Selasa, 31 Disember 2013

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The Star Online: Nation

Good move to cut costs but more needs to be done, Government told

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: The Government's initiative to cut costs on 11 fronts is a good move but it needs to do more to convince people that it is reducing expenditure for the benefit of the people, said Fomca.

Its secretary-general Datuk Paul Selvaraj said in light of the expected increase in prices of goods, the people needed to see the government visibily reducing expenditure.

"We support the Government measure to cut expenditure but more must be done.

"For example, the process of tender should be more transparent to win back the people's confidence," he said.

He was commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Ra­zak's announcement that the Government would implement 11 measures to slash spending.

"The Government should show that money collected through taxes and revenues is being spent for the benefit of the people.

"There should be no leakage or wastage," he said.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general Abdul Halim Mansor lauded the Government's move, describing it as an essential initial move.

"The Government should also study continuous measures to convince the people of its intention to cut expenditure," he said, adding that overseas trips for government officers should also be scrapped.

Abdul Halim said all elected representatives, including MPs, should cut their expenditure.

"All of them should also do away with unnecessary allowances. For example, they should do away with driver's allowances as some of them do not even have drivers," he said.

Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC) chief economist Zahidi Alias said it was a positive move by the Government.

"The measures will cut down on some of the excesses in Government expenditure.

"The burden (of the country) such as high operating expenditures should be dealt in a holistic way and this is one of the ways — by ensuring we spend prudently."

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Padang Rengas MP said he would follow the instructions by the Prime Minister.

"The 10% entertainment allowance reduction won't make a difference. I will use my own money if need be," he said.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said that the move showed the Government was willing to "walk the talk".

According to Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, such cost-cutting measures were timely.

"This is good news. This cost-cutting is fine," he said.

"Even at my ministry, we have been reducing on our own, trying to cut down on electricity use."

Former Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman said the cost-cutting measures were steps in the right direction.

"We support these moves, which are appropriate," he said.

PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, however, dismissed the cost-cutting measures as "penny wise, pound foolish".

"The cuts are so minor, the amount is peanuts. What we need is proper austerity and political commitment, not tokenism."

Serdang MP Dr Ong Kian Ming echoed this, saying only a "symbolic figure" would be saved.

Related story:

Cost-cutting measures start tomorrow

Work with us and celebrate New Year's Eve peacefully, says DBKL

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) wants revellers to enjoy the New Year Eve's celebrations at Dataran Merdeka and is urging the people to work with it rather than against it.

"Follow the authorities' instructions to make the New Year celebrations a smooth, happy and peaceful event," said Mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib.

Ahmad Phesal said organisers of a planned gathering to protest the high cost of living had not officially notified DBKL.

He said 300 enforcement officers would be stationed at Dataran Merdeka and another 80 at City Hall during the event.

DBKL has planned a concert featuring local celebrities, a food bazaar and a fireworks display to herald in the new year.

"We will work closely with the police. We have already closed the roads to traffic (to facilitate celebrations) and have taken down posters calling for the public to attend the illegal rally," he said.

Police have identified four groups, Kumpulan Gerakan Turun Kos Sara Hidup (Turun), Jingga 13, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) as well as Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM), as being behind the planned rally.

Turun or Movement to Reduce Living Costs chairman Azan Safar said the peaceful rally would be held as planned in Dataran Merdeka.

The event, he said, was organised by the public and not political parties and urged participants to come as individuals and not carry any political parties' symbols.

PKR-backed group Jingga 13 said it was planning a freeze flash mob to highlight the high cost of living. It had no plans to overthrow the Government, said the group's chief coordinator Fariz Musa.

He said they would encourage the public to put on the V for Vendetta face mask and freeze for five minutes.

SAMM chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin denied the group was among the organisers.

He claimed that news of the rally had spread online and they were merely facilitating the event.

Opposition youth wings are also lending their support to the rally.

Related stories:

Chill! It's the New Year's Eve

No roadblocks, cops to take it easy on revellers

Rafizi lodges report against bloggers over e-mail

Two charged with forming subsidiary without approval

Posted: 30 Dec 2013 08:00 AM PST

GEORGE TOWN: Two former executives of Koperasi Pelancongan (Kopel) Pulau Pinang claimed trial in the Sessions Court here to forming a subsidiary without prior approval from the Malaysia Co-operative Commission.

Yuslinov Ahmad, 46, who was then the treasurer, and the then chairman Ali Akbar Mohd Noor, 63, were separately charged with forming the subsidiary Kopel Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd on July 10, 2007, at the cooperative's premises in Jalan Kampung Kaka here without the commission's approval.

The offence under Section 19 of the Co-operative Societies Act 1993 carries a fine of not more than RM50,000 or four years' jail, or both, upon conviction.

Commission prosecution director Kamarulzaman Mohamad Buhari proposed bail at RM20,000 for each accused, saying that the duo did not turn up in court on Dec 19 when they wanted to register the case.

In pleading for a lower bail, counsel Rosli Ismail assured that his clients would always be present for the court proceedings, adding that he had checked with the court interpreters and police officers on Dec 19 but found no such case registered.

Rosli added that the prosecution should not have distributed details of the charge to the media on Dec 19 before the case had even begun.

Judge Zulhazmi Abdullah set bail at RM8,000 for Yuslinov and RM6,000 for Ali Akbar.

He fixed Feb 5 for mention, for the prosecution to apply for a joint trial, and ordered the accused to surrender their passports to the court.

Both accused posted bail.


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