of educational infrastructure and short-notice relief projects supporting local communities.

The Kuala Lumpur-based Ideas Academy has been active in the field of improving and raising the standard of education since 2012. They specialise in working with underprivileged children, including those with refugee backgrounds. The people driving Ideas Academy forward believe in 'Education for All'. It is their mission to ensure that every child between 12 and 18 years of age gains a strong secondary educational foundation. By safeguarding this, they encourage them to become confident, responsible, proactive, and compassionate adults. Ideas Academy is determined to be a force for high-quality, affordable virtual education— combined with physical classes for students in Kuala Lumpur.

SpeakIn to Enrich Professional Learning

SpeakIn, Asia's largest digital learning platform for professionals, announced scaling its international presence by opening an office in Kuala Lumpur. The Singapore-headquartered company's presence will help Malaysian professionals take advantage of 1:1 coaching and group learnings sessions from top global experts including CxOs, academicians, politicians and thought leaders to upskill in leadership, innovation, digital transformation and more.

Commenting on its arrival in Malaysia, Deepshikha Kumar, the Founder and CEO of SpeakIn, said: "Malaysia is indeed truly Asia and we are greatly excited by our arrival in this land of exceptional human talent. We are looking forward to partnering with Malaysia's progressive organizations and institutions to further strengthen the Malaysian talent pool with global learning that can realize the region's ambition to build global businesses and products."

SpeakIn's arrival in Malaysia will be marked by its flagship series – SpeakIn Open Mic. SpeakIn Open Mic 2023 series is themed on People and everything related to Human Resources across Asia. The Open Mic event will be held, in partnership with Arcc Spaces, on June 8. Arcc Spaces is a network of hospitality and design-led spaces in Asia's gateway cities.

SpeakIn Open Mic is a successful signature series with events held in Singapore, Delhi and Mumbai. It is an exclusive platform for subject matter experts, HR professionals and everyone connected to the HR ecosystem in Asia to share their stories of success and challenges.

Talking about SpeakIn Open Mic, Ahfaz Ansari, Chief Business Officer Malaysia for SpeakIn said: "SpeakIn Open Mic is known for bringing senior leaders and experts on human resources from across sectors, together for a meaningful dialogue. It gives professionals an opportunity to learn from one another and create solutions to drive positive change in talent management. Open Mic is the first of many opportunities to network with our discerning clients and experts that we will organize in Kuala Lumpur."

SpeakIn is Asia's largest digital learning platform for 1:1 coaching and group speaker sessions for business professionals. Headquartered in Singapore, SpeakIn has served over 400 enterprise clients and over 1.5 million professionals in 8 countries have learnt on the SpeakIn platform through 1:1 coaching, group speaker sessions and self-paced videos, blogs and podcasts. For more information, visit www.speakin.co.

Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council

Malaysia is forging ahead, taking significant strides with its world-class healthcare services to combat cardiovascular disease (CVD) that has been plaguing Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia, and accounts for about one-third of all deaths.

With a comprehensive focus on coronary care for its patients, Malaysia Healthcare is living up to its reputation as Asia's Cardiology Hub, delivering improved and promising outcomes through the integration of top-notch talent and technology to provide seamless end-to-end quality of care. In addition to innovative cardiology breakthroughs, cardiac facilities in the country also provide healthcare travellers with regular heart screenings and diagnostics comprising cardiac assessments, electrocardiography, blood testing and nutrition counselling as part of a comprehensive health check-up.

Cardiology care in Malaysia is on par with international standards of competency and skills, owing to the availability of 58 cardiothoracic surgery specialists and over 200 cardiologists. The country, rising to first-world standards, is home to 52 renowned, world-class heart centres known for their high level of cardiology treatments and expertise. These centres are well-equipped to perform a wide range of cardiology services, including minimally invasive interventions and other complex procedures, involving open heart, closed heart and chest surgery and transplants.

Malaysian healthcare providers are advancing cardiac care by harnessing Fourth Industrial Revolution technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data for more accurate diagnosis and to expedite transfer of medical records from international patients. The National Heart Institute (Institut Jantung Negara or IJN), the country's most prestigious cardiac institution, is one such example. The centre's Group Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan bin Abdul Rahim, emphasised that adapting to digital transformation in the healthcare industry is critical to providing far more personalised, productive medical care and advancing towards the future of healthcare technology.

"The digitalisation of our systems will enable a smooth integration of the various components of patient care - from test results to medications - on a central platform. We also plan to further facilitate the patient experience with the provision of an app that can not only store medical records but also be used to set up appointments," he said.

With the country's healthcare industry at the forefront of many technological breakthroughs, major cardiac centres in Malaysia are ready to adopt an integrated approach, particular in terms of preventive cardiology. For example, Loh Guan Lye Specialists Centre's (LGL) cardiologists are employing a 640-Slice Computerised Tomography (CT) Scanner to detect initial stages of coronary artery disease while delivering patient-centred care to high-risk patients.

"The CT scan measures the patient's calcium score, which can reveal early indicators of coronary artery disease. We also look for any significant stenosis in the patient's heart during the scan. Patients with elevated calcium levels are at an increased risk of cardiac arrest and heart attack," Dr. Goh Eng Leong, Cardiologist and Physician at LGL, elaborated. In addition to high-tech equipment and innovations, he noted that human touch is essential in offering a holistic perspective and improving patient outcomes, a factor on which the team of specialists at Loh Guan Lye Specialists Centre places a high value.

Garnering the trust and confidence of many patients locally and globally, Pantai Hospital KL (PHKL) is recognised for its reputation as a one-stop cardiology centre equipped to handle a wide range of complex cardiac issues successfully. PHKL features various full-fledged specialised units, such as the Dialysis Centre and Coronary Care Unit, to fulfil the growing need for advanced cardiovascular care.

"We have a strong track record in handling many complex cases, including vessel reconstruction and failed angioplasties from other centres, thanks to the availability of highly experienced specialists in all disciplines of cardiology here. Our success stories have piqued the interest of international healthcare travellers, the majority of whom come to us for interventional cardiology," Dr. Muhammad Imran Bin Abdul Hafidz, a Consultant Cardiologist at PHKL, stated. He further added that healthcare travellers will be ensured of personalised pre-hospital and post-hospital care assistance through PHKL's International Patient Centre.

Malaysia Healthcare's welcoming environment and the provision of professional guidance ensure that all visiting healthcare travellers are adequately informed in terms of choosing the right doctor and facility for their needs. This includes arranging online consultations as needed and helping to facilitate the acquisition of relevant travel permits, thus bringing quality care at every step of the journey.

As the Heartbeat of Asia, Malaysian shores are ready and delighted to welcome healthcare travellers seeking advanced care for cardiovascular diseases in a safe and trusted destination.

The Evolution of Healthcare Technologies

The advent of digital technology has given rise to innovations in healthcare worldwide. In Malaysia, private healthcare providers are leading the charge by deploying cutting-edge systems that take advantage of advances such as robotic surgeries, telemedicine and big data applications. Medical technology is an ever evolving field. The fourth Industrial Revolution marks the dawn of a more intelligent healthcare system, where a digital transformation is taking hold, and innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) are gradually complementing human expertise in promoting improved outcomes for all.

As a leading healthcare travel destination, Malaysia is embracing the future of medicine. Among others, complex procedures like surgeries are benefiting from the use of robotics. One of the country's hospitals that are at the forefront of robotic surgery is Sunway Medical Centre (SMC) in Selangor, which made history with the country's first ever robot-assisted joint replacement surgery in 2021.

According to Helen Ng Hoy Loon, General Manager of Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) Services, Robotic Surgery and Urology at SMC, the hospital commemorated the completion of a thousand robot-assisted surgeries in December 2022 as well as unveiling a first-in-Malaysia da Vinci Xi 4th Generation Surgical System.

"Robotic surgery provides a high-definition 3D view of the surgical site, which can improve their ability to see and manipulate tissue during the procedure. As the smaller incisions used in robotic surgery are less traumatic to the body, this also results in less blood loss, pain and scarring as well as reduced risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times," she added.

Such advances in medical technology are also translating to easier access to healthcare. The advent of telemedicine has opened new possibilities in preventive healthcare through virtual diagnosis and monitoring, allowing for earlier detection and treatment of illnesses and complications. Hospitals are now racing to upgrade their infrastructure and services, tapping into enhanced monitoring capabilities.

According to SMC's Senior General Manager, Hwang Ming Lan, "We are exploring various ways of monitoring patients' health through wearable devices or other tools to help doctors detect health issues early and prevent further complications. Advances in digital technology have also allowed for combining components of telemedicine with our wellness centre services, such as providing health screenings and interpreting the results through telemedicine."

Also riding high on the digital transformation wave is Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC), where plans are now afoot to revolutionise preventive healthcare by bolstering its remote patient-care platform.

"We are now planning to venture into remote patient monitoring this year. This allows us to transcend geographic limitations and adds value, not just in our preventive healthcare capabilities, but also towards a more meaningful quality of life for patients," said Bryan Lin, the Chief Executive Officer at SJMC.

Delivering a seamless end-to-end patient experience has always been an instrumental pillar of Malaysia Healthcare. Lin is confident that the future in elevating patient care lies in digitalisation. "I believe that as we embark on digitalisation, advances in technology will become more integrated into the patient care experience. A seamless end-to-end service has the potential to take us to the forefront of healthcare delivery," he concluded.

BEST Express Malaysia Rebuild Schools After Floods

BEST Express Malaysia has launched a flood relief campaign from March to April to aid schools affected by the flood in Johor, Malaysia.

The flood occurred in the end of February has cause more than 50,000 of Johorean lost their home.

In the wake to response to the devastating floods in difference area in Johor, BEST Express Malaysia has shown its care to nine affected schools, including nursing homes and religious school. in end-March 2023 through collaboration with four agent stations in Johor.

The donated funds will mainly use for repair and rebuild the damaged facilities in schools.

BEST Express Malaysia is deeply saddened to witness the Johor floods which has caused many school's facilities being damaged and this has caused many inconveniences to the teachers and students.

"We hope our little donation will help our community recover and rebuild after this crisis, though our donation is not big, but our hearts are warm. Hope we all work together to overcome the difficulties and challenges," said Jessy Sun, GM of BEST Inc Malaysia and Singapore.

BEST Express Malaysia's heart-warming action in Johor was also commended by the Ministry of Education's office in Batu Pahat. It praised BEST Express Malaysia's donation, which has brought great benefits to the school. It is also hoped that BEST Express Malaysia's efforts will become a good example in the industry.

In addition, the 9 beneficiary schools expressed their gratitude to BEST's kind deeds. Mr Suhaimi Bin Ismail, director of Batu Pahat District Education office has complimented BEST Express Malaysia for its efforts to help schools affected by flood.

"On behalf of Batu Pahat District Education Office, we would like to say a thousand thanks and hope that these efforts can be continued at any time in the future," he said.

Malaysia Global Business Forum 2023

The Malaysia Global Business Forum (MGBF) recently held a high-level roundtable themed 'Designing the Future of the Digital Economy', which was attended by industry leaders and business associations. The guest of honour was The Honourable Syerleena Abdul Rashid who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bukit Bendera political constituency in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia.

The MP's Special Session with The Honourable Syerleena focused on understanding the intersection of the digital economy and the creative industry, and the way forward. Many consumers experience the digital economy through the efforts of creative content producers; as such, the interdependence of the digital economy and creative industries is a potential engine for economic growth and job creation in Malaysia.

Held at the Common Ground Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, MGBF identified several critical considerations for Malaysia in ASEAN's digital economy:

- The need for a "Resilient Digital Infrastructure" which, in the near future, should include an integrated rollout of 5G communications that empower communication within industry supply chains. While enhanced by 5G, this new ecosystem must be able to withstand the vast majority of cyber-attacks.

- The clear integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into daily work and models of productivity. This needs to include a rationalisation of which AI is used by the corporate sector and governments alike. Training and upskilling will ensure that humans will always remain relevant.

- The need for greater amount of digital content production domestically to take advantage of an empowered ecosystem. This content needs to include entertainment, news and enhanced learning, which should include augmented reality.

Nordin Abdullah, the Founding Chairman of the Malaysia Global Business Forum, said, "As the digital economy evolves, the concept of sovereign risk, which was once limited to geographical and political concerns faced in a given jurisdiction, has become something that needs managing on the individual, corporate and government levels. Business leaders need to actively manage the cyberspace in which their supply chains operate. An inability to manage these threats and communicate to customers that they are managed, will lead to a loss of market share."

MGBF Co-Chairman, Rizal Kamaruzzaman, said, "Malaysia has the opportunity to make a paradigm shift into the global digital economy, bringing with it high-paying jobs and business opportunities that will reinvigorate the Malaysian economy. Data-driven decisions that address the challenges of the community will be the innovations that attract the most capital and the requisite critical mass of consumers. The government should look for these kinds of companies to push on the regional and global markets."

Nordin added, "Based on various reports, there is a shortage of two to four million cybersecurity workforce globally. In the Malaysian context, this equates to approximately 10,000 to 20,000 individuals required to make the business ecosystem sufficiently cyber resilient. On the strategic level, this does not mean that enough resources have been allocated to deal with targeted attacks on specific infrastructure or critical organisations."

Speakers at the event include Haresh Deol, Deputy President of the National Press Club of Malaysia; Datin Faridah Iriani, Director of BDEC Malaysia; Chris Seto, Managing Director of Dataxet Malaysia Sdn Bhd; Murugason R. Thangaratnam, CEO of Novem CS Sdn Bhd; Shin Mei Lee, Head of Enterprise Business, Google Cloud; Vicks Kanagasingam, CEO of Censof Digital Sdn Bhd; Matthew Barsing, Chief Commercial Officer of EPS Consultants; Sheriza Zakaria, CEO of Big Dataworks Sdn Bhd; and Bobby Varanasi, Founder of Matryzel Consulting.

Gerard Ratnam, Producer and TV Host for Bernama TV, moderated the Member of Parliament's Special Session with YB Syerleena. Moderators for the remaining panel sessions were MGBF's Nordin Abdullah, TV Host for Bernama TV Jessy Chahal, and Ruzanna Muhammad, Editor-at-Large for News Hub Asia.

MGBF was established to empower stakeholders at the intersection of international and Malaysian business. Through government relations, business intelligence, advocacy, media engagement, market research, networking, advisory and business matching, MGBF will continue to explore threats and opportunities with industry leaders and policy makers to ensure that Malaysia becomes a leader in the context of Asia.

New Generation of Malaysians Shop Value-Based Online

New generations of Malaysians are shopping with purpose online — Shopee's marketplace data shows online consumers are three times more likely to buy products that promote smarter consumption in 2023 than in 2020. Malaysians are increasingly searching for keywords such as 'pre-loved', 'pre-owned', 'warehouse clearance', 'demo unit' and 'thrift' over 'new'.

Over the last three years, Shopee marketplace saw consumers putting value-based shopping into practice with a total 1.4 million items sold that were demo units, warehouse clearance items with minor defects, bundled goods, and also pre-owned products. 50% of these were FMCG categories Baby and Toys, Groceries and Pets, and Health and Beauty, 27% pre-owned fashion, 17% lifestyle items (Home and Living, Outdoor Sports, Hobbies, Games and Books) and the remainder used Electronics.

Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing at Shopee Malaysia, said, "Value-based shopping is clearly the future. Generation Z shoppers on our marketplace are telling us with their keyword searches that for every 6 times they look for something new, 4 other times, they are looking for something pre-loved, recycled, reused or display units. They are exercising their purchasing power in a very deliberate way, and it's humbling to be able to meet the needs of this group of consumers by connecting them to sellers who are aligned with their values."

"Shopee makes it easy for Malaysian sellers with stocks to clear to list their pre-loved goods and describe and show users the conditions they are authentically in so that people can make smarter shopping decisions. In February 2023, we saw an estimated 15% increase in pre-loved SKU listings compared to the same month last year. We believe that we make it easier for our consumers to shop with more value online," Soh concluded.

The most popular warehouse clearance supplies were hand sanitisers as Malaysians increased their need for personal hygiene protection. As households economised on spending, overstock but affordable skincare, cosmetics, and personal care products were hot in demand. Unsurprisingly, shoppers also chose 'pre-owned' over 'new' with baby and children accessories, baby and children toys, and pet accessories that get outgrown with age.

Influencers' content on Shopee Live has also been shifting to cater to value-based and purposeful shopping decisions. Throughout the last three years, livestream sellers recorded four times more pre-loved orders sold and twice as much live streaming content for pre-owned products compared to new products. This could be attributed to the authenticity generated by influencers demonstrating pre-loved units in their genuine condition along with positive messages shaping sustainable mindsets.

Shoppers keen to support recommerce can type the following keywords on Shopee’s search bar: “pre-loved”, “bundled”, “warehouse clearance”, “thrift”, “second hand”, “used”, “demo unit” and “pre-owned”. In addition, users can find titles for preloved Live Streams available to view in the Shopee mobile app. Shopee users should also note that from 24 March, Shopee has introduced ‘Change of Mind’, a free return and refund feature for the entire Fashion segment (Local Sellers only) on the marketplace, to enable a ‘want not, waste not’ mindset this Ramadan and Raya.

Healthcare Travel Council

Malaysia is a renowned tourist destination, welcoming over 26 million tourists from all over the world in 2019. While many travellers choose the country for its diverse tourist attractions, it is also a popular healthcare travel destination, having won the coveted Destination of the Year award from the International Medical Travel Journal consecutively from 2015 to 2017 and again in 2020.

"With Malaysia's international borders fully opened again, we are excited to welcome travellers from across the globe to come over, relax and experience the amazing sights and sounds that our country has to offer. As Malaysia is home to many private healthcare establishments that offer comprehensive health screening packages, this is also an opportune time for you to catch up on your health screening," said Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

In aligning with the global shift towards prioritising preventive health and wellness, Malaysia Healthcare is eager to encourage this trend, providing healthcare travellers with Premium Wellness offerings that combine a vast range of comprehensive health screening offerings with world-class hotel accommodations and leisure tour itineraries in one convenient package.

With a multitude of health screening offerings that can be personalised according to patients' age, gender and current health conditions widely available, healthcare travellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to handpicking the healthcare establishment that best meets their preference, needs and comfort. As there is little to no waiting time needed, they will be able to plan their travel schedule properly and get their health screening done promptly and efficiently. Thereafter, healthcare travellers can opt to explore the beauty of Malaysia with a guided tour or at their own leisure as well as enjoying healthy meals and other wellness activities back at the hotel.

Healthcare in Malaysia is primarily overseen by the Ministry of Health (MOH), with all private hospitals being required to comply with the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act 1998 and Private Healthcare Facilities Service Regulations 2006, thus ensuring that the quality of healthcare in the country and the safety of patients are upheld.

"With the Premium Wellness Programme, healthcare travellers will have a seamless, fuss-free vacation, and also keep up to date with their health screening routines in a safe and trusted destination," added Mohd Daud.

In its commitment to providing a seamless end-to-end journey experience for healthcare travellers, Malaysia Healthcare provides a range of services from the moment they make their enquiries until the time they are ready to head home. These include a Call Centre and Concierge & Lounge service at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) and Penang International Airport (PIA), which will assist all healthcare travellers through disembarkation, customs and immigration at the airport, and ensure they are well taken care of during their stay in the country.

Kuala Lumpur's Literary Heritage

Kuala Lumpur is a bustling city known for its historical buildings, vibrant nightlife and pulsing energy. But many don't know that the Malaysian city has a rich literary heritage worth exploring. From the works of legendary writers and poets to the latest books by emerging authors, the city’s literary history is full of stories to discover and celebrate. Kuala Lumpur has been a literary hotspot for years- the city’s literary scene has produced some of the country’s greatest writers. One of the most famous Kuala Lumpur authors is Ismail Kadaruddin- he’s often referred to as Malaysia’s national poet. His works, which include “The Ballad of Malacca” and “The Malay Epic”, have become classics in Malaysian literature.

Another notable writer from Kuala Lumpur is Abdullah Hussain- he’s widely recognized as the father of modern Malay literature. His work, which includes the novel “Interlok”, has been translated into over 40 languages- it is considered a masterpiece of modern Malay fiction. Further, Kuala Lumpur is a thriving literary scene full of new and emerging authors. Many of these authors and poets have been published in prominent Malaysian magazines and newspapers; their works are often showcased at literary festivals and events throughout the year.

One such event is the Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival. The festival is held annually. The festival provides a platform for authors and poets to showcase their work to a wide audience. It also offers a chance for readers to meet and interact with authors from all over the world. For those looking to explore Kuala Lumpur’s literary heritage, there are many bookshops throughout the city. The stores offer a wide selection of books, ranging from literary classics to contemporary works. Also, there are small independent bookstores that specialize in local and regional titles. Yes, Kuala Lumpur’s literary history is fascinating-one worth exploring. Whether you’re a classic Malay works enthusiast or looking to discover the city’s emerging authors, there’s plenty to discover.

Take time to explore the city’s bookshelves- uncover the stories and works of Malaysia’s greatest writers. You’ll soon discover Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant, thriving city with a rich heritage that spans centuries. From the days of the Malay Sultanate to the modern age, the city has been a cradle for writers, poets, playwrights, and authors of all kinds. From the bustling streets of the city to the peaceful gardens of the old city, the culture of literature is alive and well in Kuala Lumpur.

The city’s earliest recorded literature dates back to the 15th century when the Malay Sultanate established its rule in the region. During this time, the Sultans and their courtiers wrote poems and plays, as well as various works of literature. One of the most famous works of this period is the Hikayat Hang Tuah, a classic Malay epic poem. It tells the story of the legendary warrior Hang Tuah. This work has been adapted into many forms, including plays, films, and musical adaptations.

Another famous literary from the same period is the Sejarah Melayu. This is a historical chronicle written by the court historian of the Sultans, which documents the history of the Malay Sultanate. The Sejarah Melayu is considered one of the most important works of Malay literature, and it is still widely read today. In the 19th century, the British colonial period brought a new wave of writers to the city.

Many British authors wrote about their experiences in the city. The authors include Rudyard Kipling and William Somerset Maugham. Rudyard Kipling's stories of the city, such as "The Jungle Book", have become classics; many of the themes he wrote about in these stories are still relevant today. Maugham's "The Moon and Sixpence" is another famous work; it tells the story of a man who chooses to leave his comfortable life in London to pursue his dreams in Kuala Lumpur.

Undoubtedly, the modern era has seen some of the most influential writers in Malaysia. Among them is the great poet Ahmad Fuad Osman, whose works are still widely read today. Other important authors from this period include Tan Twan Eng, whose novel, The Garden of Evening Mists was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2012, and Lee Kok Liang, whose book, The Gift of Rain, was a bestseller in Malaysia.

Today, Kuala Lumpur is home to some of the most talented authors in the world. The city's vibrant literary culture is on display in its many bookstores, libraries, and reading groups, which are a great way to explore the city's heritage. Whether you are a fan of classic works or modern fiction, you can find a variety of works to suit your tastes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sustainability Performance Awards

Sustainability Performance Awards

Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad ("Kenanga Group" or "The Group") was presented with three awards at the coveted United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei ("UNGCMYB") Sustainability Performance Awards 2022.

"We would like to thank United Nations Global Compact Network for the awards and ongoing support. They serve as an encouragement for the Group to further strengthen our commitment and excellence towards sustainability," commented Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Group Managing Director, Kenanga Group.

"We still have a long way to go and we look forward to continue advancing our sustainability strategy in the years to come - one that delivers prosperity together with meaningful outcome for people and planet," added Datuk Chay.

UNGCMYB's Executive Director, Faroze Nadar remarked, "We are proud to have accountable businesses as part of UNGC global network. Kenanga Group has done much to advance sustainability in their industry and we are pleased to recognise their efforts. Congratulations Kenanga and we hope this will inspire other financial institutions to be change agents for a sustainable nation".

The Group was awarded for its launch of sustainable products, which cover the Kenanga Sustainability Series - a suite of multi-asset class products rooted in sustainability considerations to advance long-term financial growth for investors and to generate social and financial value for surrounding communities.

In addition, the Group was also recognised for its effort for sustainability awareness and employee engagement. In accelerating group-wide capacity building, 95% of its workforce nationwide completed the UN Global Compact's introduction to sustainability e-learning modules, on top of desk-top quizzes. The Group also actively engage its employees through various sustainability awareness programmes such as #GreenAtHome, a month-long interactive event for the last 6 consecutive years to raise environmental awareness.

The Partnerships for Goals award was derived from the Group's collaborations with various organisations to drive the different aspects of sustainability.

"This year, as we focus on expanding financial inclusion through digitalisation, we joined hands with the Ant Group to develop Malaysia's first wealth SuperApp, which is engineered to provide access to the world of investing to millions of Malaysians," said Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Group Managing Director, Kenanga Group.

In terms of partnerships within the community, the Group drives the award-winning programme - the HumanKind Project - designed to empower social enterprises such Café Includes, a café run by people with disabilities under the Dialogue Includes All Academy, as well as, Silent Teddies Bakery an enterprise run by a group of talented hearing-impaired bakers.

With over a decade of support towards these social enterprises, the Group continues to raise funds, generate awareness, and volunteer assistance to bring about positive change and improvements to the under-privileged individuals and families.

The Sustainability Performance Awards programme was initiated by UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei to recognise the continuous efforts of all its Participants and to inspire others to make sustainability an integral part of their business strategies.

Established for more than 45 years, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad (the Group) is a financial group in Malaysia with extensive experience in equity broking, investment banking, treasury, Islamic banking, listed derivatives, investment management, wealth management, structured lending and trade financing with strong foundations in regulatory compliance and risk management.

An innovative and established home-grown brand, the Group's digital ambition includes building a robust digital ecosystem that meets the needs of its clients and businesses. Some of its game-changing products include Malaysia's fully online digital stockbroking platform Rakuten Trade and a fully A.I. robo-advisor, Kenanga Digital Investing. The Group also launched Malaysia's first securities broking e-wallet, Kenanga Money, paved the way in AI-led Quan and algorithmic trading, kick-started a revolutionary supply chain financing solution for SMEs and made inroads into the digital assets space through its investment in Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd.

The Group has garnered a host of awards and accolades reflecting its strong market position. It was awarded under the categories of Highest Returns to Shareholder Over Three Years, Best Overall Equities Participating Organisation by Bursa Malaysia, Best Overall Derivatives Trading Participant, Best Structured Warrant Issuer, Best Retail Equities Participating Organisation, Best Institutional Equities Participating Organisation Investment Bank; along with Best Trading Participant and Best Institutional Equities Participating Organisation and for Equity and Financial Derivatives for 18 consecutive years. The Group was also accorded the title of Best Institutional Derivatives Trading category by Bursa Malaysia.

The Group continues to be a regular and repeat recipient of distinguished industry accolades, such as the Lipper, Fundsupermart and Morningstar awards. Rakuten Trade, Malaysia's first fully digital securities broker in 2017 via a joint venture with Japanese fintech giant Rakuten Securities Inc was also named Malaysia's fintech company of the year in 2018 by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). For its continued efforts towards community outreach and employee volunteerism, the Group was awarded the coveted Company of the Year award for environmental and sustainability at Sustainability & CSR Malaysia Awards 2021. The Group is also a Participant of the United Nations Global Compact and adheres to its principle-based approach to responsible business.

Today, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad is an award-winning leading independent investment bank in the country with a continuous commitment to driving collaboration, innovation, digitalisation, and sustainability in the marketplace.

Shopee Sellers Achieved Growth in 2022

Shopee Sellers Achieved Growth in 2022

Shopee Super Awards 2022 Milestone study1 finds many Malaysian stores outperformed business expectations on the marketplace over the last 12 months. From October 2021 to September 2022, over 145,000 local sellers achieved 25% growth in year-on-year sales on Shopee due to superior levels of customer service and optimised storefronts. Since many platform sellers provide for more than three household dependents on average2 beyond the community of local talents and gig workers employed, this fulfils Shopee's mission of using technology to help the underserved.

In addition, Shopee drove economic inclusion by integrating and upskilling more than 251,000 local sellers who started selling online this year. These first-time sellers to the platform took advantage of the robust ecosystem and innovative features to quickly scale operationally and reach new markets online. Among them, more than 140 new sellers recorded over RM500,000 in sales this year. They outperformed their peers with store ratings of over 4.8 (out of 5), 97% on-time fulfilment rate, and prompt customer chat response rate of 116 min.

One of these record breakers is Shopee seller Frederick Thoo of IFS1212 store: the 41-year-old onboarded his automotive products business with Shopee as an alternative to building a costly dedicated app. "I value Shopee's straightforward interface and large user base. We have managed to reach a record-high of 600 daily orders. This amount of orders can only be reached by selling online. We put a lot of effort into finding the best methods to pack our products and maintain our timely chat response rate. Good ratings are of utmost importance in building customer trust," shared Thoo.

Beyond new sellers like Thoo, long-term sellers on Shopee also find that seamless customer experience pays off for sustained growth. Because of their ability to retain loyal customers and drive marketing costs down, year to date September 2022, more than 2,100 local sellers made over RM5 million in sales since the inception of their stores on Shopee. Throughout the last year, these sellers maintained consistent ratings of 4.9 (out of 5), quick chat response time of 125 minutes, and almost 99% of their orders shipped on time.

Over 1,700 local sellers of authentic Made-in-Malaysia goods marked RM1 million in sales since listing on the marketplace thanks to Shopee's hyper-localised platform and e-commerce campaigns. These homegrown entrepreneurs provided quality goods that cater to Malaysians' local preferences with an average store rating of 4.9 out of 5 and 98% of orders shipped on time.

Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing Campaigns at Shopee Malaysia said, "We are humbled to see how far our community of sellers, brands, and talents have come on the marketplace ahead of our 15th of December Shopee Super Awards. It's thanks to their collective hard work and all the wonderful shopping experiences they are creating for buyers online that Shopee ranks first in the YouGov Best Brand Ranking in Malaysia and also won gold for Kantar's Strongest Malaysian Brand in both 'General Retailers' and 'Lifestyle App' categories. They inspire us to continuously innovate and invest in our marketplace ecosystem to give back to the community by providing a wide range of choices at the lowest prices."

Beyond free education for seller communities via Shopee University and Seller Summit, Shopee has also created educational KOL masterclasses and Shopee Influencer Fest to scale influencers and drive their growth along with sellers. Earlier this year, Shopee's marketplace studies revealed that local influencers reach wider audiences and boost customer engagement3 for sellers.

Eizuwan Eizuddin, an active Shopee influencer community participant since 2020, believes in the symbiotic relationships between sellers and influencers. "Consumers value recommendations from authentic voices. I can see the trend of people having higher trust in third parties reviews compared to advertising on TV or radio. My product review videos can be seen as a bridge between sellers and buyers. On one hand, increasing the visibility of sellers' products; on the other hand, helping my audiences to make informed purchase decisions."

On 15 December 2022, Shopee Super Awards ceremony will recognise the best performing sellers, brands, and influencers of the year by industry categories. Winners of much anticipated e-commerce awards such as "Super Growing Seller", "Super Operational Performance Brand" and "Super Live Streamer" will be announced.

The 2022 "Shopee Super Awards Milestone" study was conducted by Shopee Marketplace, taking research data from October 2020-September 2021 and October 2021-September 2022.

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia. Shopee promotes an inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystem by enabling businesses to digitalise and grow their online presence, helping more people access and benefit from digital services, and uplifting local communities.

Internet Connectivity in Rural Malaysia

Internet Connectivity in Rural Malaysia

The story of rural Internet in Malaysia is a story about changing perceptions, shifting priorities and a big vision to connect all Malaysians. Undoubtedly, the Internet is a valuable communication tool for rural villagers, with many taking advantage to promote their businesses. As such, the government's initiative to bring broadband connectivity to as many as 400,000 villages in Malaysia is crucial for ensuring the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the youth is unleashed.

Many agree that the need for Internet connectivity is one of the modernisation's most challenging side effects. Although most rural areas in Malaysia have relied on radio links or the telephone network for years, it was not until the advent of cheap smartphones that things began to move at a fast pace. Nowadays, most people want a reliable connection that is fast and affordable- this often means choosing a different type of mobile connection over other technologies such as satellite.

Recently, internet connectivity in rural Malaysia was identified by the government as one of the most critical issues. Why, it creates a platform for economic development, social connectivity and health awareness. With a low penetration rate in rural areas, many people cannot access the Internet due to various barriers. These include limited access to reliable electricity supply and low bandwidths. The project aims to create awareness of how to make rural communities more digitally literate by providing enabling solutions like portable devices with mobile broadband capability, improved information tools, and electronics training during out-of-school hours.

The idea of having the Internet in rural areas was once alien. However, internet connectivity in rural Malaysia is improving- today, many people who live in rural areas have access to high-speed Internet. There are still some issues affecting overall connectivity in rural areas. Among these are Availability, service quality and affordability. Despite this, the Internet is a massive help for rural communities. It helps farmers find market information and make business decisions faster, such as buying new crops, planting seeds, and setting up farm stores. Remarkably, internet use has reduced the time taken to complete the Agriculture Field Census from 8 hours to 2.

In 2022, the Internet will be readily available and affordable to many in Malaysia. Internet connectivity in rural Malaysia has been a primary goal for the government for almost two decades. This milestone was enabled by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 2001 (MCMA), which requires all operators to provide Internet access at affordable rates to all citizens and juristic persons residing in rural areas. Yes, the Internet is virtually everywhere in Malaysia. The government allows a limited number of ISPs to provide access to the public. As part of this program, the government provides subsidies to assist with connection fees which individuals pay.

Admittedly, internet connectivity is still a challenging issue in some Malaysian rural areas. Many lack access to the Internet, while some don't have bandwidth; specific ISPs have capped some bandwidth. Further, some rural areas in Malaysia suffer from poor connectivity. According to government statistics, nearly 86% of Malaysian households do not have a fixed connection; equipment installation rates are also low. It's especially a big problem in some rural areas; it takes hours to reach the nearest base station in these regions. Many users have no choice but to use mobile broadband services as their only option.

Despite this, rural Malaysia has more potential for expansion than urban areas because they have an inexpensive, highly skilled labour force that's willing to work hard on building infrastructure. Certainly, improving internet access for rural areas would open up enormous opportunities for microenterprise growth. This is particularly true for small entrepreneurs who operate online businesses like e-commerce portals or tourism websites.

Ultimately, the lack of internet connectivity in rural Malaysia is a significant challenge to creating inclusive growth. The government has recognised this challenge and established the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). It's mandated to develop next-generation infrastructure using Broadband Over Powerline (BOPL) technology. By June 2018, 92% of Malaysians had mobile phone coverage. This was down from 95% at its peak in 2014, a year before the rollout of LTE-Advanced technology and delivery of 4G services by major telecom operators.

While rural Internet in Malaysia is improving at a rapid rate, it is still struggling to keep up with the high demand. Various digital initiatives like B+B and Tele community are trying to improve the status of rural Internet and create more opportunities for local entrepreneurs in Malaysia.

Malaysia Transforms Heart Care

Malaysia Transforms Heart Care

Malaysian cardiac institutes are raising the bar with their latest innovative breakthroughs, opening doors for more promising outcomes.

In conjunction with World Heart Day, Malaysia is strengthening its reputation as the Cardiology Hub of Asia. The country is currently home to 52 centres of cardiac excellence, many of which have made great strides with the introduction of new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, as well as notching numerous achievements, such as being the first outside of the US to implant a Micra AV pacemaker and the only transmission site in South-East Asia for complex percutaneous coronary intervention at the CTO Live Aid.

"We are the first in ASEAN to debut the POLARx Cryoablation System, which improves treatment outcomes of atrial fibrillation and reduces procedure time, as well as treating 100 patients with Micra AV, among others. At our helm is a dedicated team working together to improve the quality of cardiovascular health for all our patients," said Datuk Dr. Aizai Azan bin Abdul Rahim, Group CEO of IJN.

The rapid evolution of cardiac imaging techniques, including 3D echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), has been central in the diagnosis of many cardiovascular diseases.

"Cardiac MRI gives us detailed information that can't be obtained from an echocardiogram or angiogram. It helps to detect blockages in the coronary arteries, and looks at what's happening in the muscle, blood vessels and blood clots to determine the risk of heart attacks," said Dr. Muhammad Imran bin Abdul Hafidz, Consultant Cardiologist at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

The advent of more minimally invasive procedures has also helped improve outcomes while optimising patient recovery.

"Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is the most common type of open-heart surgery, and it comes with a set of risks. However, with minimally invasive bypass surgery, the risk is much lower. This will definitely benefit higher risk patients, especially those with severely damaged hearts, diabetes or kidney failure," said Dr. Eng Ji Bah, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Island Hospital.

With a focus on patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur (CVSKL) utilises Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) technology, which generates a detailed image of the heart blood vessels and gives cross-sectional views of the artery using sound waves, providing invaluable information on the nature of blockages or compositions within the heart.

"With IVUS, doctors can see the final stent expansions clearly, lowering the risk of post-procedure problems and improving long-term outcomes," said Datuk Dr. Rosli Mohd Ali, Consultant Cardiologist at CVSKL.

Today, as the country continues to boost its expertise to enhance patient experience, Malaysia Healthcare is committed to providing a safe and trusted healthcare experience to all healthcare travellers right from the start. A dedicated Call Centre and Concierge & Lounge service for healthcare travellers is available at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), and Penang International Airport (PIA). Among others, healthcare travellers will be greeted upon arrival at the airport and escorted through fast-track immigration clearance (upon early notification).

"With the myriad of world-class hospitals that are renowned for their cardiac care excellence, Malaysia is strongly positioned to ensure that healthcare travellers are assured of easy access to top-notch heart care at competitive rates," said Mohd Daud Mohd Arif, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).

Malaysians Raise Funds for Environmental Sustainability

Malaysians Raise Funds for Environmental Sustainability

Shopee's long-term community initiative, has raised over RM48,000 from 1 May 2020 to 31 July 2022 for two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) championing environmentally-conscious efforts in Malaysia. Over two years, WWF-Malaysia and Zero Waste Malaysia received donations from over 9,000 donors, including over 5,500 first time donors.

85% of the funds raised went to assisting WWF-Malaysia, a national conservation trust with more than 90 ongoing projects nationwide. Funds raised are used to safeguard some of Malaysia's most iconic wildlife – including the Malayan tiger, Bornean elephants, Bornean orangutans and sea turtles – from threats such as poaching and habitat loss. WWF-Malaysia continues to address environmental issues to spread awareness, support education and research, and conserve the local landscape flora and fauna, water, soils, and other natural resources.

Across the two years, Zero Waste Malaysia received 15% of their total donations through #ShopeeGivesBack, supporting them in their efforts to go further in achieving their mission of building a waste-free and sustainable future for the nation. Zero Waste Malaysia advocates for sustainable development and aims to increase the local community's awareness of sustainable living through education, resources, public engagement, and on-ground initiatives. In 2021 alone, Zero Waste Malaysia received 13% of their total donations through #ShopeeGivesBack.

Huiyan Pan, Head of Brand Marketing at Shopee Malaysia said, "Shopee is moved by the reception of the community in supporting the efforts of our NGO partners in contributing towards environmental change. We firmly believe that with greater awareness and support from shoppers on our marketplace, we can strike a balance towards building a long-term, sustainable future for the environment and the economy."

"Shopee appreciates being able to play a part in WWF-Malaysia's conservation efforts and is thrilled to hear about the efforts that have reduced 90% of snare encounters for the Malayan tiger. In 2020 and 2021, more fresh sightings of the tigers, including a mother and three cubs, were discovered in the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex," Pan continued.

During Ramadan in 2021 and 2022, these two NGOs saw a collective month-on-month increase in donations of 85% and 113% respectively, from March to April compared to other months through #ShopeeGivesBack. Of the 1,400 donations received, WWF-Malaysia and Zero Waste Malaysia saw 1,000 first time donors donating during a time where generous Malaysians were giving back to communities and causes close to their hearts and values.

"The majority of our donations come from the public, hence the #ShopeeGivesBack platform has helped us reach wider audiences to raise the much needed public support that ensures the continuity of WWF-Malaysia's vital conservation projects. WWF-Malaysia is also taking action to promote sustainable lifestyles and increase resilience to climate change through policy advocacy and conserving natural ecosystems," said Helina Yow, Director of Partnerships, WWF-Malaysia.

#ShopeeGivesBack was launched on 1 May 2020 to help the underserved communities in Malaysia across four areas: underprivileged communities development, children and family services, health charities, and environmental charities. The platform provides Malaysians with an online avenue to support their favourite causes in the most convenient way. Shopee ensures that these NGOs have credible track records and are registered with the Registry of Societies.

Hatten Hotels Worldwide shift on sustainability

Hatten Hotels Worldwide shift on sustainability

Hatten Hotels Worldwide (HHW), the largest hospitality chain in Melaka won praise today from international NGO Lever Foundation for committing to source only cage-free eggs for all its food and beverage operations by 2025.

"HHW makes it a point to purchase our supplies from sustainable and responsible sources who practice ethical standards of sourcing and production. In line with this policy, we have the full support of our CEO, Dato' Edwin Tan, as we move towards our pledge to use only cage-free eggs," said Director of Procurement, En. Mohd. Fareed bin Salim.

The Group's hotels—Hatten Hotel Melaka, Hatten Place Melaka and Estadia Hotel Melaka will all be covered by the new policy.

"HHW's pledge to switch to cage-free eggs for its businesses is great news for animals and customers alike," said Vilosha Sivaraman, Sustainability Program Manager at Lever Foundation, which worked with the group on its commitment. "Despite the challenges of Covid-19 to the economy, HHW's decision on this important sustainability issue demonstrates the company's determination to provide the finest service for its guests and to support sustainable and humane food production."

​Animal protection and food safety organizations around the world encourage a switch to cage-free eggs, which are more humane to animals and safer for consumers. On caged egg farms, each egg-laying hen is confined for nearly her entire life in a cage so small she can barely turn around. Research by the European Food Safety Authority and others has found that cage-free egg farms are up to 25 times less likely to be contaminated with key strains of salmonella compared to hens raised in cages. Battery cage egg production has been banned throughout the European Union as well as in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, India, and parts of the United States.

In recent years a growing list of hospitality, retail, restaurant and packaged food brands have pledged to use only cage-free eggs throughout Asia. HHW is the first Malaysia-based hotel chain, to commit to a full shift to cage-free egg sourcing.

About Hatten Hotels Worldwide

With its tagline, "Creating Memorable Moments", Hatten Hotels Worldwide (HHW) took the hospitality industry by storm with the opening of Hatten Hotel Melaka in 2012. Boasting the largest room inventory in Melaka and with its prime location in the heart of historical Melaka, Hatten Hotel has remained the preferred hotel in Melaka for both business and leisure. With a string of awards and accolades to its portfolio, Hatten Hotel was named as Best City Hotel during the Asia Pacific Tourism and Travel Awards 2019.

In 2015, HHW opened a Peranakan-themed boutique hotel for travellers seeking an experiential holiday as well targeting medical tourism. To add to its diverse portfolio in the hospitality industry, Hatten Place opened its doors branding itself as the fun place to be, targeting young leisure travellers. This increased the group's room inventory by 580 rooms being the hotel with the second largest room inventory in Melaka.

Making corporate social responsibility an essential part of business operations, HHW continues to make impactful actions that address key social and environmental challenges. The management is passionate about creating long-term, sustainable programmes which will benefit everyone as well as promote sustainable travel and tourism practices to better preserve the planet.

Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards 2022

Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards 2022

Enterprise Asia, the organizer of the 13th Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards (APEA) 2022 Malaysia, is pleased to recognize 47 exceptional business leaders and enterprises that have played a vital role in shaping Malaysia's entrepreneurial landscape for the post-pandemic era.

Organized annually across 16 countries and markets, the APEA is the most reputable award recognition program recognizing entrepreneurial excellence across Asia. The Awards aim to congregate outstanding business leaders and enterprises across Asia into one unparalleled platform for fostering the continuity of sustainable entrepreneurial growth in Asian economies.

Malaysia's leading public-listed company Ta Win Holdings Berhad ("Ta Win") is among the outstanding award recipients under the Corporate Excellence Category in the Manufacturing industry.

Ta Win specializes in the manufacturing and sales of top-quality copper wire, wire harnesses, and cross-linked wire products. Throughout numerous decades of experience, Ta Win has grown to become a top producer in the integrated copper manufacturing industry in the South East Asian region. Since new management took over Ta Win in 2018, Ta Win has significantly accelerated its growth to become a one-stop copper solutions provider.

To strengthen its prospects to unlock the group's collective value, Ta Win proactively stays ahead of the curve and adopts a prudent approach to fortify and scale up the foundation of its core businesses with strategic subsidiary-based directions consistent with the group vision in 2022. These directions include Ta Win Industries (M) Sdn Bhd ("TWI") housing a modern state of the art Reverberatory Furnace and Continues Casting & Rolling Machines (CCR); Cyprium Wire Technology Sdn Bhd ("CWT") producing high technology cross-linked wire and cable products to fulfill the increasing demand from the booming global electric vehicles automotive sector; Sin Line Tek Electronic Co Sdn Bhd ("SLT") increasing its R&D initiatives, obtaining more product safety certifications and ramping up its production capacity to cater the increasingly large OEM and overseas customer base.

Ta Win's drive for excellence has led it to grow by leap and bound from a market capitalization of RM20 million in 2018 to the RM500 million market capitalization conglomerate with more than 700 employees today.

Moving forward, Ta Win's ultimate vision is to be a leading integrated one-stop copper solution center across Asia. In striving to realize this vision, Ta Win has expanded its wings into the copper supply value chain horizontally and vertically via strategic mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Ta Win is also optimistic that its strategic focus, capacity building, and introduction of new products coupled with the post-pandemic recovery shall further enhance its financial performance and prospects.

Food For Change Aid Underprivileged Children

Food For Change Aid Underprivileged Children

"Food For Change" is an initiative by Integrated Global Solutions (IGS) with the key objective to aid underprivileged children and welfare homes in the community who are struggling, due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative aims to trigger change through food, ensuring no children within the community goes hungry.

"None of us can survive in isolation - community is important as the air we breathe. Therefore, those of us in the position to give, should do so as much as we can. The ability to give is the power to inspire. Giving back to the community helps us cultivate the culture of giving and paying it forward," says Ang Poh Koon, CEO of IGS.

As this initiative is IGS's first collaboration with Yayasan Food Bank, its goal is to work together in bringing smiles to the faces of underprivileged children and joy to their hearts. Food was chosen as the ideal material for donation, being a basic necessity in which the welfare homes require to sustain the day-to-day living of the underprivileged children. The items include cooking oil, rice, sugar, spices, sauces, noodles, and groceries.

Ang hopes that with this small act of kindness, it will go a long way to make a difference in the children's well-being. Among the beneficiaries of this initiative includes Pertubuhan Kebajikan Nur Hati, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak Yatim Marry and Pusat Jagaan Kanak-Kanak Cacat Taman Megah.

IGS is a leading system integrator in Malaysia for the tech industry and a specialist in digital transformation. Since its founding in 2003, IGS has a proven track record of success in completing digital transformation and large-scale IT projects. Transforming businesses through digital innovation, IGS offers IT solutions, services and consultancy for enterprises of all sizes. Find out more at igsb.com.my

Yayasan Food Bank is an ideal partner in this mission. The foundation serves as a catalyst for minimising food waste while addressing the issue of rising living costs particularly for the B40 community. This collaboration is in line with the Yayasan Food Bank's Humanitarian Relief Mission wherein the foundation hopes to provide food assistance for charity homes that have been severely affected by the pandemic.

Tips to Fly with Pets to Malaysia

Tips to Fly with Pets to Malaysia

Malaysia is a popular tourist destination and a lovely place to raise a pet. Malaysia welcomes dogs and cats, and the active community offers a variety of fascinating activities for you and your pet. There are things to consider if you plan on going to Malaysia with your pet. Certain dog breeds are not permitted, and your pet must comply with all pet import restrictions in order to enter the nation. What you should know regarding pet travel to Malaysia is as follows:

Microchip your pet: Microchips are required for foreign travel; they assist in accurately identifying your pet and are extremely useful when your pet goes missing or is misplaced. All pets travelling to Malaysia must have an ISO-certified microchip inserted. Remember to enter the microchip number appropriately in all of your pet's records after implanting the microchip. Next, go for vaccinations and blood tests. Pets brought to Malaysia should get vaccinated against rabies with an anti-rabies vaccine between 30 days and 12 months prior to departure. If your pet is travelling from Australia, they will not require a rabies vaccine if they have lived there for six months before travel.

Canine parainfluenza, canine adenovirus type 2 and canine distemper vaccinations are required for dogs travelling to Malaysia. Immunization against Chlamydia psittaci, feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, and feline rhinotracheitis is required for cats. Vaccinations must be administered at least 12 months before the travel date and indicated on the health certificate together with the microchip number.

Dogs and cats travelling from Australia must always be tested for Hendra Virus using a dilution of the Serum Neutralisation Test (SNT). External and internal parasite treatments: Between two and seven days before travel, you should treat your pet dogs and cats for external and internal parasites. Internal parasite therapy must include both cestodes and nematodes, while exterior parasite treatment must eliminate all fleas and ticks from your pet. Ensure that your veterinarian records the name of the medicine, active components, and date of therapy in your pet's records.

Import permit and veterinary health certificate: To enter Malaysia, you must first get an import authorization from the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS). Before flying your dog to Malaysia, you have to check that it's not on the list of restricted and prohibited breeds. You may apply for import permission online or have a pet travel company do it for you. This permission is valid for 30 days after it is issued. Your pet will also require a pet passport or veterinarian health certificate that includes a record of all vaccines and treatments taken before to flight. For simple identification, it must include a description of the pet as well as the microchip number. A veterinary health certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinary officer certified by the government veterinary authority of the country of origin. The health certificate should say that the pet has been evaluated by a qualified veterinarian within the last seven days and has exhibited no clinical evidence of illness.

Banned and restricted dog breeds: Some violent and dangerous dog breeds have been prohibited from entering Malaysia. Before bringing your pet dog into Malaysia, be sure it is not on the list of prohibited breeds. Some breeds are on the restricted list and may enter the nation if certain import restrictions are met. Restricted dog breeds can enter Malaysia only with the agreement of the Director-General of Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services. Before asking for an import permit, you must first get approval. Also, observe pet quarantine in Malaysia; however, pets travelling in Singapore, Sweden, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United Kingdom don't have to get quarantined as long as they are healthy and meet all import requirements.

If all other import conditions are satisfied, pet dogs and cats travelling to Malaysia from Australia will be subject to a ten-day quarantine. If you bring your pet from Thailand, they will be confined for 14 days. When dogs and cats arrive, they will be examined by a quarantine officer and housed in an approved quarantine facility. If they are confirmed to be healthy and disease-free following their required quarantine, they will be freed. The quarantine time might be prolonged for up to six months if your cat or dog does not meet import restrictions.

Bringing a pet to Malaysia may be complex and confusing, so it is best to enlist the expertise of an approved pet travel agency to assist with the move.

Agoda partners with Visa in Malaysia

Agoda partners with Visa in Malaysia

Global travel platform Agoda, today announced its partnership with Visa, the world leader in digital payments, to offer interest-free credit card instalments across its booking platform. Agoda will be the first global Online Travel Agency (OTA) to offer this payment option with Visa in the Asia Pacific region.

These instalments can now be exclusively enjoyed by HSBC Bank Malaysia credit card holders. In the coming years, Visa and Agoda will progressively roll out this offering regionwide to locations like Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines, each with respective issuing banks.

"As the world transitions from a pandemic to an endemic state, there is great demand for digital-first experiences to accommodate for changing consumer behaviours and purchasing patterns. At Agoda, we are always looking for innovative ways to help people gain more accessibility – using technology to simplify the search, booking and payment processes. We are happy to be working with a global leader like Visa to empower travellers who might have previously found it inconvenient to pay for their booking in one lump sum, to spread their purchases over multiple payments – allowing for greater flexibility and peace of mind.", said Thi-Mai-Linh Bui, CFO, Agoda.

To enjoy this benefit, Visa card holders will simply need to enter their credit card details at the point of checkout. An instalment option will appear for eligible card holders. Following which, travellers can select their preferred instalment period via Agoda's mobile app and website, with no additional charges or fees.

"The buy now, pay later trend is here to stay, so add instalments to the list of consumer expectations for speed, safety and convenience, even when they're booking their holidays," said Conor Lynch, Head of Consumer Solutions, Asia Pacific, Visa. "We're excited for Agoda to join the growing list of businesses in Asia Pacific giving their customers the ability to pay in instalments. It's particularly great to see instalment payments taking off in the travel industry at the same time people are getting their 'revenge travel' plans underway.'

Agoda helps anyone travel anywhere with its great value deals on a global network of 2.7M hotels and holiday properties worldwide, plus flights, airport transfers and more. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages and supported by 24/7 customer support.

Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 4,800 staff in 32 markets, dedicated to leveraging best-in-class technology to make travel even easier.

Visa is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement.

Interesting Folk Tales

Interesting Folk Tales

Some folk stories are amusing, while others are gloomy, even frightening. On the other hand, Malaysian tales can be juicy and a little bit twisted. Here are two fascinating Malaysian folk stories:

The Malaysian Legend of Mahsuri -a woman wronged: The legend is set on the Malaysian island of Langkawi. The narrative begins with Mahsuri, a beautiful maiden who lived almost 400 years ago. She was the most beautiful woman in Langkawi. Mahsuri won the love of Mat Deris, the son of Langkawi's monarch, and they wedded. Later, he was forced to go to war with Siam. He left his lovely wife to toil; she wondered whether she would ever see her husband again.

Soon she became friends with Deramang, a wandering entertainer. The village didn't take well to her hanging out with the stranger, and suspicions began to circulate. Out of envy, Mahsuri's mother-in-law started the rumors. When Mat Deris' father learned about Mahsuri's supposed"infidelity", he had her executed. No one believed Mahsuri when she protested her innocence. She was chained to a tree and violently stabbed.

Despite all these stabbings, she escaped alive. She was fatigued from the incident, but she knew the locals would not let her leave. She decided to put herself out of her agony. She directed them to the location of the "appropriate killing sword". As a result, they drew the sword and stabbed her to death. Her blood streamed white, indicating her innocence. She cursed the island with her dying breath. Because Siam conquered Langkawi shortly after her death, the gods heeded her curse. The island's king, in an unwise decision, ordered the residents to destroy their rice paddies. It's preferable to trash the food than to let the Siamese consume it. But it didn't matter since he was murdered by the Siamese, and the islanders were soon starving.

Bidasari and the Goldfish: Agaruda, a mythological bird-like monster, narrowly evaded an attack on a king and a pregnant queen. They fled to the forest, and the Queen gave birth near the river not long after. The King noticed a goldfish in the water as his tiny daughter drew her first breath and screamed. He picked up the goldfish since it was so calm, and the baby stopped wailing. When he threw Goldi back into the sea, the princess began sobbing once again. This cycle repeated several times until the king recognized that his daughter, whom they called Bidasari, was-curiously- linked to Goldi.

Goldi was placed in a magnificent golden bowl by the king in order to connect with Bidasari. The royal couple, on the other hand, understood they couldn't keep Bidasari since they had no clue about the perils awaiting them. They threw Bidasari and her companion Goldi onto a float and sent them downstream. Fortunately, some wealthy merchants discovered Bidasari and took her and Goldi in. They moved Goldi out of the bowl to have a better look, and Bidasari stopped breathing. They re-immersed it in the water, and all was okay with the tiny bundle of joy. After 16 years, Bidasari becomes the most beautiful maiden in the kingdom. The queen was a jealous person, and she wanted her beautiful adversary to live in the palace so she could keep an eye on her.

Under the pretext of benevolence and company, she dispatched Bidasari. The queen made her her servant as soon as she came. She was forced to scrub the royal chamber pans while starving. The queen hoped that by forcing Bidasari to perform the lowliest tasks, she would turn ugly. But, of course, it did not occur. The queen made the decision to go in search of Goldi and retain it for herself. Bidasari collapsed on the ground as if dead the moment her spies took the fish. The Queen kept Goldi, but because Bidasari was no longer a threat, she returned her to her parents. Bidasari's parents knew better and built her a house in the heart of the forest in a secluded garden.

The king was out hunting one day when he came upon Bidasari. Goldi escaped at the same moment. Bidasari, who was only playing possum, awoke to see the king the moment Goldi was in the water. She had a lot to say, like anyone who had been sleeping for weeks, and she eagerly recounted to the king the entire story. The king was astounded that his queen would commit such a heinous act. He quickly exiled her and married Bidasari. The two lived happily ever after.

Eat and Cook in Kuala Lumpur get 2022 Award

Eat and Cook in Kuala Lumpur get 2022 Award

Eat and Cook in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the 2022 recipient of the American Express One To Watch Award. The American Express One To Watch Award recognises a restaurant considered to be a rising star of the region and aims to celebrate gastronomic excellence, innovation and potential.

Eat and Cook was born out of adversity. During the COVID pandemic, chefs Lee Zhe Xi and Soh Yong Zhi lost their respective jobs as hotel chefs. Turning misfortune into a moment of opportunity, the pair pursued their passion project: to create an omakase-style restaurant serving modern interpretations of classic Malaysian dishes.

At Eat and Cook, Lee and Soh present ingredient-driven tasting menus that expand the possibilities of Malaysian cooking. In keeping with the omakase tradition, the menu changes daily according to the availability and quality of local produce. While honouring authentic Malaysian flavours, each dish is distinguished by the chefs' technical mastery, creative ambition and deep respect for their culinary heritage.

William Drew, Director of Content for Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, says: "As the winner of the American Express One To Watch Award 2022, Eat and Cook is recognised for its refined cooking techniques, surprising combinations and creative execution. Its owners are creating a new identity for modern Malaysian cuisine."

Acknowledging the award, Chef Lee says: "On behalf of the Eat and Cook team, we are honoured to receive this award. It's a validation of the hard work we've put in over the last year and of our commitment to elevating Malaysian cuisine. This award will inspire us to continue our mission to bring the Malaysian dining experience to the next level."

Hannah Kelly, Vice President of Strategic Dining Partnerships and Benefits for American Express, says: "The success of Eat and Cook embodies the ingenuity and tenacity of those in the restaurant industry and American Express is proud to stand behind this international community."

The achievements of Eat and Cook's inspiring chefs will be celebrated as part of the ceremony for Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2022 on 29th March, which will be broadcast to a global audience via Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Facebook and the 50 Best Restaurants TV YouTube channel.

Jasmine Food Distributes Meal Kits to Vulnerable

Jasmine Food Distributes Meal Kits to Vulnerable

Jasmine Food Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (Jasmine Food), Malaysia's leading rice brand and 17th time Reader's Digest's Trusted Brand award holder, recently took part in MAGGI Sah Malaysia campaign that successfully raised 50,000 MAGGI meal kits for B40 communities across Malaysia. The meal kits include essential food items distributed to vulnerable households, as part of Nestlé Malaysia's ongoing commitment to support Malaysians throughout the ongoing pandemic.

Jasmine Food contributed 33,000 packs of rice supplies to complement part of the 50,000 MAGGI meal kits distributed. Each MAGGI meal kit contains Jasmine rice, MAGGI 2-Minute Noodles and MAGGI recipe mixes. Through this initiative, both Jasmine Food and NESTLE hope to help the B40 community to prepare affordable, tasty, and balanced homecooked meals.

Food insecurity has been rising for B40 households due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and economic hardship, even more so after the recent floods in December making this initiative crucial.

The MAGGI meal kits were distributed in partnership with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Empire Project, a non-governmental organisation that aids the homeless, and Uncle Kentang, who runs various community initiatives – assisting the poor and needy through food aid and transport service.

According to Lim Swee Keat, Chief Executive Officer of Jasmine Food Corporation Sdn. Bhd., "Supporting initiatives like the MAGGI meal kit distribution is synonymous with the company's commitment as one of Asia's most Trusted Brands. At Jasmine Food, we know how important it is to be a reliable community partner. Our customers trust our brand for the quality of our products, as well as our integrity and social responsibility. Therefore, we are committed to supporting initiatives that can make a difference for those in need, especially after the sudden floods."

As the market leader in Malaysia's rice industry, Jasmine Food has delivered high-grade, premium varieties of white and fragrant rice for decades. The brand also partners regularly with organizations to improve lives in the community, such as the National Blood Donation Centre, National Diabetic Association, Institute Jantung Negara, Tung Shin Hospital, and recently, MAGGI Sah Malaysia meal kits distribution.

According to Geetha Balakrishna, Business Executive Officer, FOOD, Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad, "We appreciate Jasmine Food's contribution to the MAGGI meal kits and we are grateful to be able to continue with this meaningful initiative that we kickstarted last year – to support families in need, in creating affordable, tasty homecooked meals – with the right portion of protein and vegetables added to achieve a balanced serving. Whilst we know that the road to recovery from the ongoing pandemic will not be easy, we remain committed to lending a helping hand – with more families and households needing assistance from prolonged lockdowns and the re-emergence of COVID-19 cases."

Founded in 1960, Jasmine Food Corporation, a subsidiary of Padiberas Nasional Berhad (BERNAS), is a leader in the distribution and marketing of the rice industry in Malaysia with numerous accolades under the belt. Jasmine Food distributes imported and local rice products through a network of dealers, hypermarkets, supermarkets, minimarkets, and sundry shops.

Undisputed Kings of the Silverscreen

Undisputed Kings of the Silverscreen

Although Malaysia is a relatively small country, it's renowned as the hometown of many highly talented professional actors. You probably wonder who appears in the list of the most famous male actors from this country. Well, here's a ranking of some of Malaysia's best-known male kings of the silver screen.

Generally, some of Malaysia's best actors are picked from the entertainment. Others are better known for their superb skills on the stage. Many are famous on the world stage. Yes, not only have they captured the hearts of fans locally, but they have also taken the hearts of lovers of films worldwide.

First on the list of top Malaysian actors is Henry Ewan Golding (in photo). The renowned actor was born on 5th February 1987. He was born in Betong, Sarawak area, Malaysia. This is a vastly talented actor, as well as a model, traveler, and TV host. Golding first stepped onto the major world stage courtesy of the blockbuster movie filmCrazy Rich Asians. The film's runaway success catapulted Golding onto the spot as one of Malaysia's most famous film stars. Golding later went on to do other terrific projects, including The Gentleman, Last Christmas, and A Simple Favour.

Aeril Zafrel: Aeril Zafrel was born Batu Pahat on 2nd December 1988. The actor's real name is Suhairil bin Sunari. Zafrel is a renowned actor and movie director who became famous in the industry simply by excelling in local projects. Zafrel's first-ever moie was known as Birkan Cinta Tersenyum Lagi. Zafrel became part of the cast in the 2010 movie Aku Tak Bodoh, which was a remake of the successful film Not Stupid Too. Later on, the actor had more significant projects coming along; he did many TV shows and directed several movies. He even received the most coveted role in Holywood's Budak Pailang movie in 2013. These exploits certainly made Zafrel earn accolades as one of Malaysia's best of the best film personalities.

Fattah Amin: Fattah Amin was born in September, 1990 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The talented artist is not merely an actor; he's a renowned singer, model, and TV host. Among the singer-actor's first singles was Cinta Padamu Sumpah Aku. Amin's debut movie was known as Maninsya Cinta Di Cappadoccia. Amin eventually proved to be among the most talented Malaysian male actors. He achieved this distinction after appearing on several TV shows. Among these shows was the successful Her Seorang Cinderella; while preparing this movie, Amin met his beautiful wife, Fazura.

Awal Ashaari: Awal Ashaari was born on 6th August 1981 in the Kampung Baru area of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Awal kicked off his career as a fledgling anchor starring in the news broadcasting field. He also graced the Malaysian idol competition. In retrospect, Awal's decision to attend the audition for the Malaysian Idol Competition turned out to be the most brilliant move that hoisted his fortune to great heights. Awal went on to do several mega projects touching on various TV shows and films. He also became a successful model and reality TV host. He made his premiere film appearance in the movie Diva (2007) and the successful drama series Seribu Erti. Awal earned the praises of his audience, becoming one of the most sought-after male actors.

Syafiq Kyle: Syafiq Kyle is well-known as one of the most prominent Malaysian actors of the recent decades. Kyle was born on 24th June 1992 in Kuala Lumpur. When he earned the second spot in the Hero Remaja competition, Kyle's kicked off a successful career in the TV and film industries. Some of Kyle's first ever projects in these fields were Tasbih Putih, Langsuir, Pusaka and Ipaku Diva. Kyle received many nominations for his excellent acting prowess; indeed, some of these nominations won him various awards and titles.

Aaron Aziz: Aaron Aziz was born on 23rd February 1976 in the Tampines region of Singapore. While Aziz may have started out as an actor, he later made a big name in the field of TV show-hosting and the Malaysian film industry as a whole. Aaron Aziz later received the highly coveted Darjah Kebesaran Mahkota award for his starring role in the Malay film industry in 2017. Aziz had many more awards nominations coming his way through the years. These made him earn a place as one of Malaysia's best male actors.

Top Movies in 2021

Top Movies in 2021

Whenever you visit Malaysia you'll likely feel as if you're home; it doesn't matter what nation or continent you come from- you can always count on Malaysian hospitality. But there's more; whenever you visit this Asian country, you can enjoy the country's rich heritage, visit many breathtaking places and enjoy delicious food. You won't find anything like this elsewhere- and the best is yet to come.

Have you ever enjoyed a virtual movie night with friends and family on the flanks? There's a long list of iconic Malaysian movies that will undoubtedly be worth your while. Many of these tackle historical events that most people can easily identify with. Let's find out:

Sergeant Hassan: This movie stars the iconic actor P Ramlee. The film is set back in the World War 2 era. In the plot, you'll follow one Hassan, a civilian who dreams of being a part of the Malay Regiment. But his father and brother have other plans. Undeterred, Hassan is determined to prove his close family wrong- the young man escapes and joins the army. He works extra hard and eventually earns the coveted title, becoming a Sergeant in the Malaysian army.

Pulang: The movie, Pulang is generally inspired by a true story. This is one movie that has gradually caught the attention of many fans. It's a film that carries fans to a heart-wrenching adventure featuring love, family, and sacrifice. We have to fast-forward and move to 61 years later. At this point, a certain young man happens to discover his grandfather's fate. The grandfather had earlier promised the grandmother that he would return home after sailing far away to seek a hidden fortune. As soon as the young man hears about the incredible nostalgic tales of great fortune, he decides to go on a relentless search for his grandfather. He doesn't rest until the mission is accomplished.

Hati Malaya (1957): In this movie, you can follow the adventure of four Malaysians who receive an assignment to curate a picture book; the book graphically depicts the momentous events of 1957. As they proceed, the young men soon find themselves thrust deep into these events; they plunge into the moments and experience of the characters; they do this while engrossed in discovering the true meaning of national independence.

Ola Bola: Many agree that soccer has its charm; it brings people together. Consider Ola Bola. The young man is intrigued by the Malaysia national football team's series of victories in the 1980's decades. Ola Bola, the inspiring movie, takes fans through a series of events marked by flashbacks. The story unfolds through a reporter's perspective and a series of flashbacks. The action depicts the events that characterized Malaysia's preparation for the 1980 Olympic games. The Olympics makes everyone set aside their differences. The momentous event reaches a climax when a single goal unites the entire team and nation.

The Big Durian (2003): This was the first-ever Malaysian movie to be shown at the famous Sundance Film Festival. The Big Durian, directed by Amir Muhammad, initially generated a mixture of controversy and acclaim. This is a most daring docudrama. The film documents the events that occurred on the night of 18th October 1987. At that time, a rifle-toting soldier went amok, running around the Kuala Lumpur capital city; it caused a considerable panic all over the city. The Big Durian, a film that was quite ambitious in scope, gave Amir Muhammad a golden opportunity to highlight the raging divisions in the 1980s Malaysia.

The Journey (2014): The film, the Journey, made in 2014, is regarded as Malaysia's most-engrossing film. In photo. The film is directed by Keng Guan Chiu. This movie features the clash that occurred between a traditional patriarch and one of his daughters. The daughter decides to get married to a Caucasian husband, and the father is greatly displeased.

Notwithstanding, the couple makes a long road trip in order to deliver the wedding invitations. It doesn't matter that the fiancé does this with a measure of reluctance. But while still on the way, the romantic couple discovers a much-surprising bond that helps them overcome the raging racial, social, cultural, and linguistic differences. The Journey is a film that promotes bonhomie and enhances mutual understanding and multiculturalism. It's an intimate movie that represents the uplifting celebration of both similarities and differences.

Exploring Beautiful Historic Places and Beaches

Exploring Beautiful Historic Places and Beaches

Malaysia is a land of great diversity and contrasts- culture, activities and landscape. Whenever in the country, have you walked around Malaysia's world-famous historical sites? Some of them are listed by UNESCO. In the same measure, have you explored Malaysia's amazing 130 million-year-old jungle? Doubtless, there are lots of places to visit while inside the country. Think of the following exciting places that all contribute to Malaysia's beauty.

Please note that, in response to the Covid 19 outbreak, Malaysia has introduced several movement restrictions affecting all foreigners, like many other nations. We desire that all travel restrictions will end soon and that- once again- everyone can live a normal life, just as before. We also hope that, rather than merely restrict travel, world governments will allocate adequate resources to bolster medical health and alleviate the current situation

Malaca City

Malacca City is the well-known capital of the Malacca State. The city oozes with both culture and history. Since 2008, Unesco has listed Malacca city as a World Heritage site. The city, located along the Malacca Strait, is popular and attracts many with its excellent food, local architecture and utilities like the famous Jonker Street Market. The area was controlled by the Dutch and the Portuguese. The city has various other attractions, including the 15th century Malacca Sultanate; many experts consider this period a Golden Malay cultural Age. Other top attractions include the Dutch Governor's official residence (The Stadthuys), a Formosa Fort and the St. Paul's Church.

Tanjung Aru beach (Kota Kinabalu Sabah)

Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, might not seem beautiful at first. However, behind the buildings and malls, you'll find some beautiful orange sand stretches- you can reach the islands and the iconic floating mosque within ten minutes. You can also stroll along the Likas Bay, walk the islands and coasts, or move to the beautiful Tanjung Aru Beach to enjoy a spectacular sunset treat. You can have a brilliant day snorkelling at the refreshing beaches or drive a few miles away from town and escape to the untouched jungle.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion, George Town (Penang Island)

Have you ever visited an open museum? Visit Georgetown; this famous colonial district has many nostalgic British colonial buildings and churches. Indeed, Georgetown is more of a colonial district that also hosts Fort Cornwallis. When visiting, you're free to stroll around the streets and tour traditional shophouses that boast of different individual designs and styles. Most of the building's walls are decorated with murals and street art. The town has a history with food courts and temples (including the Kek Lok Si) and a vibrant shopping area. George Town also has the longest coffee shop in the entire country; yes, George Town is one of Malaysia's best places to visit.

The landscape of island and beach (Perhentian islands)

Off the Terengganu, coast is a small archipelago located in the South China Sea area of the Perhentian islands and its beautiful beaches. These places are considered some of the most beautiful in Malaysia. The area has seven islands; five of the islands are generally uninhabited-two others are called the Kecil and Besar. Some fantastic events to enjoy here include snorkelling,, canoeing and scuba diving. Take this cautionary advice: Try not to visit during the months of March-October; you'll find most hotels and guesthouses closed.

Danum Valley Forest

Do you fancy eco-tourism? By all means, visit the Danum Valley; you can't afford to miss this. Here, you'll have a memorable opportunity to tour the untouched jungle and enjoy its incredible biodiversity; yes, inside this virgin conservation area- measuring 438sq km- you'll find hundreds (possibly thousands) of delightful fauna and flora species. You may even spot clouded leopards, pygmy elephants, and orangutans among the untamed wilds. Other fanciful activities to be enjoyed here include an unforgettable jungle trek with experienced guides and night safaris. You can also visit the famous ancient Kadazan-Dusun burial sites.

The Zahir Mosque (Masjid Zahir)

Most tourists who visit the Kedah state usually spend much time in Langkawi. Regardless- the unexplored Alor Setar City, located on the South East of this popular island, is another must-visit place. The features on this central square include the Big Clock Building, the Sultan Museum and the Royal Hall. Just a distance away, you'll find the amazing 250 million year old Gunung Keriang- a limestone hill. You can move to the nearby Kuala Kedah region and rumble through the 17th century Malay fort ruins; this is the oldest fort in the city.