Federal govt continues to ensure Labuan’s economic development – Ahmad Shabery


MO,23/2/2018, LABUAN: The federal government will not turn a blind eye on the future of Labuan’s economic development after more than three decades of the duty-free island’s establishment as part of the Federal Territories. Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said Labuan which served as the international financial services and oil and gas centre, had always been cared for, in the best possible way by the federal government.

“We do not want to see Labuan lagging. It (Labuan) is like a child having been handed over by the biological mother to the father (federal government). “Thus, it is now the responsibility of the father to safeguard the child’s well-being and carry out the trust in the best possible way.

“For us, safeguarding Labuan is like pampering a child, many may see it as spoiling (the child), but we need to spoil and shower love upon Labuan…so when the child is in pain, we have to make sure the child is well cared for,” he told reporters after launching the handing-over of crop incentive and ‘Sentuhan Kasih Tani’ programmes at the Kilan Agricultural Park here today. He said Labuan should shift to another sector that could generate its economy for the long term and not solely rely on the oil and gas sector.

“The announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to build a bridge from Labuan to Sabah is a game changer for the transformation of the Labuan economic landscape,” he said, adding that his ministry would also play a role in helping Labuan in its economic transformation through fisheries and agricultural development projects.

“We want to ensure that plans to turn Labuan into a tourism destination will be achieved with sufficient supply of diversified food and fruits.” He said his ministry would also help reduce the dependence on food supply such as vegetables and fruits from Sabah, which led to a rise in food prices on the tax-free island due to transportation costs.

Prior to that, he presented incentives totaling RM423,100 to six agricultural development programmes involving 896 participants.


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Govt will ensure Proton’s survival – Najib


MO,22/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: The government will ensure Proton’s survival with all the necessary tweaks it needs in facing the increasingly competitive market, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said. “Whatever we have to rescue, we will rescue,” he said, adding that the national car manufacturer was too big to fail. Proton has about 10,000 employees and was reported to have developed about 400 vendors and sub-vendors plus more than 350 sales and services outlets, which employed at least 50,000 staff.

Proton currently enjoys a 13 per cent market share. “We will make sure Proton survives but we will restructure to make it competitive,” he said at the “Budget 2018 With The Rakyat” programme here today. Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said that the government would unravel some of the earlier decisions made on toll roads. “I will unravel some of the earlier decisions which I think was not made in the best interest of the people of Malaysia. That I will do.

“We have unravelled the IPP (Independent Power Producer), the very unpopular privatisation, sweetheart deal is what I call it. I will review if there are any other toll that can be abolished,” he added. The Prime Minister stressed that the government would continue to care for the country’s 30 million population. “And (I) will continue to take care of you,” he said.


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Government to ensure overall approach in urbanisation process


MO,13/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: The government will ensure an overall approach is taken in the policy making as a way forward for urbanisation in Malaysia. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was to ensure a sustainable urbanisation for the benefit of future generations which would become the citizens, managers, employers and policy makers. “It is too easy to forget that the urban problems that prevail today are a result of our inadequacies of yesterday and the only way to address prevailing urban issues is to act without delay today for a better tomorrow.

“If we want change for the better, we have to make them ourselves by not repeating mistakes of the past,” he said at the closing ceremony of the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9) here, today. The text of his speech was read by Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar. Also present were UN Habitat Executive Director Datuk Maimunah Mohd Shariff. Thus, Ahmad Zahid said the government was committed to enforce and implement the policies, strategies and action plans in Malaysia’s Development Policies and growth plans with the right government support of finance, coordination, manpower and machinery.

He said the government would also ensure the voices of the people were listened to and partnerships developed to have more effective actions and desired outcomes for the good of all. In addition, he said, Malaysia would prioritise on urban issues and climate change without compromising on rural equality, social cohesion and economic growth in all sectors. Malaysia will also strive to ensure that national public policies, urban, as well as regional plans, help to support economic growth while protecting natural and agricultural land use, he said.

“Malaysia will not be neglecting the rural areas even though the focus will be on cities and urban issues. The urban and the rural are increasingly inter-connected, rural areas have become places of consumption as leisure and recreation have become important functions of rural areas, he said. He said there were also indications that increased urbanisation could even lead to a stronger appreciation of green areas situated far beyond city limits.

Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia already had its economic planning and the national physical development, as well as the urban development frameworks, that supported sustainable development, growth and management of the cities. “To implement the strategies and programmes, we are strengthening the role of the local government as the third tier of government machinery, so that they are innovative, efficient and capable of collaborating and partnering with the community, the private sector as well as with organisations from other countries,” he added.

Visualising Malaysia in 2030, he said among others, the population would have reached about 36 million, the urbanisation rate would have increased to 80 per cent, the GDP at RM2.6 trillion, GDP per capita of more than RM117,000 and world trade would have exceeded USD44 trillion. WUF9 is being held from Feb 7 until 13. WUF is a non-legislative technical forum convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) since 2002.

It is recognised as the foremost global arena for interaction among policymakers, local government leaders, non-governmental organisations and expert practitioners in the field of sustainable urban development and human settlements.– BERNAMA

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PM: We’ll ensure sustainable city life


MO,9/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia faces challenges in managing the increasing pace of urbanisation but the Government will ensure that city residents continue to enjoy a good and sustainable quality of life, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said the rate of urbanisation was rapidly rising in the country, from 30% in the 1970s to more than 75% at present. By 2050, the urbanisation rate is expected to exceed 85%, said the Prime Minister.

“As in many parts of the world, we face the challenges of successfully managing such a massive urban transformation. “We must ensure that Malaysians living in our cities enjoy a good quality of life that is sustainable for future generations,” he said at the launch of the Ninth World Urban Forum (WUF9). Held every two years, the WUF is the largest United Nations conference on sustainable urban development and cities. The WUF9, held from Feb 7 to 13, is attended by about 25,000 people from 193 countries.

Organised by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the theme for WUF9 is “Cities 2030, Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda”. The forum is being held for the second time in Asia with over 500 events, including assemblies, high-level roundtable talks, dialogues and special sessions. Cities which had hosted the forum before include Naples, Rio de Janeiro, Nanjing, Vancouver, Barcelona and Nairobi. Others who were also present at the launch included UN-Habitat executive director Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif and Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.

Najib congratulated Maimunah, the former Penang Island City Council Mayor on her appointment to the position which was announced in December. “We are all proud that a Malaysian public official and a Malaysian woman has been elected to head such an esteemed organisation,” said the Prime Minister. Najib in his speech said that Malaysia was doing well to ensure inclusiveness despite its rapid progress and urbanisation. He cited the World Economic Forum’s latest report where Malaysia was ranked first among emerging Asian economies for inclusiveness.

Najib said the Government had put in place many measures to promote greater inclusiveness, including building affordable homes, helping low-income groups, ensuring access to affordable medical care and investing heavily in public transportation. Najib said Malaysia’s next aim was to become one of the top 20 leading nations of the world by the year 2050.


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Zahid: 2,000-strong security force to ensure safety at Ninth World Urban Forum


MO,2/2/2018, KUALA LUMPUR: Authorities have taken measures to ensure that the Ninth World Urban Forum taking place here next week remains incident free. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi  said Malaysia safety issues are never taken lightly when hosting international events. “We expect 25,000 people to attend the forum, which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Feb 7, and 50% of them are foreign delegates.

“The involvement of all parties (police, Fire and Rescue Department and Armed Forces) is important,” he told reporters after attending a counter-terrorism exercise at KLCC here on Friday. Malaysia is hosting the forum organised by the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Ministry and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Dr Ahmad Zahid said about 2,000 personnel would be on duty throughout the forum.


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Sultan to ensure temple is built Johor


MO,22/1/2018 , JOHOR BARU: Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has asked that a new Hindu temple be constructed following the demolition of an 80-year-old temple located on privately owned land. He will personally ensure a new site is made available for the construction of the new temple by the state government. He urged all concerned groups to extend their full cooperation to ensure the incident was resolved amicably.

The Sultan said this after he granted an audience with several representatives of the Dewa Shree Sivasakthi Shree Sinnakaruppar Devotees Association along with local leaders in a meeting at Istana Bukit Pelangi here yesterday  Also present was Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Al-Haj ibni Sultan Ibrahim.

In another gesture of magnanimity, the Ruler offered a cash handout of RM100,000, while Tunku Idris offered RM70,000 to the temple committee to facilitate the cost of the relocation exercise. Also present at the meeting was Johor Unity and Human Resources Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan.

The temple was situated on privately owned land and the landlord had obtained a court order to demolish the building. After talks with the temple leaders failed, the temple was demolished on Jan 11. Vidyananthan said the state has agreed to allocate 0.4ha for the new site of the temple, which is about 1.5km from the old one.

He said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin was committed to ensuring this matter was resolved amicably. “I hope everyone will calm down and not speculate on the matter as we have done everything possible to resolve this issue,” he said. Khaled had earlier urged everyone to stop spreading inaccurate information over the temple demolition. The matter has gone viral on social media and caused an uproar among the temple devotees.

At a separate function, MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the Federal Government has allocated RM100,000 for the temple fund, bringing the total contributions to RM270,000. He thanked the Ruler for his concern and initiative. He also proposed that dialogue sessions be held first before any decision on the demolition of Hindu temples be made. Dr Subramaniam hoped the matter will be laid to rest now that the issue has been resolved.


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Regular consultation key to ensure successful implementation of projects, says Sabah CM


MO,15/1/2018, KOTA KINABALU: Consultation and close cooperation between Federal ministries and their counterparts are vital in the implementation of projects, says Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman. He said it is only through regular consultation that Federal ministries would know what Sabah’s needs are.

Musa expressed his appreciation to Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob for setting up the Rural and Regional Development Ministry – Sabah government Project Planning and Monitoring Main Joint Committee.

Ismail, meanwhile, assured the Sabah government that it will always be consulted on any development programmes under his ministry to be implemented in Sabah.

“The state government knows best the development needs of Sabah and therefore, what projects should be implemented,” he said.

He said all projects under the ministry will undergo a joint working committee consisting of both representatives from the state and Federal ministries.


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