Malaysia-China Kuantan Indistrial Park opens office in KL
Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park Sdn Bhd (MCKIP) opened its new office in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, where its sales and marketing gallery will showcase developments in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER). The office located in Wisma Selangor Dredging will be the first point of contact for potential investors here. MCKIPSB, a 51:49 joint venture between two consortiums from Malaysia and China, is the master developer for MCKIP. The Malaysian consortium consists of a public-private partnership comprising IJM Land Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and the Pahang State Government. (The Star Online)

MCKIP eyes RM10bil investments this year
Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park Sdn Bhd (MCKIPSB), the master developer of a huge industrial area in Kuantan, Pahang jointly developed by Malaysian and Chinese consortiums, is targeting a big jump in new investments into the area this year. It secured a total of RM5.6 billion investments last year, and is targeting about RM8bil to RM10bil worth of investments for 2017. Over the past three years, MCKIP has recorded RM19bil in committed investments. (The Star Online)

Najib: 2017 a better year economically for Malaysia
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is optimistic about the ringgit’s chances of stabilising in 2017, due to measures taken by the central bank (BNM). He named three factors that affected the decline of the ringgit’s value, which are “excessive speculation in the offshore market”, the drop in price of crude oil and the rise in US interest rates. Najib also said the recent improvements in the price of commodities were “signs” that 2017 would be a better year economically for Malaysia, compared to 2016. Due to the global economic situation, 2016 was a very challenging year, but there is hope that this will improve this year, as the prices of commodities such as crude oil, palm oil and rubber have increased. (The Star Online)

Mara sells off one property in Australia
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) has sold off one of its four properties in Australia to settle loans used to purchase the assets. The sale was carried out through an open tender which was managed by an international firm. The property sale price was not disclosed. The issue was raised last year when Australian newspaper The Age reported “a group of extremely rich Malaysian officials” overpaid by A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) to buy an apartment in Melbourne in 2013. (Malay Mail Online)

Rural development ministry to focus on small projects in 2017
The Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKLW) will focus on small and ‘people centric’ projects that can be completed in a short time and benefited people immediately in 2017, said its minister. Among the smaller projects to be implemented within this year were to build roads, to repair dilapidated houses, Orang Asli houses and installation of street lighting in villages. Small projects would ensure that rural communities obtain comprehensive benefits in terms of infrastructure, economic, housing and education. (Malay Mail Online)

Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (Photo from Jotun)

Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (Photo from Jotun)

International magazine’s top rating testament to Malaysia’s world class healthcare
International Living magazine’s rating is testament to Malaysia’s well-developed healthcare system which is highly accessible, competitively affordable and of world-class quality, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam. The monthly magazine published an article, ‘Four Countries With The Best Healthcare In The World’ and rated Malaysia as the top, followed by Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico. It reported that one of the main concerns of anyone looking to retire overseas was the quality of healthcare. “In each of these countries, you’ll find clean, excellent hospitals, highly trained doctors, and very affordable care,” it reported. (Malay Mail Online)

Singapore will match Malaysia’s road charge
Singapore will match Malaysia’s RM20 (S$6.50) road charge which was rolled out on Nov 1 last year, reported Channel NewsAsia. “We have a long-standing policy of matching any levy, toll or fee charged by Malaysia for using the road links between Singapore and Malaysia,” said Singapore Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan. The initial collection exercise will only involve foreign private-registered vehicles excluding foreign-registered motorcycles. The road charge system has been activated at the two land entry points in Johor — the Causeway and the Second Link. (Malay Mail Online)

Malaysian footballer first Asian to win FIFA Puskas Award
29-year-old Penang footballer Mohd Faiz Subri made Malaysian football history with his physics-defying goal in a league match last year, which won him the 2016 FIFA Puskas Award in Zurich last night. His goal garnered nearly 60% of the votes, more than the other two shortlisted goals of players from Brazil and Venezuela. Faiz is the first Malaysian, as well as the first Asian, to win the Puskas Award. The award was established in 2009 with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Neymar among its previous winners. (The Star Online)