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Monday, December 31, 2018

A very Happy New Year 2019



We wish all our readers - a very Happy New Year 2019. 

It's our privilege and pleasure to share the important news that concern our country, Malaysia , with a hope of a brighter and better tomorrow for all of us, irrespective of race, culture and religion. 

Let us continue to work together to make Malaysia our ideal home and to strive for a meaningful and eventful year so that everyone of us could live in peace and harmony. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019. 



From: 
Mohd, Kamal Abdullah, wife and family, 
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Dr M wants Malaysians to reach greater heights in 2019



PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has a simple wish for Malaysians in 2019 - that they achieve greater heights in the coming year.
In his New Year message, Dr Mahathir wished that the new year would be meaningful and motivate everyone to work towards bigger achievements.
"We have gone through a tough 2018. Many bittersweet incidents happened throughout the year. 
"Hopefully, all resolution made earlier this year have been achieved," he said in a one-minute video posted on his Facebook page.
Dr Mahathir also expressed hope that all victories and failures faced by the people will be made into a lesson for the years to come.

"My wife (Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali) and I wish a Happy New Year to all Malaysians," he added.-Star

‘All three of them are gone, just like that,’ laments father of siblings who drowned


DUNGUN (Bernama): “They were supposed to start school tomorrow, but now all my three children are gone, just like that.” 
Such was the pain and grief of 42-year-old Zawawi Abd Wahab, whose daughters Nurain Fatma Zawawi, 10, Nurain Sofia, 8, and Nurain Sasabila, 6, drowned in Sura Tengah Beach on Sunday (Dec 30). Their bodies were recovered on Monday (Dec 31) morning.
The agony and despair of losing the three children all at once was just too much to bear not only for Zawawi, but also for their distraught mother Nur Syahida Abdullah, 36, as well as for relatives and those present at the Dungun Hospital here, including members of the media.
“The last time I saw them alive was when I took them to their school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Perol, Kelantan, to get their textbooks yesterday (Sunday) morning,” Zawawi said.
He said they had just returned home to Kampung Peringat in Kelantan from a family holiday in Hatyai, Thailand, on Saturday (Dec 29), and his children decided to join their aunt Suriani Abdullah, 41, for an outing with several other family members to Dungun, Terengganu.
“My wife and I were not keen to follow them as we were tired and wanted to get some things done at home as the first day of school (in the east coast) starts tomorrow. All their school preparations are complete,” he said.
In the incident at about 6.40pm Sunday, the three girls were swept away by waves while playing on the beach.
Dungun District Police chief Supt Baharudin Abdullah said the body of Nurain Sofia was found at 7.48am about five kilometres from the scene, while the body of Nurain Sasabila was found at 9.40am, about one kilometre away.
The body of the eldest sister Nurain Fatma was found by passers-by at the beach, about five kilometres from the scene at 11.03am.
“The bodies of the three siblings were taken to the Dungun Hospital for further investigation and would be buried at their maternal grandmother's village in Rantau Panjang, Kelantan,” he said.
The search and rescue operation to locate the siblings at Pantai Sura Tengah was carried out by 73 personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia, the Royal Malaysia Police, and the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM). - Bernama

ADA APA DI SEBALIK CUTI BERSAMA AZMIN DAN HISHAMMUDDIN?

Sebelum ini, ketika tersebar gambar dan video Anwar Ibrahim berbual mesra dan bergelak ketawa dengan beberapa Ahli Parlimen UMNO di Parlimen, kecoh seluruh negara membuat pelbagai spekulasi mengenainya.
Walhal, kejadian itu hanyalah suatu kebetulan di mana memang menjadi kebiasaan sesama Ahli Parlimen bergurau senda sesama mereka.
Namun, oleh kerana ia melibatkan Anwar dan Ahli-Ahli Parlimen UMNO yang baru hilang kuasa, gurau senda dan gelak ketawa itu segera ditafsirkan ada agenda yang tersembunyi untuk tujuan mempercepatkannya menjadi Perdana Menteri.
Begitulah politik adanya….
Kemudian Rafizi Ramli memuat-naik gambar pertemuannya dengan Khairy Jamaluddin dan Nurul Izzah Anwar di sebuah restoran di ibu kota.
Berbeza dengan gurau senda dan gelak ketawa Anwar dengan beberapa Ahli Parlimen UMNO di Parlimen yang sebenarnya hanyalah kebetulan, pertemuan Rafizi, KJ dan Nurul Izzah adalah sesuatu yang dirancang dan ada temujanjinya.
Pertemuan itu segera digambarkan mereka dikatakan merancang menubuhkan parti mewakili anak muda bagi menghadapi PRU15 akan datang, meskipun mereka barangkali sekadar bertemu biasa, minum-minum dan berbual kosong saja.
Tetapi, begitulah politik adanya…
Semalam, tersebar pula gambar dan video percutian bersama antara Azmin Ali dan Hishammuddin Hussein serta keluarga masing-masing di Maghribi.
Dengan kedudukan mereka yang berbeza parti, tetapi dikatakan sama-sama sedang “dijaga” dan pro kepada Tun Mahathir Mohamad, percutian bersama itu tidak dapat dielakkan menimbulkan macam-macam andaian serta spekulasi.
Sekali lagi, begitulah politik adanya…
Ada yang mengandaikan, Azmin dan Hishammuddin sedang merancang sesuatu dan berdasarkan pergolakan politik semasa, kedua-dua mereka dikatakan tidak mustahil akan menyertai Bersatu selepas ini bagi “mencerahkan” kerjaya politik masing-masing dan sekaligus bertujuan menyingkirkan Anwar sebagai bakal Perdana Menteri ke-8.
Lebih memusykilkan, gambar dan video yang pada mulanya dimuatnaik oleh salah seorang anak Azmin dalam Instagramnya, didapati dipadam tidak berapa lama kemudiannya.
Kenapa dipadamkan?
Jika sekadar percutian keluarga dan tiada maksud yang lain, mengapa perlu dipadamkan?
Apakah ia dipadamkan kerana Azmin dan Hishammuddin tidak menyangka percutian mereka bersama itu akhirnya diketahui oleh rakyat umum serta penyokong masing-masing dan ia telah menimbulkan kekeliruan lain yang tidak dijangka?
Meskipun tidak dinafikan Azmin dan Hishammuddin adalah kawan lama dan tinggal pula berdekatan, tetapi percutian bersama itu sukar dinafikan seolah-olah ia ada sesuatu yang dirancang dan bukan sekadar percutian biasa.
Apakah semua ini ada kaitan dengan keputusan Hishammuddin tidak bertanding sebarang jawatan dalam pemilihan UMNO, Jun lalu dan selari dengan tingkah laku Azmin yang kebelakangan ini semakin berani “melawan” Anwar, “mentornya” sendiri?
Tetapi, bukankah Tun Mahathir sekali lagi sudah mengulangi janjinya akan tetap menyerahkan jawatan Perdana Menteri kepada Anwar dan sebarang perancangan atau komplot lain tidak mempunyai makna lagi?
Hmmmmmm…….(ShahbudinHusin 31/12/2018)
– http://shahbudindotcom.blogspot.com

Mahathir prays for greater success for Malaysia in 2019



Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad prayed that the new year of 2019 would give greater meaning and encourage all Malaysians to create greater success stories.
He said Malaysians as a whole had gone through a very challenging year of 2018.
“It is hoped that all the resolutions made early this year have been successfully achieved.
“I pray that all our successes and failures will also serve as a lesson to us. 
"May the new year give greater meaning to all of us and encourage us to strive for greater success,” he said in a short video clip posted on his Twitter page.
In a minute-long video clip, Mahathir, and on behalf of his wife, Dr Siti Hasmah Mod Ali, also wished Happy New Year to all Malaysians.
Bernama

Khairy: Don't delay for too long, we've overpaid for 7 weeks



Umno's Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin said the government should not delay for too long the move to float fuel prices according to market rates which would see a reduction in prices due to the low global crude oil prices.
Khairy said the people have been overpaying for petrol for seven weeks.
"Don't postpone for too long. The people have already been paying prices higher than the market rate. It's been seven weeks that the people are subsiding the government," he said.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said tomorrow's initial target to reintroduce the weekly float system had been delayed to the end of the week.
He said this was to take into account concerns raised by the Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM).
The Pakatan Harapan administration had maintained the price of RON95 at RM2.20 per litre since assuming federal power in May.
The last time the price of RON95 was changed was on March 22 under the weekly-managed float system utilised by the BN administration.
The system had been in place since December 2014 following the withdrawal of government subsidies.
Under BN's pricing system under BN, there was no cap on retail prices but they were frozen in the weeks leading up to the 14th general election.
At the time, the price of crude oil was at around US$69 per barrel. Currently, the price of crude oil is around US$52 per barrel.
Lim said the government was committed to reducing fuel prices at a time while global crude prices have fallen.
He reiterated that the government's position to cap retail fuel prices at RM2.20 per litre in the event global crude oil prices rebound and skyrocket.
Lim said this system will remain in place until the new targeted subsidy policy is implemented in the middle of 2019. - Mkini

Setting limits to hate speech and initmidation



To Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 
We would like to congratulate you on your second term as prime minister of Malaysia. We have been inspired by you not to make age an obstacle in serving the nation. 
We have all been active in public policy discussions and have taken various voluntary roles in nation-building. We write this letter to you in our personal capacity as responsible and highly concerned Malaysians.
We fear that there is a heightened public discussion on race and religion in Malaysian society which is not constructive to nation-building. The said discourse is presented in a divisive way, as well as one which is too emotive and counterproductive to inter-religious dialogue and harmony. 
While we respect the government’s position on the democratic space to express dissenting views, we are of the strong belief that the government needs to set limits to hate speech, intimidation and threats of violence.
In this context, the issue of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Icerd) and the current public vilification of Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy are examples of public outrage which are not based on objective assessment of the situation and issues. 
For the most part, it has been politicised to whip up sentiments against the government of the day.
We write this letter to highlight some possible ways to redeem the situation while still keeping the democratic reform in place and enhancing public participation. This is to enable the nation to focus on the new Malaysia beyond 2020 and a review of the Vision 2020 agenda.
First, the government ought to re-establish the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) with members from a cross-section of Malaysian society, including representatives of political parties, civil society and the private sector. 
The earlier NUCC report can serve as the basis for fostering national reconciliation and social cohesion. The re-established NUCC can oversee the recommendations of the report, including the formulation of national harmony bills and the establishment of community mediation.
Second, establish a National Consultative Council on Transformative Economy, with inclusive and sustainable development as the core principles of 'leaving no one behind'. This is a strategy to prosper thy neighbour. 
This can pave the way for the 12th Malaysia Plan. There must be a special economic agenda for B40 communities.
Third, that the federal government releases for public review, the reports of the Council of Eminent Persons and the Institutional Reform Committee for public discussion and to see how these can be executed. 
The government should also give serious thought and consideration to the human rights and governance agenda through parliamentary select committees and caucuses.
Fourth, on the matter of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple riots, we hope that the government will give a clear public explanation, which could be in a form of a White Paper in Parliament, and a speedy trial of all the culprits, including those responsible for the tragic death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.
Fifth, on the matter pertaining to Waythamoorthy and the call from various quarters for his resignation, we believe that the public reaction must be countered with the hard facts of the person(s) responsible, and that the government must be able to provide the public with the right information to make an objective decision. 
While the appointment of ministers is the prerogative of the prime minister, we believe there is a need for political leadership to set right the miscommunication and a stronger collective responsibility and mutual support of fellow cabinet members.
We are happy to come and see you on these matters or serve in any capacity to assist in nation building. 
Wishing you, your family, and the cabinet a Happy New Year.

Written by SIMON SIPAUN, ASIAH ABU SAMAH, RAMON NAVARATNAM, MICHAEL YEOH, AMBIGA SREENEVASAN, SHAD SALEEM FARUQI, KUTHUBUL ZAMAN BUKHARI, DANIEL HO and DENISON JAYASOORIA. - Mkini

AirAsia to stop collecting KLIA2 fees



AirAsia will cease collecting the KLIA2 airport fees on behalf of the Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB) which manages the terminal.
AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes made the announcement during a live session on Facebook today.
"We are going to remove the KLIA2 fee next week, you're the first to hear it," he said.
AirAsia also collects a RM50 PSC charge on behalf of MAHB at KLIA2 but had refused to hike the amount after MAHB revised the figure to RM73.
The revision by MAHB was to standardise the charge between KLIA2 and KLIA.
AirAsia had argued against the hike pointing out that KLIA2 was meant to be a low-cost carrier terminal.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that MAHB had slapped AirAsia with an RM36.11 million suit demanding that the airline pay up for the PSC shortfall which it had refused to collect.
 - Mkini

Outgoing Immigration chief to lead new financial crime body



Outgoing Immigration Department director-general Mustafar Ali has been picked as the chief executive of a soon-to-be-established anti-money laundering body – the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC).
Mustafar announced this at his farewell ceremony from the department today.
“Jan 2 will mark a new chapter of history, as I take on the responsibility of being the chief executive of the NFCC.
“[...] Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has given me the responsibility to continue my work in the public service, and I received the letter this afternoon,” he said in his speech at the Immigration Department headquarters in Putrajaya.
Last week, National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general Abu Kassim Mohamed announced that the cabinet had agreed to establish the NFCC to investigate money laundering cases.
The centre is expected to be operational by mid-2019 and will see cooperation between several existing enforcement agencies, including the Immigration Department, MACC, Customs Department and Bank Negara.
Mustafar had spent more than three decades at the MACC and was deputy chief commissioner there when he was transferred to the Immigration Department in Aug 2016.
His transfer allegedly came after investigations into state investment firm 1MDB had gained traction. 
Addressed integrity issues
In a press conference afterwards, Mustafar thanked his force for their service and said that present Immigration deputy director-general (administration) Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman will assume his role until a new chief is announced.
In his two years and five months leading the department, he said he was most proud of being able to have birthed a strong and close-knit team.
Mustafar said he was also proud to have been able to clean up the force.
“[...] Even though there are one or two incidents, a lot of integrity (issues) have been addressed.
“Entry points into the country have been secured,” he added.
Mustafar also highlighted that the department had been able to effectively address the high number of undocumented migrant workers in the country.  - Mkini

Xavier lauds Dr M's commitment to hand over power despite objections



Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar today lauded Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's commitment to hand over power as previously agreed despite objections from within Bersatu.
"As a PKR vice-president, I am touched and thankful for Mahathir's statement yesterday which ensured a transition of power as was previously announced.
"I feel privileged to serve under him and will pray for his health so as to lead the country to become an Asian Tiger," he said in a statement.
Yesterday, the Bersatu annual general assembly approved a motion calling on Mahathir to stay on as prime minister for a full term.
However, Mahathir insisted that he must keep his promise that he will only be an interim prime minister.
Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan allies, once his archrivals, had agreed to allow Mahathir to lead the coalition and become prime minister on condition that he later hands power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
Mahathir had agreed to do so after around two years.
Xavier praised Mahathir as a statesman who will be remembered. - Mkini

Smokers club members file judicial review to challenge smoking ban



In light of the no-smoking directive at eateries nationwide beginning tomorrow, seven pro-tem members of the newly-registered Smokers Right Club today filed a judicial review application to challenge the ban.
Mohd Hanizam Yunus and Mohd Laisani Abdullah, along with five others, named the Health Ministry as the sole respondent in the application which was filed by Messrs Haniff Khatri at the High Court of Kuala Lumpur.
They have applied for leave (permission) to quash the ban issued by the ministry.
They are seeking a declaration that the ban was against their constitutional rights and an injunction against the ministry from enforcing the ban.
The seven have also sought a suspension of the ban until the merits of the application are heard and decided by the court.
They have cited smoking as not being a crime and the equality in rights with non-smokers as grounds for the application.
The applicants further claimed that their rights to enter such venues are rendered illusory as they are not allowed to smoke, which has "hurt their rights".
They claimed that their constructive rights to go to such eateries are violated or discriminated against.
They further claimed that the ban was unreasonable and disproportionate, as the government did not outlaw smoking and in fact collected taxes from it.
The club members stated that the government did not provide alternative venues for them to smoke.
In an affidavit of support by Laisani, who is the pro-tem secretary, he said he had read in the media the proposed imposition of the ban and instructed his lawyer to make a Hansard search.
He claimed that nowhere in the directive to impose the ban had the minister or his deputy said they had met smokers.
Following that, Laisani who hails from Terengganu said the club was formed and registered on Dec 24 this year.
He said that he was advised by his lawyers that the smoking ban imposed on eateries was unconstitutional as since 1993 only 23 areas had been classified as non-smoking areas.
These included hospitals, institutions of higher learning, air-conditioned workplaces, petrol stations and government buildings.
No meeting
He claimed while smokers had adhered to the requirement, smoking itself was not a criminal offence and this was further driven by the government collecting tax on tobacco products.
He said the government's imposition of the smoking ban in all eateries regardless of whether they were air-conditioned or not was unreasonable for customers.
He further claimed that the ban was imposed without the government identifying places where the smokers could smoke.
Therefore, said Laisani, the law to impose the ban was full of illegalities and was procedurally improper. He added that he had instructed his lawyer to write to Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad on Dec 20 to ask for a meeting.
However, no meeting has been called for by the minister resulting in them to filing the application today. - Mkini

Guan Eng: fuel price reduction delayed to end of week



Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said that the reintroduction of the weekly float for fuel prices has been delayed until the end of the week.
The float will see a reduction in local fuel prices due to falling global crude oil prices.
Lim said the delay was due to concerns raised by the Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) which need to be discussed when the cabinet convenes on Jan 2.
"Therefore, the retail price of RON97, RON95 and diesel will be retained at RM2.50, RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre respectively for a few days.
"The new price of petroleum products will be decided by the end of the first week of January 2019," Lim said in a statement today.
Lim said the delay was to take into consideration the requests that have been made by PDAM.
"The government needs to study the requests made by PDAM which opposes the weekly pricing system for retail petroleum products.
"PDAM had also asked for a revision to the profit margin for petrol dealers under the automatic pricing mechanism which is used to determine the retail price of fuel products.
"In relation to this, consideration and agreement will be sought during the cabinet meeting which will be chaired by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday to ensure the optimum retail price," he said.
The weekly price system was supposed to have been reintroduced on Jan 1.
Lim said the government was committed to reducing fuel prices at a time while global crude prices have fallen.
He reiterated that the government's position to cap retail fuel prices at RM2.20 per litre in the event global crude oil prices rebound and skyrocket.
Lim said this system will remain in place until the new targeted subsidy policy is implemented in the middle of 2019.
Gov't subsidies
The Pakatan Harapan administration had maintained the price of RON95 at RM2.20 per litre since assuming federal power in May.
The last time the price of RON95 was changed was on March 22 under the weekly-managed float system utilised by the BN administration.
The system had been in place since December 2014 following the withdrawal of government subsidies.
Under BN's pricing system under BN, there was no cap on retail prices but they were frozen in the weeks leading up to the 14th general election.
At the time, the price of crude oil was at around US$69 per barrel. Currently, the price of crude oil is around US$52 per barrel. - Mkini

The policies that will start and end in 2019



Malaysia enters 2019 with some 20 policies that will be implemented or discontinued by the seven-month-old Pakatan Harapan government.
While certain initiatives introduced by the previous BN administration will be abolished, many programmes deemed beneficial to the people – particularly those in the bottom 40 percent (B40) income group – are set to continue after being rebranded.
This includes the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), which was renamed Cost of Living Aid (BSH), which will see households with an income of less than RM2,000 receiving RM1,000 in 2019.
First-time owners from the B40 group stand to benefit from the RM1 billion housing fund set up under Bank Negara for properties priced up to RM150,000.
Stamp duty for properties priced between RM300,000 and RM1 million will also be waived. 
The National B40 Protection Scheme for those in the group will cover 36 illnesses, with recipients getting up to RM8,000 disbursement. 
Those from the B40 with cars below 1,500cc and motorcycles below 123cc will petrol subsidies of 30 sen per litre when they fill up with RON95.
Just last week, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced the return of the weekly managed float for fuel, but with a cap of RM2.20 per litre for RON95, and RM2.18 per litre for diesel. 
The Harapan government also aims to ease motorists' burden by freezing toll hikes for all highways, along with abolishing tolls for the Penang Bridge, Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge, and the Malaysia–Singapore Second Link. 
Public transport users, meanwhile, will benefit from the RM100 unlimited transit pass for all rail services, as well as the RM50 pass for RapidKL bus services. 
Putrajaya also announced that smoking will be banned at all outdoor eateries beginning next year, despite objections from smokers and restaurant operators.
The minimum wage nationwide will be standardised to RM1,100 – an increase of RM100 for Peninsular Malaysia, and RM180 for Sabah and Sarawak.
They also need to foot the RM10,000 levy for migrant workers who have been in the country for over a decade. 
By June 1, 2019, a departure levy for all outbound travellers will be collected to encourage domestic tourism. Those travel to Asean countries and outside Asean will be charged RM20 and RM40 respectively.
Entertainment outlets in Kuala Lumpur have been warned to abide by the 1am closing time, with Selangor considering a similar move. 
Primary school examinations for Years One to Three will be scrapped in favour of a more objective assessment method. 
The Education Ministry's ruling on black school shoes will begin to be implemented in the coming semester, and be fully enforced by 2021.
The ministry will also allow stateless children – including refugees – to study at national schools next year. 
Sweetened beverages will be hit by a 40sen per litre 'soda tax' by April. 
Putrajaya also modified the RM20 free electricity initiative given to all households to RM40 for e-Kasih recipients.
Similarly, the Selangor government will give 25 cubic meters of free water to those in the B40 group, as opposed to all households which enjoy free water at present.
Putrajaya will discontinue the Amanah Dana Anak Malaysia 2050 (Adam50) next year on the grounds that not many applied for the RM200 unit trust.
The Selangor state government will also terminate the Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor, better known as Tawas, next year.
And finally, Tabung Harapan – which the government launched for donations to help ease the country's debt burden – will cease collection tonight.  - Mkini