Kuala Lumpur's Literary Heritage

Kuala Lumpur is a bustling city known for its historical buildings, vibrant nightlife and pulsing energy. But many don't know that the Malaysian city has a rich literary heritage worth exploring. From the works of legendary writers and poets to the latest books by emerging authors, the city’s literary history is full of stories to discover and celebrate. Kuala Lumpur has been a literary hotspot for years- the city’s literary scene has produced some of the country’s greatest writers. One of the most famous Kuala Lumpur authors is Ismail Kadaruddin- he’s often referred to as Malaysia’s national poet. His works, which include “The Ballad of Malacca” and “The Malay Epic”, have become classics in Malaysian literature.

Another notable writer from Kuala Lumpur is Abdullah Hussain- he’s widely recognized as the father of modern Malay literature. His work, which includes the novel “Interlok”, has been translated into over 40 languages- it is considered a masterpiece of modern Malay fiction. Further, Kuala Lumpur is a thriving literary scene full of new and emerging authors. Many of these authors and poets have been published in prominent Malaysian magazines and newspapers; their works are often showcased at literary festivals and events throughout the year.

One such event is the Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival. The festival is held annually. The festival provides a platform for authors and poets to showcase their work to a wide audience. It also offers a chance for readers to meet and interact with authors from all over the world. For those looking to explore Kuala Lumpur’s literary heritage, there are many bookshops throughout the city. The stores offer a wide selection of books, ranging from literary classics to contemporary works. Also, there are small independent bookstores that specialize in local and regional titles. Yes, Kuala Lumpur’s literary history is fascinating-one worth exploring. Whether you’re a classic Malay works enthusiast or looking to discover the city’s emerging authors, there’s plenty to discover.

Take time to explore the city’s bookshelves- uncover the stories and works of Malaysia’s greatest writers. You’ll soon discover Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant, thriving city with a rich heritage that spans centuries. From the days of the Malay Sultanate to the modern age, the city has been a cradle for writers, poets, playwrights, and authors of all kinds. From the bustling streets of the city to the peaceful gardens of the old city, the culture of literature is alive and well in Kuala Lumpur.

The city’s earliest recorded literature dates back to the 15th century when the Malay Sultanate established its rule in the region. During this time, the Sultans and their courtiers wrote poems and plays, as well as various works of literature. One of the most famous works of this period is the Hikayat Hang Tuah, a classic Malay epic poem. It tells the story of the legendary warrior Hang Tuah. This work has been adapted into many forms, including plays, films, and musical adaptations.

Another famous literary from the same period is the Sejarah Melayu. This is a historical chronicle written by the court historian of the Sultans, which documents the history of the Malay Sultanate. The Sejarah Melayu is considered one of the most important works of Malay literature, and it is still widely read today. In the 19th century, the British colonial period brought a new wave of writers to the city.

Many British authors wrote about their experiences in the city. The authors include Rudyard Kipling and William Somerset Maugham. Rudyard Kipling's stories of the city, such as "The Jungle Book", have become classics; many of the themes he wrote about in these stories are still relevant today. Maugham's "The Moon and Sixpence" is another famous work; it tells the story of a man who chooses to leave his comfortable life in London to pursue his dreams in Kuala Lumpur.

Undoubtedly, the modern era has seen some of the most influential writers in Malaysia. Among them is the great poet Ahmad Fuad Osman, whose works are still widely read today. Other important authors from this period include Tan Twan Eng, whose novel, The Garden of Evening Mists was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2012, and Lee Kok Liang, whose book, The Gift of Rain, was a bestseller in Malaysia.

Today, Kuala Lumpur is home to some of the most talented authors in the world. The city's vibrant literary culture is on display in its many bookstores, libraries, and reading groups, which are a great way to explore the city's heritage. Whether you are a fan of classic works or modern fiction, you can find a variety of works to suit your tastes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sustainability Performance Awards

Sustainability Performance Awards

Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad ("Kenanga Group" or "The Group") was presented with three awards at the coveted United Nations Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei ("UNGCMYB") Sustainability Performance Awards 2022.

"We would like to thank United Nations Global Compact Network for the awards and ongoing support. They serve as an encouragement for the Group to further strengthen our commitment and excellence towards sustainability," commented Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Group Managing Director, Kenanga Group.

"We still have a long way to go and we look forward to continue advancing our sustainability strategy in the years to come - one that delivers prosperity together with meaningful outcome for people and planet," added Datuk Chay.

UNGCMYB's Executive Director, Faroze Nadar remarked, "We are proud to have accountable businesses as part of UNGC global network. Kenanga Group has done much to advance sustainability in their industry and we are pleased to recognise their efforts. Congratulations Kenanga and we hope this will inspire other financial institutions to be change agents for a sustainable nation".

The Group was awarded for its launch of sustainable products, which cover the Kenanga Sustainability Series - a suite of multi-asset class products rooted in sustainability considerations to advance long-term financial growth for investors and to generate social and financial value for surrounding communities.

In addition, the Group was also recognised for its effort for sustainability awareness and employee engagement. In accelerating group-wide capacity building, 95% of its workforce nationwide completed the UN Global Compact's introduction to sustainability e-learning modules, on top of desk-top quizzes. The Group also actively engage its employees through various sustainability awareness programmes such as #GreenAtHome, a month-long interactive event for the last 6 consecutive years to raise environmental awareness.

The Partnerships for Goals award was derived from the Group's collaborations with various organisations to drive the different aspects of sustainability.

"This year, as we focus on expanding financial inclusion through digitalisation, we joined hands with the Ant Group to develop Malaysia's first wealth SuperApp, which is engineered to provide access to the world of investing to millions of Malaysians," said Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Group Managing Director, Kenanga Group.

In terms of partnerships within the community, the Group drives the award-winning programme - the HumanKind Project - designed to empower social enterprises such Café Includes, a café run by people with disabilities under the Dialogue Includes All Academy, as well as, Silent Teddies Bakery an enterprise run by a group of talented hearing-impaired bakers.

With over a decade of support towards these social enterprises, the Group continues to raise funds, generate awareness, and volunteer assistance to bring about positive change and improvements to the under-privileged individuals and families.

The Sustainability Performance Awards programme was initiated by UN Global Compact Network Malaysia & Brunei to recognise the continuous efforts of all its Participants and to inspire others to make sustainability an integral part of their business strategies.

Established for more than 45 years, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad (the Group) is a financial group in Malaysia with extensive experience in equity broking, investment banking, treasury, Islamic banking, listed derivatives, investment management, wealth management, structured lending and trade financing with strong foundations in regulatory compliance and risk management.

An innovative and established home-grown brand, the Group's digital ambition includes building a robust digital ecosystem that meets the needs of its clients and businesses. Some of its game-changing products include Malaysia's fully online digital stockbroking platform Rakuten Trade and a fully A.I. robo-advisor, Kenanga Digital Investing. The Group also launched Malaysia's first securities broking e-wallet, Kenanga Money, paved the way in AI-led Quan and algorithmic trading, kick-started a revolutionary supply chain financing solution for SMEs and made inroads into the digital assets space through its investment in Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd.

The Group has garnered a host of awards and accolades reflecting its strong market position. It was awarded under the categories of Highest Returns to Shareholder Over Three Years, Best Overall Equities Participating Organisation by Bursa Malaysia, Best Overall Derivatives Trading Participant, Best Structured Warrant Issuer, Best Retail Equities Participating Organisation, Best Institutional Equities Participating Organisation Investment Bank; along with Best Trading Participant and Best Institutional Equities Participating Organisation and for Equity and Financial Derivatives for 18 consecutive years. The Group was also accorded the title of Best Institutional Derivatives Trading category by Bursa Malaysia.

The Group continues to be a regular and repeat recipient of distinguished industry accolades, such as the Lipper, Fundsupermart and Morningstar awards. Rakuten Trade, Malaysia's first fully digital securities broker in 2017 via a joint venture with Japanese fintech giant Rakuten Securities Inc was also named Malaysia's fintech company of the year in 2018 by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). For its continued efforts towards community outreach and employee volunteerism, the Group was awarded the coveted Company of the Year award for environmental and sustainability at Sustainability & CSR Malaysia Awards 2021. The Group is also a Participant of the United Nations Global Compact and adheres to its principle-based approach to responsible business.

Today, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad is an award-winning leading independent investment bank in the country with a continuous commitment to driving collaboration, innovation, digitalisation, and sustainability in the marketplace.

Shopee Sellers Achieved Growth in 2022

Shopee Sellers Achieved Growth in 2022

Shopee Super Awards 2022 Milestone study1 finds many Malaysian stores outperformed business expectations on the marketplace over the last 12 months. From October 2021 to September 2022, over 145,000 local sellers achieved 25% growth in year-on-year sales on Shopee due to superior levels of customer service and optimised storefronts. Since many platform sellers provide for more than three household dependents on average2 beyond the community of local talents and gig workers employed, this fulfils Shopee's mission of using technology to help the underserved.

In addition, Shopee drove economic inclusion by integrating and upskilling more than 251,000 local sellers who started selling online this year. These first-time sellers to the platform took advantage of the robust ecosystem and innovative features to quickly scale operationally and reach new markets online. Among them, more than 140 new sellers recorded over RM500,000 in sales this year. They outperformed their peers with store ratings of over 4.8 (out of 5), 97% on-time fulfilment rate, and prompt customer chat response rate of 116 min.

One of these record breakers is Shopee seller Frederick Thoo of IFS1212 store: the 41-year-old onboarded his automotive products business with Shopee as an alternative to building a costly dedicated app. "I value Shopee's straightforward interface and large user base. We have managed to reach a record-high of 600 daily orders. This amount of orders can only be reached by selling online. We put a lot of effort into finding the best methods to pack our products and maintain our timely chat response rate. Good ratings are of utmost importance in building customer trust," shared Thoo.

Beyond new sellers like Thoo, long-term sellers on Shopee also find that seamless customer experience pays off for sustained growth. Because of their ability to retain loyal customers and drive marketing costs down, year to date September 2022, more than 2,100 local sellers made over RM5 million in sales since the inception of their stores on Shopee. Throughout the last year, these sellers maintained consistent ratings of 4.9 (out of 5), quick chat response time of 125 minutes, and almost 99% of their orders shipped on time.

Over 1,700 local sellers of authentic Made-in-Malaysia goods marked RM1 million in sales since listing on the marketplace thanks to Shopee's hyper-localised platform and e-commerce campaigns. These homegrown entrepreneurs provided quality goods that cater to Malaysians' local preferences with an average store rating of 4.9 out of 5 and 98% of orders shipped on time.

Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing Campaigns at Shopee Malaysia said, "We are humbled to see how far our community of sellers, brands, and talents have come on the marketplace ahead of our 15th of December Shopee Super Awards. It's thanks to their collective hard work and all the wonderful shopping experiences they are creating for buyers online that Shopee ranks first in the YouGov Best Brand Ranking in Malaysia and also won gold for Kantar's Strongest Malaysian Brand in both 'General Retailers' and 'Lifestyle App' categories. They inspire us to continuously innovate and invest in our marketplace ecosystem to give back to the community by providing a wide range of choices at the lowest prices."

Beyond free education for seller communities via Shopee University and Seller Summit, Shopee has also created educational KOL masterclasses and Shopee Influencer Fest to scale influencers and drive their growth along with sellers. Earlier this year, Shopee's marketplace studies revealed that local influencers reach wider audiences and boost customer engagement3 for sellers.

Eizuwan Eizuddin, an active Shopee influencer community participant since 2020, believes in the symbiotic relationships between sellers and influencers. "Consumers value recommendations from authentic voices. I can see the trend of people having higher trust in third parties reviews compared to advertising on TV or radio. My product review videos can be seen as a bridge between sellers and buyers. On one hand, increasing the visibility of sellers' products; on the other hand, helping my audiences to make informed purchase decisions."

On 15 December 2022, Shopee Super Awards ceremony will recognise the best performing sellers, brands, and influencers of the year by industry categories. Winners of much anticipated e-commerce awards such as "Super Growing Seller", "Super Operational Performance Brand" and "Super Live Streamer" will be announced.

The 2022 "Shopee Super Awards Milestone" study was conducted by Shopee Marketplace, taking research data from October 2020-September 2021 and October 2021-September 2022.

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia. Shopee promotes an inclusive and sustainable digital ecosystem by enabling businesses to digitalise and grow their online presence, helping more people access and benefit from digital services, and uplifting local communities.

Internet Connectivity in Rural Malaysia

Internet Connectivity in Rural Malaysia

The story of rural Internet in Malaysia is a story about changing perceptions, shifting priorities and a big vision to connect all Malaysians. Undoubtedly, the Internet is a valuable communication tool for rural villagers, with many taking advantage to promote their businesses. As such, the government's initiative to bring broadband connectivity to as many as 400,000 villages in Malaysia is crucial for ensuring the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the youth is unleashed.

Many agree that the need for Internet connectivity is one of the modernisation's most challenging side effects. Although most rural areas in Malaysia have relied on radio links or the telephone network for years, it was not until the advent of cheap smartphones that things began to move at a fast pace. Nowadays, most people want a reliable connection that is fast and affordable- this often means choosing a different type of mobile connection over other technologies such as satellite.

Recently, internet connectivity in rural Malaysia was identified by the government as one of the most critical issues. Why, it creates a platform for economic development, social connectivity and health awareness. With a low penetration rate in rural areas, many people cannot access the Internet due to various barriers. These include limited access to reliable electricity supply and low bandwidths. The project aims to create awareness of how to make rural communities more digitally literate by providing enabling solutions like portable devices with mobile broadband capability, improved information tools, and electronics training during out-of-school hours.

The idea of having the Internet in rural areas was once alien. However, internet connectivity in rural Malaysia is improving- today, many people who live in rural areas have access to high-speed Internet. There are still some issues affecting overall connectivity in rural areas. Among these are Availability, service quality and affordability. Despite this, the Internet is a massive help for rural communities. It helps farmers find market information and make business decisions faster, such as buying new crops, planting seeds, and setting up farm stores. Remarkably, internet use has reduced the time taken to complete the Agriculture Field Census from 8 hours to 2.

In 2022, the Internet will be readily available and affordable to many in Malaysia. Internet connectivity in rural Malaysia has been a primary goal for the government for almost two decades. This milestone was enabled by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act 2001 (MCMA), which requires all operators to provide Internet access at affordable rates to all citizens and juristic persons residing in rural areas. Yes, the Internet is virtually everywhere in Malaysia. The government allows a limited number of ISPs to provide access to the public. As part of this program, the government provides subsidies to assist with connection fees which individuals pay.

Admittedly, internet connectivity is still a challenging issue in some Malaysian rural areas. Many lack access to the Internet, while some don't have bandwidth; specific ISPs have capped some bandwidth. Further, some rural areas in Malaysia suffer from poor connectivity. According to government statistics, nearly 86% of Malaysian households do not have a fixed connection; equipment installation rates are also low. It's especially a big problem in some rural areas; it takes hours to reach the nearest base station in these regions. Many users have no choice but to use mobile broadband services as their only option.

Despite this, rural Malaysia has more potential for expansion than urban areas because they have an inexpensive, highly skilled labour force that's willing to work hard on building infrastructure. Certainly, improving internet access for rural areas would open up enormous opportunities for microenterprise growth. This is particularly true for small entrepreneurs who operate online businesses like e-commerce portals or tourism websites.

Ultimately, the lack of internet connectivity in rural Malaysia is a significant challenge to creating inclusive growth. The government has recognised this challenge and established the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI). It's mandated to develop next-generation infrastructure using Broadband Over Powerline (BOPL) technology. By June 2018, 92% of Malaysians had mobile phone coverage. This was down from 95% at its peak in 2014, a year before the rollout of LTE-Advanced technology and delivery of 4G services by major telecom operators.

While rural Internet in Malaysia is improving at a rapid rate, it is still struggling to keep up with the high demand. Various digital initiatives like B+B and Tele community are trying to improve the status of rural Internet and create more opportunities for local entrepreneurs in Malaysia.