Monday, June 16, 2008

More students joining private institutions - The Star

By Priscilla Dielenberg

GEORGE TOWN: The enrolment at private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) is increasing and almost at a 1:1 ratio with that of public institutions of higher learning (IPTA), said Deputy Higher Education Minister Dr Hou Kok Chung.

He said the 2007 intake saw 167,788 students enrolling for undergraduate courses at IPTS and 190,265 at IPTA.

This, he said, was in contrast to the total number of 365,800 students who are now pursuing undergraduate courses at IPTS and 507,438 at the IPTA.

"The IPTS is getting stronger and more important," he told a press conference Monday after a meeting with senior executives of IPTS at Trader's Hotel here.

Dr Hou said the meeting was a forum to interact with representatives from IPTS to brief them on the latest matters involving the ministry’s policies, and to hear their issues and proposals.

Among the matters addressed Monday were the ongoing establishment audit of 200 IPTS, increasing the intake of genuine foreign students, the issue of lack of teaching staff, and the restructuring of IPTS.

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Malaysia's Petronas to open books to public: report - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's state oil company Petronas will open its books to the public after a decision to hike fuel prices by more than 40 percent set off days of protests, news reports said on Monday.

The reports come with a major opposition party still calling for as many as 100,000 people to take to the streets at a rally early next month amid growing anger over the cost of fuel in Malaysia, which is heavily state subsidised.

Nor Mohammed Yakcop, the country's second finance minister, told the New Straits Times newspaper that Petronas could open its ledgers to the public as soon as next week as the government looks at cutting the fuel subsidy.

"As a government that is entrusted by the people, we have to make sure our revenues are spent prudently," he said.

The government has forecast that unless subsidies are restructured, it will spend around 10 billion ringgit (3.1 billion dollars) in the second half of 2008 in the face of a global surge in oil prices .

But Nor Mohammed brushed off calls to use the Petronas revenues to finance the subsidy.

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Dr Mahathir's 'racist remarks' draw flak - NST

By : M. Husairy Othman, Ridzwan Abdullah and Eileen Ng

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malays have every reason to fight for their rights, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as non-Bumiputera groups again lamented over the former prime minister's apparently racist line.

He claimed Malaysia was the only nation in the world where the main ethnic group had admitted other races and endowed them with rights.

"We (the Malays) are not the type to protest and have accepted those who came to the country.

"We even accorded them rights unlike other countries," he said at a talk titled "The Future of Malaysian Malays" organised by Warisan Pekembar, a non-governmental organisation, in Teluk Intan on Saturday.

Some 2,000 people attended the hour-long event.

In an immediate response, Gerakan secretary-general Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye said national unity was crucial to meeting the challenges of the present day.

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Fuel card plan to improve subsidy rebate system - The Star

By Ruben Sario and Meera Vijayan

KOTA KINABALU: The Government is looking at adopting a system whereby motorists can buy a fixed amount of subsidised fuel each month and pay for the rest at market rate.

Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the system includes providing Malaysian motorists with a special card for buying subsidised fuel.

“We are still looking into this system as certain infrastructure would be required for the subsidised fuel cards to be used,” he said, adding that the RM625 cash rebate for motorists was the best and fastest approach the Government could take to cushion the recent 41% hike in fuel prices.

Touching on the same subject, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said the fuel subsidy rebate system would be fine-tuned for the convenience of the people.

He said that various options were being studied, including the possibility of using a fleet card system.

“For example, under the fleet card, you would get your rebate at the petrol pumps as and when you purchase your fuel instead of having to queue up at post offices,” he said.

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Anwar eyeing Kuala Kangsar - The Star

IPOH: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is looking at the possibility of contesting a by-election in Perak, if the court were to rule against Barisan Nasional in the Kuala Kangsar election petition.

Responding to queries on his pending contest in a by-election, the PKR de facto leader said: “I think Perak would be a good idea. We’re waiting for a decision on Kuala Kangsar.”

Anwar said this after speaking at a closed-door convention held by Perak PKR Youth yesterday.

He also said a committee had been set up to look into him contesting in a by-election, adding that it would be done through Pakatan Rakyat.

Dissatisfied voter Ahmad Jamaluddin Abd Majid has filed an election petition to declare the results of the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituency null and void after Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz failed to sign two out of three sets of her nomination papers in the last general election.

Rafidah won the seat against Perak PAS deputy commissioner Dr Khairuddin Abd Malik. The case is still pending in court.

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