The government and MMC Gamuda Joint Venture has come to new terms of agreement to complete the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT2) project. Under the new terms, MMC-Gamuda which was given the mandate to see through the public transportation job in February 2014 at a cost of RM28 bil, would see through the completion of the above-the-ground portion at RM17.42 bil.
Both parties failed to come to an agreement for the underground portion of the project, hence MMC-Gamuda’s underground contract has been canceled and it will be up for international open tender. There has been debate on both sides, an online petition was even launched over the outcry on the possible ‘loss’ of 20,000 jobs due to the cancellation. However, the government has stood firm with their decision and even Tony Pua wrote an open letter to show why MMC-Gamuda should stop playing victim.
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Malaysians can finally rejoice as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has successfully managed to push for more affordable fixed line broadband prices through their Mandatory Standard on Access Pricing (MSAP) initiative. But as usual, internet providers have been slow to respond—especially TM—with a majority of their users still stuck with 1 to 8 Mbps packages that cost over RM110.
Streamyx users still form a strong majority of TM’s customer base, and for them to be ignored in the MSAP is definitely unfair, especially when they do not have any alternatives. However, don’t put all the blame on TM as most Streamyx users are located on the outskirts and they might not want to upgrade them as it will cost more. But at least give them a fairer pricing as for RM110 we could get more than 50Mbps with other providers.
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The government will be looking at introducing a national digital identification system to boost the e-commerce sector and fight crimes at the same time. Gobind Singh Deo, the communications and multimedia minister said instances of fraud were among the top concerns for e-commerce today, as buyers are unable to verify the identity of the person advertising their goods or services on the internet.
As expected, like all government policies, he indicated that the government will need time to decide whether or not it would introduce the digital ID system as his ministry needs to discuss and obtain feedback from financial institutions and other agencies, including the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation. On one hand, it could be an issue of privacy and on the other it could curb scammers and people who comment ‘pm’.
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Finally, the Cabinet has decided to abolish the death penalty, and it will be tabled in the next Parliament sitting which will begin on October 15, said Datuk Liew Vui Keong. The minister in charge of law in the Prime Minister’s Department said while the government is studying certain cases, as of now, all executions have been postponed.
Liew added that all the paperwork for the abolishment of the law is in its final stages, and that the Attorney General had given the green light for it to be tabled in Parliament.
He simplified it in a sentence, “All death penalties will be abolished. Full stop.” That depends on the Parliament’s decision, however—as we know, nothing is certain there.
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In other words, we’re going to get new taxes introduced.
Unsurprisingly, the new government needs to raise new revenue—they’ve laid the groundwork by constantly telling us about all the debt left behind by the previous team.
“I don’t think that is something welcome by the people but we may have to devise new taxes in order to have the money to pay our debts,” said our Prime Minister.
The government has already been hinting that it’s going to hurt. Finance minister, Lim Guan Eng said, “This will not be easy, but I believe it can be done. After all, it is always darkest just before dawn.”
Other ways that the government can make money? Dr M has also said that government assets may be sold off again, but this time, they’ll look at locals to be the buyers.
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