Malaysia Bagus News
KUALA LUMPUR: Divisive and nativist narratives, including one revolving around the fear of Malays losing political power, have harmed the community, a former youth and sports minister said.
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said such toxic narratives espoused by some politicians “kill the Malays”.
“They regress them for decades, and imprison them forever,” he said at a forum last night.
Also present was former Dewan Rakyat speaker Ariff Yusof, DAP’s Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh and lawyer-activist Ambiga Sreenevasan.
Syed Saddiq said he had heard such fears being repeated in his constituency, Muar, when he took pictures with Yeoh, with some claiming that Yeoh was trying to “Christianise” him, which “she has never done”.
He also criticised MPs who endlessly called for Bumiputera entrepreneurs to be assisted by the government while abusing their political positions to acquire “millions of ringgit worth of government contracts for their kin and family members”.
Ariff called for the “opening of the middle ground” – through forums and debates on national issues – to counter such toxic narratives,
He also called upon Malaysians to come out and vote, despite some feeling that it was a futile exercise because of constant party-hopping.
He said voters should choose the right people to serve their constituencies and throw their support behind political movements that wanted to change national politics for the better.
“We can’t change the mentality of all MPs, but we can support good MPs and political movements like Gerak Independent and Muda.
“Make sure you’ve got the right people to be in Parliament.”
KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Gas Berhad (PGB) has posted a profit after tax of RM438 million on the back of RM1.46 billion revenue for the first quarter of 2022 (1Q2022).
The results were attributed to strong operational performance and steady revenue streams from long-term contracts.
PGB also declared an interim dividend of 16 sen per share, equivalent to RM316.6 million, similar to the same quarter last year, highlighting the group’s resilience in sustaining its performance amid challenging market conditions.
For the first quarter ending March 31, group revenue stood at RM1.46 billion, higher than RM1.34 billion in the same quarter last year. The growth came primarily from utilities business which saw increasing product prices in line with the increase in fuel gas price and higher electricity sales volume. Group revenue was comparable with 1Q2021 revenue of RM1.5 billion.
Gross profit for the quarter was RM612 million against RM712 million previously due to lower margins recorded by the utilities segment. This follows higher fuel gas costs for electricity supply. Profit after tax for the quarter stood at RM438 million against RM540 million in 1Q2021.
“PGB’s financial performance in the first quarter of 2022 reflects our commitment to operational excellence and cost management despite the challenging market conditions.” said managing director and CEO Abdul Aziz Othman.
“We concluded several contract renewals with our long-term utilities customers. Moving forward, we target to complete the remaining utilities contract renewals this year, which should contribute more positively to the segment, on top of exploring commercial opportunities outside our captive market.
“We are also sharpening the focus on cost management and efficiency throughout the group this year, to effectively address cost or price increases.”
PGB’s performance in 2022 is expected to remain resilient in enduring the challenging market condition. This is driven by the increase in customer demand as well as the group’s business model and long-term contracts that ensure steady revenue streams, particularly for the gas processing, gas transportation and regasification business segments.
MELAKA: Nurseries, kindergartens and childcare centres in Melaka recording more than four cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) will be closed for 10 days in accordance with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), said state health department (JKNM) director Dr Rusdi Abd Rahman.
Therefore, he urged operators of the premises to immediately report such cases to JKNM.
He said operators who failed to report the matter immediately could be subject to court action under Act 342.
“HFMD can often go away on its own but sometimes it will lead to severe complications like myocarditis or inflammation of the heart muscle and that is what we fear most.
“If there are more than four cases reported, the premises will be closed and if there are only two cases but we find many children in the premises have fever but no blisters, we will also close the premises,” he told reporters after participating in the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004 (PPKHT) enforcement operation here last night.
Rusdi said HFMD cases in Melaka showed an increasing trend and as of Wednesday, 1,633 cases were recorded and 20 premises were ordered to close.
Of the total, he said 772 cases were reported in the Melaka Tengah district, while Alor Gajah recorded 516 cases and Jasin (345 cases). Six nurseries, seven kindergartens, one preschool, four private houses and two childcare centres were ordered to close so far.
On Wednesday alone, the cases registered in the three districts in Melaka were above the epidemic level, namely 148 cases in Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah (83 cases) and Jasin (24).
PETALING JAYA: While the rest of the nation is focused on politics and politicking, the Sabah government is quietly doing what every government is supposed to do: bringing development to the people and enhancing their living standards and wellbeing.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and movement control orders, the Sabah government managed to achieve a record in revenue earned: RM4.912 billion in 2021, the highest for the state since the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
With Chief Minister Hajiji Noor at the helm, Sabah is on a roll and the state hopes to top its 2021 economic performance this year and in 2023.
Plans and projects are progressing at speed following Hajiji’s introduction of the Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya initiative, and civil servants have been given “clear and loud warnings” at meetings chaired by Hajiji that they should avoid behaving like “Little Napoleons” in unnecessarily delaying development projects.
Foreign investment has been on the rise, and Hajiji’s leadership style is a major draw for foreign investors.
A business insider said “Hajiji has established a reputation for not suffering fools, or the inefficiencies of certain impractical and decades-old practices that hinder efficient implementation of policies.
“He is known to be fair and pragmatic and he has reprimanded those who fail to prioritise the people’s welfare and the delivery system and this has instilled confidence in both domestic and foreign investors. His clean, scandal-free image is also a major boost.”
“He prefers to talk less and let his efforts to boost the economy and improve the wellbeing of the people speak for itself.”
Hajiji, who became Sabah’s 16th chief minister on Sept 29, 2020, set in motion various strategies that have begun to bear fruit.
One indicator of his success is the dramatic leap in foreign investment.
In the first half of 2021, Sabah attracted RM4.4 billion in foreign investment, the 3rd biggest amount after Kedah and Selangor, and that while the nation was still in the grip of Covid-19.
This year, Sabah expects to attract FDI of about RM25 billion.
The introduction of the Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya initiative is another big factor for the positive outlook. The development plan framework has three main pillars tailored for the present socioeconomic climate in Sabah:
Among the projects taking off are a RM10 billion copper foil manufacturing plant by South Korea’s SK Nexilis, the RM7 billion Lok Kawi Resort City Development project and an integrated coconut processing plant.
A business observer noted that Hajiji’s style of working quietly without much fuss or fanfare had been a plus point in speeding up Sabah’s development.
In March, Hajiji said several initiatives and development projects under the Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) initiative had been started, with the hope that “all the ministries and government departments will ensure that the halatuju will be successful. The SMJ is a guideline for us to develop Sabah and its rakyat.”
He said initiatives implemented included infrastructure improvements, entrepreneurial capacity building, sustainable exploration of resources, increased investment and the participation of local companies in strategic sub-sectors.
Hajiji said the success of the state government in signing the Commercial Cooperation Agreement (CCA) with Petronas on Dec 7, 2021 would help increase the meaningful participation of state and local companies in the oil and gas industry.
“Through the CCA, Sabah will have a greater voice, participation and revenue sharing in our oil and gas industry. Less than a month from the date the CCA was signed, we have been able to see the results with the launch of the Sabah Gas Master Plan on Jan 4, 2022.”
In order to expand the industrial sector in the state, Hajiji has established a cohesive taskforce across civil service agencies and departments to provide support and cut through bureaucratic red tape so that the implementation of projects that have been agreed upon can be speeded up.
The state government expects to expand job opportunities and lift more Sabahans out of poverty through the various projects under the SMJ initiative.
The Lok Kawi Resort City development project is expected to create more than 5,000 jobs for Sabahans. Hajiji envisages that through such tourism projects Sabah would become the top Southeast Asian destination and outdo neighbours such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
The state government intends to make use of what it can offer – the sea, mountains and rainforests, and a rich diversity of wildlife – to turn Sabah into an eco-tourist’s dream.
Hajiji has also told Sabahans to expect the “landscape and face of Kota Kinabalu” to change in the future with the implementation of various development projects.
This includes the Waterfront, Star City, The Shore, Sadong Jaya, Coral Bay, Tanjung Aru Eco Development, Jesselton Quay Central, Harbour City Pavillion, Jesselton101 and the Botanical Garden.
A business leader said Hajiji’s performance was “not bad for someone who was seen by sceptics to be a leader who was not economics-savvy or business-minded like previous chief ministers.”
Hajiji entered politics in 1990 and was elected to the Sulaman state seat on an Usno ticket. He has been representing Sulaman in the state assembly ever since.
Following Usno’s dissolution, he joined Umno in 1994 and than Bersatu in 2018. He was state minister for housing and local government from 2004 to 2018. Hajiji is now Gabungan Rakyat Sabah chairman.
KUALA LUMPUR: The government has agreed to provide RM200 assistance for six months to padi farmers waiting for the harvest period, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
He said the assistance had been discussed with the finance ministry and would be included in Budget 2023 expected to be tabled in October.
“A total of RM200 (will be given) for three months for two seasons, which is six months, to help them while waiting for the padi to be harvested,” he said at a dinner before officiating the 48th annual general meeting of the National Farmers Organisation (Nafas) here last night.
Ismail said that previously, rubber tappers received assistance during the monsoon season as they had no income for three months – November, December and January.
“At that time, I was a minister (of rural and regional development). Fishermen, including inland fishermen, also received allowances of between RM200 and RM300. I was surprised that padi farmers didn’t receive such aid,” he said.
On the issue of controlling chicken and egg prices, Ismail recommended that Nafas control the supply chain to help the government and prevent it from being “held to ransom” by suppliers.
“I agree on Nafas controlling the poultry production chain but I also hope it controls the supply chain for poultry production from feed to chickens.
“There are enough Nafas members, and they can venture into the market (as poultry supply producers),” he said.
PETALING JAYA: A PKR group in Perak aligned to Rafizi Ramli, who is contesting for the deputy president’s post, has alleged that certain people have been changing the phone numbers of some eligible voters and voting online using the new numbers.
A candidate from the state said these people would offer handouts like rice and groceries to entice the eligible voters to change their phone numbers in the party database with the new SIM cards provided to them and then use the new numbers to vote online.
The SIM cards were apparently disposed of after the voting as the numbers could not be reached when calls were made to check on their authenticity.
“They have been doing this to the elderly members who are not familiar with smartphones. This is disgusting for a party that calls itself Keadilan (justice) and fighting for ‘reformasi’,” he told FMT.
The candidate said they had compiled evidence from members who admitted not knowing the reasons for the change of their phone numbers, and a complaint had been submitted to the PKR election committee head.
He said what was being done was “unbelievable” and unexpected of a party that claimed to be leading the nation back to the right path.
The group provided reporters with several of the questionable phone numbers and they were unreachable.
When contacted, PKR election chief Dr Zaliha Mustafa confirmed receiving a complaint and said the allegation must be backed by evidence for any action to be taken.
“Yes, we have received a complaint on these allegations. We are investigating and hope to get some evidence from the complainant,” she said.
“The online voting, which began early this morning, is generally progressing well. Of course, there are a few issues here and there which we are working to resolve.”
On Monday, Zaliha defended the electoral process for the party elections, currently being held in a hybrid form.
She said the committee had taken steps to minimise any avenues for manipulation or fraud, including doing away with the QR code and using indelible ink.
Members would be able to review and confirm their votes as their ballots were stored online, she said, adding however that “there are no systems that are 100% foolproof”.
Meanwhile, a PKR member has alleged that an individual voted on his behalf in Kangar.
Chua Beng Choon said the individual claimed to be part of the team for Gan Ay Ling, a candidate for the Kangar chief’s post. However, Gan, who is also the Indera Kayangan assemblyman, denied this.
According to an Utusan Malaysia report, Chua lodged a police report, saying he was displeased that some individuals were taking advantage of the situation to vote on behalf of others.
He alleged that he had received a phone call from an individual, who said he wished to demonstrate how to vote online.
Upon meeting the individual, he was asked to provide his electronic device. Shortly after, the individual returned the device, saying Chua’s vote had been cast.
“I am lodging a police report because I am displeased that someone else voted on my behalf, without my consent. I don’t even know which candidate he voted for,” the Malay daily quoted him as saying.
Asked to comment, Gan said although the online voting system was well implemented, it was unfortunate that some people were taking advantage of the process.
She expressed disappointment as it appeared that some party members were willing to cheat and manipulate online votes in favour of certain candidates.
“The rules set by the election committee must be complied with and if a candidate violates the rules, action must be taken,” she said, adding that the committee should take this issue seriously.
Gan is contesting the Kangar PKR chief’s post against incumbent Noor Amin Ahmad and Amar Amran.
Separately, PKR Tambun division chief candidate Mustapa Mansor said he was willing to be investigated over allegations of misappropriating funds and drug abuse.
He said the allegations were baseless and intended to tarnish his image after a video went viral claiming he was involved in criminal activities.
“I deny all the allegations. I am ready to be investigated and will give my full cooperation to the authorities. Personal attacks of this nature should not be happening in PKR, especially during an election,” Sinar Harian quoted him as saying.
IPOH: A contract labourer was fined RM3,000 by a magistrates’ court here today on a charge of permitting a false entry when registering a girl’s birth two years ago.
Magistrate Noor Azreen Liana Darus meted out the fine on Muhammad Ridzuan Chan Abdullah, 49, who pleaded guilty to the charge.
He paid the fine.
Ridzuan was charged with permitting the false entry when registering the birth of the girl at the counter of the Ipoh UTC branch of the National Registration Department (JPN) here on Sept 10, 2020.
The charge, under Section 36(1)(c) of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957 (Act 299), provides a maximum fine of RM20,000 or imprisonment for up to three years, or both, upon conviction.
NRD officer Hisam Saruddin prosecuted, while Ridzuan was represented by G Harbhajan Singh from the National Legal Aid Foundation.
PETALING JAYA: The family of a murdered former HSBC bank manager is appealing to the attorney-general to apply for a deferment at the Federal Court to provide time for fresh evidence to be adduced.
The hearing, to challenge the acquittal of the victim’s wife, Ling Hang Tsyr, for abetment, is set for May 19.
The request by Wong Ji Kui’s parents is to allow them to file more data and evidence.
Wong Tiew Ming and Law Boh Ing want more time to carry out “thorough work”, noting that Ji Kui’s wife was the beneficiary and administrator of her husband’s estate.
“(We are applying) to the court to defer the case hearing to allow time to study the case properly and submit a petition with new evidence,” they said in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The letter, dated April 23, was also addressed to law minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Attorney-General Idrus Harun.
Wong and Law also said that the admission of new evidence must be allowed if it was caused by “shortfalls of certain police, prosecutors and judges”.
“It will cause a great injustice to all parties, especially innocent victims, if relevant evidence to correct misconstrued judicial opinion or judgment that helped in her acquittal are not admitted,” the letter said.
Ji Kui was murdered in Sibu, Sarawak, in 2012.
Ling and her boyfriend, Tiong King Guan, were initially charged with abetting Ji Kui’s murder, with Ling initially sentenced to death by the Sibu High Court in 2017.
She was acquitted two years later. Tiong remains at large.
KUCHING: As many as 4,037 Sarawakians lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2021, the Sarawak state assembly was told today.
Deputy minister in the premier’s department (labour, immigration and project monitoring) Gerawat Gala said 3,002 Sarawakians lost their jobs in 2020, while 1,035 faced the same fate the following year.
“To reduce the burden of those affected, including those who lost their jobs, the Sarawak government has introduced eight Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) packages totalling RM5.7 billion.
“The BKSS packages include handing out cash assistance to B40 groups as well as small traders, as well as rent deferments,” he said in reply to Safiee Ahmad (GPS-Daro).
Safiee had asked how many Sarawakians lost their jobs during the pandemic and what were the state government’s measures to address the matter during the state assembly’s question-and-answer session today.
Gerawat said the Sarawak government carried out several efforts, including the implementation of the Graduate Enhancement Training Sarawak (GETS) for graduates in the state, to address the issue.
“Apart from that, the state government will also carry out an industry workforce development programme in collaboration with industry to provide training,” he said.
He said the Social Security Organisation (Socso) had also conducted the Go Rural Area Programme (GRAP) and Career Carnival to provide information on job opportunities.
“For the long term, the Sarawak government will continue to implement more initiatives under the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 to create more high-productivity economic activities and job opportunities.
“It is expected that 200,000 jobs with high salaries will be created by 2030,” he said.
On the question of workers having their salary reduced, he said a total of 5,932 workers saw cuts in their salary between 2020 to 2021.
“These figures are higher compared to those who were retrenched,” he said.
He added that from 2020 to 2021, the majority of workers who had been retrenched were those from the hotel industry and food services, with 2,772 workers from these sectors affected.
“Meanwhile, retrenchments in the retail and sales sector involved 1,328 workers and the construction sector involved 1,030 sectors,” he said.
PETALING JAYA: Police have recorded the statements of 30 students from a religious boarding school in Labu, Negeri Sembilan, over a bullying case that left a Form 2 student requiring medical treatment.
Nilai district police chief Mohd Fazley Ab Rahman said four reports have been lodged over the incident which left the victim with injuries on several parts of his body.
Reporters quoted him as saying that the 30 students finished giving their statements at 2pm yesterday, while six male students have been remanded.
Police are probing the case under Section 324 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon, an offence which carries a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine or whipping, or any two of the punishments, upon conviction.
Previously, Fazley said the Form 2 student was believed to have been beaten up by Form 4 students.
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