National Implications of the Sandakan By-Election Results

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Bangi and Assistant National Director for Political Education for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on the 13th of May, 2019

The Sandakan parliament by-election results provided a much needed morale booster to Pakatan Harapan (PH) after 3 successive by-election defeats in Cameron Highlands (parliament), Semenyih (state) and Rantau (state). Sandakan also provides some important lessons and implications for PH at the national level. To deliver Sandakan’s ‘winning formula’ to other parts of Malaysia is definitely more challenging but not impossible.

Summary of Results

The expectation was that with a reduced turnout, DAP would have its majority of approximately 10,000 votes from GE14 cut significantly. But despite overall turnout falling from 71.9% in GE14 to 54.4% in the by-election, DAP managed to increase its vote share by 7.4% from 66.8% in GE14 to 74.2% in the by-election. With this increase in vote share and the presence of independent candidates which siphoned away 5.1% of total votes (presumably from PBS), DAP was able to increase its majority to 11521 in the by-election (See Table 1).

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Cautious Optimism on the Economic Outlook for the 2nd Half of 2019 as Pakatan Harapan (PH) Approaches its First Year in Government

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 8th of May, 2019

When the Quarterly Confidence Indicator for the 1st Quarter of 2019 was published by the Department of Statistics, Malaysia (DOSM), in the Business Tendency Survey report, this figure dropped to negative 2.2% from positive 7.1% in Q4 2018.[1] The February 2019 figure for the Leading Index Economic Indicator, also published by DOSM, showed a 2.2% fall from 118.9 to 116.3, the largest fall since April 2009.[2] The Nikkei Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) for March 2019, published by IHS-Markit, a market research firm, showed a figure of 47.2, the sixth straight month for which this index was under the 50 mark (more on the significance of this later).[3] Total trade for the first quarter declined by 1.5%. The negative news surrounding the Malaysian economy in the 1st quarter of 2019 was also felt “on the ground” through slower retail sales.

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Belt and Road Forum 2019 – Expectations and Opportunities for Malaysia

Speech by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 16th of April, 2019

  1. When President Xi Jinping first espoused the One Belt One Road (OBOR – 一带一路) policy in 2013 (later renamed as the Belt and Road Initiative or BRI in English), it generated a great deal of public interest and excitement outside of China[1]. There were three reasons behind this public interest, especially among countries in Asia.

2. Firstly, it tapped into a desire among Asian countries to develop economically in a manner similar to China, on the back of significant infrastructure development in highways, railways, airports, ports and other public infrastructure. China’s potential involvement in partly funding some of these infrastructure projects stirred excitement among many Asian countries which required heavy infrastructure development. These infrastructure developments are estimated to be in the trillions over the next decade.

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