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8 theSun | TUESDAY JUNE 30 2009

news without borders

Career and retirement
‘Internet crime rising but over family
not alarming’
by Jonathan Mah The figure is lower than in 2007, probably due to perceived changes in personal
income and heavier financial burdens.
KUALA LUMPUR: The AXA Life Out- Even so, 60% of Malaysians indicated
look survey found that Malaysians are they still planned to raise children, up
becoming more focused on career and 10% from 2007. Those not planning to,
retirement over family. felt it was “too expensive”.
by Tan Yi Liang It was conducted early this year to In line with this, 57% of Malaysian par- gauge Asian consumers’ readiness to ents surveyed said the only way forward
cope with uncertainties and to provide was a good education and were willing
KUALA LUMPUR: The incidence an industrial benchmark to identify to trade their current living standards
of internet-based crime in Malaysia market needs. for a better education for their children.
is escalating but is no cause for The survey of 2,707 affluent consu- However, many concurred that the costs
alarm as such an increase is “natu- mers from China, Hongkong, India, Indo- of education escalated too quickly (56%)
ral”, CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO nesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and they did not have enough savings
(From left) CyberSecurity
Husin Jazri said. and Thailand, focused on four key aspects (52%), contributing to the growing
Malaysia director (CEO’s
“The scale is not big enough to – career, retirement, family and health. number of parents opposed to sending
office) Noor Iskandar
affect the economy. It is increas- A drop in life satisfaction across all their children abroad (24%).
Hashim, Husin and business “Increasing medical costs” evi-
ing as it naturally should increase countries marked the effects of the
development head Mohamed dently impacted consumer confidence
because the number of people using economic downturn in Asian markets.
Anwer Mohd Yusoff. in healthcare. Only 29% were confident
the internet is increasing,” he said. Malaysia stood as the second most pes-
Husin, who spoke at a media simistic market after Singapore, with an about maintaining health after retire-
briefing on Friday to announce on index of 59.9, a 9.5% drop from 2007. ment. Malaysians largely believe they will
the upcoming SecureAsia@Kuala the website. Malaysia also joined Singapore and not have sufficient funds for healthcare
Lumpur Conference & Exhibition, Asked about the main threats The intention is to share our hap- Hongkong as countries least satisfied when they retire.
did not provide statistics but said faced by Malaysian internet piness, but this can be exploited with career, at only 23% satisfaction, Another startling find was that 73%
the incidence was low consider- users, he said the main technical by a stalker or potential kidnapper compared to 36% in 2007. Affected by said they planned for retirement alone
ing the increase in the number of who uses it to analyse a (potential job security in the downturn, Malaysians or with family members without profes-
threat was identity theft.
Malaysians using the net. victim).” have had their life priorities shaken, and sional advice.
“There are many ‘main threats’
“We used to have three million Husin said rumour mongering are now placing career and retirement AXA Affin Life Insurance Berhad chief
faced by the Malaysian public
internet users, now statistics show was yet another threat. above family and health. marketing officer Nicholas Kua said: “The
online. There are technical threats, low awareness of professional advice
we have nine to 10 million users. “On top of these technical Following this, the unemployment
of which the most apparent is iden- implies that many Malaysians are una-
But if you compare the increase attacks, there are other issues faced rate this year is predicted at 4.5%, up
tity theft in the form of phishing, ware of insurance as an effective tool to
in the number of users with that by the public such as sedition, defa- from 3.1% last year.
where people are trying to steal provide long-term financial security.
of the incidence of crime, it is not mation and rumour mongering via Since Malaysians rely on their income
your identity online to get your for retirement planning, 63% of respond- “Financial planning is not something
alarming as we have more net money.” emails,” he said, pointing out that
CyberSecurity should not be seen ents said a successful career is crucial consumers should do on their own.
users,” he said. Husin said intrusions were also Instead they should seek advice from
as Malaysia’s “cybercops”. to realising their retirement plans. Only
“You cannot deny its existence, another key threat. experts in the field. As financial planning
“We are not cybercops, we are a quarter complained that career goals
but there are measures as the “This is one of our biggest and protection is an important and life-
just a help centre,” he said. conflicted with other life priorities.
Malaysian government has taken concerns because two factors On family, more than half of Malaysians long journey, we have a role to educate
many steps to ensure safety. Bank affect us. Ignorance as we are Asked about attacks on the
still see opportunities for the future and and build the trust of customers as their
Negara (BNM) is always vigilant not aware of these threats, such Malaysian internet infrastructure, financial solutions provider.”
are confident about their family condition.
against cyber threats. as emails purporting to be from Husin said the worst attacks hap-
“We have an Internet Banking banks but are set up by fraudulent pened in 2002 but declined to com-
Task Force under BNM’s leader-
ship and they meet more than once
parties, and intrusions, which are
a threat affecting both individuals
ment on any later incidents.
“The last major incidents in 88% of companies change
a month to discuss potential threats Malaysia were the Code Red and
business model to keep up
and businesses.
to internet banking.” “They go into computer sys- Nimda worms in 2002, where our
Husin said BNM’s efforts were tems to steal data and intellectual ATMs and emails were down as
also among the reasons for a lower property. Sometimes it is discov- our bandwidth was clogged. That
by Meena L. Ramadas were surprised by both the severity and
incidence of credit card cloning of ered, and at others it continues was the absolute worst. speed of the downturn.
late. without people knowing it is hap- “There are other attacks but The slowdown has also exacerbated
“The number of credit card thefts pening.” I don’t want to talk about them. PETALING JAYA: The global recession price competition. However, most com-
has gone down because Malaysia is He cautioned that social net- The more recent Conficker worm, has forced nearly nine out of 10 com- panies have implemented cost-reduction
one of the few countries to use the working sites such as Facebook while causing problems, was not as panies to change their operating model strategies, some have increased revenue
EMV smart chip and not the mem- could also be dangerous to users. serious as the 2002 attacks. to keep afloat or to maintain profits, a and more than a third feel that condi-
ory stripe. So with that as well as “There are also privacy and safe- “But over 50,000 computers are survey by auditors Ernst and Young (E&Y) tions have made it favourable to make
the measures put in place by BNM, ty issues. For example on Facebook, still active, and it is still affecting has shown. useful acquisitions.
there is a reduction in the data that we are trusting, so we like to share computers. The challenge now is The survey, which sampled 570 ex- Slightly more than half of respondents
can be intercepted and copied.” a lot of things by putting them up how to clean it up.” ecutives from leading global corporations reported a decrease in revenue and prof-
with annual revenue of more than US$1 itability. Only 20% saw an improvement
billion (RM3.53 billion), showed that 88% in investor confidence and a similarly low
switched business models in the past 18 number saw improvement in accessing
months. Eighty-nine per cent changed affordable capital or credit.
their risk management processes and The dismal outlook has caused 65%
45% changed regulatory frameworks. of companies to have modest projec-
These changes will affect price sensi- tions of surviving the downturn.
Scientists tivity, profitability, competitive sensitivity Raising cash is also an issue, with 82%
kill cancer and economic stability. of companies saying cash management
cells with E&Y Malaysia country managing part- is now more important than ever. As a
ner See Huey Beng said: “Not only does result, 86% sped up cost-cutting, 52%
‘trojan the survey show the permanent impact quickly restructured business and 38%
horse’ of the change that has taken place in the reduced staff strength.
pg 10 last 12 months, it also demonstrates how E&Y Malaysia partner Chow Sang Hoe
rapid that change has been.” said as identified in an earlier report, the
Most companies were caught off slowdown had accelerated reshaping
guard by the rapid changes from the trends. “We are seeing even more com-
economic slowdown. More than three- panies with active plans to fundamentally
quarter of the respondents said they change their business.”

ABASS accepts Selangor govt’s
offer but three others say ‘no’
KUALA LUMPUR: The board of directors of ABASS KPS owns 5% stake in Titisan, which in turns
and its holding company, Titisan Modal (M) Sdn owns 100% of ABASS.
Bhd, have in principle accepted the offer from Meanwhile, the RM2.975 billion offer made by
the Selangor state government of RM946 million the state government for the water assets and op-
to acquire Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd’s water erations of Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor
assets and operations. Sdn Bhd (SPLASH) has been rejected by SPLASH,
The offer includes the liabilities to be assumed said Gamuda Bhd. Gamuda is a major shareholder
by the state government and/or retained at ABASS in SPLASH with 40% interest.
of RM779 million (inclusive of Titisan borrowing) Meanwhile, Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd said the
and equity value of RM167 million, said Kumpulan RM1.94 billion offer to Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd
Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS) in an announce- (PNSB) as well as an offer of RM3.361 billion for
ment on Bursa Malaysia. the water assets of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor
It said the directors of ABASS also wanted Sdn Bhd (Syabas) was rejected by both PNSB and
confirmation from the state government on the Syabas. Puncak Niaga holds 100% interest in PNSB
structure of the proposed takeover. and 70% stake in Syabas. – Bernama