Archive for the ‘General Topics’ Category

What the leading players say:

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

“The Malaysia Incorporated concept is an excellent way forward for public-private partnership.

With this concept, both the public and private sectors are able to have common objectives and both sides are accessible with openness. This will enhance successful cooperation and lead to better efficiency and effectiveness in business.

The FMM is always supportive of this concept. We feel the Government should form a special committee on Malaysia Incorporated to carry out meaningful and highly productive projects involving all races.”

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Datuk Soh Thian Lai

“Since that historic day on May 9, Malaysians have been experiencing a breath of fresh air in terms of how this country is being governed. Dr Mahathir has instantly brought back a certain degree of credibility to Malaysia in the international scene.

This, coupled with distinct policy changes and transparency from the government, has brought about a 21-year high in consumer sentiment index. So despite the slowing economy and negative exposes lately, what Dr Mahathir and his new government are doing actually augur well for Malaysia Inc in the mid to long-term horizon.”

Ericsenz Capital Pte Ltd CEO Anthony Siau

“The ACCCIM will provide support to the revived Malaysia Incorporated concept, which was introduced in the 1980s to encourage closer collaboration between the public and private sectors to act and operate within a ‘Malaysian Company’.

This approach requires the Government to act as an effective facilitator, providing the right policy environment and facilitation as well as support services for the private sector to thrive.

The Public-Private Partnerships must be built on mutual trust and good governance to ensure that the nation’s scarce resources are effectively utilised while allowing the private sector to make viable investment decisions.”

ACCCIM president Tan Sri Ter Leong Yap.

“Malaysia Incorporated can be beneficial to the country as a whole as the business sector can collaborate and not compete with the government.

But the policies and practices must be based on Good Governance. There must be competition, meritocracy, equity and reasonable and not monopolistic profits.

Also no cronyism and no politics in business, please. Otherwise you can have more 1MDB which we will resent.”

Asli Center of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam

“I agree with the concept but there should be no red tape and the operation must be business-like. I believe the idea is still relevant but, of course, it needs to be reviewed according to the present needs.”

Association of Malaysian Bumiputera Timber and Furniture Entrepreneurs (Peka) president Hanafee Yusoff

“The Government’s move to revive the concept of Malaysia Incorporated has to be applauded.

This is definitely positive news for the business sector as this is a pro-business policy. This would mean there will be more collaboration between the public and private sectors.
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Sabah as 13th Filipino state

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Former Philippine Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr said he will propose the inclusion of Sabah in Philippine territory as part of the country’s shift to a federal system of government.

In a live media interview Tuesday morning in Manila, Pimentel said Sabah could be the 13th federal state of that nation.

“There should be a way that is acceptable under international laws to assert our claim to Sabah,” Pimentel, who is a member of the consultative committee that President Rodrigo Duterte appointed to review the 1987 Constitution, said.

“I think we can defer it a little bit more but to say that we stop doing it is not in the context of my proposal,” he said.

Under Pimentel’s proposal, the Philippines will be divided into 12 federal states: Northern Luzon, Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Minparom, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Bangsamoro.

Metro Manila will be the “federal capital,” Pimentel said, adding that Sabah could be the 13th federal state.

“Once we have asserted our sovereignty and rights over Sabah, we should include Sabah.

Not only Sabah, but also Scarborough, Benham Rise, and Spratlys,” he said.

The switch to a federal system was one of the key planks of Duterte’s election campaign.

The country currently employs a unitary form of government with much of the power emerging from the central government.

The Sulu sultanate used to claim parts of southern Philippines and Sabah.

However, being a republic, the sultanate faded into oblivion and discord over who should be the rightful heirs made pursuit of the claim academic.

In 1963, the British government transferred Sabah to the Federation of Malaysia.

The Philippines claims that Sabah was only leased, not ceded, to the British North Borneo Co.

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Keningau’s SK Tuarid Taud, Limbang’s SMK Medamit grab top awards

Monday, July 16th, 2018


Liew (centre) presenting the award to SMK Medamit representative.

PENAMPANG: It was a momentous night for SK Tuarid Taud of Keningau and SMK Medamit of Limbang as both walked away with the Chief Minister’s Award in the 9th Tugu Budaya Etnik Sabah – International Youth Folk Dance Festival.

Primary school winner, SK Tuarid Taud bagged RM10,000 while SMKMedamit took home RM13,000.

Apart from attaining the highest award of the festival, SK Tuarid Taud also received the awards for Best Music Arrangement, Best Choreography, Best Creative Traditional Dance and Best Sabah Traditional Dance.

SMK Medamit, the secondary school from Limbang, Sarawak, also won four awards – Best Visual, Best Music Arrangement, Best Choreography and Best Creative Traditional Dance.

Meanwhile, SK Kiawayan Tambunan and SMK Sungai Damit Tamparuli won the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Award, bagging RM8,000 and RM10,000 respectively.

The third highest award, Sabah Cultural Board Award, was awarded to SK Sungai Damit, Tuaran, and SMK Tawau who each won RM6,000 and RM7,000 respectively.

The festival which began on July 10 saw 24 primary and secondary school participants nationwide dancing their unique culture at the Sabah Cultural Centre, Penampang.

The competition also for the first time opened its participation to international contenders – Raduga Russia, Sanggar Tari Bali Legong from Indonesia, Tarlac National High School Philippines, Zamin Uzbekistan and Ranranga Dance Academy Sri Lanka.

The four-day festival was one colours, songs, costumes and dances to celebrate cultural diversity, staying true to its aim – to inculcate cultural awareness among young generations.

The stage not only served as a platform to showcase the talents and skills of artistes and dancers but also reminded the importance of culture preservation which was encapsulated as its curtain closed on Saturday night.

Present during the finale were Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Christina Liew, Assistant Minister Assafal Alian, Assistant Finance Minister Kenny Chua, Assistant Minister of Education and Innovation Jenifer Lasimbang and Sabah Cultural Board General Manager William Baya among others.


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Voting age should be lowered to 18, says Syed Saddiq.

Friday, July 6th, 2018
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The voting age, or eligibility to vote in Malaysia, should be lowered to 18 years compared to 21 years now, said Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

“My target is it can be done ahead of the 15th General Election. But first we have to have a political exposure programme for young people,” he told reporters after attending a function here Thursday (July 5) evening.

Syed Saddiq said he would discuss with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik on how exposure in relation to the democratic process could be applied at the school level.

He said Malaysia should provide political exposure to students at the upper secondary level as is done in several other countries.

“In these countries, at the age of 17 or 18 they are eligible to vote and it has been so since the 1960s. So, why in Malaysia (some) are of the opinion that young people do not know (are ignorant) and label them as just ‘WeChat’ groups,” he said.

According to him, the Youth Parliament programme is one of the examples of political exposure that can benefit young people and such efforts should be strengthened with the involvement of more teenagers.


New state govt will continue to improve public service – TYT

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Head of state Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Juhar Mahiruddin (third left) and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Seri Panglima Hajah Norlidah Binti Tan Sri Datuk R.M Jasni (third right) posing with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Haji Apdal (second left) and his wife Datin Shuryani binti Shuaib (second right), State Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali and his wife Datin Seri Hajah Nuraini Habib Kadir (right) after arriving at the State Legislative Building for the opening of the first term of the 15th Sabah State Legislative Assembly sitting on Monday.

KOTA KINABALU: The new State government will continue to uphold and improve public service as the determining factor of its direction and success.

Head of State Tun Dr Juhar Datuk Mahiruddin said the State civil service must be prepared for challenges from megatrends such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), as well as aspirations of the current government.

Juhar further said services needed by the people require a new perspective, imploring civil services to change and adapt with a plan to move forward.

“Civil service is the largest employer in the State. Its ability to move efficiently does not only depend on the number of civil servants, but also on discipline, high morals, quality and integrity.

“In order to realise high-achieving civil service, the State government will work to reconstruct the organisation so as to realign existing manpower and re-evaluate functions that are no longer relevant, promote the use of ICT and improve efficiency and competency of civil servants.

“Civil servants and civil service agencies are required to make changes for the prosperity of the people and the State,” he said in his speech on State government policy at yesterday’s State Assembly sitting.

In addition, Juhar said human resource capabilities must be made a priority and given serious attention. Civil service in the State must consist of forward-thinking, patriotic and knowledgeable members with integrity, who are able to act quickly.

The State government, through the recently implemented Delivery Unit, will continue to assess effectiveness of civil servants in each organisation to improve delivery of service for the people, he said.

Juhar added that the State government is committed to empowering youths through education, skills, entrepreneurship and cultivation of positive values.

He said the Parti Warisan-led State government will also focus on cultivating sports among the people, empower athlete development, strengthen sporting bodies and organisations, enhance active involvement of volunteers in organising sports programmes, empower contribution and involvement of the corporate and private sectors in sponsoring sports programmes, as well as prepare a holistic sports development ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the tourism sector remains strong and encouraging, hence the government’s effort to attract more investments in the hotel industry to fulfill increasing demand for accommodation in the State.

“Among initiatives include enhancing integrated efforts with strategic partners to stimulate more rapid growth. At the same time, the State government will also develop more tourism products and services, including tourism hubs, such as seafood hubs in the East Coast,” said Juhar.

As for the industrial sector, the State government will encourage more downstream activities for potential sources, namely oil and gas, palm oil and wood downstream industry.

Juhar said the government’s latest policy on the temporary ban of timber export is the right thing to do in order to encourage progress in wood downstream industry.

by Fiqah Roslan.

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Appointment of Sabahans in cabinet will boost state-federal govts ties

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau welcomed the appointment of three full ministers and two deputy ministers from Sabah in the cabinet, saying that it would enhance cooperation between the state and federal governments.

He said the federal appointments were very apt and could contribute to the development of the state’s tourism, science and technology and industrial sectors.

“We welcome the appointments which the people of Sabah have been waiting for. We hope they can help the state especially with regard to industrialisation and infrastructure development,” he told Bernama.

Those appointed were Penampang MP Ignatius Darell Leiking (Minister of International Trade and Industry), Silam MP Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi (Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture), Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Law), Kota Belud MP Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis (Deputy Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment) and Sepanggar MP Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman who was appointed as Deputy Home Minister.

Commenting further, Madius said Darell’s appointment as International Trade and Industry Minister would boost industrial investment in Sabah, and enhance bilateral trade relations with countries in the region.

“As Sabah Industrial Development Minister, I can continue to work with Darell in promoting the industrial sector in the state.

Likewise, the appointment of Mohamaddin is timely as tourism is picking up in Sabah and his appointment will give the sector a further boost, he added.

Madius said the ministry hoped the appointment of Liew who is in charge of matters pertaining to the law would also uplift the legal system in the state, particularly on the structure of the Native Court system.

He hoped that with Isnaraissah Munirah as Deputy Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and the Environment, the state would be able to continue with several projects that were planned earlier.

They include the National Science Centre and construction of the second satellite earth station in the state.


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Mayor Yeo’s term is extended

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Datuk Yeo Boon Hai’s (pic) tenure as Kota Kinabalu Mayor will be extended for another term.

This was disclosed by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal who said he has decided to extend the services of the current mayor.

“There are some tasks that he needs to do to enable us to implement many innovations in the city of Kota Kinabalu,” he said.

Yeo was appointed as Mayor on January 31, 2016, a post previously held by Datuk Abidin Madingkir.

On the new State Secretary, he said: “Will be coming (to that) soon…just wait.”

Shafie also noted the importance of the Pan Borneo Highway Project, adding that they will structure an approach towards implementation of the project.

“I have received a briefing last week and believe that this road is necessary for our people.

“I will meet with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and discuss on the new approaches that we can take towards its implementation while taking into consideration the financial constraints at Federal level,” he said.

On another note, he thanked the Prime Minister for putting his trust in Sabah and Parti Warisan Sabah by appointing them to the Federal Cabinet.

“This shows the appreciation given to us, we know many parties in the peninsula who are also applying for various posts and this is a tribute as well as thank you to the prime minister,” he told a media conference here, Monday.

by Sherell Jeffrey.

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That world of the World Cup returns.

Sunday, June 17th, 2018
Great show: Diego Maradona celebrating Argentina’s victory in the 1986 Mexico edition.

Great show: Diego Maradona celebrating Argentina’s victory in the 1986 Mexico edition.

THE hits just keep coming. Malaysians have never had it so good (or so bad, depending on your perspective) since the seismic events of May 9.

The change of government, politics, exposures of corruption scandals and the fulfilment of election promises have ensured a never-ending news cycle for the majority of us.

No other news event, with the possible exception of the Trump-Kim summit, has dominated local headlines. But that is about to change.

For one glorious month, starting last night, the eve of Hari Raya, Malaysians will be glued to the biggest sporting event in the world.

The World Cup always brings back happy memories. Fans my age will remember Adidas Rummenigge and Puma King boots, the Panini album, Gillette rulebooks, Sunshine bread cards and Ovaltine stickers.

We don’t have any of that stuff now, but the cheesy anthems and Vuvuzelas from previous editions are still around. I know a friend who has taken a month off (the final is on July 15) to watch EVERY single match.

Most of us don’t put our lives on hold like that, but I do know of friends and colleagues who have taken leave to catch some key matches from the 64 games that will be played at 12 venues.

And of course, there are the lucky few who have obtained tickets and will be heading to Russia to join the hundreds of thousands.

There should not be many spotting red eyes turning out for work in this World Cup as a large number of matches will kick off between 8pm and 11pm.

There are a few starting at 2am.

Nevertheless, the difference in time zone is certainly much better compared to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when Malaysians had to stay up till the wee hours to catch games.

Russia has set aside a budget of US$12-US$14bil (RM47.8bil-RM55.8bil) to stage the event, making this the most expensive World Cup ever.

But the bookies around the world are expected to make a bigger killing. Malaysia is no different because bookies are extra busy during this period.

The exact figure is in dispute, but industry insiders believe that illegal bookies taking bets on the greatest show in the world rake in more than RM1bil in one month!

Punters love the World Cup because of the endless betting possibilities and the bookies are laughing all the way to the bank because it’s a one-month sporting extravaganza that nets them the most amount of money.

The competition has already drawn the interest of the police who are keeping a close eye on bookies and illegal betting.

Despite the best of policing, it will be impossible to wipe out illegal sports betting. No thanks to technology that has given the average bookie a new lease of life.

If in the past bets were taken over the phone via scraps of paper (evidence that the police look for), now punters do not even need to meet their bookies.

Everything – from the moment you place your bet to collection of money – is done electronically.

As usual, technology also has its upside.

In this respect, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system made its World Cup debut yesterday. Despite its controversial introduction in club football, I believe it is the least disruptive way of settling disputes on the football field.

Its scope is limited to correcting the clear and obvious error in four categories: goals, penalties, red cards and issues of mistaken identity.

It can only address issues when the referee’s interpretation becomes subjective and possibly flawed.

It would be interesting to speculate how the game’s history would have been different if VAR had been introduced before 2018.

Every World Cup is unique, but it’s been a long time since we’ve had a really great final. The last, truly memorable final was in 1986 when a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina beat West Germany.

But would Argentina have actually made the final if VAR had confirmed Maradona’s blatant handball goal in the quarter-finals match against England?

Nostalgia has hit me big time and like the hundreds of millions of fans around the world, I’ve been bitten by the football bug. Who will win the cup?

That’s the beauty of the event because in theory, all 32 teams have the chance of lifting the trophy in Moscow on July 15.

Three teams stand out when it comes to ruling the rostrum – Brazil, Germany and Italy. They have held the world champion mantle 13 out of the 20 times the competition has been played. Italy, though, are out of the world Cup this time.

by Brian Martin
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King offers to reduce own salary by 10% due to concern for economy

Monday, June 11th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: Sultan Muhammad V has offered to reduce his salary and emoluments by 10% until his reign as Yang Di-Pertuan Agong ends in 2021.

“His Majesty was touched and appreciates the efforts of Malaysians who have donated to the Tabung Harapan,” he said in a statement on Monday (June 11).

He added that Sultan Muhammad V has also decreed that he would not be hosting the annual Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House this year, as he preferred that the budget allocated for it should be channelled to help the needy.

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Mayor – Tanjung Aru Eco project shelved

Monday, May 28th, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: The Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) project remains on the shelf until the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) receives the go-ahead from the new state administration.

The eco-friendly TAED project, with an area spanning 348ha was launched by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2013 and is expected to provide a facelift to Tanjung Aru, which is already a renowned tourist attraction.

Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai said DBKK has not signed any papers with anyone with regards to TAED and that the project, at the moment.

Briefing the member of parliaments and state assemblymen on TAED’s development, Yeo said all sea projects and reclamation works would be suspended.

He also said the state government has spent RM36 million to relocate and conduct studies.

Yeo also said that DBKK has yet to receive RM500 million from the Federal government and that it has not signed anything with any parties.

Present were assistant minister to the Chief Minister Jimmy Wong, Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin, Luyang assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe, Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fat and Kapayan assemblywoman Jannie Lasimbang. Yeo also briefed on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, noting that they are currently waiting for the RM1.2 billion fund from the federal government.

He said the initial plan was to focus on developing the BRT system first which can later be transformed into Light Rail Transit (LRT).

Speaking to reporters, Wong said he would take note of the briefing and would relay it to the chief minister. He also requested DBKK to invite members from the opposition to attend future briefings in order to have check and balance.

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