Dott. Giulio Perrotta
Dott. Giulio Perrotta

 

     " dal 2 Maggio 2012 "

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Six express bus drivers were on drugs during CNY: AADK (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
SEREMBAN: Six express bus drivers were found to be on drugs during an integrated operation in conjunction with the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration from Feb 9 to yesterday. Aged between 25 and 40, they were found to have taken synthetic drugs, said National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK) director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Halim Mohd Hussin. He said the six were among 2,325 bus drivers inspected at 25 major bus terminals nationwide. "As of yesterday, the six express bus drivers tested positive for drugs and this operation will end on Sunday. "This shows there are still some public transportation drivers who abuse drugs but the implementation of a continuous operation will be able to weed out drug abuse among them," he told reporters after launching the Combat Drug All Out 3.0 programme organised by the Negeri Sembilan AADK here today. Also present was state AADK director Nazira Sadiron. Abdul Halim also recommended that bus companies carry out routine urine tests on drivers to ensure they were free from drugs or refer them to private clinics or health centres to undergo urine tests.
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Don't compare M'sian broadband speeds with regional countries: Jailani (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA BERANG: Malaysians have been urged not to compare the the Internet speeds in the country to other countries in the region, as the approach used by the respective governments to provide facilities to their people were different. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari (pix) said in this regard, the Malaysian government preferred to focus on Internet coverage throughout the country. "In contrast to Vietnam (for example) where it is more focused on Ho Chi Minh City whereas in Malaysia, the focus is more comprehensive. "In Malaysia, our broadband and 4G networks are focused on the whole country, so it's not the same situation ... the same goes for Singapore, where the population is not the same as Malaysia," he told reporters during an event with the local community at Tanah Lot, Kampung Bukit Gemuroh, here, today. He said in Malaysia, there were two broadband development programmes, including the Universal Service Provision (USP) programme, in which funds are contributed by the service providers and operated by the MCMC. "The funds are given based on tender in selected locations throughout Malaysia, especially in rural areas which lack coverage," he said. Jailani, who is also Hulu Terengganu MP, was commenting on an article published by Free Malaysia Today yesterday stating that the country had a wide 4G network but its speed was among the slowest in the region. The report said based on a study conducted by Open Signal, a company specialising in wireless coverage mapping, the country's 4G coverage had a 74.88% penetration rate, but its average speed was only 14.83 Mbps. "We are aware of the comments given (in the report) and I would like to emphasise that the upgrading process from 3G to 4G is currently underway, and covers all networks throughout Malaysia. "We have a target whereby by 2025, the broadband penetration rate will be at 95%, compared to 84%," he said. — Bernama
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Malaysian passport is sixth most powerful globally (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian international passport is in the top six of most powerful passports in the world based on the 2018 Passport Index developed by global financial advisory firm, Arton Capital. The Passport Index is a reference point on all passports' rankings based on the number of countries that can be visited by people of a country without requiring a visa, or with a visa-on-arrival. Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali said the recognition was something expected as the Malaysian passport met the guidelines set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao), and that it was now accepted in 157 countries without requiring visa. "Looking at history, Malaysian passport is the world's first passport that is equipped with chip-based biometric security features," he said in a statement here today. Mustafar said the passport was further enhanced with additional security features to meet Icao's Document 9303 standards in 2013, while the chip was included in the biodata page in 2016. He also said the latest version of the Malaysian passport came with 50 additional security features and a more unique design reflecting the country's landmarks, local flora and fauna, as well as the five principles of "Rukun Negara" (National Principles), he said. "These additional security features have enhanced the trustworthiness of the people and international authorities to further strengthen (the passport's) use overseas," he said. Mustafar said the application for Malaysian passport could be made online, and the new passport could be completed within an hour after payment was made, ahead of developed countries in the world. — Bernama
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KTMB reviews operational procedures of women-only coach (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) is reviewing the operational procedures of its women-only coach to ensure its effectiveness. KTMB chief executive officer Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin said the joint effort with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) was among the steps taken to educate the public, especially men, on the etiquette when using the special coach. He said enforcement operations and awareness campaign were launched yesterday to prevent abuse of the facility. "I urge the public to help and support KTMB by reminding each other on the importance and sensitivity of the ladies coach for the benefit of all passengers," he said in a press statement today. Mohd Rani Hisham said auxiliary policemen would conduct periodical monitoring inside the coaches to ensure that they would be utilised by women passengers only. The women-only coach was introduced by KTMB in 2010 on its KTM Komuter service to cater to the comfort and safety of its passengers. — Bernama
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Thai police hand over two Malaysian men arrested in raid on call centre syndicate (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
BANGKOK: Two Malaysian men who were arrested by Thai authorities during a raid on an international call centre scam syndicate in Bangkok Oct last year, were handed over to Malaysia today to be repatriated to their home country. Tourist Police Bureau deputy head Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan said, Malaysian police had requested their Thai counterpart to hand over the two men, aged 21 and 27, to facilitate their own investigation on the syndicate purportedly headed by a Taiwanese man. "The handing over of the two Malaysian men today was part of our joint cooperation in cracking down the international call centre scam syndicates," he said during a media conference here today, following the handing over of the two men to Malaysian police officers here, today. The Malaysian police according to him, had also handed over two Thai men to Thai police three days ago after a raid on a call centre scam syndicate in Kuala Lumpur last month. The Thai men claimed they would be beaten if they refused to work for the syndicate. Surachet said the two Malaysian men handed over to Malaysian police today were apprehended during a raid on a rented condominium in Bangna area, outskirt of Bangkok in Oct last year, where Thai police also arrested a Taiwanese man and five other Malaysians. Four of the arrested Malaysians including two women have been sent back to their home country in recent weeks, as investigation by Thai police on them was completed. One of the Malaysian women claimed she suffered beatings, allegedly perpetrated by the Taiwanese man and held inside the condominium against her will. The Thai authorities were still holding the Taiwanese man and another Malaysian man, a 19-year-old Malacca native for further questioning on the international call centre scam syndicate. — Bernama
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MOH bans three cosmetic products containing poisons (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Department (NPRA) has named three cosmetic products that contain scheduled poisons which can be harmful to health. In a statement, Health director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pix) said the products are GG Pinky Day Cream for Skin, Tati Therapy Cream 1 and Tati Therapy Cream 2. "The notifications of these cosmetic products have been cancelled by the senior director of pharmaceutical services after detecting scheduled poisons in the products," he said. Dr. Noor Hisham said among the scheduled poisons found in the products were mercury, hydroquinone, and tretinoin which were prohibited in cosmetic products. He said cosmetic products mixed with hydroquinone, if used could cause redness to the skin, discomfort, undesirable skin discolouration and might also cause the skin to become hypersensitive. "The side effects of the use of hydroquinone can halt the process of pigmentation (depigmentation) which reduces skin protection from UV rays and this could lead to skin cancer," he warned. Cosmetic products mixed with tretinoin are usually used to treat acne and reduce wrinkles. However, unsupervised use of the product can cause redness to the skin, discomfort, burning, peeling and hypersensitivity to sunlight. For products mixed with mercury, the side effects, when it is absorbed by the body can cause damage to the kidney and nervous system. It can also affect the development of a child's brain. The adverse effects due to the exposure to mercury are usually experienced by the people around, especially children. When the products are applied to the skin it can cause rashes, irritation and changes to the skin. Dr. Noor Hisham warned sellers and distributors to stop selling and distributing the three cosmetic products immediately because they could face punishment under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984. "Offenders can be fined not more than RM25,000 or imprisonment of up to three years, or both, for the first offence. For subsequent offences, offenders can be fined not exceeding RM50,000 or be jailed for up to five years, or both," he said. For any inquiries, consumers are advised to contact the NPRA at 03-7883 5400, email to kosmetik@npra.gov.my or visit the NPRA website at http://npra.moh.gov.my. — Bernama
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Nine military personnel remanded over alleged gang rape (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
JOHOR BARU: Nine military personnel have been remanded for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl in Kluang last December. Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said the suspects, in their 20s, were picked up yesterday before being remanded beginning today. "I confirm the report (lodged by the victim) … The nine (suspects) are being remanded for seven days until March 1," he said when contacted here today. It is learned that all the men, from the Mahkota Camp in Kluang, were hauled up after the girl lodged a report at the Kluang police station at about 8.50am yesterday. It is also learned that the complainant was said to have checked into a hotel at the town with one of the suspects, who is also her lover, before being approached by eight other suspects and gang-raped. — Bernama
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Biggest Indonesian party backs President Widodo for new term (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
JAKARTA: Indonesia's biggest political party in parliament today endorsed President Joko Widodo as its candidate for elections in 2019, joining four other parties backing him for a second term. The presidential election is widely expected to be a re-run of a 2014 vote with Widodo taking on retired general Prabowo Subianto of the opposition Gerindra (Greater Indonesia Movement) party. "I hereby state that the PDIP presidential candidate is Joko Widodo," Megawati Sukarnoputri, chairwoman of the nationalist Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) party, said in a video from the party's congress on the island of Bali. Photographs on the Twitter feed of cabinet secretary and PDIP member Pramono Anung showed a smiling Widodo and Sukarnoputri holding up their arms together surrounded by party members. A presidential candidate needs the support of parties together got 25% of the national vote in the previous election or have 20% of seats in parliament. Four other political parties have already officially declared support for Widodo including the second-biggest party, Golkar. Widodo, a former furniture salesman, is Indonesia's first president to come from outside the political and military elite. The former governor of the capital, Jakarta, beat tycoons and former generals in 2014, riding a wave of support for his energetic style and tough record on corruption. While in office, Widodo has led a push to build infrastructure though annual growth in Southeast Asia's biggest economy, at around 5 per cent, has yet to reach the 7 per cent he pledged when campaigning in 2014. Widodo remains the most popular candidate in most opinion polls. Pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting said in a December survey 53% of respondents would support Widodo, while his nearest rival, Subianto, got 18.5%. Subianto has been reported as saying he is willing to run for president in 2019, though he has not confirmed this. Candidates have until mid-August to register. Asked about a vice president for his ticket, Widodo told reporters he would need to consult other parties. "We will talk to all parties, then we will tell you," he said. ― Reuters
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FGV not affected by EU ban on palm oil (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The European Union's (EU) plan to phase out palm-oil based biofuel from its energy mix from 2021 will not affect Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) as its export to the EU is minimal, said its Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Zakaria Arshad (pix). "Our production or sales to the EU is only about two per cent of our business and (even) without the ban we (still) could not sell because of the price wise. Therefore we only concentrate on the local market. "However, I am worried about the perception of palm oil by the other consuming countries as they might think the EU's ban is in totality, which is wrong," he told reporters after announcing FGV's 2017 results here today. The EU Parliament voted on Jan 17, 2018 to ban palm oil-based biofuels by 2021, while other vegetable oil-based biofuels such as those from soya oil and rapeseed oil can continue to be used until 2030. FGV's net profit rose to RM208.04 million in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 from RM66.45 million a year ago. Revenue, however, declined two per cent to RM16.97 billion from RM17.24 billion previously, as a result of lower profits accrued from the sugar sector which suffered from higher raw sugar costs, the world largest palm oil producer's said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today. Asked whether FGV is also eyeing India's ailing vegetable oil producer Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd, Zakaria replied, "As for now, Ruchi Soya not in our target." Yesterday, Sime Darby Plantation was reported to have expressed interest in the company, which has 25 per cent market share and a number of brands. Zakaria revealed that FGV planned to divest two to three non-core businesses that would bring an additional income to the company this year.ear. "One of two are already concluded and these will give impact on this year's financial results," he said. — Bernama
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Taiwan seeks 'new phase' of China ties in reshuffle (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
TAIPEI: Taiwan replaced its China affairs chief Friday, promoting a minister associated with pro-independence politics in what it said was a bid to forge a "new phase" in relations with rival Beijing. Analysts said the move, part of a major reshuffle, signalled a push by President Tsai Ing-wen to take a more assertive stance as ties with the Chinese government grow increasingly frosty. China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified and has cut off official communications with Taipei as Tsai refuses to acknowledge the self-ruling, democratic island is part of "one China". Chen Ming-tong will take over the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) which oversees Taiwan's relations with China. He previously served as head of the MAC from 2007 to 2008 under Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian, who was a staunch independence advocate. "Chen is familiar with cross-strait exchanges... he can also create a new phase and a new vision in cross-strait affairs by returning to the job," cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung told reporters. Presidential secretary-general Joseph Wu, a confidant of Tsai with expertise in international and cross-strait relations, also became the new foreign minister. The pair replaces relatively conservative ministers, indicating Tsai's intention to take a more bullish approach to cross-strait relations, said Hung Chin-fu, a political analyst at National Cheng Kung University. "She aims to find a strategic balance, a dynamic equilibrium between the two sides so Taiwan won't be in a passive situation where it keeps taking punches by China," he told AFP. Tsai has pledged to maintain the "status quo" with Beijing but pro-independence politicians in her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have criticised her for not taking a tougher stance. Ties with Beijing have become increasingly tense since Tsai took office in 2016. Beijing has stepped up the pressure on her government with increased military drills and by wooing away Taiwan's dwindling number of diplomatic allies. When China last month began operating new flight routes in the Taiwan Strait without consulting the island, Taipei slammed the move as "reckless and politically motivated". Taiwan retaliated by blocking requests by two Chinese airlines to operate 176 additional cross-strait flights during the peak Lunar New Year holiday period. The reshuffle also aimed to boost support for Tsai's DPP ahead of her mid-term test with key local government elections by the end of 2018, analysts said. National Security Council secretary-general Yen Teh-fa is also set to replace gaffe-prone defence minister Feng Shih-kuan, who was criticised and ridiculed for giving himself a perfect mark of "100 points" when grading his job performance and for describing himself as "more handsome" than a top movie star. — AFP
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theSundaily.my Business

Scomi Engineering to be delisted on Feb 28 (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Scomi Engineering Bhd (SEB) will be delisted from Bursa Malaysia on February 28 after the completion of its merger with parent company Scomi Group Bhd. To recap, it was supposed to be a three-way merger between Scomi, SEB and Scomi Energy Services Bhd (SESB). However, the proposal received objection from SESB shareholders. As a result, Scomi did not proceed with its merger with SESB. Trading in SEB shares has been suspended since February 9 to facilitate the implementation of the merger exercise.
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Ringgit ends marginally lower versus US dollar (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended marginally lower against the US dollar today, amid the tapering of global oil prices, said dealers. At 6pm, the local note was quoted at 3.9170/9200 versus the greenback from 3.9150/9190 on Thursday. Oanda Corp Asia Head of Trading for Asia Pacific Stephen Innes told Bernama, the crude oil market continued to communicate concern over rising levels of shale production. "On other developments, we believe US interest rates are in the process of topping but until we get a definitive signal from the new Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, hopefully, next week, we should expect offshore flows to remain light in the short-run," he said. Meanwhile, the benchmark Brent crude traded 0.44% lower at US$65.82 (RM258) per barrel. The ringgit, meanwhile, traded lower against a basket of major currencies. It declined against the Singapore dollar to 2.9607/9639 from Thursday's 2.9592/9629 and depreciated against the yen to 3.6642/6677 from 3.6476/6517 yesterday. The local unit also decreased against the British pound to 5.4705/4762 from 5.4368/4439 and eased against the euro to 4.8203/8255 from 4.8123/8188 on Thursday. — Bernama
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YTL Corp Q2 earnings fall 14.6% on lower contribution from most business segments (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: YTL Corp Bhd saw its net profit decline 14.6% to RM126.09 million for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2017, from RM147.69 million in the previous corresponding quarter due to lower earnings from most business segments. Revenue for the quarter up 7.7% to RM3.9 billion compared with RM3.62 billion in the same period a year ago. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the group said the decrease in revenue and profits for its construction business was mainly due to lower site progress recorded. Its hotel division recorded a decrease in profit attributed to the unrealised foreign exchange loss on inter-company balances, ongoing phased renovation as well as training expenses. The cement manufacturing and trading segment also saw a dip in profit on the back of higher production cost and competitive pricing in the domestic market. The utilities business, meanwhile, was dragged by lower margin for both electricity sales and oil tank leasing, coupled with higher finance cost recorded by multi utilities business division. On its prospects, YTL said it expects the construction segment to achieve satisfactory performance for the financial year ending June 30, 2018 as the construction contracts relate mainly to the group's property development and infrastructure works. For the six-month period, its net profit decreased 9.7% to RM268.99 million against RM298.02 million a year ago, while revenue grew 10% to RM7.83 billion from RM7.11 billion previously. Its share price gained one sen or 0.68% to close at RM1.48 on 8.35 million shares traded.
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VSolar's power plant project with UTM lapses (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: VSolar Group Bhd's plan to develop a 30MW solar energy plant with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has been aborted. VSolar told Bursa Malaysia that both parties had mutually agreed to terminate their joint venture agreement (JVA) for the development of solar energy generation facilities. "The mutual termination of the JVA is not expected to have a material impact on the profit and net tangible assets per share of the group for the financial year ending June 30, 2018," it said. Following the termination, VSolar said it will continue to explore opportunities in the acquisition and development of other solar projects. VSolar's shares gained 3.85% to close at 13.5 sen with some 15.08 million shares changing hands.
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Kuantan Flour Mills to expand into pet food industry (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Kuantan Flour Mills Bhd (KFM), a Practice Note 17 (PN 17) company, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MCM Petcare Sdn Bhd for a proposed business collaboration to facilitate its expansion into trading and retailing of pet food products. The group said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that the eventual plan is to venture into the manufacturing of pet food products. The collaboration could be executed either through a business collaboration arrangement between both parties or a direct acquisition of a majority equity interest in MCM. The MoU is valid for a period of six months. MCM has been distributing pet care products to retailers such as super or hypermarkets and pet shops throughout Malaysia since 1999. KFM's shares fell 6.67% to close at 14 sen on some 10,000 shares done.
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Bursa Malaysia ends higher (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended higher on continued buying interest in selected heavyweight stocks, led by the finance sector, coupled with the bounce on regional peers, dealers said. The barometer index was mainly lifted by Public Bank and CIMB Group, which together accounted for 4.59 points of the index. At the close, the key FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) was 6.43 points higher at 1,861.50, after moving between 1,853.66 and 1,864.95 during the day. It opened 1.41 points lower at 1,853.66 from Thursday's close of 1,855.07. On the broader market, gainers outpaced losers by 560 to 430 with 432 counters unchanged, 472 untraded and 36 others were suspended. Volume increased to 3.55 billion units, worth RM2.68 billion, compared with Thursday's 2.34 billion shares valued at RM2.28 billion. A dealer said the local bourse tracked the performance of Asian markets which rebounded to make broad gains today after the better overnight performance of Wall Street. "Asian stocks also ended higher today after US government debt yields fell from multi-year highs reached on Wednesday, helping ease worries over inflation and higher interest rates," he added. On the local front, the local bourse traded range bound in early session as investors continued to weigh the minutes of the recent Federal Reserve (Fed) meeting, as well as, the impact of higher bond yields but last-minute buying of heavyweight stocks helped lift the market higher, he added. Heavyweights, Maybank and CIMB added six sen each to RM10.26 and RM7.19, respectivley, Public Bank rose 52 sen to RM22.80 and while Tenaga and Petronas Chemicals were flat at RM15.64 and RM8.11 respectively. Among active counters, Mah Sing warrant and MRCB warrant added one sen each to 1.5 sen and 3.5 sen, respectively, Toyoink warrant rose 5.5 sen to 15.5 sen while AirAsia X improved 2.5 sen to 44 sen. The FBM Emas Index gained 37.02 points to 13,313.78, the FBMT 100 Index added 33.35 points to 13,005.39, the FBM Ace rose 66.77 points to 6,449.98, the FBM 70 improved 2.88 points to 16,372.55 and the FBM Emas Syariah Index advanced 9.03 points to 13,601.39. Sector-wise, the Industrial Index was 4.03 points lower at 3,252.13 and the Plantation Index slipped 30.39 points to 8,061.49 but the Finance Index jumped 133.07 points to 18,001.78 The Main Market volume increased to 2.33 billion units, worth RM248.11 billion, compared with 1.54 billion units, valued at RM1.90 billion, recorded on Thursday. Volume on the ACE Market rose to 576.88 million shares, valued at RM95.29 million, from 337.31 million shares, worth RM69.28 million, transacted yesterday. Warrants' volume was higher at 63.12 million units, worth RM96.77 million, from Thursday's 464.30 million units valued at RM86.99 million. Consumer products accounted for 117.58 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products (594.41 million), construction (63.53 million), trade and services (728.34 million), technology (56.69 million), infrastructure (6.45 million), SPAC (33.42 million), finance (70.02 million), hotels (304,300), properties (600.95 million), plantations (52.11 million), mining (298,200), REITs (5.34 million), and closed/fund (7,000) The physical price of gold as at 5pm stood at RM161.83 per gramme, up 78 sen from RM161.05 at 5pm yesterday. — Bernama
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Dayang falls into the red in Q4 on lower profit margins (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Dayang Enterprise Holdings Bhd swung to the red registering a net loss of RM54.25 million in the fourth quarter ended December 31,2017 against a net profit of RM46.71 million in the same quarter last year, due to lower profit margins arising from lower charter rates and forex losses. Its forex loses for the quarter under review amounted to RM19.6 million as compared to a forex gain of RM48.9 million reported in the last quarter of the previous year. Revenue, meanwhile, declined 12.8% to RM173.76 million from RM199.2 million on the back of lower work orders received and performed. The group expects 2018 to be busy and upbeat based on current work orders received from oil majors and the work planning activities which are currently on hand as well as renewed maintenance construction and modification (MCM), PAN hook-up and commissioning (HUC) contracts, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) activities. "Going into 2018, the group will continue to draw down its revenue from its balance contract order book of RM2.8 billion that stood as at December 31, 2017. The Group will continue to operate within the core competencies of the new MCM contract and also the remaining HUC and EPCC contracts and offshore support vessels charter." Dayang also highlighted that it is currently awaiting the results of some tenders for contracts with oil majors that are still under evaluation. "Any successful win in this should see a further replenishment of the order book lasting for one to five years. Though it is not possible to predict the outcome of these tenders, the Group has always demonstrated its operational and technical supremacy in winning these brownfield contracts," it said. The group added that it will remain cautious and vigilant in its pursuit for more contract replenishment and in the management and sustenance of cash flow while also continuing to exercise due care and prudence in the running and administration of the company's business amid a very challenging industry. For the whole of 2017, Dayang recorded a net loss of RM143.93 million as opposed to a net profit of RM54.54 million, due to an impairment loss on property, plant and equipment and forex losses, while revenue dropped 1.8% to RM695.49 million from RM708.24 million. The stock gained 12.75% to close at 84 sen, with some 16.37 million shares changing hands.
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FGV to sell more non-performing assets (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) plans to divest two or three non-core and non-performing assets or investments this year. Group president and CEO Datuk Zakaria Arshad said talks with the related parties are underway. "One or two of them (deals) has already concluded. We need to sign the sale and purchase agreement," he told a press conference after announcing its fourth quarter financial results here today. He added that the divestments are valued at "a few hundred millions of ringgit".
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Allianz posts RM86.78 million net profit in Q4 (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Allianz Malaysia Bhd's net profit declined 3.6% to RM86.78 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2017 against RM89.98 million in the previous corresponding period, due to lower contribution from the general insurance segment. Revenue was flat at RM1.21 billion for the quarter under review. Allianz saw its full-year net profit down by 7.7% from RM312.13 million to RM287.96 million on the back of a 2.6% rise in revenue from RM4.68 billion to RM4.8 billion. "Despite the challenges of the year, Allianz Malaysia has showed strong resolve to remain resilient with RM4.29 billion in gross written premium for the financial year of 2017. This year, it is business as usual as we continue to grow and drive innovation through new products and leveraging on the expanding marketplace, superior service and customer satisfaction. In 2018, we are shifting gears towards making Allianz to be a household brand that is synonymous with protection for everything you need, literally from A to Z," said Allianz CEO Zakri Khir.   The group expects competition to intensify in 2018 with the current phased liberalisation in the general insurance industry leading to full liberalisation in July 2019. "The life insurance operation will become more significant in terms of contribution to the group's earnings."
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Scientex buys flexible plastic packaging firm for RM190 million (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Scientex Bhd is acquiring the entire stake in Klang Hock Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd (KHPI) for RM190 million cash, which will set the tone for the group to become a regional powerhouse in the flexible plastic packaging market. The group said in a Bursa Malaysia filing that its wholly owned subsidiary Scientex Packaging Film Sdn Bhd had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Law Wan Hong @ Lew Wan Hong, Ng Boon Eu, Lew Pei See @ Law Pei See and Lew Pei Lin @ Law Pei Lin for the acquisition. The acquisition comes with a profit guarantee of RM18 million profit before tax for the 12-month period to March 31, 2019. Founded in 1976, KHPI is a leading manufacturer of custom films including shrink films, polyethylene (PE) films, tubes and bags, lamination films, stretch films, stretch hoods, agriculture films, and flexitank films. It has a diverse customer base of over 450 multinational corporations worldwide, spanning mainly across the food & beverage and fast moving consumer goods sectors. The purchase will be financed with internally generated funds. According to Scientex managing director Lim Peng Jin, the deal will enable the group's manufacturing segment to recognise an annual revenue of over RM2 billion per year. It will also allow the group to expand its total annual output capacity by about 30% to 455,000 metric tonnes from the current 356,000 metric tonnes. As the acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, Scientex foresees it will contribute positively towards the group's earnings for the financial year ending July 31, 2018 onwards.
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Don't compare M'sian broadband speeds with regional countries: Jailani (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA BERANG: Malaysians have been urged not to compare the the Internet speeds in the country to other countries in the region, as the approach used by the respective governments to provide facilities to their people were different. Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Jailani Johari (pix) said in this regard, the Malaysian government preferred to focus on Internet coverage throughout the country. "In contrast to Vietnam (for example) where it is more focused on Ho Chi Minh City whereas in Malaysia, the focus is more comprehensive. "In Malaysia, our broadband and 4G networks are focused on the whole country, so it's not the same situation ... the same goes for Singapore, where the population is not the same as Malaysia," he told reporters during an event with the local community at Tanah Lot, Kampung Bukit Gemuroh, here, today. He said in Malaysia, there were two broadband development programmes, including the Universal Service Provision (USP) programme, in which funds are contributed by the service providers and operated by the MCMC. "The funds are given based on tender in selected locations throughout Malaysia, especially in rural areas which lack coverage," he said. Jailani, who is also Hulu Terengganu MP, was commenting on an article published by Free Malaysia Today yesterday stating that the country had a wide 4G network but its speed was among the slowest in the region. The report said based on a study conducted by Open Signal, a company specialising in wireless coverage mapping, the country's 4G coverage had a 74.88% penetration rate, but its average speed was only 14.83 Mbps. "We are aware of the comments given (in the report) and I would like to emphasise that the upgrading process from 3G to 4G is currently underway, and covers all networks throughout Malaysia. "We have a target whereby by 2025, the broadband penetration rate will be at 95%, compared to 84%," he said. — Bernama
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Thai police hand over two Malaysian men arrested in raid on call centre syndicate (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
BANGKOK: Two Malaysian men who were arrested by Thai authorities during a raid on an international call centre scam syndicate in Bangkok Oct last year, were handed over to Malaysia today to be repatriated to their home country. Tourist Police Bureau deputy head Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan said, Malaysian police had requested their Thai counterpart to hand over the two men, aged 21 and 27, to facilitate their own investigation on the syndicate purportedly headed by a Taiwanese man. "The handing over of the two Malaysian men today was part of our joint cooperation in cracking down the international call centre scam syndicates," he said during a media conference here today, following the handing over of the two men to Malaysian police officers here, today. The Malaysian police according to him, had also handed over two Thai men to Thai police three days ago after a raid on a call centre scam syndicate in Kuala Lumpur last month. The Thai men claimed they would be beaten if they refused to work for the syndicate. Surachet said the two Malaysian men handed over to Malaysian police today were apprehended during a raid on a rented condominium in Bangna area, outskirt of Bangkok in Oct last year, where Thai police also arrested a Taiwanese man and five other Malaysians. Four of the arrested Malaysians including two women have been sent back to their home country in recent weeks, as investigation by Thai police on them was completed. One of the Malaysian women claimed she suffered beatings, allegedly perpetrated by the Taiwanese man and held inside the condominium against her will. The Thai authorities were still holding the Taiwanese man and another Malaysian man, a 19-year-old Malacca native for further questioning on the international call centre scam syndicate. — Bernama
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Viral video not real, just movie scene being filmed: Police (Video) (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said the video on the shootings, which has gone viral on social media today, was not a real incident but only a scene being filmed for a movie. "There were no shootings, so the public do not have to worry over the incident," he said when contacted by Bernama today. The one-minute eight-second video which showed gunfire exchange between a police team and several criminals, also saw two victims covered with blood lying on the road, believed to have been killed. — Bernama Below is a video of the incident:
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Warisan's allegation against Anifah off the mark (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KOTA KINABALU: The racism allegation labelled by the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) against Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman over his recent speech was clearly off the mark, said Tenom Member of Parliament Datuk Raime Unggi today. Raime said in Anifah's speech made at an event with the Chinese community of the Kimanis parliamentary constituency on Feb 9, the foreign minister did not mention any word that could be interpreted as racist. "In fact, Datuk Seri Anifah said no matter what race to be elected to rule Sabah, it is important that the person is a pure Sabahan," he said. "I do not see any racial elements in term of pure Sabahan. Clearly understandable, the context of the pure Sabahan term here referring to the citizen of the state and those whose origins are from Sabah," he said in a statement here today. Raime said he was concerned a police report lodged by Warisan's secretary-general Loretta Padua Jr on Feb 14 had other intentions as at the same time, some quarters had uploaded an edited video clip of Anifah to show as if he was referring to Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as an 'outsider'. "I fear that there are parties with malicious intent, trying to build perceptions and incite racial-based political polemics to raise the emotions of certain races and give votes to certain political parties, and this unhealthy culture should be rejected," he said. At the said event, Anifah said that the people in Sabah needed to defend the state by ensuring that the state government was only led by native Sabahans, irrespective of their background. Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah president Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin also expressed his disappointment with the use of racial sentiments as part of campaigning. "I also want to reprimand Warisan president and its leaders who are clearly motivated to threaten the racial unity to the extent of insulting the ancestry of political party leaders and subsequently, getting their followers to incite racism. Meanwhile, Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee, who is also Beluran Member of Parliament, was also disappointed with certain parties that twisted Anifah's speech to make it sounded fake, racist and misconstrued as showing hatred towards certain races. "What has been raised by Datuk Seri Anifah should not be seen from a narrow view, but as a general reminder, as at the federal level, the BN government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has avoided the communal political culture by practising tolerance among the people from different races, religions and background through the 1Malaysia slogan," he said. — Bernama
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Malaysia, Hungary sign MoU on higher education (Fri, 23 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Hungary today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in higher education. Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh signed on behalf of the Malaysian government and Hungarian Ambassador to Malaysia Attila Kali signed for the Hungarian government. Idris said through the MoU, the Hungarian government would offer 40 scholarships starting from the academic year 2018. "Scholarships will be awarded for three years to students who are furthering their studies in Hungary in agriculture, water engineering, architecture, and cultural heritage studies," he said at the signing ceremony here. He said the scholarship would also be offered to students of natural, environmental and health sciences. In addition, Idris said the MoU was expected to facilitate the recognition process of universities in both countries, as well as establishing collaboration in scientific, technical and administrative fields. — Bernama
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Israel's participation in WUF9 was at UN agency's invitation: Anifah (Thu, 15 Feb 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Israel's participation in the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF9) here recently was based on an invitation by the United Nations through its agency, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the convenor of WUF9. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman emphasised that unlike other letters of invitation, the letter of invitation to Israel was not signed by any Malaysian official. He said the invitation to Israel, signed by the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, was in accordance to the Host Country Agreement signed between the agency and Malaysia. "Article III of the Agreement states, in part, that participation in the forum shall be open, among others, to all Member States of the United Nations and any of its Specialised Agencies," he said in a statement today. The minister said signing the Host Country Agreement was a requirement for any UN conference to be held away from any of the UN's established headquarters. Noting that Malaysia's position on Israel remained unchanged, Anifah said the issue of Malaysia tacitly establishing links with Israel through the hosting of this forum did not arise. "To imply otherwise is an indication of malicious and malignant intent," he said. For the record, Malaysia did not establish diplomatic ties with Israel. He said there had been attempts by some irresponsible parties to gain political mileage out of Israel's participation in WUF9. It should be noted, he added, that WUF9 was widely acknowledged to have been a success and it raised the country's profile and showcased its achievements in the promotion, articulation and implementation of the New Urban Agenda, said Anifah. "It (WUF9) saw the participation of more than 25,000 people, with 69 countries being represented at the ministerial level. All Malaysians should be proud of our country's successful hosting of this prestigious and important Forum," he added. The WUF9 was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Feb 7 to 13. — Bernama
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Budget will lead way to Malaysia becoming a Top 20 nation: Najib (Wed, 01 Nov 2017)
ALOR STAR: The Budget which was tabled in Parliament was the catalyst to push Malaysia towards becoming part of the Top 20 ranked nations in the world, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He said that the Budget, which covers the needs of 80% of Malaysians, will be the foundation in making the government's vision – to become a top notch country – a reality. And this can be done if the public has confidence in the government, he added. "This budget is the platform for us, the government has the ability to do it. We know how to govern the nation and this Budget will lead the way for us to become (part of the) Top 20 of the world," he said in a meet up session with the Kedah state civil servants at Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim here today. Najib said it was not easy to prepare a Budget that was inclusive, comprehensive, and one which favors almost everyone. But to ensure that the country moves forward, something had to be done. He said he has to make sure that the Budget presented by the government was based on what the authorities can deliver, and not just be something theatrical. According to Najib, what was proposed by the Opposition is unrealistic and as the Prime Minister, he has the responsibility to prepare a budget that was realistic with the best intentions for nation building. Earlier, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Hanipah called on civil servants here to stay united in helping to raise the public's confidence towards the government by executing their duty as responsible government servants. He said that the civil servants should work harder in realising the country's ambition to become a developed nation. He added that the state government will also announce a special monetary incentive to the state civil servants in line with what was tabled in the recent Budget. "I will announce it at our state (legislative) assembly sitting on Nov 12," he said.
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'Unrealistic' to compel private companies to use BM in official comms (Wed, 01 Nov 2017)
KUALA LUMPUR: It is unrealistic for the government to make it compulsory for the private sector to use Bahasa Malaysia in their official communications. Deputy Education minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon said although such regulations exist in the government sector, the same move cannot be implemented in the private sector. "There is no enforcement for private companies. In business, the usage of other languages must be allowed, especially for those dealing in businesses with foreign countries. "If we want to make a regulation for all official letters to be made in BM, it will be unrealistic. However, we have enforced for official letters among government agencies to be in BM," he told the Dewan Rakyat during the question and answer session. He was responding to a supplementary question from Siti Mariah Mahmud (Amanah – Kota Raja) on whether the government has any plans to make it compulsory for both the government and private sector to produce their official letters in BM. Chong said the burden to improve the usage of BM among Malaysians should not be placed on his ministry alone as it requires the cooperation of all parties. He also urged the private sector, non-governmental organisations and the public to play their role to ensure a comprehensive usage of the national language. He added the government was serious in its effort in upholding the status of BM, with various initiatives being undertaken with cooperation from other stakeholders.
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Rism lauds scheme to enable house buyers to pay less in early years (Sat, 28 Oct 2017)
KUALA LUMPUR: The step-up financing scheme, which is extended to private developers under Budget 2018, will enable more prospective house buyers who do not qualify for financing to pay less instalments in the early years of their purchase. Chair for the Property Management, Valuation and Estate Agency Surveying (PMVS) Division of the Royal Institution Of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM) Sr Choy Yue Kwong said as houses were becoming increasingly unaffordable, it was indeed good news to pay less when income was low and repayment could be gradually increased when income rose over the years. He said the stamp duty exemption would help the long-suffering original purchasers of abandoned projects and would also act as an incentive for the white knights to rescue abandoned schemes. However, Choy feels it was rather odd for the government to come up with a scheme of tax exemptions in the rental market by providing a mechanism to offset the rent earned by landlords although it was only 50% and up to RM2,000.00 against income tax, he said. "Probably the government's intention is to ensure the lower value property owners have the ability to use this incentive to maintain their properties. "However, it will be more appropriate if the government grants the tax exemption to the tenants who are the parties in need of assistance instead of rewarding the landlords," Choy said. On the proposed formulation of the Residential House Rental Act, he said that this was timely as this would add clarity to the landlord and tenant's rights, as well as protect both parties, but this should not just cover the residential sector but also the commercial sector. He noted that the government has allocated a budget of about RM37.34 billion for logistical infrastructure compared with RM8.48 billion to the property sector. This shows the government's commitment to enhancing connectivity between major towns and cities within Malaysia to spur the local economies and manpower sector, he added. — Bernama
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Irma's deadly passage batters Caribbean, 12 dead (Fri, 08 Sep 2017)
CAP-HAÏTIEN, Haiti: Hurricane Irma on Thursday pounded more of the the Caribbean, shredding homes and weather records and leaving at least 12 people dead as it honed in on the United States, where up to a million people were told to flee. The evacuation of coastal areas of Florida and neighboring Georgia was the biggest seen in the US in a dozen years, as Brock Long, head of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, warned: "It will be truly devastating. "The entire southeastern United States better wake up and pay attention." Barreling across the Caribbean, the rare Category Five Irma wielded monster winds and torrential rain, wreaking destruction on tiny islands like St Martin, where 60 percent of homes were wrecked, before slamming into the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In its westward rampage, Irma packed winds of up to 295km per hour, an intensity that it sustained for 33 hours – the longest of any storm since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s. The latest bulletin from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center included the first hurricane and storm surge warnings for south Florida and the Florida Keys, even as winds slowed slightly to 165 mph. The storm left devastation in its wake. The International Red Cross said 1.2 million people had already been hit by Irma, a number that could rise to 26 million. Tossed aside like matchsticks On many islands, roofs were ripped off buildings as if by a giant's hand, shipping containers were tossed aside like matchsticks and debris flung far and wide, and airports, sea ports and mobile phone networks were knocked out. At least two people were killed in Puerto Rico, a senior rescue official said. More than half of the territory's population of three million was without power, with rivers breaking their banks in the center and north of the island. Governor Ricardo Rossello activated the National Guard and opened storm shelters sufficient for up to 62,000 people. Authorities on the US Virgin Islands also reported four deaths. "We lost a significant and a good number of assets ... in terms of fire stations, police stations," Governor Kenneth Mapp said in a Facebook post, adding that the region's main health facility, the Schneider Regional Medical Center, lost its roof. Lisa Poser, a spokeswoman for Mapp, told AFP the territory's critically wounded were transported to Puerto Rico and warned there may be more casualties as authorities continue their search and rescue. St Martin, a pristine island resort divided between France and the Netherlands, also suffered the full fury of the storm. France said four had died and 50 were injured, two of them seriously. Sixty percent of homes were so damaged that they were uninhabitable. The Netherlands said the storm killed at least one person and injured several others on the Dutch part of St Martin. The Netherlands said it was racing to provide food and water for 40,000 people over the next five days, while France said more than 100,000 packages of combat rations were en route. Britain said it was sending two warships to help victims in the Caribbean, and earmarking US$41 million, (RM171 million) in aid. 'Everything is destroyed' Irma also laid waste to tiny Barbuda which suffered "absolute devastation," with up to 30 percent of properties demolished, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said. Rescue teams were scouring the island for survivors, an AFP correspondent said, as some 300 people without shelter were evacuated to Antigua. One person is known to have died on the island of 1,600 residents, apparently a child whose family was trying to get to safer ground. As of Thursday night the eye of the monster storm was located a few dozen miles northeast of Great Inagua island in the Bahamas. Poor Haitians were left to face Irma's fury alone as authorities showed little sign of preparing for what forecasters said could be a catastrophic event. Two people were injured when an uprooted coconut tree crashed onto their home near Cap-Haitien, authorities said, adding that the situation was dire in northeastern Ouanaminthe after the adjoining Massacre River overflowed, cutting off food supplies from the neighboring Dominican Republic. Cuba moved 10,000 foreign tourists from beach resorts in the exposed part of the island, and hiked its disaster alert level to maximum. Florida is expecting to face the brunt of the storm from Friday night, with forecasters warning of sea-level surges of up to 25 feet (almost eight meters) above normal tide levels. Tourists in the popular Key West islands were packing their bags on a mandatory evacuation order, with a similar order for residents due to follow. "We can't save you once the storm starts," Governor Rick Scott told a press conference. James Nickolos, a 69-year-old theology professor in Miami, said: "This morning I went to the beach as I do every morning, and it was very empty and beautiful but I had the feeling of watching a great beauty walking on a gang-plank to their death." Trump said he was "very concerned" about Irma, but added: "Florida is as well prepared as you can be for something like this, now it's just a question of what happens". Irma hit the Caribbean as two other storms, Jose in the Atlantic Ocean and Katia in the Gulf of Mexico, were upgraded to hurricane status. Katia, a Category One storm, is expected to hit the coast of the Mexican state of Veracruz before Friday. Jose, following in the path of Irma and located east of the Lesser Antilles late Thursday, strengthened to a Category Three event, packing winds of up to 120 miles per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said. — AFP
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