Software

Powering Alibaba’s with big data analytics, and artificial intelligence

KUALA LUMPUR: It has been more than a year since the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative was launched in Malaysia and although public attention was only revived a week ago during the launch of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s first regional office here, several local companies have already been hard at work making the ambitious project a reality.

Big data analytics firm Fusionex International Plc is one of them, having led a consortium which secured a contract to provide the e-Services platform for the DFTZ from the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.

The awarding of the contract was announced in November last year and according to Fusionex, has since been up and running with more than 3,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on board currently.

“More and more of [these companies] are starting to appreciate that it is important to level up and capitalise on the robust growth in e-commerce and the export market,” said Datuk Seri Ivan Teh, founder and chief executive officer of Fusionex.

He added that many local SMEs that Fusionex has spoken to are receptive, open-minded and cognisant of the global language.

“They are open and want to embrace technology as long as it’s easier, faster, better, and more cost-effective than the status quo. In short, they are constructive but might be facing challenges in areas such as market access, funds, modern skills and technology. This is where DFTZ’s e-Services can assist them,” Teh told The Edge Financial Daily in an email exchange.

The platform is key to realising the e-World Trade Platform (eWTP) that has been one of Alibaba’s key initiatives under the DFTZ banner and aims to provide Malaysian SMEs access to global consumers via e-commerce.

“The e-Services platform functions as a one-stop digital trade facilitation platform, that is integrated with a multitude of business service platforms, e-marketplaces, government agencies, logistics providers, freight forwarders, agents, SMEs and other service providers,” said Teh.

The platform aims to “bridge the gap in terms of know-how, reduce costs, as well as avoid or minimise unnecessary delays and encumbrances associated with the old way of manually doing things,” he said, adding that it is meant to be highly scaleable and inclusive.

According to Teh, the platform is powered by big data technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and is “designed to help merchants — regardless of shape and size — to level the playing ground, and do so without incurring exorbitant costs”.

Fusionex is also riding on the strength of Alibaba Cloud, what with being the latter’s official strategic partner in this region.

“They are a great, committed partner,” Teh said of Alibaba Cloud, noting that the collaboration is synergistic as the latter “has a great cloud offering, whereas Fusionex is a leader in big data technology, AI and machine learning with a strong international reputation.”

While Fusionex may not be a household name to most Malaysians, it has certainly made waves overseas. The company had, until July last year, been listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market.

However, Teh had decided to take the company private after five years on the market due to what he reportedly said was a persistently undervalued stock.

Without disclosing any figures, Teh shares that Fusionex has “invested significantly” and will continue to invest as it is fully committed to ensuring the success of the e-Services platform.

He did not reveal the names of the group’s partners in its consortium, but that they are local players with the relevant expertise and experience.

ivan teh

Teh pointed out that like the DFTZ itself, the e-Services platform is not constrained to physical hubs such as the KL Aeropolis logistics hub being developed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Hong Kong) Ltd.

“e-Services will be an open platform that welcomes multiple business service providers, be it forwarding agents, logistics players, and of course very importantly, good local SMEs with great Malaysian products.”

“The cost benefits and efficiencies these players enjoy would ultimately trickle down to consumers [in the form of] faster, more efficient and more cost-effective products and fulfilment,” he said. https://about.me/ivanteh

Tourism

Penang And Its Popular Places To Visit

The island of Penang in Malaysia is dubbed as the “Pearl of the Orient” and considered as one of Asia’s most famous travel destination to date. This is not quite hard to imagine since Penang has grown into a beautiful city with modern architecture and yet still manages to preserve its historical value overtime, offering the best of worlds in one small area. Some of the best place to visit in penang are as follows:

Captain Francis Light christened the island Penang or Pulau Pinang which means the “island of the Betelnut”. This name is most likely derived from the fact that betel nut palms are commonly found within the island. Penang’s population greatly reflects its diversity. You can find different races in this island coexisting quite peacefully with each other such as the Chinese, Malays, Indians and others.

ANNUAL FESTIVALS

Penang is a fairly busy island, always bustling with annual festivities of different cultures. If you are visiting the island of Penang, it is not uncommon to chance upon at least one festival taking place during your stay. Some of the highlights are Chinese New Year held every late January or early February which signifies the beginning of Chinese Lunar year and Christmas Day celebrated by Christians every month of December.

Other occasions held in Penang, Malaysia annually are: The Birthday of the Goddess of Mercy, Wesak Day or the birthday of Lord Buddha, Hari Raya Puasa which marks the end of Ramadan, Saint Anne’s Feast, Hari Raya Haji, Festival of Nine Emperor Gods, Malaysia’s National Day, and Deepavali in commemoration of the slaying of evil king by Lord Krishna.

CUISINE

Penang travel can never be completed without sampling its fine delicacy and cuisine greatly influenced by Malays, Chinese and Indians. There is definitely no room for picky eaters here since there is always something for everybody and food is really great, tourists usually come back for more. The most famous dish is the Penang Laksa, a tamarind-based fish soup filled with noodles. Penang Laksa is a very delicious and filling treat. Tourist can either choose to buy their food from “hawkers” of roadside stalls or get them at regular sit-in restaurants which nicely dotted the area. Gurney Drive is the famous food street where you will find hawker’s stalls lined up and selling best of Penang Food.

https://tropicalspicegarden.com/interesting-places-to-go-visit-in-penang-malaysia/

Some of Penang’s local favorites are:

– Satay or Malaysian style kebab. 
– Apom, an Indian paper-thin pancake. 
– Apong, Nyonya’s folded pancake. 
– Beef ball noodles 
– Char Koay Teow, stir-fried rice noodles. 
– Chicken rice, a complete meal of Hainanese rice cooked in chicken stock served with roasted or steamed chicken. 
– Fried oysters for seafood lovers! 
– Mee Goreng, an Indian fried noodle. 
– Mee Suah Tau or vermicelli soup with flaked crab meat.

This is just some of the suggested food fare in Penang since this town is known for its excellent cuisine and their food list is virtually endless.

SHOPPING – more places to visit in penang

Shopping is never a problem in Penang. Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak is the biggest, most famous shopping complex in the area. It is the tallest building in Penang and placed sixth in Malaysia. KOMTAR Tower is by far, the most ambitious urban renewal project of the city of Penang. Famous retail shops and shopping outlets are found in this one, massive building, a real one-stop-shop for shopping tourists.

BEACHES

Penang beaches stretch from Tanjung Bungah to Telok Bahang for miles and miles. The most popular beach front is the Batu Ferringhi which is quite busy during peak seasons. Other beaches that you can find in Penang are: Tanjung Bungah, Muka Head, Pantai Keracut, Pantai Acheh, Monkey Beach and Gertak Sanggul, all of which are beautiful sandy beaches where you can relax and have fun under the sun.

GEORGETOWN HERITAGE SITE

Georgetown is the capital of Penang Island and was declared by UNESCO in 2008 as a world heritage site. Georgetown has extensive list of sights to see, some of its famous tourist attractions are Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Leith Street, built in 1890. Fort Cornwallis in Light Street was built in 1793 and visit Penang Islamic Museum by Armenian Street. The Pinang Peranakan Mansion can be found around Church Street and also check out Queen Victoria Clock Tower which commemorates Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Penang is also the home of the largest bridge in Malaysia and one of the largest in the world, the Penang Bridge. Don’t forget to experience Penang Hill as well, a favorite spot among tourists which can be accessed through railway or by foot.

Your visit to Penang will be richly awarded by different cultures and traditions that one can only experience in Penang, Malaysia. If you need to get away from it all, Penang is the site for you since it offers places to explore on-foot and beautiful beaches to swim on. Cultural heritage permeates the air of Penang, right from the sight, sound and smell.

Your visit will not allow you to go home empty-handed considering best shopping outlets for electronics, clothing and other products made from South-East Asia. Cultural diversity is also reflected with food choices available in this side of town. Penang truly feeds the mind and soul. With both modern and historical worth, it is safe to say that there’s always something for everybody here in Penang.

More info: https://tropicalspicegarden.com/interesting-places-to-go-visit-in-penang-malaysia/

Tropical Spice Garden
Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan
Teluk Bahang, Teluk
Bahang,11050 George
Town, Pulau Pinang
04-881 1797