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Hannah Yeoh

PUTRAJAYA: The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is looking at a tax rebate initiative as an incentive to entice parents to join parenting courses.

Its Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh said the ministry is currently in talks with relevant agencies on tax rebate consideration for those who signed up for parenting course.

“At the ministry, we want to focus more on parenting skills. We are looking at how to make parents join parenting courses to ensure Malaysian parents take more responsibilities,” she told a press conference after launching the Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management programme here yesterday.

Yeoh also proposed that the Road Transport Department included parenting aspects in driving school curriculum to enhance knowledge pertaining to children passenger safety practices to create awareness about children being left in car and dying from heatstroke.

On the issue of vaccination, she said although there were many calls now asking to criminalise parents for not vaccinating their children, yet there were still some parents who did not vaccine their children and exposed them to unnecessary risks.

She also urged Malaysian adults to start being sensitive over the safety of children and to report to the authorities whenever they see a child exposed to any risk.

Yeoh also called on the community to change their indifferent culture especially when it involving marginalised and vulnerable people such as children, old folks and people with disabilities to protect them from being exposed to risks.

“There are so many situations where these people cannot speak up for themselves, and that they need the help from the community to “stop, care and ask” and reports to the authorities,” she said. — Bernama

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SIBU: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice president Dr Annuar Rapaee has denied that the party is eyeing the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairmanship with the term of local government councillors expiring on June 30.

“We believe in sharing of power and responsibilities. So, whoever (is the new SMC chairman), and can work closely with us, we are ok with it,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday, when asked if the party would bid for the post.

He added PBB is contented with the deputy chairman’s post and that the party would avoid fighting for a post as not a ‘good’ sign.

“We should be fighting for resources and responsibilities and not for posts – that should be the way forward,” said Dr Annuar, who is Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health and Nangka assemblyman.

Meanwhile, there are uncertainties over the reappointment of current chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, who is also Dudong assemblyman, following Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil’s statement on Wednesday that local councillors should be appointed from ruling coalition GPS’ four component parties.

Tiong is currently Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) senior vice-president.

Of late, there have been reports and talks of parties lobbying for the chairman post of local councils.

This includes five SUPP Sibu branches expressing view that the person picked to head SMC for the new term must be someone recommended by the party.

It was reported that three names, Rejang Port Authority chairman Clarence Ting, SUPP Bukit Assek branch chairman Datuk Chieng Buong Toon and entrepreneur Dr Gregory Hii, have emerged as front runners to replace Tiong.

Hii is currently not affiliated to any political party. He is formerly a member of SNAP which had since been deregistered.

Meanwhile, when contacted yesterday, Penguang called for a stop to the speculation on the chairmanship post.

“Just leave it to the State Cabinet to decide,” he said.

“The (appointment of) councillors will come from four component parties of GPS. Whether the council will include GPS-friendly parties or not that is up to CM to decide. It is CM’s prerogative,” he added.

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KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) has incurred losses amounting to RM5.5 million due to 310 property theft and vandalism cases between 2017 and 2019.

Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said vandalism of electricity
equipment was among topics that should be seriously looked into. It was in fact discussed at the recent
State Utility Taskforce Committee Meeting recently in view of the frequent vandalism cases happening in the state, which caused milllions of ringit in losses to Sarawak Energy and the local councils.

He said that electricity infrastructure were sometimes destroyed on purpose, or stolen, and if vandalism persisted, everyone would be at the losing end.

“Apart from other classifications of equipment/structure losses, another that is always
vandalised are the transformers by the roadsides all over the state.

“The same goes to equipment stolen from lamp posts, which have just been installed. For example, the road that leads to a site supposedly for the Federal Administration Centre, it is in darkness at night because the lamp posts along that road have always been vandalised eventhough we have replaced them three times,” he said.

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KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi has clarified that Sarawak Energy (SEB) only installs and maintains street lightings along rural roads, including those

listed in Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) projects.

Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi

He said street lightings along council roads are still under the jurisdiction of the respective councils.

He was referring to news report recently that the installation of street lightings and their maintenance in the rural areas including village, council and state roads (except for federal roads) will be handed over to SEB.

“Street lightings along the rural roads, including those listed in RTP projects will be handed over to Sarawak Energy and those under council roads are still under the jurisdiction of the respective councils,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kuching South (MBKS) mayor Datuk James Chan Khay Syn applauded the decision of the State Utility Task Force Committee, at a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali

Datuk James Chan Khay Syn

Hasan, for SEB to be responsible for installing and maintaining street lightings along rural roads including those listed in RTP projects.

“Electricity supply is so essential to people’s lives and the present state government cares for all segments of people especially in the rural areas to ensure progress and wellbeing of the people of Sarawak.

“In MBKS area, all street lightings are still under the council (MBKS) except for the decorative lightings at the parks and gardens which are maintained by Sarawak Energy, and they are doing a good job,” said Chan.

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Finance Ministry strategic investment deputy secretary told the High Court here yesterday that she was told to prepare documents for a memorandum to the Cabinet on the government’s guarantee for a RM2 billion loan to SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Afidah Azwa Abdul Aziz, 44, said she was also under pressure and have doubts on the request to expedite the matter.

Afidah Azwa revealed that matter when cross examined by counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who is representing Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the 29th day of the trial of the former Prime Minister who is facing seven charges on SRC funds.

Muhammad Shafee : Madam, you made the statement as if you are not satisfied with the documentation wanted from you. Madam, did you hint it in your written statement over expediting the matter.

Afidah Azwa: Yes

Muhammad Shafee : If I say the matter is to be expedited but you are not forced to complete it.

Afidah Azwa: I was pressured.

Muhammad Shafee: Were there any doubts? Or none. Just told to do? Was there any suspicion?

Afidah Azwa: In the beginning, yes.

Muhammad Shafee : Feelings of doubts? Suspicious? Maybe the bad intention of the people requesting?

Afidah Azwa : Felt doubful

Muhammad Shafee : What are the doubts? Doubts about what?

Afidah Azwa : Why the need to expedite.

To a question by Muhammad Shafee on who pressured Afidah Azwa, the witness replied, “Encik Maliami,”.

The witness said she asked Maliami why should be matter be hastily expedited and her superior said it was an instruction.

“After receiving the order, I sat down with the SRC representative to prepare the memorandum,” said the witness.

To a question by Muhammad Shafee on whether Afidah Azwa noted down the instruction to complete the memorandum, the witness said she could not remember.

When asked further on her witness statement in which Afidah Azwa said the SRC representative was not responsive in giving complete information when she has to expedite the memorandum, Afidah Azwa said correct.

The witness however said she told Maliami on the attitude of the SRC representative but was ignored.

Muhammad Shafee : You reported your dissatisfaction on your interaction with the company’s representative and Maliami did not take it seriously, did you accept the situation?

Afidah Azwa : Yes

Muhammad Shafee : Apart from Maliami, did you report to others?

Afidah Azwa : I cannot remember

Muhammad Shafee : Who is Maliami’s boss?

Afidah Azwa : Tan Sri Dr Irwan Serigar

Muhammad Shafee : Can you see him? If you have a problem, you can see him, right?

Afidah Azwa: Depends

Muhammad Shafee : But in this situation you did not see him?

Afidah Azwa : No

Muhammad Shafee later proposed that the witness was only told to expedite the processing of the memorandum and there was no question of Afidah Azwa was pressured but the witness insisted she was pressured.

The counsel also said Afidah Azwa was not pressured negatively and the witness reply “ I was pressured. I worked under duress. I was pressured at that time,”.

Najib faces criminal breach of trust, money laundering and abuse of position charges relating to misappropriation of SRC International Sdn Bhd funds amounting to RM42 million. — Bernama

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PUTRAJAYA: PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said he had proposed to the party leadership for Haziq Abdullah Abdul Aziz to be sacked as the latter was found to be campaigning for Barisan Nasional during the 14th General Election.

The Economic Affairs Minister said that many other members of the party had also demanded that the Santubong PKR Youth chief be axed from the party.

“That is basic logic, (and has) been asked by many. How much can I say?” he said when asked if he had proposed the matter to his party.

Mohamed Azmin said this when met by the media during a Hari Raya Aidilfitri do at the Prime Minister’s Department here, yesterday.

On Wednesday, the PKR Disciplinary Board reportedly gave Haziq 14-days to submit a show cause letter on his statement pertaining to a controversial sex video.

Clips of the video had gone viral on messaging application WhatsApp last week, and this was followed by Haziq’s confession that he was one of the two men in the video.

He also claimed the other person to be Mohamed Azmin. — Bernama

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SERDANG: The special task force set up to study the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) report on the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo and social activist Amri Che Mat will be given six months to make its recommendations to the government, said Home
Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said the names of those who would sit in the task force had been submitted to the Cabinet and would be announced next week.

“We have ensured that those picked are impartial, and have the required obligations so that their findings and recommendations would not be deemed as biased,” he told reporters at the ministry’s Aidilfitri celebration here yesterday.

On May 23 this year, Muhyiddin announced that the Cabinet had agreed to set up the task force comprising six or seven members to study Suhakam’s report and recommend appropriate actions that should be taken by the government or parties responsible for the case of disappearances of the two.

Muhyiddin said based on the Suhakam report, the government had also drawn up the terms of reference for the special task force.

“The six-month period is considered suitable for the team to study the report and make certain recommendations for tabling to the Cabinet,” he said.

The task force should also be mindful that a case related to the pastor was being heard in court, he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said Malaysia had not received a formal request from India to extradite Dr Zakir Naik although an Indian court had issued an order requiring the independent preacher’s presence in court on July 31.

“So far the Foreign Ministry and Home Ministry have not received an application from the Indian government,” Muhyiddin said.

Yesterday, a court in India issued an order asking Zakir to attend court in that country on July 31, failing which a warrant of arrest would be issued against him.

According to news reports, Zakir is wanted by India to face money-laundering charges involving about RM115 million. — Bernama

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A group photo taken after the ceremony.

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy Bhd awarded scholarships to 70 students and 20 employees yesterday, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 573.

Its group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili said they had given out 483 scholarships between 2014 and 2018 for young and qualified Sarawakians to pursue higher education.

“With today’s new awards, we have given out 573 scholarships since 2014. RM8 million is allocated annually for this, and candidates ae selected based on their academic and co-curriculum achievements as well as leadership potentials.

Sharbini (centre) presents an award to a recipient while (from left) Mak, Lu and Sulaiman look on. – Photos by Jessica Jawing

“We received 547 applications this year, and the group of 90 represents the best and the brightest,” he said at the scholarship presentation ceremony at Menara Sarawak Energy here.

Sharbini added that gender balance was taken into account during the final selection to have a diverse and sustainable talent pipeline.

He said high potential scholars with outstanding academic results would be provided with the best overseas programmes to develop a steady stream of top-flight gradutes for future leadership succession in Sarawak Energy.

He was delighted to announce that all the existing scholars registered a 100 per cent passing rate.

He said Sarawak Energy also presented education awards to top-scoring graduates to encourage them to continue excelling in their studies.

This year, nine students from Curtin Malaysia were given the award.

“Staff are also encouraged to pursue tertiary education and we provide financial support through the scholarship programme. We believe having a knowledgeable, skilled and competent workforce will enable us to achieve our vision of sustainable growth and prosperity for Sarawak.”

According to Sharbini, Sarawak Energy has introduced a Talent Early Bird Scheme to reach out to those who strive for excellence.

Sarawak Energy would be partnering schools and universities to identify deserving secondary school students who excel academically and in their co-curriculum to support their studies through monthly financial aid managed by their schools, he added.

He said a total of RM100,000 had been allocated for this purpose.

He said Sarawak Energy had also launched the Campus Ambassador Programme with 13 universities last year for its senior management to establish working relationships with selected local universities, and to work closely with them in areas of mutual interests.

“As part of this, we signed an MoU with Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus yesterday (Wednesday).”

Sharbini believed that these programmes would enable Sarawak Energy to identify the right talent early in the job market.

He said Sarawak Energy was also working with communities affected by its projects on educational initiatives and skills training.

This year, a total of RM600,000 had been allocated as educational incentives for the resettled communities of Bakun, Murum and Batang Ai through the Bakun Charitable Trust, he added.

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KUALA LUMPUR: KKB Engineering Bhd has secured three contracts worth a total of RM29 million from MISC Offshore Floating Terminals Dua (L) Ltd (MISC), Mirecont Sdn Bhd and SKE Alliance Sdn Bhd (SKE).

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, KKB said MISC had awarded a contract to its subsidiary, OceanMight Sdn Bhd, for the provision of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of a new electric submersible pump (ESP) module for the upgrading and modification works on MAMPU-1 and AJK Platform for Vestigo Petroleum Sdn Bhd.

“A formal agreement for the said MISC contract shall be executed in due course,” it said.

KKB has also been issued with a supply order by Mirecont for the supply of mild steel cement lining (MSCL) pipes for the Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme, as well as a purchase order from SKE for the supply of MSCL pipes for the Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme.

“The MISC contract is to be completed by December 2019 while the Mirecont and SKE contracts shall be progressively delivered or collected by March 2020,” it added. — Bernama

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s asset management industry which has grown rapidly over the last decades has shown signs of a slowdown amid fundamental shifts which are expected to alter the business landscape, said Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairman, Datuk Syed Zaid Albar.

He said over the past 20 years, the industry had been recording strong growth with a compound annual growth rate of 16 per cent.

“The focus on the asset management industry is timely as data from the last five years suggested that it might have reached an inflection point with signs pointing to slowing future growth. Concerns over the growth trajectory are also given impetus as industry shortcomings are increasingly raised by the investors and industry themselves,” Syed Zaid said yesterday.

He said this in a keynote address in conjunction with the launch here of the first joint research report of the Institute for Capital Market Research (ICMR) and the Nomura Institute for Capital Markets Research (NICMR) based in Japan, themed ‘The Evolving Business of Asset Management : Malaysia’s Perspective’.

The ICMR was established by the SC in February 2018 as a think tank initiatives dedicated towards facilitating further acceleration of the growth momentum, while ensuring it remains inclusive, sustainable and resilient.

Syed Zaid said from the business environment lens, this report recognised that the industry must contend with structural shifts which are reshaping the very nature of asset management. These included the changing demographic trend and investor preferences, digitalisation, the availability of appropriately skilled talents, as well as market structure and regulations, he said.

Meanwhile, ICMR director Datin Azleen Osman Rani said the asset management industry needed revitalisation and more innovation given the fast changing economic and financial landscapes.

She said among the key highlights of the report was that the changing preferences of customers was the most critical external shift affecting the business over the next 12 to 24 months. In light of this, she said increasing demand was seen especially in sustainable and responsible investment funds, private mandate and wholesale funds, as well as non-domestic equities and alternatives.

The report also found that the existing talent pool are not aligned with the broad direction the investors expected, while most asset managers also envisaged that digitalisation will highly impact their businesses. Azleen said the report had also highlighted some recommendations such as the need for the industry to diversify to revitalise it.

There was also a need to look at how asset managers could internationalise by tapping into the growing wealth in emerging markets, as well as attracting foreign inflows to diversify the investor base, she said.

“This could be achieved through further regulatory harmonisation efforts, as well as private sector driven initiatives such as cross-border merger and acquisition or partnership structures,” she added. — Bernama

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