Sunday, 20-May-2018

Anwar jumpa BJ Habibie di Jakarta

JAKARTA: Ketua Umum Pakatan Harapan (PH), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, hari ini mengadakan pertemuan dengan bekas Presiden Indonesia, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, bersempena sambutan 20 tahun reformasi Indonesia.

Bacharuddin atau lebih dikenali sebagai BJ Habibie, adalah presiden Indonesia ketiga, menggantikan Presiden Soeharto dan menjawat jawatan itu bermula 21 Mei 1998 hingga 20 Okt 1999.

Pertemuan itu berlangsung di kediaman BJ Habibie di Jalan Patra Kuningan, Jakarta pada 1 tengah hari waktu tempatan.

Anwar dalam satu kenyataan sebelum pertemuan itu, berkata pertemuan itu adalah atas undangan BJ Habibie, bersempena sambutan ulang tahun ke-20 Reformasi Indonesia.

“Tahun 1998 adalah tahun keramat bagi Malaysia dan Indonesia, 21 Mei 1998 diingati rakyat Indonesia sebagai tarikh jatuhnya rejim Orde Lama dan bermulanya zaman peralihan kuasa serta pengukuhan institusi demokrasi yang berlaku dengan pentadbiran Presiden BJ Habibie.

“Manakala 2 September 1998 diingati rakyat Malaysia sebagai tarikh bermulanya kejatuhan rejim Barisan Nasional (BN) yang akhirnya selesai hampir dua dekad kemudian pada 9 Mei 2018,” katanya.

Anwar berkata pertemuan dan perbincangan dengan BJ Habibie akan mengeratkan lagi hubungan di antara kedua-dua negara serta memperkukuh iltizam melaksana agenda reformasi di Malaysia.

Pada 16 Mei lalu, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, berkenan memberi pengampunan penuh kepada Anwar.

Pengampunan penuh Anwar dibentang dan dipertimbangkan dalam mesyuarat Lembaga Pengampunan bagi Wilayah-Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan dan Putrajaya dan selaras dengan Perkara 42 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Anwar, 71, menjalani hukuman lima tahun penjara pada Februari 2015 selepas Mahkamah Persekutuan mengekalkan keputusan bersalah atas sabitan meliwat. Anwar dijadualkan dibebaskan pada 8 Jun. – BERNAMA


76 trainees graduate from Montfort

The graduated trainees of MYTC with guests and Montfort’s teachers and instructors.

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 76 trainees graduated at the 18th Montfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) graduation ceremony yesterday.

The event was held at MYTC residential campus in Kinarut and witnessed by proud parents, teachers, instructors and officers together with the Brothers of St Gabriel, board of governors, management, heads of relevant government departments, donors, benefactors and friends of Montfort.

Each one of the graduated trainees received Montfort certificate after successfully completing their two-year programme in character formation and their respective technical skill development.

Eighteen of them are from Motor Mechanic Department, 21 from Welding Department, 16 from Carpentry Department and 21 from Refrigeration & Air-conditioning (domestic) Department.

Officiating the ceremony was Datuk Henry Goh, a local philanthropist and deputy chairman of Montfort Charity Golf 2018.

Established 19 years ago in Sabah, Montfort had helped many needy youth who had prematurely dropped out from the mainstream education system, to overcome their disadvantaged backgrounds by providing technical skill training and character formation.

Through the residential care programme in Montfort, the trainees are formed in discipline and leadership.

At the end of the trainees’ first year, potential leaders are selected and undergo leadership camp before they are eventually appointed to the Prefectorial Board, which is the hallmark of Montfort Residential Care Programme in empowering the trainees to be the leaders among themselves.

Montfort strongly emphasises on the importance of English proficiency and the trainees are being challenged every day to communicate in English, which had effectively proven in helping the youth to pick up the language, as many of them only had limited English education before they entered Montfort.

This year, Montfort has 74 senior and 28 junior trainees who sat for the Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia (SKM) examination which all of them managed to achieve 100% passes with nine of them achieving Terampil Cemerlang (Excellent Score) considering that most of them did not complete their formal secondary education.

Nineteen of the graduated welders had also managed to pass the 3G certification from The Welding Institute, which is a recognized certificate in oil and gas and engineering fabrication industries.

Furthermore, majority of the graduates had managed to secure employment with established companies based in Labuan, Peninsular Malaysia and around Sabah under Montfort Job Placement Scheme while a few of them had expressed their intentions to look for the jobs themselves or pursuing further studies in other institutions.

In June this year, Montfort will welcome another batch of 91 new trainees to take up the two-year skill training programme out of 150 applications.

Montfort also manages two rural hostels to cater for another 100 school-going Youth in San Damiano Boys’ Hostel, Kiulu and St Mary’s Youth Hostel, Sandakan.

The objective of the hostels is to provide a safe and conducive learning environment to enable the youth to complete their secondary education.


To teachers with love

In conjunction with Teachers Day that was held on May 16, Star Media Group wishes all educators Happy Teachers Day!


Grandpa’s legacy

THIS is a tribute to the greatest teacher that anyone could ever dream of having. He was a dedicated and committed teacher. He focused on his students, regardless of their weaknesses or strengths.

He never practised favouritism among the students as he loved each of his students. He made them into better people each time they attended his classes, that is how much of an influence he was to many.

The major subject he used to teach students was English. He breathed and slept English. That was how important the English language was to him. He always drove the point that English was a very important subject that students had to master. Indeed, English is a subject everyone must master because it is a universal language people use to communicate with each other.

He was a proud Penangite. He was a father of three. My father is his second child.

Nerissa’s grandfather, Ganapathy, who passed away on Teachers Day last year.

Yes, he was my grandfather. His name was Ganapathy Govindasamy and he was 78 years old when he passed away on Teachers Day last year.

He was a very good-hearted man, who always prioritised the happiness of others. He six grandchildren miss him dearly.

We will never forget the kind of person he was. He was destined to be the greatest teacher ever. Not only did he teach in schools, he also emulated the good things about life, such as kindness and selflessness.

He started teaching in SK Jelutong, then he moved on to teach in SK Sungai Gelugor and SK Penaga.

He also taught in SK Rawang. He taught English in all these primary schools.

While he was teaching, he also tutored primary and secondary school students. His students valued him very much. Once a student of his gifted my grandfather with a portrait of himself.

This is the tribute I have personally written for my grandfather whom I miss him very much. He is one man that I will not forget. He was a great teacher indeed.

Nerissa Sangeeta Mohan submitted this article about her grandfather, Ganapathy Govindasamy, who was an English teacher.


Educators who leave an impression

A FEW months ago, I started to ponder on the teachers who made an impact in my life because I wanted to become a teacher – just like them.

I tried to recall the names of teachers who taught me from Year One on wards but I it was difficult to do so until I remembered Puan Maimunah and Encik Jajuli – two names which stood out.

Puan Maimunah was my Year One class teacher. Though she had a hoarse voice probably due to the long term stress on her voice box from teaching, she was the gentlest teacher ever and encouraged my interest in Bahasa Melayu.

My Year Two primary school teacher was Encik Jajuli. To me, he was a handsome and gentle teacher. I could still remember once when I finished my work and started to pretend to skip rope beside my desk, he said: “Alice, buat apa lompat sini lompat sana macam monyet?”

I just smiled and stopped hopping around. Whenever I reminisce, this is a sweet memory.

Once when I was cleaning the house, I found a copy of my autograph book which I had passed to my primary school teachers. I found both Puan Maimunah’s and Encik Jajuli’s messages though only the latter left his contact number. I tried calling the number but it was out of service.

Good teachers know that their students are like their “anak” and they work hard to make learning fun for all. Though I did not manage to get in touch with them, Puan Maimunah and Encik Jajuli will always be remembered because they have planted the seeds of love that cut across race and religion.

This is what I want to model towards my own students so that one day my “children” will remember having a passionate teacher whose love knows no boundaries.

Wishing health and joy to Puan Maimunah, Encik Jajuli and all dedicated teachers! Happy Teachers Day!

Alice Tong is a teacher at Tadika St Ronan, Kuala Lumpur.


Following in mum’s footsteps 

MY mother, Nur Yasmin Mohd Khalid, is a retired teacher. She taught for 33 years.

I truly admire her work ethics. I went to the same school where she was teaching.

She did not like to be late so she arrived early most days to start the day.

Despite being busy with her teaching dutes and other work, she organised her time well. She cooked, cleaned the house and raised all of us.

She taught my class once and I witnessed a different side of her. A professional and dedicated teacher who strove to give her students the best. She never complained about the workload. She loved her job and she was passionate about it.

My mother is my idol. I am an English teacher-to-be and I hope I can be as hardworking and as dedicated as she was. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to see my mother at work as it taught me about professionalism, discipline and dedication for an occupation.

I would like to be a responsible teacher just like my mother was, to make a change, to give students the motivation, to guide them and inspire them to be better.

My mother is the teacher I want to be. Happy Teachers Day to all teachers. Thank you for all your efforts. We really do appreciate it. A teacher plays a very important role in a student’s life. If anyone can make a change, it is a teacher.

Aisyah Puteh is a student majoring in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) at Universiti Malaya.


Like teacher, like student 

MY favourite teacher in school started teaching me this year. She is teaching me a new subject. Puan Julia Jamil is the Sport Science teacher for my class. Sports Science is an elective subject for my class.

She is my favourite teacher because the way she teaches helps me to understand the subject matter better. She is an athlete who previously represented Kedah in hockey. When she’s teaching, her voice is much louder then mine.

She is my idol because she’s so active in sports and academics. When she checks our homework and there is something wrong, she will explain why the answer is wrong.

I hope I will be like her in the future. I want to be a sportsperson as I have an interest in badminton. I am determined to study hard to make my parents proud of me. In conclusion, we should not give up before trying.

Nor Aini Suaidi, SMK Cheras Jaya, Selangor


Pillar of strength 

BE the first and be the best.

With this motto, she inspired and motivated all the teachers in SK Sri Langat in Banting. She has been in this school for the past five years. She has brought in tremendous changes to the school. The school has excelled not only in academic pursuits but also in co-curricular as well as co-academic activities.

A good leader does not just lead but guides throughout to achieve success. Puan Norzian Mohd Som is a dedicated and committed headmistress. She not only motivates her pupils towards excellence but she also motivates her teachers to work towards greater heights.

She is in school as early as 7am and leaves very late in the evening. She makes sure she is up to date with the latest developments in our education. This enables her to encourage her teachers to use the latest technology in the classroom.

Norzian inspires the teachers at SK Sri Langat

She takes great effort to get in experts in the field of education to provide in-house training for her teachers. This is leadership quality that I admire in Puan Norzian.

As a headmistress, she is aware of all the government policies and knows what is happening in the school. With her guidance and support, the school was able to participate in students’ exchange programmes in Bandung over the last two years. Our pupils have also taken part in an international quiz and managed to get gold medals. The school became champions in the District Level Choral Speaking and Public Speaking competitions this year.

I am sure dealing with humans especially teachers and parents can be an uphill task for a leader. But our headmistress is able to manage the pupils and teachers, and handle the parents gently to avoid any misunderstandings in the school.

I admire her straightforwardness, courage and boldness in managing and running the school. She is an example of an empowered woman. Happy Teachers Day to Puan Norzian and all the teachers at SK Sri Langat.

Anuradha Chelliah is a teacher at SK Sri Langat, Banting.


Made him who he is 

MY former primary school teachers inspired and moulded me to become who I am today.

They were the teachers who taught me when I was in Year Six B in 1973 at SK Seri Indera in Jalan Sekolah Derma in Kangar, Perlis.

I have a picture which shows (from left) Cikgu Sabri (Bahasa Melayu teacher), Cikgu Asiah (Islamic Studies), Mrs Beh (headmistress) and Cikgu Ch’ng Theam Hock (class teacher).

My gratitude to all my teachers.

Assistant Professor Dr Mohd Yaziz Mohd Isa is a lecturer at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Kuala Lumpur.


Her favourite teacher 

Lakshmita Vigneswaran is a pupil at Methodist Girls School, Ipoh.



Dedicated to his students 

MY English language teacher is Dr Hyginus Lester Junior Lee. He helped me to become a more competent student in speaking and writing in my second language.

Previously, I had a difficult time using the language but gradually I found myself getting better. He also helped my classmates who were weak in their studies and believe it or not, those who consistently failed their tests managed to pass their English Paper in the 2017 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia.

For me, I would personally say that he is such an inspiration. He earned a PhD from the Faculty of Psychology and Education at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. He was also a scholarship recipient who pursued his studies in New Zealand.

Dr Hyginus is very innovative. He used the “I SPY 5 Stars” which helped my classmates and I prepare for our SPM examination.

He was recognised for his effort and this dedication won him numerous awards. To date, he has earned 51 international, national and state awards.

He and his team of teachers always ensure that every student is not left behind. His dream of obtaining a PhD has become a reality and now it has become my dream and inspiration too.

Mohd Shahezzad Salim is a former student at SMK Mutiara in Labuan.


Fairy godmother

HER sweet smile and kind face always reminds me of a fairy godmother; she is no other than Mrs Tan. She is a patient and kind teacher.

Her class is never boring. She always teaches us how to do mind mapping. This makes it easier for us to understand a topic. I love it when Mrs Tan carries out role playing activities with us. She will also bring her creative self-made costumes and props for us.

Mrs Tan loves to go green. She always encourages us to bring things that can be recycled. She teaches us how to sort the recycled material. Apart from that, she also teaches us how to prepare our own compost.

I have gained a lot of knowledge from her, not only in English but also about the environment.

In a nut shell, Mrs Tan is a fun, caring, creative, patient and most of all inspiring teacher.

Yang Wan Hui is a pupil at SJK (C) Keh Seng in Melaka.

Dharmini (right) says her mentor Kanakambal gave her the strength to achieve her dream.

She is the best

MRS Kanakambal Velusamy is the mentor in my life. She taught me at Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Ipoh. She is the best lecturer I have ever known. She never postponed any of her duties. Thanks to her, I have learned to be punctual.

Today I am a teacher. Yes, Mrs Kana inspired me to begin this new chapter in my life. I couldn’t have done it without her. A teacher is the backbone of a student’s achievements.

She shaped my mind and thus my future.

Mrs Kana, you gave me the strength I needed to take the next step towards my dream. You made me a better and more thoughtful person today. I’ll never forget you.

Dharmini Munusamy is a teacher at SK Pauh Jaya, Penang.


A true hero

IT has been 18 years since I left Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur.

One of my most memorable educators is named Datin Maimun Hussin. She was a strict teacher but would give good advice.

She was my History teacher. She always stressed that History is to be learnt and not to be memorised. As a very keen reader, she would encourage her students to read a lot.

She said reading was the most powerful tool in life, She said simply to “read, read, read” so that we could be more successful and knowledgeable.

I have taken her advice and found it impacted my life in a positive way.

Lim ran into his former teacher Datin Maimun Hussin at the airport and was the pilot who flew her home.

About 14 years later, I was lucky enough to bump into her at the airport. She was coming back from her holiday and I flew her home to Kuala Lumpur as I was the pilot on the flight.

I was happy and grateful that she remembered me. She had finally retired from teaching and was living a very comfortable and fruitful life.

I would like to thank her again for the impact she made in my life. I know that teaching can sometimes be thankless but today I want to thank you for giving me an education that is priceless. Thanks Datin Maimun for being a true hero of education.

Lim Chee Ho was a former student at Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur.


Mastering Tamil

MADAM S. Jaya Letchumy was my Year One class teacher at SJK (T) Masai, Johor. She taught me Mathematics and Tamil subjects.

I like her because she helped me to read and write well in my mother tongue. I studied in an international pre-school so I did not know how to read or write in Tamil. But now, I can thank to my favourite teacher.

She is a stern teacher and scolds her pupils if they do not follow instructions or if they are naughty.

But, she is definitely one of the best. She encourages her pupils to participate in all the competitions held by the school. She brought some pupils to participate in national level competitions too. She is so passionate in training her pupils. She jumps excitedly when her pupils win prizes.

I would like to wish her “Happy Teachers Day”. May she inspire more children to love, read, write and speak Tamil language confidently. Thank you, teacher Jaya.

Daarun Vel Velmurugan is a pupil at SJK (T) Masai, Johor.

Daarun says teacher Jaya helped him to pick up the Tamil language.


Students leave impact on lecturer

I VENTURED out from the corporate legal world a year ago somewhat proudly thinking that I can somehow make a difference to my community by teaching law and sharing my experience in practice with you, the future lawyers and judges of our nation.

It only took me a year in academia to realise that you, the students, can teach me something bigger than law, by teaching me about life.

A year full of lessons, the Thursday noon lectures and the Tuesday classes in a big lecture hall and the small seminar rooms – together, we learned lawyering skills by drafting pages and pages of legal documents. I often nagged at you for using templates for your assignments, instead of starting from scratch on your own. Sometimes, I tested you on your application of the law or I criticised you for missing the full stops and the commas. And once in a while, we simply exchanged a conversation about your day or mine.

A year full of lessons, it wasn’t the Thursday noon lectures nor the Tuesday classes, it wasn’t the lecture hall nor the seminar room, it wasn’t the lawyering skill nor the corporate legal know-how. You weren’t my students. I was yours. A year full of lessons, no allocated time, no designated space, you, the students, taught me life.

A student showed me how a caring act can do wonders, by a simple hug that she offered me, my anxiety due to having to deliver my first ever public speech at an international stage was gently erased. Once, I eavesdropped on a phone call a student was making, a phone call to the authorities to warn them of a danger she observed on the road. This concern about the safety of others reminded me that genuine kindness can shine through, even from this kind unsexy act.

A couple of other students opened my eyes on the exquisiteness of living an unpretentious life by staying true to their principles, even if it means consciously having to make unpopular choices. And a few groups of the students I taught also inspired me by displaying remarkable determination to succeed not only in their studies but in all aspects of their lives.

It is May now. That time of the year when the classrooms are empty and the hallways are quiet. When all of you have left this law school to step into a world where the stark realities of life will start kicking in. I hope we have prepared you well for that.

In celebration of Teachers Day, I want to bid you farewell by saying ‘Thank You’. Thank you for teaching me about life.

Nur Husna Zakaria is a legal drafting lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya.





High National Debt: Forget Labuan-Sabah Bridge

May 19, 2018

The leaders from the opposition (Barisan Nasional) here in Labuan might not be able to materialise their aspiration in building the bridge to link the island to the mainland of Sabah.

Present government under Pakatan Harapan (PH) led by the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has recently disclosed that the country is having  “horrid financial problem” as Bank Negara Malaysia has stated that the amount owed by the government to financial institutions is RM800 billion.

“But I also know there’s is a hidden figure that could be about RM1 trillion,” said Dr Mahathir.

He said solving issues pertaining the country’s debt would be his administration’s priority.

From his remarks on the national debt, it is unlikely that the bridge construction to link Labuan and the mainland of Sabah will turn into reality, as many other mega projects would be reviewed under the new PH government based on the current financial situation in this country.

One of the member in the Council of Elders, Prof Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram told that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project is not favouring the rakyat, as the cost for the project is over RM60 billion where the burden will be borne by the rakyat through Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The debt to fund the project must be paid within 20 years where the rakyat will suffer within the period.

The review on ECRL project will apply on the other mega projects approved by the previous government including Labuan-Sabah Bridge.

Even though, there is a claim that the project has been approved in the cabinet, but it is during the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration under Barisan Nasional which is now ousted from power.

So there is no guarantee that the project will be continued under the present government elected by the rakyat.

Dr Mahathir in his visit to Labuan back in 2010 when asked if the bridge project was good to spur the economy in the island, he replied that Labuan should remain as an island in terms of its attraction for the visitors to come to here.

There are some pros and cons if the bridge is constructed, but the bridge is one of the options for the locals here for their convenience to get medical treatment at Kota Kinabalu.

For the fact, the call to build the bridge is intensified primarily due to the lack of medical facilities and specialists here in Labuan Hospital.

The people voiced out the need to have the bridge due to the current situation in the hospital.

But, the question is the people still need to travel to Kota Kinabalu even after the bridge is constructed where the poor will suffer the most as they need to pay for their transportation and accommodation if they do not have relatives in the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Therefore, the core problems must be tackled first, that is the medical services at Labuan Hospital.

Other facilities including the efficiency of roro ferry services here must also be given attention.

Instead of focusing on building the bridge, many other far important things must be developed here in this island.

Apart from improving the service quality in Labuan Hospital, the development of the youngsters’ intellectual here must be also prioritised.

A public library with its own building should be constructed just like in Sabah where each district in the state has its own building and most of them are big enough for the youngsters to spend their time for studying and reading.

The library will benefit all walks of life.

A long list of basic development here in this island is waiting to be given attention, which are far more vital than the bridge alone.  

If you want to build the bridge as you want to be remembered by the future generation as the one who managed to build it. Just forget it as such intention would not benefit the people.

Moreover, such project will only cause troubles to the people in the island including in crime rate increase, as it will facilitate many bad things as well as the good ones.

Is the business and trade here will spur with the bridge construction in the long run?

The pros and cons of the bridge construction might not be elaborate further here as the natives of Labuan know what they truly want for their island in the future.


Three local fishing boats with 24 Viet crew held

Three local fishing boats with 24 Viet crew held
Published on: Saturday, May 19, 2018

Kudat: Three local fishing boats were detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on suspicion of contravening conditions of their fishing licence, about 22 nautical miles off Pulau Balambangan, last Wednesday.

Kudat Maritime Zone Chief Lt Commander Boon Chin Chau said the boats’ 24 Vietnamese crew, including skippers, aged between 26 and 60 were also detained in the operation at about 11.50am.

He said a check on the boats found that they were suspected to have committed offences under various sections such as for possessing suspicious licence and breaching the terms and conditions of the licence.

All three boats and the crew were escorted to the Kudat public jetty for further investigations under section 8(1), (2) and (b) of the Ports and Harbours Enactment 2002 as well as Section 15 (1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985.

Boon said the operation, which involved one officer and 15 enforcement personnel and assisted by Sistem Pengawasan Laut Sabah (Swasla Sabah), was part of the agency’s continuous effort to combat maritime violations.

MMEA Sabah and Labuan Region Director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som warned that stern action will be taken against any individual or group found involved in syndicates that forged boat and fishing licence and documents.

“MMEA takes a serious view of such cases that occur in the country’s waters,” he said.

Meanwhile, five cases of foreign fishing boats and 10 cases of local fishing boats, both with Vietnamese crew, were recorded from 2017 until May this year.

Under Section 25 of the Fisheries Act 1985, the offence carries a fine of up to one million ringgit for the boat owner or skipper and RM100,000 each for the crew or a jail term up to two years, or both, on conviction.

The community is urged to channel any information on violations at sea to the Kudat MMEA Operations Centre (088-611658). – Jegathisan Sivanesan


MATTA seeks GST clarification from Customs

Datuk Tan Kok Liang

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) welcomes the move of the government to have the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate reduced from 6% to 0% with effect from 1 June 2018.

MATTA President Datuk Tan Kok Liang says, “This indirectly grants a ‘discount’ to the price of local tour and travel, with hopes of boosting the domestic travel industry which is an important contributor to the Malaysian economy.”

“The ‘0% GST’ is bound to promote spending by both locals and tourists, especially on Malaysian shopping, food and beverage including tourist attractions, thus potentially increasing the price appeal of Malaysia as a travel destination and encourage more tourist spending,” he said.

Tan also said domestic air tickets between the Peninsular and Sabah and Sarawak will be more affordable with zero-rated GST and will augur well for domestic tourism.

“MATTA has objected from day one that air travel should be zero-rated as air travel is not a luxury but an essential service for travel between West and East Malaysia.

“This policy shift will also bring consistency in GST treatment between Designated Areas (Labuan, Langkawi and Tioman) and the rest of Malaysian travel locations.”

However, he said it is not entirely clear whether GST needs to be charged for tours sold before 1 June 2018 but with a travel date on or after 1 June 2018.

“For instance, if a tour package is sold today (prevailing GST is 6%), but the travel date is in June 2018 (‘0% GST’ era), what should be the GST rate for such tour? As tour and travel products are sold every day, clarity is needed as soon as possible.

“MATTA is seeking clarification from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department on this matter. We hope the department will decide quickly on the transitional issues when GST is zero-rated on 1 June 2018,” concluded Tan.


News nibbles

24 Vietnamese caught working illegally on local fishing boats 

KOTA KINABALU: Twenty-four Vietnamese have been detained for working illegally on three local fishing vessels in waters off Kudat.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Kudat chief Lt-Kmdr Boon Chin Chau said the fishing vessels, seen operating near the Balambangan Island at about 11.50am on Wednesday, have also been seized.

He said the vessels were searched and their licences were found to be fake, while the crew members were employed illegally.

The crew and vessels were taken to the Kudat MMEA base for further investigation.

MMEA Sabah and Labuan regional director Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som warned syndicates offering or making fake fishing licences to stop or face legal action.

He said there had been five cases involving Vietnamese fishing vessels and their crew members operating illegally in Sabah waters since early 2017 up to May this year.


Family killed while on way home to buka puasa 

KOTA KINABALU: It was supposed to be their first breaking of fast together on the first day of Ramadan for a family of six.

But tragedy struck when they were involved in an accident just after they finished grocery shopping and were on their way home to prepare their meal.

The five of them, including a toddler, were killed following a collision with an express bus near Kampung Belisok along the Ranau road at 2pm on Thursday.

Another family member, Harmawati Azis, 30, is fighting for her life in the hospital.

The dead were driver Mohd Aziratul Khizam Azis, 23; his mother Rubiah Anggau, 59; his sister Azlina Azis, 35; and his father Azis Pindungan, 60.

Azlina’s daugther Nur Aathera Darquez Richard, two, died while receiving treatment at the Ranau hospital.

Initial police investigations showed that they were on their way home from Ranau to Telupid.

The driver lost control and drove into the opposite lane and collided with an oncoming express bus, said Ranau police chief Deputy Supt Farhan Lee Abdullah.

The car skidded and overturned, he said.


Probe alleged misappropriation of funds, says Jia Zong

PUTRAJAYA: Jia Zong, the association of network of parents advocating Chinese language education, wants the Government to investigate the possibility of embezzlement of funds in national type Chinese schools (SJKCs).

Jia Zong adviser Edward Neoh Chuan Tat alleged misappro­priation of funds in about 1,000 SJKCs and said more than 100 reports had been made to the Education Ministry since 2009.

However, he said, the only answer Jia Zong received was “action will be taken” but there had been no developments.

He said Jia Zong hoped that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would look into the matter and help parents who allegedly have had to make payments such as monthly fees of RM100 to RM200 to meet various students’ needs, fees for tuition classes in the students’ daily schedule and GST collection for computer classes.

“Please help the parents. Solve this once and for all,” he told reporters outside the Perdana Leadership Foundation office here yesterday after he and a group of parents handed over documents on the alleged embezzlement of funds in SJKCs to a representative of the Prime Minister’s Office, Shaarani Abdul Rahman. — Bernama


Businessman gets 14 years’ jail and rotan for raping maid

KUALA LUMPUR: A businessman was sentenced to 14 years’ jail and ordered to receive five strokes of the rotan for raping his Indonesian maid.

Sessions Court judge Datin M.Kunasundary handed down the sentence to Sufian Sulaiman, 44, after the defence failed to prove reasonable doubt.

The father of six was charged with raping his maid, who was 19 at that time, at a house in Taman Bukit Cheras here between 3am and 4am at the end of July 2016.

The charge carries a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping on conviction.

The judge later granted a stay pending an appeal at the High Court, but increased the bail to RM25,000 in one surety from RM12,000.

Sufian was also ordered to report at the nearest police station twice a month and surrender his passport to court. 



MATTA sambut baik GST sifar peratus

KUALA LUMPUR: Persatuan Ejen-ejen Pelancongan dan Pengembaraan Malaysia (MATTA) menyambut baik langkah kerajaan mengurangkan kadar Cukai Barang dan Perkhidmatan (GST) kepada sifar peratus berkuat kuasa 1 Jun ini.

Presiden, Datuk Tan Kok Liang, berkata keputusan kerajaan itu akan memacu industri pengembaraan domestik yang juga penyumbang penting kepada ekonomi Malaysia.

“Langkah itu akan menggalakkan perbelanjaan dalam kalangan pengguna tempatan dan pelancong, sekali gus berpotensi ​​​​menjadikan Malaysia lebih menarik sebagai destinasi pengembaraan, beli-belah, makanan ​​​​​​ dan minuman,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan, hari ini.

Kok Liang berkata penerbangan antara Semenanjung dan Sabah serta Sarawak akan menjadi lebih rendah dengan GST sifar peratus justeru, menjadi petanda baik bagi pelancongan domestik.

Beliau berkata perubahan dasar itu juga akan mendorong konsistensi dari segi layanan GST antara​​​​​​​ kawasan khas (Labuan, Langkawi serta Tioman) dan destinasi pengembaraan domestik lain.

“Bagaimanapun, tidak jelas sepenuhnya sama ada GST perlu dikenakan kepada produk pelancongan yang dijual​​​​​​​ sebelum 1 Jun untuk pengembaraan pada tarikh itu atau selepasnya,” katanya, sambil menambah, persatuan itu akan mendapatkan penjelasan daripada Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia berhubung perkara berkenaan.

MATTA adalah organisasi bukan kerajaan terbesar di Malaysia, dengan 3,300 anggota terdiri​​​​​​​ ejen pelancongan dan pengembaraan tempatan serta gabungan luar negara. – BERNAMA


‘Scrap Labuan’s duty-free curbs imposed by BN’

‘Scrap Labuan’s duty-free curbs imposed by BN’
Published on: Thursday, May 17, 2018

Labuan: The Labuan Chinese Chamber of Commerce (LCCC) wants the new government formed by Pakatan Harapan to abolish the curbs placed on the island’s duty free status since November 2016.

Its Chairman Datuk Wong Kii Yii said: “The restrictions on the import, sales and distribution of beer, liquor and cigarettes to disallow buying above the allowed quota was of no help in attracting more visitors to the island nor it managed to end smuggling. The meddling of the island’s free-port status served no purpose but added local business gloom.”

Under the restructuring during Budget 2016, the retail sales of hot items at duty-free outlets was limited to three crates of beer (24 cans) five litres of liquor/wine and three realms (10 packets) were allowed to be purchased by a customer per month.

The purchases were recorded on a data-base and the designated duty-free shops were monitored by Customs officials. There are 21 such shops and 30 over Customs officials had to be engaged to implement the new measures at the point of sales. Many found this as “penny wise pound foolish” as it meant paying out more wages.

Initially it started out with active monitoring of the shops but now it has cooled down with most shops using their own staff to record the sales for the Customs Department “yet this is a nuisance and a hassle to customers,” explained Wong.

When the measures were proposes, the chamber together with others, including the local Member of Parliament Datuk Rozman Isli, made vociferous complaints and object, including meeting with senior officials and the Finance Minister II, Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani. But the department remained adamant, saying the ruling was necessary to curb smuggling. It was reported that revenue amounted to RM5 billion from duty-free islands.

Wong’s argument was that there was a need to beef up enforcement agencies and not punish traders with the new rules. He had said Labuan was merely a 70 sq km island and should not be difficult to monitor if there were serious efforts.

The Chamber hoped new Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will open the files and restore the island’s status.

“Labuan deserves the full benefits from the status,” said Wong.

He also said Labuan had been a duty-fees island since 1884 and the status was a historical and legacy of British rule and should not be disturbed without strong justifications. – Sohan Das


Labuan MP tempted to switch parties but won’t ‘divorce’ Umno – yet

KOTA KINABALU: Amid pressure from locals to join Pakatan Harapan, Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli is keeping faith with Umno – for now.

However, the two-term MP is not writing of other options, including joining Pakatan.

Rozman said he is “considering” all factors as he did not want to risk big projects in the Federal Territory of Labuan being aborted by the new government in Putrajaya.

“The majority of people from all walks of life – the locals, my voters, NGOs and government agencies – are asking me to cross over for the sake of Labuan.

“I’m not going to rush into that. I can still serve the nation by being an opposition MP.

“But of course, I’m considering all factors and not rejecting the suggestions (to cross over) as at the end of the day, I want what is best for Labuan and for the people,” said Rozman when contacted.

Rozman said he wanted to see through the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030, which is slated to bring a raft of projects to the duty-free island in order to spur its development.

“The people of Labuan are excited about it and they want me to monitor the implementation, that’s why they suggested that I cross over,” said Rozman.

He added that however it was not easy to leave Barisan Nasional as he had been with Umno for a long time and still had unfinished matters within the Labuan Umno division which he heads.

“I don’t want to be an irresponsible leader, I’ve been with Umno for so long and I can’t just divorce it like that,” said Rozman.

He also said that were also suggestions for him to join Parti Warisan Sabah under Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and he is considering it.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday (May 16), it was reported that former Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abd Rahman had moved camps to Warisan to help the Sabah-based party cement its presence in Labuan.

In GE14, Rozman won by a 1,450 majority against Warisan’s Noor Halim Zaini, who polled 8,714 votes against Rozman’s 10,164.

The four-cornered fight also saw PAS candidate Ustaz Junid getting 1,555 votes and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah’s Siti Zaleha SW Ibrahim settling for 925 votes.

In the last 2013 general election, Rozman won the seat with a 6,625-vote majority by beating Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin of PKR (6,069) and Hadnan Mohamad of PAS (386).


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