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News & Events

[ 12-04-2013 ]
Business community breathes sigh of relief, to proceed with plans

KUALA LUMPUR: The business fraternity is breathing a sigh of relief after the dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, paving the way for the 13th General Election at which 222 Federal and 505 state seats will be contested.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the dissolution over national television at 11.30am.

For the business community, the way forward to proceed with their business action plans for this year is clear now amid election fever that is set to grip the country in the coming days.

The National Council of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (NCCIM) said this is the appropriate time to hold the general election because everyone has been wondering when it will be held.

“Local and foreign businesses’ decisions are at a standstill amid uncertainty over the timing of the long-awaited national polls.

“Now everything is clear to me and others,” its Secretary General Datuk Syed Hussien Al-Habshee said.

Syed Hussien said the government has a good track record in maintaining political stability and managing the country through the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

“The economy has performed relatively well, hitting 5.6 per cent last year amid the global uncertainty.

“The current programmes must be continued in the years to come, while at the same time maintaining political stability is paramount,” Syed Hussien said.

Island LandCap Properties Group executive chairman Oon Weng Boon said the announcement could speed up investment decisions and provide clarity in terms of business directions.

He said investors are anticipating that the general election could be held in the near future.

“People have been waiting for an announcement concerning the general election for more than a year,” he said.

Pharmaniaga chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin expressed hope that the company’s business can continue to run smoothly after the election under a stable and strong government.

He urged all government-linked companies (GLCs) to continue to perform much better in the future for the benefit of the shareholders and rakyat.

“At this point in time, we hope the country’s peace and stability remain intact,” he said, adding that the government has given so much stability and prosperity to the people.

Kuala Lumpur Business Club president Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the announcement was in line with stock market expectations.

“It is good for us. The market has been waiting for this announcement for the last two to three weeks, which has raised some speculation recently,” he said.

Tengku Zafrul, who is also Maybank Investment Bank’s chief executive officer, said the government has done very well via the ETP.

“It has shown a good record, macroeconomic-wise it has been good, and a credit to those who worked on the right incentives and other measures for the rakyat and business community,” he said.

It is ‘business as usual’ for the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), despite the dissolution of the 12th Dewan Rakyat.

“The momentum that we have created for economic growth will continue in all the four states that make up the Koridor Utara,” NCIA chief executive Datuk Redza Rafiq said.

NCIA is the agency entrusted to see development in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), covering the four states of Perak, Kedah, Perlis and Penang.

“Our second phase begins this year. We will be taking things to the next level, which is to broaden private sector involvement in the region.

“This includes establishing and maintaining a network of domestic and foreign investors and businesses,” Redza said.

The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia’s (ACCCIM) Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and Human Resource Development (HRD) chairman Koong Lin Loong said the announcement is timely but long overdue.

He said investors are now waiting for the announcement on the polling date.

“Any postponement will inconvenience investors as they have to make decisions in terms of their travelling time,” he said.

He said what is more important now is for the country’s transformation programme to move much faster so that Malaysia will not be left behind other Asean countries that are coming up in their development progress. — Bernama