Founding of Malaysian-Chinese MH370 Support Group and Discussion about the impacts on Malaysia Tourism and Real Estate Market
Category: Swhengtee News Published: Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:13
(8 April Kuala Lumpur) With the support of the Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) and Malaysian Chinese Cultural Society (MCC) and the sponsorship from M101, SwhengTee International and Real Estate Malaysia Magazine are jointly promoting the Malaysian-Chinese MH370 Support Group to help support families of those affected through concrete action. In addition, Dato’ Sri Gavin Tee also announced a special seminar titled Impacts of MH370 on Tourism and Real Estate in Malaysia, and all receipt from the ticket sales will be channelled into the 370 Care Fund and inspire others to come contribute whatever they can to help those affected.
With the whereabouts of Malaysia Airline MH370 still a mystery, many around the world are following the news of the missing flight closely. As an active promoter of Malaysia trade, tourism, and real estate internationally, Tee feels particularly strong about the incident. He has halted his SwhengTee World Tour for April to hold a special seminar to discuss the impact of the incident on Malaysia’s trade and economy. The seminar, Impact of MH370 on Tourism and Real Estate in Malaysia, will be held on 20 April 2014 (Sunday) at Wisma MCA.
The MH370 incident happened exactly a month ago, unfortunately, there is still no definite news of its whereabouts. Many people around the world are very concerned about the fate of the plane, and some of the negative emotions have led to strains in Malaysia-China bilateral relationship that has been built over 40 years.
Tee feels that Malaysian ethnic Chinese is one of the most affected groups as many have deep trade relationships with their counterparts in China. Not only that, Malaysian Chinese are able to communicate effectively with their counterparts from China, and Tee feels that the formation of the Malaysian-Chinese MH370 Support Group to complement the government in their efforts is a necessity, and can help foster greater cooperation between the two peoples.
As the event plays out, the strain on relationship between the two peoples have turned out to be more serious than expected. While the voices of discontent comes from a minority, the mass majority has made changes to their investment, travel, and cultural exchange plans as they are concerned about what the handful of people are saying. Such damages are difficult to repair, and Tee feels that the formation of the support group is a very important step to take to rectify this issue.
He pointed out that bilateral trade volume between the two nations has been growing at a very rapid rate. In 2009, the bilateral trade volume exceeded USD 56 billion. This
increased to USD 72 billion in 2010, USD 90 billion in 2011, and USD 100 billion in 2013. In 2013, the two countries decided to elevate bilateral relations into a comprehensive strategic partnership aimed at jointly increasing bilateral trade volume to USD160 billion by 2017, and USD 200 billion by 2020.
In addition, China property developers including Country Garden, Agile Property，R&F Property，Vanke Property，Greenland Group，New Hualian Property, Carson Property Development, Beijing Urban Construction Properties Co. Ltd, Beijing Construction Engineering Group & ZhuoDa property.etc, have invested some RMB 50 billion in Malaysia.
Between 14 January 2014 to date, three major property developers from China, Greenland Group, and Country Garden, have invested in excess of RMB 50 billion overseas. On February 28, Greenland Group entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOU) to develop two projects in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The company plans to invest nearly 20 billion yuan in the construction of the projects, and one of the projects will be by far the largest single real estate development in Malaysia by a Chinese enterprise.
As Malaysia is one of the preferred holiday destinations in Southeast Asia for Chinese tourists, the repercussion from MH370 has also significantly affected Malaysian tourism industry with revenue loss estimated to around RM 2 billion.
Tourism is the sixth largest contributor to Malaysia’s economy. In 2011, the number of tourists from China exceeded 1 million and in 2012 it breached 1.5 million. 1.24 million of the 93 million global Chinese tourists in 2013 made their way to Malaysia an average annual growth of more than 20%.
The Wall Street Journal quoted a Merrill Lynch report stating that Chinese tourists accounts for 10% of the visitors to Malaysia and contributes 6% of the tourist income, equivalent to 0.4% of the GDP.
Malaysia has actively expanded into the China market and has placed attracting Chinese tourists as the priority for Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Following the incident, industry insiders estimated that the number of Chinese tourists will decrease by some 40 to 80 thousand. If each tourist is estimated to spend RMB 10,000 on a tour, the loss to the Malaysian tourism industry is pegged at some RMB 4 to 8 billion. Many major travel agencies in China have reported a widespread demand for refund for Malaysian bound groups and even half price offers have not been taken up. In short, the impact of MH370 on the Malaysian tourism industry has been far reaching.
Tee admits that the MH370 incident will no doubt affect Malaysia’s economy, tourism, and real estate sector. However, he believes that there are always opportunities even in crisis, and with solid fundamentals and huge potential for returns, Tee is convinced that many global investors will continue to favour the nation.
There will definitely be some restructuring after such a major incident and the MH370 incident is no exception. In any case, he hopes that the position of Chinese investors and tourists will not be overtaken by other countries.
“This year marks four decades of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia, I hope that our government can continue to promote Malaysia in China and not shift focus elsewhere.
In order to support trade development through practical actions, Tee announced that his film company will actively invest in China movies, and will further discussions on distributing China movies in Malaysia to help establish a bridge for the exchange of ideas. He will also re-start his SwhengTee World Tour in China to do his part in promoting Malaysian tourism, Malaysia My 2nd Home (MM2H) program, cultural exchange, and real estate investment.
“It is common knowledge that Malaysians are paying very close attention to the MH370 incident. I feel particularly strongly for this as I had personally taken the Friday evening MH370 on numerous occasions. Malaysians’ concern for this incident can be seen from the extensive media coverage for the past month. As common folks, we are unable to join in the actual search for the missing plane, but we can channel our care and concern of the missing plane towards rebuilding the trust amongst peoples, the economy, and culture.”
Due to the various unexpected developments, the focus has shifted to many other areas, and the families of those on the plane have been cast into the shadows, especially the 50 Malaysian passengers and crew members. Tee urge the public to provide more concrete care and support to the families of those affected and he hopes that the 370 Care Fund will help inspire more to support through actions.
Tee added that all proceeds from ticket sales of the special seminar Impacts of MH370 on Tourism and Real Estate in Malaysia will be channelled to the 370 Care Fund which he hopes will inspire more to donate to the cause. He also hopes that his seminar will convey that message of friendship between the two people and that the four decades of good relationship will not be negatively affected by this incident.
He assured that the people of Malaysia feels the same with their China counterparts and are just as urgent in piecing together the truth. To this end, he feels that the call by some for Malaysia to “Reveal the Truth” is unjustified and that all should work together to find out what actually happened. Before the recovery of the black box, any such talks about revealing the truth can, at best, be regarded the cause of emotional tension. This is especially so when some celebrities are making irresponsible remarks that have riled up emotions.
Malaysians has always been known for our hospitality and friendliness, Tee opines. We are often the first to stand up to offer our assistance whenever a disaster strikes, especially during some of China’s worst nature disasters by offering financial and
manpower support. At the same time, Malaysia is one of the few nations in the world to offer unconditional support during China’s economy rise and China’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.
Tee hopes that everyone will support the seminar scheduled for 20 April, and is extending an open invitation to parties wishing to participate in the MH370 Support Group. He also hopes that developers or the government will sponsor further 370 seminars in Johor Baru, Penang, and East Malaysia. For more information, please call +603-2288 8588 or visit www.swhengtee.com.my/370
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