45 individuals detained at ‘Rumah Merah’

PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department detained 45 individuals comprising 38 foreigners and seven locals in an operation at ‘Rumah Merah’, believed to be a brothel in Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur on Friday (June 22).

In a statement today, the department said 34 of the suspects were foreign women (Indonesian (24), Indians (seven) and Bangladeshi (three).

Of the four foreign men, two were Bangladeshi; one, an Indian; and one, an Indonesian. The seven locals, all male, worked as caretakers of the premises.

The department also seized RM1,800 believed to be earnings from prostitution activities. The suspects were detained for failing to produce identification documents, overstaying and other immigration offences. — Bernama

Reject money politics in party elections: Tengku Razaleigh

GUA MUSANG: Umno presidential candidate Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah wants the culture of money politics in the party elections to be eradicated to ensure delegates will be able to choose their leaders in a more honest and sincere manner.

The Gua Musang Umno division chief said money politics should not happen when Umno was in the process of recovery after being rejected by the people in the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9.

“We have to remember that money politics is very dangerous and sometimes, it can bring losses because after the money is given out, there will be delegates who do not vote.

“Hence, Umno delegates should reject this disgusting culture and practice in order to produce clean and trustworthy leaders and to remain relevant at all times,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating the Gua Musang Umno division’s Youth and Puteri representative meetings at the Bukit Chekati Hall here today.

Tengku Razaleigh said the delegates should take note that Umno’s defeat in GE14 was also due to money.

In the meantime, he also stressed that the proposed debate by Umno presidential candidates would not bring about a split among party members.

He said the proposed debate was aimed at getting the candidates’ views on particular issues that needed to be raised. — Bernama

Wan Azizah has audience with Pahang Regent

KUANTAN: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had an audience with Regent of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at Istana Abdulaziz here in conjunction with her first visit to the state after being appointed as deputy prime minister.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, arrived at the palace with Pahang PKR chairman Datuk Fauzi Abdul Rahman at 3.05 pm before spending 20 minutes with Tengku Abdullah.

Also present were Tengku Puan of Pahang Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, her (Tunku Azizah’s) son and daughter, as well as Women, Family and Community Development Ministry secretary-general Datuk Suriani Ahmad.

Dr Wan Azizah described the meeting as a courtesy call in conjunction with her visit to Pahang today.

“There were discussions in certain areas especially on several federal government projects in the state. In addition, we also talked about efforts to help the less fortunate children in Pahang,” she told reporters after the meeting.

Dr Wan Azizah also mentioned that the most interesting part of the meeting was when Tengku Puan of Pahang shared that the state has a product that was close to her heart, namely “Tenun Pahang”, which was co-produced by inmates at Penor Prison.

“Maybe we will help to promote this product again but it is still at the discussion level,” she added. — Bernama

Kulasegaran clears the air on banning foreign cooks

PETALING JAYA: Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran said no definite decision has been made on employing only local cooks for restaurants.

Following an outcry from restaurant operators, consumer groups and netizens, the minister told The Malaysian Insight that it was only a proposal that requires further discussion with the relevant stakeholders.

On Friday, he said the Human Resource Ministry wants all restaurants in the country to only recruit locals as cooks from July 1.

He, however, said all operators would be given up to the end of the year to ensure only local cooks work in their restaurants.

He said the regulation only permit locals as cooks in all restaurants effective Jan 1, 2019.

“So we want locals to be employed as cooks. There will be no compromise … we are giving you notice to do it by Dec 31. If you don’t do it we can’t help it,” he told Bernama News Channel here on Friday.

Kulasegaran said the move would be able to reduce the dependence of local restaurants on foreign labour and ensure the quality of the local food.

He said the ministry would follow the footsteps of the Penang state government in banning foreigners as cooks in food shops, restaurants as well as stalls around the island.

Since 2014, the Penang state government prohibited foreigners to work as cooks at hawker stalls in an effort to protect national food heritage.

He also clarified that the ruling only applies to restaurants that serve local food and stressed that the ruling would not affect restaurants that serve specialty food.

Kulasegaran said coffee shops, Indian-Muslim restaurants and hawker stalls are categorised as local outlets, as such their workforce should consist of Malaysians only.

He said the objective of the proposal was to reduce dependency on foreign labour, in line with Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak expects to be launched on July 22

KUCHING: A technical committee for the formation of the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), a new political coalition formed by parties in the state that left the Barisan Nasional (BN) on June 12, set its target for the official launch on July 22.

The committee’s meeting was chaired by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) secretary-general Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi at the party’s headquarters here today, and attended by the respective secretary-general from the other three component parties, namely, the Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), and the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), as well as some legal experts.

Nanta said the technical committee would be in charge, among others, to select a protem committee for the establishment of GPS, to draft a new logo for the coalition, as well as to submit letters, namely, to the Dewan Rakyat to inform that the parties were no longer with the BN and another one to BN to express its gratitude for their past cooperation.

“The protem committee will comprise eight members, namely the president and secretary-general of the four parties,” he told reporters at a press conference after chairing the technical committee meeting on GPS today.

On the logo design, he said, a competition would be launched tomorrow and open for the public. The detailed terms and conditions, as well as the prizes, could be obtained in local newspapers.

He said other detailed steps towards the establishment of GPS, such as the constitutional aspect as well as registration of logo and party, would be implemented before July 22.

It is also understood that the protem committee meeting will be held on July 12, two days after the decision on the new logo is being finalised.

In Sarawak, July 22 has been declared a public holiday since 2016, in conjunction with the anniversary of Sarawak’s independence from the British. — Bernama

100-day action plan for Penang government

GEORGE TOWN: Penang will unveil a comprehensive action plan after the first 100 – days of the new administration, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He said the state will use the 100-days after the historic May 9 general election to seek feedback and plot a sustainable course for the state, taking into account feedback from the relevant stakeholders.

“It is a master plan. We will look at the existing plans, the various blueprints. And then we will come out with our vision of what Penang should be. We will incorporate the various plans devised about the state in one big plan.”

He said the plan will be documented as a strategic outreach for the state and it will incorporate previous plans and the latest recommendations.

Chow did not elaborate whether this action plan will supersede the RM46 billion Penang Transport Masterplan, but he stressed that it is an action plan to attain the state’s idea of what the quality of life should entail for the inhabitants, to grow the economy and the productivity of the state’s workers.

“We are looking at implementing it in stages; perhaps the plan will entail five years first followed by 10-years … until 2030,” he said.

Chow hoped that the plan will continue to be pursued even though he would likely serve as chief minister for only term two terms, according to the term-limit outlined in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.

He said this in a wide-ranging interview with theSun at his office recently.

The state’s fifth chief minister was formerly from Kuala Lumpur, but he has made Penang his adopted home after he qualified to study at Universiti Sains Malaysia in the 1980s before he began working here.

After his stint as a sub-editor in the Straits Echo newspaper here, Chow joined DAP and became the political secretary to DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.

Chow, aged 59, has served as Penang DAP chairman for the past 19-years.

Restaurant operators want clarification on local cooks only ruling

PETALING JAYA: Restaurant operators and consumer representatives have demanded a clarification from the Human Resource Ministry on employing local cooks only by year-end.

Federal Territories Malay Food Operators president Ayob Abd Majib said the ministry should have conducted a dialogue with all stakeholders.

“I have received texts from my members across the country who are worried that they would need to close their shops. This is because 80% of our cooks are from Thailand who specialises in Thai cuisine.

“The minister should specify if the policy is meant for all restaurants or just hawker stalls. He should be clear on the issue as it is not easy to run a business and have a sudden policy change without a proper guideline.

“The timing given is also too short. How can we have enough local manpower in six months?

“We are currently drafting a memorandum which will be submitted to the ministry and prime minister too. We have voted for change and they should hear us from the business sector,” he added.

Muslim Restaurant Ow­­ners Association president Ayoob Khan Muhamad Yakub similarly echoed Ayob’s sentiment.

“It would be feasible if the ministry can find a way to provide local cooks. We won’t have to pay the levy for foreign workers then.

“The minister must understand that we can’t change the mindset of locals if they want to work for an upscale restaurant to earn extra income,” he said.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman also stressed that niche markets that cater specifically for specific dishes should be taken into consideration.

“There are restaurants that serve Japanese meals which need special skills that can’t be learned in a short time. There’s also the issue of hygiene and health. The time given is too short. It cannot be a blanket policy,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association president Datuk Ang Say Tee hinted that businesses may be forced to fold if they are unable to replace their staff in time.

It is understood that the ministry will issue a statement on the matter on Monday.

Yesterday, Human Resource Minister M. Kulasegaran said all restaurants in the country must only recruit locals as cooks from July 1.

He, however, said all operators would be given up to the end of the year to ensure only local cooks work in their restaurants.

Zambry will not contest Umno VP post

LUMUT: Perak Umno Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has confirmed he will not contest the post of Umno vice-president in the party elections on June 30.

Zambry, who is also Perak Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman, said he wanted to make room for other candidates as well to focus on the party supreme council.

“Even though many proposed that I contest for the post (vice president), I have thought deeply about it to give the opportunity to others.

“I will only try to serve as an Umno Supreme Council member if the party thinks I’m needed, especially in the context of party rebuilding and I will give my best,” he said.

He said this after officiating the Lumut Division Umno Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri delegates meeting here today.

Prior to this, Zambry has announced via his Facebook account that he would contest for a post in the Umno Supreme Council for the 2018-2021 session in the party polls. — Bernama