First Parliament session on July 16, sweeping agenda on the docket (Updated)

06 Jun 2018 / 18:47 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The first Parliament session of the 2018-2023 term will take place on July 16, according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"We will coordinate both the Dewan Negara and Dewan Rakyat sittings at the same time.
"The sitting will take place for 20 days from that date," he told reporters after chairing the weekly Cabinet meeting at Putra Perdana, here, today.
He added that he will seeking the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's consent to proceed with the Parliament sittings.
Mahathir also stated the government's intention to repeal several acts, such as the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 and the Goods and Services Act 2015 during the session.
Mahathir also announced that a RM500,000 allowance will be channeled to government MPs, while Opposition MPs will receive RM100,000, and each parliamentary service centre will receive RM200,000 each before Hari Raya.
Meanwhile, Mahathir also confirmed that Bank Negara Malaysia Governor, Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim, has submitted his resignation recently.
However, he said the government has yet to decide on his successor.
Muhammad, the eighth governor, assumed the office on May 1, 2016, succeeding Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
Among Mahathir's other announcements:
- Hari Raya incentives for Felda and Felcra members.
He said the Felda's incentives will cost RM50 million from the government's coffers while for Felcra, RM44 million will be paid out from their profits.
- Cabinet discussed initiatives to reduce government expenditure with several bodies and agencies expected to be dissolved, mostly from the Health Ministry.
"We also discussed overlapping of powers between a few ministries and the results of these discussions will be announced later," he said.

- Compulsory English test for civil servants to boost English proficiency
- Cost of Living Allowance (BSH), which has replaced Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M), will be disbursed in line with current qualifications for the time being. New qualifications to be determined for future disbursements.
- A team representing the civil service will visit India to study innovative ideas initiated by the Indian government to increase public service efficiency.
- Government will loosen criteria for housing loan applications to enable the younger generation to afford their first homes.
- Trading links between Singapore-Malaysia (KLSE-SGX) stock exchanges will be reviewed.
- Monopolies by the former government will be reviewed, abolished or limited. Examples include the present monopoly on the rice industry by Bernas.
- Former Auditor-General Tan Sri Amrin Buang will head a newly-formed governance inquiry committee, with Defence Ministry first to be investigated.
- Co-curriculum committee comprising non-governmental experts will review existing educational curriculum from kindergarten to university level, including taking into account policies from other countries and covering certain aspects such as civic consciousness and so forth.
- The national disaster management meeting will be conducted in Kuala Lumpur between June 26 to 28.
- The Aidifitri price control scheme by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) will be implemented from June 8 to June 22 for 22 types of goods.
- Women, Family and Community Development Ministry will conduct survey on issue of low-food intake among children living in low-cost flats in cities nationwide.
- Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officials head to China soon with regards to Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd's (SSER) project.
- Training Institutes' functions will be reviewed by Economic Affairs Ministry and Human Resources Ministry to avoid wastage.
- A special cabinet committee meeting for the Indian community will be held in the near future to address issues of the Indian community.
- The allowance of grade JUSA A public officers and above will be cut by 10% as a cost-cutting measure from July.
- Minister in the Prime Minister's Department will take over the duties of the minister in charge of Islamic religious affairs, the study of Jakim's viability will continue.
- East Coast Railway Link (ECRL) still under review, with a decision to either suspend or abolish the project pending.
- Skim Peduli Sinar Nasional: The Health Ministry will study the nationwide expansion by providing takaful scheme to low income groups.
Mahathir added that the alleged expenditure cost of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at RM257 million over a period of 16 months will be investigated.
Remaining members of the cabinet will be announced either by the end of the week or next week.
"The number of cabinet ministers could be 27, 28 or even 500," he said in jest.

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