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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.

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 »

Malaysian SMEs need more than just money

Malaysian entrepreneurs of Indian origin stand to get loans under a special allocation in Budget 2015.

Six years ago, Yazmin Yahaya wanted to start a training company but did not have the funds to get training and office equipment. So she took a RM15,000-loan (US$4,582) from Tekun Nasional Foundation, a government agency set up to provide simple and quick financing to bumiputera (ethnic Malays and indigenous people) businesses. Ms Yazmin’s company, Persada Ray, is doing well ... Read More »

Malaysians running back to protectionism in school bus fare issue

School is Out: The rise in school bus fares may mean more cars and taxis in the queue to pick up children from school

For the longest time, the government has fixed a ceiling for school bus fares. The government now has decided to deregulate and allow the school bus operators to fix their own fares beginning January next year. This is to comply with the four-year old Competition Act in Malaysia that does not allow price-fixing, not even by the government. (See: SPAD ... Read More »

Talk of Khairy Jamaluddin in top Umno leadership resurfaces

Khairy Jamaluddin speaking at an Umno General Assembly in 2012

Is Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin the man to watch? That the 38-year-old son-in-law of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi may one day be Umno president and prime minister has been long talked about. But not in recent years. This topic resurfaced when veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin recently said in his blog that Mr Khairy ... Read More »

GST in Malaysia : Lessons from neighbours

Ministry of Finance, Malaysia

Talk of implementing the goods and services tax (GST) in Malaysia began in 1992, a year after Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim was appointed Finance Minister. After 22 years of pussyfooting, the Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 was passed in January this year. The implementation date is April 1, 2015, and it will be introduced at six per cent at ... Read More »

Uber can learn something from MyTeksi

Malaysia Taxi

Beginning today (October 1), there will be a clampdown on private vehicles providing the taxi-like services using Uber in Malaysia. Malaysia’s action against Uber is nothing new to the Silicon Valley-based company which insists it is providing a smartphone application, and not a transport service. This is the crux of the problem. Is it just an app or does it ... Read More »

Businesses still not warmed up to social media in Malaysia

The Frog That Used to Live Under the Coconut Shell Discovers the TEP Twitter Feed

On June 5, there was a 24-hour disruption nationwide of HyppTV service. The call centre was inundated with calls from irate customers and their social media channels overloaded with abuse. Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) did something unusual. The service provider apologised, went to great lengths to keep communicating with their customers through social media platforms, and offered all its 48 premium ... Read More »

Victoria’s Secret: Australian State Uses Super Missions and Mafta to Boost Trade with Malaysia

Malaysia Australia Trade Grows

It all started with the Colombo Plan. Under this regional effort to develop human resources, from 1950 to mid-80s, Malaysians first went to Australia for higher education. Malaysians have since regarded Australia as one of their favourite tertiary education destinations and about 300,000 Malaysians have attained their higher education in Australia either under scholarships from Colombo Plan or the Malaysian ... Read More »

Are Malaysians racist?

Malaysia Multi Racial

A social experiment video is giving Malaysians that warm and fuzzy feeling about unity in this multi-racial country. Even cynics are unashamedly admitting that they cried while watching the Are Malaysians racist? video by advertising agency Naga DDB. This video shows a series of interviews with ordinary Malaysians who refuse to utter racist remarks even when offered money. Never mind the ... Read More »

Asean must get rid of ISIS in Southeast Asia

Malaysia Restaurant

Southeast Asia is no stranger to terrorist attacks. In 1995, Abu Sayyaf militants raided the predominantly Christian town of Ipil in southern Philippines, killing more than 50 people after robbing banks and stores and burning the town centre. In 2002 and 2005, there were a series of bombings in Bali that killed a total of 222 people. Southeast Asia has ... Read More »

Johor Bahru – Singapore Travel Costs Taking a Toll

MRCB Lingkaran Selatan Sdn Bhd's Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL)

Angela Ng has been living in Johor Bahru and driving to work in Singapore daily for the last 24 years. She has put up with about six hours of sleep each night because of the long travel time and the agony of sitting in long jams, and has dodged reckless motorcyclists to avoid accidents. But the one thing she will ... Read More »

Kelantan Gender Segregation Gets Worse

Malaysian Muslim Women

The list just keeps getting longer. The Islamist government in Kelantan has now banned male spectators from watching women’s sporting events, and it is a blanket ban that includes non-Muslims. The ban also covers officials. Only female officials are allowed in all-women’s sporting events. But the ruling does not say that men in Kelantan cannot watch women participating in sports on TV ... Read More »

Black Friday As Malaysia Mourns MH17 Victims

Malaysia Day of Mourning

It was a black Friday on August 22 as Malaysia observed a national day of mourning for the 43 Malaysians who died on the downed MAS flight MH17. The remains of 20 victims, including that of nine members of the crew, arrived in the morning. A sombre ceremony was held at the KL International Airport (KLIA) attended by the Yang ... Read More »

Home Managers in Malaysia: More Than a Maid, More of a Solution

Malaysia Seniors

In 2008 the Malaysian government introduced a programme aimed at killing two birds with one stone – reduce dependency on foreign maids (domestic workers) and give local women a second source of income. It was one of those plans that would work and work well. The programme to churn out home managers is one where local women, generally in the ... Read More »