Senoi Praaq troopers join search for missing Perhilitan ranger

KUANTAN: Fourteen members of the Senoi Praaq unit joined in the search and rescue operation for a Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) ranger who has been missing at the Yong Forest Reserve in Taman Negara here since Aug 11.

Jerantut district police chief DSP Mazlan Hassan said apart from the involvement of the jungle tracking unit, the search operation was also being assisted by the Royal Malaysia Police Air Operation Force to track the ranger’s location.

“We have also extended the search area to 28 km from the spot where the victim was reported to have gone missing, adding two new locations today with an additional distance of two kilometres.

“The search comprising more than 100 officers and staff from various agencies and locals as well as with the help of tracker dogs was being continued,” he said when contacted by Bernama here.

Ranger Tarmizi Ahmad Japli, 30, a Cheras Perhilitan staff, reportedly entered the forest reserve on June 9 along with six other colleagues to collect data for the 1st National Tiger Survey Programme which began at Felda Kechau 11 in Lipis.

The victim was reported missing on Aug 11 while on his way back to the main camp following a river route, after installing the camera to collect data for the tiger count study in Taman Negara, Jerantut.

His colleague noticed that Tarmizi was missing when he was not behind him.

Yesterday, the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia also used the services of the Air Unit in the operation, but it was understood to be a deadlock due to the dense jungle making it difficult to detect the victim from the air. — Bernama

Motorcyclist dies in freak accident involving tanker lorry

LAHAD DATU: A man was killed after the motorcycle he was riding hit the tyre of a tanker lorry before being dragged by a Toyota Hilux Vigo at Km 30 of Jalan Lahad Datu-Sandakan, here yesterday.

Lahad Datu district police chief ACP Hamzah Ahmad said in the 2.10pm incident, Rizal Rudi, 25, sustained serious injuries before being taken to the Lahad Datu Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4.15pm.

“The incident occurred when the victim, who was heading towards Jalan Sandakan, lost control of the machine and veered into the opposite lane before ramming into the tanker lorry’s tyre.

“Subsequently, the motorcyclist was thrown off the machine and landed on the road before the Toyota Hilux Vigo hit and dragged the victim for 78 metres,” he said in a statement, here today. — Bernama

Pahang govt targets to build 35,000 PR1MA homes in next five years

KUANTAN: The Pahang government will build at total of 35,000 units of affordable houses under the state’s 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA) programme within the next five years, said its Housing and Municipal Council Committee chairman Abd Rahim Muda.

He said the move was the continuation of the previous state government programme and part of the promises made during the 14th General Election (GE14).

“The state government recognises and listens to the people’s need to own a comfortable home, especially for the low and medium income groups in the state.

“Grievances such as soaring prices of houses, inadequate supply of affordable homes and difficulties in securing the financing have affected the people’s ability to own homes and the state government will build as many as 35,000 units of affordable homes to address the problems,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating a show unit of PR1MA Pahang in Sungai Baging, Mukim Sungai Karang here today.

For the PR1MA Pahang project at Sungai Baging, Mukim Sungai Karang, it will involve the construction of 206 residential units and 28 units of shop lots and to be built in two stages.

The houses, with a built-up area of 1000 sq ft, are priced RM150,000 each almost 50% below the market price.

The project is expected to be completed within 18 months and special discount of 10% will be given to eligible civil servants. — Bernama

Ministry plans to turn Highland Towers site into recreational park

KUALA LUMPUR: The Housing and Local Government Ministry is planning to turn the site of the Highland Towers condominium which collapsed 25 years ago into a recreational park, says its Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin.

She said the ministry had previously planned to build a housing project for the B40 (bottom 40% household income) group at the site but it was not suitable for the construction of buildings or houses.

“As such, we are going to turn (the area) into a park. The location is strategic and the surrounding community can utilise the facility,” she told reporters at the launch of #Girl2Leaders Malaysia campaign here today.

Also present was Selangor Mentri Besar’s wife, Masdiana Mohammad.

Zuraida said the Committee on Re-development of Highland Towers had already identified the landowner and was now in the midst of drafting a proposal to develop the area.

“It (the project) is still in the planning stage and InsyaAllah (God willing), I will approve it when the time has come,” she said.

On Dec 11, 1993, one of the three blocks of the Highland Towers condominium at Taman Hillview in Ulu Klang collapsed, killing 48 people. — Bernama

Balakong by-election, long campaign period an advantage: PH candidate

BANGI: Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate for the Balakong by-election Wong Siew Ki welcomed the unprecedented long campaigning period set by the Election Commission (EC), saying that it would give her more opportunity to get to the heart and soul of the constituents.

Although she has been actively involved in the local political scene for the past few years, Wong, who is contesting for the first time in an election, reckoned that she needed more time to get herself and her agenda known to the people.

“I see that it is an advantage for me as the long time frame will allow me to meet as many constituents in Balakong as possible.

“We also hope to go door-to-door to meet the people and introduce myself to them,” she told reporters after meet-and-greet with traders and members of the public at Sungai Chua wet market here, this morning.

Also present were Deputy International Trade and Industries Minister Ong Kian Ming and Seri Kembangan state assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah.

They also distributed Jalur Gemilang to the public, in conjunction with the National Day celebration.

The EC had set 21 days for campaigning for both the Balakong and Seri Setia by-elections, with which polling will be on Sept 8.

On another matter, Wong assured that she would continue to carry on the good work and aspirations of the former state assemblyman, Eddie Ng Tien Chee, who died in a road accident last July 20.

“I accept the huge responsibility that I have to shoulder. Every hand that I touched place high hope on us (PH),” she said, adding that she would introduce a new manifesto for the people in the constituency, including plans to develop Balakong’s rich cultural potential. — Bernama

Govt to use liberal approach in implementing SST: Lim

GEORGE TOWN: The government will use a liberal approach towards traders in implementing the Sales and Services Tax (SST), according to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the approach was important to fend off the perception that there were traders who were trying to avoid paying taxes.

“The government will also place its trust on traders and tax payers that they will declare their taxes honestly.

“So we give them the opportunity to declare the goods and services that they believe can be excluded from SST and we will accept it. At the same time we will investigate and take action if the statements given (from traders) are false,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after attending ‘A Date with Finance Minister’ programme organised by the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC), here today. — Bernama

Johor to confiscate Umno building land if quit rent not paid

KOTA ISKANDAR: The state government will take back two plots of land where two Umno divisional buildings are situated if the party doesn’t settle its accumulated quit rent.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian said the Umno Batu Pahat Building and Umno Tebrau Building are in arrears of RM287,000 of quit rent each.

The state government would issue Form 8A under Section 130 of National Land Code to the two building owners, Osman said in his winding-up speech at the state assembly, here today.

The state government would take back the land if they failed to comply, he said.

He added that the Johor Umno Building at Jalan Segget belongs to Umno Lama, and all its trustees had passed away. Umno Lama became non-existent a long time ago, he stated.

“Umno Baru did not have any registration on land title of the building. That shows it has problems in managing its own assets,” Osman said.

Meanwhile, the assembly passed the Supplementary Supply Enactment 2018 amounting to RM14.243 million which consists of RM8.99 million for the Johor State Secretariat, RM3.263 million for the Islamic Religious Department, RM1.540 million for the Social Welfare Department, and RM450,000 for the Veterinary Department.

The state legislative assembly also approved to form three committees, namely a Regulation and Standing Order of State Assembly committee, a State Accounting Committee, a Rights and Freedom of State Assembly committee.

The state assembly adjourned sine die.