Stronger business ties for Malaysia and Singapore


By HANIM ADNAN

SINGAPOREAN businessmen generally remain bullish on Malaysia's business and investment prospects, according to Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC) president Datuk Mohd Munir Majid. 

He said both Malaysian and Singaporean businessmen could expect solid partnership in business areas which could mutually benefit both parties. 

“KLBC will strongly support the drive towards the success of Malaysian and Singaporean businessmen to better contribute to the economy, social and political well being of the business community,” Munir told reporters at KLBC's networking reception for the International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. 

He said there was a wide spectrum of business areas that both the local and Singapore companies could look into including those in the services industry.  

Datuk Mohd Munir Majid with Lee Yi Shyan at the reception

The IE Singapore and SBF are leading a 71-member business delegation representing high calibre sector of Singapore businessmen involved in retail, manufacturing, infrastructure, logistics and healthcare industries.  

They will be in Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu until May 27. 

IE Singapore chief executive officer Lee Yi Shyan said the mission aimed to provide Singaporean delegates with the opportunity to engage key Malaysian political figures, exposing the delegates to the range of business and investment opportunities and assisting them in developing and broadening their network of contacts in Malaysia. 

IE Singapore, formerly known as the Singapore Trade Development Board, is the lead agency spearheading Singapore's effort to develop its external economic wing by assisting the globalisation of Singapore-based companies. 

SBF, meanwhile, has over 15,000 members representing 20% of companies in Singapore, including Keppel Land International LTd, Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd and SembCorp Engineers and Construction Pte Ltd. 

Also present was United Engineers (M) Bhd managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar who said: “It is very encouraging to see the growing interest among Singaporean businessmen to invest in Malaysia.” 

He said one good example would be the investment made by Singapore-based Temasek Holdings group in Telekom Malaysia Bhd , which was welcomed by the investment community in Malaysia. 

For UEM group, Wahid said one of its assets was the Bandar Nusa Jaya development in Johor, which is in close proximity to Singapore.  

“We hope there will be more take-up rate by Singaporeans in the near future,” he said. 

Bursa Malaysia head of group business developments Dr Zaha Rina Zahari said both Bursa Malaysia and Singapore Exchange continued to have a good working relationship. 

“We are currently working on a possible alliance between both bourses. However, we are still negotiating and have haven't decided on how the alliance will be,” she said. 

Federation of Public Listed Companies president Datuk Seri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said in the context of globalisation, the 2 countries must get together and find strength in unity. 

“There is a need to foster greater understanding as we have always been viewed as mutual competitors far too long,” he said. “I think we have to find some common grounds, especially in the face of globalisation and competitiveness.”