Senator Khairul Azwan Harun speaking to reporters at Parliament House on August 20, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Barisan Nasional (BN) senators in Dewan Negara did not reject the Sales Tax Bill 2018 and the Service Tax Bill 2018 from being passed today, to honour the mandate given by the people to Pakatan Harapan government.Senator Khairul Azwan Harun said there was no issue of sabotaging the bills as the matter would not benefit anybody and would only disrupt the government in collecting the country’s revenue.“We do not want to delay the matter as we know the government needs the money for the national agenda involving the people.“Based on this awareness, we could see senators from BN allowing the bills to be passed as we respect the people,” he said at a media conference at Parliament lobby today.The Sales Tax Bill 2018 and the Service Tax Bill 2018 were passed by Senate without amendments after the third reading.Earlier, there were concerns that BN senators may block the bills from being passed at Dewan Negara.Meanwhile, Khairul Azwan said opposing the bills would be in vain as they would still be gazetted despite being objected at the Senate.According to Article 68 of the Federal Constitution, if a bill is not passed at the Senate, it could be brought to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and would receive the royal assent without to be debated again.“We, the opposition knows the fact that without the support of the Senate, the government could still proceed with the matter,” he said. Meanwhile Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said BN would not use its majority power in the Senate to thwart the efforts of the Pakatan Harapan government to implement the Sales and Service Tax (SST) starting September 1.He said even though some parties wanted to use their majority power to burden the government but BN did not intend to do so.He said otherwise there would be an impasse and the government would experience delay in collecting tax. — Bernama [...]
Pakatan Harapan candidate for the Balakong by-election Wong Siew Ki speaks to reporters press conference after a walkabout in Kajang August 19, 2018. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
BANGI, Aug 20 — The problem of flash floods often encountered by residents of Kampung Baru Balakong is expected to end with the completion of the Sungai Balak flood mitigation project in January.The Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Balakong State Assembly by-election Wong Siew Ki said PH would ensure it would be completed on schedule despite being delayed a month.He said a warning notice had been issued by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage to the contractor concerned for the immediate implementation of the project.“We can see the progress of the project, namely, sandbags have been placed on the banks of the river and this project will be my main focus if given a mandate to represent the people,” he told reporters after visiting the flood mitigation project area in Kampung Baru Balakong today.The flood mitigation project had been undertaken since last June by the incumbent Balakong state assemblyman Eddie Ng Tien Chee.The by-election was held following Eddie Ng’s death in a road accident on July 20.Earlier in the morning, Wong assisted residents in Kampung Baru Balakong and distributing his biodata and the national flag, Jalur Gemilang.Meanwhile, in another development, Selangor DAP secretary-general Ean Yong Hian Wah said MCA’s action in using its own party logo in the by-election proved that they were only based on one race.“PH have always fought for all races, unlike the MCA who use their own party logo which shows that they only serve one race,” he said.The Balakong state seat by-election on Sept 8 would witness a one-on-one competition between Wong and MCA candidate Tan Chee Teong. — Bernama [...]
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 20): The Government is aware of and knows the whereabouts of businessman-turned-fugitive Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, who has been linked... [...]
Kuala Lumpur will go all out to forge better ties with Beijing as this will bring mutual benefits for both sides, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said focusing on economic development rather than confrontation should be the way forward in terms of relations between Malaysia and China.
In this regard, Chinese businessmen were welcomed to invest in Malaysia, he said when addressing some 400 top Chinese entrepreneurs and business leaders here Sunday.
Mahathir is on a five-day official visit to China. [...]
Perak Malay Solidarity Organsation president Kahar Md Yassin (centre) speaks during a press conference held at Tower Regency Ipoh August 20, 2018. — Picture by Farhan Najib
IPOH, Aug 20 — Several state Malay NGOs questioned today the need for the state government to award freehold titles in new villages, Perak Malay Solidarity Organisation claiming that Chinese settlers there had not demanded such.The Malay group’s president Kahar Md Yassin also claimed bestowing freehold titles to new villages will offend the Malay community, pointing out that even the national security forces pensioners did not get any freehold title despite requesting them several times.“Based on our check, the Chinese in new villages only wanted titles for the land. They did not demand for the permanent land titles.“Therefore, we believe there are certain parties who wanted to play racial sentiments for political gains,” he told reporters at the Tower Regency Hotel here.Kahar also said the Malay community cannot afford to pay the land premium if it was raised from 99 years to 999 years, or freehold.“How many Malays actually wanted this permanent title? Can anyone guarantee that the Malays will not pawn the land to others?” he asked. President of a group called Perak Malay NGO Front, Mohd Salleh Khan Mohd Jaafar, also demanded DAP’s state exco Abdul Aziz Bari and state DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming retract their statements, and stop pressuring Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu over the matter.“Their statements — which contradicted Faizal’s statement — saying that there is nothing in the Federal Constitution that prevents state government from issuing freehold titles, could invite lots of political and racial problems,” he said.“We want the decision on the freehold title should be discussed and agreed by National Land Council (NLC) in order to avoid confusion among the public,” he said.Around 50 people from 35 NGOs in Perak attended the press conference here to oppose the suggestion of issuing freehold titles in new villages.Meanwhile, Perak Youth Council president Aswannudin Hariffudin has backed Faizal’s stance in not bestowing permanent land titles, claiming such a move will raise land price and making houses unaffordable for youths.“Our council, which represents about 35 youth associations in the state had conducted a study and found that the price of housing had increased due to the high price of land.“If the leasehold land, which is cheaper, is changed to permanent title (or 999 years) then the price of the house will also increase. Thus, the younger generation cannot afford to buy a house in the future,” he said in a statement.Aswannudin said the decision by state government to limit the land title to 99 years was rational.“Section 76(a) sub-section (iii) of the National Land Code clearly states that permanent title can be only given in three conditions. Which is for the Federal Government or public enforcement, public usage, or if local authority believes that there is a special condition that should need for the change,” he explained.On August 13, when winding up during the state assembly, Ahmad Faizal claimed it was against the Federal Constitution to bestow permanent titles to new villages.He cited a NLC decision in 1988 to double the leasehold period from 30 to 60 years to support this claim.Ahmad Faizal also said that any matter regarding the freehold title would be referred to the NLC to be discussed.Another of his excos, constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari, previously disputed this by noting that no such restriction existed in the Federal Constitution.Perak Pakatan Harapan had pledged to issue the freehold titles as part of its election manifesto. [...]
Najib questioned today whether Dr Mahathir’s government has similarly altered its stance on other projects involving China’s investors such as the Forest City development in Johor and the Melaka Gateway, given recent remarks. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak noted today that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s current support for Geely’s involvement in Malaysian carmaker Proton stood in contrast to his previously vehement opposition to the sale.Najib, under whose administration the sale to Geely was brokered, also reminded the prime minister of his expressed grief over the news of the takeover in 2017.Just a year later, he pointed out Dr Mahathir’s apparent pleasure when witnessing the signing of an agreement between Proton and Geely, at the Geely headquarters in Beijing, China last week.“Despite Tun Mahathir’s previous slander and criticism, yesterday saw an announcement that proved the decision last year was a positive step for all.“As many as 60,000 jobs were saved and Proton is now in a stronger position for growth,” he wrote on his Facebook page.Proton was set up by Dr Mahathir in 1983 and remains the epitome of the former prime minister’s industrialisation policies.It came under the private ownership of the DRB-HICOM group in 2012, which subsequently sold a 49.9 per cent stake to Geely in 2017.At the time, Dr Mahathir reacted negatively to the sale and said Proton could no longer be regarded as Malaysian.Najib also questioned today whether Dr Mahathir’s government has similarly altered its stance on other projects involving China’s investors such as the Forest City development in Johor and the Melaka Gateway, given recent remarks.He noted that the Pakatan Harapan government told Parliament that it will not block the sale of freehold property in Forest City to foreigners while the chief minister of Melaka has since dubbed the Melaka Gateway a vital project for the state.“Even though BN and I were viciously slandered then, I am happy that the BN government’s previous steps are now proven to be beneficial to the public.” [...]
BEIJING (Aug 20): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his delegation are expected to meet China Premier Li Keqiang this morning at 10am.
After a... [...]
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said that the cooperation between the party and Umno in the Seri Setia state by-election would show positive results. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
SHAH ALAM, Aug 19 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said that the cooperation between the party and Umno in the Seri Setia state by-election would show positive results.He said the cooperation between the two parties during the Sungai Kandis state by-election on Aug 4 was a good start.“The Sungai Kandis by-election saw a very interesting change and I think the Seri Setia by-election will be in our favour,” he told a press conference at the Selangor PAS office here today.The Seri Setia by-election will be held on September 8 following the death of its incumbent, Prof Dr Shaharuddin Badaruddin of PKR, due to colon cancer on August 2.The by-election is a straight fight between Pakatan Harapan’s Halimey Abu Bakar and PAS’ Dr Halimah Ali.Meanwhile, Abdul Hadi reiterated the party’s support towards MCA candidate in the Balakong state by-election. — Bernama [...]
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad witnessed a drone demonstration here on the third day of his official visit to China.
The outdoor demonstration was carried out by one of the world’s largest drone manufacturers, Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) Enterprise, which provides drone solutions for a variety of industries including agriculture, energy, media, construction, infrastructure and public safety.
The prime minister was briefed by the company’s president Roger Luo during the demonstration.
Mahathir who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah watched the performance of Multi-aircraft Control Mode MG-1P series with enhanced spraying system which could be used in the agricultural sector. [...]
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Singapore hopes to work with Malaysia’s new administration to take bilateral relations forward. — Reuters pic
SINGAPORE, Aug 19 — Singapore hopes to work with Malaysia’s new administration to take bilateral relations forward, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.“I hope with (Prime Minister Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) and his new team, we can build on our deep partnership, look ahead and make further progress together,” Lee said today in his National Day Rally 2018 speech delivered in English.Lee delivered his speech in Bahasa Melayu followed by Mandarin and English.The premier also noted that ultimately the fundamentals of the relations with Malaysia had not changed.“We are closely bound by ties of kinship, history, geography and economics. We need to work together to tackle common challenges and when our interest diverged, we must find constructive ways to resolve our differences.“If Singapore-Malaysia relations stay stable and close we can pursue win-win cooperation and we can also each focus on our own domestic priorities... and we have many of them so do the Malaysians,” he said.Lee said that Malaysia’s new administration had a combination of young talent and experienced hands.“Of course, Dr Mahathir is not new to us. We have worked with him before. The last time he was Prime Minister for 22 years until 2003,” he said.Lee also said that Singapore completed several important projects with Malaysia under Dr Mahathir including the Second Link and Lingui dam in Johor.Dr Mahathir became Malaysia’s current Prime Minister after Pakatan Harapan, which he led, won the 14th General Election over the then 60-year old ruling government, Barisan Nasional, in May.Lee acknowledged that Dr Mahathir and his team were determined to review and change many of the policies set by the previous government.“I appreciate their reasons but some of the reviews affect Singapore’s ongoing projects with Malaysia, including the High-Speed Rail (HSR) and the RTS (Rail Transit System) link to Johor.“We entered into these two projects in good faith after careful negotiations because they benefited both countries. Now, Malaysia wants to defer the HSR,” he said, adding that both the HSR and the RTS link have legally binding agreements.“These set out clearly the duties of each party and what happens if either party wants to change or terminate the agreements. Both sides have to carry out what has been agreed to unless we mutually agree to vary the terms,” he said.Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Malaysia’s Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali had officially met in Singapore on Aug 11 to discuss the HSR project and agreed to continue discussions in the coming weeks.Touching on the 1962 Water Agreement signed with Malaysia, Lee said: “The water agreement is sacrosanct. We must proceed strictly in accordance with its terms.”Singapore had said that it will fully honour the terms of the agreement including the agreed price of water.Dr Mahathir, on several occasions, spoke of Malaysia’s intention to review the 1962 water agreement and the possibility of increasing the price of raw water supplied to Singapore by more than ten times. — Bernama [...]
Datuk Hasni Mohamad asked the PH-led Johor government to review and fine-tune its Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030 launched by Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian (pic) yesterday. — Pictures by Ben Tan
ISKANDAR PUTERI, Aug 19 — The Pakatan Harapan-led Johor government has been asked to review and fine-tune its Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030 launched by Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian yesterday.State opposition leader Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the plan was a good initiative, however it did not include several issues involving the Johoreans.“Johor Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen view the launch of the Johor Sustainable Development Plan 2019-2030 as a good initiative.“However, we hope the state government will provide details and improvement to the plan,” he told reporters after the Johor State Legislative Assembly sitting here today.Hasni, who is also Benut assemblyman, said the plan did not take into account the Felda community in the state and there was no solution to the issue of the Johoreans working in Singapore.“Issues involving the development of the Johor northern corridor is without focus while public transport is not touched while we understand with the rapid development of Johor, public transportation system is the best alternative,” he said.Meanwhile, Hasni also urged the state government to give BN assemblymen the opportunity to jointly study public information or documents required, in collaboration with government departments and agencies.He said the cooperation would prevent BN assemblyman from obtaining misleading information.“We are confident of helping the state government if the check and balance policies are being implemented, and then, as opposition, we may be able to propose something to help improve the government’s efforts,” he said. — Bernama [...]
KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 19): The new government has no intention of waiving entry visas for Chinese tourists, at least not in the near future, said... [...]