MALAYSIA is optimistic that Taiwanese investments in the country, which have slowed down since 1995, will regain momentum under the “Go South” policy promulgated by the island’s President Chen Sui-bian last year.
Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press, quoting Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Kerk Choo Ting, reported that the “Go South” policy was likely to see a second and third wave of Taiwanese capital into Malaysia in the coming years.
Kerk said a Taiwanese bio-technology company specialising in planting orchids was likely to lead off the second wave with a RM3bil investment in Malaysia, according to the two dailies.
Orchid-growing is now a rather small industry with a yearly turnover of about RM50mil.
The relocation of the Taiwanese orchid-growing firm to Malaysia is expected to boost the industry in the country.
Kerk said some Taiwanese firms, which relocated to mainland China in the mid 1990s, were mainly labour-intensive industries.
The Deputy Minister also disclosed that construction of an aluminium smelting plant, a RM9bil joint venture among the Chinese from mainland China, Hong Kong and the United States, would begin in Lumut this year.
·THE number of Malaysians applying for MyKad has more than doubled with about 15,000 applications received daily by the National Registration Department (NRD).
Interviewed by Sin Chew Daily, NRD secretary-general Datuk Azizan Ayob said the NRD had to request for an additional 100 staff to meet the surge of applications.
Azizan said the number of applications received by the NRD could be as high as 17,000 compared to about 7,000 in the past.
·CHINA Press reported that black and red melon seeds sold in the local market were safe for consumption, although laboratory tests in Hong Kong found certain samples of the seeds to be harmful to health.
Lim Hock Chye, president of the Kuala Lumpur Sundry Shops Owners Association, told the daily that the harmful melon seeds were the artificially flavoured ones, which had been banned by the Malaysian Health Ministry several months ago.
The daily reported on its front page that 40% of the sample melon seeds tested in Hong Kong were found to contain excessive mineral oil which could harm intestines and stomach.
Melon seeds, or guazi in Chinese, a popular titbit among Malaysian Chinese especially during Chinese New Year, is imported mainly from Hong Kong.
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