PETALING JAYA, May 8 (Bernama) -- The Asia Foundation, the School of
Business of Monash University Sunway Campus, and RAM Holdings Bhd today launched
the 2012 Malaysia Business Environment Index (BEI), a diagnostic tool designed
to measure the business-friendliness of local governments in the country.
"The index is a Malaysia-specific diagnostic tool to benchmark and rank
local business environment that can be influenced by federal, state and local
policies and regulations," RAM''s Chief Group Economist Dr Yeah Kim Leng told
reporters after the launching ceremony here today.
The index also identifies high and low-performing districts and reveals the
successes and challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises-
experiences critical to a robust and dynamic private sector in Malaysia.
For the BEI pilot study, the first of its kind survey in Malaysia, 635
randomly-drawn SMEs in six states and 11 districts were asked to share
perceptions of their local business enviroment.
Senior Lecturer with the Department of Management at Monash University, Dr
Jane L.Y. Terpstra Tong said the 11 districts were ranked in order of
business-friendliness across nine areas of economic governance that are relevant
to local economic growth in Malaysia, including entry costs, transparency,
informal charges, property rights, and crime and security.
According to the BEI pilot study, Kemaman in the state of Terengganu ranked
the highest in business-friendliness followed by Sepang in the state of Selangor
while Ampang Jaya ranked the lowest and Petaling Jaya the second lowest.
Dr Tong said the BEI was a useful complement to the government''s Star Rating
System in which Ampang Jaya scored among the highest, different from the BEI
"A key difference between the two complementary assessments is the BEI
relies on the perceptions of local business people while the Star Rating System
focuses on the internal structure of government funtions and captures the
experiences of internal government officers," she said.
Overseeings the survey''s methodology Dr Tong said the survey provided an
economic baseline and strengthened the advocacy capacity of business leaders to
engage local government officials.--BERNAMA