The first major electoral test for Pakatan Harapan (PH) is to win the Cameron Highlands by-election despite the many challenges

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming on the 12th of January 2019 on the Cameron Highlands By-Election

The Cameron Highlands by-election campaign, which kicks off on the 12th of January 2019, will be the first major electoral test for Pakatan Harapan (PH) since the 14th General Election. This is the first by-election in a seat which was won by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 14th GE, albeit by a small margin of 597 votes.

Even though PH now holds power at the federal level, we cannot assume that this power will translate into more support on the 26th of January, the polling day for this by-election, as with new powers and responsibilities comes new expectations and challenges.

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How much more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) would Malaysia have attracted without Najib and the scandal of 1MDB hanging over the heads of foreign investors?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 10th of January, 2019

I feel sorry for former Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, who has taken on the new role of being Barisan Nasional’s (BN) no.1 internet troll in order to save his disgraced reputation. His latest pathetic attempt is to try to take credit for Malaysia’s investment and trade performance over the past 10 years. Many of the characteristics which makes Malaysia an attractive investment destination and an economy which is open to trade and business such the establishment of the rule of law to protect investors, infrastructure investments to improve our connectivity and trade liberalisation were already put in place by his predecessors including during Tun Dr. Mahathir’s first stint as Prime Minister.

If anyone should take credit, it should be the hard working civil servants at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), in their consistent and concerted efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to promote external trade.

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The economy may be slowing but a recession is not in the horizon

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) on the 6th of January 2019

There seems to have been an increase in the number of opinion pieces and articles prognosticating a gloomy future for the Malaysian economy in 2019. While there are certainly economic challenges ahead driven by internal and external factors, the perception that the Malaysian economy will somehow crash and burn in 2019 is most certainly a false one. A closer examination of the underlying figures will demonstrate why this is the case.

Firstly, let’s look at the Nikkei Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) which dropped to a low of 46.8 in December 2018.[1] The PMI data is an important leading indicator of economic activity in the manufacturing sector. A figure above 50 shows that managers are increasing their orders and economic output whereas a figure below 50 shows that managers are depleting their existing stocks and not expecting to increase their future economic activity.

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