Category Archives: news

Deputy speaker ticks off assemblymen who only sign in and disappear

Selangor Deputy Speaker Hasnul Baharuddin criticized the behavior of many Assembly members who do not take their duties seriously by attending National Assembly sessions.

“They stay half an hour, then leave. When they sign up, they leave. This means that we cannot do anything (against them). “But in practice, it is not right for MPs to do such things – just show that you are there and leave immediately,” Hasnul said during a meeting with the National Anti-Day Programme. of drugs in Pantai Morib, Banting, today, Bernama. reported. Hasnul also said that all Selangor MPs must attend a session within six months, even if it is only for one day.

He was referring to the case of the former legislator for Batang Kali, Harumaini Omar, who lost his seat for not attending the sessions of the National Assembly for six months. Hasnul said that Harumaini can challenge his dismissal as a member of the assembly in the court.

He said the decision made by Selangor chief executive Ng Suee Lim last Thursday had already sent the state legal adviser for further action. Hasnul said that Harumaini contacted him and admitted that he did not give a letter to the assembly or the president explaining why he was absent from the state assembly session, including issues, his wife’s health and other family problems.

“Therefore, in my opinion, he himself did not say anything to the President. He admitted his mistake when I contacted him for clarification (following Ng’s decision).

“It is clearly stated in the state constitution and law that you (members of the assembly) must report within six months. “Even though he (Harumaini) attended the previous session, he was absent for six months from the end (July 27).”

Furthermore, he said that Harumaini also did not show up for the Selangor 2023 budget submission last year.

On February 16, the Batang Kali state seat was declared effective on January 28 as the incumbent, Harumaini, of Pejuang, did not appear for any session for six months. This declaration was made under Article LXIX of the Selangor State Constitution of 1959.

GRS has no grudges against anyone, insists Hajiji

Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) president Hajiji Noor said GRS does not attack any party in the recent political turmoil in the state.

“There should be no strong political influence. The most important thing should be to protect the interests of the people and the state,” he said. GRS leaders focus on the unity of the people and the development of the state.

“This will lead to increased economic activity and will benefit the people.”

Hajiji was speaking to reporters after launching the Malaysia Madani seminar at the Sabah International Convention Center here today. He was also asked if he is ready to support others to create Sabah through a unity government.

Last month, Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) leader Bung Moktar Radin announced that the party was withdrawing its support from Hajiji as part of an attempt to oust the GRS president from office. However, Bung’s efforts, backed by Warisan, the Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (KDM) and an independent parliamentarian, failed when Hajiji revealed that he had the support of several state parliamentarians.

Hajiji praised BN’s support for him as president. On Sunday, BN Secretary General Zambry Abd Kadir issued a statement in support of the Hajiji-led state government.

“It is good (referring to the statement) because it means that the state government will be strengthened under the unity government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim,” he said. Hajiji also said that there has been no discussion between GRS and Sabah BN on issues related to the state so far.

SpaceX test-fires Starship booster for first time

SpaceX’s hulking Super Heavy booster, half of the company’s Starship rocket system, went live for the first time on Thursday during a test run that brings the giant Mars rover one step closer to its orbital flight in the coming months. .

Thirty-one of Super Heavy’s 33 Raptor rockets fired in about 10 seconds at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, the company’s CEO Elon Musk tweeted shortly after the test, showing during life. The team shut down engine 1 shortly before start and 1 shut down, so 31 engines started in total,” Musk tweeted. “And still enough engines to reach orbit!”

The lights blazed with orange fire and the steam engine hissed as the 23-story rocket continued to lock itself into a vertical position on the platform next to the escape tower.

When combined with its Starship aircraft on the roof, the entire vehicle will be taller than the Statue of Liberty at 394 feet (120 meters) long, making the center of Musk’s desire to rule in March. But the plan is that it will first work leading up to Nasa’s new human exploration of the moon.

It is unclear whether SpaceX will decide to conduct another flight test of the Super Heavy, with all 33 engines, before the company tries to launch the next-generation rocket powered for the first time on an unmanned flight into space. The launch, a test mission from Texas to the coast of Hawaii, could happen “in the next month or so,” SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell told a press conference on Wednesday. although the exact date of the flight depends. and Thursday’s results. static fire test.

“Keep in mind that this first flight was really a test flight,” Shotwell said. “The real goal is not to blow the whistle, that’s success.”

The previous test of the Super Heavy booster in July 2022 ended with the vehicle’s engine compartment bursting into flames. Prior to this, SpaceX had tested the upper half of the Starship in several “hop” flights at a height of about six kilometers to demonstrate the rocket’s landing capabilities. All but one failed.

Thursday’s test of Raptor 31 engines appeared to set a new record for the maximum thrust produced by a single rocket – around 17 million pounds compared to Russia’s N1 million 10.5 million and 8 million pounds for Nasa’s Space Launch System (SLS), live . Spokesmen from NASA Spaceflight said. They said it was also the number of rocket engines that had been fired at one time, more than 30 N1 engines.

In addition, the Super Heavy’s 33 engines will exceed the thrust of the first stage of the Saturn V, the legendary rocket that NASA sent men to the moon during the Apollo programs of the 1960s and 1970s. Starship development is being funded in part by a US$3 billion contract from NASA, which plans to use SpaceX rockets over the next few years to land the first crew of astronauts and the moon since 1972, in the corner of billions of US. Artemis program dollars. event.

On Wednesday, NASA engineers in Mississippi tested the company’s prototype rocket, the Aerojet Rocketdyne-built RS-25, which will power SLS and future flights. SLS and Starship are the two current spacecraft in the first phase of the Artemis program, which Nasa says is intended to establish a permanent base on the moon as a stepping stone to human exploration of Mars.

Singapore hikes property, car taxes in balanced budget

Singapore today announced tough budget cuts and budget cuts to help families manage rising living costs while filling coffers damaged by the pandemic.

The fiscal position “is appropriate for the expected economic conditions this year,” Finance Minister Lawrence Wong told Parliament as he briefed the 2023 budget. Wong, who is also the deputy prime minister, said and the government has received more money than expected last year. resulting in a lower deficit of 2 billion Singapore dollars (US $ 1.51 billion) for the financial year 2022 instead of the first estimated deficit of 3 billion Singapore dollars, or 0, 5% of GDP. For 2023, the expected shortfall will be S$0.4 billion, or 0.1% of GDP.

Wong announced tax reforms that would affect Singaporeans with high incomes and large businesses, but added support for low-income families, funding for health subsidies and a support package to remove sales tax. “With a tighter fiscal environment than last year, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong’s Valentine’s Day 2023 Budget rightfully provided many good things for low-income earners, working mothers and retirees age. through various promotions,” Ajay Kumar Sanganeria, partner at KPMG Singapore. said.

Singapore’s trade-based economy is facing a headwind this year from slowing global growth, inflation and interest rate hikes. Meanwhile, its expenses are rising due to rising health care costs, driven by an aging population.

From Wednesday, those buying properties between S$1.5m and S$3m will be taxed at 5%, while those buying more than S$3m will be taxed at 6%. Buyer’s stamp duty is currently 4%.

Wong unveiled a “progressive” car tax affecting three categories of car buyers, which will generate S$200 million in additional revenue every year. “Our system is based on collective action,” he said.

“Everyone contributes, but the better ones contribute more.”

This comes on top of last year’s fiscal policy changes which have already raised taxes on the wealthiest Singaporeans on their income from buying luxury goods and cars. The city-state plans to introduce a national top tax to increase taxes on large companies to 15% by 2025. This is to address the 2 pillars of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Wealth. Development. Framework 2.0. Wong said that the global development in BEPS 2.0 is water and Singapore will monitor them. “If there is another delay, we will adjust our implementation process,” Wong said. support package

Wong said Singapore should prepare for higher prices, but added that the government will help citizens and businesses deal with price pressures.

The government will boost a support package to help Singaporeans offset their recent sales tax bill from S$6.6 billion ($4.97) to S$9.6 billion. The second phase of the sales tax is planned to go ahead as planned in 2024. The sales tax will rise to 9% next January, after rising from the current 7% to 8% on January 1 of this year. Wong said it would eliminate any increased spending that low-income families face as a result of the increase in sales tax, while “fully covering” the increase in spending for high-income families.

The FY2023 budget is planned with a balanced budget, said Maybank analyst Chua Hak Bin. “There is more fiscal space in the FY2023 budget to allow for investment and investment in trust for medium-term goals compared to last year’s budget, which was not restricted due to the Covid relief measures. ”

Singapore’s core inflation forecast in 2023 is forecast between 3.5% and 4.5% and headline inflation between 5.5% and 6.5%.

For 2022 as a whole, core inflation rose to 4.1%, higher than the 0.9% recorded in 2021. Meanwhile, headline inflation stood at 6.1% last year, down to 2.3% in 2021.

Blackstone sees India as top Asian market

India will continue to be Blackstone Inc’s biggest market in Asia and the big equity giant may consider investing in infrastructure in the future, a company executive said on Tuesday.

The US-based company, which manages nearly $1 trillion in assets worldwide, said India is one of its best markets. He is optimistic about the South Asian country because it is growing faster than other major countries and “young governments”, said Jonathan Gray, president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, in press conference time. India is an important part of the anchor of our strategy in Asia. Japan and Australia are following that,” Gray said. Blackstone said it manages assets worth US$50 billion in India, including in equity and real estate.

It has made more than $1 billion in real estate sales in the past year alone, Reuters reported. Private equity deals in India totaled $32 billion last year, down 27% from 2021. However, India’s share of total Asian funding fell from 16% to 25% over the same period. Gray said Blackstone would also consider investing in Indian infrastructure in the future, a sector where its peers such as KKR and Co and pension funds including CPP Investment Board and Pension Plan Ontario Teachers’ Retreat, are already active.

Blackstone plans to invest more in data centers and warehouses, said Amit Dixit, its managing director in India, following the rise of e-commerce and India asking tech giants such as Alphabet’s Google to store data market in the area. While Blackstone remains shaky in India, Gray said greater confidence in tax laws and capital markets will help increase foreign investment in India.

“The capital market has a lot of rules in India,” he said, making exits difficult. However, Blackstone considers the selection process in China as a geopolitical factor that has made it difficult to invest in the world’s second-largest economy, Gray said, in a rare public statement about the investment. and China, which is looking to boost its economy after last year. it recorded one of its worst growth rates in nearly half a century.

Joint ventures and private equity and acquisitions in China fell 67% in 2022 annually, totaling $36 billion, according to Refinitiv data. China’s share of total private business value in Asia fell to 28% in 2022 from 41% in 2021, the data showed.

The US government has stepped up scrutiny of US investment in China as the trade and technology dispute continues. President Joe Biden’s administration plans to ban investment in some Chinese technology companies and increase scrutiny of others, Reuters reported last week.

Lynas decision can dampen investor confidence, economist warns

An economist has warned the government that its decision to ban Lynas from importing and processing rare earths after July 1 could affect investor confidence.

Investors may see the move as a sign of the government’s willingness to break promises, said Shankaran Nambiar of the Malaysian Economic Research Institute. Stay connected with the latest news by following the FMT Telegram channel
“Lynas says he was invited to invest in Malaysia as the government at the time was well aware of his work style.

“He is arguing now that the government is thinking of violating his original agreement,” Shankaran told FMT. Yesterday, Lynas announced that it has renewed its license to operate in Malaysia for a period of three years without changes to the terms set by the Pakatan Harapan government in 2020.

These include rules that prevent companies from importing and processing small-scale land after July 1. Lynas, which has a manufacturing plant in Gebeng, Pahang, will shut down its fracking and desalination plant that day.

Lynas president Amanda Lacaze said the license granted to the company before 2020 did not include conditions for the importation and processing of rare earths. Shankaran said the government’s decision would be commendable if there was evidence that Lynas’ work was threatening the lives of those around him. “It is important for the government to provide sufficient evidence if Lynas takes his case to court,” he said. Speaking about the Lynas inquiry yesterday, Kubang Kerian MP Tuan Ibrahim Man of Perikatan Nasional urged the government to base its decision on facts and expert opinions.

He said that the stance taken by some political parties on elected officials could harm foreign investors. Geoffrey Williams of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology said the government’s position seems to be in line with PH’s policy on conservation and environmental, social and governance issues.

“There is a difference between a contract and a contract and a contract and a law,” he said. “If there is a change of government, we expect that policies will change.

“I think setting a new process for license renewal is a change in policy and that’s understandable. It will be a different situation if the situation is set while the company’s license is still valid.

He said Malaysia should not feel sorry for losing money on low safety standards or consider it dangerous.

Rise in car sales driven by poor public transport, say experts

Transport Commissioner Rosli Azad Khan said that train services such as LRT, MRT and KTM are only available in the Klang Valley and only for highways. That’s why people choose to buy cars regardless of their price,” he told FMT.

Last month, the Malaysian Automobile Association said 720,658 cars were sold in 2022, a 41.6% increase from 2021. Rosli alleged that the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) is weak in public transport planning, saying that the agency does not address the needs of the public.

“Local governments should be in charge of public transport planning for rural communities in the Klang Valley because they will know what is needed in their area,” he said. “APAD does not have the authority or expertise to conduct individual studies for these areas.”

Wan Agyl Hassan, former head of policy and planning at the Land Public Transport Commission, the predecessor of APAD, said Malaysia’s public transport plan lacked coordination and coordination between different modes of transport.

He pointed out that there are no train stations for MRT, LRT and KTM. Wan Agyl Hassan.
“There is a glaring lack of coordination in connecting MRT and LRT stations to KTM,” he said. “This is due to poor planning and neglecting the needs of the people, such as roads and traffic.”

He called for infrastructure improvements as well as policies and programs to encourage people to use public transport, such as providing car subsidies, the introduction of congestion or road pricing, and encouraging walking and cycling.

Wan Agyl said a simple approach to car ownership would include providing affordable and accessible options and encouraging alternative forms of transportation. “To prevent these problems from reoccurring in the future, a comprehensive plan must be created for public transport, taking into account the needs and interests of all users, including the elderly, disabled and families. and less money,” he said. said.

He said the plan could include dedicated lanes, real-time scheduling information, parking and driving facilities and pedestrian-friendly facilities. He also said that there is a need for the public to be included in the planning process to ensure that everyone’s needs are protected.

Zaliha to find out woes of hospital workers firsthand

The Minister of Health is Dr. Zaliha Mustafa will meet with health workers to hear what they have to say about overwork and incapacity.

He will also meet the heads of health departments and state hospitals at the end of this month to know their real situation. hospitals and the state health department to pay attention to the problems (facing the public health system),” he told the Dewan Rakyat today. Zaliha answers another question from Dr. Kelvin Yii (PH-Bandar Kuching) and whether the ministry will meet with health workers to gain insight into the problems they face.

He also said that the company would like to hire medical personnel to overcome the shortage of personnel in public health facilities, but there is no money to do so. An investigation by the health portal CodeBlue recently revealed that health workers complained of being overworked and not being paid.

They also complained that the public health sector was understaffed, burdened with many performance indicators and was not adequately compensated for the heavy workload.

Yesterday, the Malaysian Medical Association also said that healthcare workers have reached their limits, adding that the issues faced have “been around for years and with little or no change”.

2 brothers win appeal, acquitted of drug trafficking

An appeals court has acquitted two brothers of selling almost a kilogram of cannabis five years ago.

A three-member bench presided over by Justice Hanipah Farikullah said the complaint of Rubanraaj Sandanasamy, 27, and his brother, Nagaraja, 35, was well founded. based on section 182A of the Code of Criminal Procedure to properly consider security issues. “This is a miscarriage of justice that allowed the intervention of the Court of Appeal,” said Hanipa, who was joined by Judges Ahmad Nasfy Yasin and Lim Chong Fong.

Earlier, lawyer Affifuddin Ahmad Hafifi argued that the trial judge did not fully understand the evidence regarding police reports and statements from defense witnesses. “A judge of the Supreme Court cannot say that the defense is only a presumption or a mere denial.

Affifudin said, “This is a huge misdirection by way of misdirection that results in a miscarriage of justice.” The High Court of Shah Alam sentenced him and the brothers, who owned a car, to death on February 7, 2020 for selling 961g of cannabis from Prima Bayu Apartment in Taman Bayu Perdana, Klang on April 26, 2018.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Atiqah Abdul Karim said they had the intention to commit the crime and have the possession and control of drugs. Atiqah said Rubanraaj’s bad behavior could be seen when he fled the scene of the crime during the police raid.

MACC remands 2, including Datuk, over RM8mil cleaning contract

Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency has fired a ‘Datuk’ and another person over a clean-up deal with Seberang Perai City Council, worth RM8 million.

The duo, who were detained for three days, are being investigated for allegedly falsifying their bank accounts to secure a five-year contract with the council. The matter is being investigated under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009 for providing false accounts with intent to mislead the board. The offense carries a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of at least five times the value of the charge or RM10,000, whichever is greater, if convicted.