Friday, June 22, 2007

EU envoy hits out at NEP

Hot on the heels of stalled FTA talks with the USA, the EU Envoy to Malaysia, Thierry Rommel, is now calling for expedited FTA talks with ASEAN stating specifically:

"The EU is looking at ASEAN, at Malaysia, as a trading nation, to get the actual negotiations started."

Of course, before ALL that, he hits out at the NEP, stating that it drives protectionist policies. He even goes so far as to say:

"In a dominant part of the domestic economy, there is no level playing field for foreign companies even when in a partnership with Bumis. "

Pleading for the Malaysian government to use the Doha Round to re-examine its policies, he has this to say:

"If we all were to continually submit to internal pressure groups and vested economic interests who indeed are often the same, we, as policy makers in a democracy, would fail our nation."

Forbes, which picked up the story, even quotes Eric Reuter, sales and marketing director of Belgian freight forwarder ABX Logistics, which has a 51 percent Bumiputra partner,

"The limitations have eroded his profit margin.We cannot be as flexible as we want to be and chances that corruption comes into play is higher."

I assume Mr Reuter won't be getting much UMNO related business for a while now that he's come out and said this.

Back to the European Envoy's remarks, and this blogger wonders whether the resident UMNO rabble rouser will be reaching for his keris again over these statements and ask for a boycott of all things European.

The international press has gone to town with this. Examples here and here.

Want to read the full text of this stirring speech? Download it here.

Technorati: malaysia, NEP

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Celcom's spiderman rip off getting tiresome

During last year's World Cup, Celcom pulled off a neat trick with their guerilla advertising campaign "Football Mad Nation Ruled By Celcom" and purportedly spent a fraction of the RM60 million Maxis dished out for their World Cup telecast sponsorship. With a campaign featuring a catchy song by local bands Pop Shuvit & Disagree, many Malaysians were pleasantly surprised that Celcom could have pulled off such a clever marketing stunt.

Fast forward to today and Celcom's at it again. Although unusually, now they've decided to rip off their partners Sony Ericsson with their Spiderman sponsorship.

The end result looks like a cheap imitation. Either Celcom has run out of Marketing funds or they couldn't reach an agreement with SE to bundle with their handsets.

Their OEM Black Ice & Red Ice handsets which they have labelled the "Spider Limited Edition" are poor cousins to the SE products. But I guess that's why they could give them away free.

Come on Celcom, surely you can do better.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 access barred during office hours

In what must be an effort to shore up sales of its fledgling financial daily "The Edge Financial Daily", publisher Nexnews appears to have barred access to its excellent news website .

If you click on this link during office hours (defined as anytime the sun is still shining), you will get this rather inelegant message:

Network Error (tcp_error)

A communication error occurred: "Connection refused"
The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.

For assistance, contact your network support team.

Try surfing at night, and as if by magic the site reappears with ahem, today's news.

The Edge Financial Daily is a nice enough paper with the latest on local business developments but there's also a whole lot of regurgitated stuff from Reuters and Bloomberg. Well, at RM1.50 per copy, it's still far cheaper than say the Asian Wall Street Journal or the International Herald Tribune, so I guess beggars can't be choosers.

Bottom line is that couldn't they have adopted the Singapore Business Times' format of daytime access by paying subscribers and free access after 6pm.

Friday, June 08, 2007

London's 2012 logo makes our national day logos look like picassos

Merdeka logo outshines London 2012

It appears the recently launched GBP400,000 London 2012 Olympics logo is generating a lot of negative response from the UK public, with many condemning it as being hideous. There is in fact an online petition against it which has already attracted thousands of signatories.
In comparison, our national day logos are begininning to look faintly artistic...
technorati: london 2012

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