The new import steel tax will cause property prices to increase, further side-lining the people who already could not afford a house. Call for Putrajaya to provide tax rebate or subsidy to local steel players instead of imposing import duty.

We strongly condemned the government’s move to impose new taxes on imported steel products. This new tax will increase the domestic construction costs and thus lead to higher property prices.
Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani earlier said new taxes on imported steel products were meant to protect the local steel industry. If the Government’s intention is to protect the local steel industry, the government should provide the local steel industry with tax rebates or subsidy, there is no need to impose a new import tax on steel products.

The move to provide local steel players with tax rebate or subsidy will not only ensure that the local manufactured steel is able to maintain at a competitive price, it can also prevent the property prices to continue climbing, killing two birds with one stone.

Property developers will definitely not absorb this newly imposed import duty and pass on the cost increase to property buyers. Ultimately, it will be the property purchasers who will foot the bill for the steel import duty. We call on the government to put a stop to this potential property price hike and withdraw the steel import tax with immediate effect.

In the third pledge of BN last General Election manifesto, BN had promised to provide affordable and secure housing. The imposition of new import duty on steel shows that BN has betrayed its election manifesto and the people’s trust.

The Malaysian Real Estate Development Association had earlier revealed that the real estate industry in Perak has been stagnant in the past six months. On average, the property sales rate does not exceed 30%; some developers has not sold even a single house recording zero sales.

The government’s new steel import tax will make the current stagnant property market worse and house ownership even more difficult for young people hunting for their first home.

Joint Media Statement by YB Paul Yong Choo Kiong ADUN Tronoh, YB Sivasubramaniam ADUN Buntong and Chong Zhemin DAP Perak Economic Development Chief on 17th April 2017.

The reversal of the excise duty hike of MPV does not mean BN fulfill its last GE manifesto, call for BN to make clear on the roadmap to reduce car prices by 30% by 2018.

I cautiously welcome BN move to reverse the excise tax hike on certain MPV models, though the excise duty hike should not have happened in the first place since BN has promised to reduce car prices up to 30% by 2018.

The decision to reverse the excise duty hike does not mean BN has fulfilled its last GE manifesto. The people have every right to ask when will car prices come down by 30%.

We are now less than a year before reaching 2018 and there is not a single sign that car prices will come down. Has BN decided that it will renege on its promise to bring car prices down hence the flip-flopping on excise duty hike trying to give the impression that car excise duty have come down?

If Putrajaya is sincere to bring car prices down, I urge Putrajaya to immediately lay out a clear roadmap on how to reduce car prices by 30% by next year.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 14 April 2017

The Public Universities disciplinary action against University students who speak up against the 1MDB scandal is an assault against freedom of expression and an act to further clampdown dissent on the 1MDB scandal.

Since 2016, there were 10 University students who were taken disciplinary action for speaking up against the 1MDB scandal.

Four of the University Malaya students known as UMANY 4 was taken action and fine for holding up placards during the 1MDB town hall forum. The 1MDB town hall forum which Arul Kanda was the speaker is nothing but a spin of facts to whitewash the 1MDB scandal and to brainwash the university students.

It is outrageous that a simple act of holding placard to show dissent is not tolerated by UM. Among the wordings on the placard reads, “1MDB Jangan Spin”, Mahasiswa mahukan jawapan”, 1MDB pulangkan duit rakyat”. UM’s move to take disciplinary action against UMANY 4 is an assault against freedom of expression.

Apart from that, 6 other student leaders were also taken disciplinary action for participating in the “Tangkap MO1” rally. 4 of the students are from UM, 1 from UKM, and 1 from UiTM.

The right to peaceful rally is enshrined under the Federal Constitution and the university should not take action against students who merely exercise their constitutional rights.

We urge UM, UKM and UiTM to immediately drop all charges against the students for speaking up against the 1MDB issue. Malaysia has overnight become a kleptocracy and one of the most globally corrupt nation due to the 1MDB.

University students who are the nation’s future have the responsibility to speak up against the 1MDB scandal and save Malaysia from being a global kleptocrat.

Joint Media Statement by Paul Yong Choo Kiong, DAP Perak Assistant Secretary and ADUN Tronoh and Chong Zhemin DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief on 12 April 2017.

BN’s move to increase excise duty on budget MPV by 5% is a betrayal of their GE-13 manifesto. Call for the government to immediately fulfil their GE-13 manifesto to reduce car prices by 30%

Yesterday, Paul Tan’s Automotive News, a Malaysia popular automotive website revealed that the government has increased the excise duty on budget MPV by 5% to 65%. The vehicles that are affected by this increase of excise duty include Honda BR-V, Toyota Sienta, Toyota Avanza, Perodua Alza and Proton Ertiga.

It is anticipated that car manufacturers will pass on this increase in excise duty to customers and this would lead to more expensive car prices.

BN’s move to increase excise duty on budget MPV is a betrayal of their GE-13 manifesto to reduce car prices by 30%. Since 2013, car manufacturers have hike car prices at least twice due to the falling Ringgit. BN not only failed to formulate any policy to reduce car prices, they also failed miserably to neutralize the effect of depreciating Ringgit that lead to car price hike.

Budget MPV is now one of Malaysian’s favorite car segment as the SUV-styled seven-seater cater to the needs of a small family. I urge BN to withdraw the increase in excise duty on budget MPV with immediate effect.

I also call on BN to fulfil their GE-13 manifesto to reduce car prices by 30%, failure in which BN will be booted out by the people in the next general election.

Media Statement by DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to MP Taiping, Chong Zhemin on 8 April 2017

Najib must explain the discrepancies between his announcement in Budget 2017 that Broadband speed will be doubled effective January 2017 and Tmnet announcement that the doubling in Broadband speed will be implemented in stages from Jan to June 2017.

During the tabling of Budget 2017, Najib had announced in Parliament that effective January 2017, fixed line broadband service providers will offer services at a higher speed for the same price.

Telekom Malaysia(TMnet) has rolled out a “Thank you Surprise” campaign to upgrade user’s internet speed. However, this upgrade will be implemented in stages from January to June 2017. In other words, there will be a certain group of users which will only receive the free internet speed upgrade as late as June.

Najib must explain the discrepancies between his announcement in parliament and TMnet’s “Thank You Surprise” campaign.

If Najib failed to explain the reason, he might have misled the parliament during his budget 2017 announcement. Tmnet should also compensate the group of users which will only receive their free speed upgrade in June.

TMnet’s “Thank You Surprise” campaign also requires users to key in their name, IC number, TM Homeline, Handphone number and email and to accept the free speed upgrade.

I urge Tmnet to save the user’s hassle and provide the free speed upgrade automatically, as some users might oversee their email and failed to respond to it.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 25 January 2017

Police must immediately investigate whether there is any misappropriation or abuse of power regarding the missing RM50 Million allocation under budget 2016 to Chinese Primary schools

DAP Perak has today lodged a police report regarding the missing RM50 Million allocation under budget 2016 to Chinese Primary schools.

According to the news report in China Press today, Finance Ministry has confirmed that the full allocation has been disbursed to the Education Ministry. However, the Education Ministry denied receiving the full RM50 Million allocation.

I have lodged a police report at IPD Ipoh this morning to urge the police to investigate whether there is any misappropriation or abuse of power regarding the missing RM50 Million allocation to Chinese Primary Schools.

It is unacceptable that when there is just 8 days remaining in 2016, 800 Chinese Primary Schools throughout the country has yet to receive a single cent of allocation. The same has happened last year when RM30 million of the allocation to the Chinese Primary Schools has been use for flood relief purposes.

In 2013 and 2014, no such cases were reported. All the RM50 Million allocation promised to Chinese Primary Schools were disbursed in full. However, after MCA rejoined the cabinet, problems start arising. In two consecutive years, during 2014 and 2015 allocations to the Chinese Primary Schools have been reportedly missing.

MCA’s saying “When you have someone in the government, things get done.”(有人在朝好办事) is nothing more than an empty slogan. I urge MCA to stop using such tactics to deceive the people. It has been proven over time, with MCA in the cabinet, more problem arises.

I also urge the police to investigate the missing allocation of RM25 Million to SMJK schools and RM50 Million to Catholic Schools.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, Political Secretary to DAP Perak Chairman and DAP Perak Publicity Bureau Chief on 23 Dec 2016

Is Liow Tiong Lai or Fadillah Yusof lying about the ECRL cost increase from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion? Time for BN to come clean on the reason of the RM25 Billion cost increase and deny that the money will be used to bailed out 1MDB debts.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai yesterday explained that the East Coast Rail Link(ECRL) cost increase from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion is partly due to the fall in Ringgit. Liow said the figures cited in the project’s feasibility study was based on 2009-2010 exchange rates.

He was reported saying “That time dollar is only RM3.2 to a dollar, now its RM4.2 and gone up to RM4.5.”

Works minister Fadillah Yusof has as recent as 27 July 2016, denied a report by Sarawak Report that the ECRL cost will be inflated from RM30 Billion to RM60 Billion to pay off 1MDB debts. He also denied that the increment in cost was discussed in cabinet.

What had happened in the span of 3 months that the cost of ECRL has almost doubled from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion? Is Liow Tiong Lai or Fadillah Yusof lying? Both of them cannot be telling the truth on the RM25 Billion cost increase in ECRL.

If Liow is telling the truth, Fadillah Yusof denial that the ECRL cost will increase from RM30 Billion to Rm 60 Billion will be a big lie. The BN cabinet will also be one of the most incompetent and substandard cabinet in the world as three months before the signing of a multi-billion agreement, the cabinet is still unaware that the cost is calculated based on the exchange rate of 2009-2010 and subject to increase.

If Fadillah is telling the truth in July by denying the ECRL cost will be inflated from RM30 Billion to RM 60 Billion then Liow’s “exchange rate” explanation will be expose as a lie.

I urge Liow and Fadillah to both come forward and clarify as both of their version of explanation contradicts each other. It is time for Barisan National to come clean on the increment of the cost of ECRL.

Malaysians deserve to know why in the span of 3 months the cost of ECRL was inflated from RM30 Billion to RM55 Billion. Will the inflated amount be used to bail out 1MDB debts?

BN must come clean on the reason of the RM25 Billion cost increase and deny that the money will be used to bailed out 1MDB debts.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Developement Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 3 Nov 2016

Teks Ucapan pembentangan analisa PRU14 Negeri Perak Di Konvensyen Pakatan Harapan Negeri Perak

I1. Sejak persempadanan semula oleh SPR, penganalisa politik berpendapat Keputusan PRU14 akan berpihak ke BN sekiranya persempadanan semula ini diluluskan.

2. Analisa ini adalah berlandaskan andaian di mana corak mengundi di PRU 13 akan kekal di PRU14.

3. Namun sejak 3 tahun yang lepas, berlaku satu anjakan paradigma di lanskap politik Malaysia dengan Penubuhan Amanah, Bersatu dan Warisan.

4. Isu-isu utama yang bakal menghayun pengundi di PRU14 termasuk GST, penghapusan subsidi bahan mentah, Kos sara hidup tinggi, harga tol meningkat dan kegawatan ekonomi.

5. Corak mengundi telah berubah dan Hukum hanyunan pendulum menunjukan pengundi akan memihak kepada Pihak pembangkang di PRU14

6. Analisa saya berdasarkan scenario PH mencapai persefahaman pilihanraya dengan Besatu dan berlawan PAS dan BN dalam 3 penjuru.

7. Komposisi kaum negeri Perak sebenarnya mirip dengan komposisi kaum negeri Selangor di mana Melayu 49%, Cina 37%, India 11% dan lain-lain 2%.

8. Terdapat 4 jenis kerusi di negeri Perak, Kerusi majority Melayu >80% 9 Kerusi, Kerusi campur dengan Melayu>65% 17 Kerusi, Kerusi campuran 14 kerusi, dan kerusi majority cina>50% 19 kerusi.

9. 14 Kerusi campuran merupakan medan pertembungan sebenar di Negeri Perak, parti mana yang boleh memenangi 14 kerusi ini akan memerintah perak.

10. % sokongan undi Melayu PRU13, PR30%.

11. Ramalan % sokongan pengunid Melayu PRU14, PAS 15%, PH 15% + Bersatu 20%, BN 50%

12. Jika PH boleh memenangi 35% Melayu, 80% Cina dan 50% India, PH boleh memenangi sebanyak 12 kerusi daripada 14 kerusi campuran.

13. PH harus menumpukan 80% sumber ke 20% kerusi campuran untuk memenangi Negeri Perak.

14. Analisa menunjukkan, Bersatu boleh memenangi 3 kerusi majority Melayu >80%, PH menang 7 kerusi Campuran Melayu >65%, 10 kerusi campuran dan 19 kerusi majority cina.

15. Berdasarkan % sokongan ini, analisa menunjukkan PH boleh memenangi 36 kerusi, Bersatu 3 kerusi dan BN 20 kerusi.

16. Pakatan Harapan mempunyai peluang yang cerah untuk mentadbir Negeri Perak menjelang PRU14.

Najib must explain why did he award the RM55 Billion East Coast Rail Link to China Communications Construction Company(CCCC) Limited, when CCCC was debarred by World Bank for fraudulent practices until January 12, 2017.

Najib has announced that the RM55 Billion East Coast Rail Link will be built and financed by China with the construction contract awarded to China Communications Construction Company, while a financing agreement will be signed with Export-Import Bank of China.

Najib must explain why did he award the RM55 Billion East Coast Rail Link(ECRL) contract which has almost doubled in price without open tender to a company that is dubious, questionable and engaged in fraudulent practices.

Firstly, the ECRL which was initially touted to be RM30 Billion has now almost doubled in cost to RM55 Billion. Works minister Fadillah Yusof has as recent as 27 July 2016, denied a report by Sarawak Report that the ECRL cost will be doubled from RM30 Billion to RM60 Billion to pay off 1MDB debts. He also denied that the increment in cost was discussed in cabinet.

What has happened in the span of 3 months that the cost for ECRL almost doubled to RM55 Billion. Najib must explain on what basis that the cost of construction increase by RM25 Billion in 3 months. Was the RM25 Billion increment in cost discussed and sanctioned by the cabinet?

Secondly, the China Communiations Constuction Company(CCCC) which was awarded the ECRL construction contract was debarred by World Bank for fraudulent practices. Under the sanction, CCCC is ineligible to engage in any road and bridge projects financed by the World Bank Group until January 12, 2017.

Najib must explain why the ECRL contract was awarded to CCCC without open tender when it was debarred by World Bank for fraudulent practices.

Sarawak Report has in July published a report that the ECRL cost will be inflated and the additional cost siphoned off to pay 1MDB debts. This claim, if true will be the biggest daylight robbery of Malaysian Taxpayers. Future generations of Malaysians taxpayers will be squandered Billions of Ringgit to pay off the scandalous and mismanaged 1MDB debt.

I call on Najib to immediately give a proper and reasonable explanation on the haste in awarding the inflated ECRL contract to a Chinese company which is dubious, questionable and engaged in fraudulent practices.

Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Developement Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to Taiping MP on 3 Nov 2016

Najib new tiered corporate income tax rate announced in budget 2017 is not only cumbersome and complicated but also subject to tax manipulation.

Najib announced a new tiered corporate income tax rate in Budget 2017 based on the increment of chargeable income as below

Increment of chargeable income Reduction in tax rate Tax rate
5% or below None 24%
5% – 9.99% 1% 23%
10% – 14.99% 2% 22%
15% – 19.99% 3% 21%
20% and above 4% 20%

Firstly, this new tiered corporate income tax rate is subject to tax manipulation and will especially benefit multinational companies which have a group of companies. For example, a group of companies which comprise of company A, company B and company C may pool their revenue under company B and company C and park them under company A, thereby increasing its chargeable income to enjoy a lower tax rate (20%).

SME or smaller companies with only a single entity however could not benefit from this method except for expanding their business to increase their chargeable income up to 20% which seem unlikely in the current economic climate.

The IRB(Inland Revenue Board) will also incur extra administration cost to audit and administer this new tiered corporate tax rate based on increment of chargeable income.

Secondly, companies may be inclined to withhold investment in capital expenditure in the next two years in view of this new tiered tax rate. By not investing in new capital expenditure, thus claiming less Capital Allowances, the company’s chargeable income will be relatively higher to enjoy the new reduced tax rate.

Since the new tiered corporate tax rate is effective for 2017 and 2018, this will encourage companies to defer whatever investment(in capital expenditure) they can defer until 2019. This effect when aggregated will significantly hurt the country’s GDP, and negatively impact Malaysia economy in the coming two years.

It is clear that Najib administration is not sincere in reducing corporate tax rate. On one hand, Najib feared the loss in tax revenue, on the other hand Najib also feared public backlash if there is no corporate tax rate reduction announced, this give birth to the proposed monstrous tiered rate system based on the increment of chargeable income.

Najib should have announced a direct reduction of corporate tax rate instead of using the current proposed tiered rate which is cumbersome complicated and subject to tax manipulation.

Media Statement by DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chieft and Political Secretary to MP Taiping, Chong Zhemin on 22 Oct 2016