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Author Archives: Vanitha Nadaraj

Vanitha Nadaraj
Vanitha has over 27 years of working experience primarily in media and communications. She worked for 16 years in a leading English daily in Malaysia as a sub-editor and reporter. She was also the correspondent for the Jakarta-based radio station KBR68H. She was a lecturer in two local colleges and communications manager for an MNC. She completed her MA in journalism at Ateneo de Manila University as a fellow of the German-based Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Two Southeast Asians, Jokowi and Tony Fernandes, Make Time’s 100 Influential People 2015

AirAsia’s Tony Fernandes at the Global Malaysia Series with Idris Jala, Minister, PMD and CEO, (Pemandu).

The newly elected president and the man who made sure everyone could fly were the only two Southeast Asians in Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2015. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Malaysia’s AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes were in the magazine’s listing that recognises the activism, innovation and achievement of the world’s most influential ... Read More »

Zap Smuggling and Human Trafficking with a Malaysia Electric Fence

Joint Security Area, Korean Demilitarised Zone, DPRK side

For the past two years the government has been talking about erecting a Malaysia electric fence along the country’s borders to curb smuggling of goods, trafficking of people and illegal entry. Home Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi first proposed the idea that a 141 km-long electric fence be erected along the Thai and the northern state of Kelantan. ... Read More »

Petronas Still a Safe Bet

Petronas petrol station in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

When Petronas posted a huge loss in the last quarter, there was great fear that the economy was going into a nosedive. The state-owned oil and gas company has contributed to the government more than RM800 billion (US$216.5 billion) since it was set up 41 years ago, according to business portal Kinibiz. When Petronas sneezes, there is no denying that Malaysia ... Read More »

Malaysia GST Teething Problems on the First Day

Malaysia GST First Day

It was breakfast as usual for my husband and me at the nearby Indian shop. Things were different from the start. Usually the waiter would come over and jot down the items we ordered and slip a chit under our plate or glass. Today, he keys in the orders immediately instead, and this is where the Goods and Sales Tax ... Read More »

GST Jitters In Malaysia

Malaysia Shoppers

A student came to see his lecturer last week, asking for a postponement of his thesis submission to next semester. Requests for postponements are nothing new but the reason given by the student surprised Ravi Varmman Kanniappan. “When I enquired why, he said he needed to help his parents to install and run a new accounting software which incorporates GST. ... Read More »

Iskandar Malaysia Will Not Crumble And Fall So Easily

Malaysia Property Sales

Iskandar Malaysia is the making of Johor 2.0. The development project took off in 2006 with the aim of transforming the southernmost Malaysian state into an economic powerhouse. It hit a snag in the early stages when Middle East developers started considering investing in the region. When the property bubble in the Middle East burst, they left Iskandar to consolidate ... Read More »

Mixed Forecast over Malaysia’s Sovereign Rating

Ministry of Finance, Malaysia

It is highly unlikely that Malaysia’s sovereign rating will see a downgrade, according to economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng. His statement sticks out like a sore thumb amid all the gloom and doom outlook and predictions on Malaysia’s economy. Concerns over 1MDB, huge drop in oil revenues and further rise in cost of living due to the goods and services ... Read More »

Property Market in Malaysia : What To Expect

Malaysia Mall

Almost 20 years ago, the property market in Malaysia was hit hard by the Asian financial crisis. House prices contracted between 8 to 9.5 per cent. The government’s stringent policies helped the market to recover. From 2006 onwards, the residential market experienced exponential growth. The property market started weakening from 2009 when the base lending rate was increased and there ... Read More »

Asean Car: Business Should Be in the Driver’s Seat and National Interest in the Backseat

Malaysia Proton

The idea of having an Asean car came in the 1980s when then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to expand the market for the Malaysian national car Proton and extend its winning streak to the region. But the Southeast Asian market at that time was not a strong passenger car market. Thailand and Indonesia were very much a ... Read More »

1MDB: Malaysia’s Banking System and Sovereign Rating at Stake

Malaysia Maybank

The Malaysian ringgit declined by about 12 per cent against the US Dollar between September last year and February 10 this year. On February 18, when 1MDB announced its plan to break up its assets and wind down, the ringgit rose 0.2 per cent. The reason for the positive response was because the move will subsequently reduce its US$11.6 billion ... Read More »

Book Review: The Colour of Inequality – Ethnicity, Class, Income and Wealth in Malaysia by Muhammed Abdul Khalid

Malaysia Multi Racial

The Colour of Inequality: Ethnicity, Class, Income and Wealth in Malaysia could not have come at a better time. The book, launched in November last year, covers the themes of ethnicity, class, income and wealth in Malaysia, from the days of the Malay states. It was published just as Malaysia enters the last leg of a socio-economic development agenda that ... Read More »

Life after Anwar Ibrahim

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, left DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang and other Pakatan leaders attending the Indraf 2.0 event in 2012.

In the days leading to the general elections in 2008, the rallies held by opposition parties drew thousands of people. The ones where Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was the main speaker drew even more, tens of thousands and sometimes even a few hundred thousands. Numbers unheard of in a country where the people rarely took to the streets. The former ... Read More »

Maid in Malaysia-Indonesia and Territorial Issues on Jokowi Visit Agenda

Malaysia Maid

Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday this week for his three-day official visit to Malaysia, his first since being elected last year. Top on his agenda are two of the biggest unresolved issues affecting the two countries – foreign workers and territorial claims. A couple of days before that, yet another “maid issue” cropped up: an automatic ... Read More »

E-marketing In Malaysia: Some Are Soaring, Some Are Ignoring

Malaysia Julian Matthews

When Uruguayan footballer Suarez bit an Italian player during a match in the Fifa World Cup in June last year, an Indian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur used it as a marketing tool. On that day, Fierce Curry House in Bangsar offered free biryani meals to those who walked in wearing a Uruguayan football jersey. That is e-marketing for you. In ... Read More »