ACCCIM President Speeches

12 Mar 2010

ACCCIM CNY Grand Dinner

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia,

Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia,

Tun-Tun, Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Datuk-Datuk,

Dif-dif yang dihormati,

Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan yang saya hormati sekalian,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening to all of you!

First of all, on behalf of ACCCIM, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our Honourable Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak for kindly accepting our invitation to be the Guest of Honour for tonight’s function.I also wish to thank Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor for your gracious presence tonight.

The ACCCIM Chinese New Year Grand Dinner is aimed at bringing together all Malaysians to celebrate the Lunar Year of the Tiger and to unite with the “1Malaysia spirit”. By organising the Grand Dinner, ACCCIM hopes to provide a networking platform for all participants to enhance their working relationship. We also wish to further strengthen our relationship with the Government and work together to put into practice the concept of “1Malaysia”.

Invited guests to this Grand Dinner include Government Ministers and top government officials, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, corporate leaders, representatives from more than 100 National level organisations, office bearers of ACCCIM and Constituent Chambers from all over Malaysia, and more than 150 trade and guild associations covering various economics sectors in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan. More than 3000 guests are here with us tonight.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the Year of the Metal Tiger. The Tiger is known for its strength and bravery, and is admired for its beautiful stripes that symbolize the balanced forces of “yin” and “yang”. The Year of the Tiger is traditionally associated with massive changes. This, I think, fits well with our Honourable Prime Minister’s call for changes in our country: change in our mindset, change of economic model and change of strategies. For Malaysia to thrive and to improve the well-being of all Malaysians, we have to change, and change courageously and forcefully like the Metal Tiger for a better future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the 1980s, Malaysia achieved 8% to 9% growth per annum. This shows that we can perform very well if we apply the right strategies at the right time. Since then, the external environment has changed radically. As such, we have to review and revise our strategies to cope with the new environment in order to sustain our economic growth.

It is timely for the Government to unveil the New Economic Model at this juncture. We hope the new model will be pragmatic and viable, with full drive and power to propel Malaysia into a high-income economy. However, we must not overlook the importance of the implementation of this new plan. Proper and efficient methodology must be applied in order to achieve the goals.

For this year, ACCCIM has set a target to attract US$ 2 billion worth of direct investment from China. We hope to help our country achieve its goal of becoming a high-income economy and developed nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The recent announcement by the Honourable Prime Minister that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2009 grew by 4.5% is very good news indeed. I think this can be attributed not only to the multiplier effect of the two stimulus packages, but also to the positive response to a series of liberal and positive policies announced by the Prime Minister. If we continue to work hard, I believe we will be able to achieve 6% growth next year.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While we sometimes make request to the Government, the ACCCIM has also set up a special committee to help other races to upgrade their living standards and assist SMEs. For example, we are planning to provide courses for businessmen of other races to learn how to start direct sales and bird nest businesses. Through the training programs, we hope to churn out more entrepreneurs of other races in these sectors. We also promote various kinds of Malaysian products through Parkson retails in China and Vietnam.

The Malaysian Courts have improved significantly in handling and speeding up court cases. We are very impressed by the Federal Court’s landmark ruling recently on Adorna vs Boonsom case, in which the Federal Court reversed its decision to plug a loophole in the law to allow landowners who lost their land through fraudulent means to redeem their right to the property. This decision will help restore the confidence of local and foreign investors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Social security is still an issue of concern to the Rakyat as well as to the foreign investors. Although recent police actions in some urban centres have seen some improvement in curbing robberies and snatch thefts. However, the problem of crime is still far from being resolved as illegal activities are rampant in the major urban areas and growth centers such as Klang Valley, Johore, Penang and Ipoh. We hope the Government can take effective measures, including the installation of more CCTVs to prevent crimes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to take this opportunity to make the following suggestions:

Firstly, Malaysia is rich in mineral resources. We have iron ore, coal, gold, copper, zinc and tin mines. However, our revenue from the mining industry drops by 3% to 4% annually. This is because the owners of the mining lands do not want to develop the lands. I hope the Government can assist in opening up the mining lands, and inviting big enterprises to invest and develop them. The refining of these mineral resources can be done in Malaysia, and we can reverse the present revenue from the mining industry to be a positive.

Secondly, we urge the Federal and the State Governments to open up more land for agriculture and enable farmers to have their own land for cultivation. This will contribute to self-sustainability in food production and reduce the food import bills. The Government can attach a condition for the land users to develop the land in two years, failing which the land will be returned to the Government.

In addition, we urge the Government to provide more land for people of all races in the plantation industry. Oil palm is the largest contributor to the agricultural sector in Malaysia, amounting to RM50 billion last year. At present, the national average CPO yield is 4 tonnes per hectare. If the yield can achieve 6 tonnes of oil per hectare (as is being done by IOI Group), Malaysia will enjoy an additional RM30 billion in export earnings.

Thirdly, I suggest the Government give special rewards to those who invent new equipment to upgrade the production operation (such as speeding up the oil palm harvesting process and rubber tapping process). This will reduce the dependence on foreign labour. The service sector can also cut the number of foreign workers if more self-service systems are introduced.

Fourthly, although the Honourable Prime Minister has announced a series of pragmatic and liberal policies, certain government officials may not implement these policies as required. This may be due to their mindset and their limited comprehension of the policies. I wish to suggest that the Government provides a short-term training course for these officials (as conducted by the Chinese Government, known as `Party School’ in China) to broaden their minds. As such, the noble 1 Malaysia concept of the Prime Minister can be fully implemented.

Fifthly, to the businessmen and manufacturers, the statistics and information of import and export items are very important in their decision making. However, one can only obtain these statistics and information from the Statistics Department two or three months later. I suggest that the Customs Office, which keeps the latest available statistics and information, make these statistics and information accessible in its website. Even if the customers are required to pay for this service, I believe they are willing to pay.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are very glad and thankful to the Honourable Prime Minister for giving ACCCIM and the private sector many opportunities to meet him personally, and kindly considering our suggestions and recommendations. For example, during the working lunch we had with him recently, we were able to convey to him our suggestions on attracting FDI and encouraging domestic investment. On the other hand, I hope the private sector will continue to forward constructive suggestions to the Honourable Prime Minister.

ACCCIM fully supports the leadership of YAB Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak and his noble concept of 1 Malaysia. Let us, the private sector, the Government and the Rakyat, work together and have the dream come true of an equitable, vibrant, dynamic, happy and prosperous Malaysia!

Thank you. Terima kasih!

10th March 2010


6th Floor, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 258, Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


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