Lim said at present the country was facing challenges that included the current US-China trade war. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
GEORGE TOWN, May 18 — The government is always optimistic of overcoming the growing challenges to the economy and will do so to the best of its ability, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.Lim said at present the country faced two major challenges, namely the financial problems inherited from the previous government and the trade war between China and the United States.“The first challenge poses a difficulty to the new government in undertaking projects. The second has had a global impact which all countries have to overcome. So, this is a major challenge as Malaysia is a trading nation and exporter,” he added.He told reporters this after a breaking of the fast event with the MPKKK Kadun Air Putih at the Masjid Kampung Bharu, Air Itam, here tonight.Lim, however said, although faced with the economic pressure, the government will do its best to overcome problems.“We can see the success of the government through the first quarter 2019 economic growth of 4.5 per cent which exceeded the private sector’s own projection of 4.1 per cent or 4.3 per cent. We have surpassed the prediction and this is a good sign for the economy to grow sustainably in a stable and healthy manner,” he added.Meanwhile, towards ensuring the economy continues to progress sustainably, he said the banking sector needs to play its role in facilitating and being flexible with loans, not only to homebuyers, but also for low cost and affordable houses as well as small and medium entrepreneurs.“I ask that banks somewhat ease (conditions) to make loans easier for businesses which are still active as well as for purchasers of low cost and affordable housing.“In addition, banks too need to facilitate loans to those wanting to venture into business and small medium entrepreneurs, as this will help with the economic growth of the country,” Lim added. — Bernama [...]
GEORGE TOWN: Former Permatang Pauh Umno leader Datuk Ahmad Saad died early Sunday (May 19) morning at the age of 68. [...]
For the first time, Malaysian media giants Media Prima and Astro –...
The post Media Prima and Astro co-produce MMA film Sangkar appeared first on Marketing Magazine Asia. [...]
by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
Bumiputera developers and contractors said their companies are at risk of being shut down, as they suffer millions of losses due to abandoned 1Malaysia People’s Housing Programme (PR1MA) projects.
Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) youth chief Mohd Ali Amin Ab Latif said many of PR1MA construction has failed to restart, even a year after Pakatan Harapan took over the federal administration.
“Out of about 100 developers and contractors involved in PR1MA construction, about 30 of them are Bumiputera, which half of them came to us addressing their concerns related to dormant projects and outstanding payments by the agency.
“Many of them are facing financial constraint because of the long due solution over the project. Some of them have even received bank notices,” Mohd Ali Amin told the press in Kuala Lumpur today.
He added that on average, the developers have forked out around RM10million to RM15 million for land acquisition and to start the project.
Thus, these developers demanded PR1MA to provide new direction on the low-cost housing project.
Mooted in 2012 by former Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, the project has been supervised by PR1MA Corp Malaysia, which was under the purview of Prime Minister’s office.
The agency had promised to provide one million homes to the middle-income group by 2020.However, despite more than RM8 billion of government injection to the state-owned affordable housing scheme, only 16,682 units, or 1.6% of the total houses reached completion as of 2018.
The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) has also reported that PR1MA Corp, which was transferred to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (KPKT) last year would be dissolved after the due diligence process completed next month.
KPKT Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said currently there will be no new PR1MA project will be constructed.
Mohd Ali Amin said besides the provision of the affordable houses, one of the PR1MA agenda was to transform Malay contractors to become the property players.
As such, he said PR1MA Corp must give clear indication whether these incomplete projects, which was signed under the previous administration would be developed or not. The corporation, he said, should be able to resolve the debt suffered by these developers due to prolonged uncertainties on the matter.
One of the developers told TMR that should PR1MA decide to halt the project, he would offer the land to other potential and interested developer.
He added that the discussion with PR1MA Corp did not produce the desired results, hence, which led him to consult DPMM to facilitate future engagement between them.
“Leaving the projects and the developers hanging in the dark would not benefit anybody in the supply chain, as well as the economy of the country.
“The multiplying effects impact developers, contractors, supplier, and even the banks who cannot serve loan to other parties. Developers will find very hard to secure any future projects,” Mohd Ali Amin said.
“If the project is halted and the contract is voidable, PR1MA should compensate the developers,” he added.
The post Bumiputera developers suffer millions of losses due to abandoned PR1MA projects appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
(Reuters) - Manchester City beat Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final on Saturday to complete an English domestic treble after also winning the Premier League and League Cup. [...]
Te Mana sheep are seen in a wool-shed at a farm near Lumsden, Northern Southland, New Zealand January 31, 2017. — The Omega Lamb Project/Reuters pic
WINDWHISTLE (New Zealand), May 16 — At Dave Harper’s family farm in New Zealand’s scenic Canterbury region, a painstakingly bred flock of lambs is grazing, not on grass, but on a field of herbs selected to unlock healthy omega-3 fatty acids in the animals’ meat.Known as “Te Mana lambs”, they are part of an effort by the island nation to future-proof its agricultural sector from the threat of meat and dairy substitutes based on synthetic proteins or plant-based alternatives.Aimed at occupying a similar niche as premium Wagyu beef, each Te Mana lamb has a unique number and has been tracked, weighed and scanned since birth.“We’ve got to tell our story better and we can’t do that unless we collect the information everything’s got to be right,” said Harper, whose farm hosts the lambs for their final few weeks grazing on chicory herbs after being brought down from the mountainous high country.The lambs have received millions of dollars in government funding in a joint venture with meat company Alliance Group. Both want to cut the country’s dependence on shipping bulk commodities and move up the value chain into luxury products with burnished ethical, environmental and health credentials.New Zealand relies on agricultural farming and processing for 8 per cent of its GDP, among the highest in the OECD so has a lot to lose as synthetic food gathers momentum.With an ideal climate, plenty of arable land and a long farming history, New Zealand is the world’s top dairy exporter, and ranks second and seventh for sheepmeat and beef exports respectively.“I see this as both an opportunity and threat to New Zealand, depending on how we react to this emerging reality,” New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor told Reuters. “Animal welfare, labour standards, environmental management and food safety systems must be the best in the world.”Disruptive threat The global meat substitutes market is predicted to reach US$6.4 billion (RM26.7 billion) by 2023, according to research firm Markets and Markets, still a tiny fraction of the multi-trillion dollar traditional meat market but growing quickly. Asia, New Zealand’s top agricultural export market, is the fastest growing region.High-profile investors are pouring in.Vegan burger maker Beyond Meat Inc, which counts Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo DiCaprio among its backers, saw shares surge after its initial public stock offering, reflecting ravenous investor demand.Impossible Foods, which makes a meatless plant-based burger and is backed by celebrities like Serena Williams and Katy Perry, this week announced it raised US$300 million ahead of a possible initial public offering.Dairy is also at risk, particularly in the ingredients business, which relies on products such as milk powder and dairy-protein casein in everything from cakes and cookies to salad dressing and chewing gum.San Francisco-based Perfect Day plans to roll out dairy-like ingredients based on yeast cultures within the next two years, while Ripple Foods is selling a milk substitute, derived from yellow peas, throughout the United States.New Zealand’s Fonterra , the world’s biggest dairy exporter, has taken note. It made a modest investment — it has not disclosed the exact value — in US-based Motif, a start-up using fermentation technology to create ingredients that mimic milk and egg proteins.“We’re trying... to position ourselves so if this was to take off and become a huge demand, that we’re well placed to try and tap into it,” said Judith Swales, head of Fonterra’s consumer and foodservice business. “We can’t say that we don’t see an increasing rise in veganism and vegetarianism.”
Farmer Dave Harper holds a device that helps him monitor the weight and health of a special variety of sheep known as Te Mana lambs, bred for their high omega-3 content, on a farm in Windwhistle, New Zealand March 14, 2019. — Reuters pic
After safety scares in China and criticism from environmentalists at home, Fonterra has also introduced a “trusted goodness” seal to its products, which it says reflects increased efforts to improve traceability and ensure its grass-fed status and animal welfare meet independent standards.Changes coming Still, many animal and environmental advocates say damage from industrial agriculture is unavoidable.Complaints include the removal of male “bobby” calves from their mothers, methane emissions from animals, and chemical and agricultural runoff polluting New Zealand’s once pristine rivers and lakes.The government has introduced new requirements for the agriculture sector to slash methane emissions by 10 per cent in the next decade, drawing a vocal backlash from farmers who say they have already improved practices significantly.The industry is banking on its clean, green image to capture a niche global pool of consumers willing to pay a premium for ethically produced real meat and dairy.“There’s going to be people who don’t always want to have the synthetic stuff and having the organic, outdoor pasture fed stuff is definitely going to have a huge part of that market,” said entrepreneur Craig Piggott.His agri-tech start-up, Halter, has won backing from Silicon Valley venture capitalists, some of whom also invest in synthetic proteins.North Island-based Halter is in the trial phases of a device, worn around the cow’s necks, that allows farmers to monitor cattle health from an iPad, much like a human fitness tracker.The device can help to share information with consumers and uses noises and vibrations to direct livestock away from waterways without the need for farmhands, dogs, or fences.Other agricultural projects, from milk powder with immune-enhancing probiotic properties to farm management and pr [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: Crude palm oil (CPO) futures on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives are likely to trade between RM2,000 and RM2,050 a tonne next week on demand from China, India, Pakistan and the Middle East, said a dealer [...]
Barbie’s status as a global fashion icon has been officially confirmed by the Council Of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
The universally popular Mattel doll – who turns 60 this year – has been announced as the recipient of the Board of Directors’ Tribute at this year’s CFDA Fashion Awards, which will take place in Brooklyn on June 3, 2019.
According to the CFDA, the honour is a nod to Barbie’s “influence on American fashion and her role as an inspiring icon around the globe”.
“Barbie has had such wide influence on American fashion and culture,” said Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA in a statement published online.
“Her story personally resonates with so many CFDA members that the Board of Directors decided to honour her with the special tribute.”
Barbie is no stranger to the world of high fashion, having previously collaborated with creatives including Oscar De La Renta, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger and Jeremy Scott for Moschino, among others.
In receiving the Board of Directors’ Tribute, she follows in the famous footsteps of previous winners such as Michelle Obama, Tom Ford and Gloria Steinem.
The CFDA Awards are designed to celebrate the best of the US fashion industry, with last year’s big-name winners including Raf Simons, Kim Kardashian and Donatella Versace. – AFP Relaxnews
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Breaking News! Barbie is receiving the prestigious Board of Directors’ Tribute at the 2019 #CFDAAwards.
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A 30-year-old man suspected of armed robbery, has lodged a police report alleging that he was assaulted, tasered and had his genitals rubbed with chilli paste by policemen to induce a confession from him. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — A 30-year-old man suspected of armed robbery, has lodged a police report alleging that he was assaulted, tasered and had his genitals rubbed with chilli paste by policemen to induce a confession from him.The victim identified as S. Mahedran in his police report claimed that his abuse took place at the Sentul police headquarters where he surrendered himself after learning that he was wanted.S. Mahedran’s lawyer M. Visvanathan has called on the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to look into the case.Visvanathan cried foul at the manner Mahedran’s complaint is being probed, as his report is also being looked into by officers from the Sentul district police headquarters where the alleged abuse took place.“Basically my client was being investigated under Section 395, 397 and 412 of the Penal Code for armed robbery and handling of stolen goods.“He was taken in on April 29. In fact, he surrendered himself to the police and made a report saying he is surrendering to the police on his own free will because he got to know that he was on the wanted list.“What happened was, on the very same day, they started assaulting him. Once he was in custody, they handcuffed him to the back and started beating him on the neck area, kicking him, punching him and then they stripped him naked, and they smeared pounded chilli all over his body, especially his private parts,”’ Visvanathan told Malay Mail.He said on top of that Mahedran was also laid on ice cubes naked, and the torture went on for 13 hours daily while he was under police remand.Visvanathan further alleged that the officers investigating his client had threatened him that they would target his mother and ‘will not hesitate’ to rape his sister.“The final day he was in custody, what they did was they tasered him. He survived but he is really traumatised,” Visvanathan who is also the Eliminate Deaths and Abuse in Custody Together (Edict) spokesperson added.“The degree of abuse and torture, in this case, is beyond words.“It is ridiculous that the Sentul police are investigating its own officers. They are the ones who are investigating their fellow officers. This is ridiculous and that’s the reason why we need the IPCMC. We cannot have this situation,” he added, referring to the proposed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.In Mahedran’s police report which was sighted by the Malay Mail, he was also allegedly threatened by an inspector who warned Mahedran against lodging any report against him, or risk being detained and tortured again.Sentul police chief Assistant Commissioner S. Shanmugamoorthy, when contacted, pledged a thorough and transparent investigation into the case.“I got the report much, much earlier, and we are investigating, and we take this issue seriously.“On my part, I ensure that no stones are left unturned, and I will make sure everything is transparent and thoroughly conducted,” he added. [...]
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Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he was confident in the prime minister's efforts. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
BUKIT MERTAJAM, May 18 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is confident the country’s economy will recover in two years based on the plans and implementation being carried out by Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.Anwar who is Port Dickson MP said the prime minister has now put several government agencies on good footing to ensure the country’s economy continues to improve.“After we (Pakatan Harapan) had won last year, we realised the national economy was in a bad shape...this is not politics but a fact and the people need to know about. “I am confident and hopefully in one or two years, Tun (Dr Mahathir) will restore the country’s economy to continue the agenda of assisting the people,” he said when speaking a Breaking of Fast With Anwar at Al-Falah Mosque in Permatang Pasir near here today.Also present were State Health, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin and the State Domestic and International Trade, Entrepreneur Development and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain as well as 500 people including villagers attended the function.At the event, he called on Muslims throughout the country to appreciate and take a lesson from the Quran and make efforts to close the gaps with the various races during the month of Ramadan. — Bernama [...]
Bercakap mengenai Taiwan, mesti ramai di antara anda akan memikirkan mengenai Taipei bukan? Tapi tahukah anda, selain Taipei, Taiwan mempunyai daerah yang sangat cantik berbanding Taipei?
Suka untuk saya membuat perbandingan ke sini apabila anda memilih Taiwan sebagai destinasi untuk melancong. Jika anda sukakan pelancongan yang urban seperti aktiviti membeli belah, melawat bangunan pencakar langit dan suka akan pembangunan moden, maka Taipei adalah tempatnya. Sebaliknya jika anda sukakan alam semulajadi, sukakan keindahan kehijauan, air terjun dan sebagainya maka Yilan adalah jawapannya.
Tempat Menarik di Taiwan untuk Pelancong Muslim
Sanfu Leisure Farm
Bercakap mengenai Yilan, kebanyakan tempat-tempat menarik datangnya dari perusahaan ladang atau kebun persendirian. Boleh dikatakan setiap kampung mempunyai satu tarikan. Jadi kali ini saya berkesempatan untuk merasai sendiri pengalaman Night Walk di Sanfu Leisure Farm .
Dalam aktiviti yang diketuai oleh pakar pengkaji haiwan, anda bakal melihat sendiri kehidupan haiwan-haiwan di sebelah malam. Pelbagai haiwan dapat dilihat di sekitar Sanfu Leisure Farm antaranya adalah ular, pelbagai jenis katak, labah-labah dan banyak lagi.
Di sebelah siangnya pula, jangan lepaskan peluang untuk menghirup secawan kopi ungu sambil ditemani pelbagai jenis burung yang bakal menemani anda sepanjang hari. Ini adalah tempat yang sempurna yang membuatkan anda berasa tenang tanpa bunyi bising dari bandar.
Tea Tasting, Candy dan Biskut Teh di Perkampungan Dongshan – Zhongshan
Tidak sah jika anda datang ke Taiwan dan tidak mencuba aneka teh yang ditanam secara meluas di sini. Adalah kebiasaan kepada masyarakat di Taiwan untuk menikmati teh yang menjadi amalan sejak turun-temurun.
Selain itu, jangan lupa untuk melawat ke Perkampungan Dongshan – Zhongshan untuk mempelajari sendiri membuat Dragon Emperor Mustache Candy dan Tea Biscuit yang sedap ini. Penduduk Taiwan suka makan biskut ini untuk snek petang sambil menghirup teh. Yum!
Photo Credit / Zeng Shu
3. Menjelajah Perkampungan Yuanshan – Neicheng Menaiki Bajak Sawah
Mesin pembajak sawah bukanlah sesuatu yang langka, khususnya apabila anda tinggal di kota-kota kecil di Malaysia yang masih menggarap sawah mereka. Namun, yang menarik daripada mesin ini di Taiwan adalah kerana ia digunakan di jalanan. Di perkampungan Yuanshan, mesin pembajak digunakan bukan hanya untuk sawah mereka.
Anda boleh mengelilingi perkampungan ini dengan menaikki Bajak Sawah.
Antara tarikan yang ada disini adalah sungai nya yang sangat jernih dan sejuk pasti akan membuatkan anda terpesona akan keindahannya. Kampung ini juga terbuka untuk turis sukarelawan di mana anda boleh mengajar bahasa, memasak atau bekerja di ladang dengan pertukaran untuk penginapan percuma.
Memetik Buah Kumquat di Country Grange
Pernah dengar mengenai Buah Kumquat ? Anda hanya dapat jumpa buah ini di Filipina , India, Jepun dan Taiwan sahaja, dan tentu saja, saya tidak akan membuang kesempatan ini.
Rasanya masam – masam manis boleh dimakan begitu sahaja bersama – sama kulitnya.
Buah Kumquat ini tumbuh merata di Yilan, dan anda dapat memetik dan memakannya sebanyak mana yang anda inginkan. Boleh dikatakan, semua warga Yilan sangat menggemari buah kumquat. Mereka bahkan menjadikannya sebagai jem, jus, kek, gula-gula, dan sebagainya. Jika anda juga sangat suka dengan buah ini, anda dapat membeli produk makanan yang terbuat dari kumquat di kedai-kedai cenderamata di Yilan.
Yilan City Tour
Tidak sah jika datang ke Yilan dan tidak berjalan-jalan kawasan sekitarnya. Bandar Yilan adalah bandar kecil dimana pertanian merupakan faktor ekonomi utamanya.
Salah satu tarikan popular di sini ialah Jimmy Square, yang dibina oleh ilustrator Taiwan yang terkenal, Jimmy Liao. Beliau bekerja dengan Pemerintah Yilan untuk membina semula asrama lama di Jimmy Square. Saya menghabiskan sebahagian besar masa saya berjalan di sekitar dataran, mengambil seberapa banyak gambar mural yang berwarna-warni dan patung-patung ikonik.
Selain buah-buahan dan sayur-sayuran segar, anda juga dapat menemukan pakaian dan beg yang harganya jauh lebih murah daripada di kota.
Jika anda ingin mendapatkan gambaran penuh mengenai Yilan, anda harus ke Muzium Lanyang. Muzium Lanyang memberitahu segala-galanya tentang Yilan, dari kepelbagaian ekologi mereka yang kaya dengan pelbagai budaya.
Namun, banyak pelancong, termasuk saya, berkumpul di sini untuk mengagumi senibina bangunan yang menakjubkan. Fasad eksentrik menjadikan bangunan kelihatan seperti ia telah jatuh ke dalam air. Bahagian dalam muzium adalah sama menarik.
Menjejak Paus dan Lumba – Lumba di Perairan Kepulauan Guishan
Dikatakan terdapat pelbagai spesis paus telah dijumpai di perairan Kepulauan Guishan ini. Namun jika anda dapat melihatnya di perairan anda merupakan seorang yang bertuah kerana sangat jarang anda dapat menemukan paus di perairan luas. Bahkan di Kepulauan Guishan, semakin jarang terlihat paus, mungkin kerana perubahan cuaca yang kadang tidak menentu. Meskipun begitu, setidaknya anda akan melihat 80% paus dan lumba-lumba di perairan ini.
Melawat Penyu di Pulau Guishan
Selain paus dan lumba – lumba, Pulau Guishan juga terkenal dengan keberadaan untuk melihat sendiri pulau yang menjadi ikonik bagi penduduk di Yilan. Selain bentuk fizikalnya yang unik menyerupai penyu gergasi, pulau yang suatu ketika dahulunya pernah menjadi penempatan penduduk Yilan ini turut mempunyai sulfur aktif.
Pulau Guishan tidak berpenghuni. Beberapa keluarga terakhir dipindahkan ke pedesaan Yilan, dan pulau itu sebenarnya ditutup untuk pelawat sehingga tahun 2000. Unit tentera Taiwan menggunakan pulau gunung berapi sebagai pangkalan mereka. Pulau ini kini merupakan taman geologi maritim di mana anda boleh menemui banyak tumbuhan langka dan bangunan terbengkalai. Ia begitu aman dan tenang untuk berjalan di sekitar pulau itu. Permit diperlukan untuk menapak di pulau itu.
KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and his wife Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib have extended their wishes to Buddhists celebrating Wesak Day in Sabah and the whole country. [...]
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