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Do not make the automobile talent of Malaysia a waste

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A few weeks ago, I looked through the news on Wapcar.my that a cabinet minister revealed the names of several national policies related to climate change and the auto industry. He cited these policies to support his stance that Malaysia’s economic development is on track.

I was appalled. The policies he mentioned were long surpassed by events. For example, the National Automotive Policy was overwhelmed by the persistent protectionism of the National Automobile Project, even as the Project stifled the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Will the production of new cars be influenced? Or is it the right time for the development of used car Malaysia?

The national car has passed its infancy and is going strong on its 37th anniversary. Both national car lines were born in the era of the internal combustion engine. 

China is now the world’s largest producer of electric and combustion cars and a source of technology for small electric vehicles. This broke Japanese and European dominance over the non-American auto industry. 

This means that electric vehicles are thriving in Thailand and Indonesia with investment from China and Korea, while Malaysia is absent due to outdated policies. 

However, Malaysia got some respite when China’s Great Wall Motor Company announced earlier this month that it would invest in Malaysia to produce a wide range of cars, including the Ora Good Cat EV. 

At the official launch in Kuala Lumpur, the company’s ASEAN President Zhang Jiaming said the Malaysian market will be developed in line with the region’s new energy strategy. He said GWM’s range of retro fashion cars, city SUVs, off-road SUVs and pickup trucks will be launched to meet market demand. 

Cui Anqi, General Manager of GWM Malaysia, added, “We will continue to grow the Malaysian market by increasing investment in the country by performing localized assembly through cooperation with Go. Auto Group. 

But Malaysian policymakers, be warned. GWM pulled out of India last month after two years of going nowhere with a $1 billion proposal to produce electric vehicles there. 

On top of that, GWM has a car factory in Thailand and its Ora Good Cat EV is selling like hotcakes due to Thailand’s open market fuel prices (approximately RM4/liter of RON95 petrol). 

What Malaysia needs to do is update and adjust our policies regarding the auto industry and include both incumbents and new entrants. 

As one industry participant puts it: “Some of our road traffic regulations and compliance standards are outdated and we need to modernize them, especially when it comes to electric vehicles. mini from China.

Some of Southeast-Asia countries, like Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, are becoming the trend-leaders thanks to their authorities, who are aware of emerging standards as well as cutting-edge fashion. I noticed that mini electric vehicles from China are exported to countries like Denmark, Italy and USA with small engine sizes from 15kW to 29kW and top speeds less than 100km/h. 

On another note regarding vehicle standards and outdated government agency standards, I was once involved in an initiative of the  Automotive Institute of Malaysia (what is now known as Malaysia). Automotive Robotics and Internet of Things Institute or MARii)  to retrofit an older Proton with a  battery and powertrain from an electric vehicle like the Nissan Leaf or even a Tesla. 

Our team discovered strange things like Malaysia’s ban on the import of used power supplies. We also found that this regulation was proposed by car manufacturers, who probably wanted to increase the barrier to entry. 

Other regulations are also too restrictive for car enthusiasts to retrofit vintage cars and rehabilitate them as electric vehicles. In practical terms, this is roughly equivalent to applying for a vehicle type approval which costs between RM300,000 and RM400,000 each. 

In contrast, converting antique and collectible cars into electric vehicles is a growing industry in the UK, Europe and the US. Even Prince Harry attended his wedding in a Jaguar E-type Zero, a vehicle made by Jaguar Land Rover that uses a classic E-style frame and body with power from the Jaguar i-Pace electric car.

Before we get into complex topics like industrial policy, why not allow workshops to retrofit classics and big bang cars into battery-powered electric vehicles and transmissions from the Nissan Leaf, Tesla, or other electric vehicles from Europe and China? 

These local manufacturers will, of course, be subject to modernization regulations and standards such as those in force in the UK. 

In the UK, an EV converter will cost from RM45,000, while conversion companies will turn an old Rolls Royce, Bentley, and other full-size cars into an EV. 

In the Philippines, thousands of skilled workers are employed to build the country’s unique Jeepneys. In Malaysia, we have the opportunity to engage our skilled workforce in electric vehicle transformation with the benefit of learners learning IT, software and mechatronics skills. 

The long-term goal is to bring the Malaysian auto industry into a new era of electrification and create more high-value-added jobs for Malaysians instead of losing these talented workers to China, Thailand, and Indonesia.

We are glad to exchange ideas with you here.

Business

Why do Businesses Need Human resource Consulting Services?

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Human resource

Human resource consulting firms play a vital role in today’s business landscape. They offer several key benefits and importance to organizations:

Expertise and Specialization:

HR consultants bring specialized knowledge and expertise to the table. They stay up-to-date with the latest HR trends, best practices, and legal regulations. This expertise is precious for businesses without dedicated HR staff or require support in complex HR areas.

Cost-Effective Solutions:

Engaging HR consultants can often be more cost-effective than hiring and maintaining an in-house HR department. Businesses can access high-quality HR services as needed, reducing fixed labor costs.

Customization:

HR consultants tailor their services to meet the specific needs of each client. Whether recruitment, employee training, or policy development, consultants design solutions that align with the organization’s unique goals and challenges.

Objective Perspective:

Consultants offer an objective and impartial perspective on HR matters. They can provide insights and recommendations without being influenced by internal biases or politics, which can be valuable for making difficult HR decisions.

Efficiency and Productivity:

HR consultants can streamline HR processes, making them more efficient. This can improve productivity, as employees spend less time on administrative tasks and more on strategic activities.

Compliance and Risk Management:

HR consultants help organizations comply with labor laws and regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues, fines, and reputational damage. They also assist in implementing best practices for risk management.

Strategic Focus:

Organizations can free up their internal resources by outsourcing HR tasks to consultants to focus on core business activities and strategic initiatives. This can lead to improved business performance and growth.

Scalability:

HR consulting firms can adapt to an organization’s changing needs. Whether a business is expanding, downsizing, or facing other transitions, consultants can provide flexible HR solutions to support these changes.

Access to Technology:

Many HR consulting firms have access to advanced HR technology and software solutions that may be cost-prohibitive for smaller organizations to implement independently. This technology can enhance HR processes and data management.

Talent Acquisition and Development:

HR consultants excel in talent acquisition and development. They can help organizations attract top talent, assess employee potential, and implement training and development programs to improve workforce skills.

Confidentiality:

HR consultants are bound by confidentiality agreements, ensuring that sensitive HR issues and employee data are handled with discretion and professionalism.

Conflict Resolution:

Consultants can mediate and assist in resolving workplace conflicts and issues, promoting a harmonious work environment.

Global Expertise:

 For businesses with international operations, HR consultants with global expertise can help navigate the complexities of international HR regulations and practices.

In summary, human resources consulting firms provide valuable support to organizations by offering expertise, cost-effective solutions, and a strategic approach to managing their workforce.

Their ability to adapt to changing needs, ensure compliance, and improve HR processes makes them an essential resource for businesses looking to thrive in today’s competitive environment.

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Business

PayPal quietly reintroduces $2,500 “misinformation” fine

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PayPal

Not long after issuing an apology and retracting a $2,500 fine to its users, PayPal has quietly re-introduced the fine into their terms of service and legal agreements.

If enforced, the leading payment processor could fine users the hefty $2,500 sum for spreading “misinformation,” or “hate”, or whatever they deem “unfit for publication.”

While the wording has been changed up, the company has listed several things they would consider fining users over, purely based on speech:

PayPal restricted and prohibited activities

  • The promotion of hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory or the financial exploitation of a crime
  • Items that are considered obscene
  • Certain sexually oriented materials or services
  • Act in a manner that is defamatory, trade libelous, threatening or harassing
  • Provide false, inaccurate or misleading information

The original documents, which PayPal said were published in error, had much looser language on what would get users fined $2,500 over – namely the “sending, posting, or publication” of any “messages, content, or materials” that are “harmful, obscene, harassing, or objectionable.”

PayPal has seemingly taken a firm stance against adult / pornographic content in both policies, while the former prohibited things that “depict or appear to depict nudity, sexual or other intimate activities” the new policy vaguely prohibits “certain sexually oriented materials or services.”

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Finance

Employee Retention Tax Credit 2022

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The employee retention tax credit 2022 (ERC) is a tax credit available to employers who keep and retain their employees. The credit is available to employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees. It applies to qualifying wages paid to employees during the business’s first quarter.

If your business is a small business, you can use Form 941-X to claim the credit retroactively.

Employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees

Employers with 100 or fewer employees are eligible to claim a refundable payroll tax credit called the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

This credit was created by Congress under the CARES Act to encourage employers to retain employees. It was originally set to expire on January 1, 2022, but Congress has extended the credit twice. This means that eligible employers can still claim the credit for their taxes for 2020 and 2021.

The credit is limited to wages paid between March 12 and Sept. 30, 2021. In addition, wages paid under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) cannot qualify for the credit. The credit amount is limited to $5,000 per full-time employee in 2020. In 2021, it increases to $7,000 per quarter, with a total credit of up to $21,000 per employee.

Paycheck Protection Program loans are not eligible for the employee retention tax credit

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax break for businesses that offer a payroll protection program for their employees. Until recently, employers could not qualify for both programs at the same time. But the new legislation has changed this and now businesses can take advantage of both programs.

To receive the credit, employers must file a Form 941-X, or Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, for each quarter that an employee was a PPP borrower.

The credit is based on wages paid between March 13 and Dec. 31, 2020. For the third quarter of each year, the credit is available for up to $10,000 per employee.

Qualified wages are based on the quarter the business began

To qualify as a severely distressed employer, your business must have had a 90% decline in gross receipts in the previous year.

You must have employed at least one person during this time. The CARES Act does not apply to businesses that are still operating, but it does apply to those that have ceased operations and declined in gross receipts.

Form 941-X is used to retroactively file

The IRS has recently released a new form called Form 941-X. The new form is designed to be filed retroactively and corrects any mistakes that you may have made in filing your original Form 941.

The form must be filed no later than two years after you paid the tax. To file this form, you will need to mail it to the IRS. The IRS does not have the capability to accept it online. If you’ve made significant changes to your business, you may be eligible to claim the ERC. The ERC is equal to 6.4% of the wages you paid to employees during the credit generating period. This credit is not available to corporations with more than 500 employees

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