Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Exempting Malaysians from TTx is a perfectly right decision

 Exempting Malaysians from TTx is a perfectly right decision

It’s a relief that the federal government, namely the Tourism and Culture Ministry, has relented to the public outcry and concerns, and made a U-turn to not impose tourism tax (TTx) on Malaysians.

It is also a relief to hoteliers and other tourism industry-related players that the TTx has been lowered to a flat rate of RM10 on all hotels for tourists.

Even homestay operators have also been exempted from TTx.

“This is great news. It shows the federal government can respond positively to the grouses of Malaysians and review an issue that affects a large section of Malaysians,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the federal government had, at least on this issue, relented to the discontented voice of Malaysians.

“I had also blogged on this last month, urging the federal government to exempt Malaysians from TTx” he added. (

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “As I had stated in my blog post last month, it is plain ridiculous to impose TTx on Malaysians.

“Many Malaysians, especially the rural folk, go to the cities and stay in hotels for various valid reasons. If given a choice, they would avoid staying in hotels.

“They come to the cities for job interviews, they come to seek medical treatment with the company of their loved ones … how can the federal government burden Malaysians with TTx?” he asked.

Syed Razak said the federal government had made an absolutely right decision to exempt Malaysians from TTx.

“Imposing TTx on foreign tourists is the prerogative of the ruling government,” he added.

Here’s what themalaymailonline reported and posted:


Nazri: Malaysians exempted from paying Tourism Tax


Wednesday July 26, 2017
12:07 PM GMT+8

Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says the government will impose a RM10 flat rate from five-star to zero-star hotels for foreign tourists, and Malaysians will be exempted from the tax across all classifications of hotels. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 ― Malaysians will not need to pay the Tourism Tax which will be implemented on August 1 as it will only apply to foreign tourists, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today.

The Tourism and Culture minister said that foreign tourists will be charged a flat rate of RM10 per night and per room for all types of hotels and accommodation.

“We will impose a RM10 flat rate from five-star to zero-star hotels for foreign tourists, and Malaysians will be exempted from the tax across all classifications of hotels,” he said in Parliament this morning.

He was responding to a question from Anthony Loke (DAP ― Seremban) on plans to standardise the tourism tax rate and whether locals would be exempted from paying it.

“The tourism tax that is to be implemented soon will not have any major (negative) impact on tourist inflows considering the ringgit is low at the moment compared to the US or Singaporean currencies,” he said.

Nazri said that tourism sectors in countries that imposed tax on visitors actually recorded healthy growth.

“The tourism tax implemented in countries like Singapore in 1973, the United States in 1987, Thailand in 1992, Japan in 2002, Holland in 2007 and Italy in 2015 proved that in the long term it can contribute to the positive growth to the tourism sector,” Nazri said in his reply to Loke.

“Based on WTO (World Tourism Organisation) record the (tourism) performance of the respective countries have not been affected at all but instead got better due to their ability to finance improvements in facilities and infrastructure for their tourism sector,” he added.

According to Nazri, countries like Singapore, Thailand and Japan saw their tourist inflows increased 24 million to 29 million, 11 million to 13 million and 13 to 19 million respectively from 2014 to 2015.

The Tourism Tax, passed in Parliament earlier this year, was set to be collected from this month but later postponed to August 1.

Initially the charges have been set at between RM20 and a lowly RM2.50 a night, depending on the hotel rating.

The new tax drew criticism, primarily from budget hotel operators out of fear that it would push tourists towards rental platform operator Airbnb.

In response, the government then announced an exemption for Malaysians who stay at hotels rated three-stars and below.

Nazri said today the Attorney-General Chambers and the Royal Customs Department are in the final stage of preparing the last technical details of the tax collection system.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is scheduled to make the announcement soon, the minister added. - themalaymailonline"


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

No shortage of talented Malaysians! But why are they not in Malaysia?

No shortage of talented Malaysians! But why are they not in Malaysia?

Kudos to Diana Chan - the Malaysian who won the Masterchef Australia trophy on Monday (July 24, 2017) evening.

She’s only the second Malaysia to grab the trophy - the first was Penangite Adam Liaw who won in Season 2.

Chan fought against all odds to beat her other more established chefs in Australia and her victory is nothing short of excellence.

The competition is serious business, with Chan walking away with A$250,000 and a regular column in the food magazine, Delicious.

“I wish her all the best and hope that her prize money will help her fulfill her dream of opening her own restaurant in Australia, serving ‘wholesome meals’ showcasing Malaysian flavours,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said Chan’s display of cuisine excellence and victory again showed that there is no shortage of talent and excellence among Malaysians. (Read these for context: and

“We, especially both the state and federal governments, just have to truly recognise potential talented Malaysians in the various fields and capitalise on them,” he added.

Syed Razak asked: “The governments must ask and be honest with their answer: Why is it that most of our talented Malaysian-born are not serving and contributing to nation-building in Malaysia but they are all overseas?

“If they are in Malaysia, why do they just fade into obscurity?”

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “I have said this in my previous blog postings and I am saying it again.

“Don’t let Malaysian talent go to waste. Recognise and embrace them. Promote them in state and nationwide tours and campaigns to motivate others to strive for excellence.

“If Malaysia is to progress robustly socially and economically, the strive for excellence must be strong among Malaysians.

“Malaysia needs as many talents as possible to help lift the quality of our human capital. There’s no such thing as enough talent.

“A progressive country is one that strives to hone talent endlessly,” he added.

This was what was reported and posted by The Star Online:

Home > News > Nation
Monday, 24 July 2017 | MYT 10:33 PM

Malaysian Diana Chan wins Masterchef Australia trophy


PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Diana Chan took home the Masterchef Australia trophy in a nail-biting finale on Monday night.

The Melbourne-based cook beat her competitor, Ben Ungermann in the closely fought final. She walks away with a trophy, A$250,000 and a regular column in the food magazine, Delicious.

A strong contender throughout the season, Chan impressed the judges not only with her innovative and flavourful food but also her ability to remain calm under pressure during the many intense challenges throughout the season.

Among the dishes she wowed judges with in this season was her Red Emperor Fish on Spicy Fragrant Sambal, based on a dish her mother used to cook.

Her parents - both strong cooks - were instrumental in developing her interest in cooking.

The 29-year-old accountant grew up in Johor Baru before moving to KL in her late teens. She moved to Australia when she was 19.

Congratulations to Chan who hopes to open a restaurant serving "wholesome meals" showcasing Malaysian flavours.

Chan is the second Malaysian to win MasterChef Australia, after Adam Liaw, who was born in Penang, won in Season 2.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Jack Ma is not enough! ICT infrastructure is inadequate or outdated!

 Jack Ma is not enough! ICT infrastructure is inadequate or outdated!

Yes! We have got the world’s best man for the job - to forward Malaysia’s use of ICT (Information, Communications and Technology) for the future.

And that man is Jack Ma.

“But that is absolutely just not enough. Jack Ma is no saint, magician or God in ICT. Without a proper infrastructure for ICT, progress is limited or stunted,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the federal government must seriously take immediate measures to address IT professional Dig Bijoy Chakraborthy’s concern of Malaysia’s comparative sluggish internet speed.

Chakraborthy spoke to online news portal Free Malaysia Today in response to international IT firm Akamai’s 2017 report that outlined the average internet performance across the globe, including in 15 South Pacific countries. (Full FMT report below).

Syed Razak said the federal government could not further delay addressing the IT infrastructure problem because “internet users are growing vigorously”.

“According to Kantar TNS’s Connected Life study, constant connectivity and digital media have enabled Malaysians to leap-frog to be one of the most socially engaged markets in the world.

“And, over three fifths (62%) of Internet users in Malaysia access social media networks daily, compared to 42% globally, whilst 52% use instant messaging,” he added.

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said Facebook was listed as the most popular application with about half (48%) of Malaysian Internet users and 88% visiting the site weekly.

WhatsApp is not far behind for weekly use, at 72% of Malaysian Internet users, however it’s the favourite platform for just one fifth of the population.

In 2011, Malaysia had already registered 61% of its population as internet users. (Singapore 75.1%; Indonesia 18%; Thailand 23.7%)

Last year (2016), statistics show Malaysia had 21,090,777 million internet users or 68.6% of population penetration.

The global internet users for 2016 is registered as 3,424,971,237 or 0.6% Malaysians.

Syed Razak said: “The federal government and the telcos must start working on the infrastructure fast. And make sure the cost remains affordable to Malaysian users."

Here’s what FMT posted:

"The problem with Malaysia’s internet connection speed
Minderjeet Kaur

| June 3, 2017

IT professional says infrastructure issues, slower bandwidth and lack of fibre optic cables used are some of the factors affecting the country's internet connection.

PETALING JAYA: Ever felt like tearing out your hair over the slow internet connection? An IT professional says the comparatively sluggish internet speed in Malaysia is largely due to infrastructure issues.

This is because certain areas are not the target market of telecommunications companies and might not even have towers to detect a signal, Dig Bijoy Chakraborthy told FMT.

He was responding to Akamai’s 2017 report in which the international IT firm outlined the average internet performance across the globe, including in 15 South Pacific countries.

Topping the list was South Korea (28.6 megabits per second), followed by Hong Kong (21.9 Mpbs), Singapore (20.3 Mpbs), Japan (20.2 Mpbs), Taiwan (16.9 Mpbs), Thailand (16 Mpbs), New Zealand (14.7 Mpbs), Australia (11.1 Mpbs), Vietnam (9.5 Mpbs), Malaysia (8.9 Mpbs), Sri Lanka (8.5 Mpbs), China (7.6 Mpbs), Indonesia (7.2 Mpbs), India (6.5 Mpbs) and the Philippines (5.5 Mpbs).

According to the report, Malaysia’s internet connection speed saw a 40% improvement from the first quarter of last year, but it still lags behind in the region, against countries like Vietnam and Thailand.

Malaysia’s internet connection speed is also less than half of Singapore’s, at 8.9 Mbps against the city state’s 20.3 Mbps.

Chakraborthy said the slower speed could also be due to Malaysia’s rapid development in terms of transportation, adding that the constant excavations necessary could affect the underground fibre optic cables.

He said the internet network might improve once the transportation infrastructure for the MRT line in the Klang Valley was complete.

Other reasons include a slower bandwidth, which is the range of frequencies within a given band used for transmitting a signal.

“A person might be subscribing to a 100 Mpbs but they might not be getting the full 100 Mpbs due to the poor bandwidth.

“Because of that, when a 4G connection is used in Singapore and Australia, it is really fast. You will get value for money as compared to Malaysia,” Chakraborthy told FMT.

He added that the speed also depends on the number of fibre optics installed by an internet service provider.

“With more fibre optic cables, it can leverage on that to get a higher speed.”

Chakraborthy said Malaysia has good corporate internet packages compared with home internet packages, which are usually slower.

“This is due to different packaging with telecommunications companies offering better packages for corporations. It also depends on configuration and the constant maintenance,” he said.

On why Vietnam had better internet connection than Malaysia, he said Vietnam’s government had started investing in broadband technology about five to 10 years ago.

“They (Vietnam) will install the latest technology right away. It is relatively new, and that is why it is working better,” he said.

Malaysia, meanwhile, has been building its internet infrastructure longer than Vietnam, he said.

“In 2006, Malaysia was using 2G, and it has been slowly upgrading the network.”

He said Singapore’s speed was faster as it is a smaller country which makes it easier to manage and monitor the speed.

“Malaysia is quite well spread. There are certain areas in Malaysia where there are no towers and, due to that, no signals.”

This is not the first time Malaysia’s internet speed has been highlighted.

In 2015, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak came under fire from several politicians for claiming that Malaysians prefer slower broadband speeds.

Salleh had said Malaysians prefer slower broadband packages with speeds between 384 Kbps and 1MB.

His comments drew criticism from former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

In 2016, Salleh said Malaysia’s priority was to ensure that the people have access to internet, not how fast it is.


Sunday, 23 July 2017

SBK-MRT - a corporate mess for commuters!

SBK-MRT - a corporate mess for commuters!
The Star Online news report titled “SBK-MRT Line: Some rules to follow to enjoy flat parking rate” just exposes how “uncorporate and messy” is the MRT management.

In the first place, it had all the time in world to plan, anticipate and iron out the common sense “hiccups” before the launch of the MRT Line.

“It is so uncorporate and irresponsible to do so without adequate and proper planning to prepare and keep the public informed,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the two most glaring “shocks” coming from the MRT mess are:

> Why wasn’t there enough public campaign via the media to prepare and keep the public informed on the RM4.30 Park and Ride rules and conditions? and

> Why the inconsistency in the RM4.30 Park and Ride implementation throughout the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK-MRT Line)?

“There is simply no excuse whatsoever for the MRT for failing to make it clear to the commuters on the Park and Ride rules and conditions.

“MRT has only themselves to blame if commuters or users feel ‘cheated’, having to pay the parking hourly rate.

“On the inconsistent implementation of the Park and Ride throughout the SBK-MRT Line, MRT says that not all parking facilities at stations along the line are owned by MRT.

“Now, this an absolutely lame excuse. This problem should have been weeded out or resolved. The so-called external parties must be compelled by contract to adhere to consistency with MRT.

“If they refuse, can’t the government invoke the Compulsory Land Acquisition Act for the benefit of the public?”

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “I wonder whether Rapid Rail has really prepared for the launch of the line.

“If it had, would commuters be complaining now about the confusion?”

Here’s what The Star Online reported and an absolutely relevant posting found on Facebook:

Home > News > Nation
Friday, 21 July 2017 | MYT 9:06 PM

SBK-MRT Line: Some rules to follow to enjoy flat parking rate


PETALING JAYA: Passengers on the Sg Buloh-Kajang (SBK) MRT Line are reminded to use the same Touch ‘n Go card if they want to enjoy the flat parking rate.

Mass Rapid Transit Corp (MRT Corp) strategic communications and stakeholder relations director Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah said the company had received complaints that MRT users were not being charged the RM4.30 per entry parking rate.

He said several guidelines had to be followed in order to only pay the flat rate.

Firstly, MRT users should use the same Touch 'n Go card throughout their journey.

"The same card used to enter the Park and Ride has also to be used at the fare gates of the station before boarding the MRT train because this is the only way that we can differentiate who has parked and ridden on the train, and who has not,” he said in a statement.

He said many of those who were charged the standard hourly parking rate had not followed this step.

He added that MRT users who wanted the flat parking rate had to “tap in” and “tap out” at the same station, which has the Park and Ride facilities.

“We have had instances where a user took the train at a station attached to a Park and Ride, and then returned to the park and ride by bus.

"This will result in the standard hourly rate being charged,” said Najmuddin.

He added that there is a two-hour time limit between exiting the final MRT station and exiting the Park and Ride parking facility.

Furthermore, MRT users who are on a joy ride without getting off at any station than the one they originally embarked from would not enjoy the flat rate.

Najmuddin said that more signs on the guidelines would be put up at the corresponding Park and Ride locations.

He also reminded MRT users that the RM4.30 Park and Ride flat charge only applied to the Sungai Buloh, Phileo Damansara, Maluri, Taman Midah, Taman Suntex, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Bukit Dukung and Sungai Jernih stations.

All other parking facilities along the SBK MRT Line were owned and controlled by external parties.

Those with queries can contact MRT Corp via its email address at or by calling the MRT Corp Parking Operations Unit at 03-2081 5328 or 03-2081 5330.

And this comment was found on Facebook:


21 July at 15:11 · 

Is The New MRT So Great?
​The recent opening of the new MRT system connecting Sg. Buloh to Kajang sounds like a big deal. I heard a talk show on radio about this a couple of days ago and the DJ kept praising this telling how cheap and convenient it is to the general public. I wish to offer a different opinion here.
​I believe this service is helpful only to those who meet the following criteria:
(1) Live within walking distance of a MRT station.
Reason: Driving to the nearest station requires time, gasoline and parking fees.
(2) Work place or other destinations is also within walking distance of a MRT station.
Reason: Getting from MRT station to your destination(s) also requires time and transport.
(3) Travel alone.
Reason: A private car can take 5 passengers at the same cost but MRT charges is per person.

I believe a large majority of the public do not meet these criteria, especially the first two.

​Let me share my situation. I live in Sg. Buloh and work in Subang Jaya. I have the following two options to get to work:
(1) Drive my car
(a) Time: If I leave home at 6:30am, it takes less than 30 minutes. If I leave at 8:30, it takes about 45 min. No toll.
(b) Cost: About RM 12 per day.
(c) Convenient: I can go to the bank or stop for tea on my way home.
(2) Use commuter train
(a) Time: Assuming an average waiting time at SB station and KL Central transit of 15 min each, the whole journey to SJ station takes about 100 min. not including time from home to station and from station to my office.
(b) Cost: If I remember correctly, ticket is priced at RM 3.60 one way. Parking at SB station costs RM5.30 per day which sum up to 12.50 per day. Taxi from SJ station to my office have a standard charge of RM10 one way. That give a total of RM32.50 per day. If I opt to walk, it takes me 15 min walking at a rapid pace and end up in office with my shirt and tie soaked in sweat.
(c) Convenient: I can’t drop by any other place during the journey.
​The choice for me between these two is obvious, and I believe the scenario for MRT is similar. So, is this hundred-billion MRT project so great? Bring convenience to the general public? So cheap? Your say!"


Saturday, 22 July 2017

The early bird catches the ‘worm’ (China)

 The early bird catches the ‘worm’ (China)

They say the early bird catches the worm. And that is why Malaysia is headed in the right direction by aggressively stepping up socio-economic and political ties with China.

Do Malaysians and Malaysia really want to continue to trust and rely on the US for help and economic development?

“That question must be truthfully and honestly answered by political doomsayers who continue to criticise efforts to attract investments from China,” Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said history had clearly shown that the US had been behind all the wars being waged all over the world since World War II (WWII).

“And, the attack and invasion of Iraq is the clearest evidence of the US waging war and occupation based on their own selfish agenda, not facts! Where are all the weapons of mass destruction that the US claimed had been hidden by Saddam Hussein?”

Read these for context: and

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said those who continue to bash Chinese investors had better think carefully again.

“Can you really rely on or trust the White Supremacy?” he asked.

He said the Pew Research Center had in a recent report found that much of the world thinks China is catching up to the US and that they had little faith in US President Donald Trump.

Here’s the report posted by Business Insider (Military & Defense):

"Much of the world thinks China is catching up to the US — and they have little faith in Trump

David Francis, Foreign Policy

President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Carlos Barria/Reuters

China’s economic might is catching up to the United States — or is seen to be catching up.

That’s according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, which released results of a 38-nation survey Thursday afternoon.

While the majority of those polled still correctly believe the United States is the world’s biggest economy, 12 nations — including Canada, Russia, and most of western Europe — believe China has the largest economy in the world.

Pew detected a dramatic shift; only six nations said Beijing possessed the world’s strongest economy when the question was asked between 2014 and 2016. Since then, the number of countries that view the United States as playing second fiddle to China has doubled.

And more striking is the change that’s taken place in just the past year: Canada, the U.K., Germany, Spain, and Italy all went from seeing America as the biggest player to viewing China as the top dog.

In Asia, where countries are closer to China’s brand of geo-economic big-footing, the story is quite a bit different. A host of U.S. allies and partners, including Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India all see the United States as the global economic powerhouse. Notably, there’s one regional exception: Australia now believes China is the biggest player.

Beijing. Feng Li/Getty Images
Pew attributes the rise of China’s standing to the aftermath of the Great Recession. “While the United States and other relatively wealthy Western nations have slowly bounced back from the crisis, economic growth rates have been low compared with those of China, India and other emerging economies,” the report said.

This change in perception makes some sense, given President Donald Trump’s retreat from the global stage.

He’s killed the Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive trade deal meant to create an Asian free trade zone. He’s pulled back on a potential trade deal with Europe. And he’s renegotiating NAFTA with Mexico and Canada.

Customers at an internet cafe in Beijing, China, June 30, 2009.Greg Baker/AP
But given China’s deep-seated economic woes — rising labor costs; crushing corporate and government debt; woefully inefficient state firms; rampant pollution; a dearth of arable land and clean water; and a shrinking workforce — many experts are a lot more worried about a Chinese slowdown than about Beijing stealing the global economic crown.

The poll, taken among nearly 42,000 respondents, also offers an eloquent view of how the world sees great power leaders.

Some 53 percent figure Chinese President Xi Jinping will do the wrong thing in international affairs; Russian president Vladimir Putin sours 59 percent of the population. But fully 74 percent of respondents said they had little or no confidence in Trump.

The only world leader to receive positive marks in this category is German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with 42 percent expressing confidence in her.

The overall standing of the United States on the world stage is also in decline. From 2014 to 2016, 64 percent of those polled held a favorable view of the United States. That’s down to 49 percent in 2017. The view of China remained relatively flat, dropping from 50 to 47 percent.

Ed Goldberg, a professor at the NYU Center for Global Affairs, said that Trump’s rise on the world stage has emboldened China, as reflected in the Pew results. “Xi is seen as the grownup in the room,” Goldberg told FP. - Business Insider (Military & Defense)


Friday, 21 July 2017

Malaysia needs not only good public transport, it must also be environmentally friendly

Malaysia needs not only good public transport, it must also be environmentally friendly

Prime Minister Najib Razak was recently quoted by the media as saying a good public transport system could help propel Malaysia’s economic growth, aside from improving the people's quality of life.

While that is absolutely true, there is also another very important factor to consider on raising the rakyat (people)’s quality of life. And that is the ENVIRONMENT!

“Whatever the policy or efforts to improve public transport, it must be complemented with a sound environmental policy which must be given top priority,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the total number of registered vehicles on Malaysian roads had passed  25 million units, all being powered by Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).

“ The more ICE motor vehicles we put on the roads, the more polluted the environment gets. This is just plain common sense.

“Therefore, both state and federal governments must, as soon as possible, start phasing out ICE motor vehicles on Malaysian roads for environmental friendly vehicles, like electric cars,” he added.

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said the federal government, especially the Transport Ministry, did not appear to be thinking out of the box “as far as the environment is concerned”.

“If they did, they would start going all out to promote hybrid and and electric cars. They would have started laying the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles.

“They would also not just continue investing into Proton to continue with manufacturing more ICE-powered vehicles,” he added.

Syed Razak urged the federal government to formulate a comprehensive public transport policy that not only improved public transport but also the environment simultaneously.

“According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the number of electric vehicles on roads worldwide rose to a record high of two million last year. But IEA also reported that it has a long way to go to reach levels needed to help limit an increase in global temperatures,” he added.

Here are three issue-related news for you to chew on:

"Business News
Home>Business>Business News
Wednesday, 7 June 2017 | MYT 5:03 PM

Number of electric vehicles on roads reaches 2 million, says IEA

LONDON: The number of electric vehicles on roads worldwide rose to a record high of 2 million last year, but has a long way to go to reach levels needed to help limit an increase in global temperatures, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday.

In 2015, the number of electric cars, including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric passenger light-duty vehicles, was 1 million, the IEA said in a report.

Even though that doubled last year, the global electric car stock is only 0.2 percent of the total number of passenger light-duty vehicles in circulation.

"They have a long way to go before reaching numbers capable of making a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emission reduction targets," the IEA said.

"In order to limit temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, the number of electric cars will need to reach 600 million by 2040," it added.

Research and development and mass production improvements are resulting in lower battery costs and this trend should continue, which should narrow the cost competitiveness gap between electric vehicles and internal combustion engines.

There is a "good chance" the global electric car stock could reach carmaker estimates of between 9 and 20 million by 2020 and between 40 and 70 million by 2025, the report said.

The electric car market is still concentrated in a limited number of countries. Globally, 95 percent of electric car sales are taking place in just ten countries - China, the United States, Japan, Canada, Norway, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Last year, China overtook the United States as the country with the largest electric car stock, with around a third of the global total, the report said.

Even though battery costs have fallen since 2009, they are still a major component of cost and drive up retail prices.

Therefore, financial incentives such as rebates, tax breaks or exemptions are important to support electric car deployment, but they might need to be phased out when electric car costs rival those of internal combustion engines, the report said. - Reuters/The Star Online

Tech News
Home > Tech > Tech News
Thursday, 13 July 2017 | MYT 6:00 AM

China could field nearly half of new electric car models by 2020

Chinese automakers account for 96% of the electric vehicles sold in the country. — Reuters
DETROIT: Chinese automakers are on track to produce 49 of the 103 new electric car models that will be launched globally by 2020, as part of China's push to accelerate the switch to battery power from oil, according to a new forecast released. 

US consulting firm AlixPartners also said China is aiming to have nearly two-thirds of the world's manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries by 2021, and is investing to support current sales of domestic-brand electric vehicles in the world's largest car market.

Already, Chinese automakers account for 96% of the electric vehicles sold in the country, AlixPartners said. Automakers sold about 350,000 electric vehicles in China in 2016 – still less than 2% of total vehicle sales.

By 2025, electric vehicle batteries should be close to even with internal combustion engines in terms of production costs, AlixPartners forecast. Lower battery costs could help boost consumer acceptance.

John Hoffecker, the firm's global vice chairman, told reporters at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit on Tuesday that other factors, such as a significant reduction of the time it takes to recharge electric car batteries, will be critical to efforts to win over reluctant consumers.

AlixPartners also cautioned that many of the roughly 50 companies it counts as contestants in the race to develop self-driving cars won't go the distance. "It's impossible to believe there will be 50 successful autonomous vehicle companies," Hoffecker said.

In the United States, AlixPartners said automakers will have to contend with funding investments in new technology against deep-pocketed technology industry players such as Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc, even as sales of cars and light trucks slide into a cyclical trough.

AlixPartners is forecasting that US car and light truck sales will fall to 15.2 million vehicles in 2019, down 13% from the 2016 peak. Other US analysts also predict a slowdown in vehicle sales during the next two to three years. — Reuters/The Star Online

Good public transport spurs economic growth; improves living standards: PM

By ARFA YUNUS - July 7, 2017 @ 4:33pm

KUALA LUMPUR: Over 500,000 people in the Klang Valley will benefit from the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line once its second phase begins operations later this month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

He pointed out that a good public transport system could help propel Malaysia’s economic growth, aside from improving the people's quality of life.

“This month will mark a historic milestone in our public transport system with the completion of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) route.

"This route will serve over 500,000 passengers – a remarkable achievement for Prasarana Malaysia Bhd in efforts to provide a world class public transport system.

"All projects involving public transport are close to my heart, because I believe only a good public transport system can help generate the country's economic growth (and), primarily, improve the quality of the people's life," he said in his blog today.

The second phase of the route will complete the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT line following the first phase of the Sungai Buloh-Semantan route, which has 12 stations and started operations on Dec 16.

The prime minister said that with an integrated public transport network, more Malaysians now have the opportunity to improve their economic status and standard of living.

"In the past, the main problem was an unconnected public transport system. Now, the government strives to connect and expand further (so) that commuters can travel to their workplace faster and at a much lower cost.

"Time is gold. Indeed, more leisure time and transport cost savings will enhance the quality of the people's lives. Such investments prove that the welfare of the people continues to be given priority in the formulation of government policies today," Najib added. - NST Online


Thursday, 20 July 2017

Malaysia on track to quantum leap in digital world developments

 Malaysia on track to quantum leap in digital world developments Alibaba’s new retail (VIDEO)

If you believe in China’s Jack Ma and his competency in the digital world developments, then you cannot deny that Malaysia is on track to a quantum leap advance in digital world technology and its vast applications.

Alibaba Group founder cum executive chairman Jack Ma has praised the federal government and Malaysia at least three times for the strength, tenacity and speed in in implementing projects within three months.

“I doubt Jack Ma’s words of praise are just an exercise of diplomacy. A man of his global ‘digital’ stature does not mince his words nor talk rubbish,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said: “Whatever Jack Ma says, he has to make sure it is truthful. His global reputation is at stake. Do you think he will risk saying things that he will regret in the future?

“Alibaba is no doubt a global leader in digital technology applications for the everyday life of mankind. It is ever evolving and also disrupting the way businesses are being conducted all over the world.” (View the above video link for context.)

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said the federal government “is on track to lead Malaysians and Malaysia into the future world of digital technology and its scores of applications”.

“This is the 21st Century era of digital technology which is fast evolving and even deemed disruptive. We can develop and embrace the changes but the federal government must also prepare Malaysians to adapt to the changes.

“And this entails policy changes to education and human capital building or rebuilding. Malaysia will need a vast pool of talented human capital supply to ensure robust economic growth,” he added.

Here are two postings by online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) on the issue:

"High praise from Jack Ma for Malaysia

FMT Reporters
| July 19, 2017

Founder of Alibaba Group says he was impressed by Malaysia’s strength, tenacity and speed in implementing digital projects within three months.
PETALING JAYA: Founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma heaped praise on Malaysia recently for its speed in accomplishing its latest digital initiatives.

In an exclusive interview with Thailand’s leading English-language daily, The Nation, Ma said he was impressed by Malaysia’s strength, tenacity and speed in implementing digital projects.

“Honestly, we were shocked by Malaysia’s speed. I thought it was impossible for Malaysia but they came through,” he was quoted as saying.

Comparing the way things are done in Malaysia, Ma said Thailand needed a lot of improvement when it comes to implementing digital projects.

Ma, who is Asia’s richest person, made special mention of the personal attention by Prime Minister Najib Razak in pushing for the digital projects to be implemented, by visiting Ma at the Alibaba Group headquarters.

“The prime minister said, in three months, we will make this thing happen,” Ma said of the meeting which took place last November as part of Najib’s official trip to China.

“We thought it was almost impossible to make that happen in three months. It was a huge project, but they made it on time. They set up a great, strong team to follow up on the project.

“They opened up a customs office, inspection offices and made available the land that was required,” he told The Nation.

This is not the first time Ma had praised Malaysia for its speed in implementing the digital projects here.

On March 22, following the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), an e-hub jointly established by Alibaba Group and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp, Ma said it took only 10 minutes for him and Najib to agree on introducing the DFTZ when they met in China in November last year.

“My team and I thought, is four months possible? We have been discussing it with many European and Asean countries. But Malaysia is very business-friendly and much more efficient than I thought,” Ma was reported to have said.

Ma was also appointed as the Malaysian government’s digital economy adviser in March.

With the digital projects implemented in Malaysia, it made the country Alibaba’s first e-WTP (World Trade Platform) hub in the region.

In addition to Malaysia, Ma also cited Pakistan, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia as Asian countries on his group’s special attention list to become e-WTP centres.

Digital Free Trade Zone good for logistics sector, say analysts

FMT Reporters
| March 24, 2017

It is still too early to quantify the impact of the trade and logistics hub as it is only expected to be launched by end-2019, they say.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) and Pos Malaysia Bhd will be the major beneficiaries of the proposed Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ).

This is the view of economic analysts from AmInvestment Bank and HLIB Research, according to a report in The Sun daily.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Najib Razak launched the DFTZ, an e-hub jointly established by Alibaba Group and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.

The idea behind the hub is to lower trade barriers and expand the market for small and medium industries.

At the launch, MAHB and the logistics arm of Alibaba, Cainiao Network, signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a regional electronic commerce and logistics hub in the KLIA Aeropolis by the end of 2019, with operations to be led by Cainiao and Lazada.

The Sun daily reported AmInvestment as saying it believed the DFTZ would boost the long-term outlook of Malaysia’s logistics companies due to the anticipated increase in the volume of goods moving through the zone.

It said the setting up of the DFTZ would be particularly positive on the long-term growth of MAHB, as the DFTZ would be located in the KL Aeropolis, previously the low-cost carrier terminal.

AmInvestment said it also expected the DFTZ to benefit Pos Malaysia’s subsidiary, KL Airport Services Sdn Bhd, which provides warehousing and logistics services at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

In a separate note, HLIB Research also said the MoU was good for the MAHB. “We believe the initiative will attract strong demands from logistics players (domestic and international) for shares of land development earmarked under KLIA Aeropolis – Air Cargo and Logistics,” it said.

Despite the positive signs, however, AmInvestment maintained its “neutral” call on the transport and logistics sector.

“Although we believe the set-up of DFTZ will be positive on the long-term growth of MAHB and the overall logistics sector in the country, we believe it is still too early to quantify the impact of DTFZ, as it is only expected to be launched by end-2019,” it said.

The Star daily quoted Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai as saying the initial phase of the DFTZ would be located on the 17.5ha site of the former low-cost carrier terminal. It will have a centralised customs clearance, warehousing and e-fulfilment facilities.

“When DFTZ is fully developed by 2025, the e-fulfilment hub is anticipated to handle and move up to US$65 billion (RM287 billion) worth of goods around the Asean region.”

The DFTZ will facilitate cross-border movement of goods as well as ensure seamless air connectivity, the report said.

“It could deliver packages within 72 hours to Asean countries through the good air connectivity at KLIA and sea connectivity via Port Klang,” Liow was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Channel News Asia reported the DFTZ was part of Alibaba group executive chairman Jack Ma’s plan to build an Electronic World Trade Platform – a more inclusive, free and innovative global trading platform for SMEs, the young and consumers.

Ma said Malaysia was the first to take him up on his vision when he met Najib last year.

“People say ‘Why Malaysia?’ Of course, four months ago when I sat in Beijing… I did not think we could make it happen, but we made it. Malaysia is very business-friendly. It’s efficient. It’s much more efficient than I thought,” Ma was quoted as saying.






辱骂和傲慢的“拿督斯里”最终罪有应得 --被拘捕!真是报应拿督斯里!








2017年7月12日 星期三

“拿督斯里” 制造喧鬧被拘留在警察局









N.37 让赛阿都拉萨屹立武吉兰樟

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Two can play the same game? Bloody fools, it does not make it right!

But will it bring any good to Malaysians and Malaysia?
 Two can play the same game? Bloody fools, it does not make it right!

They say two can play the same game. But why must they, if the game does not benefit rakyat dan negara (people and country)?

Online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT)’s news report titled “Expect more racial rhetoric as PH and Umno woo Malays” is certainly a clear eye-opener on political hypocrisy.

“It’s what I have been saying and stressing since the launch of my blogs on Jan 1, 2017. There are good and bad apples on both sides of the political divide,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said both PH and Umno should refrain from using race to woo voters because “it only serves to destroy national unity and harmony”.

“It’s just plain hypocrisy and selfish. It’s a disservice to rakyat dan negara, Malaysians, dishonest and irresponsible,” he added.

Syed Razak said politicians from both sides of the political divide should use socio-economic issues and come up with proposals and policies on how to serve rakyat dan negara better and more effectively.

“There is no need to use race because we are all Malaysians first … Oops, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) Deputy President Muhyiddin “I Am Malay First” Yassin disagrees,” he added.
But will the embracing of this kind of attitude by politicians bring benefits to Malaysians and Malaysia?
Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “I reiterate, yet again, that Malaysians and Malaysians must try and identify and elect truly honest leaders with integrity who will diligently be committed to service without fear or favour and to make the right decisions.

“They can come from any party. It doesn’t matter because if the majority of elected representatives in the states and federal are reliable leaders, all else good will naturally fall in place. They will be making honest and right decisions according to conscience for Malaysians and a better Malaysia,” he added.

Syed Razak said: “No doubt it’s a tough task for Malaysians to identify the truly honest and reliable GE14 candidates for election but all must try and hope for the best. Difficult because people can change after being elected.

“We must get rid of the baggage from both sides of the political divide, retain those who are consistently delivering and give new faces to prove themselves.

“Voting according to political affiliation has proven to be flawed in electoral history because there are bad and unreliable politicians on both sides of the political divide.

“The only political solution for Malaysians and Malaysians appear to be ensuring the majority of assemblymen and MPs are reliable.”

Here’s what Singapore’s Straits Times reported and posted by FMT:

"Expect more racial rhetoric as PH and Umno woo Malays
FMT Reporters

| July 18, 2017

Report says Umno’s use of race following the revelation of the Pakatan Harapan leadership structure shows it fears the opposition coalition may slice into its Malay vote bank.

KUALA LUMPUR: With the Pakatan Harapan (PH) poised to offer a serious challenge to its stranglehold on Malaysian politics, Umno is ratcheting up the racial rhetoric.

According to a report in The Straits Times (ST) this is because it fears losing its grip on the crucial Malay vote bank after former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad formally took charge of the opposition last Friday.

The ST report said with the general election due in a year’s time, politicians and analysts expected to see “increased pandering to Malay-Muslim insecurities” in the coming months.

Vriens & Partners political analyst Adib Zalkapli told the ST: “Umno has to work extra hard to defend its turf as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) ethnic minority parties have so far not mounted a credible challenge against the opposition… leading to a more racially tinged campaign from both sides.”

Mahathir was Umno president for more than two decades before retiring in 2003. Now, he is out to topple current Umno president Najib Razak.

The report said despite misgivings from civil society, the PH aimed to use Mahathir’s influence to break Umno’s stranglehold on the Malay community that made up the majority in more than half of the parliamentary constituencies.

There is speculation that Prime Minister Najib Razak will call an election after the Aug 19-30 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said polls would be held after September.

The report said observers had earlier expected the lion’s share of the Malay votes to go to the BN and PAS, which left the opposition in 2015 after accusing Chinese-dominated DAP of being anti-Islam. But, it added, Mahathir’s “pre-eminence has reset calculations and reignited the battle for Malay support”.

It noted that Umno started the racial rhetoric last weekend, insisting that Mahathir was only a puppet, and that the DAP held the real power in the PH as it had the most lawmakers among the four PH partners.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said, “This is how the opposition clouds the matter. If DAP is not the leader, they are pretending. How can the party with the least seats become the leader?” He was referring to the fact that PPBM, which is chaired by Mahathir, has only one MP.

Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob also warned that “we Malays will be split into three… DAP will have the most seats and, constitutionally, they are entitled to decide who will be prime minister”.

The ST report said Najib, on the other hand, took a more nuanced approach by asking Mahathir to take a clear stance on the repeated charges of sexual misconduct against Anwar, who is currently in jail after a 2015 conviction for sodomy, considered highly taboo for Muslims.

“Does Dr Mahathir still stand by his 1998 statement accusing Anwar of unnatural acts? He even said Anwar was a leader without honour, and cannot lead the country,” said Najib, referring to what Mahathir had said when he sacked Anwar, who was deputy prime minister, that year.

The ST report quoted DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang as saying that Umno was just panicking over PH’s new leadership structure, where top positions were held by Malays.

“We can now see a new carefully crafted propaganda strategy – to run down the Mahathir-Anwar (Ibrahim) reconciliation,” Lim was quoted as saying.