More MNCs relocating to Malaysia
More multinational corporations, particularly in the oil and gas (O&G) sector, are moving their operations to Malaysia from Singapore because of lower costs due to the depreciation of the ringgit. ECA international regional director-Asia, Lee Quane said between 10 and 20 multinationals in the O&G sector moved significant numbers of expatriate staff from Singapore to Malaysia because benefits such as housing are much cheaper in Malaysia. He said ECA has been conducting research into the cost of living for over 45 years and carries out two main surveys in March and September every year. This is to help companies calculate the cost of living allowances so that their employees’ spending power is not compromised while on international assignment.
New Companies Act to reduce cost of doing business
The cost of doing business, especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to come down following the implementation of the new Companies Act 2016 and Companies Regulations 2017, which came into effect in January. Companies Commission of Malaysia acting director of regulatory and legal services division Norhaiza Jemon said, “Basically there are a lot of business-friendly policies that have been newly introduced. One of the major changes is a ‘single member and single director company’ as compared to previous requirements of two directors and members. “It is actually to accord them with better protection if they are operating as a sole proprietor, or in a partnership because the liability will now be on the company and not on the individual. “Other than that, there are de-regulatory measures that we have introduced such as private companies no longer being required to hold annual general meetings, which is actually a cost-saving concept that we have introduced. “Basically, our aim is to lower the cost for private companies to do business, especially the smaller businesses”.
Two more local universities break into top 30
Malaysian universities continued to climb up the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings for the second consecutive year, with two more Malaysian universities breaking into the top 300 universities in the world for 2017/2018. The new rankings saw Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) overtake Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) as the third highest-ranked university in Malaysia, as Universiti Malaya (UM) continued inching close to breaking into the top 100. UM climbed up almost 20 places from 133rd in the last edition to 114th in the current edition of the rankings.
Cathay Pacific Airways to cut over 600 jobs
Cathay Pacific said it was cutting 600 jobs, its biggest cut in almost two decades. The job cuts are the first step in a three-year reorganization plan announced this year by Hong Kong’s flagship carrier. It posted an annual loss last year, its first since 2008, and is expected to be in the red again this year. Singapore Airlines, which made a loss in its latest quarter, has also announced a strategic review. New Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Rupert Hogg said, “We have had to make tough but aid necessary decisions for the future of our business and our customers,” in a statement. The cuts represent 25 percent of management staff and 18 percent of non-managerial positions at its Hong Kong head office.