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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.

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 »

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 »