Highlights:

  1. Najib charged with three counts of money laundering
  2. RFID technology to be launched on major highways next month
  3. Government said strict fiscal discipline needed to tackle nation’s debt
  4. Bill to Repeal Anti-fake News Tabled In Parliament
  5. China’s trade surplus with US drops slightly in July as tariffs kicks in
  6. MDEC Pays Homage to Malaysia’s Animation and Creative Industry with the Return of Kre8tif! Conference & Content Festival 2018

Najib charged with three counts of money laundering
Former Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was today charged with 3 counts of money laundering, as part of a probe into how billions of dollars that went missing from state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail. The money laundering charges relate to electronic transfers amounting to RM42 million from SRC International, a former 1MDB unit, into Datuk Seri Najib’s personal bank account. The offence carries a penalty of up to 15 years in jail and a fine of not less than five times the value of the proceeds of any illegal transfers, or RM5 million, whichever is higher. The criminal breach of trust and abuse of power charges carry sentences of 20 years each.

RFID technology to be launched on major highways next month
From next month, Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd (TNGSB) will launch the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to users of major highways in Malaysia. The decision was made after TNGSB conducted comprehensive tests on the use of the technology with the cooperation of the highway concessionaires involved last year. “Additional tests will be carried out on 3 September to help TNGSB improve any shortcoming before the RFID can be fully introduced on highways across the country around January next year,” the statement said.Those keen on using the RFID can register at www.touchngo.com.my website to participate in the additional pioneer tests. With the introduction of the RFID, the SmartTAG device will no longer be sold by TNGSB authorised agents from today. However, Touch ‘n Go and MyKad cards can still be used by highway users for toll payments as usual, the statement added.
Government said strict fiscal discipline needed to tackle nation’s debt
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said strict compliance with fiscal discipline as well as better debt management will continue to be given emphasis to tackle the federal debt of over RM1 trillion. He said good debt management would be maintained to ensure the fiscal position and macro economy remained strong for managing any crisis. “Fiscal accountability will reassure investors and the capital market that the government still has flexibility in fiscal and monetary policies,” he explained.

Bill to Repeal Anti-fake News Tabled In Parliament
A Bill to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, today. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong tabled the Bill which contains two clauses for the first reading. The bill seeks to repeal the Act due to the change in government policy that fake news can be dealt with under other existing laws such as Penal Code, Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. The bill also states that any investigation, prosecution or proceedings with respect to any pending offences under the repealed Act, may still be continued as the Act is still in force.

China’s trade surplus with US drops slightly in July as tariffs kicks in
China’s trade surplus with the United States fell by about 3 per cent in July from the previous month, as the tariffs imposed by the two countries on each other’s imports took their first bite. China’s exports to the US in the month fell 2.5 per cent from June to US$41.5 billion, while its imports of US goods fell by 1.5 per cent month on month to US$13.4 billion, according to figures released by General Administration of Customs on Wednesday. As a result, China’s trade surplus with the US dropped to US$28.08 billion in July, from US$28.97 billion in June. On a year-on-year basis, the growth of China’s exports to the US slowed to 11 per cent last month from 12.5 per cent in June, while import growth accelerated to 11 per cent from 9 per cent. The figures may indicate a shift in bilateral trade after Washington in March slapped tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium imports from China, and after the two countries imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion worth of each others’ imports on July 6. The US also announced a 25 per cent tariff on a further US$16 billion of Chinese goods that will take effect on August 23, while China is expected to respond with sanctions on an equal amount of US imports.

MDEC Pays Homage to Malaysia’s Animation and Creative Industry with the Return of Kre8tif! Conference & Content Festival 2018
The Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) today welcome delegates to the latest edition of the Kre8tif! Conference & Content Festival. Held in Cyberjaya, the two-day regional Conference brings together over 40 of the region’s leading creative practitioners in an exchange of ideas, knowledge sharing and future collaborative opportunities. Commenting on Kre8tif!, Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDEC noted the remarkable transformation of South East-Asia’s creative content industry over the last decade, “The rapid advancement of technology has made animation and creative content industry a very lucrative economic enabler for the region. More so, there is an emerging trend of production companies moving from outsourcing and co-production model, towards focusing on their original content for international consumption.” The Conference is part of the week-long Kre8tif Conference & Content Festival which kicked off on Sunday with a Kre8tif! Costume Fun Run, followed by the two-day Conference and will conclude with a Cyberjaya Multimedia Festival that is set to take place this weekend. Inspired by the vibrant development of South East-Asia’s creative content industry, the Kre8tif! Conference this year is anchored on the theme “Kre8 Innov8”, emphasising the need for the industry to think differently and discover fresh innovative ideas that would put the region at the forefront of content creation.