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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.

Migrant Workers in Asean: The Hidden and Neglected Workforce

Myanmar woman in Malaysia

It is complicated. Which is probably why Asean’s plan to create a single market and production base by this year does not include migrant workers in Asean. The Asean Economic Community (AEC) aims to have a free flow of goods, services, investment, capital, and skilled labour. So far only eight professions are covered, and they include engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, ... Read More »

Malaysia’s Indrani Kopal wins at Cannes

Malaysia Indrani Kopal 2

Malaysian filmmaker Indrani Kopal won the Best Student Documentary Award with her film The Game Changer at the American Pavilion’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19. Ms Kopal’s documentary is about Susan Slotnik’s work in the Woodbourne Correctional Facility that was made on a budget of US$3,225. It won a string of awards and was ... Read More »

Is the Iskandar Property Market in Malaysia Wobbling Or Collapsing?

Malaysia Iskandar Shops

Property investors in Iskandar Malaysia are understandably jittery. For the past year, there were rumours of a housing property glut. Now it is official and there is fear that the Iskandar property market in the Johor economic region will collapse like a tonne of bricks. These fears are also felt from across the causeway. First, it was the National Property ... Read More »

Asean Growing To Overtake EU as AEC Is Born

Asean Economies

European Union wants to increase its trade and investment in Asean, more so now that the Asean Economic Community (AEC) is going to take off in December. EU, the largest single market in the global economy, wants to be part of the development of this new economic community. The bloc is being touted as the world’s seventh largest economy once ... Read More »

EPF Grappling With Confidence Crisis

Malaysia Office Workers

The day Mas Dati Samani turns 55, she plans to march to the Employment Provident Fund (EPF) office and withdraw all her savings. “I’ll be there so early in the morning on my birthday, waiting for the (EPF office) doors to open,” says the 51-year-old. But when EPF, the retirement fund for private sector employees, proposed earlier this month that ... Read More »

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, Putrajaya, 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 »