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Malaysia Ready To Return As Regional and International Investment Hub – PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysia is now ready to be back on track as an investment hub for both regional and international investors, driven by creative and innovative methods in encouraging investments implemented by the government.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this is also made possible through continuous cooperation with every members of Keluarga Malaysia, with safe bubbles for all businesses with new norms are being safely applied to date.

“The Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) has outlined nine Focus Areas in revitalising Malaysia’s investment. Among others are in rejuvenating economic growth, strengthening economic enablers, improving social security, eradicating hardcore poverty and narrowing income gaps throughout the nation.

“The uniqueness of multiracial Malaysian, with diverse social strata has long provide opportunities for investors. Different race, for instance, would need different set of necessity. In another comprehension, more products and services are potentially marketable in this country,” he said in his pre-recorded keynote address at the Invest Malaysia 2021 Virtual Series 1 Thursday.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia provides the most conducive environment for the business communities to invest, among others, being the gateway to ASEAN market through Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“The 15 countries within the RCEP alone, are generating almost 30 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). It has been estimated that their overall aggregate of GDP income would increase by US$174 billion by 2030. This will give our corporations and micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) a more level playing field while facilitating access to larger regional markets.

“This climate of growth is further strengthened by Malaysia’s consistent improvement in the field of digital infrastructure. In the past years, Malaysia had witnessed rapid growth in the digital economy, online businesses and cashless transactions,” he said.

As for the international stage, he said Malaysia remains an active key player in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the international economic collaboration provides more than 500 million participations with combined GDP of US$10 trillion.

Meanwhile, he said an essential component of the country’s future lies in the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL) and National Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

He said both of these are aligned with the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTIN) 2021-2030 which aims to develop Malaysia as a high-tech nation by 2030.

“With the 4IR, we aim to create an ecosystem within our economy that will be led by science, technology and innovation. It will facilitate local technology development, by creating economic opportunities and developing talents in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, and Blockchain Technologies.

“Moreover, with MyDIGITAL, areas of policy-making will be focusing on developing the infrastructure and human capital. This will ensure broad access and optimum utilisation of new generation of technologies,” he said.

In reaching such targets, the Prime Minister said government has identified significant key strategies in economic reform, which were designed to escalate economic recovery and enhance the country’s competitive landscape for investors, allowing wider participations from both regional and international investors.

“Malaysia has given special attention for green technologies in the 4IR. Our future is connected to the environment’s health. As more countries adopt carbon neutrality targets, Malaysia has begun encouraging numerous sectors and industries in developing necessary technology.

“In the light of this, Bursa Malaysia (Malaysia’s Stock Exchange) and various government ministries are now consistently collaborating to launch a voluntary carbon market, in transiting into a zero-carbon economy,” he said.

To date, Ismail Sabri said the public and the private sectors are working together on shared vision and strategies in ensuring inclusive environmental-friendly economic growth.

“Nevertheless, we aim of becoming a carbon-neutral country as early as 2050,” he added.


Dewan Rakyat passes one bill, two motions tabled by MOF

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — The Dewan Rakyat today passed the Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020, a motion to appoint Member of the Select Committee and two motions tabled by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) involving government funding.

The motions passed unanimously were the appointment of Bagan Member of Parliament (MP) Lim Guan Eng as a Member of the Select Committee for the 14th Parliament, transfer of Malaysian Government Investment Issues (MGII) to the Development Fund and the transfer of MGII to COVID-19 Fund under the Government Funding Act 1983 (Act 275).

The Windfall Profit Levy (Amendment) Bill 2020 was tabled by Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah while the two motions on government funding were tabled by Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa.

Mohd Shahar when tabling the bill said it was to amend existing provisions under the Windfall Profit Levy Act 1998 (Act 592) and include new provisions.

“It seeks to improve the administration of the windfall profit levy through the provision of remission and refund of levies and penalties that can benefit those who pay the levy,” he said.

Ten MPs debated the bill which had four clauses.

Meanwhile, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun before adjourning the session, said various measures were taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak during the sitting, including holding regular RTK-AG saliva test screenings and improving air quality in Parliament.

He said there was no COVID-19 infections or clusters in Parliament, adding that nine cases that were reported were linked to the community.

Azhar also expressed his gratitude to the MPs, the Ministry of Health, government officials, Parliament staff, Dewan Rakyat management and media representatives.

“I would also like to thank Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said who agreed to temporarily chair the meeting several times throughout the sitting. I really appreciate her willingness,” he said.

Azhar had invited Azalina to chair the sitting temporarily in accordance with Standing Order 7(3).

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Over 2,700 fishermen set to benefit from ice factory to be built in Beluran by LKIM

BELURAN, 10 Okt — The Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) will build an ice factory in Beluran that is set to benefit 2,783 fishermen in the district, said Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee.

He said the ice factory, to be built on a 0.5-hectare site in Kampung Keramat, near here, will provide storage and marketing facilities to the fishermen.

“The LKIM has allocated RM300,000 for the construction of the ice factory for the benefit of most of the coastal fishermen in Beluran.

“The LKIM is dealing with the Beluran District Office and the District Land and Survey Office to purchase the site,” he told reporters after surveying the houses and meeting the residents of the Fishermen’s Special Housing Project (PKPN) at Kampung Kolapis, near here, today.

Ronald, who is the Beluran Member of Parliament said the PKPN participants’ houses were part of the 200 residences being repaired by LKIM.

According to him, the ministry, through the LKIM, had allocated RM6.43 million this year to repair and construct new houses for fishermen nationwide under the PKPN.

At the event, he also handed over food baskets to 100 members of the Beluran Fishermen Association who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Interstate Travel : Malaysians thrilled, hotel operators anticipate surge in bookings

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — The announcement on the lifting of the interstate travel restrictions from tomorrow was the happiest news for the Malaysian Family after the long wait to meet their loved ones in their hometowns and go for a family holiday.

Overall, Malaysians reacted positively to the good news announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today.

A private secondary school teacher in Kuala Lumpur, Mohammad Fakkrudin, 24, said he was thankful now that he has the opportunity to be together again with his family members in the village after being apart for such a long time.

“I just can’t wait to go home in Kedah as I have been missing and longing to meet my parents. The time has finally come because we have achieved the vaccination target but we must not let our guard down now that the restrictions have eased. The standard operating procedures (SOP) should remain a priority,” he told Bernama today.

In SELANGOR, private sector employee NurHabibah Abdul Halim, 26, who lives in Setia Alam, Shah Alam said, she was relieved and excited as she had not visited her hometown for almost 10 months, adding that all her family members had been fully vaccinated since August.

“I am thrilled and nervous at the same time. I miss my parents and siblings dearly because we could only stay in touch through video calls. Anyway I shouldn’t be afraid as all of us have been vaccinated, she said.

Another private sector worker, Norazwani Abdul Razak, 26, said she had been waiting for the long-awaited news as the last time she was back at her hometown in Machang, Kelantan was last April.

“My parents are definitely the first people I want to be with. For the first time this year I had to celebrate Hari Raya away from them, she said.

Meanwhile, Selangor Health director Datuk Dr Sha’ari Ngadiman advised the public to remain disciplined by adhering to the SOPs to curb the spread of COVID-19 infection.

State Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) assistant director (Operations) Hafisham Mohd Noor also advised those who wish to return to their hometowns to ensure that their homes were secured and safe before their departure.

In MELAKA, housewife Siti Hajar Mohtar, 28, who lives in Durian Tunggal, Alor Gajah, said she was glad to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement today, as she had been waiting for the chance to return to her village in Jeli, Kelantan.

“I have not been home in my village for more than a year after my husband was transferred here in September last year. In fact I had to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha away from my family members this year,” she said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA) Melaka chapter president Sazali Sabri said, hotel operators in the state were fully prepared for the surge in visitors next week, following the government’s announcement on the interstate travel starting from tomorrow.

“Most importantly, we need to maintain the SOPs as we do not want an increase in COVID cases and the approval to be revoked because if this happens it will definitely put a toll on industry players who are just about to breathe again,” he said, adding that all 176 budget hotels under the association have made the preliminary preparations including getting their workers vaccinated since last August.

In PERAK, civil servant Nur Amera Syazwana Rosli is excited to meet her parents and siblings in Alor Setar, Kedah.

“I was overcome with emotion when I heard the news because finally my family can be reunited again. God willing I will back in my hometown next week,” she said.

Perak police chief Datuk Mior Faridalatrash Wahid meanwhile said his department would focus on SOP compliance and monitoring of popular public spots.

State Housing, Local Government and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said the state government welcomed the decision on the interstate travel and the state tourism sector was prepared to receive domestic tourists.

In KELANTAN, state executive councillor Major (R) Datuk Md Anizam Ab Rahman said with the announcement, the state government would be expecting some 300,000 visitors to enter the state by the end of this month.

In NEGERI SEMBILAN, police chief Datuk Mohamad Mat Yusop said the police would be monitoring the traffic flow with interstate travel activities expected to increase and hoped that the people would continue to comply with the SOPs.

In PENANG, Association of Tourism Attractions Penang (ATAP) chairman Ch’ng Huck Theng said the government’s move to allow interstate travel would help boost tourism activities in the state.

“Most of the tourist centres under the association have been preparing for this over the past few months,” he said.

In PAHANG, State Tourism, Culture, Environment, Plantation and Commodities Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin called on the public to support the domestic tourism industry in the spirit of the Malaysian Family.

In JOHOR, Malaysia Tourist Guides Council (MTGC) president Jimmy Leong Wie Kong said the announcement had been eagerly anticipated by the tourism sector and the move would help promote economic growth.

Meanwhile private sector employee Nur Shafatin Mohd Nor, 25, said she and her husband have been waiting to go on a holiday as this had to be postponed since their wedding was held during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

In KEDAH, Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said with interstate travel allowed this would boost tourism activities in Langkawi and hopefully the target of 400,000 tourist arrivals by December would be achieved.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Kedah launches ‘Anakku Sejahtera’ programme to help poor, low-income earners

ALOR SETAR, Oct 10 – The Kedah government today launched the “Anakku Sejahtera” programme with an RM1 million fund allocation for children born in the state from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2021.

Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the programme was an initiative by the state government in collaboration with the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to help the poor and low-income earners in Kedah.

“This assistance will be given in the form of SSPN (National Education Savings Scheme) Prime Savings Fund, which was formerly known as SSPN-i, with RM100 to be given to each child.

“To ensure that this assistance reaches the target groups, the state government has set several conditions to apply, among them is that the baby must be a Malaysian citizen born in Kedah, and the parent must be born in Kedah or a resident in the state for more than 10 years.

“Besides that, applicants must also have a monthly household income of RM3,000 and below,” he said when launching the programme in Langkawi, today. The launch was broadcast online.

Muhammad Sanusi said the application form and more information on the programme could be obtained at the nearest district social welfare office, and RM100 would be deposited into the SSPN Prime Savings account after the application was approved.

“It is quite sad when the latest statistics show that there are still many parents who have not yet come forward to apply for this assistance. Perhaps, they are not aware that the state government is generously helping them through this programme.

“To enable this target group to receive benefits, the state government has agreed to abolish the condition of applying within three months of the date the birth is registered. This means that parents whose children are born between Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2021 can apply,” he said

He also said the state government was always concerned and proactive to assist the people in holistically eradicating poverty, and the goal was to ensure that children did not inherit family poverty.

“As stated by PTPTN chairman Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the SPPN Prime Savings scheme offers various privileges and advantages to depositors, such as enjoying highly competitive dividends, free takaful protection and matching grants of up to RM10,000 for eligible families,” he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Tourism bubble: Employers must conduct COVID-19 screening on workers – MATA

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — Accommodation facilities operators under the tourism bubble programme are urged to conduct COVID-19 screening on all their employees before they report for work, to ensure everyone’s safety, said Malaysia Association Tour Agency (MATA) president Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun.

He said the premises owners and operators should take it as a lesson after 59 workers of a leading hotel in Langkawi tested positive for COVID-19 as reported yesterday and the news had to some extent undermined public’s confidence in travelling for a holiday.

“The self-screening test can be done at least once a week to curb COVID-19 transmission at their premises. This also applies to other tour operators who are directly involved in the tourism bubble programme.

“The management and employers will have to sacrifice some money to buy the self-test kits to ensure that their staff are free from COVID-19. It is their responsibility to see that their workers are safe,” he said in a statement today.

Mohd Khalid said all tour operators must work together in order for the tourism bubble project to succeed by ensuring that their premises are COVID-19 free to convince tourists and prevent the country’s tourism industry from closing down again.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Task force to be formed to study issues faced by creative arts industry – Annuar

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) will immediately form a task force to conduct in-depth studies on issues related to the country’s creative industry.

Its minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said it was also to create a system that would enable the country’s creative industry to grow with a structured framework and push the industry to higher levels.

“It’s not just a matter of helping arts practitioners, but to look at the industry from a larger perspective and recognise their contributions in the context of prospering the country, driving the economy and attracting investment,” he said in the ‘Bersama Annuar dalam Twitter Spaces Bernama’ programme that discussed recovery efforts for the Creative Arts Industry.

The discussion was participated by practitioners of the arts from all levels, including leaders of associations representing the group.

They included Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman) president Zed Zaidi, Karyawan president Datuk Freddie Fernandez; Film Directors’ Association of Malaysia (FDAM) president Ahmad Ibrahim a.k.a. Mat London and Professional Film Workers’ Association of Malaysia (PROFIMA) president Khir Mohd Noor.

Annuar said one of his missions after the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic was to no longer see the creative industry operating in a ‘business as usual’ manner, and instead make it one of the largest industries to contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Until then, he said industry players could provide counter-suggestions or even reprimand the government if they found that standard operating procedures (SOP) set for the industry were unreasonable.

“Sometimes, the SOPs are prepared by deskmen in offices, who do not look at things realistically. You can reprimand or suggest to me, and we can amend the SOP,” he said in response to concerns on one such SOP stipulating that filming must be done within a safe zone of at least one kilometer from the nearest settlement area.

Freddie, meanwhile, proposed that a quota system be created for radio stations to provide more airplay for local artists.

On this, Annuar was of the view that there should be a policy or guidelines for radio stations to prioritise local songs over international popular songs to protect and provide incentives and encouragement to local creators, singers and musicians.

“If possible, maybe Freddie can propose this in a formal manner so that the matter can be looked into closely.

“It does not mean that we are shutting out foreign songs but there has to be reasonable balance with priority given to creators, singers and musicians,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency