Gobind : Bill for broadband on all new housing projects

(01-08-2018)

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry plans to formula a bill to make compulsory for all new housing projects to be installed with Internet facility. Its minister, Gobind Singh Deo said through the proposed bill, the Internet facility would be categorised as a utility, just like electricity and water supply at home.

“If (Internet) it becomes a ‘basic human right’, it can be categorised as a utility – there’ll be a need for all houses to be connected with fiber,” he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s speech on behalf of his ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today. He said this in response to a suggestion by Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said (BN-Kuala Krau) to make compulsory for developers to install broadband facility at their housing projects. Meanwhile, Minister Gobind Singh Deo in another statement said today he has asked Telekom Malaysia to submit a report on the awarding of a contract to a company of which Tan Sri Mokhzani Tun Mahathir is the chairman. “I have requested a report from TM. When I get that report, I will issue a statement. I asked (for the report) today. I ordered for the report to be sent to me on this matter,” he said to reporters at the Parliament lobby.

The media had reported that Opcom Holdings, of which Tan Sri Mokhzani is the chairman, had secured a contract worth RM11.16 million from Telekom Malaysia several days after the 14th General Election on May 9. The contract, for the period July 2, 2018, to Dec 31, 2019, is for the installation and restoration of the Unifi service. However, according to Opcom Holdings Bhd, the company was awarded the Telekom Malaysia broadband installation and restoration contract through open tender, and had been selected prior to the 14th general election. TM said the open tender for the Rakan Unifi contract took place in January, with the evaluation process ending in April. “TM’s board of directors approved the contract award in its sitting held on April 24,” the company told a local press.

Opcom yesterday reported to Bursa Malaysia that it had received a letter of award for the RM11.16 million Rakan Unifi contract on May 14, four days after Mokhzani’s father Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as prime minister. TM said Opcom was among 19 contractors who were awarded the 17 month-long contract, which commenced on July 2. “We wish to reiterate that TM has a robust and transparent procurement process and the company upholds the highest code of conduct in corporate governance and integrity, and undergoes continuous improvement while adhering to industry best practices. “We are committed to maintaining the highest degree of integrity, transparency and accountability in the conduct of our business and operations,” it said. Opcom was founded by Mokhzani’s brother, Mukhriz, who is now the Kedah menteri besar. Mukhriz holds 25.2 percent of the firm’s shares.

According to The Star, Opcom’s shares have surged 135 percent since May.

Senate must honour people’s wish to abolish GST, says Guan Eng

(1-8-2018)

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng hopes the Senate will honour the people’s wish to abolish the goods and services tax (GST) when the bill goes to the upper house of Parliament for final approval.“The Senate is an institution that is not elected by the rakyat. We hope the bill will be approved by the Senate so that the mandate can be implemented or it will be against the principles of democracy,” he said when wrapping up the debate on his ministry at the Dewan Rakyat today.The PH government today tabled a bill to repeal the GST and to table the Sales Tax 2018 and Services Tax 2018. This move is also part of the government’s manifesto to abolish GST, a tax system blamed by the Pakatan Harapan government for the higher cost of living since the tax system was implemented in 2015.

As of now, the senators are from Pakatan Harapan (6), Barisan Nasional (29), PAS (3), Gerakan (2), PBB (2) while SPDP, IPF, LDP, Upko and PBS have one senator each, and four others comprising representatives from the Orang Asli, Siamese community, Hindraf, and the disabled.This brings the total to 51 senators. The Dewan Negara can consist of up to 70 senators.Lim said there have been issues raised that the majority of the senators were from the opposition and asked whether they “would be told to reject the sales and services tax”.“This is because if SST is not implemented, there would be a deficit.”Earlier, Lim had asked the BN MPs if they were aware that the BN administration had used RM7 billion of public funds to bail out 1MDB, referring to RM6.98 billion used to bail out 1MDB, and the government was further facing the prospect of forking out an additional RM953 million to service the company’s debts by November.

Lim had said he was shocked at the revelation, adding that the ministry had been bailing out 1MDB by servicing its debts since April 2017, which included payments for International Petroleum Investment Corp’s (IPIC) settlement agreement amounting to RM5.05 billion.Hamzah Zainuddin (BN-Larut) said BN MPs were made aware there were plans to rationalise assets of 1MDB.Lim also said that the previous government had implemented GST to avoid being bankrupt and if BN continued ruling the country, Malaysia would have been bankrupt.BN MPs had also asked reasons for including contingent liability into the national debt, causing the national debt to reach RM1 trillion instead of RM686.8 billion (50.8% of the gross domestic product), as announced by the previous government.

To this, Lim said the additional loans were included into the national debts as some of the GLCs could not pay the debts.Lim, at the Dewan Rakyat lobby, spoke on the 19 vacancies for the Senate which have yet to be filled. He said it involved consultation with different states and it was not within the power of the present PH government.“But I think the question of the appointments will be decided by the prime minister after consultation. But the principle is that you have to respect the choice of the people.”

How to improve Perak’s economy?

(1-8-2018)

Koon Yew Yin 1 Aug 2018; I am honoured to be appointed a member of the Perak State economy advisory council. To fulfil my obligation, I have written this article which can help improve Perak’s economy.
Just after independence until 1970, Perak was the most industrialized state in Malaysia with a thriving SMI sector. Residents had one of the highest standards of living in the country. Today Perak is one of the poorer states in Malaysia after the continuous mismanagement of the BN state government.

Recently Perak’s socio-economic situation has gone from bad to worse. The government owned Khazanah Research Centre report shows that Perak is now the second poorest state after Kelantan Darul Naim. This may appear shocking and unbelievable. But it is true. According to the statistics, 2/3 of the people in Perak earn less than RM5,000 per month and the state household income is less than the national average income. The pathetic state of affair is made worse by the fact that according to the 10th Malaysia Plan, Perak is now the state with the most number of poor families. 122,000 households in Perak earned less than RM2380.00 per month and they comprised 12.2% of the national figure. This poverty figure is even worse than Sabah & Sarawak.

To correct this, the following factors are necessary: 1. strong political leadership which does not pander to racial bias and favouritism. It is a fact that the great majority of Perak’s entrepreneurs come from the non-Malay community. They must not be discriminated against in the socio-economic sector. Whatever growth from their efforts will benefit the Malays as much as them; 2. a meritocratic culture. The state civil service in charge of development must be comprised of the best professionals and must include non-Malays at the highest level.

3. crackdown on cronyism and corruption which was rampant in the BN state administration; 4. attract Perak talent and entrepreneurs from abroad and other states back to Perak with incentives; 5. ensure that FDI from whatever source – China, Singapore, Europe, US, etc. – is facilitated with the necessary infrastructure; 6. prioritize SMI and SME in state development since they have the greatest employment and income generating impact; 7. close down state corporations and enterprises which have become liabilities and will drag the state’s treasury into bankruptcy if no action is taken. For example; the State Government has lost more than Rm 300 million in the little Disney park project. It will continue to lose money because there so few visitors and the collection is not enough for maintenance.

8. Since Tun Dr Mahathir wants private investors to start a new car manufacture, Perak Government should invite BYD, the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in China to open a factory to manufacture electric cars. BYD car can travel 250 miles and it takes 2 hours to recharge its battery. ; 9. Pomelos from Perak is one of the best in the world because of its limestone and water. The Perak Government should allocate more land for pomelo growers so that Perak can become the largest exporter of pomelos.
Since Perak has many used mining ponds, the Government should lease out these ponds for fish raring so that Perak can become the largest producers of fresh water fish for export. 10. The port in Lumut must be improved to be a container port and a highway from Ipoh to Lumut port must be constructed to facilitate export of manufactured products. Currently, all our manufactured products have to travel a longer distance to Port Klang.

11. The State Government must improve the Ipoh airport and its runway so that larger planes can land. The airport building is like one of those in Africa. It needs renovation immediately. This improvement will encourage more tourists. Perhaps building a completely new airport somewhere nearby Lumut port on State land. Selling all the land of the old airport, may be enough to cover the construction cost of the new airport. 12. The Government should invite the Chinese from China to invest in Perak, like what Johore has done. For a start, since Ipoh does not have a 5-star hotel, the Government should invite open competitive tender for a piece of suitable land to build a top-class hotel. The former Government had demolished a few Government quarters along Jalan Tambun, Ipoh for what purpose I do not know but it is surely suitable a top class hotel. 13. As you know, most people cannot find work in Perak and they have to go to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other places to work. To create more job opportunity, the Government should allocate some money to give out soft loan to help start-up companies because they cannot get loan from commercial banks as they do not have adequate collateral.I suggest the Government invite a few experienced business men to be committee members to select suitable loan applicants.

不介意纳吉调侃爱烹煮 末沙布反呛不会盗取国家资产

(1-8-2018)

国防部长末沙布表示,前首相纳吉可以调侃其喜欢烹饪的嗜好,并反呛可以肯定的是他绝对不会盗取国家的资产!“当我出任国防部长,我到国防部任职时,我并没有烹煮,反之他(纳吉)把1亿1400万令吉匿藏在家中。”他说:“当他在国会抨击我时,我会在国会作出回应。当他在座谈会抨击我时,我就会在座谈会作出反击。” 他认为,纳吉应该对其所做作为忏悔。

末沙布是对纳吉在双溪甘迪斯州议席补选参与助选时调侃其喜欢烹饪一事作出回应。另一方面,末沙布在出席于双溪甘迪斯举办的政治座谈会时指出,内政部副部长莫哈末阿吉斯承诺将会追捕年轻富商刘特佐。“就算追到天涯海角,我们也要将刘特佐逮捕归案,否则将无法获知一马发展公司弊案的真相。”

雪州建议穆斯林妇女最低成婚年龄提高至18岁

(1-8-2018)

雪兰莪州宗教理事会(Mais)宣称已建议把穆斯林妇女的最低结婚年龄从之前的16岁提高到18岁,与穆斯林男子相同。理事会是与雪兰莪伊斯兰法司法部、雪兰莪州宗教局(Jais)会面后,决定修订2003年雪兰莪伊斯兰家庭法。“本次会议是与大学、医学专家和非政府组织进行的。”“他们同意有需要对雪兰莪的未成年人婚姻法进行修正。”但是,雪州宗教理事会却未提修改法典第8节,亦即伊斯兰法法官在特定情况下仍可允批童婚案件。

上个月,吉兰丹话望生一名41岁的橡胶工人被第二任妻子举报,与一名11岁的泰国女童结婚。男子遭到拘捕后,定罪被判罚款1800令吉。雪州宗教理事会说,修正案一旦通过,雪兰莪穆斯林男女的结婚最低年龄为18岁。“我们认真看待这个未成年婚姻问题。这不仅仅在这里发生,也还在全球各地发生。”理事会说明,这份法律修正案将立即提交到雪兰莪州议会。“考虑到孩子们的利益,我们也希望能收紧伊斯兰法法院批准未成年人婚姻的门槛。”

“我们建议伊斯兰法法官命令孩子先去福利部进行特殊的家庭课程和谘商,孩子们也必须接受体检。”雪州宗教理事会另外也提议,伊斯兰法法院调查童婚案中的“丈夫”是否经济基础稳定、无犯罪记录。法官也应该在判决前聆听预计成婚的男女以及双方家属的陈述。“雪州宗教理事会希望为了孩童的未来,这些修改都将通过,而法官也会在作出任何允许童婚的判决前先考虑所有因素。”