Archive for July, 2008

Expanding SME in Penang

Monday, July 28th, 2008

A SME conference has been held in Penang recently. The one-day event, with the theme “Globalization of SMEs- The Next Battleground” was organised by The ACCA and officiated by Penang Chief Minister YAB Mr Lim Guan Eng with more than 350 delegates attended the conference.

SME developments in Penang

The developments of SME in Penang are mostly supporting MNCs. According to InvestPenang Chairman of the Executive Committee, Dato Lee Kah Choon, Penang economy has undergone five decades of evolution with the industrial transformation started 35 years ago. To date, the growing sectors in Penang are E & E and ICT sectors. As at March 2008, there are a total of 146 MSC status companies in Penang.

Dato Lee Kah Choon, Chairman of InvestPenang presenting his paper at the SME conference in Penang

Penang’s industrial evolution

New growth sectors for Penang

MSC companies in Penang

A recommended resource centre on SME developments in Malaysia is by Central Bank of Malaysia which provides much related information in three languages. Another official website for SME in Malaysia is SMIDEC.

SME Outlook and Funding

The Malaysian Government, through SMIDEC, provides various facilities and assistance programmes to assist local SMEs to be globally competitive.

According to MITI’s website, the statistics on the utilisation of Funds (Grants and soft loans) for SMEs for the northern states (Perak, Penang, Kedah and Perlis) as the end of April 2007 are as follows:-

• As at the end of April 2007, a total of 17,015 applications were received by SMIDEC for the various grant schemes. Out of these, 12,417 applications (73.9 per cent) valued at RM270.61 million have been approved.
• The highest approval was for Grants for Certification & Quality Management valued at RM82.3 million (77.0 per cent) of the total grants approved.
• Total approvals of grants for the Northern Region states are 2,592 amounting RM59.7 million (21.4 per cent).

Soft Loans
• As at April 2007, a total of 1,685 applications for soft loan were received, of which 1,046 (62.7 per cent) were approved valued at RM530.7 million.
• Total approvals of Soft Loan for the Northern Region states are 193 amounting RM 112.46 million (21.2 per cent).

For this year, the government has allocated RM4.5 billion for 198 small and medium enterprise (SME) development programmes and more funds will be allocated to SMIDEC under the mid term review of 9MP. The government has also announced that an additional RM1.2 billion worth of financial facilities will be make available to assist small and medium enterprises (SME) to manage rising business costs.

The Malaysia Government will continue to provide matching grants and soft loan schemes for SMEs , If your company are one of these SMEs and your businesses are within the threshold of SMIDEC, there are many types of grants and soft loans available for local SMEs; here and here.

For advisory on SME property needs or property investments in Penang, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.

9MP Mid Term Review and its impacts on Penang planned infrastructure projects

Monday, July 7th, 2008

The Malaysian Government has tabled its 9th Malaysia Development Plan 2006-2010 (9MP) mid term review in Parliament House recently. Despite the Federal Government increased the development allocation to RM230 billion, the development allocation of several infrastructure projects including Penang’s monorail and PORR, however, have been deferred. researched on these two affected infrastructure projects following the latest decision by the Federal Government to defer it which are considered important projects to Penang economic development.


The proposal and ideas on Penang’s planned infrastructure projects ie Monorail (LRT) system, PORR, Penang Bridge Expansion and Penang 2nd link have been floated since mid 1990’s, more than 13 years ago.

According to a report way back in year 1995, the Penang’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) system was scheduled for completion in year 2002. The proposed LRT system, costing RM650million at that time, was supposed to be implemented under “Built-Operate-Transfer” basis by Business Focus Sdn Bhd. It was also reported that a close-end fund under the name of Dana Mutiara was being set up to undertake infrastructure-related projects including Penang 2nd Link, PORR, monorail system etc. The idea of setting up a close end fund has since fizzled out and most of these planned infrastructure projects were shelved due to the onslaught of Asian financial crisis during 1997-1998. Read more at here and here.

The planned infrastucture projects were subsequently revived and incorporated in the 9th Malaysia Plan 2006-2010 in year 2006 and endorsed in the blueprint of NCER launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia in August 2007.

Highlights of 9MP Mid Term Review

According to the Mid-Term Review of the 9MP, the Malaysian Government is allocating another RM30bil for development expenditure under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), increasing the ceiling to RM230bil and here are the highlights of 9MP mid-term review. Several infrastructure projects which are considered important to Penang ie.Penang Monorail, Highway Projects Are Not Under 9MP now despite the Federal Government has endorsed these projects under the initiatives of NCER launched less than 1 year ago.

Reasons and Reactions on deferment

The reason cited for the two Penang projects being deferred (RM2bil monorail and RM1.5bil Penang Outer Ring Road) was to relocate resources to cushion the impact of the increase in global oil prices and focus on people-centred projects. more at here and here. And here are the reactions from the Penang state administration. The Penang Chief Minister is urging the federal government to restore these 2 mega projects and explain the allocation cut to Penang State. The Penang NGOs, on the other hand, have dissenting views and are calling the authorities to establish a Penang transport masterplan. More views and comments relating to Penang’s planned infrastructure projects in Penang-Jelutong MP cum blogger Jeff Ooi’s blog.

Impacts on developments

The deferment of these mega projects would likely to have impacts on ongoing and new planned developments surrounding the PORR and monorail route. More info about mega projects at related blogs; NCER and the high impact projects on Penang and Penang Mega Projects.

For advisory on individual property matters in Penang, email to us at Izrin & Tan Properties Sdn. Bhd. or call us at +604 6588333 (Penang Office) or +603 92839782 (Kuala Lumpur Office) and we would be pleased to assist.