ACCCIM President Speeches

29 Apr 2011


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

Yang Berhormat Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri-Tan Sri, Datuk-Datuk,

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the mass media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon! Thank you for your presence at this opening ceremony of the ACCCIM Socio-Economic Research Centre. I would like to express my gratitude to Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, for gracing this occasion to officiate the opening of our new Centre.

In April 2009, when Dato’ Sri Najib took office as the 6th Prime Minister of our nation, he had coined a slogan which has subsequently been adopted by Malaysians from all walks of life – 1 Malaysia, People First, Performance Now!

Dato’ Sri had launched the Government Transformation Programme on 28 January 2010, which is a bold programme to radically transform the way the government works. This is most encouraging, particularly to the business community, which is affected by bureaucracy and the rising cost of doing business. The Prime Minister had announced on 20 March 2011 that all the initiatives in the National Key Results Areas have performed well. This will strengthen investment confidence as the business community is witnessing substantial improvements in the Government administration. The Prime Minister had also unveiled the New Economic Model in 2010, to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation by the year 2020. It is to be achieved through the Economic Transformation Programme by the Government. We urge the Rakyat as well as the civil servants to work closely with the Government to achieve the targets.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

In line with the Government’s massive efforts in socio-economic reforms, the private sector, which is viewed as the prime engine for growth, must also take initiatives to transform itself into a more dynamic and competitive force. The various Chambers of Commerce which are the major representative organizations of the respective business community, must likewise formulate their own transformation programme in order to play a more proactive and effective role in national economic development. ACCCIM, as the principal Chamber of Commerce of the Malaysian Chinese business community, has undertaken some major reform initiatives to strengthen itself. These include the upgrading and modernizing of administrative premises and facilities, expansion of membership categories and the drive to harness the support of more successful entrepreneurs in all its undertakings.

In line with this, a comprehensive project is being implemented by ACCCIM through the establishment of the ACCCIM Socio-Economic Research Centre or SERC. SERC is governed by a company by the namely SERC Sdn. Bhd. incorporated under the Companies Act 1965, and the ACCCIM SERC Trust has also been established to fund the Centre. The ACCCIM SERC Trust is governed by Trust Law, and some prominent entrepreneurs and ACCCIM leaders have been appointed to the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees respectively. An Advisory Panel has also been formed to provide guidance to SERC in the planning of its research activities.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

The ACCCIM has for years, maintained close working relations with the Government at both the Federal and State levels. This sees the keen participation of the Chamber in interactions and submission of views and proposals to the Government. However, as the issues confronting our national economic development have become more complex in the light of rapid changes and stiff challenges in the globalization trend, the time has come for ACCCIM to strengthen its representational role in this aspect. Being an apex organization guiding and monitoring the progress of the Malaysian Chinese business community, ACCCIM is duty-bound to play a more effective role in voicing out the views and aspirations of the community in line with national unity and development. In addition, ACCCIM has organised international business forums to bring in more foreign investment to Malaysia.

ACCCIM SERC is entrusted with a long term mission to study and formulate specific views and proposals based on the feedback and aspirations of the business community. In-depth research will be carried out on issues and problems affecting all sectors of the economy supported by facts and figures. SERC will also study the factors of success and failures of economic reforms in other countries, so that we can learn from their experiences.

SERC will serve as a think-tank for ACCCIM not only in its submission of views and proposals to the Government, but also in its provision of comprehensive guidance and advice to members and the business community at large. It is hoped that with this approach, ACCCIM will be able to play a more proactive role and contribute more effectively towards national economic development.

The ACCCIM has set a target to raise RM 25 million for the Centre. I am happy to report that todate, we have received very encouraging response from the Constituent Chambers and entrepreneurs throughout the nation. On this auspicious occasion of the launching of the Centre by our Prime Minister, we have arranged a cheque presentation ceremony in appreciation of major donors in our fund raising campaign. It is hoped that more entrepreneurs will come forward to support our worthy cause and contribute generously to the SERC Fund.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Although foreign investors have shown interest in our Economic Transformation Programme, they are highly concerned about production cost. For example, the unit cost of our electricity is now in the medium range, but if we increase the rate as scheduled, we will be the highest among regional countries. So is the price of our natural gas, compared to the other gas producing countries. We hope the Government will maintain the current rates of electricity and natural gas instead of increasing the rates as scheduled, so that we can maintain our competitive edge.

As global food prices keep increasing and resulting in inflation, Malaysia has to spend about RM20 billion annually in food imports. Presently, among the cultivable land of 6.7 million hectares, only about 2.8 million hectares are used for planting crops, livestock farming and aquaculture. I would like to suggest that the Federal Government, in collaboration with the State Governments, open up more land for agricultural activities. On a systematic approach, we can open up at least 100,000 hectares of land a year, and in five years we can have more than 500,000 hectares of land to be used for planting crops, livestock farming and aquaculture.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Due to the strong demand from emerging economies, the prices of most mineral resources have shot up tremendously in recent years. However, our mining sector continues to remain sluggish. We would like to suggest that the Federal Government collaborates with the State Governments to grant more land and issue licenses to the business community for mining exploration and development. The priority, like in China, should be given to companies which are genuine manufacturers of related products in order to reduce cost and maximize the value-added to our GDP.

In the property sector, it has been reported that the Government planned to amend the Housing Development Act 1966 to make the build-then-sell or BTS concept, mandatory for the local housing industry starting from 2015. This is a matter of grave concern to the housing developers, in particular the small and medium-sized industry players, as many of them cannot afford to implement the BTS concept due to constraints on financial resources. In our opinion, Malaysia cannot import wholesale the BTS concept currently practised in other developed countries. For instance, their housing developers are not required to subsidize the construction of low-cost housing or comply with fulfilling national requirements, such as the Bumiputera quota for housing. We wish to request the Government to hold back the BTS proposal. In order to help the developers, we suggest that the housing units reserved for Bumiputera be kept for 6 months to one year, and if the units are still not sold during this period, the developers be allowed to sell them.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

Lately, we have seen some improvements in curbing crime like robberies and snatch thefts due to police action. However, there is still room for improvement. We can learn from UK and Japan by using new and sophisticated technology to fight and reduce crime. The Hong Kong Government’s tactic of counseling prisoners by counselors or volunteers before they are released, is also a useful approach that we can look into.

On a related note, we wish to thank the judiciary in the country for plugging a legal loophole in Malaysian land law which allowed unscrupulous individuals to transfer land titles to third parties with legal immunity. The decision of the Federal Court will enhance the confidence of property buyers and investors.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

In order to enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness, we wish to suggest that students in primary school be taught Maths and Science in their mother-tongue. In secondary school, Maths and Science can be taught in English. This will prepare them for their tertiary education as well as for their future employment. Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-cultural nation, and we are dealing with fast developing countries like China, India and Indonesia. As such, by training our youths to be well-versed in the three languages namely Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese, they will become a great asset to our country and help our country achieve high-income nation status in the year 2020.

Thank you.


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


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