Highlights:

  1. RM114 million cash seized from residences linked to ex premier
  2. Terengganu to promote Muslim-oriented tourism
  3. Proton on track to upgrade 109 outlets to 3S, 4S status
  4. North Korea still open to talks with US
  5. Wellington is the world’s most liveable city for the second year running
  6. China and New Zealand reaching new height in tourism business

RM114 million worth of cash seized from residences linked to ex PM
Malaysian police said about RM114 million worth of cash was found in 35 bags seized from residential premises linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The head of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID), Datuk Amar Singh told a media conference in Kuala Lumpur, another 37 bags contained jewellery and watches. The value of these goods has not been ascertained yet. Datuk Amar Singh said the cash was found in 26 currencies and was seized in raids on May 18 under anti-money laundering laws. The largest amounts were in Ringgit and Singapore dollars. Three apartments were raided in the Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur on May 18, when police seized 284 boxes containing jewellery, designer handbags, shoes, watches and cash.

Terengganu to promote Muslim-oriented tourism
The Terengganu state government is to draw up a master plan to make the state a hub for Muslim-oriented tourism, targeting tourists from the Middle East, China and Western nations. Terengganu Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar said the plan would not have drastic changes from the tourism promotion efforts of the previous state government but improvements would be made to several tourism products. “Many tourists from the Middle East and Western nations come to Malaysia but not many of them visit Terengganu. If they want to experience Malay-Muslim culture and the beauty of islands and beaches, Terengganu is a good choice. “This is what we will focus on, how we can highlight our tourism capacity to make the tourism sector more progressive and contribute to the economic well-being of the state and the people,” he said.

Proton on track to upgrade 109 outlets to 3S, 4S status
Perusahaan Otomobil National (Proton) has upgraded 79 of its outlets to 3S and 4S status between January and May 2018 – approximately 72 per cent of its target to upgrade 109 outlets nationwide by October this year. In a statement today, Chief Executive Officer Dr Li Chunrong said with the upgrades, the company was confident of delivering excellent sales and service experience to its customers. “We are encouraged by the fact that we have the support of new investors along the way, who are game to take on the challenge of being a Proton dealer. This proves that we still have a strong brand presence in the market,” he said.

North Korea still open to talks with US
North Korea said it was still willing to talk to the United States after President Donald Trump cancelled a summit between the two countries. Kim Kye Gwan, North Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister, said, “The abrupt announcement of the cancellation of the meeting is unexpected for us and we cannot but find it extremely regrettable.” He added that President Trump’s decision to scrap the summit that was planned to take place in Singapore on June 12 was not in line with the world’s wishes and that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had made utmost efforts to hold the summit. President Trump had called off the anticipated summit with Kim blaming “open hostility” from the North Korean regime and warning Pyongyang against committing any “foolish or reckless acts”. In a letter to Kim, Trump wrote that he would not go ahead with the meeting following what the White House called a “trail of broken promises” by the North. North Korea last week failed to attend a meeting with the US to work on logistical preparations for the summit. Singapore has expressed regret over the cancellation of the summit by President Trump. “Singapore regrets that the scheduled summit between President of the United States Donald J Trump and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea State Affairs Commission Chairman Kim Jong Un will no longer take place on 12 June 2018,” said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson in response to media queries.

Wellington, New Zealand is the world’s most liveable city for the second year running
For the second year, Wellington has topped the world quality of life rankings in Deutsche Bank’s list of 50 cities with the best quality of life, beating Zurich, Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Vienna. The rankings look at purchasing power, safety, health care, cost of living, property price to income ratios, traffic commutes, pollution and climate. “If quality of life is your only concern, then Wellington continues to be the best place of our 50 cities to live in,” said Deutsche Bank report authors. Deutsche Bank’s top 10 most liveable cities are Wellington, Zurich, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Vienna, Helsinki, Melbourne, Sydney, Frankfurt and Amsterdam in that order.

China and New Zealand reaching new height in tourism business
The New Zealand’s government initiatives to increase tourists from China are paying dividends. Statistics from New Zealand this week showed that the number of Chinese arrivals rose 11 percent to almost 445,000 in the year ended April 30. The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment of New Zealand says China is poised to become the nation’s dominant tourism market in the next five years, projecting visitors from China will spend about $4.3 billion a year, accounting for just over half the total spend. The immigration New Zealand tourism sector relationship manager Andrew Johns said Chinese tourist numbers have increased significantly in recent years, as a series of new policies have made it easier for Chinese nationals to visit New Zealand. That includes a visa initiative with Bank of China and a major Amway China incentive scheme.