5 Trending Fashion Items in Malaysia
he retail clothing industry is a competitive one, especially against big brands like H&M and Uniqlo. So how do you compete with the big boys?
If you are a fashion retail owner, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some of our local brands have founded or created niche fashion items that are doing well, in their own styles!
Here are 5 trending fashion items in Malaysia:
1. Snapback Caps
Wish to be one of those cool kids? Wear a cap that speaks swag all over. The cap craze is hugely influenced by the hip hop culture since its emergence in the 1970s. Today, it’s still a big hit, especially among youngsters. The Swagger Salon, The Cap City, and RARE Clothing are some Malaysian streetwear brands that design and carry snapback caps that amplify your swag with bold statements like LANSI and OBEY.
2. Head scarves
Good news for our fellow Muslimah readers! Headscarves and shawls are now accessories that are making bold fashion statements without compromising the fundamental values of wearing a tudung. Here are some big Muslimah brands in the Malaysian market:
3. Graphic Tees
Remember those days when oversized shirts were in style? When girls looked all snuggly, cool and loved wearing their boyfriends’ clothing? With graphic tees, there’s no need to borrow someone else’s clothes. The cute/cool look is now for EVERYBODY!
Here’s a beautiful quote by Supercrew on their trendy unisex t-shirts, “Clothing doesn’t define your sexuality. It defines who you really are.” Spot on! Check out these Malaysian streetwear brands….
4. Statement making watches
This quote “Suit Up Your Soul” by MEM Watches, which specializes in counterclockwise watches, perfectly describes how the makings of a watch can play a part in changing your life.
Video Bonus: If you’re keen to learn more on MEM Watches’ story, check out our write-up on them here!
Another brand, Loaded Inc, carries beautifully designed watches from Plus Minus, based in Singapore.
To strut like a boss, you can’t miss out on a pair of good kicks that are both comfortable and in style. Sneakers are no longer something you put on your feet – they are now a form a self expression, an extension of your fashion statement. Be sure to check out 28DC, Crossover, Fabspy and Hundred% Store for their awesome sneakers collection!
Have more items to add on to the list? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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The Problems and Challenges of the Aging Population of Malaysia
At present, the number of Malaysians aged 60 years and above is estimated to be 1. 4 million and is projected to increase to 3.3 million in the year 2020. The percentage of the population that is 60 years and over has also increased over the years – 5.2% in 1970, 5.7% in 1990 and 6.3% in the year 2000. In the year 2020, this percentage is expected to be 9.8% of the population. Between 1990 and 2020, the population of Malaysia is expected to increase from 18.4 million to 33.3 million – an increase of 80%. The aged population however is expected to increase from 1.05 million in 1990 to 3.26 million over the same period, an increase of 210%.
Apart from an increase in the aged population, the aged are also living longer as evidenced by an increase in life expectancy. As women tend to live longer than men, the disproportion between males and females therefore also increases with ageing. The sex ratio of men per 100 women will decrease from 90.1 in 1990 to 85.8 in 2020. The other feature on the demographic changes that is expected to occur in the aged population is in relation to urbanisation. The percentage of population in urban areas has increased from 24.5% in 1957 to 50.8% in 1990. Thus it is also expected that the proportion of the aged population be higher in the urban than the rural area and this change in the demographic pattern of the aged population will also influence the distribution of health care resources.
The elderlies are less healthy than the youngs, hence an increase in the proportion of the aged group is associated with an increase in the prevalence of ill health. The physical and social changes associated with ageing are combined with the debilitating effects of multiple, acute and chronic diseases. Fraility is often compounded by problems such as urinary incontinence, instability, falls and acute confusional states. Few elderly persons escape the accumulation of chronic pathologies as they grow older. Consequently, multiple pathologies resulting in multiple symptoms are a common phenomenon in the elderly. Incontinence, for example, is a common occurence and for those taking care of these people, it is a time consuming and sometimes, an unpleasant task. Alzheimer’s disease is also a common problem afflicting the elderly and is estimated to affect at least 5% of the population aged 65 years and above. The number of patients with this disease is expected to increase with the rise in the number of elderly population and this has important implications on the country’s resources.
Malnutrition is also expected to be a major problem in the elderly. This is due to changes in dietary habits, poor dentition and types and amounts of food consumed. With greater drug usage and poly pharmacy, the incidence of adverse drug reactions is more prevalent in the elderly. Physiological changes in the ageing kidney, memory deficits, altered eating habits and multiple drug regimes all contribute to make therapy more difficult in the elderly.
The health care system in this country is primarily geared towards short term care and hospitalisation. The elderly with their chronic diseases and problems require long term care. Rehabilitation from acute illness to help return the elderly patient to the level of premorbid function is often lacking in our hospitals. Thus the present health care system is thus inadequate and even inappropriate to service the elderly with their chronic diseases and disabilities. The trend currently is on prevention and primary health care as hospital based care is increasing in costs. Though Malaysia has quite a comprehensive medical and health care services for the general population, special programmes for the aged are lacking. This is in part due to lack of trained personnel in geriatric health care and also a lower priority being given to geriatric care.
With regard to prevention of diseases and disabilities in the elderly, healthy lifestyle promotion would benefit as a healthy young adult would normally continue to become a healthy elderly citizen if the healthy lifestyle practices are continued. This would minimise the incidence of illnesses and disabilities in the later years and enhance their independence in their daily living activities. Primary prevention should not be directed solely at the elderly but also at other age groups so that the benefits gained when young will facilitate healthy ageing.
Healthy ageing depends on health promotion and disease and injury prevention. Good health maintenance in early life and later years via a healthy lifestyle, avoidance of smoking and alcohol, prudent diet and regular exercise can help the elderly, including fewer doctor visits and fewer medications taken. Health education and counselling must be provided at all opportunities that ageing is not a disease and that early intervention treatment can prevent disability. Nutrition education should be carried out regularly as it is important to prevent nutritional problems. Secondary prevention is concerned with slowing down the disease process once it has begun and to prevent the occurrence of other problems, complications or deterioration. Active case detection is necessary through regular and frequent periodic medical examination to detect conditions that lead to chronic conditions so that early treatment is effective. Rehabilitation is important in illnesses that have occurred, with the intention to limit further deterioration of the condition and prevent further complications or relapses. Tertiary prevention is aimed at restoring function so that there is increased ability to achieve work, independence in self care and self respect.
The main aim in the care of the elderly is to maintain the quality of life by assisting them to have a full life for as long as possible. There are other factors apart from medical that influence the quality of life of the elderly – such as work, retirement, income, housing, family, community and leisure activities. Socioeconomic security contributes to the quality of life of the elderly. Level of income and health status have been found to be very closely associated with life satisfaction among the elderly. Work is an important factor in keeping the elderly healthy. As the proportion of the aged population increases with time, the ratio of people working to those retired is expected to fall. This would lead to a shortage of workers although could be alleviated by raising the the retirement age. Continued employment would result in higher morale, happiness, better adjustment, longevity, larger social network and better perceived health among the elderly. This could keep them healthier and decrease the burden on health care.
Women survive longer than men and usually also take care and nurse the elderly in the household. However, more and more women are entering fulltime employment or are not living near their elderly parents. This will definitely have an implication on health care for the elderly in the future. Institutionalisation of the elderly is quite common and acceptable in the west but not favoured here. With social changes such as migration, urbanisation, increased participation of females in the labour force, changes in family structures, the rapid increase in the number of aged expected in the future and the longer expectation of life, the number of elderly that would require institutionalisation can be expected to increase.
The existing institutions for the aged will not be adequate to meet this expected demand in the near future and so more institutions or homes for the aged would be required. Home care for the elderly is quite well developed in certain countries. Here, community programmes are helpful to families with elderly members. The aim is to provide health service for the non-ambulant and aged sick to help them be cared for in the community for as long as possible.
This would ensure the continuity of health care for patients discharged from the hospital. This would also train family members to take care of the elderly at home. Community services that enable the elderly to remain in the community include day centres, day hospitals, social clubs, rehabilitation centres, counselling and advice centres, transport services, home meals, meals on wheels, mobile libraries, volunteer schemes and home nursing. As for the cost of healthcare in Malaysia in general, in 1994 the amount spent on health care was about 2% of the GDP and is also about that figure at the moment. Considering that the US spend about 14% of the GDP on health and the G-7 countries spend between 5–8% of the GDP, Malaysian health care cost will also increase as we progress into developed nation status. The figure quoted of about 2% of the GDP is the amount for the Ministry of Health appropriations and does not include the private sector’s expenditure. Thus the health care cost in reality is more than 2% of the GDP if the private sector’s expenditure is also taken into account. As for the Ministry of Health’s allocation, it accounts for about 5% of the annual national budget or RM 2.6 billion and represents an allocation of RM 125 per capita. Of the allocation given, about 80% is spent on the hospital and health clinic services. It is estimated that about 20% of all admissions into hospitals are elderly patients and since these patients are usually admitted with serious, life threatening conditions which require intensive treatment and monitoring, treatment of the elderly patients takes a sizeable chunk of the budget allocated.
As the absolute and relative number of the elderly increases, it is only to be expected that the number of admissions of elderly patients into hospitals to also increase. More hospitals would be needed to be built and services which need to be introduced or further developed, especially in relation to the care of the elderly, would include rehabilitation and ambulatory and day care services. Retirement homes for the elderly is also an area of future development. Retirement homes would be ideal as they could live their independence and at the same time have the company of their same age groups and be secured by the fact that professional helpers are always around nearby.
In conclusion, the increase in the ageing population in this country is inevitable. The aged population has its own unique problems and will generate new challenges and demands on the health and social services. This undoubtedly requires a sharing of responsibilities between the government, private sector, non-governmental agencies and the community. We will all age and we will all require the services for the aged at some point in time.
Malaysia Plastics Market | 2021 – 26 | Industry Share, Size, Growth
2016 – 2026
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The Malaysian plastics market was valued at USD 3,243 million in 2020, and the market is projected to register a CAGR of around 3% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
COVID-19 has negatively affected the economic growth of the country. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the area that is likely to be the hardest hit is the construction industry of the country. Due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, the Malaysian Prime Minister in March 2020 imposed the restriction of movement order. This has impacted the growth of the plastics market in various end-user industries in the country.
- Over the shorter period, the major factor driving the growth of the market studied is the rising demand from food and beverage packaging.
- On the flip side, environmental restrictions and unfavorable conditions arising due to the COVID-19 outbreak are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
- Rising usage of biodegradable plastics and potential growth in the aerospace sector are expected to offer various opportunities for the growth of the market.
Scope of the Report
Plastics are organic materials, just like wood, paper, or wool. The raw materials used to produce plastics are natural products such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt, and, of course, crude oil. Malaysia’s plastics market is segmented by type, technology, and application. By type, the market is segmented into traditional plastics, engineering plastics, and bioplastics. By technology, the market is segmented into blow molding, extrusion, injection molding, and other technologies. By application, the market is segmented into packaging, electrical and electronics, building and construction, automotive and transportation, housewares, furniture and bedding, and other applications. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of value (USD million).
|Electrical and Electronics|
|Building and Construction|
|Automotive and Transportation|
|Furniture and Bedding|
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Key Market Trends
Traditional Plastics to Dominate the Market
- Traditional plastics made from petroleum-based raw materials include polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyvinyl chloride.
- Polyethylene is an organic polymer with a variable crystalline structure, made of several monomer subunits called ethylene molecules. It is a thermoplastic, which can be heated to its melting point, cooled, and reheated again without any significant degradation.
- Polyethylene can be processed into all kinds of articles owing to its compatible properties, such as good insulation, strength (unbreakable), resistance toward caustic materials, lightweight, and environment-friendly nature. It is recyclable and can be shaped and molded easily after heating. It can be processed into soft and flexible as well as hard, tough, and strong products.
- Based on the density and molecular weight distribution, the polyethylene compounds are categorized into low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene. Polyethylene is one of the most popular plastics in the world, and it is used in everyday appliances, packaging, pipes, toys, medical, and other consumer goods.
- In Malaysia, polyethylene is used as a raw material in the manufacturing of various goods, such as plastic pipes, wires and cable insulation, films, vehicles, construction products, and other goods.
- Some of the manufacturers of polyethylene in the country include BP Plastics Holding Bhd, Commercial Plastic Industries(CPI), and Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Berhad, among others.
- Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer made up of a combination of propylene monomers through the polymerization of propylene. It is produced through the distillation of hydrocarbon fuels into lighter groups, known as “fractions,” which are combined with other catalysts to produce plastics.
- Polypropylene can be manufactured into a living hinge, i.e., thin plastics that can bend without breaking. These can also be easily copolymerized with other polymers, such as polyethylene. This allows the application of propylene in the production of trays, cups, dish wash-safe plates, toys, opaque to-go containers, and other products.
- Owing to the properties of polypropylene, such as toughness, high heat and chemical resistance, translucence, insulation, integral hinge property, and semi-rigidity, it has found its application in the production of various products (such as carpets, containers, bailing twine, clothing, biaxial oriented film, low-density packaging, washing machine drums, bottle caps, medical components, textiles, and sailing dinghies).
- PVC is strong and lightweight, durable to weathering, rotting, chemical corrosion, and abrasion, versatile, and easy to use, as it can be cut, shaped, welded, and joined in any style. Such characteristics make it an ideal option for many applications, such as pipes, windows, flooring, and roofing.
- Therefore, these traditional plastics are widely used in automotive, packaging, and construction. In Malaysia, construction activity has been increasing and is the largest contributor to the country’s GDP. This is expected to drive the country’s demand for plastics.
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Increasing Demand from the Packaging Industry
- Packaging accounts for the largest application segment in the Malaysian plastics market. The prime reasons for the growing application of plastics in the packaging segment include better wear and chemical resistance, ease of molding, recyclability, puncture resistance, and high mechanical strength.
- Most commonly used plastics in the packaging industry include:
- High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): It is the most common type of plastic used in the manufacturing of bottles and containers. HDPE provides excellent chemical resistance. Thus, it is also used in the packaging of many household and industrial chemicals, including detergents and bleach.
- Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE): It is used for packaging applications due to its toughness, flexibility, and relative transparency. Its applications include flexible lids, bottles, and other wire and cable applications.
- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET): It is clear and tough and possesses good gas and moisture barrier properties. It is most commonly used in beverage bottles and other injection molded consumer product containers.
- Polypropylene (PP): It has characteristics such as excellent chemical resistance and a high melting point, making it a reliable choice for hot-fill liquids. It is used for flexible and rigid packaging applications and other large molded parts required for automotive and consumer products.
- Polystyrene (PS): It is a versatile plastic that can be both rigid and foamed. Its typical application includes protective packaging, foodservice packaging, bottles, and food containers.
- According to Malaysian Reserve (local information provider owned by TMR Media Sdn Bhd), Malaysia’s annual per capita plastic packaging consumption is high among all the Southeast Asian countries at 16.78 kg/person. The total household plastic packaging consumption in the country is estimated at 523,000 metric ton in 2020. This consumption is mainly driven by private households, small businesses, and other end users, such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings.
- Also, the packaging industry has gained momentum after the COVID-19 outbreak, with the government advising the people in the country to take all the necessary hygiene protection. Moreover, e-commerce has also augmented the demand for plastic packaging in the country due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as online delivery is rapidly rising with people avoiding public gatherings.
- Such factors are expected to increase the demand for plastic packaging in the country during the forecast period.
The Malaysian plastics market is consolidated in nature due to the limited presence of plastic resin manufacturers in the country. Most market players in the market import raw materials from other countries, including China, Japan, and countries in Southeast Asian countries. The major players in the market include Toray Plastics Sdn Bhd, Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Berhad, Behn Meyer Malaysia Sdn Bhd, PolyplasticsAsia Pacific Sdn Bhd, and Malayan Electro-Chemical Industry Co. Sdn Bhd.
Table of Contents
1.1 Study Assumptions
1.2 Scope of the Study
2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
4. MARKET DYNAMICS
4.1.1 Rising Demand from the Food and Beverage Packaging
4.1.2 Growing Applications in the Construction Industry
4. 2 Restraints
4.2.1 Environmental Concerns
4.2.2 Unfavorable Conditions Arising due to the COVID-19 Outbreak
4.2.3 Other Restraints
4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis
4.4 Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers
4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services
4.4.5 Degree of Competition
4.5 Raw Material Analysis
4.6 Price Trend Analysis
4.7 Imports and Exports
5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value)
5.1.1 Traditional Plastics
5.1.2 Engineering Plastics
5.2.1 Blow Molding
5.2.3 Injection Molding
5. 2.4 Other Technologies
5.3.2 Electrical and Electronics
5.3.3 Building and Construction
5.3.4 Automotive and Transportation
5.3.6 Furniture and Bedding
5.3.7 Other Applications
6. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE
6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements
6.2 Market Ranking Analysis
6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players
6.4 Company Profiles
6.4.1 Behn Meyer Polymers Sdn Bhd
6.4.2 BP Plastics Holding Bhd
6.4.3 Commercial Plastic Industries
6.4.4 CYL Corporation Bhd
6.4.5 EE-LIAN Enterprise M Sdn Bhd
6.4.6 Fu Fong Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd
6.4.7 Guppy Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd
6. 4.8 Hicom-Teck See Manufacturing Malaysia Sdn Bhd
6.4.9 Lam Seng Plastics Industries Sdn Bhd
6.4.10 Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Berhad
6.4.11 Malayan Electro-Chemical Industry Co. Sdn Bhd
6.4.12 Meditop Corp Sdn Bhd
6.4.13 Metro Plastic Manufacturer Sdn Bhd
6.4.14 Polyplastics Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd
6.4.15 Sanko Plastics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
6.4.17 Teck See Plastic Sdn Bhd
6.4.18 Toray Plastics Sdn Bhd
*List Not Exhaustive
7. MARKET OPPORTUNITIES AND FUTURE TRENDS
7.1 Potential Growth in the Aerospace Sector
7.2 Increasing Usage of Bio-degradable Plastics
**Subject to Availability
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the study period of this market?
The Malaysia Plastics Market market is studied from 2016 – 2026.
What is the growth rate of Malaysia Plastics Market?
The Malaysia Plastics Market is growing at a CAGR of >3% over the next 5 years.
What is Malaysia Plastics Market size in 2016?
The Malaysia Plastics Market is valued at 3243 Million USD in 2016.
Who are the key players in Malaysia Plastics Market?
Toray Plastics Sdn Bhd, Polyplastics Asia-Pacific Sdn Bhd, Behn Meyer Polymers Sdn Bhd, LOTTE CHEMICAL TITAN HOLDING BERHAD are the major companies operating in Malaysia Plastics Market.
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Malaysia Freight and Logistics Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021
The Malaysia Freight and Logistics market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 37.60 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach more than USD 55 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of more than 4% during forecast period.
Due to COVID-19, customers have become accustomed to online shopping. This change in their shopping habits is making the logistics industry refocus on last-mile delivery services. Logistics businesses will have to enhance their last-mile capabilities to suit the present times. The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the logistics industry to re-evaluate and re-strategize its operations towards digitalization.
The logistics industry in Malaysia has evolved in recent years. With the rise of e-commerce in the country, companies are capitalizing on this emerging trend. The interest of the companies in emerging areas, such as cold chain logistics, last-mile delivery services, etc. is growing, due to the high margins and rising demand.
As the growth of the logistics sector is expected to be positive in the future, there is much scope for improvement. To enable the logistics sector to handle greater volumes of freight, to speed up the time taken to deliver goods across the supply chains, and to lower the cost of this delivery, several improvements need to be made. While the logistics infrastructure of the country is improving, there is a need for continuous investment into infrastructure, such as port upgrades and expansion, road networks, and advanced information technology (IT) system.
Malaysia is a trade-dependent economy that generates large amounts of trade to be brought to and from global markets especially in the region. Logistics is seen as a strong supporter to support key industries such as manufacturing, oil, and gas.
It is estimated that the Malaysian logistics industry may need to increase the workforce by 41%, from 393,000 workers in 2016 to 554,000 workers by 2022. With the fast growing e-commerce industry in the country, numerous jobs are expected to be created in the digital free-trade zone and e-fulfilment centers.
Key Market Trends
Growing infrastructure sector:
The Malaysian government has made considerable progress to expand and modernize its infrastructures throughout the country. This effort is evident by the five-year centralized economic development plan known as the Malaysia Plan, whereby public sector infrastructure development consistently holds the largest funding portion. Under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan for 2016-2020, sizeable investment in infrastructure in Malaysia is allocated for the transport and logistics sector to boost regional development.
China and Malaysia resumed construction on a massive “Belt and Road” train project in northern Malaysia in 2019 July, after a year-long suspension and following a rare agreement to cut its cost by nearly a third to about USD 11 billion.
Malaysia is already identifying new joint investment opportunities with China along the ECRL (The East Coast Rail Link) corridor.
In March 2020, the government announced plans to spend MYR2 billion (USD 472.8 million) on infrastructure development projects.
Malaysia tops the ASEAN region with USD 250 million spent on transport infrastructure investments per million capita over the past two decades. One key driver behind Malaysia’s lead is the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, which will connect the main port of Klang on the Straits of Melaka to Kota Bharu in the north east of the peninsula. Malaysia has attracted over 78% of the top 50 global logistics players to set their footprint in the country.
According to industry reports, few logistics providers in Klang such as AS Transit Warehouse Sdn Bhd, Bersatu Integrated Logistics Sdn Bhd, Eminent JV Group Sdn Bhd, GD Fit International (M) Sdn Bhd and Reefer Logistics Sdn Bhd are leveraging on the opportunities for business expansion.
E-commerce driving the logistics Industry:
According to Industry reports, Malaysia’s eCommerce market is worth USD 4.3 billion and is expected to double to USD 8.1 billion by the year 2024; at 14% CAGR. Ecommerce growth in Malaysia is primarily driven by a growing number of digitally-savvy, middle-class who are looking for great deals and access to international brands. Here are the other major factors driving eCommerce growth in the region.
Traditionally e-commerce players in Southeast Asia faced logistical challenges due to the fragmented topology of the region dominated by multiple islands and dense jungles. However, Malaysia is segregated into only two major parts – Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia; which makes e-commerce logistics a whole lot more straightforward and cost-effective.
Since the Movement Control Order (MCO) went into effect on 18 March 2020, businesses and stores deemed non-essential were ordered to suspend operations. A key thing to notice is that e-commerce was quickly declared by the Government to be an essential service in Malaysia and allowed to operate.
In Malaysia, one of the largest logistics players with a commanding market share of fulfilment services in the e-commerce market is the incumbent, Pos Malaysia. Meanwhile, other homegrown players, like GDex, have played a significant role in advancing e-commerce in Malaysia. In their bid to offer the best end-to-end consumer experience, eMarketplaces like Lazada have started offering logistics and fulfilment services under Lazada eLogistics (LEL), on top of operating an e-commerce store. It also partnered with third-party logistics providers to ensure that the increase in volume of e-commerce transactions are catered to.
Currently, the Malaysian freight and logistics market landscape is fragmented with a large number of players. For instance, the trucking industry of the country is made of independent truckers and SMEs, who account for more than 70% of the market. However, the industry is expected to transform into a consolidated state in the future. Some of the key players in the market incude Tiong Nam logistics, Xin Hwa, CJ Century, GD Express, DHL amongst others. In order to gain significant market share and serve the rising demand, the companies are adopting the merger and acquisition trend. Especially, the rise in e-commerce is resulting in vertical and horizontal consolidation among the logistics and e-commerce players, to gain scale and network.
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10 Trends Currently Taking Malaysia By Storm
1) Descendants of The Sun
Even if you’re not watching, you’ve definitely seen pictures of the pretty cast all over your Facebook feed. The 2016 Korean drama series is the new obsession among young millennials in Malaysia, who tune in religiously to watch the trials and tribulations of a group of doctors as they navigate a war zone. Image Credit: says.com
2) #cooking Hashtags
If you’re on Instagram you may realize that a lot of your peers have suddenly been bitten by the cooking bug, and what follows is meticulously groomed pictures of their finished product, with a custom hashtag that probably has their name in front of the word “cooks”. Ah, the things one does for Instagram.Image Credit : imgflip.com
Which brings us to flatlay pictures. Previously only done by fashion magazines and the like, but now everyone is a photographer, so you’ll definitely be seeing items laid out flat on a surface in harmonious order, all for the sake of a good picture.Image Credit : pinterest.com
4) Milo Towers
Any Malaysian knows the simple understated power of a cup of Milo. Heck, it should be our national drink at this point. So when a cafe in Singapore started the trend, local vendors were quick to hop on board the bandwagon. Enter Hungry Bunch to the rescue, with their own version of it. Dare you try to conquer the Milo Tower?
Image Credit: mforum1.cari.com.my
5) Suami Tanpa Cinta
This local show is relatively new but is already trending on Twitter locally. Shown on Astro Ria, the Bahasa Malaysia series is getting rave reviews for being hilarious and the two main cast members – Janna Nick and Shukri Yahaya.Image Credit : budakgemukberbicara.blogspot.com
6) Soft Serve Style Ice Cream
Once only found at certain fast food restaurants, the soft serve ice-cream is now sky-rocketing as many little stores are popping up with this as their specialty item. Check out softsrve or Hails to get you through a hot day!Image Credit: memegenerator.net
7) Cafe Hopping
If the other items on this list aren’t an obvious indication, it is clear Malaysians are foodies. And the latest trend is finding new cafes to visit and what else – take pictures of! We certainly have some talented Malaysian foodies though. Image Credit: quickmeme.com
8) Deconstructed Food
Since cafe hopping has become a typical weekend hobby, restaurants have had to diversify their goods. Enter deconstructed versions of all-time favourites. It’s something hipsters love, for sure.Image Credit: mememaker.net
9) Salted Egg On Everything
Let it be known that 2016 is the year salted egg took over Malaysian stomachs. Salted egg on cake, salted egg waffles, salted egg croissants, salted egg yolk burgers. You name it, it’s happening.Image Credit : sg.news.yahoo.com
And with all those decadent food habits, one needs to detox. Provided the weather permits, Malaysians are known to wake before sunrise to locations like Broga Hill or Tabur Hill (and then Instagram the sun making an appearance). Who says we can’t be healthy too?Image Credit : en.wikipedia.org
Did we miss out any trends? Let us know what other things Malaysians are going gaga for!
90,000 Six Malaysian franchises will debut in Russia
Among them are fashion, fast food and creativity centers.
Franchises of six brands from Malaysia will be presented in Russia for the first time at BUYBRAND Expo 2019 in September. These are chains of catering establishments, educational centers and children’s clothing stores, which have gained fame in many Asian countries, but are still new for the Russian consumer.The Malaysian Franchising Association helps companies enter the new market.
Smoothies, baked goods, halal
Most of the Malaysian debutants are catering concepts. Among them, for example, one of the largest restaurant chains in Malaysia, Marrybrown with 400 restaurants in 16 countries. This is a fast food franchise that offers to diversify the menu with traditional Malaysian dishes such as nasi (a combination of rice, vegetables, chicken meat and traditional Asian sauces and spices). Marrybrown does not use beef or pork in cooking – only chicken.
The Malaysian fast food chain Manhattan FISH MARKET – a halal concept with fish and seafood dishes represented by 70 establishments in 15 countries, including China, Singapore, Maldives and Japan – also plans to enter the Russian market. Among the features of Manhattan FISH MARKET are the pre-order option with the ability to pick up the dish from the selected restaurant at a convenient time, as well as the ability to “collect” the dish with ingredients to your liking.
The bakery Rotiboy will present its franchise in Russia, which over 20 years of existence has grown from a single point on the popular tourist island of Penang into an international network of establishments with locations in Indonesia, Myanmar, China, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Finally, a chain of cafes with cold drinks “take-away” Tealive will add oriental exoticism: its menu includes teas with milk, smoothies, carbonated juices, fruit and craft teas according to its own recipe.
Poney for children
Malaysian fashion retailer Poney Grou p , developing three brands of children’s clothing, will try to gain a foothold in the Russian market. Two of them, Poney and Baby Poney, offer seasonal collections for boys and girls under 12. Another one, Poney Enfants, represents a higher price segment with clothes from European designers.
The franchisor is already working with partners in Singapore, China, Indonesia, the Middle East, and now wants to find a franchisee in Russia.The main competitors of Poney Group in the Russian market are expected to be fashion brands in the mid-price segment, including Zara Kids and Mothercare.
Development center franchise
Finally, another debutant on the Russian market, announced among the participants of the BUYBRAND Expo 2019 exhibition, is the Malaysian franchise of the creative centers Globalart . Partners are offered to open development and learning centers for children and adults, working according to the author’s teaching methodology.The method by which 100 thousand people are already studying in 15 countries of the world presupposes an integrated approach to the development of creativity and emotional intelligence.
Rent of bikes, cars, bicycles in Kuching, Malaysia
By Konstantin Samorossenko Read 8 min Published
Arriving in the city of Kuching in the Malay state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, we already knew that we would have to stay here a little longer.We needed a visa to Brunei, but we had no idea where and how to get it and how long it would take. The city is big, and the transport network is disgusting. Therefore, it was decided to rent a bike in Kuching, with the help of which we were so used to moving around the island of Koh Samui in Thailand over the previous month. But this turned out to be quite problematic.
Search for a motorcycle rental office in Kuching
During the long searches and walks in Kuching, not a single rental office of motorcycles, bikes, cars and other means of transportation came into view.It is strange, but after all, most of the people travel around the city by these types of transport. In Thailand, motorcycle and bike rentals are everywhere. And here they are not only not visible, not a single local resident knows about them, of whom we interviewed a sufficient number. True, none of them even showed us the bus stop 🙂. And the Malays also have such a distinctive feature – even if they do not know how to help, they will still advise something or point a finger in some direction, where, supposedly, is the place we are looking for or a knowledgeable person.Perhaps you guessed it. It doesn’t matter that a person gets lost, but their conscience is clear – you asked to be shown, they showed – it means they helped! 🙂
After we spent the whole day looking for a bus station, the question of renting a bike became especially acute. I found out from the receptionist of our budget hotel Drop In Guest House that you can rent a motorbike on Jalan Carpenter, which is a 15 minute walk from our place of stay. Well, this information is worth checking, which is what Marinka and I immediately did.
Bike rental in Kuching
After going all the way through Carpenter Street in Kuching, we could not find a single scooter and motorcycle rental office. Someone from the locals mentioned some orange bikes. We went through Jalan Carpenter again, focusing on new information, and found something. Under the orange sign “94, Carpenter Street, Eva Hai Street, Kuching” we noticed no less orange brand new bikes. But there was no one in the office, no ads for scooter rentals and no work schedule.We asked the neighbors if there was a motorcycle rental shop nearby, they shrugged their shoulders. We went to search further.
Only now, while writing this article, when I enlarged the photo from this place, I found the numbering and stickers on the orange bikes: “Bikes. Rentals & Services “. Still, it was necessary to be more persistent and come here at a different time.
We met two Chinese people who suggested a different address: Jalan Tabuan, next to the Chinese Ting Ting store.Arriving there, we happily discovered several bikes and motorcycles that were waiting for their short-lived owners. All mopeds were not young, and that’s putting it mildly! Traces of damage, rust and other timestamps were present on each. And after we found out the price – 40 ringgit ($ 12) per day, I decided to rent a bike 🙂. We rent a house cheaper (38 ringgit) than a piece of old iron. And we went to explore the city on foot, and we already somehow figured out where the bus station was (by the way, it is located on Jalan Mosque street, next to the mosque and Merdeka square).
Bike and motorcycle rental locations on the Kuching map in Malaysia:
Explanation of labels on the card:
- Yellow – bike and motorcycle rental.
- Orange – probably bike rental.
- Green – bike rental.
- Violet – departure station for city buses and minibuses.
Fate decreed that we revised our principles and a few days later rented the bike for a couple of days in the found office.I came in the morning and I was faced with a dilemma, or rather there was a choice without a choice (the assortment did not leave an alternative) – I took the most seemingly strong moped with the least steering play and the least wear of all parts! He brought two helmets – here, too, it was clear that they saved the lives of drivers, and more than once 🙂. As it turned out later, the speedometer did not work for me (it got stuck at the 55,000 km mark), the dimensions did not burn, there were no steps for the second passenger and the bike roared terribly (the passenger too). But he was driving!
At the bike rental office, we drew up an agreement according to which I paid 40 ringgit per day for renting a scooter and left 100 ringgit ($ 30) as a deposit. Then they handed me the keys, showed me where the documents were, rolled out the motorbike itself and wished me good luck!
Apparently, there are no other bike rental offices in Kuching. I asked in different parts of the city in services where motorcycles were repaired. There were several dozen two-wheeled vehicles, but they were not rented out, and the owners did not know the scooter rental points. But there are many shops where you can buy a motorcycle or moped!
About refueling and gasoline prices in Kuching
Kuching turned out to be the only place in Southeast Asia where I had to pay for gas first, and then fill it into the bike myself.Although I chose the most widespread network for the production and sale of hydrocarbons in Malaysia – Petronas filling station. It was in honor of this company that the famous towers in Kuala Lumpur were named. In general, I had to master the Asian fuel pistol personally and in a hurry.
But I was very pleased with the cost of gasoline in Kuching – 2. 1 ringgit (0.6 $) per liter. I can’t say how many kilometers I clocked (as you remember, the speedometer did not work), but we drove for two whole days and refueled only 2 times for 6 ringgit.
Scooter Rental Tips in Malaysia
In order to rent a vehicle (any, motorcycle or car) in Malaysia, you need an international license with the appropriate category. In Kuching they will definitely ask you for them! Otherwise, you have to walk on foot 🙂. I was required to have a driver’s license and, yes, you are right, I have no authority to drive a motorcycle. But I have a Belarusian license of an international standard, and they have an AM category, which gives carte blanche to drive a scooter with an engine capacity of up to 50 cubes.And next to it is either a bicycle or a moped – you can’t tell. So, I assured the Malays that this is exactly the category that is needed for driving automatic bikes (AM – like AutoMatic)! 🙂 I don’t know if I could pull off a similar trick with the local policemen, but I didn’t come across them, and I drove quite correctly, almost without using Malay good nature.
Driving in Malaysia, like in Thailand, is left-hand, so you didn’t have to get used to it. Traffic in the center of Kuching is quite heavy.The farther from the city, the quieter. Drivers on the roads are polite, they will always let you through, help you to change lanes. The roads in Kuching and the surrounding area are good, asphalted.
Bike repair in Kuching
I almost forgot, the bike came with one option – a lock on the wheel. It seems that the crime rate is not high in Malaysia, and almost everyone puts the block! On Koh Samui, no one has seen such adaptations. So, to be on trend, I also put this thing on the front wheel every time we left our scooter.And then, naturally, he forgot to take it off when they returned. And I found out about this only after starting the bike and not going anywhere 🙂. At one of these moments, I tore off the nipple on the wheel, and it instantly deflated. We were located far from the rental point (on a hill near the cat museum on the opposite bank of the Sarawak River). How and where to fix a bike in Kuching, how to call a tow truck, what to do in such a situation in Malaysia? In Thailand, I contacted the owner, and he fixed the problem in an hour. But here it was far from the owner.
Not a soul is near the museum, there is no one to ask for help. I
sat down on the asphalt and burst into tears I found a security guard who advised me to go down the hill, and there, nearby, there is a tire service. He assured me that I alone could drive with the front wheel flat, but only slowly. That’s exactly what I did. As promised by the guard, I easily found a tire service, where they fixed a wheel for me in 15 minutes and 12 ringgit ($ 3.6). Then I took Marinka, and we went to explore the sights again!
Bicycle rental prices in Kuching
We came across only two places where bicycles were rented.Cost – 50 ringgit (15 $) per day, 200 (60 $) – deposit. The prices are not at all humane, and even pedal yourself 🙂. Elsewhere, we saw bicycles for 15 ringgit ($ 4.5) per hour. The point was marked on the map above.
Car rental in Kuching
We never met a car rental office in Kuching, so if necessary, I recommend booking a car in advance via the Internet. See current prices for all offers in this city by filling out the form below:
Perhaps something has changed since August 2014, and Kuching has nevertheless taken up the problem of vehicle rental.If anyone knows – welcome to the comments!
Riding a bike in Malaysia
Kostya and Marina Samorossenko
Malaysia will open to international tourism by the end of summer
Malaysia is making plans to open to international tourism. If the epidemiological situation does not worsen, the country will open to foreigners no earlier than the third quarter. It is worth noting that Malaysia will be the first destination in Southeast Asia to restart international tourism.
Experts note that the country has high hopes for the early vaccination of workers in the tourism industry. According to them, this will enable the safe opening of borders for the maximum number of foreign tourists.
Jeffrey Munir, head of the Moscow office of Tourism Malaysia, said: “The countries of Southeast Asia are highly dependent on tourism. And the early opening of borders for them is a matter of vital importance. Of course, the priority will still be the safety of the country’s residents. But this issue will be resolved in the summer by vaccination.After vaccinating most of the population, we will immediately open up to international tourism. ”
The expert added that Malaysia’s tourism industry is now supported by domestic tourism. Thanks to this, the entire infrastructure continues to work. Therefore, upon the return of foreign tourists, there will be no problems with their readiness.
After the official announcement of the opening of the borders, the tourist authorities of Malaysia will resume negotiations with Russian operators on the organization of a direct charter service to Langkawi.
Earlier it was possible to agree on this with one of the tourist operators of the Russian Federation. It was assumed that flights to Lankgavi will be operated in conjunction with flights to Phuket.
Jeffrey Munir stated: “We managed to agree on the organization of charter flights with Anex Tours at dock time. The country’s authorities issued all permits. We pin great hopes on returning to the discussion of this issue after the opening of the borders ”.
According to the expert, the lack of direct air communication between the countries prevents the tourist flow from growing.But, despite this, according to the results of 2019, almost 80,000 Russians visited Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, which was founded on the site of the camp of the Chinese tin miners.
Langkawi Island is an archipelago surrounded by almost 100 small islands with white beaches.The emerald waters of the island are rich in flora and fauna. Since 1987, the island has been declared a duty-free zone. There is a cable car on the island that rises to an altitude of 7908 meters above sea level, revealing breathtaking views, the largest aquarium complex in Asia. The film “Anna and the King” was filmed on the island, the scenery was preserved and you can walk around the royal palace and garden. Boats leave from the island to Payar Marine National Park, about 40 minutes by sea south of Langkawi.The park has white sand beaches, crystal clear water, many fish, including meter sharks, picturesque coral thickets at a shallow depth. Langkawi regularly hosts world business corporate events, exhibitions and fairs. The island is perfect for team building, quest or sports competition.
Wonderful sparsely inhabited island located 300 km from Kuala Lumpur. There are 2 islands with almost the same name – Pangkor (Pulau Pangkor) and Pangkor Laut (Pulau Pangkor Laut), with the second island being private.The nature of the island is varied, there are hills covered with tropical forests and plains, golden sandy beaches, coconut trees, clear turquoise sea and many gulfs and coves. On the island in a quiet and calm lagoon surrounded by coral reefs, there is the Taluk Nepah Park Marine Reserve. The water here is very clear and through it it is easy to observe marine life and corals, especially from boats with a transparent bottom. Those interested can scuba dive or ride a catamaran along the bay.Fishing enthusiasts will find their pleasure on the island. Great for corporate trainings, outdoor quests, team building, active programs or incentives.
Penang Island became known to the world thanks to Francis Light, an English merchant, who in 1798 acquired it from Sultan Keda in exchange for protection. According to legend, Francis Light buried a chest of silver dollars in the center of the island, which will belong to whoever finds it first.As a result, the island was developed and built up. In the capital of the island, Georgetown, the first fort, Cornwallis, has survived to this day. Until now, the island has preserved many buildings in the English colonial style and in the East Asian style. Ancient temples and old mansions are located in the neighborhood of ultra-modern hotels. For example, the Sri Mariamman Temple of the late 19th century is famous for many statues of Indian deities, the most valuable of which is the statue of God Subramaniam, decorated with gold, silver, diamonds and emeralds.You can climb one of the Penang mountains by funicular to the observation deck, from where you can see the island. The symbol of Penang is the Penang Bridge, 13.5 km long and connecting the mainland and the island. It is officially recognized as the third longest bridge in the world. The island is recognized as the culinary mecca of Malaysia. Any corporate event, training, quest, team building, or original culinary master classes can be perfectly held on the island.
The island of Borneo or otherwise Kalimantan is an island with a unique nature.The jungle of the island is much older than the jungle forests of the Amazon and is the oldest in the world. Who knows, maybe you can see a dinosaur here too? The main thing that attracts Borneo is wild nature, lost worlds and unusual tribes living in wild forests, and, of course, the beautiful sea and its inhabitants. All this makes it possible to feel like pioneers. In one of the blogs it was written about Borneo: “When the Lord created the local animals and vegetation, he obviously did it by sniffing durians.The result is quite peculiar. Fish here run along the coast, lizards fly, some flowers smell of stale corpses, while others even hunt for running meat. ”Here live the smallest elephants on earth, the largest rafflesia flowers on Earth, the largest primates orangutans on Earth; the longest on Earth snakes are reticulated pythons, the most unusual of all nosy monkeys, which have an unusually long nose, the largest carnivorous plants of the “nepentes” family on Earth, which can be eaten not only by an insect, but also love to “play with meat”, for example, a rat.There are no earthquakes, no floods, no tsunamis, no volcanic eruptions. Just a lost world in the vast expanses of our Earth. A great place for adventure quests, team building and a great incentive.
Taman Negara Jungle is the largest and most popular national nature park in Malaysia. This forest is over 130 million years old and is called the rain forest because of the high humidity.This is a real kingdom of the wild, where everyone makes amazing discoveries. On its picturesque territory of 4343 sq. km. you will find wooded plains, imposing mountains, verdant valleys, rivers, caves and waterfalls. The nature of the park is unique. Here, observations of the inhabitants of the jungle are made from special shelters in the daytime and at night, walks on colorful wooden boats along the rivers. In places where salt crystallizes, it is possible to meet a deer, an elephant or even a tiger. Walk along aerial bridges over the jungle, swim in a waterfall or get to know the locals and their way of life.A great place for adventure corporate quests, team building or incentive.
Islands of volcanic origin. Tioman, thanks to its beautiful nature, crystal clear water, snow-white beaches, has repeatedly been the nature for famous Hollywood films. Indeed, the snow-white beaches of Tioman are recognized as some of the best and cleanest in the world, and the crystal clear water beckons to itself.Construction is not prohibited on the island, and the nature of the island is under state protection. The island is very attractive due to its underwater world. It is ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. Offshore, you can see whale sharks, anemone fish, parrot fish and neon coral fish. And the world of corals and their diversity are simply mesmerizing. In the middle of the island is a double-topped mountain called “Donkey’s Ears” by the locals. An excellent route for team building, walking along mountain paths and overcoming obstacles in the form of mountain rivers, waterfalls and caves.And finish the route at Juara Beach, a secluded, quiet place, striking in its beauty. The island has opportunities for horseback riding or cycling and excellent golf courses. It ranks among the world’s top golf courses. Great opportunity for all levels, sporting events on the golf course or boating, canoeing, windsurfing.
90,000 Asian stock markets are showing an uptrend
November 16.FINMARKET.RU – During today’s trading, stock indices of the Asia-Pacific region show a positive mood thanks to good macroeconomic data, as well as an increase in the US stock market on Friday.
In addition, the world’s largest free trade agreement, the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) document, was signed in Hanoi on Sunday. The countries participating in the agreement included 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), as well as China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand.RCEP forms a trade association, which accounts for about 30% of the world population, economy and trade.
Japanese Nikkei 225 Index jumped 2% on the trading day.
The country’s GDP in the third quarter grew by a record 21.4% on an annualized basis after the largest decline in history of 28.1% in April-June, preliminary official data showed.
On a quarterly basis, the rise in July-September was 5%, which is also a record, after falling 8.2% in the 2nd quarter. This is the first increase in the figure in four quarters amid the economic recovery following the shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Analysts on average predicted less significant gains – 4.4% for the quarter and 18.9% for the year, according to Trading Economics.
Among the leaders of the increase in quotations were shares of Japan Post Holdings Co. (+ 9.6%) and T&D Holdings Inc. (+ 7.5%).
Capitalization of investment and technology SoftBank Group increased by 1.7%, automobile Toyota Motor – by 1.9%, tire manufacturer Bridgestone Corp. – 0.7%, Asia’s largest apparel retailer Fast Retailing – 3.1%, consumer electronics manufacturer Sony – 1.3%.The Chinese Shanghai Composite index by 9:13 Moscow time increased by 0.85%, the Hong Kong Hang Seng – by 0.54%.
The growth of retail sales in the PRC in October accelerated to 4.3% compared to the same month last year from 3.3% in September, according to data from the State Statistical Office. Thus, they rose for the third month in a row, with the rise being the highest since December 2019.
The volume of industrial production in the country last month increased by 6.9% in annual terms – the highest since December last year.Experts had expected an average growth of 6.5%.
China’s unemployment rate fell to 5.3% from 5.4% in September.
Investments in fixed assets in January-October increased by 1.8% compared to the same period a year earlier. Analysts estimated the rise at 1.6%.
Smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp. rise in price by 3.3% during trading in Hong Kong, HSBC bank – by 3.5%, insurer AIA Group – by 2.8%.
At the same time, the quotations of securities of Tencent Holdings Ltd. are down 1.7%, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.- by 1.4%.
The South Korean Kospi Index rose 1.9% on the day.
The share price of one of the world’s largest chip makers, Samsung Electronics Co. jumped 4.6%, auto maker Hyundai Motor – 1.4%.
The Australian S & P / ASX 200 Index climbed 1.2% on Monday to hit its highest level in nine months.
The market value of the world’s largest mining companies BHP and Rio Tinto rose 2% and 1.8%, respectively.
freedom of conscience in exchange for political credit
Junior Researcher, Higher School of Economics (Moscow), Assistant Professor at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (Kuala Lumpur)
Against the background of the aggressive activities of Islamists in Iraq and Syria, other potentially dangerous areas of the spread of militant Islamism remained in the shadows for a while. Southeast Asia, with its traditionally mild Islam brought in by Muslim merchants through the Strait of Malacca, is one of the regions worth paying attention to.In the countries of the Malay Archipelago, Islam has always been mixed with pre-Islamic customs, women were traditionally active, and literalism in the interpretation of religious texts was not welcomed. Hence the strong Sufi tradition, and a wide variety of different schools, not only within the Sunni branch – for example, Shiites and Muslims of the Ahmadiyya sect are also represented in the countries of the archipelago.
The representation of Islam in the countries of the Malay Archipelago is quite diverse, and the processes of Islamization differ in intensity, depending on each individual country.In countries with a predominantly Muslim population, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, moderate Islamization tends, in part, to be seen as a positive desire to align social processes with Islamic norms.
This article will focus on Malaysia, which has recently shown itself as a locomotive for the Islamization of science and socio-political life, while maintaining the status of an “Asian tiger”, and as a whole a dynamically developing multinational and multi-confessional country.Does the Malaysian state really manage to maintain a balance between tradition and modernity that would ensure the peaceful coexistence of such a diverse population and a positive image on the external arena that is strategically necessary for the flow of investment? Judging by the socio-political discourse of recent years, the struggle between traditional elements and modernity is becoming more and more noticeable, and society is becoming less balanced.
Islamic or secular state?
The population of Malaysia is estimated at more than 30 million inhabitants1, of which the majority are Malays, predominantly Muslims – about 50%.The total share of Muslims in the country is about 60%. Among the expert community and the country’s political elite, there are those who would even now call Malaysia an “Islamic state”, as, for example, in 2001, the most influential Prime Minister in its history, Mahathir Mohamad, commented on it. The promotion of this concept has created a fertile ground for the strengthening of radicalism, provoking a deepening of interreligious contradictions.
A wave of “Islamic awakening” hit Malaysia in the 1980s, gaining momentum from the Iranian revolution in 1979., and had a chance to settle down in Malaysia, which, as a post-colonial state, was still in search of national identity. “The drive to return to ‘real Islam’ was very strong at the time,” said Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa, director of the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF). “At the same time, some political leaders saw the spread of these ideas as an opportunity to increase their own influence.”
Government institutions such as the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development (Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia -JAKIM) and the Islamic Religious Department of Selangor State (Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor – JAIS), authorized to issue fatwas 4.During the existence of these bodies, a proposal has repeatedly appeared to approve the Sunni branch of government (and sometimes its
1 Department of Statisctics Malaysia, official portal. – URL: http://www.statis-tics.gov.my/portal/populationclockNEW/BI.php
2 Malaysia, The World Fact Book, Central Intelligence Agency, updated January 8, 2014. – URL: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ geos / my.html
3 Zakaria N. Ulama and theologians trying to control Islam, December 25, 2013. – URL: http://www.theantdaily.com/news/2013/12/23/ulama-and-theologians-tryingcontrolislam
4 Prescriptions of a religious and legal nature, in this case binding on Muslims.
specific madhhab – Shafi’i) the only acceptable version of Islam in the country.It was also forbidden to preach Islam according to the Shiite teachings, in connection with which a number of raids were carried out on the meetings of Shia Muslims.
In fact, to assert that Malaysia is an Islamic state would contradict the Constitution, from the text of which it logically follows that the country is governed by secularism, and Islam as the “religion of the state” is solely for ceremonial purposes. Article 3 of the Basic Law guarantees everyone the right to peacefully practice their religion.An exception is established by Art. 11 (4), which allows limiting religious propaganda among Muslims at the level of the legislation of individual states or at the federal level as a whole. Thus, by the decision of the National Council of Fatwas of May 5, 1996, Shiism was included in the list of ideological movements that are prohibited from preaching, although they are allowed to practice.
In a broad sense, everything that today does not correspond to the Shafi’i maz-hub traditionally accepted in Malaysia can be considered to one degree or another heresy, since it can disrupt the unity of the Malays1.This creates additional reasons for whipping up tensions against Christians and Shia Muslims, who are accused of trying to convert Sunni Muslims to another religion. The problem here is not only in religious unity, but also in the national one, which, first of all, belongs to the Malay-Muslim part of the population, hence the dense intertwining of Malay nationalism and Islam2. However, if at the dawn of independence, the nationalist factor was used by Malay politicians to a greater extent, then from the moment of the Iranian revolution and the growing demand for the Islamization of public life, the religious component began to prevail.
1 Marchinkowski Ch. Facets of Shi’ite Islam in Contemporary Southeast Asia (II): Malaysia and Singapore, Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies Singapore, N 121, December 29, 2006. – P. 11.
2 According to the Constitution of Malaysia, even nationality is determined, inter alia, through confessional orientation – to be considered Malay, you must be a Muslim.
Demonization of religious minorities
In November 2005the US State Department’s report on international religious freedom noted that “the Malaysian government opposes interpretations of Islam that it deemed to deviate from the traditional, arguing that these views threaten national security.” According to the website of the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development, 56 teachings have been banned from preaching to Muslims. Then they included Shi’ism and even transcendental meditation among others2. In parallel, the government is monitoring the activities of religious minorities.
A 2012 State Department report confirmed the general trend of infringement of the rights of religious minorities and showed that one of the most visible targets of attacks in recent years has been Muslims3. These sentiments have their own reasons, not related to the religious practice of the minority4 or to the intense preaching activity of the Shiites among the Sunnis. The atmosphere of mistrust and even hatred was created gradually through the media, the activities of Islamic organizations and with the help of the statements of some politicians.
For example, Minister of Internal Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that followers of this trend of Islam pose a threat to national security, so Shiism must be limited. In 2013, Hamidi accused the deputy chairman of the All-Malaysian Islamic Party, Mohammad Sabu, of belonging to Shiism5. The case was labeled a “matter of faith” and assigned to the Department of Islamic Development for investigation, but essentially implied an accusation of a threat to national security.
1 URL: http: // www.state.goV/j/drl/rls/irf/2005/51518.htm
2 For a long time, the internal security act provided the possibility of detaining persons professing prohibited movements, which provided for the possibility of detention without trial for up to 60 days, and, if necessary, up to two years. Was canceled in 2012.
3 URL: http://www.state.goV/j/drl/rls/irf/religiousfreedom/#wrapper
4 For example, in Malaysia there is no practice of bloody self-torture in the days of Ashura, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the third Shiite imam – Hussein, as can sometimes be found, for example, in Iraq.
5 Minister: Shiism to be curbed to protect national security, Malaysiakini, December 13, 2013. – URL: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/249247
passengers 1. Minister Hamidi commented on the case as follows: “Islam puts public interests above individual rights,” implying that the unity of the Muslim Ummah is more important than the rights of individual minorities2. Statements of this kind have encouraged the practice of preventive action against perceived threats.
In July 2013, Chief Minister of Kedah State Muhriz Maha-tir, son of Mahathir Mohammad, reiterated the edict of the National Council of Fatwas and noted that the main concern of the authorities was related to the danger of converting Sunni Muslims to Shiism, 3 essentially appealing to the religious unity of the Malay majority as a way to protect the public interest.
However, Shiites were not the only targets of attacks from state institutions, politicians and Islamic organizations from the supporters of the literal interpretation of the scriptures.In the summer of 2011, a Methodist church in Petalinga was raided on suspicion of converting Muslims present there to Christianity. No evidence of this activity was presented, but Islamist organizations immediately called for “the protection of the Muslim faith in the country” 4 and the need to adopt stricter laws punishing apostasy5.
Another episode dates back to 2008 and concerns the seizure of 32 Bibles from Christians returning from the Philippines – the books were confiscated and submitted for inspection by the Department of Homeland Security.And on January 2, 2014, hundreds of Bibles were confiscated from the Bible Community – based on
1 Jakim to get proof of Mat Sabu’s Shia link, New Straits Times, December 16, 2013. – P. 4.
2 Zurairi Ar. In religious auction, ulama urge PAS to shun “liberals” // The Malaysian Online, November 21, 2013. – URL: http://www.themalaymailonline.com malaysia / article / in-religious-auction-ulama-urge-pas -to-shun-liberals
3 URL: http: // www.touristmy.com/%D8%AE%D8%A8%D8%B1-%D8%A7% D9% 88% D9% 84/7948-tourist-online-news-malaysia.html
4 Tosatti M. Malaysia, Radical Islam on the rise, November 23, 2011. – URL: http://www.vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/world-news/detail/articolo/malesiamalaysia-malasia-islam-diritti -delle-minoranze-derechos-de-las-minorias-minority-righ
5 Apostasy is another long-running theme in Malaysian Islamic discourse, particularly on the question: Should apostasy be punished with the death penalty?
6 Bibles Confiscated at Airport, February 5, 2008.- URL: http://www.world-watchmonitor.org/2008/02-February/newsarticle_5212.html
that, on the eve of a court decision, the use of the word “Allah” and several other words of Arabic origin by non-Muslims was banned as a result of legal proceedings against the Catholic newspaper The Herald, which began in 2007. In 2011, the cabinet adopted a ten-point decision that allowed Christians in Malaysia Quranic words1 traditionally used in services and for translating religious texts into Malay.However, in June 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the October 2013 appeal ruling banning the use of the word “Allah” and some others in publications and worship2.
The sentiments of protecting Islam and Muslims from the spread of all kinds of ideas, in particular those related to different trends in Islam or abstract “Western values”, are due to domestic and foreign policy reasons, and not at all a real threat to the ideological integrity of the Muslim majority.The spread of these sentiments, violating the harmony of a multi-confessional state, became possible due to the special climate created in the process of political struggle between the two main political parties – the United Malay National Organization (UMNO) and the All-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). The political confrontation between these two parties – the nationalist, fighting for the rights of the Malays, and the conservative Islamic, over time began to resemble a “race of piety.” In order to attract the votes of the Malay-Muslim majority, party members began to use every opportunity to accuse the opponent of lack of devotion to Islamic ideals.Thus, the program of the initially more nationalist UMNO, the permanent leader in the system of the parliamentary monarchy of Malaysia, has acquired a religious bias.
1 Does 10-point agreement still hold? S’gor to ASK Zahid for clarification on Malay Bible, January 7, 2014. – URL: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php? option = com_k2 & view = item & id = 210411: does-it-still-hold? -sgor-to-ask-zahid-for-clarificationon-10-point-agreement-for-malay-bible & Itemid = 2 # axzz2qrdKWNnF
2 Hellmann M.Malaysia’s Highest Court Upholds Ban on Christians Using the Word, June 23, 2014. – URL: http://www.time.com/2910780/malaysias-highest-courtupholds-ban-on-christians-using-the-word-allah /
According to the strategy of Prime Minister Mahathir, UMNO was initially positioned as the only party capable of guaranteeing the prosperity of the Malays and national unity. Over time, unity within the Malay part of the Muslim ummah also became a factor in the party’s policies.Dr. Farouk Musa notes that the government, led by UMNO, is now “trying to position itself as Amir al-Muminin (leader of Muslims), which means that everyone must obey him implicitly.” Initially, the traditionalist PAS became part of the relatively liberal opposition. In this process, the Shiite issue and mutual interreligious suspicions have also become a convenient tool for “exposing” opponents of deviating from the ideals of Islam.
Autumn 2013Muslim NGOs, along with the Malaysian Department of Islamic Development, announced a global conspiracy against Islam, carried out through the spread of ideas of liberalism, pluralism, feminism, socialism and others, as a representative of the department spoke out in Friday sermon. In 2014, an attempt to suppress intellectual protest, expressed in some publications in the media and speeches at public events, met with a reaction in the form of holding educators and social activists accountable under the Rebellion Act (Akta Hasutan).
Organizations of extreme persuasion, such as, for example, the Organization of Islamic Solidarity (Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia – ISMA), have become especially active in recent years in promoting Sharia as the only basis for the country’s legislation, instead of a dual legal system that also includes secular legislation. At the initiative of the PAS, a proposal for the introduction of Islamic criminal law in the state of Kelantan, with corporal punishment in line with the traditional interpretation, was brought up for public discussion.Such discussions create a series of false dichotomies, when the unsophisticated public is asked to choose between supporting the initiatives of the Islamist forces and being considered an apostate from Islamic values. This, in turn, intensifies the search for external enemies (21), schismatics in Islam and contributes to the spread of conspiracy theories, which is a convenient tool
1 Zakaria fr A PAS-Umno union not necessarily best for Islam, December 27, 2013.- URL: http://www.theantdaily.com/news/2013/12/27/pas-umno-union-not-necessarilybest-Islam
distraction of public attention from socio-economic problems.
and foreign policy priorities
Malaysia’s foreign policy, especially since the premiership of Mahathir Mohamad (1981-2003), was also aimed at solving primarily domestic political problems.Expansion of cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the era of Mahathir helped to attract multimillion-dollar investments in infrastructure development – the construction of roads, ports, hospitals, as well as to satisfy some religious needs – to provide quotas for the Hajj, to receive investments in religious education and projects to spread the “correct” Sunni Islam … Since January 1985, a joint Saudi-Malaysian radio station, Nida ul-Islam (“The Voice of Islam”), was even launched, direct from Mecca, with content about events in the Muslim world1.In May 2014, a scandal broke out in the media in relation to the Caddberry company, which allegedly found pork derivatives in its chocolate. Repeated tests did not confirm the assumption, but the unpleasant aftertaste remained and probably damaged the image of the chocolate giant.
During the development of bilateral relations, the countries signed a number of agreements, including on the inexpediency of double taxation in May 2013, agreements on cooperation in the field of science and technology, including the last one in December 2011.In 2013, Malaysia opened a trade mission at KSA2. Saudi Arabia has established itself in 19th place in the list of trade partners of Malaysia, and in 16th place in terms of imports. In 2011, the states signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of security.
In an attempt to ensure an appropriate image of a Muslim country and balance organizations requiring more than
1 McDaniel D.O. Broadcasting in the Malay World: Radio, Television, and Video in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Company, 1994. – P. 121.
2 Fareed S. Malaysia to expand trade ties with Saudi Arabia // Saudi Gazette. -URL: http: // www. saudigazette. com. sa / index. cfm? method = home.regcon & contentid = 20130522166780
Islamization of public life, the government launched a number of initiatives, for example, the International Islamic University of Malaysia, affiliated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Islamic Fund for Economic Development, the Organization of Islamic Banking, etc.
In parallel, UMNO worked to create the image of Malaysia as a dynamically developing Muslim country, which will become an example for the Muslim Ummah, participating in the discussion of the Palestinian issue, resolving issues of Muslim minorities in the region. Over time, these achievements became possible to counter the PAS, which, since 1979, has maintained active contacts with the new Iranian Shiite regime1 and viewed it as a successful model of an Islamic state.Opposing some alternative policy of the PAS turned out to be important for UMNO’s orientation towards strengthening relations with Saudi Arabia, one of whose main concerns since 1979 has been the possible spread of the Iranian revolution to other Muslim countries.
From an ideological point of view, the situation was also in favor of the KSA. If Shiite teachings have been repeatedly called a threat to Sunni-Shafi’i unity, then extremist views inspired by Wahhabism, which is the main ideology of the Kingdom, have not been officially censured in Malaysia2.In addition to the increase in the number of detentions of Iranian citizens on suspicion of drug smuggling and the use of Malaysia by the Iranians as a transit point for illegal migration to Australia, as well as an increase in tensions towards Iran from the KSA in connection with the prospect of an American-Iranian warming, Malaysia also took a tougher position regarding the Shiite minority and Iranian migrants. Including for Iranians, visa-free entry was reduced from 90 days to two weeks, according to an official statement – in connection with an attempt to prevent illegal migration.In parallel with the tightening of the visa regime and the extension of
1 Idris A. Malaysia’s Relations with Saudi Arabia Under Tun Dr. Mahathir Era, 1981-2003 // University Utara Malaysia, Perpustakaan Sultanah Bahiyah. – URL: http://www.repo.uum.edu.my/3171/1/S7.pdfttp://repo.uum.edu.my/3171/1/S7.pdf
2 Idris A. Malaysia’s Relations with Saudi Arabia Under Tun Dr. Mahathir Era, 1981-2003 // University Utara Malaysia, Perpustakaan Sultanah Bahiyah.- URL: http://www.repo.uum.edu.my/3171/1/S7.pdfttp://repo.uum.edu.my/3171/1/S7.pdf
By the end of the application process, employment opportunities for Iranians in Malaysia were limited, and, most likely, in the future, the unspoken restriction will affect the admission of Iranian students to universities – due to the protection of national security at the ideological level.
In September 2013, following a prolonged campaign against Shia Muslims, Islamist groups requested the Foreign Minister to end diplomatic relations with Iran.To which, however, the minister said that the problems of the spread of Shiism in Malaysia are internal and do not relate to the relations of the state with Iran1 (26).
In general, the example of Malaysia corresponds to the theory of a strong relationship between foreign and domestic policy of post-colonial countries, where foreign policy is strictly focused on meeting domestic political needs. National identity is also partly determined through foreign policy, which for Malaysia is reflected in the desire to act as a progressive leader of the Muslim world with a simultaneous emphasis on Islamic values in their local interpretation and attempts to Islamize various spheres of life, sometimes to the detriment of the interests of ethno-confessional minorities and the unity of a multi-million nation.
Islam on this path served the ruling elite both as a starting base for building foreign and domestic policies, and as a tool for balancing in the fight against opponents and performing foreign policy tasks, in particular, attracting investments from Sunni patrons and partners.
The use of Islam as such a tool also involved the method of searching for an external and internal enemy, the role of which, among other things, was successfully approached by Shiite Muslims – an internal enemy of external origin.Within the country, the fight against deviant currents allows increasing the legitimacy of the current government and rallying the Muslim majority around the government, outside – to create an image of a progressive Sunni state, following the correct canons of Islam. In this sense, the perception of the “Shiite threat” brings Malaysia closer to the Sunni monarchies of the Persian Gulf. At the same time, the attitude towards the literalist interpretation of the Holy Scriptures in the spirit of Wahhabi ideology is more loyal, and in some places more
1 http: // www.j (Jlf- j4tltourist-online-news-malaysia.html
The high severity in the approach to the ritual side of Islam can be perceived as a sign of greater spirituality, i.e. in a positive way, despite the inclusion of organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) on the list of terrorist organizations.
In the long term, the desire for greater Islamization will meet with active resistance from ethnic and religious minorities and progressive-minded elements within the Muslim majority.Conservative groups will try to define the latter as an internal enemy fulfilling the design of external forces. On the other hand, the progressive forces in the political establishment itself will attempt to smooth this trend by proposing new initiatives and putting them up for public discussion, as, for example, a package of bills on national unity is now being discussed at various levels, which has little chance of adoption in the near future.
“Bulletin of Analytics”, M., 2014, no. 4, p. 56-64.