January 24th, 2012

Wishing Everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year, “A Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012 Year of the Dragon !” 



So what to expect from the Asian and especially the Local Stock Market when it opens for trading ?

The markets in general, as usual will continue to take lead from overseas performances especially the developments in the European Crisis Meetings that is on going but in the local front, it’s “ENTER THE DRAGON !” {starring ‘BRUE LEE’ aka ‘Small Dragon Lee’ – ^_^  ! ^_^ !}

As such do expect Penny Stocks to be in focus as they are the  ‘STARS’ that’s going to show the ‘Way of the Dragon’ in BURSA MALAYSIA !        

Have a good and productive trading days ahead ! 

Cheers !


April 21st, 2011


Chen-led consortium to invest RM9.6b in Karambunai resort


Written by Chua Sue-Ann   

Wednesday, 20 April 2011 11:23



KUALA LUMPUR: A consortium comprising gaming tycoon Tan Sri Chen Lip Keong’s group of companies and Prism Crystal Enterprises Ltd are set to invest RM9.6 billion to develop the Karambunai Integrated Resort City in Sabah with the project’s landowners.The resort is situated on a 1,100ha piece of land, owned by Karambunai Corp Bhd and Petaling Tin Bhd, on the Karambunai peninsula.

Chen has substantial interest in both companies and is the president of both.

The low-profile businessman is the single-largest shareholder of Karambunai Corp, holding a 43.9% stake. Petaling Tin has a 34.08% block.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Petaling Tin said it has not signed any agreement with any parties pertaining to the resort project and there are no corporate developments that warrant future disclosures to the stock exchange at this juncture.

Little is known about Prism Crystal Enterprises, which is said to be a special purpose vehicle formed to participate in the Karambunai Integrated Resort City project.

At present, details are scarce on the RM9.6 billion investment in the resort but it is learnt that Chen’s two other listed companies — steelmaker FACB Industries Inc Bhd and Hong Kong-listed gaming and leisure company NagaCorp Ltd — are not part of the plans.

Chen, who founded NagaCorp, is currently the group’s CEO and executive director and he holds a controlling 63.07% stake in the group.

NagaCorp owns and operates NagaWorld, the only licensed casino in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh.

Chen also appears to have considerable clout with the Cambodian government, having been appointed as economic adviser to Cambodia’s prime minister and an adviser with ministerial status to the Cambodian government.

Last month, Karambunai Corp announced that it had entered into a joint venture with Cambodia-based China Central Asia Group Co Ltd (CCAG) to develop the Karambunai resort’s first phase, the Karambunai Beachfront mixed development project.

CCAG, a shareholder of Prism Crystal Enterprises, will invest a seed capital of US$100 million (RM306 million) as a revolving fund for the joint venture.

Karambunai Corp’s subsidiary, Karambunai Resorts Sdn Bhd, will contribute 75 acres of land valued at RM270 million to the joint venture.

Announcing the consortium’s entry yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Karambunai Integrated Resort City is expected to contribute a gross national income of RM9.3 billion and create about 11,002 jobs by 2020.

Plans for the Karambunai resort include attractions like a water theme park, mangrove research centre and spa village.

The project will also house luxury residences, hotel accommodation, retail space and eco-nature facilities.

However, questions still linger as to whether the resort will eventually feature a casino despite the company denying reports on the plans.

Karambunai Corp already has hospitality operations in Sabah with its five-star Nexus Resort Karambunai and Nexus Golf Resort
The Karambunai Integrated Resort City will be eveloped over eight years from 2012 to 2019.

Following Najib’s announcement yesterday, shares of both Karambunai and Petaling Tin rose to their highest in almost two months.

Petaling Tin shares surged 35% to 48.5 sen from 36 sen a day earlier with 8.59 million shares done.

Karambunai Corp’s shares climbed 4.5 sen to close at 25.5 sen with 160 million shares traded.


This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, April 20, 2011.


Happy Chinese New Year 2011

February 3rd, 2011

To all my friends and readers who celebrate Chinese New Year !

I wish you all,


Welcome year 2011, enter the “RABBIT” !

So how will the Equities Markets perform in this year of the “RABBIT” ?

The Rabbit is by nature gentle, harmless and therefore, lovable ! Even more lovable is this “Metal Rabbit” !

The Year of Rabbit is expected to start hopping at the beginning. Stock play are expected to be fast, quick and swift. Long term STOCKS with good earning potential and GROWTH STOCKS should be the main focus as they have less risk to investors ( Remember the story of the “Hare and the Tortoise” ? ).

Well, analysts nowadays are more versatile and more broking houses are using “Feng Shui” prediction to complement the usual orthorox methodology in Fundamental and Technical Analysis to pick Stocks !


CLSA-FSI-2011[1] – english version ( New ! )


CLSA-FSI-2011-chi[1] – chinese version ( New ! )

Cheers to all !

Auspicious Day to Start Work in 2011

Auspicious Day to Start Work in 2011

It’s that time of the year again…………., let’s celebrate !

December 23rd, 2010

Here’s wishing all my friends and readers an earlier,




While we are in the midst of a “BULL RUN”, let’s take time off for a “CELEBRATION” !

In Malaysia, it’s “evergreen” festival all year through !

November 4th, 2010

Greetings from Moneytalk to All Hindus   !

World Markets expected to Rally till May 2011 !

IRs – Integrated Resorts all the rage !

September 23rd, 2010

Karambunai shares surge 45pc on casino report

By Lee Wei Lian

September 22, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 – Shares of Karambunai Corp Berhad surged 45 per cent to 8 sen today following The Malaysian Insider report that a proposed Integrated Resort (IR) at Karambunai in Sabah could potentially include a casino.

Karambunai’s main business is operating the Nexus Karambunai resort and is linked to Hong Kong listed NagaCorp Ltd which operates a casino in Phnom Penh,Cambodia. NagaCorp’s founder and CEO Tan Sri Dr Chen Lip Keong is also president of Karambunai Corp.

At 3.15 pm, it was up nearly three sen to 8 sen with 14.5 million shares done.

The Malaysian Insider

wrote yesterday that Malaysia appears to have jumped on the IR bandwagon with the unveiling today of a proposed 500-acre “eco-nature” resort in Sabah as part of the Economic Transformation Programme.Sources told The Malaysian Insider that the option to build a casino is on the table for the Karambunai IR – alongside a mangrove centre, water theme park and waterfront properties – to ensure a higher return on investment (ROI).

Although the presentation panels for the development made no mention of any casino, they repeatedly referenced Singapore’s highly successful Marina Bay Sands as well as Resort World Manila in the Philippines and Vietnam’s Ho Tram Strip – all of which are casino-anchored IRs.

One illustration, entitled “Case for Change”, argued that Malaysia lagged behind regional competitors in tapping into the strong demand for IRs from countries like China, Indonesia and Thailand, and pointed out that Singapore had already seen a 21 per cent increase in tourist arrivals since opening Marina Bay Sands and Resort World Singapore.

The Malaysian Insider

also understands that if a casino is built as part of the Karambunai IR, international players such as The Sands might be roped in to run it rather than local operator Genting.Some analysts however said that a new casino in Sabah would face obstacles.

“We note the rumour of a casino in Sabah but believe there are still many hurdles faced by this proposal for now,” said OSK Research in a report today.

PM/FM stepping hard on the accelerator to fuel the Nation’s Economic Growth !

September 20th, 2010

The “GREEN” lights on and no holding back, generators going full steam ! Call it by whatever name and terms you like, the “Magician” pulling out from his bag of “tricks” and waving his magical wand ; the Bulls are set to run the Bursa Malaysia Market FBM KLCI to another level high breaking the previous high of ~1525 points set during Pak Lah’s time ! It seems that precedent has been set that the PM/FM of the day always bring the KLCI higher the those set earlier by his predecessors ! Some analysts even predict our FBM KLCI to hit 2600 points but without setting any time frame as he compares the Secular Bull Markets of a few successful South East Asian Markets to the Malaysian and opines that it is possible ! 

With the latest “POSITIVE” announcements and development going forward and the up coming 2011 Budget schedule to be announced on 15/10/2010, Sarawak State Election and  the General Election not far from “NOW”, what is seen from now are all gearing up towards these !  So the BULL will run and I optimistically think so ! 

With streams of good news flowing, post raya, pre Diwali and early “SEASON’s GREETING” has come a calling ! Ho ho ho and Jingles all the way !


O&G, energy to boost gross national income by RM74.6b under National Key Economic Area

Written by Melody Song

Monday, 20 September 2010 12:38

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government hopes to see an additional US$24 billion (RM74.6 billion) contribution to gross national income (GNI) through the oil, gas and energy (OGE) sector in the next decade as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA), according to sources.

The three-pronged strategy led by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) will be to sustain, grow and diversify the OGE sector. It is expected to generate 51,000 new jobs from entry-point projects and other business opportunities related to the sector.

In order to fund the proposed initiatives, US$100 billion of investment over the 10-year period would be required, with 76% of the funds coming from government-linked companies (GLCs), 20% from the private sector, and 4% from public investments.

According to sources, some of the key milestones are to import liquefied natural gases (LNG) by 2012 as a fuel substitute and to create new industries, to reduce the energy bill by 15% by 2014 and to have in place a regional oil storage and trading hub with a capacity of 10 million tonnes by 2017.


The deepwater oil terminal is proposed to be built in Pengerang, Johor, to complement Singapore’s terminal and storage facility whose expansion is restricted by limited land. It is envisaged that the downstream project would be based on the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area in Europe.

The proposed terminal, to be funded via private investments, would have the potential for the development of downstream industries including a refinery and oil-based petrochemical complex as well as a regasification terminal. It is expected to add US$500 million to overall GNI and create an additional 800 jobs by 2020.

By 2020, the lab envisages the country having two gigawatt (GW) nuclear power, one GW of solar power and five GW of hydro power. It is understood that to have nuclear power by 2021, the government needs to take action immediately.

(Stocks to watch : ZELAN, WCT, YTLPWR & other Power Specialists Counters you may think of )

Sarawak is seen to be the key area to drive industrial growth, with hydro plants expected to contribute about US$1.8 billion in GNI by 2020. Meanwhile, solar power is also seen as a good alternative for capacity build-up post 2015 due to falling costs.

Another of the OGE lab’s aims is to make Malaysia the main Asian hub for oil field services by increasing the presence of major oilfield services players, creating regional fabrication leaders and by encouraging joint ventures with world-class companies.

These moves come on the back of slower compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of oil production over the last decade and smaller average size of new discoveries following the increase in exploration activities.

(KNM, SAPCRES, HANDAL, and other Oil rig building Stocks )

It is understood that “aggressive” plans and measures comprising exploration, enhanced oil recovery and small fields are in place to make up for depleting reserves to sustain present oil production levels of 550 thousand to 600 thousand barrels per day (kbd) to sustain GNI at levels of around US$18.6 billion.

According to statistics, Asia’s appetite for crude oil is expected to grow at 420 thousand barrels per day (kbd) per year. At present, consumption levels for the continent are 21.6 million barrels per day and this figure is expected to grow to 23.7 million barrels per day in 2015.

Some of the key players in the initiative include the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), the Malaysian Nuclear Agency and the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida).

The 12 NKEAs under the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) are oil, gas and energy, palm oil, financial services and capital markets, wholesale, retail and distribution, tourism, telecommunications, education, electrical and electronics, business services, health services, agriculture and the urban revitalisation of Greater Kuala Lumpur.

(All stocks related to such mentioned Sectors are worth to look at )

Earlier this month, Second Fnance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah had earlier said that the full report on the New Economic Model (NEM) transformation would be made public next month.

He had also said that 92% of the investments were expected to come from the private sector, including GLCs.

This article appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, September 20, 2010.


September 20, 2010 20:22 PM

Malaysia-Singapore To Settle KTM Land Development Charges In Arbitration Court

By Zakaria Abdul Wahab

SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Bernama) – Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to bring the outstanding issue on the development charges payable on Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) land in the city-state that will be jointly developed by both countries, to the international court for arbitration.

According to a joint statement issued after Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak met his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana here Monday, both leaders agreed to settle the issue amicably through arbitration under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

The statement said both countries had different views relating to the charges payable on the three parcels of Points of Agreement (POA) land in Tanjong Pagar, Kranji and Woodlands.

The three parcels of land are expected to be developed by a 60-40 joint-venture company, M-S Pte Ltd, to be set up between Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Ltd.

Najib and Lee had further agreed to accept the arbitration award as final and binding.

It is understood that the development charges, which applied to any business which wants to develop any land in Singapore, will be significant if the three parcels of land are going to be developed.

The contention now is that based on the POA entered into, by both countries in 1990, the clause on who should pay the development charges was not clear enough.

Singapore interpreted that the company should pay for the development charges but Malaysia said there should be no cost at all.

However, Najib and Lee agreed that the arbitration would proceed on its own track, and should not affect the implementation of the POA and the other bilateral initiatives agreed upon, in their first meeting here on May 24, this year.

In that meeting, Malaysia agreed to move the Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) Tanjong Pagar station to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint by July 1, next year, and the three parcels of land would be vested in M-S Pte Ltd for joint development and swapped with several pieces of land in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor.

Speaking at a joint press conference later with Lee, Najib said the issue was not a major problem but it was important for they wanted an agreement (POA) that would survive the test of time.

Najib said they wanted to make it a legally and politically correct agreement that would be accepted by both peoples of Malaysia and Singapore and their future generations.

Najib said: This agreement signifies the final chapter in the long-standing arrangement which started 20 years ago.

We both are delighted and as well as relieved in a sense that we can put this behind us and move forward.”

The prime minister pointed out that Singapore and Lee had shown deep commitment in addressing the POA which was of mutual benefit to both sides, resulting in the old version of the POA further enhanced.

On June 22, this year, in follow-up talks with Najib in Putrajaya, Lee conveyed Singapore s offer on the land swap.

Following that meeting, Lee sent a revised land swap offer to Najib on June 28.

Najib accepted the offer on Sept 17, and Lee replied two days later, confirming his agreement in which the Singapore Government should vest four land parcels in Marina South and two land parcels in Ophir-Rochor in M-S Pte Ltd, in lieu of the POA lands.

Both leaders said the discussion on the details of the implementation of the POA by the Joint Implementation Team would be concluded by this Dec 31.

They also reiterated their commitment to the matters set out in the May 24 meeting, including the 50-50 joint-venture company between Khazanah and Temasek to undertake the development of the iconic wellness township project in Iskandar Malaysia and the joint development of a rapid transit system link between Johor Bharu and Singapore.

– Bernama

(Stocks to watch : Iskandar related Construction and Properties Counters like UEMLand, MRCB, TEBRAU, BJASSETS, DIJACOR, PJDev, DBhd , MPCorp, LBS, Plenitude, Glomac, DAiman, Mahsing, SPSetia, Crescendo, HuaYang, and etc)


A “GEM” unveiled ?

September 13th, 2010

With EPF, Malaysia Government Link Companies, Banks, Funds and Private Companies investing abroad to widen their earning base, so investors too need to think, grow and invest globally ! Here’s a counter that has a good chance to grow like that of it’s sister company in Singapore for those who have missed earlier at your own risk !   

Genting HK: a turnaround story 




SOMETIMES the headlines don’t tell the whole story. A case in point is the recent results of Genting Hong Kong.


The company recently reported a first-half net profit of US$12 million, reversing a loss of US$34.5 million during the same period last year (though Genting HK was a different animal then). But after stripping out US$14.4 million in one-off gains, Genting HK turned in a core net loss of US$3 million for the first six months of this year, a figure which fell far short of analysts’ estimates of some US$96 million.


But what the market appears to have missed is the fact that this company made a huge turnaround during its second quarter.


Genting HK, once known as Star Cruises, is a three-pronged US$1.9 billion market-cap gaming entity comprising Star Cruises in Asia, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) in the US, and Resorts World Manila (RWM) in the Philippines.


The interesting bits about the company emerged during a briefing provided by management a day after the Aug 28 results.


During the briefing, the company’s management said gaming turnover numbers had exceeded all expectations during the second quarter, and hinted that the numbers in July and August continued to take off. Analysts and some of the more privileged investors were told that on some days, wins at its Manila casino could match any other casino in the world, based on return on capital invested.



The best daily win last month exceeded US$7 million, the equivalent of S$10 million. This should be a familiar number to anyone who recently followed the results unveiled by Genting Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, which reported over S$900 million in revenue for the quarter, or S$300 million a month, which translates to S$10 million in takings per day.


The interesting thing is that RWM achieved this with minimal marketing effort and without the huge capital outlays of the Singapore casinos.


The casino, which is still in its early stages of development, currently operates 199 tables and 1,200 slot machines. This is expected to increase by 50 per cent when it opens its third gaming floor in the final quarter of this year. But RWM has also identified a second site, and has a gaming licence allowing it to operate some 2,000 tables and 7,000 slot machines over the two sites.


In comparison, RWS and Marina Bay Sands each have about 500 tables and 1,300 slot machines.


There is a nice parallel here with Genting Singapore which, after a somewhat undistinguished start marked by a huge writedown of its London gaming assets, took off during its second quarter to post S$396 million in earnings to end-June.


But Genting HK has several advantages over its Singapore cousin and Malaysian parent.


For one thing, the captive Philippines market is young and huge, with its population of almost 100 million. And as the only luxury casino in the country, it faces minimal competition.


Meanwhile, reports emerged yesterday about the Genting group entering into in discussions with the Philippines government on the possible purchase of the latter’s state-owned gaming assets. These assets, held under state-controlled PagCor, comprise over 40 small casinos which raked in almost S$900 million in income during 2008. If this latest deal does happen, it could significantly enlarge Genting HK’s gaming portfolio and revenues.


Meanwhile, through its Star Cruises, which has been plying the Hong Kong-Taiwan route since May 2009, Genting HK is laying the foundations for its involvement in Taiwan’s ambitious integrated resort project. The Taipei government has reportedly already appointed consultants to look into this.


Numbers are important and do tell a story.


But sometimes, looking beyond just historical earnings data, and listening to guidance provided by management, can provide more colour and clarity about the outlook and prospects for a company. In the case of Genting HK, the picture appears a lot more colourful and exciting than its first-half earnings numbers suggested.

-half earnings numbers suggested.



0803 GMT [Dow Jones]


Genting Hong Kong (S21.SG), Genting Singapore (G13.SG) most sought-after stocks in


Singapore, together accounting for about one-third of market”s total volume. Genting Hong


Kong +11.4% at US$0.49, extending 54.4% gain so far this month, on continued optimism


over earnings prospects given cruise operator”s 50%-owned gaming investment Resorts


World Manila. Just when interest in sister firm Genting Singapore starting to soften in


recent sessions after strong rally in past months (stock up by milder 8.3% since beginning


September), shares +6.6% at new multi-year high of S$1.95. “There were a few kind


reports on Genting Singapore today,” says trader at local brokerage, referring to CLSA”s


target price upgrade to S$3.00 from S$2.00 to factor in better earnings visibility, plus


Daiwa”s initiation at Outperform with S$2.06 target. Huge volume on both stocks indicates


strong momentum, which could last in coming days despite technical indicators showing


both severely overbought. (frankie.ho@dowjones.com)




Will we see a new high for the FBM KLCI before year end ?
Will the FBM KLCI refresh its rally to the immediate hurdle of 1,450, followed by the all-time high level at 1,524.69 ??

My 2 cents opinion : An Optimistic “AYE” !

FBM KLCI todate

FBM KLCI todate








Hari Raya Greetings !

September 10th, 2010



A short “RALLY” to scale new heights ?

July 23rd, 2010

A rally to distribute “goodies” for rakyat to spend during “RAMADAN” in time for “HARI RAYA” !

In conjunction with the release of PLCs’ quarterly/mid-year financial results which mostly are said to be good and within expectation, operators are taking such opportunities to push up their counters and liquidate into strength for “CASH” and “FUND” as the next quarterly/half yearly financials are not expected to be better for most PLCs !

Another factor could be the “FEEL GOOD” reason that may suggest a run up in Equities as the SARAWAK STATE ELECTION could be near.

Investors and traders ought to be nimble with their trades as operators nowadays are much smarter than you think !

Note :

[ “Feel Good” – Inflation Index rising suggest consumers are spending but be aware that World Economic Recovery has slowed and Interest Rates are rising meaning an end to monetary and fiscal stimulus ! ]


Advice : Be careful with your investments and trades and Stock Picks ! 


July 23, 2010 10:41 AM

Sarawak Showcasing Score In UK To Woo British Investors

From Mohd Iswandi Kasan Anuar

LONDON, July 23 (Bernama) — The Sarawak state government is making efforts to showcase the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) as an investor- friendly destination in the United Kingdom (UK) to woo investors.

As of May, SCORE has attracted investments totalling RM87.61 billion across sectors, making it one of the most enviable investment destinations in the country since its launch in 2006.

The corridor is located within the Central Region of Sarawak, stretching 320km along the coast from Tanjung Manis to Samalaju. It covers 70,000 sq km with a population of 607, 800 people.

The Tanjung Manis Halal Park is the first one-stop Halal Park in East Malaysia for upstream and downstream halal food and manufacturing activities under the corridor.

A high-level trade delegation of the state government led by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will attend several major events in the UK.

Taib will be accompanied by Special Advisor in the Chief Minister’s Office Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Tanjung Manis Halal Hub Development Executive Chairman Datuk Norah Tun Abd Rahman, State Financial Secretary Datuk Seri Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman, State Economic Planning Unit Director Datu Ismawi Ismuni and Regional Economic Development Authority Director Datuk Amar Wilson Baya Dandot.

Meanwhile, at the Sarawak Investment Symposium on Thursday, Ismawi gave a presentation on strategic investment opportunities in Sarawak in oil-based industries, aluminium, metal, glass, tourism, palm oil, timber-based, steel, nickel and zinc, livestock, fishing and aquaculture and marine engineering industries.

“We received a lot of enquiries during business matching not just for halal hub but also on SCORE, a lot of participants plan to look into renewable energy and oil and gas,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Ismawi said investors in strategic industries would enjoy attractive financial incentives offered by the Federal Government through the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) like pioneer status, investment tax allowance and reinvestment allowance.

“We now have some serious marketing to do in UK to create awareness on the halal industry,” said Norah.

She said Tanjung Manis would continue to work closely with MIDA and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) to promote the industry further.

Developments within the corridor would not only generate vast economic, business and employment opportunities but also lead to opgrading of infrastructures, utilities and social amenities, she said.

The symposium was supported by the Malaysian High Commission in London, the Commonwealth Business Council and the Muslim Council of Britain.



By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 7/23/2010

Malaysian PM offers pre-polls “goodies” for key Borneo State !

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has travelled to a key state on Borneo island to make multi-million-dollar development promises in a bid to galvanise support ahead of landmark elections.

Najib arrived at the remote highland village of Long Banga in Sarawak state by helicopter on Thursday, accompanied by a high-powered team including four senior ministers.

Local politicians have said that state polls could be held in Sarawak as early as October, and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition — which rules nationally — is intent on a big win after humiliating 2008 general elections.

Pundits say that fresh nationwide elections could follow soon after the Sarawak polls, which will provide the BN with an indication of levels of support on Borneo that are key to its holding power nationally.

Najib’s four-hour visit to Long Banga, home to indigenous tribespeople, comes after the BN suffered a disastrous defeat to the opposition in a parliamentary by-election in Sarawak in May.

The premier was in an ebullient mood after receiving a spectacular welcome in Long Banga, telling some 2,000 people from the Penan, Kayan, Saban and Kenyah tribes that their welfare and economic needs will be guaranteed.

He was treated to a traditional hornbill dance, and performers in bright yellow and black outfits sang songs calling for the resolution of long-standing problems like land rights and infrastructure.

“The response is great. It was very spontaneous. The promises will be delivered,” Najib told AFP.

The premier pledged 100 million ringgit (over 31 million dollars) to complete the long overdue Beluru-Lapok road which connects the coastal town of Miri and villages in Baram district deep in Borneo’s interior.

He allocated six million ringgit for a mini hydro-electric dam for Long Banga, one million ringgit for a road linking the village to an airport, and 500,000 ringgit for a mobile medical clinic.

One Penan family trekked five hours through the jungle to hear Najib’s pledges.

“We have heard many promises. We are frustrated as our land problems are not solved yet,” Daud Sedin, 35, told AFP. “Maybe I will turn to the opposition now.”

The Penan are some of the most disadvantaged of Malaysia’s indigenous people. Najib did not address complaints that their traditional land is being razed by logging and plantations, nor allegations of rape by timber company workers against Penan women.

Henry Tugak, 52, a member of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, a governing coalition member and the ruling party in Sarawak, said many voters were dissatisfied after two decades of promises to build the Lapok road.

“Najib came here to steer Sarawakians to vote BN. But it is going to be tough. Victory is not going to be easy as there is also unhappiness with chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. Morally he should go,” he said.

Taib has been in power in Sarawak for 29 years and voters and businesses are increasingly disgruntled with his long reign.

Malaysia’s political landscape was transformed in the 2008 national elections which saw the opposition secure unprecedented gains, seizing five states and a third of parliamentary seats and threatening the BN’s half-century grip on power.