Unfair to impose blanket tax on property owners


THE Penang government should first study the assessment rates for different categories of properties before imposing a blanket tax on everyone which is unfair, says Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) legal adviser Citizen Awareness Chant Group (Chant) (pic).He said the state should look into the categories of assessment rates like those imposed in developed countries before imposing the rates on ratepayers.

“The lowest charged fees should be for the disabled (OKU) owners and those in the B40 group.

“For owner-occupied properties, they should be charged a lower rate and the highest rates should be imposed for commercial and industrial offices, ” he said at a press conference at Jalan Pykett on Wednesday.

Yan Lee said although commercial properties like restaurants and hawker complexes would be paying higher assessment, it is fair as commercial properties have more rubbish to be cleared.

“These premises frequently take up the cost for public health inspection and council cleaning services.

“So, there should be a categorisation of how the rates are charged, like different rates for properties that are also rented out, vacant or used for commercial purposes, ” he added.

Yan Lee said in developed countries, there are categories which include owner occupied, rented out properties, unoccupied properties, rented out long-term or Airbnb properties, residential properties used for offices and industrial properties.

“But, as the state is moving forward and following the footsteps of a developed country, there is also the question of how these categories can be monitored.

“In this case, the state should consider having an enforcement team like in Australia to check on the properties at random.

“With the usage of a digital camera similar to those used for parking fine routines, photos can be taken when checks are done on the properties.

“We hope the state would do a study to look into this and try to implement the system, along with imposing different rates for the different properties, ” he said.

Earlier, it was announced that an assessment rate review would see almost all residential property owners in Penang paying more in assessment taxes.

On the island, a total of 255,280 out of the 263,544 property owners would have to pay more in the revised assessment tax, while the increase would involve 196,347 out of 215,586 houses on the mainland.

Following the announcement, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai City Council (MBSP) started hearing sessions for objections against the review in October.

It was reported that MBPP had received a total of 54,459 objections from over 322,000 ratepayers, while MBSP received a total 40,666 objections from 327,000 ratepayers.

Meanwhile, Yan Lee said that in the case of the parcel rent, (previously known as the quit rent), commissions should be applied based on how the land is used.

“The increase in the quit rent was announced earlier from RM10 to RM30. Quantum-wise, the amount is not a lot, but percentage wise, it is a lot, ” he said.

Earlier, the quit rent came into effect where rates are calculated based on the total plot of land which the building was built on and rates for parcel rent are based on the size of each unit.

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Malaysian talent lost due to racial bigotry


Leng Siew Yeap

Leng Siew Yeap, a Malaysian, a graduate of UMS applied for a scholarship to do a doctorate degree but was refused outright by the local govt.

She was however offered scholarships by University of Edinburgh, London University and Cambridge University. She chose Cambridge University’s Dorothy Hodgkin postgraduate award to study stem cell.

On graduation she accepted the offer from Harvard to study human immunology. She is now working in research for a Shanghai university hospital.

She has successfully helped to create an method/procedure 4 the body to secrete
an antibody to fight HIV. She is now married to a Shanghai citizen, living and working in Shanghai. She and her achievements are never mentioned in any Malaysia newspaper.

View Full Profile – Shanghai Institute of Immunology

 

 

Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
School of Medicine, China.
Research Interests

Our body is constantly attacked by pathogens. To fight against various pathogens, B cells produce a large antibody repertoire through different processes that involve genomic DNA alterations. During B cell development, a DNA cut and paste mechanism called V(D)J recombination generates a primary antibody repertoire by producing V(D)J exons that
are made up of combinations of different V, D and J segments. Upon activation by pathogens, mature B cells undergo secondary antibody diversification, whereby Somatic Hypermutation (SHM) generates antibodies with higher affinity, while Class Switch Recombination (CSR) generates antibodies with different effector functions. In theory, our body has the capability to generate all necessary antibodies to fight against different pathogens through antibody diversification mechanisms. However, this is not the case. For example, in certain infectious diseases such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), only a small percentage of the infected patients were able to produce effective antibodies. Our research aims
to elucidate molecular mechanisms that facilitate approaches in generating highly effective antibodies to fight pathogens and infectious diseases. We employ various approaches including mouse models, cell line systems, CRISPR-mediated genome editing and next-generation sequencing technologies (Yeap et al., Cell, 2015, Figure below) to address our aims.

 

 

Top Malaysian researcher working to wipe out infectious diseases

Dr Yeap heads the antibody diversification team at Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.

LIKE many of her peers, Dr Yeap Leng Siew, 39, was raised believing that noble careers only include doctors and lawyers.

So when the Selangorian failed to enter medical school because she didn’t get straight As in the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), her childhood ambition of becoming a doctor came crashing down.

She was upset for awhile but remembered that as a secondary school girl, she had done well in Biology.

It encouraged her to take up Biotechnology at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

“I passed with flying colors and was the best student at university. If I hadn’t been rejected to do medicine, I wouldn’t have the career that I now enjoy. It was a blessing in disguise.”

Now married to a Chinese national and living in Shanghai, the mother-of-two graduated with first class honours from UMS in 2003, and received the Royal Educational Award and Tunku Abdul Rahman Medal. These awards recognise the country’s best student from each public university. After graduation, she was still unsure about her career path until a research stint at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) sparked her interest in cell biology.

She went on to do her doctorate in stem cell biology at the University of Cambridge, before continuing as a Harvard Medical School postdoctoral fellow at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

“Initially I wanted to do a Ph.D in Singapore but my GRE score (a US-based graduate entrance exam) was not great.”

Though she did not receive any offers during the first round of application, she was determined to pursue a Ph.D degree.

“People are bitter about rejections because they do not have backup plans. Prof Bing Lim, my supervisor at GIS, once told me to be open-minded because a narrow mind narrows potential. His words were etched in my heart ever since.”

She was later granted the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award – a full scholarship for outstanding students from developing countries to pursue a Ph.D degree at the University of Cambridge.

She continued to make her mark when she was awarded the St Catharine’s College Graduate Prize for Distinction in Research during her stint in Cambridge. She then went on to receive the prestigious Cancer Research Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship in the United States.

Disappointment, she said, is part of life.

“It is how we overcome disappointments and take up challenges that distinguishes us from the rest.”

The former research assistant at GIS now heads the antibody diversification team at Shanghai Institute of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China.

“Prof Huck Hui Ng from GIS once told me, ‘work hard, and the sky is the limit’. I now tell my students those very same words.”

In 2017, Yeap was selected by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) to receive the Excellent Young Scientist Fund, which is aimed at nurturing young talents with innovative potential.

She speaks to StarEdu about her work and advises young science students to expand their horizon. The world doesn’t end just because you didn’t get into medical school. There are many opportunities for those interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

> What is your area of research?I am interested in understanding why some people develop effective antibodies to fight diseases while others do not. For example, only a small percentage of HIV-1 infected patients develop potent antibodies against the virus, which is why this remains a major health problem globally. Another example is how despite being vaccinated for the flu or hepatitis B (HBV), some do not develop protective antibodies and are still susceptible to these illnesses. My research group is studying how the antibodies acquire high levels of mutations and other special characteristics. Understanding how these rare antibodies develop will shed light on developing HIV or new vaccines for the flu or HBV.

> How long have you been away from home? Sixteen years. During the final semester of my undergraduate studies, I did a 10-week research attachment at the National Cancer Centre of Singapore. It was a time when biological research was just starting to bloom there. I was very fortunate not to be sent home because of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, and even luckier, because I landed my first job as a research assistant at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS).

Seeing that I graduated from a university that didn’t even exist when he left his hometown, Kota Kinabalu, my supervisor at GIS, Dr Bing Lim, decided to hire me. He has been a great mentor ever since. In his laboratory, we were trying to culture human stem cells and I was fascinated by the idea that these cells may be turned into any type of cells for therapeutic purposes.

I realised then that I would have to pursue a Ph.D degree if I want to move further along in my research career. Two years later, I moved to the United Kingdom to begin my postgraduate studies in the lab of Prof Azim Surani at the University of Cambridge. When I completed my doctorate, my parents were expecting me to come home. So when I told them that I had planned on continuing my postdoctoral training in the United States, they were shocked. It took a while to convince them that a Ph.D degree is just the beginning of a career in research and that to have a chance of running my own laboratory one day, I would have to undergo a postdoctoral training as well.

In 2010, I started my postdoctoral training in the laboratory of a top immunologist, Dr Fred Alt at Harvard Medical School. During the five years of postdoctoral training, I met my husband and gave birth to my first child.

In 2015, we decided to move closer to home to start our career as independent researchers.

> What is it about home you miss the most?The food definitely – nasi lemak, durian, and my mum’s cooking.

> You helped find a way for the body to fight HIV. Tell us about that breakthrough.During my postdoctoral training, I developed mouse models to study how different antibody genes undergo mutation. We found that certain DNA sequences are more prone to mutations and that the same DNA sequences are also prone to deletions, another common characteristic of anti-HIV broadly neutralising antibodies.

These results suggest that DNA sequence direct the evolution of antibodies and these results were published in Cell in 2015, a top journal in the biological field. In 2017, we published in Proceedings of National Academy of Science on a related work where we analysed a mouse model carrying a human antibody gene and found that many mutations in anti-HIV antibodies are not easily achieved. Understanding how our bodies are able to elicit these rare antibodies will help in vaccine design strategies.

> What are you currently working on?We are continuously trying to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying highly effective antibody generation and developing approaches to guide our bodies to produce such antibodies during infection. We use animal models, cutting-edge gene editing techniques and next generation DNA sequencing in our research. We hope to one day wipe out infectious diseases like HIV.

> Are there any plans to work with other Malaysian researchers moving forward?We are constantly reaching out to researchers from all over the world, and Malaysia is definitely a priority. On Aug 9, I was in Malaysia with a delegation headed by Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine chancellor Prof Guoqiang Chen, and Shanghai Institute of Immunology director Prof Bing Su, to promote collaborations with Universiti Malaya’s Faculty of Medicine. We also visited the International Medical University (IMU).

With the Chinese government’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, there are plenty of funding opportunities for academic exchanges and scholarships for graduate studies. Hopefully, more people will come to know about research and academic opportunities in our school.

I have been exposed to different research environments in top laboratories and research institutes around the world, and the current biomedical research environment in Shanghai and other major cities in China, is definitely on par with the places that I have been to.

>What is the most challenging aspect of working in a lab?As an independent researcher, my job is to design and supervise experiments, analyse the results with my students and postdocs, and write manuscripts for publications. I also have to make sure that the lab has enough funding to do research.

Some of the challenging aspects include dealing with failed experiments, manuscripts and grants being rejected, and harsh criticisms by peers. But the satisfaction in being the first in the world to discover something new and potentially textbook-changing, makes all the hard work worthwhile.

> What qualities would a young, aspiring researcher need?Passion, persistence and determination. In the labs I’ve been to, I’ve seen college or even high school students doing research internships during school holidays. These kinds of opportunities allow students to experience the laboratory culture and life as a researcher. Being exposed to different career options at an early stage allows students to make better career choices and develop greater potential. I hope young Malaysians can be more pro-active and seek out such opportunities to enrich themselves in their spare time. I didn’t know there was such a possibility when I was in school.-Source link

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WHO IS A “MELAYU” AS EXPLAINED BY A MELAYU: Melayu by a Melayu


WHO IS A “MELAYU” AS EXPLAINED BY A MELAYU …

The politics of race – Melayu by a Melayu

https://kuncitberagum.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/melayu-by-a-melayu/

 I salute my former colleague Syed Imran….

I got this from a friend and decided to resend it as it explains in great detail what a Malayu really is. It is time we stopped those who corrupt the original meaning in order to use it to divide Malaysian.

Mahathir should know this since he registered himself as an Indian in Singapore where he studied medicine. Inside him, he knows the real reason why he now considers himself a Malay and refuses to acknowledge his Indian roots. There are opportunists everywhere and UMNO has become the platform for them to satisfy their greed.. It will also be the platform on which they destroy themselves.

The Deputy PM expressed disappointment with the Chinese for not voting UMNO but when you look back at recent history, did he thank the Chinese for their role in getting independence for Malaya? The Chinese, Indians and Malays were supposed to be equal partners as a condition for obtaining Merdeka. Then, the Malays asked for 25 years of “Special Privileges” so that they could catch up with the other races. Along the way, they changed the Constitution and it is now an unquestionable “Malay Right” for perpetuity. Look at your genuine history books (not the ones they distorted) to see if I am telling the truth.. Or go to the newspaper archives in the Straits Times and in London to get to the truth.

Because of this, the UMNOputras own the banks, the plantations, petroleum. The Malays are encouraged to start and own their businesses entirely on their own (100%). The non-Malays start their own businesses but when they get big, 30% must be given to bumiputras. Who are these bumiputras? They are selected UMNOputras ( not ordinary Malays) – those who use politics to get what is not rightfully theirs. They use the law to rob others of their wealth. Yet, they will not give a single share to the ordinary Malays in the streets – it is all theirs to keep. They will not do what they ask the non-Malays to do – sharing their wealth.

Not only that, they rob the ordinary Malays daily with the Water Concessions, the Tolls, etc.

CH

Melayu By a Malay-Syed Imran

You may have already read this article I published more than a year ago, below this is another article written by a “Malay” who I salute, that reinforces what I have said.

I’d like to challenge your article on the origins of the word Melayu.

(I hope you will not be emotional about this email and create an issue about it, but rather treat this as an intellectual argument between two matured individuals. I have presented facts here for you to review, and if you disagree please substantiate it. Since you have come out with a blog to attempt to tell us the origins of the word Melayu, and as a Malay, if you are really and truly keen in your own heritage and roots, I am writing to you with the facts of the origins of the word Melayu, in fact there are many scholars of yesteryear’s, Malays, who will tell you that the only original words in the Malay language are “Tanah” and “Melayu”)

Melayu is derived from the Javanese word Melayu, there are many other words in the Malay vocabulary that actually come from the various Asian languages mostly those of Sanskrit Origin.

The Sanskrit in Malay is derived from the Indian influence of the Majapahit, Srivijaya and other Indian influences in South East Asia. This particular word in Bahasa Malaysia is derived from the word Melayu from Javanese. Javanese was the lingua franca of the people in the region having had its own script, which was actually taken from the Arabic script, the bugis and the rest have dialects close to Javanese.

The Malay language in its romanised context only evolved in the early part of the 20th century.

In Javanese the word Melayu means running away, or a runaway, that is why if you go to Java and ask a Javanese if he is Melayu he will feel very insulted. The word Melayu found on the statue as claimed in your URL; http://www.sabrizain.org/malaya/malays4.htm thus denotes that this person was a Melayu, a “Runaway.”

These people, the runaways whether in Sumatra or in the Malay Peninsula referred to themselves as orangMelayu, it is therefore no coincidence that the word orang is placed before Melayu, people who ran away so to speak.

In the Malay Peninsular, it was gradually accepted as the word to describe the Javanese, the Bugis, the Menang, the Achinese etc. and even the Kelantanese who are actually Yunanese and have their origins in China, because they recognized the fact that at the end of the day they were all Melayu, or Run Aways from their respective homelands the word was accepted by all these communities to describe themselves.

In fact, before the formation of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), it is a fact that all the people in the country had referred to themselves as Menang, Achinese, Bugis, Javanese etc. etc. and we all know that the Kelantanese used to treat the other Melayu, that is the Menang, Javanese, the Bugis etc. as foreigners.

Well for that matter, even Mahathir Mohammed was registered as Indian in King Edwards College where he studied medicine.

The Malay therefore very much like the Indians, and later the Chinese are Melayu in the very true sense of the word because they all left their respective countries to come to this location in South East Asia called Malaysia today.

The real natives of the country are the Orang Laut, the Jakun, the Kadazaan, the Iban, the Senoi and the rest, and not the so called Orang Melayu, because these people are actually Javanese, Achinese, Bugis, people from the Mollucas islands, and other parts of neighbouring Indonesia, including those from Cambodia and even China (Yunanese). That explains the word Melayu in various parts of Sumatra too.

The Javanese people in particular were referred to as Java Kontra a term they despised and today in Sumatra they are referred to as Orang Transmigrasi which is more acceptable to the Javanese in Indonesia then the term Melayu.

For Malay citizenship and for permanent residence reasons, the Orang Java, be they Sundanese, Orang Java Barat, Orang Java Tengah or Orang Java Timor, or any other Indonesian for that matter recognises the fact that the day he becomes a Malaysian citizen, he is now an Orang Melayu that is a new word coined by Malaysians of these origins to legitimise their Bumiputraism.

And to become Bumiputra this way, that is by becoming a Melayu, he has to profess the Islamic faith. This privilege is not extended to Dayaks, from Kalimantan, or Christian Filipinos, or for that matter Christians from among the peoples of Sumatra, Java or any other Indonesian Islands.

The irony of all this is the fact that if you look at the real Orang Asli of Malaysia as a whole you’ll find out that the majority of them are not from the Islamic faith, and that is one of the reasons why in Sabah the registration department of the Federal Government legitimised and gave citizenship and permanent residence status to hundreds and thousands of illegal Fillipina immigrants from the Southern part of the Philippines.

I therefore disagree with your attempt to legitimize the term Orang Melayu as a race, it is not and never will be. The so-called Melayu must own up to their own heritage the way the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia proudly do.

And if we are to use this word called Melayu, it should be a term used to refer to all Malaysians except the ethnic Malaysians who are orang Asli.

The term Bumiputera was coined and the Malay placed in that category to legitimize the fact that he is ethnic when he is not.

It is a shame, and in fact a disgrace that they are the only group of people who by this very act, show the world that they are ashamed of their own heritage.

And who else can be so? Only those who run away or are banished from their own lands, for it is only such people who are ashamed of their own heritage.

Even the customs, the traditions, the dressings, the architecture etc. point to the fact that the so calledOrang Melayu of Peninsular Malaysia are actually not one and the same people.

Scroll below and read the next article by Syed Imran a Melayu and an ex Bernama Journalist from Penang

Some time ago I wrote about the Melayu and the origins of the name Melayu, which means runaway.

Today another “Melayu has written” totally unconnected this man, yes he is a man he stands up for the truth has written a similar article.

I am sending both these articles to you for your reading and circulation

All immigrants

Syed Imran, an Arab-Malaysian born in Penang, Malaysia, an ex-Bernama journalist (1971-1998) and former press secretary to the Minister in PM’s Department, posted a great blog days ago, which was translated into English.

Please circulate it and let all Malaysians understand the facts.

*Antara pendatang dan penumpang (English Translation) *

To begin with, I was quite reluctant to comment on the mess created by the statement made by Ahmad bin Ismail, the head of the Bukit Bendera, Pulau Pinang UMNO Division.. Whether he made the statement in reference to Chinese Malaysians is no longer the question, as the issue has spread and has been hotly debated.

If it is not handled carefully and smartly, this issue could make clear water murky, giving opportunity to parties who are keen on seeing this country crash, not to mention falling into the hands of foreigners. In today’s borderless world, international electronic media coverage makes it difficult for any country to hide or deny any given event.

The main issue brought up by Ahmad Ismail revolves around the question of “squatters”, that is, that Chinese Malaysians are squatters in this country. He explained that he was referring to pre-independence days. However, it had hurt the sensitivity of the Chinese Malaysian community.

I don’t know Ahmad Ismail personally, but I was quite close to his late elder brother, Abdul Rahim Ismail, the owner of Rahim Construction Company that was once famous as an “Earth-Prince” (Bumiputra) construction firm in Pulau Pinang. I don’t know what has happened to the company after Abdul Rahim passed away.

Personally, I don’t agree with what Ahmad Ismail said for the following reasons.

To me, nearly 90 percent of Malaysians, especially those in the Peninsula, are immigrants, and all of us are actually squatters in the land of Allah anyways. We are anything but permanent owners, we are merely squatters.

For example, I come from a family that squatted in this blessed land. My paternal grandfather and grandmother migrated from Mecca and Brunei, while my maternal grandmother came from Hadramut, Yaman. We are immigrants and squatters, as are almost everyone else in this country.

As for Ahmad Ismail, he is also an immigrant having descended from an immigrant’s family who squatted in this country. Ahmad Ismail cannot deny the fact that his grandfather and grandmother moved from India to this country in search of a better life in this blessed land.

It is also the case with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whose maternal grandfather hailed from Guangdong in southern China. In short, Pak Lah’s grandfather, Allahyarhamah Kailan, whose name was Hasson Salleh or Hah Su Chiang, was an immigrant. He moved to Tanah Melayu from Guangdong in the mid-19th century. He stayed in Bayan Lepas as a rubber estate worker, a padi farmer and later became a diamond trader.

Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister, is also a descendant of an immigrant Bugis family that came from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Hishammudin Hussein cannot escape the fact that there is Turkish blood running through his veins.

The Malacca Malay Sultanate was founded by an immigrant coming from Sumatra — Parameswara, a prince who practised Hinduism.

A reading of the history of Malay Sultanates would reveal that some of them were founded by Bugis immigrants, while others were of Hadramut and Minangkabau parentage.

Almost all Malays living in this country are from outside Tanah Melayu, but are defined as “Malay Race” by the Federal Constitution. We are “Malay” in definition by the Constitution, that is, we are Muslims; we practise Malay customs and speak the Malay language. Unfortunately, the Malay language itself seems> to have been killed by the Malays in UMNO when they named it the Malaysian language (Bahasa Malaysia).

Therefore, Arabs like Syed Hamid Albar and myself, Achehs like Sanusi Junid, Indians like Kader Sheikh Fadzir and Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Bugises like Najib, Minangs like Rais Yatim, Jawas like Mohamad Rahmat, and others from Madura, Pulau Buyan, Siam, Myanmar, Yunnan (China) and the Philippines are conveniently categorized as Malays.

They are accepted as Malays regardless of whether they speak Malay or otherwise at home like those of us who speak Arabic, the Jawas that speak Jawa, the Minangs that speak Minang, or the Mamak that speak Tamil..

These languages are anything but Malay if we look at it from the perspective of the Federal Constitution, so they should never have been declared Malays. But for the sake of political correctness, all of them are accepted as Malays and “Earth Princes” (bumiputra).

It is grossly unfair to point to the Chinese as immigrants when the Arabs, Indians, Achehs, Minangs, Bataks, Mandailings, Jawas, Maduras, and Bugises are immigrants no less in this country. We cannot deny the fact that most of the Chinese’s grandfathers and

grandmothers migrated to this country in the days of the Malacca Malay Sultanante, some of whom did so during the period of Kedah Sultanate, Terengganu Sultanate and Kelantan Sultanate respectively. After Francis Light wrested Penang from the hands of the sultan of Kedah in 1786, more Chinese had arrived here.

We are all immigrants squatting in this country. Only the Negrito, Jekun, Semang, Jahut, Orang Laut, Orang Darat, Senoi, and other indigenous people groups (like the Kadazandusuns, ibans and bidayuhs) can be correctly considered the original inhabitants of this country.

We must never forget the contributions and sacrifices made by all the races in building our nation in all its aspects, including the economy, social structure, national defense and, most importantly, national unity. We are all taxpayers whether or not we are descended from immigrants or squatters.

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Malaysian talent lost due to racial bigotry

Leng Siew Yeap

Leng Siew Yeap, a Malaysian, a graduate of UMS applied for a scholarship to do a doctorate degree but was refused outright by the local govt.

She was however offered scholarships by University of Edinburgh, London University and Cambridge University. She chose Cambridge University’s Dorothy Hodgkin  postgraduate award to study stem cell.

On graduation she accepted the offer from Harvard to study human immunology. She is now working in research for a Shanghai university hospital.

She hassuccessfully helped to create an method/procedure 4 the body to secrete an antibody to fight HIV. She is now married to a Shanghai citizen, living and working in Shanghai. She and her achievements are never mentioned in any Malaysia newspaper.

View Full Profile – Shanghai Institute of Immunology

 

 

 

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Design engineers at fault in landslide tragedy, act against negligent engineers


Design engineers at fault in landslide tragedy | The Star Online
https://rightways.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/8723e-penang2blandslide_tanjung2bbungah1.jpg

GEORGE TOWN: The State Commission of Inquiry (SCI) tasked with investigating the Tanjung Bungah landslide in October 2017 has found the design engineer of the slope primarily responsible for the incident that claimed 11 lives.

The SCI, in its 116-page report made public, has recommended that the engineer be investigated by the police under Section 304A of the Penal Code for gross negligence.

Besides the engineer, the commission found another design engineer responsible for being “contributorily negligent” for allowing excavation to be carried out without design, engineering calculations and supervision.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the commission found that the slope failure was a man-made tragedy and entirely preventable if those in charge had taken necessary and proper steps to ensure the stability of the slope and the safety of the workers.

“The landslide did not develop overnight, it was a disaster waiting to happen over a period of time.

“There were ample warnings which were sadly unheeded or inadequately heeded,” Chow said of the report at a press conference at his office in Komtar here yesterday.

Chow said the report, dated July 22 this year, was a result of public hearings conducted over 26 days with testimonies from 28 witnesses.

“The commission also considered voluminous documents, reports, photographs and drawings, as well as the opinions of six expert witnesses.

“The report provides further analysis of the background facts, excerpts of testimonies recorded during the hearings and findings on liability against several parties,” he said.

The commission also found the Occupational Safety and Health Department negligent for failing to take adequate steps to ascertain the extent of the danger posed by the unsafe slope, by not promptly issuing a prohibition notice after its visit to the site on Aug 18, 2017, which was two months before the fatal incident.

Chow said copies of the report would be sent to the police, Attorney General’s Chambers, Board of Engineers Malaysia and other authorities involved.

“The report also contains nine recommendations that the commission hopes will serve as guidelines and prevent such incidents from recurring,” he added.

On Oct 21, 2017, a temporary slope in the construction site of a high-rise apartment block in Tanjung Bungah collapsed while workers were trying to stabilise it. Tonnes of earth crumbled, killing 11 workers.

The full SCI report can be bought at Level Three, Komtar, for RM50 per copy between Sept 3 and 30. For more details, call 04-650 5480.- Source link

Chow: Agencies have to act against negligent engineers

Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow

GEORGE TOWN: It is up to the relevant agencies to take action against the consultant engineers who were found negligent, resulting in the Tanjung Bungah landslide tragedy, says Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

“It is up to the agencies and the police to take action as recommended by the State Commission of Inquiry (SCI).

“I have also directed the Town and Country Planning Department, Penang Island City Council, Seberang Prai Municipal Council and other related agencies to come up with recommendations to improve hill development.

“It was discussed at the State Planning Committee meeting and I have directed state housing, town and country planning and local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo to head the committee and come up with the recommendations within a month, ” said Chow at Komtar here yesterday.

It was reported that the SCI tasked with investigating the Tanjung Bungah landslide in October 2017 had found the design engineer of the slope primarily responsible for the incident that claimed 11 lives.

The SCI, in its 116-page report made public, had recommended that the engineer be investigated by the police under Section 304A of the Penal Code for gross negligence.

Besides the engineer, the commission found another design engineer responsible for being “contributorily negligent” for allowing excavation to be carried out without design, engineering calculations and supervision.

Penang Island City Council engineering director A. Rajendran, who was also present at the press conference, said the stop-work order on the project was lifted after the developer completed mitigation works.“However, different engineers have been overseeing the project since work resumed some time ago, ” said Rajendran.

On Oct 21,2017, a temporary slope at the construction site of a high-rise apartment block in Tanjung Bungah collapsed while workers were trying to stabilise it.

Tonnes of earth crumbled, killing 11 workers. – Source link

Read  more:

 

Tanjung Bungah landslide incident entirely preventable, concludes …

Act against engineers for negligence, urges Tanjung Bungah …

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Penang commission moots criminal charges against consultant …

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Anti-corruption crusade in full force in Corporate Malaysia


 

Enough time: Ruslan says there should be adequate time for corporates to implement the guidelines by June 1, 2020.

Will the much-anticipated enforcement of Section 17A of the MACC in less than a year result in a corruption-free business scene?

THE Pakatan Harapan government envisions a corruption-free Malaysia in five years’ time, but the journey towards the ambitious objective will be a bumpy one – especially for Corporate Malaysia.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Global Economic Crime Survey 2018, about 35% of the Malaysian companies surveyed have suffered as a result of bribery and corruption in their daily operations. This marks a sharp increase from just 19% in 2014.

Speaking with StarBizWeek, Transparency International Malaysia (TIM) president Muhammad Mohan cautions that “corruption is rampant and has worsened in the Malaysian business sector over the last few years”.

Despite the worrying trend in Corporate Malaysia, preventive anti-corruption measures among local companies remain limited.

As at end-May 2019, only 59% of listed companies in the country had an internal anti-corruption policy, according to the Securities Commission (SC).

The good news is, the Pakatan administration has been ramping up its anti-corruption initiatives over the last one year.

About a month after the 14th general election (GE14), the government established the Governance, Integrity and AntiCorruption Centre (GIACC) to monitor and coordinate all activities related to combating graft, integrity and governance.

In January 2019, the National AntiCorruption Plan 2019-2023, which was developed by GIACC, was launched by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The five-year plan has outlined six priority areas and 115 initiatives to achieve zero-tolerance to corruption and bolster good
governance.

On July 18, the SC presented its anti-corruption action plan to the Cabinet Special Committee on Anti-Corruption chaired by Dr Mahathir, with recommendations to prevent corruption, misconduct and fraud.

Section 17A comes into force 

In addition to these efforts, beginning June 1, 2020, Corporate Malaysia will take its next step towards a corruption-free business environment via the enforcement of Section 17A of the MACC Act.

The new provision, which was inserted into the anti-bribery act before the GE14, establishes the principle of corporate liability among businesses. Under Section 17A, companies and their directors could be deemed personally liable if an associated person such as an employee or subcontractor is caught involved in corruption for the benefit of the commercial organisations.

Section 17A covers companies, partnerships and limited liability partnerships operating in Malaysia.

The companies and directors could defend themselves against prosecution if they have implemented “adequate procedures” such as internal guidelines or staff training within the commercial organisations.

However, senior lawyer and former Malaysian Bar president Datuk Lim Chee Wee says the existence of adequate procedures does not preclude a commercial organisation or the directors from being charged or prosecuted.

“That is to say, a company may still be charged or prosecuted for corruption offence under section 17A (1), but the fact that the company has in place adequate anti-corruption procedures may absolve it from any finding of criminal liability by the court,” he says.

“However, Section 17A does not put an undue amount of responsibilities on the management. While the definition of associated person under section 17A (6) appears to be general and extensive, there is a safeguard in section 17A (7) which provides for the need for a holistic assessment of the relationship between the company and the associated person to be conducted before any liability of the associated person can
be imputed on the company,” he says.

With the anti-bribery provision, companies can no longer hide behind third parties such as consultants or subsidiaries. In the past, holding companies and the board of directors could absolve themselves of any blame if there were corrupt practices at the subsidiary levels.

“Now, the directors and companies are accountable for everything. Even consultants who act for companies come under the MACC Act and the employee hiring processes must be accounted for,” says a CEO of a listed
firm.

He adds that the focus should be more on the wide implications of Section 17A, rather than the cost of compliance.

“It is not whether the corporate liability provision is difficult or adds to costs of  Malaysian companies.

It is a question of whether the companies and directors are aware of the wide implications with the act coming into force next year.

“The MACC act together with the beneficial ownership laws gives MACC the
bite to act on corporations, directors and owners. If they want to get you, they can,” he says.If found guilty of an act of corruption under the soon-to-be-enforcedSection 17A, the penalties imposed on a commercial organisation would besevere.A company could be fined not less than 10 times the value of the gratification or RM1mil, whichever is higher, or be subject to imprisonment not exceeding 20 years, or to both.In short, it will not be “business as usual” for Corporate Malaysia come 2020.

Delay in compliance 

While there are only 10 more months before Section 17A is enforced, many businesses in the country have yet to introduce adequate procedures to prevent corruption in their organisations, in line with the “Guidelines on Adequate Procedures”.

On Dec 10, 2018, Dr Mahathir launched the “Guidelines on Adequate Procedures”, which serve as reference points for any anti-corruption policies and controls an organisation may choose to implement towards the goal of having adequate procedures as required under Section 17A.

SC says that even among the listed companies that have an anti-corruption policy, “the majority of these policies contain gaps when compared to the Guidelines on Adequate Procedures”.

TI-M’s Muhammad Mohan hinted that not all government-linked companies (GLCs) will be ready by June 2020 for Section 17A.

“GLCs especially the larger ones are making preparations to handle the corruption risks involved. The problem is many GLCs and non-GLCs have wasted so much time by not implementing or preparing their organisations for this.

“Many businesses are expecting U-turns or extensions to be given,” he says.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Datuk Soh Thian Lai says the organisation supports the introduction of Section 17A and has undertaken several sessions to educate its members on the implementation of “adequate procedures” as well as the ISO 37001 Anti Bribery Management System.

As the deadline for the enforcement of Section 17A nears, Soh points out that concerns

remain on the readiness and capacity of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in ensuring that adequate internal measures have been put in place to potential acts of corruption. specially still lack the know-how lementing such measures. There e greater capacity building in place to assist SMEs,” he says.

However, among major corporations in uch as those related to Nasional and the Employees Fund, the guidelines are being owed, says a CEO of a listed company.

The compliance department has grown bigger, he says.  In an email interview with
StarBizWeek, SC says that it will take steps to mandate companies to establish and
implement anti-corruption measures.

“While there may be additional costs in putting these anti-corruption in place, it is important for comealise that these measures will m to avail themselves of the statutory ddefence provided for under Section 17A (4) of the MACC
Act,” says the commission.

Vulnerable businesses 

Past experiences indicate that compaed with procurement, governracts and the  construction sector ulnerable to corruption and kickbacks.

While government and key industry ve introduced several anti-coreasures such as open tender corrupt practices continue to be prevalent in such sectors.

In fact, between 2013 and 2018, nearly 43% of the total complaints received by MACC were on the procurement sector.

Experts say that the trend is expected to change as businesses in Malaysia fully comply with Section 17A, following its enforcement. The adoption of anti-bribery ISO 37001 standards will also bolster Corporate Malaysia zero-tolerance approach towards corruption.

Facilities management service provider GFM Services Bhd, which is actively involved in government contracts, welcomes the enforcement of
Section 17A.

Group managing director Ruslan Nordin believes the corporate liability provision not only upholds a business’ integrity, but also protects shareholders’ value and preserves profitability of the company.

“We view that there is adequate time for corporates in Malaysia to implement the guidelines by June 1 next year,” he says.

Senior lawyer Lim says that Section 17A imposes a duty on all businesses, its directors and officers to be honest in their internal and external dealings.

“This is to be welcomed, corruption increases the cost of transaction, and with this new provision, it should reduce the cost of business,” he says. UHY Malaysia managing director Steven Chong Hou Nian believes that compliance with Section 17A offers businesses an opportunity to exhibit positive values in their corporate culture.

“I opine that the qualitative gains from Section 17A compliance outweigh the additional costs,” he says.

He was also asked whether Section 17A will be successful in reducing corruption within procurement and tendering for government contracts.

To this, he said that the government has pledged to re-design the entire public procurement system while introduce relevant technologies to facilitate a clean, efficient and transparent procurement regime.

“The effectiveness of what Section 17A seeks to achieve, would naturally be premised upon the ecosystem that the MACC Act would operate within.
“The eventual success of the initiative is anyone’s guess, yet I applaud the nation for boldly taking this step forward. This is indeed a success in its own right,” says Chong.

 

Penang’s LRT project gets conditional approval from Transport Minister


GEORGE TOWN: Waves of excitement swept through Penang when the Transport Minister announced that the Bayan Lepas light rail transit (LRT) has received conditional approval.

It is seen as a move to reduce traffic congestion in the city and create a next wave of growth for the state.

The approved 29.9km Bayan Lepas LRT will bring convenience not only to the local folk but also tourists and investors, said Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang chairman Datuk Dr Ooi Eng Hock.

Ooi, who is positive that the project will spur growth on the island, believes the LRT will bring in another wave of development into the state.

“The LRT will divert traffic congestion. It will attract new investments, make life easier for our workforce.

“I believe it will boost the state’s economy with another wave of growth,” he said yesterday.

Following the Transport Ministry’s conditional approval of the project, Ooi added that it is the first step for a change in landscape and behaviour of transport mode in Penang.

Yesterday, the Transport Ministry gave conditional approval to the Bayan Lepas LRT project.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke in a statement said that after a detailed study of the application by Penang Economic Planning Unit (BPEN) to develop the Bayan Lepas LRT project, approval with 30 conditions for the state to comply was given on Tuesday.

Loke said the conditions included a detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) approval including traffic, social and heritage assess­ments.

The state must now exhibit documents on the project for three months, and the final go ahead will only be decided after the public responses are evaluated, said Loke.

“I welcome public participation from the people, NGOs and all stakeholders in this public review.

“The relevant documents are to be exhibited in public places including government offices.

“The state government must also upload a copy of these documents on a website for online viewing.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow thanked the Federal Govern­ment and said the state is committed to fulfilling all requirements.

“We will wait for the official letter from Transport Ministry to proceed and initiate public viewing of the documents,” he said.

The RM8.4bil Bayan Lepas LRT together with a monorail, cable cars and water taxis, is part of the state government’s RM46bil Penang Trans­port Master Plan (PTMP).

This LRT will begin at Komtar in the northeast corner of the island and head south through Jelutong, Gelugor, Bayan Lepas and Penang Interna­tional Airport, ending at the Penang South Reclamation (PSR) development.

It is expected to provide a fast route to the airport and will traverse densely populated residential, commercial and industrial areas.

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Parcel rent bills mailing soon


Stratified property owners given till December 31 to settle dues for 2019

Chow (second right) with (from right) Jagdeep Singh, State Land and Mines office director Akmar Omar and State Secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus, showing the new bills for the parcel rent in Komtar, Penang.

OWNERS of stratified properties will now have to pay parcel rent directly to their respective district and land offices.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the billing for parcel rent, replacing quit rent, would be sent out to all parcel owners next month through their respective management corporations.

“Previously, it was paid by the respective management corporations of stratified properties.

“Since the bills will be sent out late, parcel owners are given until end of this year to pay up although the deadline is usually May 31 each year,” he told a press conference at Komtar on Friday.

Chow said the parcel rent came into effect since January this year.

He said the rates for parcel rent would be based on the size of each unit, while quit rent was based on the total plot of land which the building was built on.

“Parcel owners will need to update their addresses with the respective district and land offices when paying their parcel rent this year,” he said, adding that the parcel rent billing for next year will be sent to their addresses.

Citing an example, Chow said the total quit rent collected from a specific stratified property last year was RM28,268.

“The collection in parcel rent for the same property will be lesser at RM24,239, as it will not take into account common areas, unlike for quit rent,” he said.

State housing, town, country plan­­ning and local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, who was also present, said the arrears for quit rent has amounted to RM65mil to date.

Parcel owners are advised to update their mailing addresses at the land and district office or online at etanah.penang.gov.my

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