Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tourism hit as Kelantan's beaches are washed away

Tourism hit as Kelantan's beaches are washed away

KOTA BARU, MALAYSIA: Most of Kelantan's beaches are badly eroded and this is affecting the state's tourism plans.

Department of Drainage and Irrigation (DID) director-general Datuk Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman said that erosion is eating away at some 30km of beachfront stretching from Sabak in Pengkalan Chepa up through the Thai-Malaysia border areas.

DID has placed those areas under category one, with erosion occurring rapidly over the past five years.

"To date, DID has not received any significant plans on how to arrest the natural phenomenon but we would undertake a study and recommend to the rightful authorities how best to tackle the problem," Ahmad Husaini said after inspecting the erosion at Pantai Kuala Pak Amat in the Pantai Cahaya Bulan (PCB) coastal area.

Erosion of local beaches is cited as a natural phenomenon due to the increasingly strong waves from the South China Sea.

It is disheartening to the state since Kuala Pak Amat, for instance, has sound tourist potential having been the historic landing site of Japanese troops in World War II.

This was the Japanese point of invasion into Malaya just hours before its carriers bombed the US Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.

For now, Ahmad Husaini said the DID planned to seek federal allocation to rehabilitate the Kuala Pak Amat beachfront next year.

It would also closely monitor the remaining stretches of beach to prevent the erosion from reaching coastal villages.

To date, the DID has installed two wave breakers at Sabak and in Pantai Irama, Bachok.

However, more are needed in the long-term to overcome the erosion, Ahmad Husaini said.

- The Star -

Terengganu spends RM4m on animated movies

Tuesday November 25, 2008
Terengganu spends RM4m on animated movies

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu government is spending over RM4mil to produce four series of animated movies which will be aired by Media Prima television stations next year, said Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.

He said that three of the series, with 13 episodes each, had been completed, namely Tiga Gadis Pingitan, Aca and Atok dan Kabilah.

The last of the series, which was in the process of completion, would premiere on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), he said.

“We will launch the series in March or April next year,” he told reporters after chairing the weekly executive council meeting at Wisma Darul Iman here recently.

Ahmad said that Media Prima and RTM would pay the state RM45,000 for each episode.

He said the state had set up a company named Eastern Pacific ICT Sdn Bhd with 45 local animators and workers to produce the series.

He added the state planned to market the series abroad as well. — Bernama

Sailing legend sees potential in Malaysian yachters

Wednesday November 26, 2008
Sailing legend sees potential in Malaysian yachters

KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysian yachters will be moulded into professional skippers to lead foreign teams in international-class regattas like the America’s Cup in the near future.

Local talents have caught the eye of Monsoon Cup race advisor Datuk Peter Gilmour following superb performances in the Malaysia Match Racing held at Pulau Duyong.

International event: A passenger boat going past the participants of the Malaysian qualifier for the 2008 Monsoon Cup at Pulau Duyung in Kuala Terengganu yesterday.

Gilmour is eager to coach them.

The Malaysia Match serves as one of two qualifying regattas in the lead-up to the prestigious Monsoon Cup, which will be held at the same venue from Dec 3 to Dec 7.

The Malaysia Match saw the participation of Malaysia’s sole female skipper Nurul Aim Mohd Isa who led the Perak Sailing Team.

Gilmour said the Monsoon Cup was the best platform for the Malaysians to train as leaders and prepare to compete in the international arena.

“This is absolutely a great training ground to produce world-class skippers and I see a huge potential here,” he told The Star yesterday.

“We go step by step, first we will train the locals by letting them participate in Malaysia Cup then elevate to Monsoon Cup, eventually to Asian Qualifier, America Cup and the Olympic,” he said.

Gilmour said that the year 2012 – when the Monsoon Cup will end – would be a reasonable target to develop local talents.

He cited Ian Williams who shot to stardom after leading in last year’s Monsoon Cup.

Gilmour added that the event was expected to attract about 100,000 visitors to Terengganu.

He said the event would be broadcasted live to over 100 coun tries and that the number of viewers had increased from 671.9 million in 2005 to 1.2 billion in 2006 and 1.9 billion in 2007.

Twelve teams will take part in the five-day Monsoon Cup competition this year.

- STAR Online -

Adnan: Pahang being transformed by ECER projects

Thursday November 20, 2008

Adnan: Pahang being transformed by ECER projects

KUANTAN: The East Coast Economic Region (ECER) development masterplan which involves the states of Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and parts of Johor (Mersing) will transform Pahang into a rapidly-developing region when the projects take off.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob said more local and foreign investments were expected to come in, which augured well for the development of Pahang and the other east coast states.

Showing appreciation: Polyplastics staff performing an aboriginal dance during the dinner in Kuantan recently.

Adnan said that vast developments in the state would take shape with support from the Government, which practised a pro-business approach in administration.

He said this practice was combined with a people-friendly and business-friendly philosophy of governing which had proven successful.

“Since 1987, the value of investments in the state stood at RM24.88bil, or about RM2bil a year.

“From January to July this year, the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority approved 17 projects with investment value of RM700mil,” Adnan said in his speech during an investor appreciation dinner at the Sultan Ahmad Shah silver jubilee hall here recently.

The text of his speech was read by the state exco member in charge of the Agriculture, Agro-based Industries and Felda Affairs Committee, Datuk Mohd Tan Aminuddin Ishak.

Also present were Pahang State Development Corporation chief executive Datuk Lias Mohd Noor and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd executive chairman Nicholas Curtis, who represented the Pahang investors.

Adnan said the corporation had converted 3,200ha into industrial areas offering good infrastructure to investors in the state.

“There are complaints on the quality of the infrastructure, however, we pledged to continuously upgrade facilities such as uninterrupted supply of water and electricity,” he said.

Adnan said the state would not rest on its laurels despite its achievements in the industrial sector.

“There is much to be done and we will continue to ensure Pahang remains a haven for investors, both local and foreign,” he said.

He said the state recently approved 418.77ha in Gambang to be developed into a techno park embodied by Bio-Technology Park (Pahang Science Park) and Pahang Cyber Park.

Adnan said that adjacent to the parks was 14.2ha for development into the Pahang Halal Complex.

During the dinner, 11 companies staged performances in a competition to show their support and appreciation for the state.

Nippon Precision Technology (M) Sdn Bhd was the winner followed by Polyplastic Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd and Kaneka (M) Sdn Bhd.


Loy Krathong Festival Lights Up ECER Tourism

November 05, 2008 19:27 PM

Loy Krathong Festival Lights Up ECER Tourism

TUMPAT, Nov 5 (Bernama) -- Kelantan expects to draw some 15,000 to 20,000 local and foreign tourists to the annual Loy Krathong festival, a cultural and heritage event for the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), which it is hosting on Nov 10-12.

Kelantan Tourism Action Council (KTAC) general manager Sulaiman Ismail said today that the festival, originating from Thailand and celebrated by the Siamese community in Kelantan, had attracted tens of thousands of visitors since 2004 and had been listed in the popular online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.

He told reporters that various events had been drawn up for the celebration, including a car parade, decorated floats, beauty contest, exhibition and cultural performances on the heritage and legacy of the Siamese descendants in Kelantan.

The Loy Krathong festival, jointly organised by the Kelantan Siamese Association, KTAC, Department of Culture, Arts and Heritage Kelantan and Tourism Malaysia Kelantan, will be held at Wat Phukulthong Vararam in Kampung Terbak, here.

The word 'Loy' means to float while 'Krathong' means lotus shaped vessel made of banana leaves. The Krathong usually contains a candle, joss stick, some flowers and coins.

According to Siamese tradition, floating a candle raft is symbolic of releasing sins and bad luck, to start the coming year with fresh hope and good luck.


Abdul Ghani quizzed over Iskandar project

Wednesday November 26, 2008

Abdul Ghani quizzed over Iskandar project

JOHOR BARU: Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman was bombarded with questions over the multi-billion-ringgit Iskandar Malaysia project.

Among others, he was asked to explain what was special about the Iskandar corridor when the country had several other corridors including the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) and the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

Responding to Datuk Dr Hasni Mohammad (BN – Benut), Abdul Ghani said that Johor had the advantage of being strategically located, something Singapore had used to its advantage all these years.

Abdul Ghani pointed out that Johor was the leading exporter of various commodities and food products, but admitted that there was room for improvement within the service and tourism sectors.

“I promise you that within three years we will have everything in Iskandar, including the largest retail space in the region,” he said.

When Dr Boo Cheng Hau (DAP–Skudai) asked the status of the proposed Disneyland theme park within Iskandar, Abdul Ghani told the assembly that an announcement would be made mid next month in connection with a theme park.

Abdul Ghani also said that the greatest challenge Iskandar faced was in ensuring adequate manpower to fill up vacancies.

“We are happy to take in Malaysians who get retrenched from Singapore if they have the necessary skills, as long as they don’t go back to Singapore once the economy improves,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gwee Tong Hiang (DAP–Bentayan) urged the state to save money by terminating the Mentri Besar’s six special officers in view of the looming financial crisis.

Gwee said that it would save the state government RM237,600 in a year as it would not have to pay the officers their RM3,300 monthly allowance.

At that point, Speaker Datuk Ali Hassan interrupted to ask whether the Mentri Besar’s officers in Pakatan Rakyat led states had special officers who were paid a monthly allowance.

To that, Gwee quipped that Mentri Besars in those states did not have special officers who were paid allowances as they served for free.

- Malaysian Star -

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nine SMIs To Be Housed In One Complex To Boost Production

November 03, 2008 21:51 PM

Nine SMIs To Be Housed In One Complex To Boost Production

KOTA BAHARU, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Nine small-and medium-scale industries in Kelantan, which have made a name for themselves in the market, will be housed in a complex by the State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to boost their production to international level.

SEDC chief executive Wan Yahya Wan Salleh said the SMIs will be provided with air-conditioned rooms, modern processing and packaging machines with vendor control to monitor the smooth operations of the factories.

Every entrepreneur produces one halal product each for the domestic and international markets, he told reporters after visiting the complex.

The complex at the Pengkalan Chepa 2 Industrial Zone is among the most developed industrial estates in Kelantan with a wide range of products produced by local and foreign entrepreneurs.

Several foreign companies are operating there including Rohm-Wako of Japan which manufactures electrical and electronic items. Some 5,000 people are working in the industrial zone.

Wan Yahya said part of the products manufactured by the entrepreneurs there are exported to countries like Britain and Canada, with monthly sales exceeding RM300,000.

"I hope the products will be of superior quality in future especially for the foreign market," he said.

On foreign investors coming to Kelantan, Wan Yahya said two German companies invested more than RM30 million in the state since a month ago.

He said concerted efforts are being made to woo more foreign investments to Kelantan as the federal and state government were offering a lot of incentives including a large factory site at a low price.

"The SEDC is also prepared to help speed up approvals with government agencies to build factories," he added.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Marketing Management - Term Paper II: Case Study

Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc.: Rogaine Hair Growth Treatment


Since 1988, Rogaine Hair Regrowth Treatment had been sold as a prescription drug in United States of America (USA). As the only medically approved hair regrowth treatment, Rogaine has enjoyed cumulative sales of $700 million in the USA and exceeded $1 billion worldwide since its inception.

Rogaine was approved for sales without prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on February 9, 1996. The company has further requested for FDA for a three-year period of marketing exclusivity for non-prescription Rogaine under the Waxman-Hatch Amendments to the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act prescriptions.

With the launch of nonprescription Rogaine expected in April 1996, the company pursued a tight deadline in order to ensure Rogaine can be quickly and widely available to the consumers. Extensive marketing programs for Rogaine had been outlined, which targeted men and women aged 25 to 49. Rogaine would be positioned as the only medically proven hair regrowth treatment that was available OTC. Separate packages with different instruction and apparatus would be made available for men and women and priced at $29.50, approximately half of Rogaine’s prescription price for one-month supply. Rogaine would be made available widely in the pharmacies and hair-care section of food, drug and mass-merchandise retail outlets.

Estimated marketing spending of $75 million was allocated for the first six-month period of the Rogaine and related Progaine shampoo. More than half of the budget would be allocated to consumer advertising. Retail store buyers of health and beauty aids were also told by Rogaine officials that the brand had retail sales potential of $250 million per year.

However, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Inc had been notified by the FDA that it had been denied the marketing exclusivity of nonprescription Rogaine on April 5, 1996.


By 9th April 1996, the FDA had approved for non prescription sales, three competing generic version of Rogaine which also contained 2-percent solution of minoxidil, the active chemical ingredient in Rogaine that encourage hair growth. These generic brands would normally be priced 25 percent to 50 percent less than brand named product and not advertised.

These factors raised several sales and marketing questions:

1. The actual sales potential in term of units and dollars for Rogaine sales with the increased competition. Without competition, Rogaine had forecasted sales of $1 billion within a five years period.

2. The effect of Rogaine sales figure. Due to its loss of U.S. patent protection and marketing exclusivity as well as entry of generic competitors, Rogaine will lose its monopoly position.

Pharmaceutical industry analysts estimated that most prescriptive drugs would lose up to 60 percent of their sales volume within six months after their patents expired due to the entry of generic products. However, there are instances such as Nicorette Gum which enjoyed sales dollars increased of almost 6 percent in 1995 due to increased advertising as well as no direct branded or generic competition except nicotine patch.

In the case of Rogaine, there would be availability of directly similar generic with own branding treatment solution containing the 2 percent minoxidil active ingredient from Baush & Lomb, Alpharma and Lemmon Company. In addition, Merck was testing Proscar, a prostate medicine for hair growth which would be available in pill form.

Due to these developments, Rogaine need to review its U.S. marketing strategies and formulate ways to cushion the adverse potential impact especially as non-prescription Rogaine had already been distributed to retailers. Advertising as well as sales promotion activities were also ready for implementation.

Other steps that Rogaine could also consider include:

1. Evaluating repeat sales prospect of loyal customer via sales history of prescription Rogaine. Trial and repeat purchase pattern need to be stimulated. Sales pattern need to be studied in order to determine sales growth contribution.
2. Marketing plan modification to take into account the competitive environment that Rogaine would face as the generic brands emerged.


In the USA, there were an estimated 40 million balding men and 20 million women with thinning hair who were spending over $300 million annually for hair thickening treatment products such as prescription hair shampoos, lotions and conditioners. A further $1.3 billion were spend to prominent hair loss treatment such as hairpieces, wigs, hair transplants and drugs such as minoxidil. Other hair loss treatments such as elixirs, teas, horse-hoof ointment and the like commanded another $100 million.

1. Rogaine had been sold in the United States since 1988 as the only medically proven hair regrowth treatment for men and women with common hereditary hair loss problem.
2. Rogaine is a long term hair loss prevention products to be used twice daily for at least four to six months before results are seen. Lifetime usages of minoxidil are needed to ensure hair growth and retention are permanent.
3. Rogaine was earlier approved by FDA in the USA only for men starting 1988. Earlier marketing effort to introduced the prescription Rogaine were through the following medium:
- Medical community introduction by trained Rogaine sales force as well as advertisement in medical journals and periodical;
- Televisions and print advertising from soft messaging of “see your doctor.. if you’re concerned about hair loss” to outright naming of Rogaine as a solution for hair loss as approved by FDA.
4. The estimated amounts of consumer-measured media advertising for Rogaine were $4,914,500 (1989), $9,347,500 (1990) and $3,443,000 (1991).
5. Sales records in the USA were $70 million (1989), $95 million (1990) and $103 million (1991).
6. The price of prescription Rogaine may cost users from $600 to $900 per year depending on pharmacies or physician office fees. To stimulate physicians’ visits, rebates are given to users who received Rogaine prescriptions from their physicians in term of $10 certificate against the purchase of first bottle of Rogaine or $20 for sending the first four box caps from Rogaine bottles purchased. Other advertising media includes information packets distributed via barbershops and salons, 150,000 copies of informational videos as well as a 800 numbers for call queries. The Upjohn Company spend between $40 - $50 million annually to market prescriptive Rogaine since its introduction through 1991 which includes professional and consumer advertising, the price-sales promotion program, and selling expense.
7. FDA approval for women to use Rogaine begun in 1991. The female-market entry plans were similar to the men including the pricing and reference of Rogaine’s name in advertisements. Advertisements appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, People, US, Vogue and Women’s Day. However, the advertising copies for women are differentiate in regards to the fact that women were less likely to discussed hair loss problem as opposed to men.
8. The price-sales promotions for women include a $10 incentive to visit a dermatologist or physicist and an 800 number for calls to receive Rogaine brochures. Other initiatives included distribution of brochures in drugstores or doctors’ office, journal advertisings, direct mails and sales staff support services. In 1992, the total marketing budget for the female market launch was $20 million and sales increased to $122 million due to expanded customer base. The total consumer advertising was $12,569,600.
9. By 1995, Rogaine was marketed to both men and women. Three new advertising campaigns were specifically targeted to the different gender. The aggressive advertising was essential in order to maintain the sales of Rogaine. Cost of advertising in measured media was $34,579,800 (1993), $32,404,000 (1994) and $40 million (1995). Rogaine also created the first ever infomercial for a prescription drug (1995) as well as a World Wide Web site.
10. Rogaine also build a Rogaine prospect and user database to support a relationship marketing program which was useful for targeting prospects and users for direct mail and telemarketing. This method resulted in people starting Rogaine treatments to remain with it longer. Sales of Rogaine was down to $84 million (1992) and plateau at $96 million (1994 & 1995). In 1995, Rogaine sales outside the United States were $30 million in face of generic brands and substitute products.
11. Among improvements to Rogaine line was examination of minoxidil concentrate that would only require one application daily, easier-to-use gel, Progaine hair thickening shampoo as well as Rogaine 5-percent minoxidil formulation.
12. However, FDA’s final decision of allowing three others generic brand forced Rogaine to retake new courses of action.


In view of the earlier FDA ruling, Rogaine had developed a new marketing planning process with mission to create a new product category “hair regrowth category”. The marketing program expenditure was $75 million. Half of the expenses were to be dedicated to advertising to create awareness as well as increasing trial of the product by the consumers.

1. Rogaine Targeting, Product Positioning and Packaging
- Target market were both men and women aged 25 to 49.
- Packaging for specific gender will be differentiated in term of box color, usage instruction and applicators.
- Single packs with one 60-mililieter Rogaine bottle as well as double and triple packs will be made available.
2. Rogaine Advertising and Promotion
- Advertising were done with the objectives of raising consumer’s awareness of Rogaine’s recently approved nonprescription status, encourage product trials as well as communicate user’s expectations.
- Advertising approach will also be gender specifics to address the needs and habits of each gender.
- Intensive media advertisements were targeted within four weeks of non-prescription Rogaine launce. These include television and print advertisements, direct mailing as well as Rogaine Pharmacy Kits.
- Direct marketing efforts will be done via money-saving coupons, hair care newsletters, styling suggestions as well as comments from users, dermatologists and other authorities.
3. Rogaine Distribution and Pricing
- Rogaine will be available at pharmacies or hair care sections of food, drugs as well as mass retail outlets;
- Non prescription Rogaine would be 50 per cent cheaper that prescription Rogaine with pricing from $29.50 (single-pack), $55.00 (double-packs) and $75.00 (triple-packs).

Rogaine will need to reconsider some of their objectives and marketing strategies due to the FDA ruling. Even with competitions, Rogaine can still retain its position as the ultimate hair loss treatment solutions with the right marketing strategies.

Goals and Objectives
1. Rogaine should capitalize its position as the pioneer in hair loss treatment technology in order to achieve superior positioning in the hair loss market segment preference.
2. Rogaine should aim for majority of market share in view of three others generic brands entering the market for 2 percent minoxidil solution for hair loss treatment.
3. At minimum, Rogaine sales should breakeven to its full total cost of production and marketing.

Target Market

1. Advertising and Promotion
Marketing plan effectiveness of non prescription Rogaine should be monitored. New marketing strategies focusing on retaining customer satisfaction as well as loyalty are vital to ensure continued success of Rogaine. The initial period of OTC drug status should be utilized to build brand loyalty as well as name recognition in the OTC market (Harrington & Sheppard, 2002).

As balding or thinning hair were natural occurrences to most men and women as they aged, advertisement should also cater to new potential users to persuade them in using Rogaine as their first choice of hair regrowth treatment. Efforts should be made to retain their loyalty to ensure possibility of lifetime usage of Rogaine which would result in bigger share of the market segment.

Dual strategy marketing directly to the customer as well as via physician can be further maintain to gain advantage by additional credibility of Rogaine as an OTC drug due to recommendations by physicians.

2. Capturing Other Hair Loss Market Segments
The ease of availability as well as cheaper prices may attract the other hair loss alternatives segments to purchase Rogaine. For hairpieces (toupees) and wigs users spend around $400 million annually for the products including periodic cleaning and styling. A further $800 million annually were spent on hair transplants procedures.

By positioning Rogaine as easily available, easy and effective treatment; these segments can be captured as Rogaine’s new consumers. Based on the new pricing of $29.50 per bottle for a month usage, there are around 3.4 million* new customers markets to be captured. (*1.2 billion/($29.50 x 12 months) = 3.4 million).

3. New Pricing Strategy
Prescription Rogaine cost around twice the price of non prescription Rogaine. Based on the Gallup Organization Survey of 1,000 U.S. Adults commissioned by Advertising Age, Rogaine would be positioned to capture a further 13.5 percent of men and 9.7 percent of women on top of 18.4 percent of men and 16.4 percent of women that would pay $600 and above for treatment of balding.

4. Retaining the Rogaine Brand
Despite increase competition, Rogaine would still retain its reputation as the pioneer drug for restoring hair growth both for men and women approved by the FDA. Effective marketing strategy as well as further R&D should be formulated to retain its reputation.

By being proactive, Rogaine would be able to reach its targeted clientele of male pattern baldness, which accounted for 95 percent of all hair loss cases of both genders. As Rogaine was a long term solution with minimum commitment between six months to a year before hair growth improvements can be seen, Rogaine customers would be a captive market for a certain period of time.

Sales history as well as trial and repeat purchase pattern of existing Rogaine client should be analyst to determine ways to ensure customer loyalty.

5. Production of Related Rogaine Products
Pharmacia and Upjohn, Inc. have allocated an annual budget of $1 billion for research and development (R&D) especially targeted for developing new product line and line extension. Rogaine could consider further development of R&D focusing on variation of Progaine shampoos, gels or mousse form as well as tablet remedies for hair regrowth. Research on the feasibility of increasing the minoxidil strength may result in Rogaine Extra Strength with better result in regrowing hair in shorter period of time.

Tools such as coupons or discounts for purchase of Rogaine related items such as shampoo etc could also be considered.


Kotler P, Keller KL, Swee HA, Siew ML & Chin TT (2006) Marketing Management: An Asian Perspective, Pearson Prentice Hall
Kerin R.A. & Peterson R.A. (2007) Strategies Marketing Problems, Cases and Comments, 10th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall

Harrington, P. & Shephard, M.D. (2002), Analysis of the Movement of Prescription Drugs to Over-the-Counter Status, Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy

Waterfront city giving planners a headache


Waterfront city giving planners a headache
By : Rosli Zakaria

KUALA TERENGGANU: The urbanisation process at the Waterfront Heritage City here needs more than just an artist's impression of a changing skyline and money.

According to Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, it involved the relocation of residents in several traditional villages in the city area and buying over land for high-rise buildings for these residents.

He said it was a costly affair and a headache for city planners, as buying over land owned by individuals could become a sensitive subject if the price was not right or varied too much within the same area.

"These problems must be overcome before we start pro-commercial projects that expand the local economy or encourage investors to consider setting up regional offices here.

"It is tough to get the people to see the purpose and vision of an urbanisation programme. There is fear among landowners as they will lose their possessions and they don't mind living in cramped, fire-prone villages.

"Villages in the city centre also have a high incidence of dengue and the living conditions in some areas are unhygienic.

"It is a balancing act to get the most out of urbanisation and still keep the population in the same locality in new high-rise dwellings without burning a hole in their pockets," he said.

"We do not want to push existing residents out of the city centre. We want them to stay here and take advantage of the economic opportunities that come along with the urbanisation.

"Of course, there will be more space for business and more green lungs. The idea is to project Kuala Terengganu as a livable place and the safest city in the country."

Ahmad said that the government had recently spent RM6 million to buy a piece of land owned by the State Islamic and Malay Customs Council to build flats to relocate residents whose land will be affected by development.

"We have spent RM70 million to buy the land owned by the villagers. It is expensive but it is something that must be done if urbanisation is to become a reality."

NST Online

Firm to boost production of vanilla

Monday November 3, 2008
Firm to boost production of vanilla

LANCHANG: The country’s first vanilla plantation company based in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), Rentak Timur Sdn Bhd, aims to produce 300 tonnes of vanilla by 2010.

Its chief executive officer Syed Isa Syed Alwi said this constituted 15% of global market demand.

He said, to boost production, the firm would collaborate with Vanilla Biomatrix Sdn Bhd to operate contract farms in the country.

“These farms will be spread out and comprise over 1,000ha planted with five million vanilla plants over the next two years.

“Our partnership will see more than 3,000 farmers involved in vanilla farming.

“It will generate an average income of RM3,000 a month from every 0.2ha with 1,000 vanilla plants,” he said in a press statement recently.

Syed Isa said their firm currently produced 1,500kg of vanilla extract per day.

He added that the company adopted a super-critical fluid extraction techno­logy which controlled pressure and temperature of the solvent fluid so that its density would be altered to between gas and liquid.

“This way, the purest-quality vanilla can be extracted with no residual contamination from chemicals.

“We started vanilla agriculture and research activities at a 1.5ha farm in Singaraja, Bali, in 2002,” he said, adding that the project was a collaboration with a vanilla producer with over 30 years experience.

Syed Isa said, after years of research and testing, the firm had created an inte­grated system to farm, harvest and process natural vanilla.

“We have brought together qualified and recognised research teams in Malaysia, Indonesia and Europe to standardise vanilla cultivation and deliver the best seedlings to contract farmers and customers,” he said.

Incorporated in April 2004, Rentak Timur owns and operates a 60ha farm in Kechau, Lipis.

Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron, and is used as a flavour enhancer in desserts, ice cream, confectionery, chocolate and liquor.

It is also used in perfumes.

The aggregate global demand for vanilla is estimated at 2,000 tonnes a year, especially for high-quality vanilla flavouring.

Madagascar dominates the world’s vanilla production with a 60% global share, followed by Indonesia with 21%.

The Star

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Marketing Management - Term Paper I


Select a particular marketing article from any credible journals, such as Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Marketing and etc. Critically review the paper in terms of addressing i) the main issue discussed; ii) its explanation as a marketing body of knowledge; iii) its practicalities in the operation of domestic businesses (you may choose any type of business) and iv) its implication on the said enterprise.

Success in Electronic Commerce Implementation: A Cross- Country Study of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

Author : Sandy Chong, Curtin University of Technology, Perth Australia
Source : http://www.

Success in Electronic Commerce Implementation: A Cross-Country Study of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

The journal aims to develop a model of electronic-commerce (EC) implementation success for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Australia and Singapore were selected for comparative study in order to explore differences in adoption strategies and variation of reasoning.

Main Issues Discussed

Due to the emergence of internet and World Wide Web (www), electronic commerce (EC) is identified as the most promising and opportunistic tool for businesses to reach out to customers, communicating with business partners and running of business operation. For firms, EC improves business processes and business communications which in turn benefited stakeholders such as consumer, suppliers, management teams and investors.

There are already shift in paradigm in using the internet as a tool for business. US expected increased of online sales from $172 billion in 2005 to $329 billion in 2010 (Forrester Research, 2005) while Asia Pacific Business-to-Business EC are expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 59 per cent (IDC, 2004).

SMEs are a vital sector in most countries economies with some reaching 90 per cent composition of the business sector. EC provides the SMEs opportunities in penetrate the global market which was previously the exclusive territory of multinational corporations. Successful implementation of EC will result in the SMEs increased sales; improved profitability; reduced inventories, procurement and distribution costs; services quality improvement as well as better competitive positions (Campbell, 1998; Dhokalia and Kshetri, 2004; Grandon and Pearson, 2003; Purao and Champbell, 1998; Smith, 1998; Stockdale and Standing, 2004; Whitely, 2000). On the other hand, failure of EC implementation will result in severe effect as SMEs have limited resources (Soh et al, 1997; Lee et al, 1999).

Despite obvious EC advantages, there are reluctance for majority of SMEs to implement EC due to technology costs, lack of managerial and technical skills as well as system integration and financial resources (Cragg and King, 1993; Iacovou et al. 1995; Stockdale and Standing, 2004).

The paper considered various factor in considering EC implementation including:
- Size of firms.
o Larger firms have higher perceived level of satisfaction of EC implementation due to better financial positioning enabling adoption of latest technology or latest innovation activities as well as ability to hire more skilled workforce which is necessary for implementation of new technology;
- Perceived readiness
o Most significant factor for the overall level of EC adoption satisfaction for Singapore’s SMEs. Firms with adequate resources contribute to EC effectiveness by their involvement during the requirement and design phases which encourage more realistic expectation from EC and comfortable implementation process and more satisfying experience of EC.
- Observability
o A significant factor for both Singapore and Australian firms. With the visibility of EC implementation results such as initiatives taken by other firms as well as positive exposure from media might influence SME to implement EC in their own organization.
- Variety of communication channel
o Australian was found to have positive relationship between overall satisfaction and variety of communication channel. Usages of more communication channel help encourage a firm’s trading partner to adopt EC as well which will improve business link. By increasing the awareness and knowledge of EC to their clients will improve their confidence resulting in higher level of use and satisfaction.
o The finding also suggested that the benefit of EC could be effectively communicated by promotional seminars, presentations and on site or demonstrations. Effective communications of EC benefits include on-the-job training for firm’s employees and usage of the EC for direct communication with their trading partners.
- Customer pressure
o Australian SMEs’ overall satisfaction was inversely related to customer pressure. Firms which adopt and use EC on their own initiative are less pressured by their customer and therefore have higher level of satisfaction.
- Supplier pressure
o There was directly positive relationship of supplier pressure to SMEs satisfaction level of adoption which is based on the fact that SMEs control the suppliers. Based on the research, supplier pressure should be considered as positive as implementation of EC would result in more supportive operational relation or environment which will result in more potential benefits such as ease and more efficient ordering system.
- Perceived level of governmental support
o The Australian SMEs overall satisfaction of EC implementation was positively affected by the perceived governmental support in the form of advisory support.

Based on the regression result of overall satisfaction, the adoptions of EC in Australia are based on five factors: observablility, communication channel, customer pressure, supplier pressure and perceived governmental support. For Singapore, there are only three factors: firm size; perceived readiness and observability.

Marketing Body of Knowledge
E-Commerce means that the company or site offers to transact or facilitate the selling of products or services online. EC applies to both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). B2C would include upstream activities of a business operation such as information on customer’s preference and queries, sales of products and services as well as customer satisfaction feedbacks. SMEs could also use EC as a tool of marketing to conduct research study on market segmentation and customer preference. B2B involved relationship between supplier-customer which in turn makes the market more efficient (Kotler et al, 2006). With EC, buyers have access to numerous information giving them advantages in term of product knowledge and also price transparency.

EC functions also include support services for trading encompassing “inter-organizational emails, directories, trading support systems for commodities, products, customized goods and services, management information, and statistical reporting systems” (Clarke, 2005).

Practicalities in the Operation of Domestic Business
Malaysia, as well as other countries in the world is facing globalization which is further facilitated by the existence of the internet. As more consumes are getting more internet savvy, SMEs should definitely implement EC to capture both the domestic and global market.

Based on Census on Establishment and Enterprise 2005, a total of 548,307 or 99.2 per cent of Malaysia’s total companies in operation amounting to 552,849 were Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The service sector comprised of 474,706 (86.6 per cent) followed by the manufacturing sector of 39,376 (7.2 per cent) and the agricultural sector of 34,225 or 6.2 per cent (

As of 15th October 2008, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) registered 14,064 Malaysian exporters of which 11,876 or 84.4 per cent are SMEs. Of the total, 94.1 per cent (13,239) have emails but only 56.7 per cent (7,974) have websites. Only 56.5 per cent (7,751) is currently exporting ( Some of the website registered are through free listing online directory as opposed to full website with own domain name. The data indicated that most domestic SMEs do not have proper website to incorporate multi facet of e-commerce marketing strategies.

Based on similarity and near geographical location, Singaporean SMEs preference of EC implementation satisfaction of factors which are firm size; perceived readiness and observability might be also applicable to Malaysian SMEs (Chong, 2008).

Most of the Malaysian bigger SMEs have their own website such as Sepatu Timur Sdn. Bhd. A smaller number of smaller SMEs use the online directory such as Yellow Pages to register their contact details. In order to ensure competitiveness and fair leverage on international market share, Malaysian business entities should consider the implementation of EC as part of the marketing strategy.

The factors that further support the incorporation of EC include the increasingly efficient and cheaper internet infrastructure such as Broadband and Streamyx services. The cost of opening a website ranged from free via free web pages ( /, minimal fees ( for RM168.00 or to fully designed website fee from RM2,500.00 (

Implication of EC on Said Enterprises i.e. SMEs

Malaysia’s business-to-business (B2B) e-Commerce spending were expected to register a high growth of 77 per cent to RM 47.6 billion in 2006 with projected B2B spending projected to increase at CAR of 29 per cent (SMIDEC; IDC: Malaysia Internet & E-Commerce 2006 – 2019 Forecast: Tracking the Development).

Consumers are savvier in making their choices from the readily available information and e-commerce business in the internet. The existence of online bidding house such as eBay and gives consumer ample opportunity to get better bargain price. Discussion forums and chat rooms also give more detailed information of products to interested parties.

Sepatu Timur Sdn. Bhd. Is chosen as a representative for as a case study for SME entity embarking of e-Commerce usage (refer Appendix I). Via its website, the company boosts it global presence with related information posted for potential buyers such as Online Catalogue, Pricing and Shoe Sizes Variation Chart. Stakeholders’ needs are addressed by the existence of Company Profile section and Query/Feedback form are also included for feedback / comments / order purposes. Under the brand Minoli, it had exported Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Cambodia, France and Tahiti.

Sepatu Timur could further enhanced its EC usage by incorporating marketing related features such as online tracking of orders, just in time (JIT) ordering of material from suppliers when its raw material level dropped, continuous customer feedback system for further product development etc. It can also conduct surveys for market segment for its specialized products which includes Military Boots, leather footwear (Professionals) and Safety Shoes / Boots (Construction / Heavy Industry).

Further Research

The research may be further refined to ensure more countries to be included to prove generalization of EC adoption satisfaction level. Aspect of EC as a business strategy may be research such as a medium of more accurate market segmentation, feedback for research and development, medium of efficient marketing etc as the possibility of EC usage for SMEs is endless. Evidence of beneficial adoption of EC may be further research in term of increased sales, larger market segment targeting, and penetration into global market as well as higher projection of entity’s survival and success.


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Internet Journal Article:
Chong S (2008). Success in Electronic Commerce Implementation: A Cross-Country Study of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise. Retrieved 15 October 2008 from

Organization / Government Agencies
Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation
Small and Medium Industry Development Corporation
E-Commerce Internet Website
Sepatu Timur Sdn. Bhd.

Marketing Management

Well.. what can I say.. I have been soo busy these past weeks that I cannot post much.. what with the Business and Consultation weeks, submitting term paper assignment etc.. next week I'll be off to KL for INTRADE 2008 and then my PTK. Thank god, my marketing final exam will be finished by this weekend.

Fuhhh.. but have to say, despite its heavy load, I like Management Marketing, very interesting.. and actually it kinda help me with my job.. I'm supposed to help people to promote Malaysian product and services and a brief stint in marketing studies help me delve in them so much better.

So.. thanks Dr. Shukri for being so strict with us.. think I got a taste of how it would feel to be grilled and drag over hot coals during the final assignment.. Viva... hehehe..