Sunday, 20-May-2018

Population has grown to 32.4 million, census shows

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian population has grown by 1.3% to 32.4 million, with Selangor being the most populated state, says the Department of Statistics Malaysia.

The growth was recorded in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year when there were 32 million Malaysians.

Of the 32.4 million people now, 16.7 million are male while the remaining 15.7 million are female.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said Selangor recorded the highest population at more than 6.4 million.

“Putrajaya has the lowest population at 88,700,” he said in a statement, commenting on the report on Demographic Statistics for the first quarter of 2018, which was released yesterday.

Dr Mohd Uzir said there were 117,000 live births in the first quarter, making it an average of 39,000 births a month.

“A total of 60,600 baby boys and 56,400 girls were born,” he added.

Selangor also recorded the highest number of live births at 23,500, while Labuan recorded the lowest with 411 births.

Meanwhile, 43,100 deaths were reported from January to March – an increase from the 41,200 deaths recorded last year.

“There was an average of 14,400 deaths per month,” Dr Mohd Uzir said.


Anwar to be freed today

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be released from detention at about 1pm today following a royal pardon.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who announced this, said the PKR leader would have to contest a parliamentary seat after being pardoned and could then possibly be appointed to the Cabinet.

Speaking at a Wall Street Journal event in Tokyo yesterday via video-conferencing, he said Anwar’s appointment to the Cabinet has not been decided.

Dr Mahathir said he would continue to serve as Prime Minister for “maybe one or two years” before stepping down to make way for Anwar.

He added that he would continue to play a role “in the background” after stepping down.

“In the initial stages, maybe lasting one or two years, I will have to be the Prime Minister and I will have to run the country.

“The reason why the public supported us is because they have faith in the leadership of (what was then) the Opposition to resolve some of the problems,” Dr Mahathir said.

Asked on the role that Anwar will have before he becomes Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir said: “We are a coalition of four parties and all four will have equal strength and equal influence in the coalition.

“He is leader of one of the coalition parties so I expect him to play the same role as the leaders of the other three parties.”

Anwar was sentenced to five years’ jail by the Court of Appeal in 2014 after he was found guilty of sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar had earlier been acquitted of the offence by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in 2012.

In 2015, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

Under Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites for offences committed in Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

The Pardons Board is meeting today to discuss Anwar’s release.

While the meeting was originally thought to be yesterday, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said it has now been changed to today.

Bernama reported that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V hoped that all procedures relating to the proceedings of the Pardons Board Committee for a royal pardon for Anwar would be finalised today.

It quoted Istana Negara Datuk Pengkalan Bijaya Diraja Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz as saying in a statement on Tuesday night that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was pleased and satisfied with all procedures related to the proceedings of the Pardons Board Committee on the matter.

Anwar had earlier been scheduled for early release from imprisonment next month and is currently recovering from surgery at the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital.

Related stories:

Anwar in no rush to become PM, says Wan Azizah

Lawyer: Composition of Pardons Board can change


Lawyer: Composition of Pardons Board can change

PUTRAJAYA: A Pardons Board can consist of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Minister responsible for Federal Territories, three other members appointed by the King as well as the Attorney-General, says Constitutional lawyer New Sin Yew.

“The Minister responsible for Federal Territories is yet to be appointed but the Prime Minister can assume the role for the time being.

“And since the Attorney-General is on leave, the Solicitor-General will step in and exercise his (or her) functions and duties,” he said when commenting on the composition of a Pardons Board which will meet to discuss the decision on the pardon for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The Solicitor-General would have to render a written opinion of whether to pardon Anwar, which the Pardons Board has to consider,” said New.

He added that the Board will discuss and make a recommendation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and the King may then exercise his prerogative on whether to pardon Anwar.

Another constitutional expert Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz said the powers extended in a royal pardon are clearly outlined in the Federal Constitution and the state constitution of each state along with the powers of the royal institutions.

“In our country, the royal pardon has been outlined in Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution that provided such powers to the King.

“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites in respect of all offences which have been tried by court martial and all offences committed in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya.

“The Ruler of a state has the power to grant pardons, reprieves, and respites of all other offences committed in his state,” she said.

Dr Shamrahayu said the word “pardon” under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution does not only refer to the removal of all legal punishment, but also to postpone punishment, remove disqualifications, and provide a lighter punishment.

Although originally the powers to grant a royal pardon was based on the King’s discretionary powers, she said Article 42 (4) (a) provides that it must be in line with the advice of the Parole Board.

Anwar’s lawyer R. Sivarasa said he is confident that the former deputy prime minister will be released once the Pardons Board meets today.

“It is going to happen tomorrow (today),” he said.


MASwings catat peningkatan 15 peratus pelancong antarabangsa


KOTA KINABALU: MASwings catat peningkatan kira-kira 15 peratus pelancong asing menggunakan syarikat penerbangan serantau itu di Sabah, Sarawak dan Labuan.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya, Aminuddin Zakaria, berkata apabila MASwings mula beroperasi pada 2007, hanya kurang dari lima peratus pelancong antarabangsa menggunakan perkhidmatannya.

“Sekarang, jumlah itu meningkat kepada kira-kira 15 peratus daripada jumlah penumpang.

“Antara destinasi popular yang menjadi destinasi tumpuan pelancong asing ini, termasuk Kota Kinabalu dan Mulu, selain Tarakan di Indonesia,” katanya sambil menambah syarikat penerbangan itu mempunyai kira-kira 1.2 juta penumpang setiap tahun.

Aminuddin berkata demikian selepas program ‘MASwings Joyride’ bersama media dan rangkaian pelancongan untuk mengalami pengalaman perkhidmatan kabin yang diperbaharui di pesawat ATR 72-500 di sini, hari ini.

Beliau berkata, syarikat penerbangan serantau itu komited untuk mempromosikan sektor pelancongan di Sabah dan Sarawak, terutamanya untuk pelancong dalam kalangan golongan muda.

Sehubungan itu, katanya, syarikat penerbangan itu melabur kira-kira RM200,000 untuk perkhidmatan dalam pesawat untuk 10 pesawat MASwings ATR miliknya.

Antara peningkatan itu termasuk kualiti yang lebih baik dari kusyen tempat duduk, permaidani anti kotoran di lorong, mengubah makanan dalam penerbangan dan penampilan kru kabin.

Syarikat penerbangan itu kini terbang ke 23 destinasi di rantau ini.


MPs: Need for FT Ministry hinges on in-depth review

TO ABOLISH or not to abolish – that is the question the 11 newly minted MPs of Kuala Lumpur are pondering over the fate of the Federal Territories Ministry.

Even as they are debating the relevance of the ministry that governs the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, the MPs acknowledge that crucial matters need to be investigated and resolved before any decision is made.

The MPs unanimously agree that complex land matters and contracts must be reviewed.

“For instance, we need to look into Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan (YWP), which is the ministry’s welfare arm,” said Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng.

“There are many land matters and contracts such as parking contracts and billboard deals under Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) that need to be studied.

“These contracts will also need to be examined by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Attorney-General (AG),” he added.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil concurred with Lim, adding that there were still many things that required answers.

Parking deals under DBKL are among contracts that need to be studied by MPs and further examined by the MACC. — filepic

“The selection process and sale of affordable housing units like Rumawip are among numerous things that we feel need to be discussed,” said Fahmi.

“We are working towards greater participation and transparency in DBKL, to increase efficiency and reduce redundancies.

“As far as PKR MPs are concerned, we feel there is a need for the Federal Territories Ministry,” he said.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said that while there had been no meeting to discuss details of the matter (to abolish the ministry), she was of the opinion that it was a ministry that the city could do without.

“This is my personal opinion and I feel that there is way too much overlapping of functions between the Federal Territories Ministry and DBKL,” she said.

The five-term MP said she had witnessed many incidences of overlapping of functions since the ministry was re-established in 2004.

“The ministry drives DBKL, and the previous Federal Territories minister had influenced the running of DBKL too often when he was supposed to be neutral,” she noted.

She also highlighted that since the ministry was established and even though the mayor of Kuala Lumpur was in charge of the city, the final say in matters relating to policies concerning Kuala Lumpur was always with the Federal Territories Minister.

The Federal Territories Ministry was first established in 1979 to serve as a planning and development coordinator for Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley.

The establishment of the ministry was in line with the Klang Valley Regional Planning Council and the Klang Valley Regional Planning Working Committee.

In 1981, the status of the ministry was downgraded to a division under the administration of the Prime Minister’s Department, operating as the Klang Valley Planning Unit.

On March 27, 2004, following a Cabinet reshuffle by the then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Federal Territory and Klang Valley Planning and Development Division was upgraded to a full-fledged ministry once more.

Its responsibility expanded to include jurisdiction over the territories of Labuan and Putrajaya.

On Oct 23, 2009, during the 2010 Budget presentation, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that the functions and responsibilities of the Federal Territories Ministry would be strengthened and expanded to include eradication of urban poverty in the country through the creation of a city welfare programme.

In this regard, Federal Territories Ministry became officially known as Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry on Nov 13, 2009.

After the 2013 elections, the urban well-being function of the ministry was transferred to the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

As such the Federal Territories Ministry’s name reverted to its original.

With a five-year plan to uphold pledges made to the rakyat, some of the MPs have already hit the streets and reassuring the people on a number of promises made including the pledge to reinstate local government elections and opening the door for an elected mayor.

The promise to reinstate local government elections and free DBKL from political interference has always been one of Pakatan Harapan’s core manifesto points in the general election.


Shorter IRB service counter hours during Ramadan

KUALA LUMPUR: The operational hours of all Inland Revenue Board (IRB) service counters will be shortened by 30 minutes throughout Ramadan.

The IRB in a statement yesterday said the change of operational hours, however, would not involve the IRB counters at the Urban Transformation Centres as these come under the purview of the Finance Ministry.

For all IRB branches except for Sabah and Labuan, the operational hours are from 8am to 4.30pm (Monday to Friday). For Sabah and Labuan, the operational hours are from 7.30am to 4pm (Monday to Friday).

In Johor, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan, the operating hours are from 8am to 4.30pm (Sunday to Wednesday) and from 8am to 3pm (Thursday).

Besides the counter services, any IRB taxation matters can be dealt with via — Bernama


IWK sasar kutip 95 peratus bil pembetungan tahun ini

KUALA LUMPUR: Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) menyasarkan untuk menambah baik kutipan pembayaran bil pembetungan kepada 95 peratus tahun ini berbanding 88.7 peratus sehingga 31 Disember 2017.

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif IWK, Faizal Othman, berkata dalam usaha mencapai sasaran berkenaan, syarikat akan melaksanakan beberapa inisiatif yang tidak digerakkan sejak 2016, termasuk sistem bil bersama, untuk menambah baik kutipan bil pembetungan di seluruh negara.

“Antara perkara yang kerajaan ingin kami meneliti semula adalah menggabungkan bil air dan pembetungan atau bil bersama, kerana tidak ada guna untuk mengkaji semula tarif apabila kutipan bil tidak berubah.

“Sejak kami melaksanakan bil bersama di Labuan pada 2016, kutipan bil pembetungan kami bertambah baik kepada 88.7 peratus dari 60 peratus sebelum ini,” katanya kepada Bisnes NSTP pada Trenchless Asia 2018 di Kuala Lumpur, baru-baru ini.

Laporan sebelum ini menunjukkan IWK berjaya mengutip 88.7 peratus daripada RM8 bilion bil pembetungan yang terkumpul sejak 1997.

IWK mempunyai 3.6 juta pelanggan di 87 kawasan, kecuali Johor Bharu dan pasir Gudang di Johor, serta Kelantan, Sabah, dan Sarawak.

Selain itu, katanya, syarikat sedang berusaha ke arah inisiatif e-bil dan aplikasinya tersendiri yang mana ia akan memudahkan pelanggan dalam melaksanakan pembayaran bil mereka.

“Kami sedang merancang beberapa strategi untuk mengutip tunggakan bil dan memastikan kutipan bil terkini semakin bertambah baik. Dengan adanya bil bersama dan usaha lain yang dilaksanakan, saya percaya kami boleh capai kutipan 95 peratus,” katanya.

Inisiatif e-bil dan aplikasi IWK adalah antara sasaran syarikat yang digariskan pada Pelan Transformasi IWK 2020 (ITP2020), yang dilaksanakan tahun lalu.

Faizal berkata, ITP2020 selama empat tahun itu akan memberi tumpuan terhadap empat perkara, iaitu pembangunan modal insan, inovasi, automasi dan teknologi, pengantarabangsaan dan menjadi syarikat air sisa terunggul dunia.

Mengulas lanjut, katanya, IWK sudah merangka pelan strategik yang akan menghasilkan budaya berprestasi tinggi dengan mempromosikan kreativiti dan inovasi melalui Program Peningkatan Berterusan (CIP).

Sejak program CIP dimulakan pada 2009 dan diteruskan sehingga kini, sebanyak 226 projek sudah diterima, yang mana 25 projek terpilih untuk dilaksanakan di pejabat dan loji IWK seluruh negara.

“Projek yang dijalankan bukan saja memberikan impak positif kepada IWK malah turut mewujudkan penjimatan kos mencecah kira-kira RM1.8 hingga RM2 juta.

“Kita juga berharap dengan segala usaha seperti penggunaan teknologi hijau dalam inovasi dan teknologi sebagai tema kedua TI2020 akan melancarkan misi IWK untuk menjadi syarikat air sisa terunggul di rantau ini,” katanya.


Pengampunan Anwar kuasa Agong

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong berkuasa memberi pengampunan dan menunda hukuman berhubung kesalahan yang dibicarakan mahkamah tentera serta kesalahan dalam Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Labuan dan Putrajaya.

Bagi kes membabitkan Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang dibicarakan di Kuala Lumpur, Lembaga Pengampunan yang dipengerusikan oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan dianggotai Peguam Negara, Menteri yang menjaga hal-ehwal Wilayah Persekutuan dan ahli dilantik Yang di-Pertuan Agong tidak melebihi tiga orang, perlu mengadakan mesyuarat selepas menerima rayuan atau petisyen pengampunan.

Setiausaha Kluster Politik, Keselamatan dan Antarabangsa, Majlis Profesor Negara (MPN), Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Halim Sidek, berkata mesyuarat berkenaan bertujuan mendengar pendapat ahli lembaga.

“Pesalah atau wakilnya boleh membuat petisyen atau rayuan kepada Lembaga Pengampunan menerusi Mahkamah Tinggi dan satu mesyuarat akan diadakan ahli lembaga berkenaan.

“Yang di-Pertuan Agong akan mendengar nasihat daripada anggota Lembaga Pengampunan yang lain, sama ada bersetuju memberi pengampunan atau sebaliknya,” katanya ketika dihubungi, hari ini.

Beliau berkata, sebaik diberi, Anwar mendapat pengampunan penuh dan akan dibebaskan segera.

Ditanya jika ada tempoh atau prosedur tertentu sebelum Anwar mendapat pengampunan, Abdul Halim berkata, keputusan Lembaga Pengampunan adalah kuasa tertinggi.

“Anwar boleh dibebaskan serta-merta. Hanya beberapa proses dari segi pentadbiran di pihak penjara perlu diselesaikan peguamnya.

“Pengampunan ini bermakna Anwar bersih daripada mana-mana jenayah, sekali gus membenarkannya bertanding dalam pilihan raya,” katanya.

Jika Anwar dibebaskan selepas menjalani tempoh hukuman, Abdul Halim berkata, Ketua Umum Pakatan Harapan (PH) itu tidak layak bertanding dan perlu menjalani proses tempoh bertenang seperti bekas banduan lain.

Pada 2015, Mahkamah Persekutuan menolak rayuan bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri itu terhadap sabitan kesalahan meliwat bekas pembantunya dan dijatuhi hukuman penjara lima tahun oleh Mahkamah Tinggi.

Kelmarin, Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, berkata Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, menyatakan kesediaan untuk memberi pengampunan segera kepada Anwar.


Ahli Parlimen harap pembinaan jambatan Labuan – Menumbok diteruskan

LABUAN: Ahli Parlimen Labuan dari Barisan Nasional (BN), Datuk Rozman Isli berharap cadangan pembinaan jambatan menghubungkan Labuan dan Menumbok di tanah besar Sabah akan diteruskan oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan baharu di bawah Pakatan Harapan (PH).

Beliau berkata, cadangan pembinaan jambatan yang sekian lama dinanti-nantikan penduduk pulau bebas cukai itu kini bukan lagi di peringkat kajian kemungkinan, sebaliknya memasuki fasa kajian pelaksanaan.

“Saya berharap perancangan baik akan terus dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan PH seperti jambatan Labuan – Menumbok yang sudah dalam kajian perlaksanaan pada ketika ini, bukan lagi kajian kemungkinan.

“Pada masa sama, saya yakin kerajaan PH akan meneruskannya memandangkan ia (jambatan) juga diperjuangkan oleh mereka (PKR dan Parti Warisan Sabah Labuan) selama ini,” katanya ketika dihubungi NSTP, di sini, hari ini.

Sambil mengucapkan tahniah kepada kerajaan PH yang mendapat mandat rakyat pada Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU-14), Rozman juga berharap kerajaan akan memberikan perhatian secukupnya kepada Labuan serta penduduknya.

“Ini kerana Labuan mempunyai potensi yang tinggi untuk berjaya dan menjadi penyumbang besar kepada pembangunan serantau dan ekonomi negara,” katanya.

Mengulas lanjut, beliau berkata, kerajaan terdahulu sebelum ini banyak membuat pelaburan terhadap pembangunan infrastruktur di Labuan, namun sebahagiannya seperti dilaksanakan separuh jalan.

“Sekarang kita mahu ia dilengkapkan supaya boleh dilaksanakan dan memberi impak (kepada rakyat),” katanya.

Oktober tahun lalu, bekas Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak Ketika pembentangan Bajet 2018 mengumumkan kerajaan akan melaksanakan kajian kebolehlaksanaan bagi membina jambatan menghubungkan Labuan dan tanah besar Sabah.


May 17 and 18 declared additional public holidays in Sarawak

KUCHING: The Sarawak state government has announced that May 17 and May 18 will be declared as additional public holidays, said a statement released by the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office here.

The statement said the additional public holidays were declared under Section 5 of the Public Holi­days Ordinance.

As such, the public was advised that yesterday and today are normal working days in Sarawak.

Malaysia’s Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa announced early yesterday that May 10 and May 11 were declared additional public holidays for the whole country in conjunction with the 14th General Election.

For Sabah and Sarawak, the state governments must declare additional public holidays on those dates according to their respective Public Holidays Ordinance, he said.

Dr Ali said for states observing Friday and Saturday as the weekend holidays, Sunday (May 13) would be the additional public holiday.

“The declaration of the public holiday is made based on Section 8 of the Public Holidays Act 1951 for Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan,” he said in a statement. — Bernama


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