1. National Human Rights Action Plan Launched
  2. US Offers Niche Market for Malaysian Islamic Fashion Designers
  3. Mosti Sets Up Task Force on Blockchain Guidelines
  4. Malaysia Awaits OECD On New Industries Taxation
  5. 30 Senior Citizen Activity Centres be Established This Year
  6. New Airport Development Levy in Singapore from 1 July 2018
  7. Re-Evaluate And Build A Successful Booking Sequence Infrastructure – Retain Your Guests!

Malaysia Launches National Human Rights Action Plan
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today launched the country’s National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP), describing it as Malaysia’s commitment to guarantee and safeguard human rights in the country. The Plan is an initiative to create greater awareness and knowledge among citizens, not only of their rights, but also the rights of others. The plan comprises five cores – civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and rights of the vulnerable groups. Datuk Seri Najib said the NHRAP would become a solid foundation in transforming the government efforts to strengthen human rights in the country. He added that this was also, through a bottom-up approach, in line with the agenda and vision of the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) which had gathered the people´s views, feedback and aspirations in ensuring the success of its implementation. Datuk Seri Najib said the NHRAP document was developed in accordance with international standards with reference to the United Nations guidelines, outlined five key thrusts.
Following the launch, Datuk Seri Najib announced three mechanisms to kick off the NHRAP, one of which was the creation of a smartphone application to obtain feedback from the people on the implementation of the plan. He said the government also agreed to set up a high-level committee to monitor the implementation of the NHRAP. The government also agreed to appoint appropriate impartial individuals, from among civil society organisations and academicians, to gather and analyse the public feedback on the implementation of the NHRAP, he said.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) said it looks forward to playing two major roles in the NHRAP process, which are to assist the Government, especially during the preparatory and development phases, by offering expertise and providing views and inputs to the Government, whenever possible and to monitor and assess the implementation of the NHRAP.

A National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) is a national action plan that seeks to improve the state of human rights of a country within a certain timeframe. It is a public document that takes a systematic approach in advancing human rights by placing human rights in the context of public policy. It aims to achieve institutional and legislative reforms, aside from raising awareness and cultivating a stronger culture of human rights in the country. Ideally, a NHRAP would outline ambitious yet achievable human rights goals through practical measures, based on the country’s historical, social, political and legal circumstances.

US Offers Niche Market for Malaysian Islamic Fashion Designers
The US is offering a niche market for Malaysian fashion designers to tap into with their Shariah-compliant products. Capitalising on the growing number of young, educated and fashion-conscious Muslim women in America, fashion designers from Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, India and elsewhere have been exploring business opportunities there, making sales pitches for their products. Last year, three Malaysian female fashion designers, who were part of a delegation under the aegis of the Association of Bumiputera Women in Business and Profession (Peniagawati), took part in the New York Couture Fashion Week in New York. Sara Jamaludin, Eja Shahril and Erma Fatima received accolades from the audience for their Islamic haute couture collections. According to the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation Office in New York, a similar delegation is expected to visit New York this year.

Mosti Sets Up Task Force on Blockchain Guidelines
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) has set up a task force to develop guidelines for the application of blockchain technology in Malaysia. Blockchain is a digital ledger where transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly, and could be effectively used to prevent fraud. MOSTI Deputy Minister, Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah said the guidelines would protect the interests of all parties involved in using blockchain technology. He said blockchain offered a lot of potential across various industries, especially in the Islamic finance sector and the country did not want to be left behind in adopting the technology.

Malaysia Awaits OECD On New Industries Taxation
Malaysia is looking forward to the introduction of a new tax system for new industries in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, which is applicable to the country. Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said Malaysia was eager to learn the tax mechanism for new industries, including for short-stay leasing platform Airbnb and e-hailing services such as Grabcar and Uber. “It is a very complex issue, because at this moment, I think even OECD countries didn’t find yet how to tax them. We learn from them and wait for the mechanism that they have and then we will compare,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

30 Senior Citizen Activity Centres be Established This Year
The Social Welfare Department plans to set up 30 Senior Citizen Activity Centres by the end of this year. Director-general Mohd Fazari Mohd Salleh said that so far there were 59 centres nationwide which serve as a venue for senior citizens to carry out recreational activities to keep them active and healthy. “We hope to see at least one centre in every parliamentary constituency to cater to the welfare of the 35,000 senior citizens who have registered with the Department,” he told Bernama.

New Airport Development Levy in Singapore from 1 July 2018
A new Airport Development Levy (ADL) will be introduced for passengers departing Singapore Changi Airport from 1 July 2018. The rate will be S$10.80 for passengers who begin their trips from Changi Airport and S$3.00 for passengers who start their trips elsewhere and connect through Changi Airport. A joint statement issued by Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said that the ADL would help fund airport developments, including the new Terminal 5, and related infrastructure at Changi East. The new tax will apply to tickets issued on or after 1 July 2018. Passengers travelling on or after 1 July 2018 whose tickets are issued prior to 1 July 2018 will not be subjected to the ADL.

Re-Evaluate And Build A Successful Booking Sequence Infrastructure – Retain Your Guests!
FASTBOOKING has selected Cendyn, the leading CRM and sales platform, to provide the hospitality industry with the best-of-breed CRM solution through their connectivity platform. This collaboration will provide seamless connections between CRM and FASTBOOKING’s multiple e-commerce solutions which in turn, will empower hoteliers to provide the best possible experience for every guest and drive qualified traffic to the hotels’ website. Upon attracting a new guest to the hotel, its goal is to secure future stays and influence the choice of booking channel. The direct channel delivers the highest yield for repeat bookings and presents the opportunities to influence brand perception. This relationship between technology platforms will allow hoteliers to see a holistic view of every guest and thereby improve engagement for every guest, regardless of which channel they came through.