PUTRAJAYA, Feb 29 — Stability is key to a country’s economic development journey, and in a pluralistic society like Malaysia, unity is a critical element to enable the people to live and work in peace, said Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani.

He said that political stability is highly needed, with the concept that the various political parties in the country with their own agendas and ideologies cannot hinder national economic growth.

“Unity cannot be seen in a silo. If the various communities are only concerned about their respective communities, many differences will arise,” he said during a Madani discussion session entitled “Unity Aspirations Strengthens the Bumiputera Agenda” at the Bumiputera Economic Congress (KEB) 2024 here today.

Touching on national economic statistics, Johari said that bumiputera make up 70 per cent of the country's population but their corporate equity ownership stands at a mere 18.4 per cent.

The bumiputera poverty rate is also the highest at around 7.9 per cent.

As for bumiputera who venture into business owing to poor job opportunities or lack of educational qualifications, Johari said some are not ready to become entrepreneurs.

“They are not ready, but some have been given many government contracts, so the concept of ‘Ali Baba’ emerged, as the contracts given to them were passed along to non-bumiputera to gain quick profits.

“(To counteract this,) access to quality education is the first step, so that the bumiputera community is not left behind,” he said.

Commenting on the economy and entrepreneurship, Johari said Malaysia could not run away from the concept of unity; without it, it would be difficult to develop the country’s economy.

In his view, government assistance alone would not have a significant impact on the bumiputera economy as the community also needs to help itself by increasing its entrepreneurial knowledge.

Meanwhile, on the problem of “Ali Baba” entrepreneurs, he proposed a database be set up and monitored by the government.

He expressed hope that this would be one of the KEB 2024 resolutions, as it would help in addressing gaps in implementation.

“Without this database, we will continue to make the mistake of giving opportunities to the wrong people, who are not real entrepreneurs.

“If the banks have a Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) and the private sector uses the Credit Tip-Off Service (CTOS) to verify, the government also needs to establish (a platform) for the same purpose,” he added. — Bernama


Sumber : Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA: Plantation and commodities minister Johari Ghani has called for the government to set up a database of Bumiputera companies to distinguish the genuine and qualified businesses from those that are merely rent-seekers.

Johari said the measure was necessary to combat “Ali Baba” practices that have adversely affected the government’s efforts to empower Bumiputera businesses and communities.

He said the database would allow companies to be properly screened to determine their suitability to tender for and secure the award of government projects.

“Many government initiatives have failed due to ‘Ali Baba’ practices. We aim to support only genuine Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

“For this, the government must maintain a central database, instead of allowing each ministry to have its own,” he told a press conference on the sidelines of the 2024 Bumiputera economic conference here.

“Ali Baba” practices loosely refer to rent-seeking by Bumiputera companies who take on government jobs and subcontract the actual work to non-Bumiputera entities without adding value.

Johari, an Umno vice-president, said that without a comprehensive database, the government runs the risks of awarding contracts to undeserving people, rather than genuine Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

“If the government wants to assist Bumiputeras, there must be a credible database we can refer to (that will flag) those ineligible for government projects or contracts,” he said.

The database must be accessible to the public, he said.

Earlier, Johari took part in a forum that discussed strengthening the Bumiputera agenda, one of several programmes taking place between today and Saturday at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.


Sumber : Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's commodities such as palm oil and rubber can help boost the weak ringgit through the repatriation of export earnings, said Plantations and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. 

Speaking at Bernama TV Ruang Bicara on "Empowering Agricultural Commodities In Facing Global Challenges" tonight, Johari said the overall commodities contribute between RM160 billion and RM200 billion in export receipts or more than five per cent to the country's gross domestic product.

Undoubtedly, commodities such as palm oil and rubber play an important role in providing the country with foreign exchange, he added.

"Our commodity exports are paid in the US dollar. Given our current exchange rate position, if we can bring back the greenback each time we export, it will help cushion the impact on our weak ringgit," added Johari.

Last week, the ringgit touched 4.800 against the dollar, the weakest level since the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

The ringgit edged down to 4.76 against the greenback from Tuesday's close of 4.75.

Yesterday, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said the central bank had stepped up engagements with GLICs, GLCs, corporations and investors to encourage continuous inflows into the foreign exchange market.


Sumber : New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: Plantation and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani says prioritising effective management and improvement of paddy fields can potentially lead to a substantial increase in rice production.

Johari pointed out that just 60 per cent of paddy is grown locally, while the rest is imported. This causes sustainability challenges in the food production.

"For instance, in Tanjung Karang, Kuala Selangor, paddy yields can reach up to six or seven tonnes per hectare.

"Comparatively, in our northern paddy fields, the yield might only be around four tonnes. This two-tonne difference, when scaled up across 800,000 hectares, would equate to 1.6 million tonnes of paddy, translating to over one million tonnes of rice.

"Currently, we consume around 2.2 million tonnes of rice annually, while producing only 60 per cent domestically," he said on Bernama TV's Ruang Bicara on "Enhancing Agricultural Commodities In Confronting Global Challenges" tonight.

The government reportedly is concerned that a lower domestic output will increase reliance on more expensive imports.

It acknowledged the issue but the industry fretted that little had been done to resolve the problem.


Sumber : New Straits Times

KOTA KINABALU: Member of Parliament Datuk Chan Foong Hin said the recent string of viral robberies in the city were solo criminal acts and urged the public to have faith in the police.

“Arrests were made quickly and in the woman’s case, it took less than a day as with the case involving a mentally ill man who smashed a bank’s window in Kg Air.

“However, the timeline of cases have stirred emotions as if the city is unsafe,” he said, Saturday.


Sumber : Daily Express