Local News Local News en Terengganu MMEA seizes live sharks from Vietnamese boat
Kemaman Maritime Zone chief Lt Cdr Mohamad Rezal Kamal Bashah told reporters at the maritime base here that the sharks were on a boat, which was intercepted along with three other fishing boats between 7am and 1.20pm.

"We seldom detain a boat carrying live fish like this, and this is the first such instance in Kemaman. The sharks were placed inside barrels containing oxygen on board the ship," he said, adding, the fish were of high demand in a neighbouring country. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 01:45:56 +0000 theSundaily 549646 at
Aminuddin vows to make Negri Sembilan administration corruption free
He said this was to prevent the negative public perception of the Pakatan Harapan-led government.

He said this during a breaking of fast and thanksgiving event hosted by Klawang assemblyman Bakri Sawir here, tonight.

Former five-term Jelebu Member of Parliament and socio-cultural advisor to the previous government Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim was also present.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Rais said he was confident that the new Pakatan Harapan government led by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be able to steer the country forward.

He said Dr Mahathir in forming his Cabinet line-up must have taken into consideration all aspects to provide great opportunities to various parties, including to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who was made Finance Minister, to make significant contributions to the country. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 01:14:47 +0000 theSundaily 549634 at
Anthony Loke to propose SPAD be placed under Transport Ministry
SPAD is currently under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department.

Loke, who reported for duty on his first day as the new Transport Minister yesterday, said that he is also determined to change the negative perception of the public towards the Road Transport Department (RTD) which had been associated with the practice of 'lesen kopi' (getting driver's licence corruptly).

The effort would be made by inculcating a culture of high integrity, he said when addressing staff of the ministry here.

"When it comes to integrity, I want to make sure that all staff of the ministry will express it through action to ensure its effectiveness. I want the negative perception to be eliminated in government agencies, especially the RTD.

Loke said practising a culture of integrity as well as giving full commitment would lead RTD and the ministry as whole towards excellence.

"As a new minister, I'm open-minded (and) I will learn, I also need the support of civil servants ... many things need to implemented," he said.

He also reminded the ministry staff to always give priority to serving the people rather than giving special treatment to him as a minister.

"No need to treat me like a minister because I work for the people," he said.

Earlier, Loke, who clocked in at 8.20am yesterday, held a closed meeting with senior ministry officials.]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 01:18:46 +0000 theSundaily 549637 at
Matta calls for end to Tourism Tax
Its president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said tourists are welcome to have an enjoyable holiday experience and spend freely on accommodation, food and beverage, tourist attractions and tour excursion, but collecting tax from tourists would be counterproductive.

"The TTx which was initially planned for rollout in August 2017 included Malaysians initially but was later excluded after a public uproar, as it was decided without proper engagement with tourism industry players.

"Matta has objected and expressed concerns to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture on the tax from day one, as it would have impacted the tourism industry, particularly price sensitive tourists as well as long-haul travellers who spend longer durations in the country," he said in a statement issued yesterday.

He also said that Malaysia's tourism sector is trailing behind neighbouring countries Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.

"The tourist arrivals for Asean countries have recorded positive growth in 2017, with 7.8% increase for Thailand, 6.2% increase for Singapore and 11% increase for the Philippines. Whereas visitor arrivals to Malaysia dropped by 3% with 25.95 million tourists last year compared to 26.76 million in 2016," he said.

Tan further said that putting up more barriers may deter tourists from choosing Malaysia as a preferred holiday destination.

"Without the tax, the foreigners would be delighted to come to our country, stay longer and spend more freely. Furthermore, the amount of tax that could be collected will only be a fraction of what the government could gain from other forms of taxes, which are less obvious compared to in-your-face tax.

"We urge the Ministry of Finance to review the current tax rate and abolish it, as both hotel and tour operators have been affected by its introduction," he said.

Tan added that Matta is ready to contribute to the discussions with the relevant ministries in reviewing and abolishing the tax. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 01:08:35 +0000 theSundaily 549630 at
Beneficial plans of previous govt to continue: Zuraida
However, she said there are likely to be some things to be improved and streamlined in accordance with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto.

"I will call for a meeting this Thursday for the officials concerned to present the relevant policies, plans and programmes that have been drafted and require immediate decisions from me.

"If they are good and benefit the people, we will continue with them," she told reporters after her first meeting with the ministry's senior officials here, yesterday.

In the meantime, Zuraida, who is also PH Wanita chief, said she would take steps to coordinate development projects to avoid overlapping of tasks, thus preventing wastage.

According to Zuraida, among projects that may be coordinated under her ministry was the 1Malaysia People's Housing (PR1MA) project which was now managed by the Prime Minister's Department.

"The PR1MA project is likely to be coordinated because this project is not foreign to the ministry. The target is the same, so why not we centralise everything to be more focused," said the Ampang member of Parliament.

Meanwhile, Zuraida said her ministry would also emphasise the development of fire stations across the country.

"This is our priority, so we will review the proposal to set up 540 fire stations as it is a necessity for the people.

"Currently, there are only 290 fire stations and we are aware that more fire stations are needed," she said. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 00:59:47 +0000 theSundaily 549627 at
Govt looking at doubling internet speed at half the price: Gobind
He said the public had been complaining about the quality of broadband in Malaysia, which was far inferior to other developed countries.

Gobind, who started his first day in charge of the ministry yesterday said he would look at various aspects including problems faced by telecommunications companies and find solutions to improve the quality of broadband services in the country.

"If we look at broadband in other countries, the service provided differs greatly from what we (Malaysia) have, so there is no reason why we cannot emulate other systems from overseas. That's one thing I will try to do, (which is) also part of the 100-day plan," he said during a special programme broadcast live on RTM last night.

He said he would also be holding a meeting with telecommunications companies to discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, Gobind said he was also committed to ensuring freedom of the press, which also included criticism of the government.

He said accurate news reports without bias would be able to better shape the minds of the people, thus leading Malaysia towards becoming a developed nation.

"In Pakatan Harapan (PH) we are advocating to uphold the principle of freedom for all parties, and an important aspect of this is the media," he said.

Gobind said Malaysian citizens were also mature enough to watch debates on television to gain a better understanding of the issues at hand.

"If we want to have a debate, I don't think there is a problem with that. We are actually debating (with each other) every day, even at the coffeeshop," he quipped.

The Puchong MP also welcomed criticisms towards the PH government by the Opposition in Parliament.

"I hope they are given full opportunity to debate in Parliament and bring up issues close to the hearts of the people, criticising our government where necessary.

"We should not have a Speaker who blocks the opposition from bringing up issues, and that's the main difference between us and the previous government," he said. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 00:23:38 +0000 theSundaily 549610 at
Hamid is new Special Branch chief
Abdul Hamid, 60, who went on early retirement in 2015, was asked by Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad last week to take the post.

He replaces Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff, who steps down as head of the Special Branch and retires from the police force today.

Mohd Mokhtar, who was due for mandatory retirement when he was head of the federal narcotics crime investigation department in August last year, was given a one-year extension of service.

Abdul Hamid is also among four officials in a new special task force formed on Monday to probe the 1MDB scandal.

The other three are MACC chief Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed and former attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

In 2015, Abdul Hamid went public to express dissatisfaction over non-action against those behind the 1MDB scandal.

After being transferred to the Prime Minister's Department, he opted for early retirement.]]>
Local Tue, 22 May 2018 15:44:34 +0000 Charles Ramendran 549594 at
Maszlee wants to create culture of mutual respect
The newly-minted Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik told Bernama that in line with the aspirations highlighted in the current education blueprint, more efforts would be made to introduce additional languages into the national syllabus.

"If it's not in the syllabus, it will be introduced as part of the co-curriculum," he said in an exclusive interview at his home, last night.

He said that the current Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) would be maintained as it contained proposals that could propel the rank of Malaysia's education system internationally.

"We have to admit that despite the flaws in the current system, there are also advantages which we should maintain. Perhaps we can just tweak it a bit and add value to what we already have," he said.

Maszlee, who is also Simpang Renggam MP, also wants to introduce learning environments that were less reliant on textbooks and more on play-based learning with the aid of technology.

"The most important thing is not to follow the text per se but the substance of what you want to convey.

"I would like to focus more on the character building of children in the formative years especially during their primary school years," he said.

On calls to reintroduce the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), Maszlee said the matter would be discussed by the Cabinet.

"Personally, I believe in giving parents and children choices. If they believe that teaching and learning it in English would be better, we should not say no to them. Likewise, if they have better understanding of it if taught in Bahasa Malaysia or in Chinese languages, we should not stop them," he said.

Maszlee said that he also wanted to create an environment of love and mutual respect between teacher and student, between the different races and faiths and between communities.

"The culture of mutual respect is something not much discussed in the learning process. We want to inculcate this value into learning institutions and make it a way of life within the five years to come," he said.

On the petition protesting his appointment as Education Minister, Maszlee said that it was the right of every Malaysian to voice their concerns.

"We live in a democracy. Everyone has a right to voice their opinion. We know that people have been afraid to speak up during the rule of the previous government but with this government, they can speak out openly so now everyone wants to have their say.

"I respect the freedom of speech but it has to be done with integrity and trust, without slandering or falsely labelling others," he said.

Maszlee viewed the actions of his detractors as a challenge for him to perform his best.

"People will say what they will, but let my actions speak louder than my words. Judge me for my performance after five years," he said. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 00:44:22 +0000 theSundaily 549620 at
Kedah Sultan wants opposition to play role in ensuring state govt on right track
He said all parties should forget about the disputes in the run-up to 14th General Election and reunite under the Kedah flag.

"I would like to see checks and balance, in order to safeguard the interests of the people. Discuss in a courteous and honest manner.

"I believe that all elected representatives have similar responsibilities. The successful party to form the government and they should perform their duties and responsibilities with trustworthiness, honesty and sincerity," he said at the swearing-in ceremony of new state executive councillors at the Istana Anak Bukit Anak here yesterday.

Also present were Sultanah Kedah Sultanah Maliha Tengku Ariff and Raja Muda of Kedah Tengku Sarafudin Badlishah Sultan Sallehuddin.

He also reminded all state excos not to be self-centred to the extent of neglecting the people, instead focus on serving the people.

"The power entrusted by the people to them is not a privilege, but a huge responsibility, which they would have to uphold with sincerity, integrity, trustworthiness and humility. Serve the people with sincerity and prove it to them that they have made the right decision in choosing them to govern the state.

"I hope that the new state exco line-up will focus their energy and expertise in providing services to the people so that the population will enjoy a quality life and Kedah continues to develop in all areas," he said.

He also wanted the state finances to be managed with a high level of integrity and accountability, apart from wanting to see that every sen spent by the state to give maximum benefit to the people. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 00:35:24 +0000 theSundaily 549616 at
Government committed to restoring public university's dynamism
Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said PH in its manifesto acknowledged the important role played by higher education institutions towards building an inclusive, moderate and outstanding Malaysia on the world stage.

He said his ministry would ensure that brilliant ideas in the Education Blueprint, as well as Higher Education Blueprint, would be maintained, and any weaknesses rectified.

"I intend for both documents to undergo a mid-term review to enable us to revise and make improvements where necessary," he said.

He said this to the media after the handing over of duties between him and former Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh here yesterday.

On the extension of the repayment period for student loans that would allow borrowers the flexibility to pay only when they have reached a monthly income of RM4,000, he said the matter was currently being worked on.

"Among other things, we will have discussions with the Immigration department about lifting travel restrictions on those who want to go abroad," he said.

The promise was among the 10 things PH would implement in 100 days following its victory in the recently-concluded 14th General Election.

On the abolition of the Universities and University College Act (AUKU) 1971, he said it would be replaced with a new one.

"It is one of the promises offered in the PH manifesto and its implementation will be discussed at the PH level," he said.

On the teaching assistant post to be created for administrative tasks with an aim to reduce the burden of teachers in the country, he assured that his ministry would implement it within the next five years.

Earlier, Maszlee said the smooth handing over of duties yesterday reflected political maturity that would be inherited by future governments.

"We held this ceremony despite being from different parties and governments. This is political maturity. Without this gentleman's attitude, yesterday's ceremony would not have happened.

"Congratulations to Idris for leading the ministry towards many accomplishments. We will make sure that the ideas stated in the Malaysian Education Blueprint (PPPM) 2013-2025 would be continued with a number of improvements," he said. — Bernama]]>
Local Wed, 23 May 2018 00:29:58 +0000 theSundaily 549613 at