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The Star Online: Nation

Najib: More Felda settlers can renovate their homes

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: More Felda settlers nationwide can now renovate their houses following an additional allocation of RM100mil under the agency's interest-free home loans, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Under the scheme, Felda settlers could apply for loans up to RM40,000 per family without interest, and this had benefited some 100,000 settlers and their families across the country since 2005.

"Another 12,000 settlers, who previously did not have the chance, can now apply for the scheme," the Prime Minister said in his address at Felda's Semai Bakti 2013 programme here yesterday.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, added that Felda would sign a Memorandum of Under­stan­ding with Lulu Hypermarket, which has more than 100 branches in the United Arab Emirates, to sell Felda's frozen products in that region.

Later in the evening, Najib urged the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce to sustain its momentum in increasing bilateral trade between Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

Glorious moment: Najib and British High Commissioner Simon Feathersone sharing a light moment with former Manchester United striker Andy Cole during the anniversary dinner.

Najib and British High Commissioner Simon Feathersone sharing a light moment with former Manchester United striker Andy Cole during the anniversary dinner.

Speaking at BMCC's 50th anniversary dinner, Najib acknowledged the chamber's contribution, saying "it has been a remarkable half-century".

"When the chamber was formed, Malaysia was an agrarian economy – home to just 10 million people, with per capita GDP of US$300 (RM977). There was no Asean; no Asia Pacific Economic Caucus; no World Trade Organisation. The world was a very different place. Cardiff City players still wore blue!", he said.

Najib said following the 2012 pledge by both British Prime Minister David Cameron and himself to increase investment and double the value of bilateral trade to £8bil or RM26bil by 2016, the chamber should deliver that commitment by becoming the local partner for the Overseas Business Network Ini­tiative.

The initiative is a key focus area under the Bilateral Trade Support Initiative, designed to provide assistance and support services to SMEs looking to expand overseas.

Organised crime raking in billions

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Interpol has warned that the cigarette component supply chain is being exploited by organised crime to rake in billions of dollars in its illicit trade.

Interpol secretary-general General Ronald K. Noble said producers of acetate tow, a key component in cigarette filters, were exporting high volumes of their product to cigarette manufacturers.

"In some cases, the export volumes are significantly higher than government-mandated levels for legitimate production," he said in a statement yesterday.

"In one country alone, figures showed a surplus of nearly 27,000 tonnes of acetate tow a year, which is enough to make 214 billion cigarettes – worth tens of millions of dollars in the black market."

Gen Noble said either acetate tow producers were selling excess levels of acetate tow to manufacturers producing illicit cigarettes, or acetate tow was being diverted from legitimate to illegitimate distribution points.

"One solution is for acetate tow producers to put in place their own stricter supply chain controls.

"Another is for governments to impose severe criminal sanctions or civil penalties on producers who knowingly sell to manufac­turers producing illicit cigarettes, or who remain wilfully ignorant to the final distribution points of their products," he said.

He felt the industry was not interested to find out how their products ended up in the hands of organised criminals.

"It is in the interest of all governments to establish due diligence frameworks and 'know your customer' programmes such as those required for banks, and to demand track and trace systems for key component manufac­turers. Such initiatives can help combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and avoid millions being siphoned out of the public purse," he said.

Interpol launched its Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting programme in 2012, building on its established efforts against intellectual property crime, and to increase the organisation's efforts and resources to identify and dismantle the organised crime networks behind these crimes which pose a serious threat to public health and safety.

On Wednesday, the Customs and Excise Department launched Ops Outlet, targeting traders of illegal cigarettes and imposing harsher sentences for selling the contraband.

Man goes missing after hotel stay

Posted: 06 Mar 2014 08:00 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malay­sian who was back in the country to have his passport and visa renewed has reportedly gone missing after checking out of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

K. Jeyachandran (pic), 56, had flown in from India on Feb 8 to renew his documents and had been scheduled to leave for India on Feb 14.


However, he did not board the plane and spent two nights in a hotel in Petaling Street, according to police sources.

Jeyachandran is believed to have psychiatric problems and is currently under medication and may be suffering from memory lapses.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can contact Sjn G. Sambasivam at 012-664 3084.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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