BERLIN, Sept 27 — Malaysia’s economy remains on a firm footing with the country’s economy projected to grow by 4.0 to 4.5 per cent in 2016, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak assured German business leaders.
The economy expanded by four per cent in the second quarter of this year following a 4.2 per cent growth in the first quarter of the year.
He said since 2009, Gross National Income had increased by nearly 50 per cent and 1.8 million jobs had been created.
“Because our fundamentals are strong, Malaysia continues to attract considerable foreign direct investments, and in fact, this year is looking particularly good for us,” he told a dialogue session here today.
Among the companies that participated in the dialogue were Atotech, AWS Schafer, BMW, Daimler, Osram, Volkswagen, Infineon, Bombardier Transportation, Ensinger, B. Braun, Green Sugar and Biesterfeld International.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, is on a three-day official visit to Germany on the invitation of its Chancellor Angela Merkel. Najib said last year, Malaysia approved a total of US$8.4 billion in foreign direct investments (FDIs).
“I am pleased to be able to say that in the first half of this year, approved FDIs reached 83.3 per cent of the total foreign investments approved for the whole of last year.
“We expect the figures to increase even more towards the end of 2016,” he added. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Ethnic Chinese are joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) despite its Bumiputera-first policy, said it pro-tem chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In a talk in London, UK last Wednesday, the former prime minister also justified the Bumiputera-centric focus of his new party, claiming that the community would feel unsafe if PPBM was a multiracial party.
“It’s simply because that’s what the Bumiputera want,” Dr Mahathir said.
“If we go and say we should be multiracial, for them, it means that they are not safe. So we have a Bumiputera party. But this Bumiputera party accepts non-Bumiputera as associate members. And even now, lots of them are joining. A lot of Chinese are joining Bersatu,” the elder statesman added.
He said while one does not want to see racism in Malaysia, “lots of people are still feeling uncomfortable”, pointing out that while other countries have a single national language and national culture, Malaysia has three.
“So much so that the Malay language, which is supposed to be the national language, is not understood by majority of the non-Malays, whereas in Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia is spoken by people of Chinese origin, for example, simply because that is the way to get along in society. But in Malaysia, unfortunately or fortunately, people have learned English and they resort to using the English language when speaking to different races,” said Dr Mahathir.
He stressed, however, that despite the differences in language, religion, culture and socioeconomic status, Malaysia does not have racism that leads to violence, claiming that things were solved “very quickly” within three years after the May 13, 1969, race riots that had killed scores of people.
“So Malaysians generally, while they may have some worries about their own race, but they are not the kind who will want to fight because of their race. They want to settle things in a friendly sort of way,” said Dr Mahathir.
The Registrar of Societies has provisionally approved PPBM’s registration, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced earlier this month.
Dr Mahathir told the talk in London that PPBM’s aim was to recruit at least a million members.
KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Sept — Persatuan Sukan Permotoran Malaysia (MAM) tidak mempunyai kuasa meluluskan aspek keselamatan dalam acara perlumbaan permotoran, kata Persatuan Automobil Malaysia (AAM).
Mengulas mengenai dakwaan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) ― penganjur perlumbaan go-kart yang mengorbankan dua penonton ― ia mendapat kelulusan MAM untuk acara tersebut, penyelia AAM berkata ia tidak sah tanpa keizinan persatuan itu.
“MAM pada awal penubuhannya mengikut tatacara penganjuran perlumbaan dengan merujuk kepada AAM sebelum meluluskan sebarang kejohanan permotoran.
“Namun selepas dua hingga tiga tahun ditubuhkan, mereka mula membuat keputusan sendiri tanpa berbincang dengan AAM…mungkin mereka tidak menjangkakan sebarang masalah berbangkit.
“Nasib tidak menyebelahi mereka apabila kemalangan [kelmarin] akhirnya membongkar kepincangan pengurusan badan itu,” katanya merujuk kepada MAM, seperti dilaporkan Berita Harian.
MAM semalam mengesahkan meluluskan Perlumbaan Inovasi Pendidikan Sukan Motor dan Automotif (EIMARace) 2016 di Kuantan, Pahang, pada Ahad, namun mendakwa UTM tidak menghiraukan saranan mereka.
Sumber MAM memaklumkan Bernama pihaknya telah memaklumkan penganjur bahawa kawasan kemalangan dalah kawasan kritikal tidak dibenarkan mempunyai penonton dan penganjur bersetuju untuk menempatkan pengawal keselamatan di situ.
KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Sept ― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad telah menamakan Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin sebagai bakal perdana menteri sekiranya pembangkang menang dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.
Mantan perdana menteri itu bagaimanapun berkata cadangan itu bergantung kepada keadaan semasa, bergantung kepada perlantikan Muhyiddin sebagai presiden Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
“Buat masa ini kita tidak boleh kata apa-apa kecuali jika pembangkang menang, kemungkinan besar perdana menteri adalah Muhyiddin,” katanya dalam satu ucapan di London, seperti dilapor akhbar The Star.
Katanya, pengerusi Parti Pribumi juga perlu dirunding tentang isu-isu dasar bagi memastikan perdana menteri tidak bertindak sesuka hati.
Buat masa ini, Dr Mahathir merupakan pengerusi Parti Pribumi.
Katanya, barisan Kabinet tidak cukup untuk mengekang kuasa kerana ahli-ahlinya bertanggungjawab kepada perdana menteri.
KOTA KINABALU, Sept 27 — This was no child’s play, as three suspected drug traffickers found to their dismay last night.
To avoid police detection, one of them had brought along his two children aged three and eight in a car to make it appear like a family outing at the Plaza University commercial centre here.
In reality, the three men were in the midst of delivering a package containing 503.56 grammes of syabu to a ready buyer about 7.30pm at the commercial centre.
Kota Kinabalu police chief ACP M. Chandra said the potential buyer did not turn up to receive the drug worth about RM65,000.
Instead, the three suspected traffickers found themselves staring at a team of policemen, he said.
He said the police arrested the 33-year-old father of the eight-year-old boy and three-year-old girl, and his accomplices aged 33 and 38, to facilitate investigations.
“We ambushed the three men in an operation as they were about to deliver the syabu package while the children have been taken into our custody for further action.
“We believe that bringing along the children in a drug trade was a tactic used by their father to fool the authorities into thinking it was a family outing,” he told reporters after the Kota Kinabalu police headquarters monthly assembly here today.
Chandra said the three men faced the mandatory death penalty upon conviction under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952.
He said the children’s father worked as a construction worker and was arrested previously for drug usage. The other two were unemployed, one of whom was previously nabbed for drug possession.
“We have not ruled out the probability the three men, from Sepanggar, near here were involved with a drug trafficking syndicate which had been active for the past month.
Meanwhile in a separate case, the police chief said 11 cars and a motorcycle involved in an illegal race held at Jalan Lintas and a road near the Imago Shopping Mall here were seized in an operation last Sunday.
The operation, dubbed ‘Ops Samseng Jalanan’ also saw the arrest of a man under the influence of alcohol; three others for reckless driving and another three with arrest warrants. — Bernama
KUDAT, Sept 27 — A man reported missing during a fishing trip to Dogoton, Pulau Banggi, last Saturday was found drowned after his boat was believed to have capsized due to bad weather.
The victim, Abrasin Marsuli, 79, was found lying on Iskandar Utara beach, Pulau Banggi by villagers at 9.30am on the second day of the search and rescue (SAR) operation.
Sabah and Labuan director of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the victim had gone fishing alone last Saturday and a missing person report was lodged after he did not return home.
Kudat Maritime Operation Centre received information on the incident from Karakit Police Station the next day and had deployed assets to the location.
“The SAR involved a helicopter and two speed boats from MMEA, two boats from Marine Police Force, a ship from the Royal Malaysian Navy and several villagers boats,” he said in a statement, here, today.
Mohd Zubil said his agency was always ready to hand out emergency and disaster assistance and urged the public to report to MMEA if they face any problem at sea and to contact MERS 999. — Bernama
GEORGE TOWN, Sept 27 — Penang should review its Freedom of Information (FOI) law to follow Selangor’s implementation, said Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) founding director Cynthia Gabriel.
“We found the enactment in Selangor was much better and (while) the enactment was not great, but between the two, Selangor was better,” she said during a FOI forum organised by Penang Institute here.
Among others, she noted that Penang’s definition of the CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) principles was unclear, unlike Selangor.
She also said Selangor’s version has an information officer that will attend to requests.
Selangor also has exceptions that were limited and specific, but this was more expansive in Penang.
“The exception list should be as small as possible, not as large as possible. We should look at what we should be allowing more and more,” she said.
Cynthia also suggested that the FOI clauses be automatically incorporated into any deals and contracts involving the state government or its entities so that requests for information cannot be blocked.
Penang should also make FOI requests cheaper and eliminate the requirement for applicants to sign statutory declarations for confidentiality, she said.
Another panellist, Malaysiakini journalist Low Chia Ming, also raise the costs of applying for information under the FOI in Penang.
Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy responded to say that FOI requests were not always necessary as information being sought was likely already in the public domain.
But he conceded to also disagreeing with the need for FOI applicants to sign the declarations.
“I must point out that the SD requirement is an administrative requirement and is not part of the enactment so it can be reviewed and removed in future,” he said.
He noted the complaints on the FOI application costs and said the committee will review the fee structure and reduce this, if necessary.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement especially the fees, SD, and list of exemptions,” he said.
He said the state will consider the issues raised and that improvements can still be made especially when the law has not been amended since it was gazetted.
“We believe the enactment should be an enabler, we are not hiding anything and we have nothing to hide,” he said.
The forum is part of a series of events in conjunction with Penang Institute’s Right To Know Week.