60 Anak Muda Dipilih Menyertai Program Felo Perdana 2018

(17-08-2018)

Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada hari ke-100 pemerintahan Pakatan Harapan (PH) mengakui barisan kabinetnya masih memiliki sifat-sifat pembangkang dan mengambil masa untuk menyesuaikan diri sebagai pemerintah. Beliau berkata perkara itu berlaku berikutan peralihan kerajaan selepas 61 tahun pembangkang tidak dapat mendirikan kerajaan. “Dan dengan itu, mereka mempunyai sifat pembangkang. Apabila jadi kerajaan, dan sifat-sifat lama itu masih muncul serta mempengaruhi fikiran mereka. Tetapi dalam masa pendek juga, mereka sudah membuat ‘adjustment’ (penyesuaian) dan sekarang ini sedar jadi pemerintah,” kata Perdana Menteri.

Tun Dr Mahathir, yang memimpin PH untuk membentuk kerajaan baharu berikutan kemenangan pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 pada 9 Mei lepas, berkata demikian pada Majlis Penyerahan Felo Perdana Tahun 2018 di Perdana Putra di sini hari ini. Turut hadir ialah Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Menteri Belia dan Sukan Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, yang juga merupakan alumni Felo Perdana 2015, menteri-menteri kabinet dan Ketua Setiausaha Negara Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa. Seramai 60 peserta kumpulan keenam program Felo Perdana yang bermula sejak 2013, akan menempatkan diri dalam pelbagai kerjaya serta jawatan penting termasuk diambil bertugas di pejabat-pejabat menteri kabinet selama enam minggu hingga tiga bulan. Program Felo Perdana memberi peluang kepada generasi muda mempelajari cara-cara pentadbiran negara dan pengalaman menjadi pemimpin, kata Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Beliau berkata 60 anak muda yang terpilih menyertai program itu dan akan ditempatkan bersama anggota kabinetnya diharap akan melahirkan pemimpin yang dapat membawa diri dengan sikap yang diperlukan bagi seorang pemerintah. Tun Dr Mahathir berkata walaupun Malaysia mengamalkan sistem demokrasi yang membolehkan sesiapa sahaja menjadi pemimpin, namun kejayaan sistem itu hanya akan ditentukan oleh karektor seseorang pemimpin. “Demokrasi tidak selalunya baik kalau dapat kepada pemimpin tidak baik, maka demokrasi turut menjadi tidak baik. Oleh itu, banyak benda perlu dipelajari oleh generasi muda yang mungkin akan menggantikan mereka yang sudah dewasa dan berpengalaman menjadi pemimpin,” katanya ketika berucap pada majlis penyerahan Felo Perdana kepada menteri-menteri kabinet di Perdana Putra, di sini hari ini. Sambil menyebut nama Menteri Belia dan Sukan Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman yang merupakan alumni Felo Perdana sebagai contoh, Dr Mahathir berkata program itu mungkin akan dapat melahirkan seorang lagi menteri muda.

“Inilah masanya bagi anak-anak muda Malaysia yang mempunyai aspirasi untuk terlibat secara langsung dalam kepimpinan negara,” kata beliau. Seramai 60 graduan dan mahasiswa dari universiti dalam dan luar negara terpilih menyertai program itu tahun ini daripada 542 permohonan yang diterima oleh Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS). Mereka adalah kumpulan keenam Felo Perdana yang akan ditempatkan bersama menteri-menteri kabinet selama enam minggu hingga tiga bulan bertujuan melahirkan belia yang dinamik, berdaya saing dan mempunyai pengalaman relevan berhubung sistem kabinet serta pelbagai aspek kepimpinan dan pentadbiran negara. Graduan jurusan undang-undang dari Universiti Malaya, Leeroy Ting Kah Sing adalah antara peserta bertuah yang akan ditempatkan bersama Dr Mahathir sebagai mentor. Anak muda berusia 24 tahun yang berasal dari Kuching, Sarawak itu berkata sebelum menamatkan pengajian pada bulan lepas, beliau pernah bertugas dengan Jawatankuasa Reformasi Institusi yang ditubuhkan Majlis Penasihat kerajaan bagi melaksanakan perubahan kepada institusi-institusi yang penting di negara ini.

“Saya akan menggunakan kesempatan ini untuk membantu kerajaan merealisasikan beberapa cadangan jawatankuasa itu yang telah diserahkan kepada kerajaan,” katanya. Bagi Dayana Najwa Jainon, 23, yang akan ditempatkan bersama Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, berkata beliau teruja terpilih dalam kumpulan pertama Felo Perdana di bawah kerajaan baharu. “Jadi saya mahu melihat dan melibatkan diri secara langsung dalam pelaksanaan polisi kerajaan baharu dan jika boleh menyampaikan maklumat mengenai polisi baharu ini kepada generasi saya,” katanya. Pelajar tahun ketiga jurusan Pentadbiran Perniagaan di Monash University Malaysia, Y. Laveenyah Preetha yang akan ditempatkan bersama Menteri Dalam Negeri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin pula berkata peluang itu tidak hadir dengan mudah terutamanya bagi mereka yang masih belum menamatkan pengajian sepertinya.

“Saya sangat teruja ditempatkan bersama beliau (Muhyiddin) lebih-lebih lagi beliau mempunyai pengalaman yang sangat lama dalam pentadbiran kerajaan, jadi saya tahu ia menjadi pengalaman yang sangat berguna bagi saya,” katanya.

Anthony Loke : All AES Summonses Cancelled

(17-08-2018)

PUTRAJAYA has cancelled all existing summonses issued under the controversial Automated Enforcement System (AES), said Anthony Loke. The government has forgiven all unpaid summonses for speeding motorists caught by the Automated Enforcement System (AES). However, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said this is a one-off goodwill gesture by the government and warned that there will no future cancellations of summonses or discounts.

The transport minister, Anthony Loke said from September 1, the Road Transport Department will take over operation of the AES which is managed by two private companies. “There are 3.1 million unpaid summonses up to May this year. If it is paid it would amount to RM430 million. But we stress that this is a one-off; in the next five years of our administration there will not be a second time. Starting Sept 1 we will enforce (traffic summonses) strictly. Any summon issued has to be paid by motorists and there will be no more discounts after this, so don’t wait for a discount to pay your summonses,” he said today at a press conference. Currently there are 10 fixed and four mobile AES cameras in 14 accident-prone spots in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Perak. Under AES, photographs and video images of vehicles flouting traffic rules are captured, before summonses are issued.

Meanwhile, economists remain confident with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who aims for a country which is corruption-free and economically vibrant despite delays in fulfilling its promises. As August 18 marks the first 100 days of PH ruling after winning the 14th General Election (GE14), they said that the time frame was too short to fulfil its election pledges, see changes and bring about significant reforms. Hence, they felt that the PH government should take the opportunity to plan for the country’s future direction and not only focusing on their promises made during the election. According to Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd Chief Economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, given the sheer size of economic uncertainties brought by external factors, it would be almost unrealistic to expect changes to happen immediately.

“Malaysian economy is very open to global conditions and at the moment, risk aversion has increasingly become more apparent. So this may impact markets and business sentiment as well as demand. The PH government needs to work around with the constraints that they have now such as the fiscal position and challenging economic prospects. However, the zero-rated Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the subsequent reintroduction of Sales and Services Tax (SST) in September suggest that the government is committed to implementing its election promises,” he told a local press. “In addition to the fuel subsidy whereby RON95 continues to remain stable, this move had also helped the people to contend with the rise in the cost of living. Obviously this is not easy especially when dealing with the credit rating agencies, and the risks of sovereign rating downgrade is something that the government needs to acknowledge,” he said.

“So we can see that the PH government is being pragmatic in implementing their election pledges as some of it are still pending,” he continued. Concurring with this view, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research Executive Director Emeritus Professor Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid opined that the price control on RON95 (RM2.20 a litre), RON97 (RM2.65) and diesel (RM2.18), would help reduce household burden on fuel expenditure. “It helps a bit to lower the cost of living but the long run solution is not in the policy of retaining the price of RON95 and diesel,” said Professor Dr Zakariah. Abolition of GST, stabilisation of fuel prices, postponement of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation’s (PTPTN) loans, investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contributions for housewives were among the immediate accomplishments under the PH’s manifesto of 10 promises.

“Perhaps, business practices are also the main contributing factor for the rise in the cost of living. This is especially true when the Malaysians tendency to spend is quite high, and to some extent, they are just price-takers. So this would allow businesses to maintain or even raise their prices. Therefore, the enforcement of the existing laws such as Price Control and Anti Profiteering Act holds the key to stabilising prices,” he added. On the government’s move to re-implement SST starting next month, Top Glove Corporation Bhd’s Executive Chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai said it seemed positive for businesses as this would eliminate the outstanding input tax refundable issue. “SST is also more direct, simpler and easier to understand, compared with GST (for example: technical terminologies like blocked input tax, exempt supply and zero-rated supply). Furthermore, we understand there will be a “My SST” website where everything will be done online, which will result in more efficiency,” said Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai.

However, Dr Zakariah said the reinstitution of SST after a period of tax holiday would mean a fresh addition to cost. “Certainly, it will increase goods prices in the short term because of the additional cost as sellers maintain their mark-up pricing,” he pointed out.

Tun M optimistic in fulfilling Harapan manifesto

(17-08-2018)

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on the 100th day of the administration of the Pakatan Harapan (PH), conceded that his cabinet line-up still has the characteristics of the opposition and will take time to adept itself as the government. He said this happened due to the transition of power after 61 years that the opposition could not set up the government.

“And as such, they have the traits of the opposition. When it becomes the government, the old traits still appear and influence their thinking. But within the short period, they have made adjustments and now realise that they have now become the government,” he said. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir, who leads the Pakatan Harapan to form the new government following the victory in the 14th General Election on May 9, said this at the Handing Over of the Premier Fellow for the Year 2018 at Perdana Putra, here today. Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who is also the 2015 Premier Fellow alumni, cabinet ministers and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa. Sixty participants of the sixth group of the Premier Fellow program which began in 2013, will be emplaced in various career positions and key posts including being deployed to the various cabinet ministers’ offices for between six weeks to three months.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Pakatan Harapan government was striving to fulfill the promises in its election manifesto, but indicated that more time was needed to do that. The PH government has come under scrutiny over its 100-day fulfillment of election pledges as the deadline draws near. Tun Dr Mahathir said, however, he was optimistic that most of what was outlined in the document would be resolved within five years. The manifesto was crafted on the basis of what PH knew at that time, he told reporters yesterday after launching the Cardiac Vascular Sentral Kuala Lumpur (CVSKL), a private cardiac and vascular specialist hospital. “But when we took over (the government) we found that the situation was much worse, more money had been borrowed,” he said, adding that the government found itself working in an environment that was not suited to what it wanted to do.

Dr Mahathir also said that the government had to draft certain laws and bring them to Parliament – a process that required time – to fulfill its election vows. On his upcoming visit to China, Dr Mahathir said it was aimed at, among other things, to strengthen relations between the two countries. “China is the first country that I should have visited but other problems prevented me from going to China much earlier,” he said. Dr Mahathir is scheduled to make an official visit to China from Aug 17 to 21 at the invitation of his counterpart, Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

A Recap of Pakatan Harapan 10 Promises in 100 Days

(17-08-2018)

Of the 10 election pledges that it promised to fulfil in its first 100 days, the Pakatan Harapan government tick off two items on the list while six others are in progress. Two promises have not been met yet, after discovering that more time, funds and assessments are needed to ensure their feasibility. In the run-up to the 100 days on Friday, let’s take a look at how the government is faring in keeping its 10 promises.

Abolish GST was fulfilled. GST was zero rated on June 1, fulfilling this key promise, and the bill to repeal the GST Act was passed in the Dewan Rakyat last week. The sales and services tax (SST) comes into force on September 1 at 6% for services and 10% for sales. It was unclear at first whether the prices of goods and food at popular eateries like Indian-Muslim restaurants would increase due to SST. This was until Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the earning threshold for restaurants and eateries would be raised from RM500,000 a year to RM1 million before they could charge SST. There are still concerns that the SST allows profiteering by unscrupulous businesses as it is a less transparent tax than the GST, despite theoretically benefiting the consumer by being a single-stage tax instead of a multi-stage one like the latter.

Putrajaya said SST effectively “returns” RM23 billion to the people in uncollected tax – a little more than half the revenue it would have collected with GST. This also means the government will have less revenue, a point raised by the opposition to warn of a widening budget deficit and the unreliability of oil prices. On the other hand, Stabilise price of petrol was also fulfilled. Putrajaya has fixed the pump price for RON95 and diesel at RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre, while RON97 is floated on a weekly basis. This has been done by setting aside RM3 billion until year-end to finance the subsidy and fix the price for the first two fuels. Meanwhile, Abolish Felda settlers’ unnecessary debts has yet to be fulfilled. Putrajaya said on July 30 it was still looking at revising interest rates on the debts. Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said Felda faced a critical cash flow problem and the government would present a white paper in the next parliamentary session to explain Felda’s real debt situation and its rehabilitation plan.

Before settlers’ debts can be address, the government would have to focus on improving cash flow by restructuring Felda’s loans, which stand at RM8 billion, Azmin said. The agency may also look at selling certain non-strategic assets, such as properties abroad. As for the EPF for homemakers, it is still in progress. Housewives without a fixed income would get 2% of their husband’s 11% contribution to the Employees Provident Fund. The government would contribute RM50 but only for first wives of Muslim men. The implementation of the policy is now being fine-tuned by EPF and the Social Security Organisation (Socso), as it involved amending certain existing laws and policies, Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said recently. Meantime, equalise minimum wage and increment is in progress. The minimum wage will be increased in stages, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said.

The government was supposed to have finalised the rate for the initial stage of increase at the cabinet meeting on August 10 but, to date, no announcement has been made. Postpone repayment of PTPTN loans for graduates earning below RM4,000, abolish blacklisting policy is also in progress. The government has fulfilled one part of the promise, which is to abolish the immigration travel blacklist, removing the names of more than 400,000 defaulters. However, Putrajaya is still looking for ways to defer loan repayments for those earning below RM4,000. One of its first steps has been to identify those in this category and it recently concluded an information updating exercise on borrowers’ income levels. The pledge is controversial and highly debated, with critics saying deferring the loan repayments would harm the National Higher Education Fund Corporation’s finances and ability to give loans to new students.

In the meantime, Royal Commissions of Inquiry into 1MDB, Felda, Mara and Tabung Haji was already partially fulfilled. The government did not form a RCIs for these cases but where 1Malaysia Development Bhd is concerned, has charged former prime minister Najib Razak with a total of seven counts – three for criminal breach of trust, three for money laundering, and one for abusing his position. All charges pertain to receiving RM42 million from a former 1MDB unit, SRC International Sdn Bhd, between 2014 and 2015. Also related to 1MDB is the government’s seizure of the RM1 billion superyacht, Equanimity, owned by Najib’s associate Low Taek Jho. Low allegedly bought the yacht with funds stolen from the state investment firm. The government is restructuring Mara, looking to spread out its different roles under separate ministries, and is probing Felda’s debts. Another promise which is still in progress is the Cabinet committee to enforce Malaysia Agreement 1963. Putrajaya has formed a special cabinet committee on MA63 tasked with producing a report in six months on various matters pertaining to the rights of Sabah and Sarawak. These include administrative matters of devolving federal powers to allow for greater state autonomy, the amount of federal money granted to them and their rights to returns from oil and gas resources.

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said the committee will include members of the opposition. The issue of oil royalty returns to Sabah and Sarawak is particularly contentious, as the PH manifesto had promised “20% or of its value equivalent”, but there is now dispute whether this should be calculated based on net profit instead of gross production. Under the Petroleum Development Act, calculations are based on gross profit, not net profit. Paying 20% would have serious implications for Petronas’ financial status and the federal government, said Azmin. With regards to the promise of RM500 health scheme for B40 group, it has not been fulfilled yet. The promise is to roll out the scheme, successful in PKR-run Selangor, nationwide. It would put RM500 in the hands of the lower-income group to get basic medical treatment at private clinics. So far, the Health Ministry has formed a task force to set the steps in place for a nationwide rollout. Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the task force consists of experts who managed the scheme for Selangor.

Lastly, review of mega-projects awarded to foreign countries is currently in progress. Among the projects shelved pending a review to lower costs are the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR), Mass Rapid Transit circle line project (MRT3) and the LRT Line 3. These projects are also mentioned under Pakatan Harapan’s promise No. 29 in its manifesto on enhancing transparency and integrity in the national budget and the budgeting process. Pakatan Harapan accused Barisan Nasional and Umno of setting up various special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to hide certain expenditures and prevent the public from knowing the country’s real financial status. With its announcement that the national debt stands at RM1 trillion, the government is trying to renegotiate terms and costs with China and Singapore on the mega-projects. In the case of the ECRL, RM20 billion had already been paid to Chinese companies.

The Finance Ministry also suspended the Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP) and Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) projects which were being built by Chinese state-owned company China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau. This follows the discovery of lopsided terms that saw more than 80% of the total projects value of RM9.4 billion being paid out, even though only 13% of the work was completed.

PM : Kapal mewah Equinimity tidak buka untuk kunjungan orang ramai

(11-08-2018)

Kapal layar mewah, Equanimity, tidak akan dibuka kepada orang ramai untuk dilawati bagi mengekalkan nilai dan memelihara keadaan kapal itu, kata Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Beliau berkata kapal berkenaan akan dijual dengan secepat mungkin memandangkan kos penyelenggaraannya sahaja menelan belanja kira-kira RM2 juta sebulan. “Kita perlu menjaga kapal layar itu supaya berkeadaan baik. Tetapi jika anda membenarkan beratus-ratus orang datang dan melihat kapal layar ini ia mungkin akan mengalami kerosakan dan memberi satu gambaran tidak baik,” jelas beliau.

“Pembeli mungkin tidak mahu membeli sebuah kapal yang dipamerkan sebegitu,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas melakukan pemeriksaan di atas kapal itu, yang dianggar bernilai RM1 billion, yang kini berlabuh di Boustead Cruise Centre, di sini hari ini. Kapal layar mewah itu, dipercayai mempunyai hubung kait dengan seorang ahli perniagaan yang menjadi buruan, Low Taek Jho, atau Jho Low, tiba di Malaysia pada 7 Ogos selepas diserahkan oleh pihak berkuasa Indonesia. Ahli perniagaan yang kini dalam buruan, Low Taek Jho, boleh pulang ke Malaysia dan menuntut Equanimity jika merasakan dirinya pemilik yang berhak ke atas kapal pesiar mewah itu, kata Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “Satu-satunya orang yang mahu ambil tindakan undang-undang adalah Low. Untuk ambil tindakan undang-undang, dia boleh datang dan buktikan pada kita (kapal itu) kepunyaannya,” ulas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir.

“Ia sangat mahal, kami mahu tahu dari mana dia dapat wang dan bila kita jejak wang itu, akhirnya kita akan dapati ia dari 1MDB,’ katanya dalam sidang media di Pelabuhan Kelang, selepas menaiki kapal itu hari ini. Beliau bersama-sama sekumpulan pengiring – termasuk Menteri Kewangan Lim Guan Eng dan Menteri Pertahanan Mohamad Sabu – membuat lawatan itu selepas mendapat kebenaran mahkamah semalam. Mahathir mendakwa Jabatan Kehakiman Amerika Syarikat (DOJ) telah memberi jaminan kapal itu memang milik Low tetapi dibayar menggunakan wang daripada 1MDB. “Mereka (DOJ) kata jika kita mahu simpannya, kita berhak kerana ia milik kita, dibeli menggunakan wang rakyat yang dicuri dan apabila kita akhirnya menjual (Equanimity), kita berhak ke atas hasilnya. Tetapi Low dakwa kapal itu miliknya. Dia boleh pulang dan tuntutnya,” katanya. Pada 7 Ogos lalu, Low menerusi peguamnya dilaporkan berkata, Malaysia mendapatkan Equanimity “secara tidak sah” daripada pihak berkuasa Indonesia serta mencabuli undang-undang negara itu dan keputusan mahkamah.

Di samping itu, Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) masih lagi memburu ahli perniagaan Low Taek Jhow atau Jho Low berhubung skandal 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), kata Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun. “Siasatan terhadapnya berjalan macam biasa,” katanya ringkas kepada pemberita ketika ditanya mengenai perkembangan usaha memburu Jho Low. Blog Sarawak Report sebelum ini melaporkan sebuah stesen radio di Hong Kong menyiarkan satu laporan berita berhubung penahanan Jho Low di China. Bagaimanapun, laporan itu tidak mendapat pengesahan daripada mana-mana pihak mengenai penahan berkenaan. Pasport Jho Low dibatalkan oleh Jabatan Imigresen pada 15 Jun lepas atas permintaan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) berhubung penyiasatan mereka terhadap skandal 1MDB. Terdahulu, Mohamad Fuzi mengiringi Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad melawat kapal layar mewah penuh kontroversi, Equanimity, yang berlabuh di Terminal Boustead Cruise Centre di sini.

Sementara itu, ditanya mengenai kes 17 pengawal keselamatan Jabatan Perdana Menteri (JPM) disyaki terlibat dalam penyelewengan dana Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 (PRU14) berjumlah RM3.5 juta, Fuzi menjawab ia dikendalikan oleh Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia ( SPRM). Beliau berkata pihaknya tidak terlibat dalam menjalankan siasatan kes berkenaan. “Individu yang terlibat juga bukan anggota polis kita, itu anggota polis tambahan,” katanya. Pada Rabu, seramai 17 pengawal keselamatan JPM direman lima hari bagi membantu siasatan kes penyelewengan dana PRU14 berjumlah RM3.5 juta. Antara yang direman adalah seorang pegawai keselamatan gred 52 dan selebihnya pengawal keselamatan gred 11 hingga 38.