SB02_211016_ BOMBA2

Instil road safety culture in schools

ROAD Transport Department director-general Datuk Nadzri Siron disclosed that there are 18.8 million registered vehicles and 14 million drivers in the country, and his department is conducting a campaign to get 1.2 million Malaysians without a driving licence to apply for them.

Last year, a total of 6,700 fatal accidents were recorded involving 62 per cent motorcyclists. Of the total number, some 30 per cent involved school students.

If we wish to ensure the public and next generation of Malaysians possess attitudes and practices that prioritise road safety and compliance with the law, then it has to start with education in schools and continue through colleges and universities.

Those who failed to observe safety and compliance with the law are not educated, regardless of the academic qualifications they may have obtained. All moral studies were just superficial knowledge when they don’t apply them in real life.

Likewise, it is no surprise that many unemployed or underemployed graduates could not explain in their own words what they have studied for a few years.

If they cannot think and express clearly on the spot, they will not be convincing during job interviews or perform well at work.

Whatever qualifications they have may not be worth the paper they are printed on, and these include many working adults who obtained their MBAs and PhDs from little-known universities.

The high level of apathy in our society is a reflection of a failed education system. Using the increasing number of students that have completed secondary and tertiary education as KPI is nothing more than a ‘syiok sendiri’ exercise.

As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, reducing the number Malaysians without driving licence and fatal accidents in the country are steps in the right direction.

The target for the Road Safety Plan 2014-2020 is to reduce up to 50 per cent of fatal accidents nationwide, and success is possible when education and enforcements are redoubled, if not transformed.

Y.S. CHAN

KUALA LUMPUR

Heartbreaking to see children involved in crime

IT troubles me as a children’s court adviser, having served for over a decade now, to see today so many kids on petty crime, drugs, and what have you.

Children’s cases are on the rise — from petty to serious crimes. Today they steal bicycles and motorcycles, tomorrow perhaps airplanes!

It is not petty crime anymore, but these kids have ‘graduated’ to serious crimes, like rapes and selling pornographic materials, etc.

Why all this?

Do parents not care where they go out to, with whom and when they return home?

Do they lack education or information on how to live the right ways?

Is anyone monitoring them?

Or is it simply that parents have no time for them to impart values and creat bonds of friendship.

Week after week, at my children’s court duty I am baffled why so many kids are arrested?

Can the society take it easy anymore?

The courts warn these kids or put them on bail, or even send them to a rehabilition school.

Or sometimes admonish parents for not taking care of their kids.

That said, isn’t it the duty of parents to educate, inform and guide their kids, and monitor them .

Some parents today say their time is limited and there is so little they can do for them.

Or are these just excuses?

Others maintain that the present economic and social conditions force them to work, sometimes long hours away from their families. That is a reality. But can we leave it like this?

To me, parents have an important duty and role in the education and training of their children.

I will like to see this done. Do not leave it to the government. It isn’t your Santa Claus!

Be seen doing your responsibility and moulding kids of today to be good citizens of tomorrow.

BULBIR SINGH

SEREMBAN

High price to pay for accidents

THE road accident death statistics are frightening with an average of 18 deaths per day, and last year alone 6,706 deaths from 489,000 accidents on the Malaysian roads.

Motorcyclist fatalities topped the list (3,816) with pillion riders (387) and 11,550 others suffering injuries. Over a million without licences contributed to the increase in accident rate, especially youths between 16 and 20 years old.

As elsewhere in the world, the causes of road accident are faulty vehicles, uneven roads, careless or reckless driving, speeding, drunk driving, inadequate sleep, alcohol and other drug effect and many more.

Johor topped the list of fatalities (1,040), followed by Selangor(1,028), with reports suggesting 75% of the accidents are in rural roads, small towns and major cities and 25% on federal highways.

It is during the festive season, especially during Hari Raya “Balik Kampong” period that many accidents occur. Last year’s exodus in July recorded 705 deaths. In 2014, there were 637 deaths. This is worrying despite all kinds of road safety campaigns in educating the people but the number of road fatalities seems to rise.

At any one time, the number of motorcycles is about 45–50% of total number of vehicles on the road posing the greatest challenge to road safety efforts in Malaysia. According to a study by the Road Safety Research Centre of Universiti Putra Malaysia, motorcyclists constitute about 55–57% of total number of road accidents and 60 per cent of traffic fatalities in Malaysia. Their risk of injury is estimated to be 20 times higher than that of car passengers.

There is no doubt that motorisation has contributed in a significant way to the prosperity of Malaysia. However, the price being paid for this is exorbitant.

Road accidents in Malaysia resulting in injury or fatality, loss of manpower, loss of productivity, high medical expenses, costly management, property damage and others are estimated to cost the country over RM7 billion — a high price to pay indeed.

C. SATHASIVAM SITHERAVELLU

SEREMBAN

10 years to build Port Dickson road after delays

KUALA LUMPUR ― A road project to solve traffic congestion in Port Dickson took 10 years to build after missed deadlines by its initial contractor, the National Audit Department report has shown.

For a project with a ceiling cost of RM160 million for 22.6km of roads, the department found that the contractor had failed to deliver it in two years and six months as initially planned, although the contract was signed within the stipulated time and an advance payment was made.

“The audit performed between June and September 2015 revealed that the overall project management was unsatisfactory, as the project took 10 years to be completed,” the report said.

The project, under the purview of the Works Ministry and the Public Works Department (PWD), started in February 2005 and should have been completed in August 2007.

But the contractor, Kartajaya-Fort Jeli East-AMR JV Sdn Bhd (HBA-JV), only managed to deliver 64.6 per cent of the project by the time their contract was terminated on Dec 23, 2009, with their performance after reappointment still being unsatisfactory, with only an additional progress of 3.6 per cent.

The initial contractor was terminated for a second time on May 9, 2013, and the government’s appointment of a new contractor ― Seroja Anggerik Development Sdn Bhd ― on March 27, 2014 saw the project finally being completed on Dec 28, 2015, the report said.

Besides the years of delay and the “unfair” reappointment of the initial contractor that went against the PWD Hospital Project Committee’s decision, the bridge was not built according to construction drawing plans and the relocation of utilities was inefficiently managed, it said.

Among other things, the report recommended that PWD closely monitor projects and the work quality of contractors to ensure the government suffers no losses if a contractor defaults or if a project is terminated.

PWD should also make sure the contractor patches up all road defects before handing it over to the ministry to ensure the safety of road users, it said.

The project involved the upgrading of a road from Pasir Panjang to Linggi in Negri Sembilan and the construction of a new road, with the aim of addressing traffic jams in the Teluk Kemang town in Port Dickson, particularly during festive seasons and school holidays. — Malay Mail Online

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Geopolitical undercurrents

I WAS glad China dominated the world the other day. Although the Americans covered a sizeable chunk of the planet, a combination of superior espionage, massive cultural output and, in the end, better technology and cunning diplomacy meant that China edged ahead.

I was playing as China in Civilisation VI, the latest ​instalment​​ in a computer game series that began in 1991 in which the player chooses a leader from a civilisation from actual world history, starts with a mere villager and, by investing in expansion, military might, science, culture, trade and so on, advances through the ages.

Victory can be achieved in a number of ways depending on playing style and unique characteristics of the civilisation (a powerful early gunpowder unit and the Great Wall in the case of China). Regardless of which leader you choose, there are always compromises to make, some of which literally have impacts that can last hundreds of years.

In real world, the apparent dominance of China in recent times has produced a vast amount of geopolitical analyses and speculation about what the world will look like in decades to come.

Chinese investment and migration to Africa have led it being termed “China’s Second Continent”, and China’s relationship with Asean has always been a feature of regional forums ever since I started attending them a decade ago.

This has taken the form of concerns about China’s influence in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam (CLMV), its activities in the South China Sea, and more recently trade issues particularly with the emergence of the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) juxtaposed with China’s own Maritime Silk Road initiative, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

But the last two weeks have seen significant bilateral shifts between China and two Asean countries, at the expense of the United States. Speaking in Beijing on Oct 20, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation from the United States,” as China and the Philippines signed an estimated US$​24 billion (RM100 billion) in funding and investment pledges and agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea. This after an arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled overwhelmingly in the Philippines’ favour in July — quite a shift from previous assertions about the West Philippine Sea.

In the last few days Malaysia’s relationship with China has also seen a major upgrade: Perhaps the most significant since Tun Razak established diplomatic relations in 1974. We will buy at least ​​four littoral ships (vessels typically used for coastal defence and rescue operations) at approximately RM300 million each, while an agreement has been signed setting the stage for China to build and finance the ​​RM55 billion East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) project.

A list of 14 further agreements and ​​memoranda of understanding between Malaysian and Chinese companies worth RM144 billion were also signed.

Naturally there will be much scrutiny on the beneficiaries and the extent of public funds that will be used. But the underlying reasons for our major geopolitical shift have already been a cause of much speculation, with suggestions that it is not just about trade and investment.

The editorial written by the prime minister in the China Daily also gave a hint: “It is not (for former colonial powers) to lecture countries they once exploited on how to conduct their own internal affairs today.” Everyone would agree with that, just as everyone should understand that illegal activity committed in another country can trigger lawsuits in that country’s justice system, or that de facto transfers of sovereignty to other countries can occur in many ways.

Indeed, “threats to our sovereignty” have often been played up to mobilise criticism of policies in the past, and one wonders whether usually vocal ​​ethno​-nationalists will approve of all these deals, especially given some of their confrontational views on local inter​-​ethnic dynamics too.

After independence, Malaya’s stance on China was transparent and ideological. The Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and External Affairs Minister Tun Dr Ismail were both utterly anti-communist — though they did have a spat when the former stated that Malaya would eventually have to recognise the People’s Republic of China. Of course, China itself has changed tremendously and the ideological backdrop of the Cold War no longer exists.

Still, while foreign policy is not usually a matter that excites the public, when so much of our infrastructure and everyday goods and services depend on the trade relations enabled by it, surely we deserve a clearer insight into the motives and long-term implications of significant changes in direction.

For in the real world, this geopolitical game won’t be played by the same person forever.

Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin is founding president of Ideas

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Facebook executives feel heat of content controversies

AFTER Facebook’s removal of an iconic Vietnam war photo stirred an international uproar last month, the social network’s executives quickly backtracked and cleared its publication.

But the image — showing a naked Vietnamese girl burned by napalm — had previously been used in training sessions as an example of a post that should be removed, two former Facebook employees said.

Trainers told content-monitoring staffers the photo violated Facebook policy, despite its historical significance, because it depicted a naked child, in distress, photographed without her consent, the employees said.

The social network has taken great pains to craft rules that can be applied uniformly with minimal discretion. The reversal on the war photo, however, shows how Facebook’s top executives sometimes overrule company policy and its legions of low- and mid-level content monitors.

Facebook has often insisted it is a technology company — not a media company — but an elite group of at least five senior executives regularly directs content policy and makes editorial judgment calls, particularly in high-profile controversies, eight current and former Facebook executives said.

One of those key decision-makers — Justin Osofsky, who runs the community operations division— wrote a Facebook post acknowledging the removal of the war photo was a “mistake.”

“Sometimes,” he wrote, “the global and historical significance of a photo like ‘Terror of War’ outweighs the importance of keeping nudity off Facebook.”

Facebook spokesman Christine Chen declined to comment on the company’s use of the photo in training sessions.

Facebook has long resisted calls to publicly detail its policies and practices on censoring postings. That approach has drawn criticism from users who have had content removed and free-speech advocates, who cite a lack of transparency and a lack of an appeals process for many content decisions.

At the same time, some governments and anti-terror groups are pressuring the company to remove more posts they consider offensive or dangerous.

The current and former Facebook executives, most of them speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters in detail how complaints move through the company’s content-policing apparatus. The toughest calls, they said, rise to an elite group of executives.

Another of the key decision-makers is global policy chief Monika Bickert, who helped rule on the fracas over the war photo.

“That was one we took a hard look at, and we decided it definitely belonged on the site,” said Bickert, a former federal prosecutor.

She declined to elaborate on the decision-making process.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg followed up with an apology to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who had posted the photo on her own account after Facebook removed it from others in her country.

In addition to Sandberg, Osofsky and Bickert, executives involved in sensitive content issues include Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s Washington-based government relations chief, and Elliot Schrage, the vice-president for public policy and communications.

All five studied at Harvard, and four of them have both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the elite institution. All but Sandberg hold law degrees. Three of the executives have longstanding personal ties to Sandberg.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, a Harvard drop-out, occasionally gets involved with content controversies, Bickert said.

These executives also weigh in on content policy changes meant to reflect shifting social context and political sensitivities around the world, current and former executives said.

Facebook officials said the five people identified by Reuters were not the only ones involved in high-level content decisions.

“Facebook has a broad, diverse and global network involved in content policy and enforcement, with different managers and senior executives being pulled in depending on the region and the issue at hand,”
Chen said.

Chen declined to name any other executives who were involved in content policy.

The company’s reticence to explain censorship decisions has drawn criticism in many countries around the globe.

Last month, Facebook disabled the accounts of editors at two of the most widely read Palestinian online publications, Shehab News Agency and Quds. In keeping with standard company practice, Facebook didn’t publicly offer a reason for the action or pinpoint any content it considered inappropriate.

The company said the removal was simply an error.

Some Palestinian advocacy groups and media outlets condemned the shutdowns as censorship stemming from what they described as Facebook’s improper alliance with the Israeli government.

Israel’s government has pushed Facebook to block hundreds of pages it believes incite violence against Jews, said Noam Sela, spokesman for Israeli Cabinet minister Gilad Erdan.

Sela said the Israeli government “had a connection” at Facebook to handle complaints but declined to elaborate on the relationship.

“It’s not working as well as we would like,” Sela said. “We have more work to do to get Facebook to remove these pages.”

Ezz al-Din al-Akhras, a Quds supervisor, said Facebook’s head of policy in the Middle East had gotten in touch after the uproar over the shutdowns and that three of four suspended accounts were restored.

“We hope the Facebook campaign of suspending and removing Palestinian accounts will stop,” he said.

“We do not practice incitement; we are only conveying news from Palestine to the world.”

Facebook said the restoration of the accounts was not a response to complaints. It declined to comment on whether top executives were involved.

The company has cited technological glitches in other recent cases where content was removed, then restored, including the takedown of a video which showed the aftermath of a Minneapolis police shooting.

Chen declined to explain the glitch.

She said the company was reviewing its appeals process in response to public feedback. Facebook currently allows appeals of company actions involving entire profiles set up by people or institutions, or full pages on those profiles, but not for individual posts.

To manage the huge volume of content complaints — more than a million a day — the company employs a multi-layered system. It starts with automated routing of complaints to content-policing teams in Dublin, Hyderabad, Austin and Menlo Park, who make initial rulings, current and former executives said.

These low-level staffers and contractors consult a thick rulebook which interprets the comparatively spare “community standards” Facebook customers are asked to follow. The company trains front-line monitors to follow rules and use as little discretion as possible.

When a removal sparks more complaints, regional managers function as a mid-level appeals court. Continuing controversy could then push the issue to top U.S. executives.

Senior executives also weigh in on policy updates. Osofsky and Kaplan, for instance, wrote a blog post last week, in response to “continued feedback” on content removals, explaining that the company would start weighing news value more heavily in deciding whether to block content.

The Vietnam war photo — depicting horrors suffered by a girl named Phan Thi Kim Phuc — was first removed from an account in Norway by a front-line monitor.

In protest, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten printed the image on its front page and posted it on Facebook, which removed it. That prompted the prime minister to post the photo — only to have Facebook remove it again.

Facebook then issued a statement defending the action, saying it was “difficult to create a distinction between allowing a photograph of a nude child in one instance and not others.”

The next day, executives reversed the call, with Sandberg telling the prime minister: “Even with clear standards, screening millions of posts on a case-by-case basis every week is challenging.”
— Reuters

KTMB chairman Nawawi Ahmad MMO

KTMB to breakeven by 2017

KUALA LUMPUR — Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) said they are going forward with their transformation plans that were first mooted back in 2014, expecting the company to hit breakeven by 2017.

KTMB chairman Datuk Nawawi Ahmad said the rail operator in Peninsular Malaysia was looking to slash its losses by RM160 million.

“To date, we have generated a revenue of RM159.27 million for our KTM Cargo segment while earnings for KTM intercity was RM81.79 million,” he said.

KMTB also recorded RM139.9 million in revenue for their ETS services while KTM Komuter recorded RM161.21 million to date.

Nawawi said KTMB’s earnings, revenue as well as productivity and efficiency will be boosted through cost reduction in specific areas and the improvement of customer services.

“We have implemented several initiatives to cut costs this year, such as cutting the use of electricity, ending outsourced contracts, revoking the rental of 25 locomotive trains from Ircon, revision of the usage of diesel trains, the reuse of wooden rail tracks and appliances for existing tracks, and the rationalisation of intercity train services,” Nawawi told Malay Mail.

He said the measures in place have resulted in total savings of RM38.3 million this year.

“We have improved our initiatives to generate more revenue through a hike in ticket prices, increasing Electric Train Services (ETS) and improving our cargo capacity,” the chairman said.

Despite suffering major losses before its reforms since the start of its transformation plans in 2014, KTMB has slashed their losses tremendously.

“For example, upon raising the prices of our tickets in December 2015, our cost to fare ratio for Komuter service in the city improved significantly.

“At a cost of RM0.20 sen per passenger per kilometre, a loss of RM0.09 sen was incurred. This was reduced to RM0.05 sen after the implementation of the transformation programme.

“We have further improved since then to reduce the loss to RM0.03 by lowering our cost to RM0.17 sen,” he said.

As for its ETS services, KTMB projects it will achieve a profit of RM12.81 million this year as compared to RM1.64 million loss in 2014.

Moving forward, Nawawi said KTMB was pursuing the switching of their business model by re-aligning their core and non-core business ratio.

KTMB will cut their core business of train services from 91% to 60% while focusing on the non-core business growth from 9% to 40%.

“Currently, the core to non-core business ratio is at 91:9, and we are aiming for a 60:40 share for the business,” he said.

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Fraser & Neave revenue increased 1.5%

KUALA LUMPUR — Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) maintained its year-on-year growth despite challenging market conditions, with revenue rising by 1.5% to RM4.17 billion from RM4.11 billion in the previous year.

The group’s profit before tax surged 32.7% to RM442.9 million on the back of lower milk-based commodity cost and manufacturing efficiencies.

For the last quarter ended Sept 30, the group reported revenue of RM976.5 million, 4.2% lower, from RM1.02 billion in the corresponding quarter last year, mainly due to revenue from the Hari Raya festivities recorded in the previous quarter.

Profit before tax fell (PBT) 23.7% to RM51.7 million on the back of soft market conditions and one-off restructuring expenses.

Chairman Tengku Syed Badarudin Jamalullail highlighted the growth in revenue and 32.7% jump in PBT for the group’s full year results for the year ended Sept 30.

“The last 12 months of the financial year 2015/2016 (FY15/16) has been challenging due to the overhanging negative sentiments with regard to the Malaysian economy from the business as well as the consumer community.

“We are confident of enhancing our equity and particularly, the sustainability of our business with the implementation of our realignment programme,” he said during the media and analyst briefing for its full-year financial result yesterday.

F&N was impacted by softer consumer sentiment. Revenue declined marginally while operating profit was correspondingly lower.

Excluding the absence of contribution from Red Bull, operating profit grew by 11.8% aided by a favourable product portfolio mix and margin contribution, favourable milk-based global commodity prices and realisation of manufacturing efficiencies.

This was offset by higher professional fees incurred for the commercial realignment, higher warehousing costs and staff restructuring costs.

During the period under review, the group’s isotonic and carbonated soft drink brands registered year-on-year growth from an increased focus on sales, distribution and branding efforts, supported by effective trade and consumer promotions
and campaigns.

Its dairies brands have also maintained their market leadership from continuing effective sales and marketing efforts.

Asked on its plan forward, chief executive office Lim Yew Hoe said F&N is priming itself for the future with a steady pipeline of investments and initiatives to enhance its sustainability and take its growth trajectory to the next level.

The commercial realignment which began in October 2016, and scheduled for completion in FY16/17, is expected to boost sales volume and improve efficiency through a new distribution strategy.

The group’s latest capital expenditure (capex) of RM70 million will include a new 600 bottles per minute water line, expansion of the warehouse, production building and infrastructure at its mineral water plant in Bentong, and polyethylene terephthalate line automation in its Shah Alam plant.

With these new projects, F&N’s total estimated capex from FY2015/2016 has increased to over RM300 million, said Lim.

During the year under review, the group achieved strong double-digit growth in its export business with a 17% increase in sales. This is in line with the group’s renewed focus on exports.

In line with the group’s performance, the board of directors is recommending a final dividend of 30.5 sen per share amounting to RM111.8 million for approval by shareholders at the company’s forthcoming annual general meeting.

If approved, the total dividend for FY2015/2016 would amount to 57.5 sen per share (FY2014/2015: 57.5 sen per share).

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Access to capital, skilled labour still lacking in Asean

KUALA LUMPUR — Australian businesses in Asean still list the lack of access to capital and skilled labour as among major issues to operating in the region, said Australian Business Asia (ABA) chairman Leigh Howard.

“In our recent survey, we found that lack of access to skilled labour is the number one issue faced by employers.

“On top of trade barriers, these are issues we hear in feedback from Australian chambers of commerce across the region,” he told Malay Mail yesterday on the sidelines of a press briefing on ABA’s upcoming regional conference “Trading Up: Accessing Opportunities for Business in Asia”.

Howard, who is also chairman of the Australia-Malaysia Business Council, said: “One of the challenges for us as a business council is the way we help members navigate the difference between policy and practice.

“You can have great legislation and policies, but if they are not enforced or there are other trade barriers in place — these become real issues for businesses.

“So the best thing we can have at our conference is to have people come and present on their experiences, and how they’ve navigated those issues — and hopefully participants can take something away from that,” he said.

The upcoming conference in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Nov 9 is ABA’s third, after previous editions were held in Hong Kong and Bangkok.

ABA is targeting over 200 participants for this year’s conference, much larger than previous iterations — which were more focused on bringing together Australian chambers of commerce across the region.

“There will be a strong sectoral focus and these are aligned with the National Key Economic Areas. Supply chain continues to draw a lot of interest, as does manufacturing, professional services, construction and education,” Howard said.

This year’s conference will have a wider scope and a more public appeal, as ABA reaches out to alumni of Australian universities to participate.

“Australian alumni can be a conduit for trade and investment in Asia, to do that corporations need to develop strategies for regional expansion, and Australian companies expanding in Asia need to include Australian alumni as part of that strategy.

“Only with a highly skilled workforce can the desire for increased regional integration under various multilateral agreements be a reality.

“The further deepening of services sector integration in the region through ongoing liberalisation, coupled with streamlining mobility of skilled labour force will allow countries in the region to compete globally in the service sector in a completely different way, and education is the key enabler of this goal,” Howard said.

Telemedicine, precision agriculture among startups trending in Asean

KUALA LUMPUR — Telemedicine, precision agriculture and other startups leveraging internet of things (IoT) and analytics are sweeping the Asean region, according to IBM Venture Capital Group.

The company does not invest in startups or venture capital funds directly, but it does have partnerships with venture capital funds and provides startups free software.

Speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Community talk here on Wednesday, IBM Venture Capital Group software strategy director Deborah Magid noted that while fintech is gaining ground in the region, other types of apps are gaining investor interest in Asean.

“There are a lot of new things happening in certain sectors such as IoT, healthcare and telemedicine, precision agriculture as well as other things related to energy and water management.

“These things that are big in Asia are related to IoT and analytics,” she said.

On the banking side, financial institutions in the region appear to be embracing fintech, particularly those in the banking hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong.

“A lot of what is happening in fintech is centred around that part of the region. They’re always having a lot of events and accelerators.

“There’s a big banking event called Saibos every October that is held in Singapore. It’s for the banks, but in the last few years, they’ve had competition-winning fintech startups come to Saibos to pitch to the banks and try to get new partners and new business, have the banks see what’s going on.

“That’s very helpful as are groups pooling the fintech startups in the region together,” Magid said.

On top of that, there are new things happening in a variety of businesses that are ripe for innovation, such as education.

“A lot of the education systems whether online or offline, have been doing the same sort of things for some time, while some of the newer companies are instead helping parents and children make decisions about charting their path, getting into universities or even learning a new skill.

“There’s a Silicon Valley education firm called Coursera, that has online courses (provided by universities) — and the most popular courses are robotics, artificial intelligence and big data — courses that prepare people to work in new fields,” she said.

The event is part of a series of discussions being hosted in the lead up to Global Entrepreneurship Community (GECommunity), a two-day event which will be hosted on Dec 8-9. GECommunity is an exciting new initiative from the government of Malaysia and is not your typical startup event. It is designed to be the Davos of Entrepreneurship and will bring together corporates, startups and the entrepreneurship development ecosystem to reimagine and design the future for entrepreneurs.

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