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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 16 years at 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 colleges in Malaysia and communications manager for an MNC with 12,000 employees. She completed her MA in journalism at Ateneo de Manila University as a fellow of the German-based Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

E-commerce in Malaysia: SMEs just not ready for online shoppers

Online retail sales in Southeast Asia in 2013

Almost 20 million people have an internet connection in Malaysia and the government plans to bring the figure to 22.5 million by the end of 2015. This means internet penetration in Malaysia will be 75 per cent. One of the main reasons is to fulfill Malaysia’s goal of having a strong e-commerce and digital economy by 2020 under the Digital ... Read More »

Khoo Kay Peng Still Making Headlines

A Laura Ashley store in Hong Kong, one of Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng's companies under MUI Group

The market always snaps to attention whenever the name Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng crops up. Something that has been happening for the last few decades and it has largely to do with his phenomenal business prowess, close friendship with cabinet ministers and a massive business scandal that rocked Singapore and Malaysia. About 50 years ago, the former banker took ... Read More »

Carpe diem message for Malaysian tech entrepreneurs

Malaysia Startups

Raise funds within the next six months before the economic situation gets worse. This is what a prominent venture capitalist told a roomful of Malaysian technology entrepreneurs recently. “Those wanting to raise funds, do it quickly. Within the next six months. Because when the market drops you already have the money,” said Teak Capital managing director Chok Kwee Bee at ... Read More »

Malaysia Faces Worst Floods In Decades

Malaysia Floods 2014

Malaysia is grappling with the worst floods in decades. Eight people have died in the disaster that struck the northern, southern and eastern parts of the peninsula. One of those who died was an 18-month-old child who was swept away by strong currents when she fell from her mother’s arms while wading through waters to a relief centre. This year’s ... Read More »

Malaysia set to be the biggest market for start-up Carousell

Malaysia Carousell

Malaysia is looking mighty attractive to three young men in Singapore. Their mobile app marketplace called Carousell is getting to be so popular in Malaysia that the number of Malaysians downloading it is doubling every two to three months. There is exponential growth from the younger set, and Carousell is also starting to see small but new market segments like ... Read More »

Southern Philippines key to curbing Islamic State

Boat off the Mindanao Coast in Southern Philippines

In a university in Malaysia, two foreign lecturers were conducting secret brainwashing sessions with undergraduates. Each night in a lecture hall, the foreigners who profess to be teachers of Islam would get the students to chant. “The students would shout out eerie threats like ‘I will kill’ and they were all probably in a trance,” regional maritime security expert Prof ... Read More »

Look East Policy makes a comeback in Malaysia

Malaysia Milkcow

The Look East Policy is back, 32 years after it was started by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. This time around, Malaysia will be focusing on economic cooperation with South Korea. The first one focused on Japan. (See Second wave of Look East Policy to focus on S Korea) The Look East Policy is an economic policy for Malaysia ... Read More »

Grave Situation as KL and Selangor run out of burial land

Funeral service provider

Kuala Lumpur, one of the most densely populated areas in Malaysia and also where real estate is the most expensive, will run out of burial land within the next five years, according to the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020. The more urban parts of Selangor are facing the same problem, and these include Klang, Kajang, Petaling Jaya, Ampang Jaya and ... Read More »

Malaysia’s fuel subsidy removal: Unpopular but necessary

Malaysia Consumers

There was a window of opportunity when oil prices declined sharply and Malaysia took advantage of it to make downward adjustments to fuel subsidy. An unpopular but necessary move. From December 1, Malaysia will abolish subsidies for the widely used RON95 grade of petrol and diesel. This could potentially save the government almost RM20 billion ringgit (US$5.97 billion) annually. A managed ... Read More »

Small Step for Malaysia Businesses, Giant Leap for Equity Crowdfunding

Malaysia TAPAUfest 2014

It was 2012. They were young. They wanted to do their bit to showcase local musicians. So their company IkanPaos Kolektif decided to hold a music festival. But lack of funds forced them to call off the festival. They did not give up. Earlier this year, they decided to give it another go because there still was not enough space ... Read More »

Surprises like these can wreck business in Malaysia

Ambank Building next to Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

If I were running a business in Malaysia, I would be very afraid, wondering if my company will come under scrutiny by moral and religious police who come in the form of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). In fact, I would be in a mad frenzy. Teams would be deployed to scour all the documents in the world to find out if ... Read More »

Is the Bubble Going to Burst in Iskandar or Is there a Plan B?

Five Flagship Zones have been designated as key focal points for development in Iskandar Malaysia.

For those who have been sticking their fingers in their ears, thinking the property bubble in Iskandar Malaysia is about to burst soon, a recent announcement may make them to take the fingers out. Or is it too soon to heave a sigh of relief? Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak announced that Iskandar Malaysia has attracted new investments worth a ... Read More »

Malaysia Productivity: Wake up call from Foreign Investors

Malaysia Workforce

Malaysians have long suspected that the country’s productivity is lagging. But when foreign investors say it, followed by a “buck up or else” tone and then compare Malaysia productivity levels with Singapore and South Korea, that is when you know something ought to be done to ensure investors remain confident. Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s executive director Stewart Forbes ... Read More »

Small steps towards Asean open skies dream

Malaysia airport

It was a mighty win for Southeast Asia at a glittering evening in Singapore last week. Out of the seven awards for excellence given at premier aviation industry awards ceremony, three went to Southeast Asia. The winners were Emirsyah Satar of Garuda for Asia Pacific airline executive of the Year award, Cebu Pacific for Asia Pacific LCC of the Year, ... Read More »