4 October 2019: Experts support return to GST; 21 lawyers wanted for CBT

Experts support return to GST
The idea to reintroduce the goods and services tax (GST) to cushion the government’s coffers amid the prevailing lower oil price, uncertain economic growth from the continuing US-China trade war and the country’s high indebtedness has received support from some experts. However, they said that the government of the day must learn from the mistakes of the past government namely on the implementation of GST tax refunds which must be done in an honest and transparent manner. Socio-Economic Research Centre’s executive director Lee Heng Guie said the extra revenue collected from GST along with the huge cost savings from the expenditure efficiency and good governance of spending would provide support for the government to finance public expenditure. “For a start, the GST rate should be set at 3%-4%, taking into its impact on revenue and its socio-economic impact on the targeted vulnerable groups, ” he said. (The Star Online)

Malaysian millennials save money but don’t invest, survey finds
Nearly half of Malaysian millennials do not invest their money, a survey has found. Luno, a company in the field of crypto asset exchange, said about 43% of the 910 respondents from Malaysia “do not invest at all”. It said that around 31% of Malaysian millennials did not have an investment strategy, while 16% only invested once every one or two years. The survey said about 54% of Malaysian millennials claim they need more information on how to invest their money, thus seeking financial information through online applications and websites. “As a result, Malaysian millennials are still more busy saving than using the money they have for investment,” it said. The survey also found that 90% of millennials prepare monthly budgets, with 70% of them following the plan. (Free Malaysia Today)

IBS shortage may impede supply of affordable housing
The government wants to use Industrialised Building System (IBS) technology to meet its 100,000 affordable housing units a year target over the next 10 years. Digital IBS, that makes use of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) system, will speed up the completion of the prefabricated houses, as well as improve their quality. However, Malaysia’s current capacity for the production of IBS components is far less than what builders will require in order to attain the target set by the government. According to Construction Research Institute of Malaysia (CREAM) technical expert Prof Dr Zuhairi Abd Hamid, local IBS manufacturers can only produce enough components to build about 25,000 housing units per year. That is only 25% of the components required under the government’s 100,000 affordable units a year plan. (The Sun Daily)

Upgrades worth RM450,000 upcoming for Melaka River
The Melaka state government, via the Melaka Smart City Advisory Council (SCAC), will soon be launching three Melaka Smart River Projects for water quality and flooding surveillance, as well as a river sustainability campaign. Upgrading works in cooperation with the private sector and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) will begin in November and take six months to be ready. The initiative has the added intent of turning the river into a tourism product, said Melaka chief minister, Adly Zahari. “Melaka River will have sensors for water quality monitoring from a US company. At the same time, we’re utilising technology developed by UTeM. They have an app to keep a close eye on rising waters and things like that,” he said. Eventually, the public will be able to access a “Melaka app” for water quality information and flood warnings, and which will become the springboard for smart technology in Melaka. (The Edge)

Cops looking for 21 lawyers over RM30.4mil in CBT cases
Police are looking for 21 lawyers allegedly involved in 39 cheating and criminal breach of trust (CBT) cases, involving some RM30.4mil. Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Zakaria Ahmad said eight of the missing lawyers were set to be charged for the crimes, while the rest are needed to help with investigations. Checks with the Immigration Department revealed five have fled the country while 16 are believed to still be in Malaysia. All 21, he said, have been struck of the Rolls and can no longer practice legally. It is also learned that many of the lawyers handled property purchases for their clients. Comm Mohd Zakaria also encouraged the public to check a lawyer’s status with the Bar Council before hiring them. (The Star Online)

The 21 lawyers wanted for CBT cases (Source: The Star Online)

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