Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference on the Sales and Services Tax in Kuala Lumpur July 19, 2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — I have been reeling from painful flashbacks since the debate began raging over the different pros and cons of the much-hated Goods and Service Tax (GST) and the impending Sales and Services Tax (SST).In these recollections, my business partners and I are staring at an Excel spreadsheet, tearing the hair from our heads and moaning piteously. We were woefully unprepared and, like pretty much every Malaysian enterprise big and small in late 2015, we ran right into a brick wall.Our little public relations consultancy had a cash flow problem. We were profitable, but the government of Malaysia was sitting on our cash.As the collection agents for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration — thanks, man! — We invoiced our clients the requisite 6 per cent GST. Then we had to pay, in real money, the amount of GST invoiced because the tax had been incurred, even though we had not yet been paid.We resentfully passed to the Customs Department our cold, hard cash, in advance. Then we waited for our clients to pay us. But of course they were in the same boat. We all were. Up and down the supply chain, from the Bursa Malaysia-listed companies to the neighbourhood mini-market, we were all transferring cash from our bank accounts to the government.I’m sure the Customs Department didn’t mean to be slow in making refunds. And, maybe we shouldn’t have extended reasonable payment terms. Why give 30-, 60-, or 90-day payment terms to clients and customers when we should have said, “pay us yesterday please”. Right?Anyway, now we know why our little ringgit was so desperately needed. But while the government’s debts — thanks, 1MDB! — were being serviced, my partners and I went without our salaries — thanks, Jho!I’m sure other business people out there did too. We drew down on savings and racked up some personal debt but we survived. We didn’t have to fire anyone, but there must have been some who did. Others didn’t replace staff who retired or give jobs to fresh graduates. Or maybe they didn’t buy the machinery they needed or didn’t restock their inventory.Even now, I feel anxious recalling those times. I remember reading about a neighbourhood sundry shop, a family-owned business run by an elderly couple who were probably getting by okay until GST ate up all their money.I remember quiet shopping centres and empty cinemas. I remember I thought I got too little change from a 7-Eleven cashier, and then realised “oh, it’s the GST”. I remember the first time I paid GST for tampons.I remember when nothing I bought in a supermarket or a pharmacy was taxed, nor my panties and bras, nor my spectacles. There must be parents who remember when disposable diapers were not taxed. Or colouring pencils. Or ball point pens. Or school shoes. Or slippers. My Muslims friends will remember the days when they didn’t pay GST on prayer rugs, or tudung kepala or prayer beads.Ya, ya, ya, GST is a more efficient, more transparent tax. Being able to claim back a portion of GST was supposed help businesses reduce the cost of making goods and providing services. These cost savings were supposed to have been passed on to consumers.So what if the SST will be hidden in the final price we pay at the till, and we won’t know exactly how many ringgit and sen that is.But we do know the Mahathir administration’s SST is expected to cost a whopping RM20 billion less — LESS — than Najib’s GST. That’s RM20 billion that will stay in the economy, circulating, generating jobs, paying salaries, feeding families.From the first day of September, I’m going to have to put the SST on our invoices to our clients. But then I’m going to the supermarket, and I won’t have to pay GST on mosquito coils, and brooms, and mops, and feather dusters, and senduk and matches. And tampons. Thanks, Doc!* Lee Siew Lian is a former financial journalist and is currently a public relations consultant. She is also a Malay Mail reader. [...]
GOPENG (Bernama): There is no dumping of durian in Perak although production of the 'king of fruits' is reported to be plentiful during the current season. [...]
Sidang Media Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (20/07/2018).. Sila klik video untuk berita selanjutnya. [...]
Neymar, with his son Davi Lucca, in an interview at his charity Neymar Junior Project Institute, in Praia Grande, Sao Paulo, Brazil July 21, 2018. — AFP pic
PRAIA GRANDE, July 22 — Brazil superstar Neymar admits that after his nation's quarter-final defeat to Belgium at the World Cup he couldn't look at a ball and didn't want to see any of the remaining matches.“I wouldn't go as far as to say I didn't want to play again but, I didn't want to see a ball, or to see any more football played,” 26-year-old Neymar told AFP in an exclusive interview yesterday.The Paris Saint Germain forward was talking at his Neymar Praia Grande institute where the Red Bull Neymar Jr 5's (five-a-side-football) tournament was being played.Dressed in a sleeveless T-shirt, with his six-year-old son Davi Lucca sat upon his knee, the striker was however in a relaxed mood as he explained his post-World Cup blues.“I was in mourning, I was really sad about it, but sadness passes, I have my son, my family, my friends and they don't want to see me moping around. I've got more reason to be happy than sad,” said Neymar, reflecting on his team's 2-1 quarter-final defeat to Belgium.Asked about reports in Spain linking him with a transfer to Real Madrid the forward said “that's all speculation from the press.”“The guys who come up with these stories seem to know more about my life than I do. I won't respond to this type of question because nothing happened,” he scoffed.The Brazilian superstar, who moved to PSG for a world record €222 million (RM1.05 billion) last year, insists that the burden of expectation on his shoulders — whether with his club or country — does not weigh heavily.“No, all the great players feel pressure,” he said.“It's true that when it comes to me, there are double standards. I have been aware of this responsibility, not only for Brazil, but also in club fotball, since I was 17, 18 years old.“I have prepared myself to handle this pressure and I know that when the results are not what they should be then that pressure increases.”Neymar has been hit by a barrage of criticism for theatrical rolling around after being fouled at the World Cup, but says he should have been better protected.'Criticism of me exaggerated'“People were faster to criticise the one being fouled than the one doing the fouling,” he insisted.“I went to the World Cup to play, to beat the opposition, not to get kicked. The criticism of me was exaggerated, but I'm a big boy, I'm used to dealing with this kind of thing“And I can't be the referee and play at the same time, but there are times I wish I could,” he said.Earlier this week, Neymar took a swipe at his critics with a tongue-in-cheek video in which he teaches children how to fall to the ground.“One, two, three, go!” shouts Neymar on the Instagram video as around a dozen youngsters fall to the ground of a parking lot.“That's a free-kick!” screams the Brazilian breaking into fits of laughter.The video was released with a hashtag #ChallengeDAFALTA, the free-kick challenge in Portuguese.During the recent World Cup, the player's antics sparked the “Neymar Challenge” where he was widely mocked.In Mexico, a football club even rganised a competition in which contestants attempted to roll the entire length of the pitch.Meanwhile, Neymar described PSG's new coach Thomas Tuchel as a great addition to the club.“He's a great coach and we're hoping for a great season,” he said.“I'm really looking forward to it,” Neymar said of his second season in Paris.“We have signed a football legend (Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon) who will bring with him all his experience and that will be a great help for this coming season.” — AFP [...]
CHELSEA will play hardball with Eden Hazard and ensure he fulfils his contract. [...]
IT started with frequent tiredness, difficulties sleeping at night and fever.
“At first, I thought it was just normal tiredness, but after a while, I developed shortness of breath and I had to be rushed to the hospital on May 2017,” shares Iryani Abd Jamil.
Her husband Nazri Mohd Yunus adds that they initially thought the shortness of breath was asthma.
They also found out later that her difficulties in sleeping were due to a condition called orthopnoea, where water retention in the lungs causes breathlessness when the person tries to lie flat.
Most patients compensate by piling up three to four pillows to prop them up, and in severe cases, they sleep sitting upright.
After three months, Iryani’s breathlessness increased to such an extent that she had to be sent to Hospital Serdang, Selangor.
The doctors there suspected that the 32-year-old from Klang, Selangor, had a heart problem.
True enough, the echocardiogram showed that her left ventricular systolic function was only 11% (the normal range is 60-85%).
Her skin was bluish by that point, indicating inadequate oxygenation of her tissues.
It was clear that she had severe heart failure.
The mother of two spent three months in the intensive care unit (ICU) before the doctors told her to go home.
“When I was in the ICU, the doctors told me that they could not do anything because the cost was too high and there was no hope for me,” she says with tears in her eyes.
However, Nazri refused to give up and sent her to Hospital Tuanku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang, where they referred her to University Malaya Medical Centre consultant cardiologist Prof Dr Chee Kok Han.
“When I met Prof Chee, he changed the dose and type of my medications.
“After seeing me get better, he recommended a procedure to implant an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator).
“The procedure was done by Prof Chee himself, and after that, my heart function, from 11%, increased to almost 30%,” shares Iryani.
“Today, I am back to being healthy and active,” she says. “I can do my usual activities like going on holiday with my family, shopping and I can drive again.”
Prof Chee notes that Iryani is a good example of how treatment can make a real difference for a heart failure patient, even though the condition cannot be cured.
“When I first met her, she was wheeled in on a wheelchair by her husband and her leg was bloated (oedema).
“And with medication, her determination and family support, as you can see, she actually walked onto the stage by herself (today),” he says.
Both Prof Chee and Iryani were speaking at the Heart Failure Media Workshop organised by pharmaceutical company Novartis Malaysia in conjunction with their Keep It Pumping campaign.
Iryani is unusual in that she is quite young to develop heart failure without the presence of a congenital heart defect.
The cause of her heart failure is still unknown.
Says Prof Chee: “Iryani was a very healthy person before May 2017 – she was working and taking care of her kids.
“Then, all of a sudden, within weeks, she became very breathless and bloated.
“We don’t really know why. So, most likely what she has is cardiomyopathy – problems with the heart muscle – and we don’t know what is the real cause.
“In some patients, we may never know the cause, but the treatment is the same.”
He adds that it is important for heart failure patients to come in early.
“If you come in at a very late stage, unfortunately, the medicine may not be able to help fully. And that is the importance of early detection,” he says.
Heart failure can be managed with medications, medical devices, surgery in certain cases, and cardiovascular rehabilitation, where patients are helped to manage their symptoms and regain as much physical function as possible.
Equally important are the patient’s own efforts in making lifestyle changes like eating a healthy and balanced diet, reducing stress, quitting smoking, decreasing alcohol intake, limiting water intake to two litres or less, cutting down on salt and increasing physical activity as advised by the doctor.
With these efforts, a heart failure patient’s life can be prolonged and their quality of life improved. [...]
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a Hari Raya celebration in Pandan Indah July 21, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has described PAS and Barisan Nasional (BN) as ‘siblings’ on the issue of fielding candidates in the Sungai Kandis state by-election.Following the nomination today, the by-election is witnessing a three-cornered fight involving BN candidate Datuk Lokman Noor Adam; Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni from PKR and Independent candidate, K. Murthy.Asked if the move by PAS not to field their candidate was to give way for the BN candidate to win, Dr Mahathir, who is also Pakatan Harapan chairman, briefly responded: “They are siblings.”He was met by reporters at the Aidilfitri open house hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail here.Also present were his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and Cabinet ministers.The by-election on Aug 4 has been necessitated by the death of the assemblyman, Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei of PKR, of lymphoma cancer on July 2. — Bernama [...]
Liver disease deaths are growing more common in the U.S. and disproportionately affecting younger Americans, according to a recent study.
The paper, published in The BMJ just a day after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on rising liver cancer death rates, paints a troubling picture of how Americans’ drinking habits may be affecting their health. While the new study couldn’t prove causation, the researchers say drinking is likely to blame for the growing number of adults aged 24 to 35 who are dying from cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.
The researchers used deaths logged in the CDC’s WONDER database between 1999 and 2016 to determine mortality trends during those 17 years. During that time period, more than 34,000 people died of cirrhosis, accounting for a 65% increase over the study period. Rates of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, also doubled, with more than 11,000 people dying of the disease.
Although nearly every demographic saw increases in cirrhosis beginning in 2009, after a period of decline from 1999 to 2008, the trends were particularly stark among certain demographics.
Younger Americans, for example, saw the largest increase in their cirrhosis death rate (10.5%), even though older age groups still experience more deaths overall. Cirrhosis now accounts for about 1.4% of deaths in the 24-35 age group, largely driven by this population’s drinking habits, according to the paper.
A separate study published this week found that younger adults are at particularly high risk of starting and sustaining problem drinking habits. And The BMJ study’s authors note that the cirrhosis mortality trend’s start in 2009 — just after the 2008 financial crisis — is in line with research that has found young men to be particularly susceptible to alcohol misuse after unemployment or financial strain.
Native Americans, white Americans and Hispanic Americans have also seen significant increases in liver disease death rates since 1999, the paper says. Geographically, cirrhosis is growing particularly common in Kentucky, New Mexico, Arkansas, Indiana and Alabama.
Liver cancer, meanwhile, is on the decline among younger Americans, and on the rise among those in older age groups, according to the study — a finding consistent with the CDC’s recent report. Liver cancer deaths were most common among Asians and Pacific Islanders, but that group was also the only one to see a slight dip in its death rate during the study period.
The two recent reports add to a growing body of evidence that Americans’ drinking habits have grown increasingly problematic in recent years. A March CDC report, for example, found that 17% of the U.S. population binge drinks, and a February editorial also published in The BMJ blamed alcohol misuse, along with drugs and suicide, for a recent drop in U.S. life expectancy.
“The increasing mortality due to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma speak to the expanding socioeconomic impact of liver disease,” the BMJ authors write. “Adverse trends in liver related mortality are particularly unfortunate given that in most cases the liver disease is preventable.” [...]
The bloc may target goods worth about 20% of the US action
BRUSSELS • The European Union (EU) is preparing a new list of American goods to hit with protective measures if a mission to Washington next week fails to persuade US President Donald Trump not to raise levies on car imports.
The bloc may target American goods worth about 20% of the US action, according to two officials with knowledge of the deliberations. The level of the EU’s retaliatory tariffs would probably match the US levels, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the preparations are private.
“If the US would impose these car tariffs that would be very unfortunate, but we are preparing together with our member states a list of rebalancing measures as well,” EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom said yesterday.
The retaliation actions would be ready immediately, according to a person familiar with the EU’s preparations.
When European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Trump on July 25, he’ll bring two main negotiating proposals in an effort to tamp down the escalating trade tensions: An offer to discuss the reduction of levies on cars and car parts among all major auto-exporting countries in a so-called plurilateral deal; and the possibility of broaching a limited free-trade agreement, according to a separate official with knowledge of the EU’s thinking.
The US is in the middle of a probe into whether car imports damage national security, which could trigger the 20% tariff on autos that Trump has threatened. Washington has already hit the EU with duties on its steel and aluminium exports using the same national-security justification, which led to European levies on €2.8 billion (RM13.41 billion) of American goods.
The US imported about €294 billion of cars and car parts in 2017, €58 billion of that originated in the 28-nation bloc, according to an internal EU memo seen by Bloomberg.
The US expressed optimism that the two sides may come to an agreement, with White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow saying on Wednesday that the commission president “is bringing a very important free-trade offer”.
The EU isn’t allowed under global rules to reduce its 10% tariff on American cars unless it either does so for all World Trade Organisation members or reaches a bilateral accord with the US that covers “substantially all” two-way trade.
A plurilateral deal is one of several ideas the commission is considering, according to Malmstrom, who expressed scepticism that such an accord could work. “It’s one idea of many,” she said. “I don’t know if it would work at all.”
“The aim of Juncker’s visit is to try to establish a good relation, try to see how we can deescalate the situation and avoid it from going further and see if there is a forum where we can discuss these issues,” Malmstrom said in Brussels.
EU member states are divided on the next course of action, according to a separate official.
Germany, which shipped 640,000 cars to the US last year, is eager to negotiate a solution with the US administration.
The French are less enthusiastic and consider the new auto tariffs a foregone conclusion, according to another official.
They want Juncker to approach the Trump meeting with options, but said now isn’t the time to negotiate.
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var EMOTE_TEXT = ["HAPPY","INDIFFERENT","AMUSED","EXCITED","ANGRY","SAD"]The post EU prepares to retaliate over car tariffs before Trump talks appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
Sony's new Xperia XZ2 Premium smartphone will hit shelves in the United States in late July. [...]
THE consequences of a brewing trade war between the United States and China are now playing out on a number of fronts. And the message it is sending to markets is a chilling one. [...]
Astellas Pharma has launched the third series of its C3 Prize (Changing Cancer Care) global challenge on non-treatment cancer care with a bounty totalling up to US$100,000.
KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Tokyo based pharmaceutical Astellas Pharma Incorporated (Astellas) has launched the third series of its Astellas Oncology C3 Prize (Changing Cancer Care) global challenge on non-treatment cancer care with a bounty totalling up to US$100,000 (RM406,000).In a press statement, Astellas said this year’s challenge will focus on solutions for cancer care in low and middle income countries, which bear a “disproportionate burden” of the global cancer epidemic.“Given the increasing cancer rates in low- and middle-income countries, and the limited tools and resources available in these regions, this year’s C3 Prize is focused on discovering innovative approaches to help narrow the global disparity in cancer care.“Since the initial launch of the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, we have seen a tremendous response and we wanted to focus this momentum to regions of the world with the greatest need,” said its oncology business unit senior vice-president Mark Reisenauer.The contest is open to everyone including patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and concerned citizens with ideas on improving cancer care by addressing specific challenges found in low and middle income countries.There are three categories available which are: ‘Support Tools’, ‘Educational Tools’, and ‘Technology’.The three category winners will present their ideas to a live panel of judges at the 2018 World Cancer Congress on Oct 3, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, organised by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).UICC CEO Cary Adams said he was delighted for the opportunity to work with Astellas.“There is much that can be done to help improve cancer care in low-resource countries, and we are confident that through this global challenge we will uncover non-medical innovations that may help make a tangible difference in the lives of patients with cancer and their loved ones,” he said.Entries will be accepted until July 25, 2018 with the US$100,000 (RM406,000) prize money being split into three. The first prize winner will take home US$50,000 (RM203,000) while the runner ups will receive a US$25,000 (RM101,000) grant each.“In addition to the prize money, winners will receive a one-year ‘nights and weekends’ membership to MATTER, a Chicago-based healthcare innovation community, to help bring their ideas to life,” the statement said.The entries will be evaluated on the following criteria: extent to which idea reflects application category; plausibility of idea; creativity and originality of innovation; and ability of entrant to operationalise/implement the innovative idea for future application.Entrants are not required to have an established business or finished product to apply.Those interested may also submit an optional short informal video, which should not exceed two minutes in length and may be filmed on a smartphone.More information can be found at www.C3Prize.com. [...]