Rabu, 2 April 2014

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The Star Online: Nation

PM: Subsidies not wholly abolished

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

THE Government is committed to its subsidy rationalisation programme but will not completely abolish subsidies, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"The annual development allocation now stands at RM46bil, and subsidies and incentives touched RM43bil last year.

"This expenditure is obviously lopsided and should not be continued because it is not sustainable. It is only proper to implement a sustainable subsidy rationalisation programme," he said.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said this would be done via the revamp of policies.

"There are some subsidies which aid the rich more than the poor. There are also leakages like when foreign tourists take advantage of our subsidised petrol.

"A lot of smuggling activities also occur. We must plug these leakages as they are a waste of public funds," he said in reply to a question by Datuk Wira Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) in the House yesterday.

Najib said some RM23.1bil or 15% of the country's overall expenses were used to pay for subsidies and assistance in 2010, but this sum jumped to RM43.3bil last year or 21% of the country's managing expenses.

"Too large a subsidy will undermine the country's financial position and render it not sustainable for the long term," he said.

As such, Najib said fiscal reform was important to strengthen the financial position and ensure that the targeted fiscal deficit remained at 3.5% of the Gross Domestic Product this year and 3% in 2015, and that a balanced budget was achieved in 2020.

The Government had also taken steps to improve the implementation of the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), which was introduced to help low-income households and supplement blanket subsidies which benefit the rich and poor, he said.

"However, we realise that the BR1M must be improved. We are studying suitable measures that can be introduced to improve its implementation," he said.

Replying to a supplementary question from Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong), Najib said: "In implementing subsidy rationalisation, the Government must ensure consolidation of the social safety net so that the low-income group does not feel the pressure from the higher expenses they face."

Najib said part of the savings from the subsidy rationalisation would be utilised for the social safety net to improve economic growth and ensure the people's well-being.

He also said part of the savings would be used to finance development that could raise the national productive capacity such as infrastructure development, including roads, hospitals and housing.

19-year-old mum does not realise baby boy has choked to death

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: A 19-year-old woman fed her 11-day-old baby and thought he had dozed off but realised only two hours later that the infant had choked and died.

Peng Sie Sying said she fed Chong Wei Kent baby formula as he vomited out the breast milk given to him earlier.

"I had no choice but to give him formula milk and after feeding him at 7.30am, I thought that he had slept and put him in his cot," said the grief-stricken mother, who was holding on to her 16-year-old husband at the mortuary of Hospital Sultanah Aminah here yesterday.

Her husband declined to be identified.

Peng said when she checked on her baby at 9am, she realised that he was not breathing.

"His hands and feet were cold and we quickly rushed him to the Tampoi clinic.

"On the way there, I tried my best to revive him, even performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and milk came out from his nose," she said, adding that doctors at the clinic, however, confirmed that the infant had died.

Peng said her baby was born healthy and only had jaundice.

"After several days, the jaundice disappeared and we brought him home," she said.

At this point, the teen mother broke down again and was consoled by family members.

Johor Baru North OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Khamsani Abdul Rahman confirmed the incident and the case had been classified as sudden death.

"We found no trace of physical abuse and the post-mortem revealed that the baby choked to death," he said.

Nurul Izzah's hubby told to finalise rep

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Nurul Izzah Anwar's husband Raja Ahmad Shahrir Iskandar Raja Salim has been given until April 17 by a Lower Syariah Court here to finalise the nomination of a "reconciliation committee", set up in a bid to save their marriage.

Syariah judge Ab Malek Awang fixed the date in chambers after meeting counsel Normawaddah Ramli, who acted for Nurul Izzah, and Zulkifli Che Yong, who represented Raja Ahmad Shahrir.

Raja Ahmad Shahrir, 35, needed to confirm the nomination for his representative in the next proceedings.

At yesterday's proceedings, Nurul Izzah arrived with her uncle Rosli Ibrahim.

It was then confirmed that the 34-year-old Lembah Pantai MP had appointed her uncle to be a committee member.

The committee is set up when either one of the parties concerned does not want the divorce or when the Syariah Court views that a reconciliation could take place.

The court would then appoint a reconciliation committee and refer the case to the panel.

The committee comprises a religious department officer and two others – one to act on behalf of the husband and another for the wife.

Priority will be given to close relatives of both parties.

Judge Ab Malek set June 12 for the committee to submit a report on the outcome of their discussions.

Nurul Izzah and Raja Ahmad Shahrir were married on May 9, 2003. They have a seven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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