Corporate nation objective

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Mar 2005

The Week That Was

BRAND MALAYSIA: (March 22) Malaysia wants to brand itself internationally as a corporate nation that emphasises quality, security, service and efficiency, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his speech at the Invest Malaysia 2005 Conference. He also announced the five foreign stockbrokers and one foreign fund manager who will be allowed to operate in the country. They are CLSA, Credit Suisse First Boston, JP Morgan, Macquarie and UBS; while the sole fund manager is Aberdeen Asset Management.  

RESORT ON HOLD: (March 20) The Selangor Government is in a quandary over whether to go ahead with a RM4bil project to turn the Sepang district coastline into a beach resort to rival the Gold Coast in Australia. The project, which covers a massive 1,492ha, hit a snag three weeks ago when contractors got into trouble with the local authorities for carrying out piling works without following procedures. It was also learnt that the project owners had not obtained the environment impact assessment (EIA) approval from the Department of Environment before starting piling works. 

VANISHING MANGROVES: (March 21) The mangrove forests in Pulau Ketam, Pulau Tengah and Pulau Klang are being rapidly overlogged. Villagers who used to fell the trees for firewood claimed that about 80% of mature mangroves trees had been felled in the cluster of islands. Selangor Forestry Department director Nik Mohd Shah Nik Mustafa said it would submit a proposal to the state council soon to convert the mangrove forest in Pulau Ketam and the surrounding area into a forest reserve.  

TOP SPOT: (March 20) Director Yasmin Ahmad's film Sepet, a love story between a Chinese boy and a Malay girl, took the Grand Jury Prize beating nine other contenders at the 27th Creteil International Women Directors Festival, which ended in France on Saturday. 

PLENTY OF JOBS: (March 23) Plenty of jobs are available for graduates but many cannot fit in the positions because they lack the language and communication skills that their prospective employers are looking for. Malaysian Employees Federation president Md Jafar Abdul Carrim said a programme to equip graduates with language skills to make them more suitable for employment was needed. 

QUAKE IN JAPAN: (March 20) A magnitude 7 earthquake struck off the coast of southern Japan on Sunday, killing an elderly woman and injuring at least 400 people, damaging buildings and leaving residents shaken by aftershocks. The authorities issued a tsunami warning that was later cancelled. 

EASE OFF: (March 21) US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said she had appealed to Chinese leaders to find a way to ease tensions with Taiwan, saying that the mainland's anti-secession law aimed at the self-ruled island had aggravated the situation. The law approved by China's parliament on March 14 authorises a military attack if Taiwan, split from the mainland since 1949, tries to make its independence permanent. 

ANOTHER SCHOOL CARNAGE: (March 22) A heavily-armed teen killed his grandparents and went on a shooting spree at his school, killing seven people and then himself. Jeff Weisse, 17, blasted his way past the metal detector at the school's entrance, killing a guard. The death toll at the Red Lake Indian Reservation in far northern Minnesota made it the nation's worst shooting since the rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in April 1999 that ended with the deaths of 12 students, a teacher and two teen gunmen.  

PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS EMBARRASSED: (March 25) The reputation of the United Nations' peacekeeping missions suffered a humiliating blow on Thursday as an internal report identified repeated patterns of sexual abuse and rape perpetrated by soldiers supposed to be restoring the international rule of law. The study, published by Jordan's ambassador to the UN assembly, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussien, was endorsed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who condemned such “abhorrent acts” as a “violation of the fundamental duty of care.” 

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