Archive for December 2010

QUESTION NO. 8:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask the MINISTER OF FINANCE to state:

(a)         A list of companies wholly owned by the EPF and the businesses they run and how much is invested in each company; and

(b)         Why EPF has full ownership of the company since EPF is an investment corporation and have no expertise and also experience in the business field.

ANSWER:

Y.B. SENATOR DATUK DR. AWANG ADEK HUSSEIN

DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE

(a)         List of companies owned in full or 100% ownership by the EPF and the number of investment funds are as follows:

No. Company Total Investment 

(RM mil)

1 Kwasa Properties Sdn. Bhd. (KPSB) 521.7
2 Affordable Homes Sdn. Bhd. (AHSB) 17.1
3 Kwasa Land Sdn. Bhd. (KLSB) – setakat ini RM2.00
4 Kwasa Global (Jersey) Limited 1,675.2
5 KWSP-KWAP (Jersey) Limited 770.2
6 One Sheldon Square Limited 770.2
7 Portman Square (No. 1) Limited 895.95
8 Portman Square (No. 2) Limited 9.1

These companies are involved in the field of real estate investments whereby the primarily established for the purpose of representing the interests of the EPF’s investment in the sector but only one company which is Affordable Homes involved in property development joint venture.

(b)         EPF’s investments in these companies is decided by the Investment Panel is made up of professionals with expertise and experience in the field of investment. At the management level, the EPF has a team of professional investment management. The investments made are in line with the EPF Act 1991 and the current regulations.

In addition, investments by the EPF in the company is able to contribute to economic growth, increased business activity, create jobs, generate higher returns to the EPF and reducing investment risk. This item can be explained based on the objectives of each investment as follows:

  1. Kwasa Properties business activities is the holding company that leased property to the GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.. The Giant hypermarket business. At this time, Kwasa Properties is used as the property investment and it is not involved in other business activities;
  2. Establishment of the Affordable Homes will aim to develop low-cost housing projects and affordable space in the joint venture in the Taman Alma Ria, Bukit Mertajam, Penang;
  3. Kwasa Land is real estate investment company established for the management of property development projects such as development RRI land in Sungai Buloh; and
  4. The establishment of five more companies are intended as EPF real estate investment company for investment programs in overseas. Foreign investment objective is to maximize returns on investments in which the companies incorporated in Jersey will benefit from lower taxation of investments in the United Kingdom. In addition, the establishment of companies for overseas investment is part of the mitigation program of EPF risk where the investment risk is limited only to the subsidiary alone.
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QUESTION NO. 7:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask the MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION to state does the government will provide one to two years of work to the borrowers of National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) to pay the loan or extend the repayment period so that the amount due each month can be reduced since 37,453 of borrowers were blacklisted until March this year.

ANSWER:

Y.B. DR. HOU KOK CHUNG

DEPUTY MINISTER OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Students are required to make loan payments to PTPTN, six months after students graduate. Ujrah or wage rate of one percent (1%) was also calculated from the same period.

However, the governmentis also concerned to student difficulties. PTPTN also consider some of the flexibility of repayment to ease the burden of student. Among the steps taken were:

  1. Defer the repayment for students who have graduated but are still unemployed (no income). Maximum duration is 24 months from the start to pay back the loan;
  2. Reschedule the repayment period and amount of loans; and
  3. Introducing progressive rates of installment payments where monthly installments for the first year was lower by increasing the rate of 30% in the second to fifth years. Sixth year until the payment has expired, the monthly average was determined. With the introduction of this method, for example, the monthly installments commencing the first year only at RM54.15 for a total loan of RM15, 000.

At this time, PTPTN do not intend to allow borrowers to defer repayment of one to two years after the work. The time given is suitable for the interests of both parties. Blacklist action on the borrower is a last resort of PTPTN after a number of methods implemented unsuccessful. There are always a room for discussion between PTPTN and the borrowers and the borrowers should contact PTPTN to solve all the problems.

 

QUESTION NO. 6:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask Minister of Finance to state whether the government would impose a windfall tax for the purpose of mining companies to preserve the environment as a result of these activities or whether these companies have to provide some money to replace or conserve the natural environment for the sake of future generations. Particularly when prices of goods rise in international markets, they gain huge profit.

ANSWER:

Y.B. SENATOR DATUK DR. AWANG ADEK HUSSEIN

DEPUTY MINISTER OF FINANCE

Windfall tax is a tax imposed on an industry that experienced profits or gains that are excessive. At this time, windfall tax is imposed on crude palm oil production when the price exceeds RM2,500 per tonne in Peninsular Malaysia and RM3,000 per tonne in Sabah and Sarawak.

At this time, the government has no plans to impose a windfall tax on the activities of mining or mining companies. This is due to mining activities is essential that the crude oil and natural gas at the upstream level. In addition, crude oil has declined from 690 thousand barrels per day in 2008 to 659 thousand barrels per day in 2009. Production is expected to be down again to 641 thousand barrels per day this year.

Companies that run petroleum crude oil exploration activities have been subject to petroleum income tax at a rate that is 38% higher compared to other companies that are imposed only at the rate of 25%. Therefore, the government should not impose a “windfall tax” in addition to the existing tax rate is high.

However, the government’s policy is to protect the environment. To this end, various tax incentives provided to companies providing energy conservation, using renewable energy resources, environmental management and on building green.

 

QUESTION NO. 5:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan asks Prime Minister to state what are the guidelines for placement of banishment sentence because recently there are many ex-prisoners are sentenced to banishment of many crimes in the Banting. Government asked to review the sentence of banishment for the laws are no longer relevant to the advancement of information and communication technology.

ANSWER:

MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS

I would like to thank to the Senator who submit the question.

The purpose of restriction order imposed on an individual is to address violence, crime and drug trafficking which happened in our country. Restriction order in certain area or district been imposed for the purpose of separating them from the group or accomplice and also to prevent them from continuing to commit crimes in their place of origin. Besides that, the separations also to enable the police monitor closely their activities and behaviour.

I would like to inform here that there are a few legal provisions which authorise to the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) to issue restriction order towards anyone who were detained by the police. Among the relevant laws is Internal Security Act 1960 (ISA), Emergency (Public Order and Crime Prevention) Ordinance 1969, Dangerous Drug Act (Special Precautions) 1985, Deed Restricted Homes 1933 and Crime Prevention Act 1959.

To ensure the effective surveillance and monitoring process, the Ministry of Home Affairs and police imposing tighter restrictions conditions against individual under the laws which I have stated. For example, individuals who are barred is required to report to the police station where the restriction on every Monday between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm, at their home every day from 8.00 am until 6.00 am, and give their home address where the residence.  In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs may impose a bail bond if required and other conditions that are appropriate to the current situation.

The Ministry also has a special program for rehabilitation purposes, such as meeting with individuals who are subject to sanctions in accordance with a predetermined zone of listening to the problems faced by them, including providing welfare assistance if needed. Motivational programs are also held to create awareness of the individuals concerned to leave the habit and the crime they did before this. At the same time, the ministry also welcomes the cooperation of public and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to be involved in programs like these to the ministry and the public to ensure that rehabilitation programs for those who successfully achieve the objectives of this restriction.

It is no doubt that the development of technological advances and current information, an individual who is subject to Restriction Orders are easy to contact friends of other accomplice through a communication tool. To overcome this problem, the Ministry is looking to amend the law on prevention and making improvements for more effective implementation. In addition, the cooperation of the public are also indispensable in providing any information to the police if there is among those who engage in activities that the restriction is unlawful, including outside the restrictions set.

In relation to the number of people who restricted in Kuala Langat District (including Banting), Selangor under preventive laws were 26 people on December 3, 2010. Of these, a total of 3 people found to have violated the conditions and found missing.

 

QUESTION NO. 4:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask the Minister in the Prime Minister Department to state how people can be sure that the title Datuk actually awarded by the King or Sultan. Are there any web sites that are accessible to ensure the validity of the Datuk title. This is because there are many who use the title Datuk fake for the sake of personal interest.

ANSWER:

DATO’ SERI MOHAMED NAZRI ABDUL AZIZ

MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER DEPARTMENT

Ceremonial and International Conference Secretariat Division, Prime Minister’s Department has prepared a list of related Federal award recipients such as those on the websites http://www.istiadat.gov.my. Meanwhile, the list of awardees State Decorations (carries the title) for the years 1985 to 2009 is also uploaded to the website with the resources available from the Office of the State Government concerned. However, if certain parties want further clarification, please contact directly with the Ceremonial and International Conference Secretariat Division for the award of Federal and State Secretariat for awards at the state level.

 

QUESTION NO. 3:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask the PRIME MINISTER to state why the last few years many high profile cases brought to court have failed when the accused is acquitted on technical grounds is trivial while more than adequate proof for sentencing. What are the government’s actions to ensure transparency and fairness in the judiciary and enhance the credibility of attorney general.

 

ANSWER:

YB DATUK LIEW YUI KEONG

THE DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S DEPARTMENT

 

The Public Prosecutor has heavy burden in carrying out a criminal trial. Prosecutor is responsible to review all the relevant facts submitted by the investigating agency.

 

It is difficult to say exactly the high profile cases as the purpose of high-profile case is different and the determination of whether a case is high profile cases or not is subjective. High-profile case may be referred to as a case involving a person who has the rank or position in government, an organization or they are known to the public in general, either as criminals or as victims of crime. Besides that, some people might interpret the high-profile case is different from what was stated before and probably think that the high profile cases referred to the crime itself or in terms of frequent media reports of interest to the public to know. For example, the case involving the murder of Canny Ong, even about ordinary person, but it becomes high-profile cases because of extensive media reports about the case has attracted the attention of the public. The cases investigated by the Commission of Malaysia Corruption involving high-ranking party whether in government or organization is also classified as high-profile cases.

 

Accordingly, the Public Prosecutor took the view that all cases have the necessary elements of public interest and be given equal attention. Only when the public prosecutor is satisfied that the evidence collected to prove strong enough and the alleged offense, then a charge will be made in court.

 

Such acquittal or conviction the accused in any criminal proceeding subject to the assessment and acceptance of the Court will of all witness testimony and evidence presented in the entire proceedings.

 

In general, the factors that contributed to the failure to obtain a conviction for a case, regardless of whether it is said to be high profile or not, are:

 

(a)         weakness of the method of investigation of cases involving evidence and material evidence may be admitted;

 

(b)         key witnesses disappear or fail to be detected; and

 

(c)          Lack of advocacy skills by the officer handling the prosecution case.

 

The Government is very sensitive to the need to maintain public interest in any situation. Among the steps taken to enhance the credibility of the Attorney General are as follows;

 

(a)       Task forces established in the Department of the Attorney General and senior officials with experience in the prosecution to allow the Deputy Public Prosecutor (TPR) to advise and monitor any of the information obtained in connection with the case to ensure the thorough investigation and prosecution of cases carried out by efficiency and high quality.

 

In the early stages of investigation, TPR can provide guidance to the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) to identify the signs/evidences should be obtained to strengthen the prosecution case and the means of obtaining the relevant explanations. With this, the police investigation will be more focused.

 

Furthermore, TPR will determine only explanations that are relevant and valid in law can be received and used for the determination of whether a prosecution should be made or otherwise.

 

With the involvement of TPR in the early stages will ensure that all information will be handled properly to be used at trial. This will also ensure that all evidence against an accused would be presented to the court.

 

The Royal Malaysian Police, Bukit Aman has also established a task force to work with team officials in charge of the Attorney General to ensure that the evidence in a criminal case can be handled with the proper start of the investigation until the trial stage;

 

(b)       ensure a comprehensive ongoing training given to the TPR to improve their skills in areas such as DNA analysis, drugs, autopsy, terrorism, transnational crime and economic crime and so on whether within countries or in countries like Thailand, United Kingdom, and United State;

 

(c)        plan and continue existing cooperation with the University of Nottingham Trent, United Kingdom and the University of Wollongong, Australia for providing graduate programs and courses in the prosecution;

 

(d)       steps were taken to improve the quality of investigations conducted by the Police through courses and training in relation to the investigation of commercial crime, sexual, and cyber and forensic as well as investigation of field sites;

 

(e)       Basic training to improve the effectiveness of the investigation while conducting the investigation as a whole.

 

In addition, it should be stressed here that the government could not interfere in the judiciary and the Attorney General’s duty under the doctrine of separation of powers which are been practiced in national government structure whereby the Executive Board are not entitled to and shall not affect any actions and decisions of the Judiciary and the Body Legal.

 

2. QUESTION No 2:

December 30, 2010

Dr. S. Ramakrishnan ask Minister of Health to state:

(a)         how many people have died of infection caused by rat urine or leptospirosis; and

(b)         what are the method for controlling the disease can be fatal, and the measures taken by the government to eliminate the increasing number of rats, especially in urban areas.

ANSWER:

Minister of Health

 

Based on the record of admission to hospitals, the Ministry of Health, the number of deaths caused by leptospirosis disease in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 were respectively 22, 22, 47, and 62 cases respectively. The disease leptospirosis is caused by exposure to water or soil contaminated by animal urine containing bacteria leptospirosis. Thus, the main method for controlling the disease leptospirosis is to ensure environmental hygiene to avoid attracting animals such as mice host bacteria leptospirosis. In addition, early treatment with antibiotics can cure existing disease and prevent death. Therefore, the ministry strives to enhance public awareness about the disease through health education campaigns, publicity in the media and provide information on the website of the ministry that is accessible by the public. The ministry also included leptospirosis in the list of diseases to be reported in accordance with Act 342, Prevention & Control of Infectious Diseases 1988 (APPPB 1988). This measure is intended to enable the ministry to know the actual burden of disease and taking preventive measures and more effective disease control.

It should be stressed rats in an area that increases the risk of leptospirosis infection is associated with environmental hygiene. Thus, the public should always maintain a clean environment whether at home or in public places. In addition, the cooperation of various parties including local authorities is also important to ensure the cleanliness of the environment through management of food waste and rubbish properly and maintaining a proper drainage system can also help in controlling the number of rats in an area and thus reduce the risk of infection respect.