Singapore raises income tax rates for top 5 per cent – and Malaysia?

One of the factors contributing to the persistent fiscal deficit in Malaysia has been the deliberate and gradual reduction of income tax rates over the years.

From a fairly progressive tax system, Malaysia has moved towards a regressive tax system. The government has trimmed the tax rates for the rich and super-rich over the years.

Singapore is now bucking the trend by raising income tax rates for high-earners by 2 per cent.

(more…)

More

What now, after Anwar Ibrahim’s imprisonment?

Now that Anwar Ibrahim has been incarcerated, what will happen to the quest for reforms? Will it be derailed? Obviously, some people are hoping that this will be the case.

public forum the scenario after anwar's imprisonment

Anwar may have been the catalyst for the unleashing of the reformasi movement when he was arrested in 1997. But the quest for reforms began much earlier, decades earlier in fact. (more…)

More

Is this the dirtiest stream in Penang?

Dirty stream in Tanjung Bungah 1

This could be a leading contender for the Dirtiest Stream in Penang. It is frightening to think that the polluted water could end up in the sea of Tanjung Bungah, not far from beach hotel resorts and popular stretches where many children wade into the sea. (more…)

More

Penang Hill turning into a Christmas tree; 24 NGOs say no more botak hills

Penang Hill scarred

Last night while taking the ferry from the mainland to Penang Island, I gazed at Penang Hill. Whereas in the past, the lights at the summit of Bukit Bendera (Flagstaff Hill) would twinkle in the clear night sky, this time other specks of light in the middle of the hill were piercing through the black shroud enveloping the hill after sunset – evidence of more hill-slope development or clearing.

At this rate, Penang Hill will soon be transformed into a giant Christmas tree rising from the centre of a fairyland island surrounded by smaller Christmas trees (highrise condos for the wealthy at the sea front, built on reclaimed land). Do we want this sort of hill-clearing and hill-cutting in Penang? Surely, these bald patches are visible from Komtar.

So it is timely that two dozen Penang-based residents associations and civil society groups have signed an open letter to the Yang Di-Pertua of the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang expressing concern about the degradation of hills in the state. (more…)

More

Sirul teleconference fails to materialise

The scheduled teleconference with Sirul in Australia over an internet radio station has failed to materialise. The link-up with Mahfuz Omar at the Pas Media Centre in Jalan Raja Laut, KL was due to start at 11.33am over Hijau.FM.

At 10.44am, ‘Sirul’ was apparently contacted and given a phone number that would be used to contact him for the teleconference. But the event failed to get going. (more…)

More

Adam Adli, Fariz Musa detained; Nik Nazmi slips away

Student activist Adam Adli and PKR supreme council member Fariz Musa were arrested when police moved in on a solidarity protest at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman for the imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim.

PKR Youth leader Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad had a close shave with plainclothes police and managed to slip away after being pulled away by supporters.

Adam and Fariz are now having their statements recorded at the Jinjang Police Station. Lawyers have been informed that they are expected to be released in the coming hours without any remand extension. Supporters have vowed to wait for them outside the police station until the pair emerge.

(more…)

More