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Dott. Giulio Perrotta

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Appeals court orders trial of Ratu Naga accused of insulting PM to proceed (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has ordered the trial involving a building consultant who is facing a charge of insulting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on a social website, to proceed. A three-man panel comprising Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi, Datuk Kamardin Hashim and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil today dismissed Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah's application to stay the trial pending disposal of her appeal in the Court of Appeal. "We are not with you. The matter should proceed. The trial should go on. The (stay) application is dismissed," said Ahmadi who chaired the panel. Syarul Ema, 37, has filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal against the High Court's dismissal of her reference application to the Federal Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998. The court has yet to hear her appeal. On Feb 17, 2016, Syarul Ema pleaded not guilty at the Sepang Sessions Court to a charge of knowingly using the network application, through the "Ratu Naga" Facebook profile, to make and initiate the transmission of offensive comments against Najib over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) with intent to annoy others. The offence was allegedly committed on her Facebook page at 12.02am on Oct 6, 2015. Syarul Ema was charged under Section 233 (1) (a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or jail of up to a year, or both, if convicted. Her case is fixed for mention at the Sessions Court on April 26. In the proceedings today, her counsel Latheefa Koya applied for the stay order arguing that if the appellate court ruled in favour of her client on her constitutional challenge, the matter would become academic. Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Sophian Zakaria submitted that the trial should proceed since there is no court decision on the constitutionality of Section 233 (1)(a) of the CMA. — Bernama
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Trouble brewing in PKR's Sungai Siput division (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
SUNGAI SIPUT: Trouble is brewing in Sungai Siput's PKR division over outsiders being parachuted to stand as candidates in the 14th general election. Aminuddin Mohd Shukri, who represented the group, said local candidate Syed Ahmad Putra Syed Isa is capable of bringing changes for constituents in the area. "The Kampung Muhibbah branch chairman is now serving as an aide to incumbent Sri Andalas state assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar," he told reporters here today. According to him, a senior division leader who lost the confidence of the majority of the committee had attempted to bring in several members from outside the division and introduced them as candidates. "He keeps changing and introducing different people as candidates ... the leader abuses his position to get funds. "He also makes decisions without consulting the committee to the point 15 of the 20 members decided not to support him. "The leader may also offer himself as the candidate ... outsiders are not welcomed as they cannot assess the local issues. "The matter had been brought to the attention of the party leadership," he added. The group also planned to lodge reports with police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on lack of transparency in the financial management of the division. The Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency is currently held by Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj of PSM. The constituency is expected to see multi-cornered fights from Barisan Nasional, PKR and PAS.
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Philippines' new police leader vows to pursue drug war (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
MANILA: The newly named top police commander of the Philippines pledged Friday to keep up President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody anti-drug war despite fresh international condemnation over the killings. Director General Oscar Albayalde, who was sworn in Thursday, will now lead the narcotics crackdown that has killed thousands since Duterte came to power just under two years ago. "How to sustain the drug war? In order to sustain it, we will not change anything," Albayalde told reporters at his first press conference as commander. He took over from Ronaldo Dela Rosa, who retired with hero's honours this week after helping Duterte launch the bloody crackdown. "Why would we stop a programme that is very effective?" Albayalde added, citing "very good momentum and gains" since the alleged police killing last year of a teenage boy wrongly accused of drug crimes that sparked street protests. Police on Friday announced another 13 alleged drug suspects were killed in a sweep that also led to the arrest of 58 people. Albayalde's comments came as the Philippines pushed back against a European Union Parliament resolution voted on Thursday that criticised the crackdown, the latest international condemnation of it. The EU lawmakers called "on the government of the Philippines to put an immediate end to the extrajudicial killings in the pretext of a 'war on drugs'". It also expressed "grave concern over credible reports to the effect that the Philippine police force is falsifying evidence to justify extrajudicial killings". While police say the campaign has killed around 4,100 people, rights groups allege the true toll is triple that number and amounts to state-sponsored murder. Duterte began the crackdown in July 2016 after pledging during the presidential election campaign to kill 100,000 criminals to rid society of the scourge of narcotics. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday denounced the EU parliamentary resolution as "interference" in Manila's internal affairs, describing it as "biased" and "based on wrong information". Duterte last month pulled his country from the International Criminal Court after The Hague-based body's chief prosecutor launched an initial examination into allegations lodged against the president over his drug war. He also threatened to arrest the chief ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, if she tried to enter the Philippines to pursue her investigation. On Sunday the Philippines deported EU politician Giacomo Filibeck, who has previously criticised Duterte's crackdown, and on Monday briefly detained an elderly Australian nun who has been critical of alleged human rights violations by Philippine soldiers. — AFP
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Public must differentiate between real court and social media court: Analysts (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The public should know the difference between a real court and a 'social media court' in regard to the South Jakarta District Court's decision to rule as unlawful, the seizure of a luxury yacht, Equanimity, in Bali. Some analysts, when asked about their views on the matter, concurred that the public should not punish someone based solely on information disseminated in the social media, which might not be true and accurate. On the seizure of the Equanimity, they said the information were mainly unverified and based on hearsay. On April 17, Justice Ratmoho ordered the Indonesian police to return the vessel to its owner, Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd Islands, which had filed the case in court. The yacht, linked to controversial tycoon Jho Low, was seized on Feb 28 and continues to be the target of fake news, including claims that a huge amount of cash was found on board. Universiti Teknologi Mara Communication and Media Studies Faculty senior lecturer Assoc Prof Datuk Dr Ismail Sualman said the people should realise that the case was sensationalised by the opposition as a ruse to influence them. "With proof stating there is no case against the yacht, it is clear the allegations and claims by the opposition were only intended to disparage. "There is no fact at all; the people must open their eyes to the true colour of the opposition which wants to topple the government and leaders in a way that I consider abhorrent," he told Bernama here today. Ismail said the newly enforced Anti-Fake News Act 2018 may be used if the opposition continued to link the yacht with 1MDB. "This is because there was no fact in the judgment that the yacht had been purchased using funds from 1MDB," he said. The Anti-Fake News Act 2018, which was passed by the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara earlier this month, and gazetted on April 11, among others, would not compromise on fake news that could jeopardise public order or national security. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the act was aimed at protecting the public from the consequences as well as to prevent the spread of fake news. Universiti Utara Malaysia Institute for Malaysian Political Analysis (Mapan) director Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said political parties as well as the general public should not indiscriminately hurl unsubstantiated accusations against anyone and must respect the law. He described the opposition's action to sensationalise the seizure of the yacht and using it as political ammunition to attack the government while the case was then pending, as impetuous. "They should feel shameful. I won't be surprised if they next accuse the Indonesian court of accepting 'dedak' to release the yacht," he said. Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives president Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman said certain quarters exploited the issue for political interest. "We should not make any assumption particularly if it is a court case. We should wait for the court's decision," he added. — Bernama
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PAS to establish 'taawun' concept of political cooperation (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
MARANG: PAS has reiterated that it would establish the 'taawun' concept of cooperation with other political parties in the 14th general election, polling for which is on May 9. Its president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, said the 'taawun' approach involved establishing cooperation with like-minded parties that supported Islam, do good and have the people's interests at heart. "Such an approach will provide for a democracy of calmness without tension among the people. We do not want any differences of opinion (with other parties) to lead to chaos in the country. "Enough of what's happening in the Arab countries where disputes are not settled in a civilised manner and have led to turmoil and foreign intervention. We will not allow that. "We can have differences of opinion and arguments but not to the extent of going to war. It is this 'taawun' approach that we want to introduce," he said to reporters after announcing the PAS electoral candidates for Terengganu at Dewan Tok Guru in Rusila here last night. Abdul Hadi was replying to a question on whether there was a formal cooperation between opposition PAS and the ruling Barisan Nasional in GE14. PAS had dismissed statements from within and outside the party on the probability of a BN-PAS coalition government after GE14. PAS, which rules Kelantan, is going into GE14 on a coalition platform called Gagasan Sejahtera that also comprises Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and several NGOs. — Bernama
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People will choose BN based on good track record: Sabah CM (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KOTA KINABALU: Caretaker Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman believes in the good judgment of the people in Sabah to choose continued progress and prosperity for the state by returning the mandate to Barisan Nasional in the 14th general election (GE14). He is also confident of the people's preference for BN to lead them based on its ability to maintain political stability, economic growth and social prosperity. "Our achievements and success in developing the state are clear enough to show that we have fulfilled our mandate and responsibility to the people. "We have been working and going to the ground from the very beginning since we formed the government in the last election," he told Bernama. According to him, BN and its leaders were not a seasonal party that went to the ground only during an election. "We work for and come to the people before, during and after the election," stressed Musa, who is also Umno Liaison chief and Sabah BN chairman. On Sabah BN's strategy in countering local opposition parties in GE14, he said BN leaders were constantly reminded of not being complacent and to ensure that the party machinery is working smoothly at all levels. "In fact, we have no particular strategy because for us, 'strategy' means going to the ground and assisting the people at all times and seasons, without waiting for the election." Musa said the BN government had a success and achievement record, in contrast to the opposition's record of unrealistic and populist promises. "Insya Allah, with us all working together - the synergy between Umno and other BN component parties, I believe we will repeat our past achievements. People know we have a good track record, we worked, we reached out to the grassroots and we took care of their needs. He also said it had been a tradition for him to remind BN assemblymen to be diligent in visiting the grassroots, take note of the people's problems and resolve them without delay. "For me, the people of Sabah have very sharp minds. They will assess which ones are good and which ones are bad. They are aware of the consequences of making the wrong decision in the election," he said, calling on the people to choose BN for its good track record. Musa has led the state BN since the 2008 general election which saw the coalition capturing 24 of the 25 parliamentary seats and 59 of the 60 state seats, and repeating the victory in GE13, winning 22 of the 25 parliamentary seats and 48 of the 60 state seats it contested. — Bernama
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Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season (Updated) (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
LONDON: Arsene Wenger will bring his 22-year stay in charge of Arsenal to a close at the end of the season, the Frenchman announced on Friday. "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season," Wenger said in a statement posted on the club's website. "I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years." Wenger, 68, won three Premier League titles, leading the only side to go a full league season unbeaten in 2003-04, and lifted seven FA Cups during his tenure. However, he has been under increasing pressure to step down from the club's fans for several seasons as Arsenal haven't won the Premier League for 14 years and risk missing out on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season. Arsenal's only realistic chance of making the Champions League next season is by winning the Europa League where the Gunners face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. "I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high," added Wenger. "To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever." Arsenal's majority shareholder Stan Kroenke paid tribute to a man of "unparallelled class". "Arsene has unparallelled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude," said Kroenke, who took a controlling stake in the club in 2011. "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched." Arsenal added that a successor to Wenger will be found "as soon as possible". — AFP
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High-impact projects to raise people's living standard: Najib (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The government implemented high-impact projects to spur the economy to raise the people's living standard, not like the opposition who want to cancel these projects just to suit their political agenda, said Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. The Prime Minister said the opposition did not think about the effects on the nation's economy and the people's interests if they cancelled these projects. Najib, who is also Finance Minister, further explained that Malaysia needed such projects to boost economic growth particularly in areas that are developing for economic spin-offs and job opportunities for the locals. Among the projects were the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR), Pan Borneo Highway, Bandar Malaysia, Tun Razak Exchange, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Pengerang and KL118, he said. "This is because the government hopes that development can be enjoyed throughout the country by all layers of society," he said in his blog www.najibrazak.com. today. However, Najib said the opposition wanted to abort these high-impact projects if they were to come into power. He stressed that if this was to happen, 2.2 million job opportunities would be lost including for skilled workers where the salary is above RM3,000. He said by cancelling the ECRL, states in the east coast will not get development on par with the Klang Valley. "This factor has caused the income of people in the east coast states difficult to be raised. "In fact, foreign investors will also lose confidence in Malaysia for arbitrarily aborting development projects that are key to economic growth and job opportunities for Malaysians," he said. — Bernama
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Former Johor Exco member Sabariah Ahmad dies (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
JOHOR BARU: A former Johor state executive councillor, Datuk Sabariah Ahmad, died early today of stroke and related complications, according to a family member. She was 79. Sabariah died at about 12.30am at her house in Muar, said her grandniece Haziqah Nasirah Zolbahar. She said Sabariah would be buried at the Kampung Parit Kadi Muslim Cemetery in Muar after the Friday prayers today. Sabariah leaves behind three children and six grandchildren. She had been the state assemblyman for Kesang and Jorak and chairman of the Johor Agriculture and Rural Development Committee for two terms prior to her retirement in 1999. Sabariah was also an aunt of the current Johor Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Asiah Md Ariff. — Bernama
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Basque separatist group ETA apologises for 'harm' it caused (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
MADRID: The Basque separatist group ETA apologised Friday for the "pain" and "harm" it caused during its decades-long campaign of violence, and appealed to its victims for forgiveness. "We have caused a lot of pain, and irreparable harm. We want to show our respect to the dead, to the wounded and to the victims of the actions of ETA ... We sincerely regret it," it said in a statement released in the Basque newspaper Gara. The statement came just days before ETA is expected to announce its dissolution. "We know that, forced by the necessities of all types of armed struggle, our actions have harmed citizens who were not responsible. We have also caused serious wrongs which are irreparable. We ask forgiveness to those people and their families", it said. The government in Madrid said the apology was the result of "the strength of the rule of law that has defeated ETA with the weapons of democracy". "ETA should have asked for forgiveness a long time ago", it said in a statement. ETA waged a nearly four-decade campaign of bombings and shootings to establish an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern France. At least 829 people were killed before the group announced a permanent ceasefire in 2011. Last year it went a step further and began laying down its arms. In its statement to Gara, its traditional mouthpiece, ETA said it was not alone in being responsible for the violence in the Basque Country. "Suffering existed before the birth of ETA and continued after it ceased its armed struggle," it said. Without specifically mentioning the Madrid government, it called for "all to recognise their responsibilities and wrong caused" and to open the way to reconciliation. "ETA, the national Basque socialist revolutionary liberation organisation, wants to acknowledge by this declaration the harm caused by its armed course, and demonstrate its commitment to definitively overcoming the consequences of the conflict and avoiding a repetition." The group has been severely weakened in recent years after police arrested hundreds of its members, including its leaders, and seized several of its weapons stashes. Spain's 2.2-million-strong Basque region is now gearing up for the dissolution of the group created in 1959 at the height of Francisco Franco's dictatorship. On Thursday, an international mediator, Alberto Spektorowski, said that "failing a last-minute surprise" ETA would announce its dissolution on May 5 or 6. "The declaration that ETA no longer exists will be very clear," the Israeli academic, a member of the International Contact Group, told Basque radio EITB. "I cannot say what words they will use but no one will be left in any doubt," he said, adding that the announcement would be made across the border, in the French Basque region. — AFP
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theSundaily.my Business

Bank Negara's international reserves up 2.04% to US$110b as at April 13 (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Bank Negara Malaysia's international reserves increased 2.04% to US$110 billion as at April 13, 2018 compared with US$107.8 billion as at March 30, 2018. The central bank said in a statement that the reserves position is sufficient to finance 7.7 months of retained imports and is 1.1 times the short-term external debt.
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Yinson,Sumitomo to jointly pursue business in FPSO and FSO (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Yinson Holdings Bhd is collaborating with Sumitomo Corp to jointly venture into the business of leasing and operation of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) and floating storage and offloading (FSO) projects worldwide. Yinson said in a bourse filing that it had entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sumitomo, which will be valid for a period of 10 years. “The MoU will provide an opportunity for Yinson and Sumitomo to establish collaboration based on respective party’s expertise and strengths, for venturing into the targeted business. The new collaboration will potentially enhance the capacity of Yinson to take on larger FPSO and FSO projects and provide access to Sumitomo’s global business network and local expertise,” it said. Yinson said the collaboration, should it materialise, will contribute positively to the future earnings and net assets of the group. Sumitomo is a Japanese listed company offering key services in the metal, construction, transportation, infrastructure, chemicals, energy, mineral resources, media, ICT, lifestyle related goods and services sectors. At midday, Yinson’s shares fell 1.47% to RM4.02 with some 80,300 shares done.
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Top Glove proposes one-for-one bonus issue (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Top Glove Corp Bhd has proposed to undertake a bonus issue on the basis of one bonus share for every one existing share held by shareholders, at an entitlement date to be determined later. The group said in a statement that the exercise will see up to 1.28 billion bonus shares issued to shareholders of the company, whose names appear in the record of depositors of the company on the entitlement date. “We have always been committed to adding and creating value for our shareholders, and the proposed one-for-one bonus issue will enable us to reward our loyal shareholders,” Top Glove’s executive chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai said. “This will also enable us to increase the number of shares in issue, which is expected to create more liquidity and marketability for Top Glove shares,” Lim added. The corporate exercise is subject to shareholder approval during an EGM to be convened later. The company last embarked on a one-for-one bonus issue exercise in early 2016, when its share price had reached about RM14. At the noon break, Top Glove gained 4 sen or 0.39% to RM10.24 with 2.3 million shares changing hands.
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CIMB Thai's Q1 earnings jump 39.3% on higher operating income (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: CIMB Thai Bank PCL’s net profit jumped 39.3% to THB 168.9 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 from THB 121.2 million in the previous corresponding quarter. The group said in a statement that it was mainly attributed to an 8.1% growth in operating income and a 4.5% drop in provisions, offset by a 10.6% increase in operating expenses. On a year-on-year basis, its operating income rose to THB 3,382.2 million from an increase of 5.4% in net interest income and 11.1% in net fee and service income arising from higher fees from insurance, hire-purchase and mutual funds. Additionally, it said other operating income also rose by 30.1% from the gain on sales of available for sale securities. However, it said operating expenses increased by 10.6%, mainly from higher expenses from properties for sale and personnel cost, partially offset by lower expenses from premises and equipment. This resulted in a higher cost to income ratio of 57.2% during the three months period compared to 55.8% previously. Meanwhile, its net interest margin over earning assets stood at 3.98% within the same period from 3.77% a year ago, from more efficient funding cost management. As at March 31, 2018, the group's total gross loans, which includes loans guaranteed by other banks and loans to financial institutions, stood at THB 213.7 billion, an increase of 0.3% from Dec 31, 2017. Its gross non-performing loans (NPL) stood at THB 11.4 billion, with an equivalent gross NPL ratio of 5.2% from 4.8% as at Dec 31, 2017. The increase was attributed to the sale of NPLs in 2017. CIMB Thai's loan loss coverage ratio decreased to 92.3% as at March 31 from 93.2% as at Dec 31, 2017. Total consolidated capital funds, meanwhile, stood at THB 40.7 billion as at March 31. Bank of International Settlement ratio stood at 16.4%, of which 12.4% comprised Tier-1-capital. CIMB Thai said it continues to exercise high credit risk underwriting standards and risk management policies. It also focuses on improving productivity, monitoring collection and managing all accounts closely and effectively.
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Celcom, edotco launch On Site Services (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Celcom Axiata Bhd and edotco Malaysia Sdn Bhd have launched On Site Services Sdn Bhd, a new organisation focused on achieving operational and maintenance service delivery excellence. In a statement, Celcom said On Site Services will be the largest independent first line maintenance (FLM) entity in Malaysia, managing over 10,000 network sites throughout the country. In a first for the industry, employees of On Site Services will co-own up to 30% and be pioneer stakeholders of the company, it added. As an independent entity, Celcom said the company will also be able to support multiple mobile network operators (MNOs) providing specialised operational and maintenance delivery services at a competitive cost. The company's immediate priority will be to develop a highly skilled and adept workforce that will be able to provide corrective and preventive maintenance services with an enhanced focus on operational excellence, time efficiency and service delivery. "With On Site's ability to provide services to all MNOs in the country coupled with its capacity for nationwide reach, the company has huge potential for commercial growth and regional expansion, which is also expected to be accelerated through opportunities to provide services to the Axiata Group's footprint of MNOs and tower operations in 10 countries within Asean and South-East Asia," it noted. On Site's portfolio of services will expand to include engineering and other forms of support by 2020 and target to provide similar services to MNOs in other parts of the region by 2023, Celcom added.
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Maxis shares down despite better earnings in Q1 (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Maxis Bhd’s share price was lower this morning despite announcing improved earnings in its first quarter ended March 31, 2018. At 11.37am, its share price was 0.51% or 3 sen lower at RM5.85 with 148600 shares traded. Maxis reported a 4.18% rise in net profit to RM523 million during the quarter from RM502 million a year ago while revenue fell 5.8% to RM2.2 billion from RM2.4 billion a year ago. Year-on-year, its normalised profit after tax stood at RM510 million while normalised earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation stood at RM1 billion.
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Destini's share price rise 3.37% after clinching Defence Ministry deal (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Destini Bhd’s share price rose 3.37% this morning after it was awarded a RM138 million contract by the Defence Ministry. At 11.36am, its share price was 3.37% or 1.5 sen higher at 46 sen with 3 million shares traded. The stock closed unchanged yesterday at 44.5 sen with a total of 1.3 million shares traded. Under the contract, Destini will provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services as well as supply safety and survival equipment to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF). The contract is in addition to the RM98 million deal on MRO services and supply of safety and survival equipment to the RMAF for three years from Oct 3, 2016.
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IHH Healthcare shares fall after expressing readiness to infuse RM2.4b into Fortis (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: IHH Healthcare Bhd, which made an offer to invest up to 40 billion rupees (RM2.36 billion) into India’s Fortis Healthcare Ltd, saw its share price fall 1 sen this morning. At 11.36am, its share price was 0.16% or 1 sen lower at RM6.09 with 462,200 shares traded. The stock closed 2 sen higher at RM6.10 yesterday with 4.2 million shares traded. IHH told Bursa Malaysia yesterday that it is ready to invest up to 40 billion rupees through a preferential allotment of equity shares at a price not exceeding 160 rupees per share. The offer is subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence. The investment is intended to fund the buyout of the assets from RHT Health Trust as well as provide immediate liquidity towards working capital and infrastructure upgrades. IHH’s offer for Fortis was rejected recently and the investment offer comes as Fortis announced that it had received an improved binding offer worth 15 billion rupees from Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office. Fortis has two other offers on the table - one up to US$350 million (RM1.36 billion) from Fosun International Ltd and another a 155 rupee a share bid from Manipal Hospitals Enterprises.
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Ringgit opens easier against US dollar (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened easier against the US dollar today on a lack of market demand, a dealer said. At 9.01am, the local unit was quoted at 3.8900/8950 from 3.8890/8920 recorded at Thursday's close. The dealer said Asian currencies continued to trade on mixed themes, but the ringgit remained exceptionally muted due to the building election risks. "But with currency markets, including the G-10 mired in sideways activity, it's unlikely we will see any significant shift in the local note today," he added. Meanwhile, another dealer said Asian currencies, including the ringgit may trade higher supported by the higher commodity prices. "Besides the higher aluminium price, crude oil is also helping to provide support for the ringgit," he added. The ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies. Against the Singapore dollar, it rose to 2.9627/9683 from 2.9694/9728 and appreciated versus the yen to 3.6203/6260 from 3.6214/6252. The ringgit improved to 5.4787/4861 from 5.5204/5263 vis-a-vis the British pound and advanced to 4.8026/8095 from 4.8103/8144 when compared with the euro. — Bernama
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Bursa Malaysia opens lower in early trade (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia opened lower this morning, dampened by profit-taking after the key FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) closed at an all-time high of 1,895.18 yesterday. The previous high of the index was 1,892.65, which it attained on July 8, 2014. At 9.05am today, the FBM KLCI eased 4.61 points to 1,890.57. It opened marginally higher in gaining 0.37 of-a-point to 1,895.55. Kenanga Research attributed yesterday's bullish performance to gains in energy companies and economic data from China. Oil prices also improved to the highest level since late 2014 on the back of declining US crude inventories, with the key Brent crude being traded at US$73.69 (RM287). Public Investment Bank Bhd said Bursa Malaysia's performance would be influenced by the mixed overnight performance of the main global equity markets. "US Treasuries suffered further losses even as the S&P 500 equity index fell for the first time this week, despite the renewed advance in oil prices to a fresh four-year high," it said in a note. On the broader market, there were 117 losers against 107 gainers, while 161 counters were unchanged, 1,531 untraded and 20 others suspended. Volume stood at 155.55 million units valued at RM58.15 million. Among heavyweights, Maybank and Tenaga eased six sen each to RM10.62 and RM15.94 respectively, PBBank slid four sen to RM24.20, PChem declined two sen to RM8.46 and CIMB was flat at RM7.31. Among the losers, UTDPLT lost 24 sen to RM28.20, Nestle lost 20 sen to RM148.10, PMetal and Airport gave up 18 sen each to RM5.05 and RM8.89 respectively, while HLBank declined 14 sen to RM19.46. For actives, Vizione, Sumatech, Daya and Panpage all bagged half-a-sen each to 15 sen, 7.5 sen, 3.5 sen and 27.5 sen, while SapNRG was 1.5 sen lower at 77.5 sen. The FBMT 100 Index eased 28.02 points to 13,010.57, the FBM Emas Syariah Index fell19.77 points to 13,411.46, the FBM 70 slid 21.22 points to 15,710.75 and the FBM Emas Index was 26.33 points weaker at 13,209.62. But the FBM Ace grabbed 18.26 points for 5,506.28. Sector-wise, the Industrial Index bagged 4.17 points to 3,289.87, but the Finance Index declined 58.02 points to 18,461.92 and the Plantation Index fell 5.79 points to 8,038.61. The physical price of gold as at 9.30am stood at RM162.32 per gramme, down RM1.25 from RM163.57 at 5pm. yesterday. — Bernama
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North and South Korea open hotline between leaders (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
SEOUL: The two Koreas opened a hotline between their leaders Friday, a week before a summit between North Korea's Kim Jong Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in in the Demilitarized Zone. The line links the presidential Blue House in Seoul with the Pyongyang office of the nuclear-armed North's State Affairs Commission, which Kim chairs – one of his most important titles. "The historic connection of the hotline between the leaders of the two Koreas has just been established," said senior Blue House official Youn Kun-young, adding that a test conversation between officials lasted 4 minutes and 19 seconds. "The connection was smooth and the quality of connection was also very good," he said. "It felt like talking to a neighbour." Geographically the two are next door to each other, but the peninsula has been divided for 70 years, with no post or telephone communications between them for ordinary civilians since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The hotline, which enables direct communications between Kim and Moon, is the latest step in a whirlwind of diplomacy on and around the Korean peninsula, triggered by the Winter Olympics in the South. The two leaders are due to meet on Friday on the southern side of the DMZ, in what will be only the third inter-Korean summit since war ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving them technically still in a state of conflict. Seoul is pushing for a declaration that the war is over as a prelude to the signing of a treaty, with Moon declaring Thursday it was a goal that "must be pursued". US President Donald Trump, who is expected to hold his own much-anticipated summit with Kim later, previously offered his "blessing" for the two Koreas to discuss a treaty. Everything hinges, though, on the question of the North's nuclear weapons. Pyongyang – which last year carried out its most powerful nuclear test to date and launched intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States – has long insisted that it needs them to defend against a US invasion. It has since offered to negotiate over them in exchange for security guarantees, but the phrase sometimes used, denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, has long been code for the withdrawal of US troops in the South and the end of its nuclear umbrella over its security ally — something unthinkable in Washington. The US, on the other hand, is adamant that it will accept nothing less than the North's complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation. 'New stage' Trump warned this week that his summit with Kim could still be called off, saying: "If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go. "If the meeting, when I'm there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting." Moon said Thursday that the North had shown "a willingness for a complete denuclearisation", and had not demanded the withdrawal of US troops. "They are only talking about a security guarantee of its own," he said, but added that "the devil is in the details" and it was "too early to guarantee the success of dialogue", which could only come "after a successful US-North Korea summit". For its part the North has been reticent about the process, making its first official reference to contacts with the US only last week, when the official KCNA news agency said Kim discussed "the prospect of the DPRK-US dialogue". But for more than a month KCNA has hardly mentioned the North's nuclear capabilities either. The ruling Workers' Party of Korea was holding a full meeting of its central committee Friday to discuss a "new stage" in what it called "the important historic period of the developing Korean revolution". But it was considered unlikely to issue clear details of any change in policy. The hotline opened Friday is not the first between North and South – a military link was reopened in January after two years in abeyance, as one of the early confidence-building steps in the process. — AFP
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Trouble brewing in PKR's Sungai Siput division (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
SUNGAI SIPUT: Trouble is brewing in Sungai Siput's PKR division over outsiders being parachuted to stand as candidates in the 14th general election. Aminuddin Mohd Shukri, who represented the group, said local candidate Syed Ahmad Putra Syed Isa is capable of bringing changes for constituents in the area. "The Kampung Muhibbah branch chairman is now serving as an aide to incumbent Sri Andalas state assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar," he told reporters here today. According to him, a senior division leader who lost the confidence of the majority of the committee had attempted to bring in several members from outside the division and introduced them as candidates. "He keeps changing and introducing different people as candidates ... the leader abuses his position to get funds. "He also makes decisions without consulting the committee to the point 15 of the 20 members decided not to support him. "The leader may also offer himself as the candidate ... outsiders are not welcomed as they cannot assess the local issues. "The matter had been brought to the attention of the party leadership," he added. The group also planned to lodge reports with police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on lack of transparency in the financial management of the division. The Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency is currently held by Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj of PSM. The constituency is expected to see multi-cornered fights from Barisan Nasional, PKR and PAS.
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Public must differentiate between real court and social media court: Analysts (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The public should know the difference between a real court and a 'social media court' in regard to the South Jakarta District Court's decision to rule as unlawful, the seizure of a luxury yacht, Equanimity, in Bali. Some analysts, when asked about their views on the matter, concurred that the public should not punish someone based solely on information disseminated in the social media, which might not be true and accurate. On the seizure of the Equanimity, they said the information were mainly unverified and based on hearsay. On April 17, Justice Ratmoho ordered the Indonesian police to return the vessel to its owner, Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd Islands, which had filed the case in court. The yacht, linked to controversial tycoon Jho Low, was seized on Feb 28 and continues to be the target of fake news, including claims that a huge amount of cash was found on board. Universiti Teknologi Mara Communication and Media Studies Faculty senior lecturer Assoc Prof Datuk Dr Ismail Sualman said the people should realise that the case was sensationalised by the opposition as a ruse to influence them. "With proof stating there is no case against the yacht, it is clear the allegations and claims by the opposition were only intended to disparage. "There is no fact at all; the people must open their eyes to the true colour of the opposition which wants to topple the government and leaders in a way that I consider abhorrent," he told Bernama here today. Ismail said the newly enforced Anti-Fake News Act 2018 may be used if the opposition continued to link the yacht with 1MDB. "This is because there was no fact in the judgment that the yacht had been purchased using funds from 1MDB," he said. The Anti-Fake News Act 2018, which was passed by the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara earlier this month, and gazetted on April 11, among others, would not compromise on fake news that could jeopardise public order or national security. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the act was aimed at protecting the public from the consequences as well as to prevent the spread of fake news. Universiti Utara Malaysia Institute for Malaysian Political Analysis (Mapan) director Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said political parties as well as the general public should not indiscriminately hurl unsubstantiated accusations against anyone and must respect the law. He described the opposition's action to sensationalise the seizure of the yacht and using it as political ammunition to attack the government while the case was then pending, as impetuous. "They should feel shameful. I won't be surprised if they next accuse the Indonesian court of accepting 'dedak' to release the yacht," he said. Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives president Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman said certain quarters exploited the issue for political interest. "We should not make any assumption particularly if it is a court case. We should wait for the court's decision," he added. — Bernama
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PAS to establish 'taawun' concept of political cooperation (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
MARANG: PAS has reiterated that it would establish the 'taawun' concept of cooperation with other political parties in the 14th general election, polling for which is on May 9. Its president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, said the 'taawun' approach involved establishing cooperation with like-minded parties that supported Islam, do good and have the people's interests at heart. "Such an approach will provide for a democracy of calmness without tension among the people. We do not want any differences of opinion (with other parties) to lead to chaos in the country. "Enough of what's happening in the Arab countries where disputes are not settled in a civilised manner and have led to turmoil and foreign intervention. We will not allow that. "We can have differences of opinion and arguments but not to the extent of going to war. It is this 'taawun' approach that we want to introduce," he said to reporters after announcing the PAS electoral candidates for Terengganu at Dewan Tok Guru in Rusila here last night. Abdul Hadi was replying to a question on whether there was a formal cooperation between opposition PAS and the ruling Barisan Nasional in GE14. PAS had dismissed statements from within and outside the party on the probability of a BN-PAS coalition government after GE14. PAS, which rules Kelantan, is going into GE14 on a coalition platform called Gagasan Sejahtera that also comprises Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan), Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa) and several NGOs. — Bernama
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High-impact projects to raise people's living standard: Najib (Fri, 20 Apr 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The government implemented high-impact projects to spur the economy to raise the people's living standard, not like the opposition who want to cancel these projects just to suit their political agenda, said Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak. The Prime Minister said the opposition did not think about the effects on the nation's economy and the people's interests if they cancelled these projects. Najib, who is also Finance Minister, further explained that Malaysia needed such projects to boost economic growth particularly in areas that are developing for economic spin-offs and job opportunities for the locals. Among the projects were the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL), Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR), Pan Borneo Highway, Bandar Malaysia, Tun Razak Exchange, Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Pengerang and KL118, he said. "This is because the government hopes that development can be enjoyed throughout the country by all layers of society," he said in his blog www.najibrazak.com. today. However, Najib said the opposition wanted to abort these high-impact projects if they were to come into power. He stressed that if this was to happen, 2.2 million job opportunities would be lost including for skilled workers where the salary is above RM3,000. He said by cancelling the ECRL, states in the east coast will not get development on par with the Klang Valley. "This factor has caused the income of people in the east coast states difficult to be raised. "In fact, foreign investors will also lose confidence in Malaysia for arbitrarily aborting development projects that are key to economic growth and job opportunities for Malaysians," he said. — Bernama
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Carlsberg launches easy ring-pull 'POP cap' to its Smooth Draught bottles (Tue, 10 Apr 2018)
CARLSBERG today launched an easy ring-pull 'POP cap' to its Smooth Draught beer bottles. The ring-pull 'POP cap' will replace the traditional pry-off cap for the 580ml and 325ml bottles. Attended by over 400 guests, the event was held at Jenerator, KL Citywalk. Carlsberg Malaysia managing director Lars Lehmann launched the celebration by popping the brand new Carlsberg Smooth Draught bottles.
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Kim Jong-nam had US$120,000 in cash when assassinated (Mon, 12 Jun 2017)
PETALING JAYA: Kim Jong-Nam (pix), the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, was holding US$120,000 (RM512,000) cash when he was killed at the KLIA2 airport in February, the Asahi Shimbun reports, citing unnamed Malaysian officials close to the investigation. The investigation team reportedly recovered four bundles of mostly new US$100 notes in stacks of 300, as well as a laptop and two mobile phones. Since Kim Jong-Nam held a diplomatic passport, his luggage was not subjected to a thorough search at the airport. According to the report, Kim met with a US citizen at a hotel four days before the assassination. The American, presumably, has links to an intelligence agency. Malaysian authorities suspect Kim might have been paid for some kind of information, the source told Asahi Shimbun, adding, that the sum in question had not been withdrawn at any bank in the country prior to the assassination. Kim Jong-Nam, 45, was murdered before boarding a plane to Macau from KLIA2 on Feb13. The investigation found that Kim's killers used the military-grade nerve agent VX.
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MCMC receives 7,837 complaints on telecommunications, new media content (Thu, 18 May 2017)
KOTA KINABALU: As of the first quarter of this year, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) received 7,837 complaints relating to telecommunications and new media content. MCMC Network Security and Enforcement chief officer Zulkarnain Mohd Yasin said 70% of these complaints were about telecommunication problems while the rest were connected to content in new media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. "Selangor recorded the most complaints with 1,534, followed by Pahang (1,036) and Johor (730). Sabah was among six states with the least number of complaints," he said in a statement issued to the media at the Empowering Consumers seminar here today. The seminar was attended by about 250 participants comprising local university students and representatives of consumer associations and government and non-governmental agencies here today. On the seminar, Zulkarnain said it was aimed at increasing public awareness on consumerism issues which are often faced in the communications and multimedia industry in this country. "Programmes such as these are held to expose the consumers to critical issues in cyber space such as ransomware, hacking, online cheating and various social issues which involve the new media," he said. Speaking to reporters later, Zulkarnain advised the public to refer to the relevant authorities when they get any messages on cyber attacks in the country, whether through WhatsApp, Facebook or other social media. "Do not spread any information which has not been verified. To ensure if it is true or not, we should refer to the National Security Council or Bank Negara Malaysia if the information concerns banking," he said. Zulkarnian was commenting on the false message spread on the social media recently that automatic teller machines (ATMs) in the country would be shut down for two to three days following the ransomware cyber attack. He said to tackle the false news, the MCMC had adopted several initiatives including starting the sebenarnya.my portal. Bernama "We will upload information connected to the false news so that the public will know it is untrue," he said. — Bernama
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Najib shares wisdom on how to survive politics (Wed, 17 May 2017)
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has shared his wisdom for future politicians to survive in Malaysian political scene. He said he had managed to stay in the country's political arena for more than four decades as he was a "resilient" man. "In politics, we cannot be too sensitive as it can backfire to us and our blood pressure can rise up. When it goes up, we 'jalanlah' (pass away)," Najib said during the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session with arts activists at Seri Perdana. Also present were Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak. Najib also jokingly said he had a "switch off" button when dealing with pressure from becoming a politician when asked by the dialogue moderator Datuk Rosyam Nor on how he maintained his composure in politics. "I can switch off ... Whenever I am too stressed when people are attacking me, I will go back home and switch (myself) off," he said. Najib also said that the government did not expect everyone to agree with its policies, adding that he was open to any constructive criticisms. "we can accept any opinions that are realistic and good, but not from those who only know how to criticise or giving illogical opinions," he added. He also took a swipe against parties that could simply make promises but did not take action to realise it. "It is easy to talk, words are cheap. But the value lies on those who executes it, not in words but action," Najib said. Najib also gave his assurance that arts activists would not be sidelined as the country progressing forward to achieve TN50, adding that those in the entertainment industry should be put into the mainstream. He said local artists should not only be seen as entertainers as they could play an important role to define the nation's path. "Arts activists can be made into idols. They can help to mould the future generation to raise the country," he said.
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Accommodate differences in opinion: Ahmad Zahid (Wed, 10 May 2017)
SYDNEY: The young generation, who are now more open in giving their opinions, should not do so to the extent of jeopardising the country's interests, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. He said the young generation, like Malaysian students abroad, should realise that they are the country's assets and future. "Give opinions that are for the country's interests , instead of doing so to destroy the country. Students abroad have got that social assimilation and should translate them (in their actions)," he said at a dinner with Malaysian students in Sydney Tuesday, which was also attended by Malaysian High Commissioner to Australia Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad. Ahmad Zahid said the government was always open to opinions and had drawn up development programmes for the young generation, like the National Transformation Plan 2050 (TN50) based on the aspiration of the young people. There are more than 14,000 Malaysian students in Australia. Ahmad Zahid is here on a three-day working visit to Australia since last Sunday. — Bernama
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