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theSundaily.my Most Recent/Updated

Harvey Weinstein sued by German actress for alleged rape (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
A GERMAN actress has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein alleging the disgraced movie mogul raped her in 2006 at the Cannes Film Festival. Emma Loman says in a complaint filed on Monday in Los Angeles that she met Weinstein in 2004 at the Venice Film Festival and he later invited her to Cannes as his guest to discuss her career. The model-turned-actress says she was initially hesitant to accept the invitation, but Weinstein was persistent, with his assistant calling Loman up to 30 times a day. Loman says she finally relented and found Weinstein to be very professional during several meetings. That changed, however, after he lured her to his hotel suite, presumably to discuss possible acting roles in some of his films, the lawsuit states. "Upon arriving at Weinstein's suite ... Weinstein quickly dropped his professional demeanor. He instead overpowered Loman and raped her," according to the lawsuit. It adds that the 66-year-old former Hollywood titan subsequently made it clear to Loman that he could ruin her career if she came forward. "Fearful both that no one would believe her and the potential retaliation from such a powerful figure, Loman stayed silent," the lawsuit says. "It was only upon the late 2017 revelation of the scope of Weinstein's wrongful actions ... that Loman felt safe coming forward to seek redress for Weinstein's rape of her." Loman is suing Weinstein for assault, violation of human trafficking laws, battery and false imprisonment. Weinstein has been accused by dozens of women of a litany of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape. He is out on bail and has pleaded not guilty in New York to six counts allegedly committed against three women in 2004, 2006 and 2013. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept 20. The allegations against the once-powerful movie mogul spurred the #MeToo movement that saw women worldwide speak up against sexual harassment and assault. Weinstein's agent did not immediately respond to requests for comment in relation to Loman's lawsuit. — AFP
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Strong magnitude 7.3 earthquake shakes Venezuela (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
CARACAS: Venezuela was rocked by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake near its northeastern coast, the US Geological Survey said Tuesday, though there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The tremor was felt for several seconds and caused panic in Caracas, notably in tall buildings, many of which were evacuated for fears of aftershocks or lasting structural damage. Venezuela's Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the prolonged quake "was felt in several states" but that "for now, there are no reports of victims". He added that potential damage was still being assessed. The USGS said the tremor occurred just after 5.30pm (5.30am Malaysia), with the epicentre close to the coast of the state of Sucre, at a depth of 123km. Venezuela's Seismology Investigations Foundation measured the quake at magnitude 6.3, saying it was around 400km east of the capital Caracas. "There is no tsunami threat from this earthquake," the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said. Social media was inundated with messages of alarm, particularly in the greater Caracas area that has a population of around four million. Reverol called for "calm" saying the country's "risk evacuation team" had been "activated". Venezuela is already struggling with an economic and political crisis following four years of recession that has seen more than two million people flee the country, according to the United Nations. It has left the country with food and medicine shortages, and failing public services such as running water, electricity and transport. The last time the country was hit with a tremor this strong was in 1997 when 73 people were killed in a 7.0-magnitude quake in Sucre. Thirty years earlier, 200 people died after a 6.7-magnitude tremor rocked Caracas. — AFP
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Minister Khalid to sue over gay party allegation (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad said today he would sue Gerakan Muslimah Islam Malaysia (GMIM) secretariat chairman Wan Asshima Kamaruddin over her allegation that he and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa had allowed the organisation of the largest gay carnival in Kuala Lumpur. He said it was a serious and baseless allegation and he had instructed his lawyer to take action as soon as possible. "I do not know where the woman got the information from. When making the accusation, she did not show any evidence of my having approved the gay party. It is a very serious charge against me," he said to reporters at the media briefing for the Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival 2018 (KLIAF 2018) here. Wan Asshima had accused Khalid of having allowed the organisation of the large-scale gay carnival via a video clip uploaded on her Facebook page, but the video clip has since been removed. Following the emergence of the video clip, a police report was made at the Dang Wangi Police headquarters by the minister's special functions officer Zulhazmi Shariff and the special functions officer to the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Hisham Fauzi. — Bernama
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Ministry identifies 12 locations as drowning 'hotspots' (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The Housing and Local Government Ministry, via the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM), has identified 12 hotspot locations nationwide as high-risk areas for drowning incidents. In a statement today, the ministry's Water Activities Safety Council said the JBPM had been ordered to be on standby mode at all the high-risk areas during the ongoing school holidays. "This initiative is part of the ministry's efforts to reduce the increasing number of drowning cases," the statement said. The locations in Selangor are Sungai SKC Kampung Timah, Sungai Tinggi, Sungai Gasi in Sungai Buloh, Sungai Chiling in Kuala Kubu Baru, Sungai Sendat waterfalls in Ulu Yam and the Semenyih Dam. Other high-risk areas are Sungai Kampung Batu Payung in Tawau, Sabah; Sungai Kampung Sabak in Pengkalan Chepa, Muara Tok Bali in Pasir Puteh and Pantai Nipah in Bachok, Kelantan; Lata Berembun waterfalls in Raub, Pahang; Chamang waterfalls in Bentong, Pahang; as well as Teluk Bahang in Batu Feringghi, Penang. The statement said a total of 186 drowning cases were recorded from January to June, with incidents involving rivers and waterways being the highest at 116 cases. Parents must also monitor during their children's water activities in order to help the government to bring down the number of drowning cases in the country, it added. — Bernama
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Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort guilty of tax, bank fraud (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
ALEXANDRIA, United States: Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud Tuesday, in the first trial resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The guilty verdicts on eight counts are a victory for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and Moscow. Trump, who has repeatedly maligned the Mueller probe, views it as a stain on his presidency and has pushed for it to be ended, described Manafort's conviction as "very sad". US District Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on 10 counts on which the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. But the jurors found Manafort guilty of the remaining eight counts: five of making false income tax returns, two of bank fraud and one of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts. While the 69-year-old Manafort could theoretically live out the remainder of his years in prison as a result of the convictions, a legal expert told AFP that his time behind bars would in reality likely last under a decade. Just before leaving the courtroom, Manafort winked to his wife, who was present for the verdict. Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing said his client was "evaluating all of his options" and thanked the judge for a "fair trial". "Mr Manafort is disappointed of not getting acquittals all the way through, or a complete hung jury on all counts," Downing told journalists. 'Good man' Reacting to the verdict as he arrived in West Virginia for a rally of supporters, Trump described Manafort as a "good man", said he was "very sad" at the trial outcome – and once more denounced the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt". Trump had previously suggested that Manafort, who briefly served as his campaign manager, was being treated worse than late American gangster Al Capone. He has refused to rule out a pardon. Observers have speculated that the prospect of a pardon may have explained why Manafort chose a trial as opposed to a plea deal like his former aide Rick Gates. The case went to the jury on Thursday after 12 days of gripping testimony about hidden bank accounts, betrayal and lavish spending by Manafort on luxury homes, cars, antique rugs and clothes. Prosecutors outlined schemes Manafort allegedly used to avoid paying US taxes on the millions of dollars he earned in Ukraine, saying he also filed false statements to obtain millions of dollars in loans from banks when his Ukraine consulting fees dried up. Defence attorneys sought for their part to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution's star witness, Manafort's former trusted deputy Gates, who took a deal from the government and turned against his former boss. Trump spent much of Tuesday cooped up at the White House, as two high-profile legal cases with profound implications for his presidency played out on US television screens. Barely minutes after the Manafort verdict was announced, Trump's longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan court to eight counts, including fraud and campaign finance violations. Questioned by a federal judge, Cohen indicated he had paid sums of US$130,000 (RM532,675) and US$150,000 (RM614,625) each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, at his boss's request in order to buy their silence "with the purpose of influencing the election". — AFP
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Trump ex-lawyer Cohen pleads guilty – and implicates president (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
NEW YORK: Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight counts, including violations of campaign finance rules during the 2016 presidential race – and implicated his former boss in the process. The former lawyer and businessman pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud, one of bank fraud and two counts of violating campaign finance laws during the hearing before US District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan. Questioned by the federal judge, Cohen said he had paid sums of US$130,000 (RM532,675) and US$150,000 (RM614,625) each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, acting at his boss's request, in a bid to buy their silence "with the purpose of influencing the election". Cohen did not specify the women's names, but the sums correspond to a payment known to have been made to porn star Stormy Daniels just before the election to silence her claims of a one-night stand with Trump – and another destined for former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen's explosive assertion – which suggests Trump may have committed a crime – was all the more spectacular coming from a man who once declared he was so loyal he would "take a bullet for the president". Most of the counts against the 51-year-old Cohen carry maximum prison terms of five years, with the exception of making false statements to a financial institution, which carries up to 30 years. Guilty pleas are common in the United States when it appears prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a conviction if the case goes to trial. The FBI raided Cohen's home and office on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking into whether Trump sought to obstruct the Russia meddling probe. The plea deal came comes days after The New York Times reported that Cohen was also under investigation for tax and bank fraud, possibly exceeding US$20 million (RM81 million) via loans obtained by the taxi medallion business he owns with his family. Just minutes earlier, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of eight counts, in the first trial resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A jury found Manafort guilty of five counts of making false income tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts. Each of the bank fraud counts carries a significant maximum sentence and the 69-year-old Manafort could theoretically live out the remainder of his years in prison – though a legal expert told AFP it would run to under a decade in reality. — AFP
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Police deny assaulting car repossessor in viral video (Updated) (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: City police have refuted allegations that its personnel and other enforcement personnel were involved in assaulting a car repossessor in Cheras. Kuala Lumpur police chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said in the 4.30pm incident on Aug 20 an incident occurred where several men involved in an altercation with the car repossessor. "A video depicting the incident went viral on social media. "The video shows two men wearing partial uniforms arriving at the scene in a silver car before assaulting the man," he said today. Mazlan explained that the three men are not police personnel and the vehicle they were travelling in is not a police vehicle. Police have classified the case under Section 148 of the Penal Code for possessing weapons at a riot. Mazlan also stressed that the police would not hesitate to take action against anyone who attempting to tarnish the image of the police force. He added that at around 12.10am on Tuesday, police arrested three men in Putrajaya, all in their 30s, over the incident. He urged the netizens not to easily believe everything they read and watch on social media. Anyone with information on the case is advised to contact Insp Muhamad Khairil Fadzli A. Razak at 019-231 1040 or 03-9205 0222.
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Malaysia can learn from China: Mahathir (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
BEIJING: Malaysia needs to learn from China on how such a big country with a population of 1.4 billion can meet the needs of its people in terms of food, technology and employment, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Prime Minister also noted that China managed to provide enough food for its people, produced enough rice and exported it too. "Malaysia, with 30 million population, only manages to produce rice to meet 70% of our needs even though the government provides subsidies and fertiliser," he told Malaysian journalists at the end of his five-day official visit to China. Dr Mahathir visited the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the National Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Park, here Tuesday. Malaysians could also learn online marketing in selling their products not only to the domestic market but also to the world, said Dr Mahathir, when sharing his experiences after visiting the Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou on Saturday and meeting its co-founder Jack Ma. "Villagers can supply to the whole country, in fact the world, by selling products online. We do not have to live in poverty," he said. Sharing his experience of riding on a high-speed train from Hangzhou to the capital city of Beijing on Saturday, the Prime Minister said Malaysia's High-Speed Rail (HSR) project was not necessary. "The train travels at a speed of 300 km per hour. You don't need a high-speed train for the 350 km from KL to Singapore," he said. Dr Mahathir took a swipe at his predecessor, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, for being willing to spend RM72 billion just to save a few minutes of travel time. "Najib is very stupid. You don't need to spend RM72 billion just to save a few minutes of travel time," he said. On another matter, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia could also learn from China in terms of graduate employment, as the nation could provide employment for its 15 million university graduates and school leavers every year. "We have much unemployment in Malaysia because we can't provide enough jobs … but, of course, some just choose not to work," he added. — Bernama
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Musa Aman is back (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman has finally returned to Malaysia today, after been missing since a criminal intimidation report was filed against him by the Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin in May this year. Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali reportedly said Musa and his associates landed at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang Jaya from the Selatar Airport in Singapore at 6.45pm. The passengers' documents were checked and recorded in the Immigration system. The check on Musa and the other passengers' documents was completed at about 7pm. Musa reportedly could not physically go to the Immigration counter due to health reasons, but Immigration staff could check his travel credentials. Musa was reportedly taken to a private hospital to continue treatment. Mustafar stressed that the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission were also informed. The Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) state chairman is the subject of a police report by Sabah governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, who alleged criminal intimidation by Musa after BN lost the May 9 general election. Musa had been sworn in as chief minister, but was later replaced by Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal when he won the majority support of state lawmakers. Musa left the country in May, reportedly for medical treatment in the United Kingdom.
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Suhakam wants Malaysia to ratify six human rights conventions: Waytha Moorthy (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PUTRAJAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) wants Malaysia to ratify six United Nations treaties pertaining to human rights, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy. He said this was expressed by Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail and commissioners Datuk Lok Yim Pheng and Jerald Joseph during a fruitful discussion in his office today. "Suhakam also feels that the government of the day needs to ratify these treaties for better human rights protection in Malaysia," he said in a statement. In July, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah pledged to push for the ratification of six international human rights conventions. The nation has yet to be a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families as well as the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Waytha Moorthy said other issues discussed at the meeting which needed to be dealt with urgently included those on land matters, death in custody, statelessness, migrant detention and minority religious obstacles. "Suhakam also aired its concern on the use of laws like the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) and the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca) to detain individuals for a prolonged period. "It felt that these laws were causing psychological and economic distress to the families of those detained and, at the same time, depriving the person detained fair justice through the courts," he said, adding that Suhakam receives over 800 complaints annually from the public. — Bernama
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Air Selangor cuts Gamuda, Taliworks bulk water supply rate in new agreement (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Gamuda Bhd and Taliworks Corp Bhd have been informed by Air Selangor of a cut in the bulk water supply rate for the third phase and first phase of the Sungai Selangor Water Treatment Plant (SSP) by 2 sen/m3 and 5 sen/m3, respectively. Both Gamuda and Taliworks are required to revert with acceptance of the offer no later than 5pm on August 27. In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Gamuda said its 80%-owned Gamuda Water Sdn Bhd had received a letter of offer dated August 21, 2018 from Air Selangor setting out the termination of the existing operations and maintenance agreement (OMA) of SSP3 with Splash as well as the settlement of the outstanding Gamuda Water's receivable from Splash. Gamuda Water and Air Selangor will execute a new SSP3 OMA, which will commence on the operational date until December 31, 2029. The bulk water supply rate is set at 44 sen/m3 from the operational date till end-2018; 46 sen/m3 from 2019 to 2022; 47 sen/m3 for 2023; and 53 sen/m3 from 2024 to 2029. For Taliworks, the bulk water supply rate under the new OMA will be a rate equal to a 5 sen/m3 reduction to the existing rate under the SSP1 OMA from the operational date to end-2029, being the expiry date of the existing SSP1 OMA and a final rate of 52.5 sen/m3 for the seven-year extension from 2030 to 2036. A letter received by wholly-owned subsidiary Sungai Harmoni Sdn Bhd dated August 21, 2018, spelt out key terms of settlement between Air Selangor, Splash and Sungai Harmoni relating to Sungai Harmoni's outstanding receivables arising from the existing operations and maintenance of the SSP1 as well as key terms in respect of the new OMA between Air Selangor and Sungai Harmoni. Under the termination and settlement agreements, Splash will pay to Gamuda Water and Taliworks, as full and final settlement of all amounts owing by Splash to Gamuda Water and Taliworks under the SSP OMA, an amount equal to 90% of the outstanding fee. Gamuda and Taliworks said their board of directors are currently reviewing the terms contained in the offer and will make the appropriate announcement in due course after going through due process internally.
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Sunway Bhd's Q2 net profit marginally up (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Sunway Bhd’s second quarter net profit was marginally higher at RM199.44 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, compared with RM196.05 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 with lower share of minority interest profit for some local property development projects. The group profit after tax and minority interest (patmi) would have been higher by 16.2% if not for the adoption of MFRS 15, which requires it to recognise the development profits upon its completion. Property development, quarry and others segments all saw decreases in profit, while property investment, construction,and trading and manufacturing segment saw increases in profits. Property development posted a 38% fall in profit before tax due to lower progress billings from local development projects, while profit before tax for its others segment was 30.8% lower primarily due to the performance of its treasury operations and building materials segment. This was on a 4% jump in revenue to RM1.29 billion for the quarter under review, compared with RM1.24 billion for the same quarter in 2017. Net profit for the six month period was 6% higher at RM321.36 million, compared with RM302.94 million. This was on revenue of RM2.60 billion, compared with RM2.33 billion for the same period in 2017. The group, which would have seen 15.4% higher group patmi for the first half of 2018 if not for the adoption of MFRS 15, believes the current government's commitment and efforts in improving governance, accountability and transparency, will boost domestic consumer and business confidence, which will in turn augur well for the group’s diverse yet complementary businesses.
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Versatile Creative's MD and group CFO dismissed (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Versatile Creative Bhd has dismissed its managing director Datuk Wong Kong Choong @ Leong Kong Choong and chief financial officer Tan Quok Eow for failing to satisfactorily answer for an unauthorised payment of RM2.3 million. The Board of directors told the stock exchange that the dismissal comes into effect immediately as the two had failed to satisfactorily answer the allegations made against them in the show-cause letters that were issued to them on August 13. To recap, Versatile Creative said in a filing dated August 10 that a forensic audit report by Crowe Malaysia revealed that Wong and Tan could not account for an unauthorised payment of RM2.3 million. In separate filings with the stock exchange, the group also announced the appointment of two executive directors and two non-Independent executive directors.
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Boustead Heavy Industries earnings down in Q2 (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd’s net profit for the second quarter ended June 30 declined by 69.85% to RM7.21 million from RM23.94 million a year ago, due to lower defence-related maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) activities, negative contribution from the associates and higher taxation. Revenue fell 12.31% to RM49.16million from RM43.77 million “It is encouraging to see that the new government is determined to maintain the nation’s maritime sovereignty. This would require RMN to be at its optimal state of readiness to support Malaysia’s foreign policy and naval diplomacy. We believe this bodes well for our shipyards and business units involved in MRO of naval assets and we foresee sustained business coming from the RMN’s 15 to 5 transformation programme. The construction of the first four of six LCS by our Associate is currently ongoing, with the keel laying of LCS4 is targeted to be held later this year. In addition, our Associate is making good progress on the Littoral Mission Ship project which is currently at an early construction stage,” its board of directors said. The contracts awarded to the group for the ISS of the RMAF EC725, ISS of the RMN FENNEC AS555SN helicopters, the supply and delivery of RMN’s Communication Suite for Squadron 23rd Frigate and the ISS for the RMN’s Prime Minister’s Class Submarines are expected to contribute positively towards its future earnings. The acquisition of shares in Airbus Helicopters Simulation Centre Sdn Bhd is expected to strengthen the group’s relationship with Airbus, leading to the opening up of potential business collaborations particularly in the Malaysian aviation industry,” it added. Whilst the group is guardedly optimistic about the prospect of the defence sector, it remains cautious on the outlook for commercial shipbuilding and energy sector. Despite signs of recovery in crude oil prices, the outlook for the oil industry remains bearish as oil majors scale back exploration and production activities which result in the commissioning of only a handful of new offshore structures. This, it said, will continue to put pressure on yards already reeling from the lack of fabrication work, hence it does not expect much business related to oil and gas industry at its yards, until the industry fully recovers. For the period of six months, its net profit more than halved to RM 11.71 million from RM26.65 million. Revenue for the cumulative period fell 26.31% to RM88.87 million from RM120.61 million.
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Muda Holdings Q2 earnings up (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Muda Holdings Bhd's net profit for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018 net profit jumped more than two fold to RM11.49 million from RM4.13 million a year ago on higher revenue. Its revenue rose 9% to RM353.81 million from RM325.90 million in the preceding year's corresponding quarter. For the six months period, net profit was up 22% to RM27.19 million from RM22.27 million a year ago on the lower cost of waste paper and higher selling price of industrial paper, coupled with better selling price of paper packaging. Revenue increased 12.9% to RM725.41 million compared with RM642.63 million in the preceding year's corresponding period mainly attributable to higher selling price of industrial paper and paper packaging products and higher sales volume from the latter. "Despite the current trade tension between US and China, which may create uncertainties to the global economy, coupled with the introduction of new tax structure and environmental requirements by the government, we are optimistic that the second half of the year will be profitable and the full year financial results will be better compared to previous year," Muda said.
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Parlo accepts shares for shortfall in profit (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Parlo Bhd said the shortfall of RM1.26 million guaranteed profit of its wholly-owned unit Parlo Tours Sdn Bhd in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2017 has been fully settled. It told the stock exchange that the shortfall is deemed to be fully settled with the release of 11.5 million profit guarantee settlement shares to the stakeholder by the profit guarantor. To recap, Parlo said the shortfall was due to higher expenses, which was a result of staff cost, advertisement programmes and marketing, as well as trade fair expenses incurred specifically as part of Parlo Tours' efforts to promote new travel destinations in the People's Republic of China and Europe. Parlo’s share price slipped half a sen or 4.17% to 11.5 sen with 1.71 million shares traded.
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MCT Bhd acquires land within Tropicana Golf and Country Resort for RM42.28m (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: MCT Bhd’s indirectly owned subsidiary One Residence Sdn Bhd is acquiring a 1.765 acre parcel of land located in Bandar Damansara for RM42.28 million from Tropicana Golf and Country Resort Bhd, to develop a luxury condominium. MCT told the stock exchange that the vacant residential plot is located within the Tropicana Golf and Country Resort. The purchase and the eventual development cost will be funded through bank borrowings and internally sourced funds. “The proposed acquisition is in line with the group’s strategy to acquire more landbank for potential development in strategic locations with high development value, which will provide the opportunity to expand and strengthen the group’s existing business of property development of residential and commercial properties,” its board of directors said. It is also in line with the group’s efforts to build its brand as a quality property developer who is able to meet the needs of different social and economic classes by developing a diverse mix of products ranging from affordable homes to luxury properties in exclusive neighborhoods,” it added. Given the strategic location, well-equipped infrastructure, recreational facilities and public amenities surrounding the land, the Group believes that the proposed development will contribute positively to its future growth plan and earnings prospects moving forward.
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PRG falls into the red in Q2 (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: PRG Holdings Bhd fell into the red in the second quarter ended June 30, with a net loss of RM1.78 million against a net profit of RM2.77 million a year ago. Revenue for the period more than halved to RM26.61 million from RM59.96 million last year. The decrease in both net profit and revenue was due to the decrease in revenue from manufacturing segment as a result of lower sales volume and also strengthening of the ringgit against the US Dollar, which is the major sales denomination currency, as well as decrease in revenue from Picasso Residence development project due to lesser units sold during the financial period. The group anticipates the prospect of its manufacturing business to continue to be challenging in the near future and foresees challenges from the recent crude oil price surge which will increase the price of certain crude-oil based raw materials, in turn, leaving an impact on the gross profit margin. It added that any further, significant and abrupt movement in the exchange rate between the ringgit and the Greenback may result in foreign exchange gains or losses which may affect the group’s results as it derives a significant amount of its revenue in US Dollar. PRG’s board of directors said it will continues to focus on marketing and sale of the Picasso Residence units and is strengthening its presence in the property development market by venturing into affordable housing with strategic partners. “The group is venturing into healthcare business as part of the Group's vertical integration along the value chain in the wellness segment of the healthcare industry which is thriving and has an opportunity for growth. The investments into healthcare business are expected to diversify the stream of income of the Group and compensate for business cycle fluctuations,” it added. As for the cumulative period of six months, it reported a net loss of RM972,000 as opposed to a net profit of RM3.90 million. Revenue declined to RM73.84 million from RM94.50 million. In a separate filing, PRG said it was providing financial assistance to facilitate the ordinary course of business of its non-wholly owned subsidiary, Premier De Muara Sdn Bhd. The financial assistance amounting to RM3 million, was in the form of a letter of undertaking to suppliers.
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Digistar Q3 net loss narrows (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Digistar Corp Bhd's net loss for the third quarter ended June 30, 2018 narrowed to RM1.78 million from a net loss of RM5.98 million a year ago helped by lower cost of sales, higher other income and lower other expenses. Its revenue jumped 15% to RM14.33 million from RM12.45 million in the previous year's corresponding quarter. For the nine months period, Digistar's net loss narrowed to RM1.66 million from a net loss of RM4.49 million a year ago. Its revenue rose 0.6% to RM42.84 million from RM43.09 million in the previous year's corresponding period. Despite the challenging business environment taking into account the political and economic conditions in the country, with the ongoing efforts by the group to increase the revenue and implement cost cutting initiatives, the board expects the group’s performance in 2018 to remain positive.
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Ringgit ends higher against US dollar (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended higher against the US dollar today on weaker demand for the greenback, ahead of the release of the latest Federal Reserve meeting minutes scheduled on Wednesday. At 6pm, the local unit appreciated to 4.0960/0990 against the greenback from 4.0990/0200 recorded at yesterday's close. FXTM Global Head of Currency Strategy & Market Research, Jameel Ahmad said the higher ringgit was in line with currencies in the Asia-Pacific region, which continued their positive momentum from the start of the week, following US President Donald Trump's comments on interest rates. "What is likely to linger in the back of the minds of investors and accelerate the near-term softness in the greenback is Trump's statement of not being thrilled with the Federal Reserve raising US interest rates," he said in a note. However, the local note declined against other major currencies. It depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 2.9948/9977 from 2.9885/9913 yesterday and weakened against the yen to 3.7135/7176 from 3.7045/7075. The local note fell against the British pound to 5.2507/2553 from 5.2225/2276 and was lower against the euro at 4.7182/7225 from 4.6765/6804 on Monday. — Bernama
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Smooth traffic on major expressways as of 9am (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: The morning traffic flow on major expressways was reported to be generally smooth and under control as of 9am today. A PLUS Malaysia Berhad spokesman told Bernama that traffic in both directions of the North-South Expressway (PLUS) was smooth and under control. Meanwhile, Malaysian Highway Authority spokesman said the traffic movement at the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway, the East Coast Expressway (LPT) 1 and LPT 2 was reported to be smooth in both directions. For latest updates on traffic flow, the public can call Plusline at toll free 1800-88-0000 and also at www.twitter.com/plustrafik or LLM at 1800-88-7752 or www.twitter.com/LLMinfotrafik. — Bernama
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CIMB introduces financial assistance and flexi-work for employees with special needs children (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group Holdings Berhad has introduced fresh policies for staff with special needs children by providing financial assistance and flexi-work arrangements to help them focus on both their children and career. The policies allow eligible employees to work from home one day per week, and receive financial assistance of up to RM1000 per child monthly, reflecting the Group's understanding that raising specially abled children requires both time and additional funding. These latest enhancements to the Workplace Wellness@CIMB programme reinforces CIMB's corporate-with-a-heart philosophy that continuously strives to create a work environment which enables its employees to become more productive, regardless of their personal circumstances, which in turn supports talent retention. The policies were announced and launched by Datuk Hamidah Naziadin, Group Chief People Officer, CIMB Group in conjunction with CIMB's "Empowering Women" lecture series which focused on "Promoting Equality and Optimising Social Value Creation". Guest speakers included Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Cherrie Atilano, Founder & CEO, AGREA Agricultural Systems International Inc and Ho Yuet Mee, Independent Director of CIMB Islamic Bank. "People are our most valued asset in CIMB and they have always been a strategic driver for CIMB's business growth," Hamidah said. "With 36,000 staff across 16 countries from different cultures and backgrounds, we believe in providing an environment to enable each employee to contribute effectively towards CIMB's business goals. "To that end, our Workplace Wellness@CIMB programme is continually enhanced to ensure that each employee – regardless of his/her unique needs and personal circumstances – stands in good stead to develop their career in CIMB. "This will, in turn, contribute to employee wellbeing and work-life fulfillment, which naturally translates into a more positive and productive workforce. This is also consistent with our emphasis on promoting workplace diversity and inclusivity." As part of promoting wellbeing while building a gender-balanced and an inclusive ecosystem, CIMB's "Workplace Wellness@CIMB" is a comprehensive work-life initiative to support staff in both their professional and personal aspirations. Initiatives under this programme includes the Staff Rejuvenation Programme which allows up to six months' unpaid leave for personal reasons, such as caring for children or ailing family members, extended maternity leave of up to 12 months, or a career break, without jeopardising the staff's position and seniority. Earlier this year, CIMB launched a work-from-home policy called Flex4Moms to allow female staff who are mothers with children aged five years and below to work from home for one day per week, in an effort to encourage them to remain on the career grid while fulfilling their parental responsibilities. First-time fathers are also allowed a 30-day paid paternity leave. Additionally, facilities like childcare centres and nursing rooms for mothers at CIMB offices complement policies like Flex4ALL which allows flexible working hours for staff to take care of their children or loved ones. CIMB also provides 0% housing loans for eligible lower income staff.
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Trump's ex-campaign chief Manafort guilty of tax, bank fraud (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
ALEXANDRIA, United States: Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax and bank fraud Tuesday, in the first trial resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The guilty verdicts on eight counts are a victory for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and Moscow. Trump, who has repeatedly maligned the Mueller probe, views it as a stain on his presidency and has pushed for it to be ended, described Manafort's conviction as "very sad". US District Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on 10 counts on which the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. But the jurors found Manafort guilty of the remaining eight counts: five of making false income tax returns, two of bank fraud and one of failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts. While the 69-year-old Manafort could theoretically live out the remainder of his years in prison as a result of the convictions, a legal expert told AFP that his time behind bars would in reality likely last under a decade. Just before leaving the courtroom, Manafort winked to his wife, who was present for the verdict. Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing said his client was "evaluating all of his options" and thanked the judge for a "fair trial". "Mr Manafort is disappointed of not getting acquittals all the way through, or a complete hung jury on all counts," Downing told journalists. 'Good man' Reacting to the verdict as he arrived in West Virginia for a rally of supporters, Trump described Manafort as a "good man", said he was "very sad" at the trial outcome – and once more denounced the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt". Trump had previously suggested that Manafort, who briefly served as his campaign manager, was being treated worse than late American gangster Al Capone. He has refused to rule out a pardon. Observers have speculated that the prospect of a pardon may have explained why Manafort chose a trial as opposed to a plea deal like his former aide Rick Gates. The case went to the jury on Thursday after 12 days of gripping testimony about hidden bank accounts, betrayal and lavish spending by Manafort on luxury homes, cars, antique rugs and clothes. Prosecutors outlined schemes Manafort allegedly used to avoid paying US taxes on the millions of dollars he earned in Ukraine, saying he also filed false statements to obtain millions of dollars in loans from banks when his Ukraine consulting fees dried up. Defence attorneys sought for their part to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution's star witness, Manafort's former trusted deputy Gates, who took a deal from the government and turned against his former boss. Trump spent much of Tuesday cooped up at the White House, as two high-profile legal cases with profound implications for his presidency played out on US television screens. Barely minutes after the Manafort verdict was announced, Trump's longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan court to eight counts, including fraud and campaign finance violations. Questioned by a federal judge, Cohen indicated he had paid sums of US$130,000 (RM532,675) and US$150,000 (RM614,625) each to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, at his boss's request in order to buy their silence "with the purpose of influencing the election". — AFP
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Police deny assaulting car repossessor in viral video (Updated) (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: City police have refuted allegations that its personnel and other enforcement personnel were involved in assaulting a car repossessor in Cheras. Kuala Lumpur police chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim said in the 4.30pm incident on Aug 20 an incident occurred where several men involved in an altercation with the car repossessor. "A video depicting the incident went viral on social media. "The video shows two men wearing partial uniforms arriving at the scene in a silver car before assaulting the man," he said today. Mazlan explained that the three men are not police personnel and the vehicle they were travelling in is not a police vehicle. Police have classified the case under Section 148 of the Penal Code for possessing weapons at a riot. Mazlan also stressed that the police would not hesitate to take action against anyone who attempting to tarnish the image of the police force. He added that at around 12.10am on Tuesday, police arrested three men in Putrajaya, all in their 30s, over the incident. He urged the netizens not to easily believe everything they read and watch on social media. Anyone with information on the case is advised to contact Insp Muhamad Khairil Fadzli A. Razak at 019-231 1040 or 03-9205 0222.
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Firemen on 'wild cow chase' (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
SHAH ALAM: There was "high drama" here yesterday, with the chief actor being a cow. Firemen had go on a "wild cow chase" for almost 10km to nab the wayward animal. Selangor Fire and Rescue Department Stations and Operations Management Branch head Alimaddia Bukri said the cow broke free from its handler and roamed into a factory site in Section 15 here. "We were alerted at about 1.30pm and despatched a team to the location. However, it gave us the slip and ran for about 10km to a petrol station in Subang Jaya," he said. He said it took the team about 10 minutes to "apprehend" the cow and had handed it over back to the owner at about 5pm. — Bernama
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Two seniors killed after car plunges into steep ravine (Wed, 22 Aug 2018)
TAPAH: Two elderly men were killed after the Proton Saga car they were in skidded and plunged into a 20-metre deep ravine at Batu 9, Jalan Tapah-Cameron Highlands at about 3pm yesterday. The victims were the driver Jantan Putih, 66, and his passenger Bah Rajin Bah Gadong, 83. Police said they were on their way to Cameron Highlands. The bodies were sent to the Tapah Hospital. — Bernama
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Penang govt to meet affordable housing pledge by 2020 (Tue, 21 Aug 2018)
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang state government will meet its 14th General Election pledge to build 75,000 units of low-cost, low-medium cost and affordable houses in the state by 2020. State Housing, Local Government and Urban and Rural Development Committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the state government was confident the total could exceed 100,000 units by 2020. "In just 100 days, we have built, building and will be building 82,000 units of low-cost, low-medium cost and affordable houses," he told reporters after visiting Mutiara Idaman 1 apartment here today. In this regard, Jagdeep said the state government had approved 165 applications encompassing 269 unit maintenance projects under the Housing Maintenance Maximum 80% Fund worth RM24 million. The function of the fund is to assist financing maintenance cost of low-cost, low-medium cost and affordable houses such as maintaining lifts, water tanks, piping systems and roofs. In the ceremony Jagdeep also announced the approval to repair the roof of Mutiara Idaman 1 which was damaged in a storm on Aug 8. He said works on repairing the apartment roof costing RM28,250 in which 80% would come from Housing Maintenance Maximum 80% Fund, will be completed in a week. — Bernama
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KJ accepts defeat in presidential race with open heart (Sat, 30 Jun 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he accepted the decision made at today's party elections. "I accept the decision made with an open heart. God willing, the new Umno leadership can return the rakyat's confidence to our party," the Rembau MP tweeted from his official account. He also urged the new leadership to revamp itself in order to prove that Umno could change for the better. Khairy was one of the candidates for the presidential post. Earlier, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi garnered enough support from the 191 Umno divisions nationwide who voted today to choose the party's leadership.
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Eagleexpress, Suasa Airlines join AirAsia's call to abolish Mavcom (Tue, 26 Jun 2018)
KUALA LUMPUR: Two charter airlines, Eaglexpress Air Charter Sdn Bhd and Suasa Airlines Sdn Bhd, have joined AirAsia in urging the new government to abolish the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom). Eaglexpress President Captain Azlan Zainal Abidin and Suasa CEO Captain Sheikh Salleh Abod said the regulator has not played its role in encouraging the aviation industry to grow but has instead suppressed it. "They (Mavcom) have practically killed us (the industry). The new Transport Minister should look at the function of Mavcom whether it is still a viable thing to have. "We hope the accountability will be there (unlike the previous government) because Eaglexpress has been subjected to a lot of unfairness by Mavcom," he told a press conference here today. Azlan and Syeikh Salleh strongly opined that the Air Service Permit (ASP), which is currently administered by Mavcom, should be returned to the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM). They said prior to the formation of Mavcom, everything was run under CAAM together with the Transport Ministry, with all tasks performed efficiently. "In the past when CAAM was managing the country's airline scene, it was less than 10 people. It was efficient and certainly did not incur a high cost, which I think was like around RM50,000 per year," said Sheikh Salleh. Mavcom was established on March 1, 2016 under the Malaysian Aviation Commission Act 2015 to regulate economic and commercial matters related to civil aviation in Malaysia. Following this, the application for an Air Service Licence (ASL) or ASP should be made through Mavcom rather than the DCA. Months after its inception, the industry saw Eagleexpress' ASP revoked by Mavcom in December 2016 as the umrah and haj pilgrim carrier did not meet the statutory requirement of having a minimum of RM30 million in account while Suasa's licence was suspended. — Bernama
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DAP announces candidates for Selangor (Sun, 22 Apr 2018)
PETALING JAYA: Six new faces and one former assemblyman have been named by DAP to contest in 16 Selangor state seats in the upcoming GE14. The six new faces are Brian Lai (Teratai), Edry Faizal Yusof (Dusun Tua), Michelle Ng (Subang Jaya), Lim Yi Wei (Kampung Tunku), Jamaliah Jamaluddin (Bandar Utama, formerly known as Damansara Utama) and Tony Leong (Pandamaran). Former Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu has been named as the candidate for Sungai Pelek, the seat that DAP won with a relatively narrow margin of 1,972 votes in the last elections. The announcement was made by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng at its Bangi election centre today. Lim also announced the lineup of those who will be contesting for the party parliamentary and state seats, with all its four MPs retained to defend their respective seats. Parliament Bangi (formerly Serdang) – Ong Kian Ming Puchong – Gobind Singh Damansara (formerly Petaling Jaya Utara) – Tony Pua Klang – Charles Santiago State Sekinchan – Ng Suee Lim Kuala Kubu Baru – Lee Kee Hiong Teratai – Brian Lai Balakong – Eddie Ng Seri Kembangan – Ean Yong Hian Wah Kinrara – Ng Sze Han Subang Jaya – Michelle Ng Bukit Gasing – Rajiv Rishyakaran Kampung Tunku – Lim Yi Wei Bandar Utama (formerly Damansara Utama) – Jamaliah Jamaluddin Bandar Baru Klang (formerly Sungai Pinang) – Teng Chang Khim Pandamaran – Tony Leong Kota Kemuning – V. Ganabathirao Banting (formerly Teluk Datuk) – Lau Weng San Sungai Pelek – Ronnie Liu Dusun Tua – Edry Faizal Yusof
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