Jumaat, 3 Januari 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

Malaysians smoked eight billion contraband cigarettes in 2012

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians smoked some 23 billion sticks of cigarettes in 2012, of which almost eight billion sticks are contraband.

That means that almost four out of every 10 packs of cigarettes sold in the country are smuggled, revealed the Illicit Cigarette Survey 2012 commissioned by the Con­federation of Malaysian Tobacco Manu­facturers (CMTM).

According to the survey, the proportion of illegal cigarette trade had increased from 20% in 2002 to 34.5% in 2012.

The Asia-11 Illicit Tobacco Indicator 2012 report estimated that the annual tax loss for the Govern­ment from the illicit consumption cost more than RM1.9bil in 2012.

An industry source said that with the current prices of duty-paid cigarettes, those smoking contraband now cut across all demographics and were not confined to the lower income groups or foreign workers.

A check by The Star last month found that contraband cigarettes were sold openly on the streets, with many vendors and peddlers offering the items for a fraction of the price of the duty-paid packets.

In Chow Kit, a merchant at the Jalan Raja Bot market said Gudang Garam and Luffman were his most popular brands priced at RM3.50 and RM3 for 12 sticks and 20 sticks respectively.

Canyon cigarettes sell at RM3 while John International is priced at RM3.50 for a packet of 20 sticks.

In comparison, a packet of duty-paid Dunhill (20 sticks) retails for RM12.

In Petaling Jaya, foreigners opera­ting small sundry shops were selling more discreetly, hiding the illicit tobacco products under newspapers and behind the counter.

They only offer the contraband to regular customers.

A vendor, who declined to be named, said some of his customers bought 20 to 30 packs, and in return, would get a bulk discount of 50 sen per pack.

Related stories:

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Police looking for suspect who assaulted boy

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: Police are trying to locate the teenage suspect who allegedly forced the tip of a broomstick up the anus of a fellow resident at a boys' rehabilitation centre here.

Johor Baru (North) OCPD Asst Comm Ruslan Hassan said police were still in the midst of investigation and urged the teenager to come forward.

He said the suspect was ordered to be housed at the centre for several weeks, but declined to reveal the reason or the duration of his stay.

The suspect had since returned home, but he cannot be located as he was not at the address provided to the authorities, he added.

The state Welfare Department director Khatijah Abdullah confirmed that the home was under her purview and said they would leave it to the police to investigate the incident.

On Wednesday, the mother of the 16-year-old boy claimed that a senior at the centre had assaulted her son by forcing the tip of a broomstick up his anus.

More commuters opt for public transportation

Posted: 02 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Commuters in the Klang Valley are gradually switching to public transportation, with the adoption rate rising from 19.6% in 2012 to 20.8% in 2013, said the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD).

The number of trips made during the morning peak period increased by 9% to 5.7 million trips in 2013 compared to 5.3 million trips in 2012.

The KTM Komuter ridership went up by 48% to 51,200, while the LRT saw 21,500 riders last year, 40% more than 2012.

The monorail saw a 40% increase in passengers with 192,200 passengers last year, while the Express Rail Link (ERL) experienced a 29% increase to 6,200 passengers.

In a statement, SPAD attributed the increase to several government initiatives implemented by SPAD and public transport operators.

The initiatives include 470 new RapidKL buses, 1,388 new or refurbished bus stops, nine bus expressway transit corridors, 35 additional four-car sets to the Kelana Jaya LRT line and 37 six-car sets added to the KTM Komuter lines.

SPAD said these measures had been implemented after continuous monitoring to improve service quality.

"For example, SPAD has instituted a regular monitoring system to measure and enhance service quality. This has resulted in improvements to KTM Komuter's on-time performance during the morning peak period. In November 2012, the on-time performance during the morning peak period for KTM Komuter was 79%. In November 2013, this increased to 96%," said the statement.

SPAD said the results were encouraging, and showed that the public would use public transport if the system was good, efficient and reliable.

It expects better response from the public once ongoing projects such as the MRT, the extension of the Kelana Jaya LRT Line and the expansion of the monorail are completed.

The introduction of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system is also expected to boost public transportation, it added.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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