Melaka Gateway, a set of artificial islands in Malaysia, is a joint project between a Malaysian group and Chinese companies. By Hannah Beech.

Another state-owned Chinese company is revamping a harbor along the fiercely contested South China Sea. Nearby, a rail network mostly financed by a Chinese government bank is being built to speed Chinese goods along a new Silk Road.

And a Chinese developer is creating four artificial islands that could become home to nearly three-quarters of a million people and are being heavily marketed to Chinese citizens. But where Malaysia once led the pack in courting Chinese investment, it is now on the front edge of a new phenomenon: a pushback against Beijing as nations fear becoming overly indebted for projects that are neither viable nor necessary — except in their strategic value to China or use in propping up friendly strongmen.

His message throughout his meetings with officials, and in public comments, has been unambiguous. It had successfully courted Mr. But in May, Mr. In his action in Beijing on Tuesday, Mr. He had earlier suspended the projects, leading some analysts to believe he wanted to renegotiate the terms during his China trip.

Instead, he announced that the deals were off for now. Mahathir said. The indebted South Asian island nation was compelled to hand over to China a year lease on the port and more land near it, giving Beijing an outpost near one of its busiest shipping lanes. Lim said.

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Mahathir added, referring to the concessions China had to give after its defeat in the opium wars. They know we cannot afford this. Malaysia has long served as a prize of empire, with a geopolitical importance that belies its relatively small size. China is the latest power to try to share in the riches. Kuantan, a Malaysian city nestled on the South China Sea coast, had never been a hot spot. Chinese financing began washing over Kuantan five years ago.

Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group, a state-owned firm from an obscure Chinese autonomous region, won a contract supported by the Malaysian government to build a deepwater terminal and industrial park.

Najib conferred on the project a global import. Kuantan residents, though, have long worried that the city could be saddled with white-elephant projects. The Malaysians or the Chinese? Mahathir, however, is not averse to standing up to the superpower of the day. He was prime minister before, from toand back then he railed against the United States and other Western countries for what he said was a plot to hold back developing nations like Malaysia.

Before it was the U.

Khor Yu Leng research

In that time, Malaysian officials say, they have discovered that billions of dollars in inflated Chinese contracts were used to relieve debts associated with a Malaysian state investment fund at the heart of a graft scandal that led to Mr. Najib and his family and friends of plundering billions of dollars from that fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.This saga of 1MDB is now very much a national economic problem caused by misused of authority and affected public savings and risking our nation for its government guarantees.

The parliament should act fast. Majlis Raja2 should intervene. The PM should stop playing politics, gathering supports from the ignorants and people of small minds and those with personal interests. This disease is killing Malaysia by the day. Solar power, a Jho Low-partying rapper. This is about the international linkages of 1MDB and its reverberations have been necessarily expanded coverage. Editor's note: The Najib administration has continued to deny any wrongdoing. The reality and the "optics" can assure Malaysia voters that Najib has had no problem in continuing in his role as Prime Minister.

Also, DOJ listed people are taken off the Malaysia watchlist. US authorities are preparing to file criminal charges of wire fraud and money laundering against the flamboyant financier, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mr Whelan According to The Star newspaper, Emir, who has served as CEO for three years, is expected to be replaced by Zakaria Arshad, the head of the company's downstream operations. The move comes over the objection of the current central-bank governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who is retiring next month after 16 years in the post and recommended a deputy governor to succeed her, one of the people said Social media was rife with alleged news that Norashman bumped off a guest DJ at Zouk so he could helm the decks on Sunday.

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Editor's note: Key Malaysia authorities have consistently reassured that WSJ allegations are not true - and WSJ now comes up with even bigger dollar-wise allegations.

Najib, 62, and the company — 1Malaysia Development Berhad 1MDBan investment vehicle founded in — have consistently denied wrongdoing but critics have accused both of failing to provide convincing proof. It did not specify who was behind the alleged plot, but former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has led calls for Najib to be removed The statement did not directly refute the key allegations in the story. It also repeated a Malaysian government claim that the money Najib received was a gift from the Saudi government.

Reuters in Kuala Lumpur. Updated Feb. Mystery Malaysian high roller at center of global money-laundering probe By Jennifer Gould Keil, February 28, ; Real estate brokers in New York are being asked questions about the deals they worked on involving Jho Low, The Post has learned. Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, finds itself the target of fury in Malaysia.

Department of Justice investigation alleges money laundering and racketeering stretching back almost 20 years. Conmebol will hire a company to look back only for five years for a "technical reason," said a spokeswoman for Paraguay-based Conmebol The group also announced in a statement it had hired the accounting firm Deloitte LLP to work with its newest president Alejandro Dominguez. The year-old Paraguayan has promised to usher in an era of transparency and good governance at the organization, which has long struggled with both In any case, say well-wired political analysts in Kuala Lumpur, there is virtually no chance to dislodge Najib from his position as prime minister.

Mahathir has staunchly defended the Bersih 4 rally from criticism, though he said he does not care for the organisers. In their response, Malaysian government officials accused Khairuddin of lodging "false and politically motivated police reports" and pushing the same agenda as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been insistent in his calls for Najib to step down.

Biography of the Author Khor Yu Leng

Note: 10 year chart. The former prime minister said attending rallies was now necessary as all channels and avenues for the people to voice their feelings had been shut It pointed out that Singapore had arrested 21 Malaysians in for a similar Bersih rally there and had yesterday issued a warning against illegal rallies including Bersih.

On Interpol. Source: www. However, the entire vegetable oil complex has been grinding lower while crude oil prices have fallen back too. CPO price trades in a band between Brent crude and its competitor oils. Palm oil traders worry about "demand destruction" for palm oil amidst competitive pressures.Our principal has undertaken scores of studies for global and regional corporations, non-governmental organisations, government agencies, and think tanks.

Her recent projects include:. Fruits and durian supply-chain and competitive trade landscape. Reforestation and conservation benchmarking - preliminary. European Union EU biofuels policy for palm oil feedstocks. Sub-regional supply chains for palm, pulp and wood products. Yu Leng leads Khor Reports - Segi Enam Advisors Pte Ltd, a boutique economics consultant combining geospatial and data crunching with political economy and deep-dive analysis; and focused on policy and trade questions on Southeast Asia commodities, climate change, conservation, and more.

Read more about her here. Our Research Associates are motivated, highly analytical, numerate, and always upgrading new skill sets in qualitative and geospatial research, and large datasets as well as data visualisation. Research Associate of Segi Enam Advisors. She is experienced in political economic research, having written on attitudes to governance, the Malaysian rice economy, low-cost and public housing, and more.

She was also part of the and Pakatan Harapan Alternative Budget teams and supported the then-opposition coalition as a public policy researcher during the earlier stages of its manifesto in her role as the Research Officer and Chief-of-Staff to the Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya now Subang.

Our Research Partners are domain knowledge specialists who work with us on a project basis. Organic Chemistry, Ph. Research partner of Segi Enam Advisors. Armed with a Ph. She has worked for over 35 years in environmental assessment including Life Cycle Assessment LCA of edible oil products and sustainable development, and palm oil research method development: chemical as well as instrumental, including laser-induced fluorescence and phenolics.

She was part of various environmental projects including the Cradle-To-Gate LCA of refined products, commercial, and retail products. She has 22 patents filed and over papers in journals, proceedings, and book chapters, as well as numerous environmental-related publications. Palm Oil Blog. Malaysia Political-Economy. About, Privacy Policy. Segi Enam Advisors.The leaders of Indonesia and Malaysia on Friday said they were seeking a special meeting of foreign ministers from Asean to discuss the situation in Myanmar, where an elected government was overthrown in a military coup earlier this week.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made the announcement at a joint press conference in Jakarta, where the latter was on a one-day official visit. Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Muhyiddin said a "special" Asean meeting was necessary to address the "step backwards" in Myanmar's democratic process.

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The leaders said that rule of law, good governance, respect for constitutional governance, democracy and human rights had to be respected in Myanmar, where the military on Monday wrested back power from Aung San Suu Kyi 's National League for Democracy NLD party, which had decisively won the November general election.

The coup attracted widespread global condemnation, with the United Nations describing it as a "serious blow to democratic reform" and newly-minted US President Joe Biden threatening to reinstate sanctions on the Southeast Asian nation.

However, Asean neighbours such as the Philippines and Thailand described the matter as an internal affair. Herizal Hazri, the chief executive of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies ISIS Malaysia, said the proposed en bloc meeting would send a signal to the Myanmar authorities that the coup was not just a national concern but a regional one. We need to put that into a regional context," he said. The military's actions will have an impact on how the EU and the US, among others, engage with Asean.

So, this is far from just a domestic matter. Widodo and Muhyiddin on Friday also affirmed their commitment to eradicating "discrimination" against palm oil, of which Indonesia and Malaysia are the world's top producers. Muhyiddin, whose government initiated legal actions against the European Union last month, said the anti-palm oil campaign in Europe misrepresented the industry.

The leaders also discussed the protection of Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia, proposing a memorandum of understanding be signed and a "one-channel system" be developed, "so that human resource issues can be solved better and that workers will not fall victims to human trafficking".

Muhyiddin's trip to Jakarta marked his first international visit since coming to power in March last year, following a political coup that saw the previous Pakatan Harapan administration losing its parliamentary majority. Observers said the visit underscored the importance of Indonesia in Malaysia's foreign policy, and came at a time when bilateral relations appeared to be enmeshed in the management of issues such as border security, foreign workers and transnational haze.

While the palm oil matter was a hot-button issue, political economist Khor Yu Leng of Segi Enam Advisors said it remained to be seen how closely Indonesia and Malaysia could work together given the intense competition between both in the industry. With Jakarta being the host of a council of palm oil-producing countries, and its involvement in an Asean-EU ministerial-level Joint Working Group on palm oil, policy leadership on the product has decisively shifted to Indonesia.

Khor said Malaysia's recent problems with the US Customs and Border Patrol was "seen as a boon to Indonesia exports", adding that Indonesia was "quite ahead of Malaysia" in trade negotiations with the EU.

Meanwhile, the South China Sea dispute was also mentioned in the joint press conference, with Muhyiddin reiterating Malaysia's commitment to addressing issues "by using the relevant diplomatic channels". Muhyiddin had arrived in Jakarta on Thursday evening, although he only met Widodo the next morning.

Following their meeting, the pair observed Friday prayers and had an official lunch, after which Muhyiddin returned to Malaysia, where he will undergo a mandatory Covid quarantine. This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post www. LVMH suspends Rihanna's fashion house.

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Britney Spears speaks out after documentary premiere.Very useful information on the exploration of oil and gas. This is the first ever article which provides in depth information on oil and gas industry. Reservoir engineering courses online petroleum training classes. Earlier news: Petronas decision on Rapid deal with Aramco in Dec?

According to the Wall Street Journal WSJ report yesterday, if Petronas proceeds with the plan, the two companies will set up a joint-venture company in the first quarter of next year to run the project, with the refinery due to start operating in early Bankers familiar with the loan syndication said that the joint venture between the two international oil giants will be a straight-forward loan ahead of a much larger bond issue further down the road to finance the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development Project, or Rapid, as it is called in the Pengerang industrial zone in Johor.

Reports say Petronas is in no rush to start. The view from KL is that this is an important plus for Petronas. It's good news as a continued stall would have dragged Petronas - this is its single largest project.

A significant stake had been sold to China interests. The view from a Canada businessman is that this is good for Canada. Low oil prices have hit Alberta. LNG is clean fuel, although there is some environmental impact from this project. Shell and Chevron have secured federal and provincial environmental approvals, plus First Nations support at the terminal, and significant support along their pipeline routes Each will have a capacity of six million tons per year, with the possibility of adding a third down the road.

The pipeline built by the operator TransCanada must cross kilometers of British Columbia between Hudson's Hope about kilometers or miles north of Prince Georgeending at Lelu Island.

The deal means heavy LNG traffic through a maze of islands where salmon is a vital resource. However, others were upbeat about job opportunities. The green light for the pipeline project comes a few weeks after a key meeting between federal and provincial governments to define the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions under last year's Paris climate agreement. Fastest Asia-U. Shipping Route? It is a normal action by the state.

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She added that the action was based on the complaints by the SPG and definitely there was a basis to the complaints. Secondly, it was an isolated and independent action upon receiving complaints from SPG and Sarawakians as a whole.

Adenan also said the state government does not agree to the extension of Continental Shelf Act and the Petroleum Mining Act to Sarawak, which purports to authorise the federal government to grant licences for the exploration and mining of petroleum in the Continental Shelf of Sarawak.

The parties are holding consultations about it," he is reported as saying on Friday by Russian news agency Tass.Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The market was equally caught by surprise by this slew of announcements. Malaysia public-listed construction and related companies saw their share prices fall. The final 15km in Singapore ends in Jurong East. The HSR is expected to offer three types of services: A non-stop minute express service, an inter-city service, and a shuttle service between Iskandar Puteri and Jurong East.

Industry experts estimate land acquisition might rack up RM5 billion to RM10 billion more, and financing costs are expected to push the all-in costs to around RM billion.

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China currently has more than 25, km of HSR rail network with construction costs one-third lower than in most countries, according to the World Bank. Compared to their Chinese counterparts, the KL-Singapore HSR appears to have a higher proportion of costs devoted to systems engineering and land acquisition — making up 29 per cent and 12 per cent of total costs respectively compared to 18 per cent and 4 to 9 per cent respectively for Chinese HSR projects.

The fact is these Chinese projects enjoy massive economies of scale. Lower manpower costs, and an energised domestic construction and equipment supply community that can build and adopt innovative techniques have driven cost down.

Large volumes and the ability to amortise capital investment in high-cost construction equipment over a number of projects coupled with local equipment, building materials, systems and rolling stocks, also brought down costs for China. Severe cost-saving alternatives and a rethinking of the HSR project, such as upgrading the existing KTM rail network for a less-than high-speed rail, to cut existing HSR project costs by two thirds have also been raised.

A cautionary model to look to is the privately financed Taipei-Kaohsiung HSR — which has a comparable length, number of stations, travel time for both express and intercity and costs.

Taiwan also spent on some eye-catching train stations, in the same vein that Malaysia had plans for a few iconic HSR stations. Three Taiwanese high-speed rail trains rest at the platform at the Zouying station, south of Kaohsiung. Both are also similar in that they have costly elevated superstructures for about half or more of the track and some tunnelling.

What Taiwan had going for it was its high population density. But this has resulted in the huge cannibalisation of air travel — as airlines have also reduced flights between Taipei and Kaohsiung. While it has achieved a ridership of 48 million inthe privately funded project has also run into financial difficulties. There will no doubt be a wider discussion on the socio-economic implications of a HSR or medium-speed rail — including a review of its cost-benefit analysis, the ticket price and its financing structure as well as the purported benefits in job creation, industry growth and economic collaboration.

The Mahathir administration is in a good position to review the project, so as to improve the livelihoods of the average Malaysian and look into surrounding issues that include sustainability and affordability. Skip Navigation Jump to Main. Its purported price tag is simply too expensive for Malaysia, he said.No doubt many make the trip to visit a favourite restaurant, shop or stay over a weekend vacation.

Despite a general climate of positive exuberance, to most Malaysians, a perennial reason for pushing up Johor property values and the cost of everyday goods and services remains Singaporeans who venture across the Second Link and Causeway frequently - and have found Johor to be a suitable second home.

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More than 70 per cent think that Singaporeans make property unaffordable for locals, and about 80 per cent agree that limiting the sales of properties is a good move. Yet a simplistic blame-the-Singaporean game is over-stated.

The data and a wider reading of the issue suggests strong domestic forces at play. Bank Negara Malaysia reports that average Malaysia house prices have increased faster than average incomes since the Global Financial Crisis.

Sinceaffordable housing has become a prominent issue in Malaysia. There has been a push to build affordable homes and tighten measures against property purchases by foreigners. However, Johor has exempted Medini and Forest City properties - and it would be prudent to use a lower threshold such as RM, to analyse changes in the property market, as a proxy to how many properties may have been purchased by foreigners. Johor has seen a property boom with per square foot prices in some enclaves reaching Kuala Lumpur city centre levels.

Yet, it has also witnessed a major slowdown with a marked drop in transaction volume and property value since In 3Q, there were 6, residential property transactions, with only 17 per cent above RM, slightly down from If we combine residential and commercial properties, including small office, home officer and serviced apartments, there were 6, transactions but only 20 per cent above RM, Georgetown in Penang was the worst with prices at Penang's George Town Festival.

Photo: George Town Festival. The Malaysia My Second Home MM2H programme, an international residency scheme that permits foreigners to reside in Malaysia on a long-stay visa of up to 10 years, reports about 3, successful applicants each year Malaysia-wide.

Assuming each buys their own place, only around 1. Most who have signed onto the programme come mostly from China 28 per centJapan 12 per centBangladesh 11 per centUnited Kingdom 7 per centand Korea 4 per cent. Singapore buyers only make up 3. Of course there would be Singapore and other foreign buyers who invest in Malaysian property while not seeking to apply for MM2H status.

An artist's impression of Bandar Malaysia. While Johor seems to have drawn disproportionate foreign buyer interest with But the property sector has evolved to feature bigger-than-life projects by China developers, largely marketing properties to China buyers in anticipation of improved transport links with Singapore. Many eyes have been on Forest City, probably the most ambitious property project in all Malaysia. Built on recently reclaimed islands, this is in a special status zone in Johor without a minimum threshold for foreign buyers.

It is widely reported that its units were marketed with a residency permit, but its sales have yet to affect the MM2H data trend — which has stayed largely flat for the last five years since Image: LTA. By mid, Forest City with units starting at just over RM, reported that 99 per cent of its over 5, units sold went to foreigners, most likely from China.

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Yet, demand has been tempered since when capital controls on outflows imposed by Chinese authorities gave Chinese investors less liquidity to spend on Malaysian property. While Malaysian news coverage tend to focus on foreign purchases in the property market, prices and gluts in key property enclaves, there has been less attention on housing affordability across the rest of Johor. The most unaffordable properties are in Johor Bahru and Kota Tinggi 4.