ACCCIM President Speeches

21 Apr 2009

Speech at the Opening Ceremony of The 63rd ACCCIM AGM

Speech by Tan Sri William Cheng, President of ACCCIM at the Opening Ceremony of The 63rd ACCCIM Annual General Meeting

17th April, 2009, Klang

Tetamu-tetamu khas,

Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan sekalian,

Selamat pagi dan salam sejahtera.

Bagi pihak ACCCIM, saya mengalu-alukan kedatangan para hadirin sekalian ke Majlis Perasmian Mesyuarat Agung Tahunan Ke-63 ACCCIM pagi ini. Kami berasa amat bangga dan bersyukur kepada YAB Dato’ Seri Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang baru, atas kesudian beliau untuk merasmikan Majlis kami pagi ini.

Congratulations to you, Yang Amat Berhormat Dato Seri, all of us in the ACCCIM hereby express strong confidence in you and pledge full support for your leadership. Under your guidance, we are confident to look forward to a brighter future for Malaysia!

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The year 2008 has been a year of turbulence not only for Malaysia, but also for the whole world. Much has been said about the global “economic tsunami” that has struck and disrupted our domestic scenario. The global financial crisis turned out to be a major disaster to upset our economic performance.

The Federal Government announced a RM 60 billion 2nd Stimulus Package on 10th March 2009 in addition to the RM 7 billion 1st Package already in place on 4th November 2008. These stimulus packages are aimed at stabilizing our economy and preventing economic recession as experienced by numerous advanced economies including the US, European Union and Japan. The private sector is grateful to the Government for making concrete efforts to stabilize our economy. However, to assist the business sector in a more pragmatic manner, we wish to put forward several suggestions for the consideration of our Prime Minister:

1. We hope the Government can monitor officials concerned to expedite the implementation of projects provided for under the 9th Malaysia Plan, the National Budget as well as the Stimulus Packages. A total of RM230 billion development expenditure has been allocated for 9th Malaysia Plan whilst the first and second stimulus economy packages amounted to RM67 billion. Construction industry could be revitalized immediately once these projects are implemented. This will lead to the recovery of more than 120 related industries which are mainly locally owned. The Government is also urged to provide various incentives such as low interest rates, longer loan repayment period, low down payment, exemption on property gain tax and stamp duty, etc. to first home buyers as well as to encourage foreigners to buy condominium and houses in Malaysia. This two-pronged approach will lead to the recovery of the construction industry.

2. The Government should actively promote Buy Malaysian Products and Services Campaign so as to encourage domestic spending and reduce foreign exchange in order to expedite the economy recovery. Government agencies and Government related companies must buy local products so as to support local manufacturing industry.

3. To actively promote tourism industry through planning of various tourism packages so as to attract more foreign tourists to Malaysia. Political stability, pleasant scenery and good living conditions in our country could attract more foreigners to visit Malaysia or to participate in “Malaysia-My Second Home Programme” as well as other diversified packages such as golf tourism and medical tourism. Thus, tourism will become the second recovery industry in our country.

4. To overhaul certain policies and guidelines which are not conducive to promoting investments, both foreign and domestic investments. These include the FIC Guidelines, Guidelines on Foreign Participation on Distributive Trade, equity conditions imposed by Government Departments and Agencies on Local Companies in Various Industries, Policy on Government and GLC Procurement System, Energy Utilization Policy, Land Utilization Policy and others.

5. To strengthen coordination and working relations between the Federal and various State Governments in implementing various projects and investment schemes.

6. We understand that the Prime Minister will visit China in the near future in order to attract investment from China. We suggest the Federal Government to encourage Sabah and Sarawak State Governments to provide 200,000 hectares and 300,000 hectares of land respectively to be used for planting trees, for the establishment of 5 pulp and paper mills, each with a capacity of 800,000 tons and investment of US$1.1 billion. The investment of 5 pulp and paper mills is amounted to U.S$5.5 billion with a total output of 4 million tons.

Sarawak has rivers to supply hydro-power which is suitable for aluminium smelting. We can invite foreign companies such as from China to set up aluminium smelting projects in Sarawak. The estimated investment of each project can be as huge as US$6 billion with a total output of 1 million tons.

We hope the Prime Minister will introduce the above proposals to the Government and private sector of China during his visit to China so as to attract them to invest in such projects in Malaysia.

7. To reduce the cost of production, the Government should take immediate action to revert the tariffs of gas, electricity and gas used as a feedstock for manufacturing to the previous rates, i.e. prior the hike respectively in June and July 2008 so as to enable local industries continue to survive and develop. During 1985 economic crisis, the Government had allocated a fund through MITI for subsidizing the electricity tariff of the manufacturing sector up to 20%, Tenaga had also subsidized 20% until the country’s economy turned around. In addition, we hope that the Government will not increase the cost of transportation, port charges and highway toll rates. Local businesses can only compete with foreign countries if costs of doing business are maintained at low level.

I will submit a proposal on dealing with the issue of PLUS Highway to the Prime Minister later.

8. To further strengthen the police force in curbing crimes such as robbery, burglary, kidnapping, snatch theft and drug trafficking. Police personnel should be more efficiently deployed for crime prevention duties in crime-prone areas, and intensify preemptive checking on suspicious persons, particularly those driving or riding around looking for victims. The public will be a lot safer with police personnel on regular patrol. More CCTV should be installed to prevent crimes. (Example of Guangdong Province for reference.) Leave the administration and clerical work in the police station to the non-uniform staff, so that more police can be sent for patrolling. Increase the police force if necessary.

The ACCCIM will submit detailed proposals on the above issues to YAB Prime Minister in due course.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The ACCCIM has completed an eventful period of works and activities since our last AGM held on 28th June 2008 in Batu Pahat. During the period under review, ACCCIM has spared no efforts in strengthening interactions with various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and in submitting our views and proposals on issues covering all sectors of the economy. Numerous workshops and forums were held for the SMEs to promote their development and competitiveness.

Externally, in the past several years, the ACCCIM organized outbound missions to China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Mauritius, Taiwan, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Namibia, Uzbekistan, and received numerous visiting missions from the Asian nations, Africa, Europe and North America. Some delegations came in large group, like the delegation led by the Guangdong Provincial Party Secretary H.E. Wang Yang comprising of more than 500 delegates.

We also organized conference and seminars such as Corporate Directors’ Training Programme, 2006 International Energy Conference, Nationwide Seminar on Tax Audit, Corporate Integrity Advocacy Programme and invited renowned speakers like World Bank Vice President Professor Justin Yifu Lin and Nobel Prize laureate Professor Yang Chen Ning to lecture on economy and advanced technology. The details of all these works and activities had been recorded in the respective Annual Report. I shall therefore not elaborate further.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

At this 63rd AGM, the ACCCIM shall elect the new office-bearers and members of the National Council for the next tenure of three years. I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all members of the outgoing National Council, Working Committees and Office-Bearers as well as the Secretariat for their hard work and dedication. A special vote of thanks must be given to all Constituent Chambers for their strong support and cooperation in advancing the functions and works of ACCCIM.

Last but not least, I express gratitude to the Federal and State Governments for their cooperation and assistance to ACCCIM in discharging its duties.

Sekian, terima kasih!


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


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