Category Archives: Business News

Investing in Gold


Triplenine Goldworld GalleryTriplenine Goldworld Gallery Sdn Bhd held a ceremony at its office in Greentown Business Centre, Ipoh recently. The purpose was threefold, to celebrate the company’s first anniversary, to launch the sale of one-gram gold bars and to initiate a campaign to educate Perakeans on ways to invest in gold.

According to the Perak Branch Managing Director, Mohd Fakhzan Akhmar bin Omar, gold price was at its peak in September 2011. It was priced at RM216 a gram but has since dropped to RM190. “Investing in gold is a long-term commitment. You need to keep it for at least a year to realise its profit.”

Gold is among the few commodities that are not affected by inflation or recession. It is a low-risk investment with very generous dividends.

In conjunction with the occasion, the company gave away gifts and aid to five needy households and an orphanage from Kampung Sungai Itik, Gopeng. A lucky draw with a top prize of a one-gram gold bar was held. Mohd. Fakhzan announced the day’s gold sale at a discount of RM5 per gram.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Triplenine Goldworld Sdn Bhd and Koperasi Pegawai-Pegawai Kerajaan Taiping Bhd for the betterment of its members. A number of Triplenine agents received certificates of appointment from the Chief Executive Officer, Rozaini Rosdin.

Triplenine Goldworld Gallery Sdn Bhd is a trading company supplying, buying and selling gold, in all forms, at a slightly lower-than-market rate. It has eight branches nationwide. Since its incorporation a year ago, it has achieved sales in excess of 3600kg of gold.


Ipoh Shoe City – in Two Years


ipoh echo issue 140, Perak Footwear Industry Association (PFIA), Ipoh Shoe CityThe ground-breaking event to start the establishment of Ipoh Shoe City will be held next month at its site at Pengkalan Industrial Area (Promistar).

This was announced recently by Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, State Exco for local government, after a meeting with members of the Perak Footwear Industry Association (PFIA) and local officials.

The Ipoh Shoe City project was first mooted over a year ago to house various footwear manufacturers under one roof and will ultimately become a one-stop centre for foreign buyers to view their products, attract investors and overseas tourists.

PFIA, which is 99 years old this year, has over 500 members comprising of manufacturers, traders, designers and retailers. What started out as a cottage industry in the vicinity of Bukit Merah, now contributes 70% to the total footwear industry in the country valued at RM1 billion annually and produces under license internationally branded footwear names.

The setting up of the ‘Ipoh Shoe City’ project will facilitate unlicensed manufacturers, currently operating at Bukit Merah New Village, to comply with all requirements for licensing as a shoe manufacturer.

The 10.5Ha site at Pengkalan was offered to the Association by MBI last year. The site is a mining pond which will be filled. The whole project is anticipated to be completed in two years.

In the meantime, PFIA President Low Heng Keat thanked Dato’ Mah and the local government officials for moving forward with the implementation of the Shoe City project.


PESDC Achieves ISO Certification


ipoh echo issue 140, Perak Entrepreneur and Skills Development Centre (PESDC)The Perak Entrepreneur and Skills Development Centre (PESDC), located at Pengkalan 2 Industrial Estate, has achieved ISO 9001: 2008 Certification.

The Certificate was presented to PESDC Chairman Dato’ Gan Tack Kong (pic, left) by SIRIM Perak Chief Khairul Aimy Kamaludin (pic, right) during the centre’s career fair.

Gan, in his address, affirmed that ‘achieving ISO certification was crucial for the centre explaining that the centre “must emulate leadership by example, practice good corporate governance and be managed in an efficient and transparent manner.”

The career fair was officiated by Dato’ Abu Bakar Syed Director of the State Economic Planning Unit who represented the State Secretary Dato’ Abdul Puhat b Mat Nayan.

Also present at the event was Ali Badaruddin Abd Kadir, Chief Executive of Skills Development Fund Corporation, a division of the Ministry of Human Resources.

Eighteen established companies participated in the centre’s Career Fair; the all Perak companies included Top Glove, Unisem, Proton and Silverstone.

PESDC, established in 1993, is private sector driven but supported by the State and Federal government. Since its inception it has trained 7,000 students and provided retraining for 5,000 employees. Currently its students are undergoing training programmes in automotive, plastics technology, printing, welding, refrigeration, mechatronics and CNC.


New Lifestyle Property Development


Ipoh SOHO or Small Office Home Office, a new lifestyle property development was introduced in Ipoh on 29 July 2011 with a ground breaking ceremony.

Breaking ground. Zambry in control.

The project, IPOH SOHO, was launched by established property developer Kinta Saujana Sdn Bhd and is located at Jalan Sultan Idris Shah (Hugh Low Street) immediately after the Sultan Yussuf Circle water fountain. The ceremony was officiated by Menteri Besar Dato Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir together with Mr Chen Heng Kong, the Managing Director of Kinta Saujana

pic 1:(l-r) 2nd from left is MD for Kinta Saujana Chen Heng Kong followed by Dato Seri Zambry. Pic 2: Zambry signing the plaque.

The development consists of 24 units of 3 ½ storey contemporary lots with rooftop garden. The concept of the development is to appeal to proprietors who would like to operate their businesses without leaving the comfort of their home. It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.

Zambry in his address thanked the company for adding another landmark to the Ipoh property scene and for bringing back activity to the town central.

During the ceremony Kinta Saujana also presented donations to the nearby schools of SMK Sam Tet and SRJK ( C ) Yuk Choy.

Pic 1:Breaking ground.Pic 2:Kinta Saujana Director Loh AhKow presenting a donation to Puan Sri Leong representing SRJKC Yuk Choy.


Taiwan to Explore Investment Opportunities in Perak


InvestPerak, the Investment arm of the state government organised a business luncheon at Tower Regency Ipoh recently to welcome delegates of the SME Inter-Industry Association of Taiwan. Present at the event were Director of SME Corporation Perak, Mohd Faiz Mohd Yunus and Perak Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) Director, Nor’Aini Mat Talha. InvestPerak, whose task is to provide information and advisory services to current and potential investors in Perak, normally works with federal agencies only. This, however, was an exception.

During the luncheon, a video show on business opportunities in Perak was shown. Dr Wu Chin Pao, head of the delegation, said that the people in Perak are very warm. He was pleasantly surprised that many could converse in Chinese. He said that Taiwan is very interested in collaborating with Perak and is looking for investment opportunities.

Aquaculture has the potential to attract Taiwanese investors, especially in the farming of grouper. According to CEO of InvestPerak, Dato’ Ir. Muhd Hafni Ibrahim, the Perak Menteri Besar is keen in looking into this area.

The International Small and Medium Enterprise Symposium, comprising of Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, will be held in Japan in October. Dr Wu felt that Malaysia should be invited to participate in the symposium. If Taiwan were to invest, Wu hoped the government would provide land and incentives to enhance the collaboration.


Andaman Group Moves into Ipoh


Andaman Group of Companies recently announced the soft launch of its latest development, TAIPAN@Ipoh Cybercentre, its first foray into the Ipoh property market

TAIPAN@Ipoh Cybercentre will provide the initial commercial/business centre as an avenue for commercial activities within the township of Bandar Meru Raya, a 1,600-acre integrated, self-contained township located at the North Ipoh Growth Corridor, a private-sector driven initiative, spearheaded by PCB Development Sdn Bhd as the Master Developer, and fully endorsed by the State Government.

The development is located just off the Jelapang Interchange, on the way to Chemor. According to Mr Vincent Tiew, the Head of Marketing & Sales – Andaman Group of Companies,  a major portion of Meru Raya has been zoned MSC Cybercentre – the State Administrative Centre in the making, “a Putrajaya and Cyberjaya combined,” he quipped.

A total of at least 20 government agencies have already confirmed moving to this location, with a few already relocated there, including Jabatan Audit Negara, Kompleks KDN (Kementerian Dalam Negeri) and Jabatan Perhutanan. Kompleks Pejabat SPRM has also been completed. Others like Ibu Pejabat Bomba, Jabatan Kesihatan, Jabatan Perikanan, Yayasan Perak, have all been approved to move there under the 10th Malaysian Plan.

A total of 11,000 residential units have been planned for the entire township, of which quite a sizeable portion has been completed. To cater for the population, on the education front, Kolej Poly-Tech MARA, with an expected enrolment of around 1,500 students, will also find its place here, besides the pre-requisite primary and secondary schools. “The Ipoh International School – Tenby has also purchased a 13-acre lot and will start construction soon, moving from its present location near the Polo grounds,” Mr Tiew added.

TAIPAN@Ipoh Cybercentre will have 102 units of offices and shop lots ranging in price between RM688,000-RM2,215,000 with completion expected by end 2012.

All-Cargo Flight Flies into Snags


By Jerry Francis

Dato' Hamidah: "Air cargo is a necessity for the State. We want the service"

Hardly two weeks after it was announced, the launching of the direct Ipoh-Singapore all-cargo flight was postponed “indefinitely” and, perhaps may even to be called off.

What a shame. Such a development which could bring some hope to the revival of the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport and would be welcomed by manufacturers and traders throughout Perak as of “great benefit” to them is now not likely to materialise.

The introduction of the direct cargo flight to Singapore would also be a step forward in the State Government’s efforts to make the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport a feeder airport.

Was the proposed launching on June 16 at the airport prematurely announced or were those involved labouring under a misconception and overlooked the conditions governing the approval by the Transport Ministry?

Why at this stage, when so much efforts have been made to the extent of getting an airline to participate, was it suddenly postponed and indefinitely at that.

According to a source, the Transport Ministry had issued the approval for the direct all-cargo flight, but the condition is that cargo can be brought in but no cargo can be flown out of Ipoh.

Under such a condition, the operator Asialink Cargo Express (ACE) may not find it viable to operate the all-cargo flight. The Indonesia-Singapore joint venture cargo airline operates its hub from Batam, Indonesia.

Certainly those in the aviation and freight sectors should have been aware of such a ruling that prohibits any other than MASKargo/MAS/Transmile/local carriers to carry goods/passengers out of the country.

Were all the requisites looked into before the approval from the Transport Ministry was sought and the announcement made?

Commenting on the news, a reader Norhisyam Yusuf said, “I believe the same situation goes for Penang at their Kompleks Kargo Kedua, where UPS, DHL and FedEx are prohibited to uplift cargo from Malaysia. This does not happen in any other country in the world (except Malaysia).”

He hopes that the Ministry of Transport could look into this matter and allow “equal” competition (or better, if there are no local carriers able to do it or interested in doing it) because most of the economies in the world compete equally and fairly (fair trade practices).

“Anyway, I laud the efforts made by MITI, MIDA and FMM. I hope more of these friendly, business-minded approaches will be introduced by them to increase Perak’s competitiveness in the Malaysian economy,” he said.

Another reader Izzy Delancy believes that having such services in Ipoh will benefit the exporters.

“It is better to be a spoke than a hub, since to be a hub, you have to be gazetted as an “international” airport that can cater at least to an Airbus A330 series aircraft. Nonetheless, this effort is sufficient enough for Perak to recover and “re-boost” its economy, and recover some of its past glory”, added Izzy.

Let us hope whatever problems confronting the introduction of the all-cargo flight could be resolved quickly. Especially when so many hopes were raised in certain segments of the business sector.

Meanwhile, the State Government will actively pursue the matter to make the “desired service” a reality. State chairman for Industry, Investment, Industrial Development and Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman, said it was discussed at the recent state executive council meeting held in Kuala Lumpur.

“The government is still positive about the service and taking steps to identify the problem to ensure it becomes a reality,” she told our reporter James Gough after the meeting. “The air cargo is a necessity for the State. We want the service,” she added.

Ongoing Refurbishment for Impiana Ipoh


Centrally located in the heart of Ipoh, the four-star Impiana Hotel Ipoh offers lavish facilities set against breathtaking views of rugged limestone hills. The hotel has started its renovation and refurbishment works, which involved some of the public areas and rooms.

The new Deluxe rooms and Executive Suites have been given a complete facelift to give that exclusive and contemporary look, with all 200 spacious guestrooms equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, direct dialling, five ASTRO channels, Internet data port, broadband services, hair dryer, in-room private safe and coffee/tea making facilities.

The Garden Terrace at the lobby level, which offers a culinary tour of the best in local and international cuisine, is the perfect venue to meet and greet. A tempting spread of daily buffet breakfast, buffet lunch and buffet dinner beckons and signature dishes: cucur udang, roti canai durian, mee rebus, nga choy kay and teh tarik are there to tempt most palates.

Another excellent place to dine is The Bistro, a newly opened F&B outlet located at the Lobby Level. The Bistro is the place to head to for tasty food and beverages in a comfortable yet subdued setting. With a fine selection of wines from all over the world, The Bistro is an excellent choice for both lunch and dinner. Lunch is served from 12.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m., while dinner is from 6.00 p.m. to 12.00 midnight. The restaurant caters to individuals and groups of up to 50 people.

The Lobby Lounge rounds out the facilities on offer, providing the ambience and atmosphere for families and friends to socialise or get together for light refreshments. Impiana Hotel Ipoh also boasts a grand ballroom, the Crystal Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 800 guests, the site for many a lavish function.

The Impiana Hotel Ipoh is certainly a retreat within the city, a welcoming presence in Ipoh.

Tel: 605-255 5555   Fax: 605-255 1948



Impiana Casuarina Hotel Ipoh Gets New Owners


Effective 1st December 2009, the Impiana Casuarina Hotel, Ipoh, will be renamed as the Impiana Hotel Ipoh under the new ownership of Impiana Hotel Ipoh Sdn Bhd.

This premier 4-star hotel in Ipoh will undergo a 6-month re-positioning exercise which will include the refurbishment of its 200 guestrooms, the Impiana Grand Ballroom and the upgrading of the current hotel facilities. There is also a plan for a Wellness Spa, a Gymnasium, a Fun-Pub and an Executive Club Lounge.

The new Impiana Hotel Ipoh will be featured as a ‘Garden Retreat within the City’ emphasizing on the lush gardens surrounding the hotel and a feeling of total wellness when staying in this international-class hotel.

The Impiana Hotel Ipoh is managed by Impiana Hotels & Resorts Malaysia (IHRM), a subsidiary of KAB Group of Companies. Other hotels managed by the group are The Impiana Phuket, The Impiana Samui, The Impiana Resort Cherating, The Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa and the Impiana Private Villas Kata Noi.  

The Hotel Group also announced the appointment of Gerard Sta Maria, as the General Manager of the new Impiana Hotel Ipoh.



Ban On Import Of Used Spare Parts Will Affect Transport System



The proposal to ban the import of genuine used spare parts of motor vehicles will seriously affect the transport system of the country, as 70 per cent of the vehicles on the road are in need of them.

The Perak Indian Chamber of Commerce (PICC) stated this in a memorandum sent to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak , Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhiyuddin Yassin and other relevant cabinet ministers recently.

Its president Mr. B.K. Kumar said in a press statement that the memorandum was prepared by a special committee formed by PICC to look into how the proposal, which will come into effect in June 2011, could affect the 65-year-old automotive spare parts and components business in the country.

According to the memorandum the ban would also affect other industries such as fishing, manufacturing, agriculture and plantations.

The used spare parts business in Malaysia had grown from getting parts of local scrapped vehicles to importing used parts from scrapped vehicles from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA and other developed countries.

Ipoh A Potential Hub?
The companies involved in the business are providing employment to thousands of Malaysians directly and indirectly. Ipoh is the centre for the Indian used spare parts dealers.

The memorandum stated that Malaysia could become a hub for used spare parts in this region. Already an open market had been created, covering countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Africa and Middle East.

Only usable and good condition used parts are imported and sold much cheaper compared to the imported original genuine parts. They are 80 per cent reliable to use.

As such a lot of foreigners are coming to the country, especially Ipoh, to buy their imported used spare parts and thus generate revenue for the hotel industry.

Other than fulfilling their customers’ needs they are also playing an important role in reducing local currency flow abroad since original genuine parts are very expensive. So, importing them according to local demand will cause the flow of our currency to jump five to ten times.

The memorandum added that therefore if the ban becomes effective, the business which has been laboriously built by the locals for decades will be taken over by some neighbouring countries. Thousands of people will then lose their jobs and as well as the government losing its revenue from import and sales tax.

The sudden shortage of used spare parts will trigger a higher demand for original genuine parts and encourage the suppliers to provide lower grade imitation parts, which have shorter lifespan. And this will lead to other maintenance problems.