Highlights:
  1. IAACA launches Dr Mahathir Mohamad fund to support anti-graft officers
  2. Tekun Nasional to assist 8,871 micro entrepreneurs in Sarawak
  3. Standard Chartered predicts 4.9pc GDP growth for Malaysia this year
  4. China warns US and Canada of action against request to extradite Huawei’s CFO
  5. China to cap number of Everest climbers due to clean-up drive
IAACA launches Dr Mahathir Mohamad fund to support anti-graft officers The International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) today launched the Dr Mahathir Mohamad Fund to help anti-graft officers who face risks in the line of duty. The announcement was made by IAACA president Dr Ali Fetais Al-Marri at the 10th IAACA Annual Conference and General Meeting in Vienna. Al- Marri, who is also Qatar Attorney General, said the fund carried the name of the Malaysian Prime Minister in recognition of Dr Mahathir’s efforts in fighting graft. Al-Marri said Qatar had agreed to start up the fund with 1million Qatar Riyal (RM1.14 million). Tun Dr Mahathir is the first Malaysian Prime Minister to share ways with the international community on Malaysia’s efforts in curbing graft. His keynote address was themed “15 years of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, Accomplishments and Prospects”. Malaysian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Datuk Ganeson Sivagurunathan said the conference gathers political leaders, including heads of government and anti corruption agencies as well as practitioners to exchange views on promoting measures to prevent and combat corruption, supporting international cooperation and technical assistance as well as promoting integrity, accountability and proper management of public affairs. The IAACA is a non-governmental organisation established with the aim to promote the effective implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption and to assist anti-corruption authorities in the global fight against corruption. Tekun Nasional to assist 8,871 micro entrepreneurs in Sarawak The National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) aims to assist 1,871 micro entrepreneurs in Sarawak by extending loans amounting to RM25 million this year. Its chairman, Datuk Seri Mohamad Suparadi Md Noor said borrowers with good repayment records would have the opportuniy of getting a second loan. “Sarawak is the second best state in the country in terms of financing repayment, with 63 per cent of the borrowers made up of women. Standard Chartered predicts 4.9pc GDP growth for Malaysia this year Standard Chartered predicts that Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) will experience a steady growth at 4.9 per cent this year compared to 4.7 per cent last year. Its ASEAN and South Asia chief economist Edward Lee told a media briefing today that private consumption has risen steadily over the past few years where last year saw an increase to 56 per cent of the GDP when compared to 49 per cent in 2011. “Consumer demand will be supported in 2019 by a healthy labour market, favourable tax changes, tax refunds and a minimum wage increase. The labour-market participation rate rose to an all time high of 68.5 per cent as of September 2018, while employment growth increased steadily to 2.6 per cent year on year. “The unemployment rate was low at 3.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 (Q318), while wage growth was a healthy 5.7 per cent y-o-y. This should support real disposable income in an environment of low inflation,” Lee said. He also believed that the resumption of production capacity in the mining sector which was disrupted due to unplanned outages and pipeline repairs may also contribute to the 2019 growth. The removal of the GST and return of the SST, coupled with a minimum 10 to 20 per cent minimum wage hike will also support more consumer spending even if it only affects roughly 3 per cent of the workforce. China warns US and Canada of action against request to extradite Huawei’s CFO China has warned that it will take action in response to measures to extradite Huawei’s Sabrina Meng Wanzhou. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the warning after Canada’s ambassador to the US said Washington plans to proceed with a formal request to extradite Sabrina Meng. Hua said the case was an abuse of extradition convention, and called on the US to withdraw the request. Canada’s Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday that the US will file an extradition request on allegations of banking fraud related to violations of US sanctions against Iran. The report said Canada’s ambassador to the US, David MacNaughton, had met with senior White House and US State Department officials about the Meng case several times. China to cap number of Everest climbers due to clean-up drive China will limit the number of climbers allowed to take on Mount Everest in 2019. The country will start a large-scale clean-up of the world’s highest peak and the total number of climbers from the north side will be capped at 300 this year. This will be a third fewer than normal. Plastic bags, oxygen tanks, tents and cooking equipment were among the rubbish collected which also included the bodies of climbers who died more than 8,000m up the mountain. Last year around 14 tons of waste from base camp and other locations were carried down by the porters. The Chinese side is visited by some 60,000 climbers and guides each year and is known as Mount Qomolangma in China by its Tibetan name.